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Posts Tagged ‘internet’

GoDaddy Web Servers Hacked

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

GoDaddy, an Arizona web hosting company, experienced severe outages yesterday. The massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) began late Monday morning, and the GoDaddy.com site itself went offline. Twitter user Anonymous Own3r, a member of the Anonymous hacktivist group, is claiming sole responsibility for the attack. According to the twitter account, Anonymous Own3r is an official member and security leader of the famous hacktavist group Anonymous, and claims the move is a reaction to the company’s support of the U.S. government’s efforts “to censor and control the Internet,” through its support of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA).

GoDaddy is currently the largest domain registrant in the world, and is four times the size of its nearest competitor. GoDaddy reportedly manages more than 48 million domain names and serves more than 9.3 million customers. The outage affected not only those sites hosted by GoDaddy, but also those registered with the company which includes thousands of websites, big and small. Reports also show the FBI and DOJ, the Recording Industry of America, Motion Picture Association of America, Universal Music and BMI.com websites were also attacked by this movement. The hacking group is trying to claim retribution for anti-piracy efforts by both the government and the entertainment industry.

Who is Anonymous you might ask…..
Anonymous is a loosely associated hacktivist group. It originated in 2003 on the website 4chan.com, an image sharing website where a large number of online community users simultaneously exist as a “digitized global brain”. It is also generally considered a term used for members of certain Internet subcultures, where their actual identities are not known. In its early phase, the concept had been adopted by a spread out online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner against a loosely self-agreed goal, and was primarily focused on entertainment. In 2008, they began increasingly associating with collaborative, international hacktivism. Although it’s not necessarily tied to a single online entity, many websites are strongly associated with Anonymous. This includes popular imageboards such as 4chan, their associated wikisEncyclopedia Dramatica, and a number of other forums.

Anonymous has claimed involvement in a number of cyber-attacks in the past including attacks against the Pentagon, News Corp, Monsanto, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, GM, and other Government websites. They have even threatened to destroy Facebook. Their coordinated community is not only involved in cyber-attacks, it has also partly organized activist movements such as Occupy Wallstreet, and have been responsible for tracking down wanted criminals that lead police to an arrest.

A recent statement by Anonymous read: “We will continue to attack those who embrace censorship. You will not be able to hide your ludicrous ways to control us”. So now the question is: Who will be the next target of Anonymous, and how long before we see another attack?


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FAST Internet Speed for Your Business Made Easy

Friday, April 13th, 2012

A small to medium sized business today needs to move at the speed of light in order to remain competitive. All too often, employee productivity is tied directly to the responsiveness of the office internet connection. With remote workers, social media, online apps, cloud databases, email, and other web based technologies forming the hub of a company’s communication system it is critical to maximize internet speed in order for work to be completed quickly.

Internet speeds have come a long way from the days of Dial-up and many different technologies have emerged to help connect your small to medium sized business computers to the Cloud. The most common of these technologies for an office include DSL, Dedicated T1, Cable, and Cellular. With each differing technology comes a range of different features, varying reliability, and different levels of performance, price, customer service and ease of use.

When the time comes to evaluate an internet provider for your office and business technology needs, it is important to weigh everything together. The overall speed, price, reliability, provided features, and even the reputation of the service providers are important when it comes to making the final decision. Here is a general overview of the main differences between various types of data technologies for your office:

Rated by Speed from Slowest to Fastest in a Typical Environment

  • DSL (usually the slowest)
  • Cellular
  • T1
  • Cable Broadband (usually the fastest)

Average Prices from Least to Most Expensive

  • DSL
  • Cellular
  • Cable
  • T1

Average Reliability from Least to Most Reliable

  • Cellular
  • DSL
  • Cable
  • T1

While the least expensive choice for business solutions is DSL, it is usually the slowest speed which can have a crippling effect on workplace productivity. Whenever taking speed into consideration, it is important for a professional to evaluate the number of computers, devices, and what they will be used for. That information can be compared to speed ratings for the various types of internet available.

This is a standard cable modem

Another important point to evaluate with intended usage is the need for 24×7 connectivity. In some cases, for example if an email server or web server is part of the office technology deployment, it is more important to lean towards the more reliable solutions to avoid any disruption in services. The most reliable and expensive solution is a dedicated T1. A T1 maintains a connection to the Cloud at a constant speed with 99.99% up-time. While this is the most expensive choice, it has the highest probability of working when you need it.

T1 TDM router

If mobility is what you’re after, you’re going to want to take a look at cellular. Cellular data technologies allow you to take your work with you wherever you go. And last but not least, the best bang for your buck overall is Cable broadband. This is a great choice if you need a lot of speed at a great price.

Are you moving offices, looking at starting up a new office, or just need to upgrade your existing office? my PC Techs is a locally owned, Phoenix, Arizona based technology consulting firm. We have special connections to all of the big data providers in the area, including Cox, Integra, Verizon, and Centurylink (formerly Qwest). We can help your business evaluate speed, price, and reliability and decide between DSL, T1, Cable, or Cellular. Most importantly, we will help you get the best price and make the installation easy for you.

Speed up your office and get more work done in less time for less money. That’s what we do at my PC Techs. We help your business increase productivity, save time, and save money. Don’t lose another minute of productivity due to slow or unreliable Internet access! Give our experts a call today @ (602) 456-0150 for a free consultation and find out for yourself why our clients rave about our superior service and affordable prices.

DD-WRT and Linksys WRT54G – Client Mode for Wan over Wifi

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

The Challenge: How can you create a wired LAN with an independent network when:

> There is no available CAT5 cable leading to a modem or router
> The only internet connection nearby is on an established router that you can’t change settings on
> Wireless access is available in the building

One option is a cradelpoint 4G router, using a Verizon 4G modem to setup internet access for multiple computers. However, in this case, we need a solution that is not limited by the amount of data you can download before overages set in. We settled on using a spare Linksys WRT54G router. When flashing this to DD-WRT, it’s possible to set the WAN on the wireless router to client mode and connect to an existing Wi-Fi network. We could then create a LAN on the device and plug-in computers to create our own network that would use the connected Wi-Fi network signal to pull internet!

Take a look at this article “Building a Wireless Bridge” that is helpful for this type of configuration. How can our Phoenix computer repair office help you solve your office networking challenges?


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Using a mobile 4G data modem as a hotspot or office router

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

I recently needed to find a mobile internet solution with a good amount of bandwidth, support for a lot of users, and one that I could easily move from place to place. The most obvious solution was a 4G internet plan, but after several frustrating hours searching around on the internet one evening for a solution I came up empty handed.

I needed something that would handle 20+ clients connected simultaneously. Yet, as some of you already know, the web stores for Sprint, Verizon, etc. only sell mobile hotspot devices with their 4G plans that handle a maximum of 5 connected clients. This small number of users makes it very difficult to use the 4G device with a small room full of people, or in a small to medium sized office as a backup device for the main internet connection if it ever goes down. Verizon had the largest capacity mobile hotspot (it would connect 8 users at the same time), but even that number was too small for my needs.

The next day I stumbled upon the Cradlepoint 4G routers. It wasn’t easy to find this company through my normal search terms the night before, so they should consider an upgrade in SEO for their website! Cradlepoint sells routers and devices that greatly expand the number of clients that can connect to and use a single 3G or 4G modem. What I liked the most about their website was how easy it was to identify the product that I needed.

First of all, they have a chart the shows you exactly how many clients or users you can connect for each of their various devices. Next, on the product pages, there are technical specs that will give you a list of the hardware (modems, hotspots, phones, etc) supported broken down by cellular company.

Cradlepoint Mobile Router and Verizon 4G CardI settled on the CTR 500 for my intended usage. This device has good reviews on the internet, can utilize most wireless devices from all carriers, and will support up to 32 wireless clients (and many more wired). I found this smoking deal on Newegg for the Cradlepoint, along with a lot of great reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16875997455

Once I knew which Cradlepoint model I needed to buy, I then used the supported devices list on the CTR 500 webpage to look at different carriers and see what was available (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon). You will find that many products listed on the Cradlepoint product page are older devices no longer being offered by the various carriers. I had to cross-reference the devices supported by the Cradlepoint with those that were actively being sold by the cell companies.

I knew that I needed 4G, so the most important thing I had to do was look over the 4G coverage maps for the cellular companies in my area. Take a look at these 4G Coverage Maps:
Verizon 4G Coverage Map
Clear 4G Coverage Map
T-Mobile 4G Coverage Map
Sprint 4G Coverage Map
AT&T 4G Coverage Map

Unfortunately, Verizon is the only cell company in my area that offers reliable 4G coverage. That alone finalized my decision and forced me to go with Verizon and to choose a compatible Verizon device for my Cradlepoint. I say unfortunately because Verizon recently stopped selling unlimited data plans, opting instead to limit their data plans to a maximum cap of either 5G or 10G per month. If you go over that purchased limit, they will charge you an additional $10 per GB. AT&T does the same thing, limits your data plans and charges you for overages. T-Mobile claims to offer unlimited data, but that’s simply not true – they just throttle (rate limit) your bandwidth after you cross a certain amount of usage each month. Since Sprint is the only carrier that sells unlimited 3G and 4G data plans I really wanted to sign on with them, but their 4G coverage is nowhere to be found in my area. If you have Sprint in your area and they provide 4G, jump on it!

Speedtest Verizon 4GEnd result? I had to settle for a Verizon 10GB per month plan. Watching bandwidth usage on a device like this will be critical when you have multiple users connected. Fortunately, the CTR 500 has a lot of sophisticated controls over the network and I am still playing around, creating rules and firewalls to limit what connected users are allowed to do with the network. There are calculators out there that can help you determine the amount of data you’ll need to accommodate 32 simultaneous internet users. A 4G device with a 5GB or 10GB cap can only be in use for a short amount of time before your limitations on the plan have been reached, so this solution is best for short, mobile internet use (like seminars) or as a backup internet option when the main connection fails.

So far I have been pretty happy. I did some recent speed tests with the device and found that I was getting many times greater speed than I can get on my T1 line in the office.


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Web Design and Online Marketing Together for Business Success

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Customer Selecting ProductPicture yourself standing in a supermarket aisle in front of the canned vegetables. You are making a new recipe tonight and it calls for one can of peas. You have never purchased a can of peas before and don’t have a preferred company or brand of peas in mind, so here you are with thirty different cans of peas in front of you to choose from. Each can has a unique label and manufacturer and most of them are exactly the same price. Which can do you pick up?

Next you walk over to the fruit aisle. You want to make an apple pie for dessert and look through all of the red apples in stock. It appears that some of the apples are old – they are withered and stale looking. The fresh apples are bright, crisp and fresh looking. Which ones do you choose for your pie?

Research has shown time and time again that looks sell. When people are presented with a choice between similar products that are similarly priced and offer similar features, they will almost always select the one with the brighter, more colorful packaging. A colorful, shiny label will always outsell a dull, bland one. A shiny, bright apple will sell faster than old fruit.

Studies are also very clear in identifying the unmatched power of the internet for business marketing. Search engines give your business power to place advertisements for your products and services directly in front of your target customers the moment they are searching for you. Google and Bing are supermarkets for business, and your products can be grouped with others in a similar category, just like cans of peas. Now, imagine a client searching the internet for your product or service, but really they are standing in the supermarket in front of cans of peas. What happens when YOUR can of peas (website) is placed on the shelf in front of them, right next to all of the cans of peas provided by your competitors?

Trying to design a do-it-yourself free website for your company, or going with the cheapest possible web design offering from the kid down the street working from his moms garage, is like one of those pea manufacturers handing a child a crayon and saying “Go ahead, design a label for our peas.” There are certain things that a professional marketing company will know about label design that a child will not. Important details will be missing from the final design such as branding, calls to action (buy these peas now!), ingredient labels, and all of the other secrets that are so important to help a consumer make the decision to purchase.

When a business website is designed by an amateur, cheaply without concern for quality, or by a web design firm that does understand online marketing, guess who buys the peas? No one. You could have the best peas in the entire world. They could be juicier, tastier and softer than all of your competitors peas. None of that will ever matter. Your potential customers will never get far enough along with your product to pick up your can of peas, read the label, or take it home to find out what’s inside. Considering the importance of online marketing to today’s business success, you could miss out on thousands of dollars in new sales. At the extreme, based on what your competitors are doing online, your business could fail due to an inability to compete in your industry.

“Build it and they will come” is absolutely incorrect when it comes to a new website for your business. Business web design and online marketing firms such as my PC Techs give your new website the upper hand. New websites designed by my PC Techs are built using cutting-edge technologies and incorporate the latest in coding and marketing techniques. With a my PC Techs website, you are getting much more than a new website. You get a proven marketing vehicle for your products and services.


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