If you want to make an informed decision about internet service providers, the best place to go is online. For those that are thinking about abandoning dial-up service, the best advice is to make sure you look through all the features each high speed internet service provider has to offer. And the best way to do that is to access a resource site that lists the features of several companies side by side. Comcast for instance has some great features including a security suite. Comcast specials also include excellent parental controls that will enhance security on your home computer for your children. Comparing the features of each company is the best way to get the most out of your dollar.
Oftentimes when trying to choose between high speed internet providers, the ISP will usually most heavily advertise their download speed. This speed can be easily identified, because it is usually higher than the upload speed. But in order to get a good picture of how long it will take you to transfer data, not just receive it, you need to know both upload and download speeds. Because let’s face it, if you are considering sending pictures to your family members, your upload and download speeds will definitely come into play here. Checking the fine print before choosing an ISP will help you to make an informed decision.
If you have not already checked out FiOS, you are missing out on some really cool and useful features. The old days of clicking on the connect button, going downstairs to make yourself a sandwich and then coming back to your computer to see if your dialup service successfully established a connection are over! And so is waiting forever for high-graphics web pages to load. Today’s speeds are ten times faster or more, especially with Verizon FiOS internet service. It’s got full fiber optic lines running all the way to homes across the nation that are getting internet lovers with speeds up to 30Mbps. If that doesn’t send you running to your nearest Verizon office, we don’t know what will!
High speed ISPs usually have some very good parental control features that you can benefit from. These filters allow you to monitor web sites, scan e-mails, and limit access to online content. Because each internet company has a different set of features, it is recommended that you know what features will be offered before you sign-up for service. But a very important feature to ensure your ISP has is the ability to view the surfing history of your kids. So by setting up a profile for each of your kids, it becomes easier to know what they are viewing.
Almost all internet companies offer protection in the form of parental controls, but it’s a good idea to make sure that you are getting full access and not just a free trial. ISPs have a responsibility as do other companies making money by offering access to the internet. Besides the filters from other internet companies, it’s recommended that you install your own parental control software. When it comes to internet safety and protecting your kids from viewing inappropriate material, it pays to make sure your computer has as much protection as possible. That way, you can keep your kids safe.
Part two in the series will discuss some of the measures you can take to keep your kids safe by configuring your browser. There are many choices for browsers out there, and these are easily downloaded by your children if you have not set up separate user accounts. And you can disallow the installation of new programs by those users who are not designated as being administrators. More details can be found in part one.
Many ISPs like AT&T or Time Warner cable offer free parental controls, so it is a smart idea to ensure those are configured in addition to your browser settings so that you have maximum protection. We’ll be using Internet Explorer for the purpose of this example. But settings are about the same for other well-known browsers also.
Simply click on the Tools menu on your browser and choose internet options. There are several areas you can adjust. I recommend that you get familiar with as much terminology as possible. But to configure things quickly, just select the Security tab. Here you can adjust the security levels for several different internet zones. Be sure to choose a level that makes sense for your kids’ internet usage. You can also set up any restricted sites here.
After modifying areas under the security tab, you can next select the Privacy tab which controls the cookies placed on your computer from the sites you visit and also controls pop-up advertisements. The last thing you may want are unwanted ads and images interrupting your child as they surf.
The Content tab will be next. The content advisor feature should be enabled. Here you can actually choose what your kids can see online by setting up predefined categories. You can block a large amount of sites by configuring these settings. You can also restrict the viewing of sites that have no rating. In other words, if a site is malicious, and they are not approved for their content, and don’t have a rating, that site will automatically be blocked.
Part 3 of this series will help you make sure popular software form high speed internet providers like Comcast DSL will adequately protect your children as well as show you how to use it.
Very few of those looking for new internet service looks forward to comparing them. But the truth is that in doing so, you can find out a lot about a company, including why it offers the pricing it does, how it enforces its various policies, and what the benefits are to you of going with a certain providers.
There is a lot of information about internet providers out there. But the best way to cut through the clutter and get the low down on these companies is to compare them side by side. This will allow you to see at a glance what each company offers.
Lets face it; your ISP cannot cover all the bases when it comes to protecting your kids. So the best thing you can do is take a proactive stance in the fight against unwanted internet content by taking action at every level possible. This will be a series of three, where I will discuss some of the more common ways you as a parent can modify settings on your computer, in your browsers, and with your internet provider to filter unwanted content.
ISPs like At&T DSL specials are not the ones responsible for protecting your children. It is up to the parent to take advantage of all the tools available. You can start with your computer and configure it for a higher level of protection. I will focus on Windows Vista here, but similar features are available in previous versions of Windows. You can create a block list that disallows your child the viewing of certain sites. Or if your child is younger, and in extreme cases you can specify each site your child is allowed to view, like say nickelodeon.com.
Simply go to your Control Panel and select “User Accounts & Family Safety.” You will then be given, among others, the choice to “Set up parental controls for any user.” Select this option, and then select your child’s name from the user list. If you don’t have a different login for your child you may want to set this up beforehand. Once complete, select “On” under the Parental Controls heading to activate this feature with your broadband ISP. Then select the “Windows Vista Web Filter” option to begin establishing the rules by which your child accesses the internet.
Why on earth would anyone want to restrict free content on the internet? Contrary to popular belief, there are some activists out there who are urging for censorship on the internet. This is not only a problem here in the United States, but it has become an issue in other countries around the world. And by “problem”, I mean the people that are creating the fuss. The internet is the hub where free speech is expressed and your voice can be heard all over the world. Why suppress that? At the end of the day, the responsibility and right to filter information belongs to the user. It is quite simple to prevent certain types of content if you don’t want it. So why not keep freedom of expression alive? This way, we can continue to progress as one society.
There are most likely several different companies to consider when the time comes to choose a new ISP. It could be that you may have to choose a completely different internet provider if you are moving to a new city. So how can you know if the company you’re thinking about has what you need at a price you can live with? One way could be to consider those companies which are at the top of many lists for their prices, speeds and service. Whether it’s a DSL, cable or fiber optic connection you seek, knowing how one compares to the other can make a big difference to the company you choose.
That’s why having access to a comparison resource can be such a benefit to you. It can save you time, as there’s no need to call each company individually to get a price on service. Instead, you need only visit the site to see the details about several companies from one location. And you may find that many of the internet options in my area listed there will be among the top ten for price, speed and service, which may mean that you can the best value possible for your hard-earned money.
Internet video companies like Netflix are the reason that many ISPs continue to impose an increasing array of data caps on their customers, critics are saying. The latest news is that two major cable internet companies have recently expanded their caps in the form of tiered service, which offers a number of service levels, each having their own data usage and download speed limits. It used to be that data caps were explained as a solution to those heavy internet users who caused network congestion. Interestingly, many ISPs have abandoned this argument, stating now that fairness in pricing is now the reason for the caps, namely, that heavy internet users should pay more for more data usage.
But critics are saying that this doesn’t make sense, because ISPs pay the same to deliver content in large amounts to a single user as they do for content in small amounts. Critics also say that the bulk of the money that high speed internet providers use is spent on the building of networks and other variable, but negligible costs. The problem with this theory, however, is that the cost of most built networks has already been paid in full. The status of a Department of Justice probe into competition suppression from ISPs is not known.
If you live in Europe or the United Kingdom, chances are that your satellite internet is fast enough to reach speeds comparable to cable and even fiber optic connections. Officials in these two countries are saying that most users of satellite broadband can now enjoy speeds of 20 Mbps or more. As well, it’s reported that the usage of satellite broadband is no longer limited, with many companies now offering unlimited packages. As well, the costs to have this form of internet connection are currently quite affordable for a wide range of incomes.
It’s due to improvement over the last ten years, both in data caps and bandwidth, that satellite can now be considered to be so affordable in Europe and the U.K. As well, a connection from satellite internet providers is now able to be operational much more quickly than it used to be, making it, experts say, a competitor for the provision of bandwidth in more than one scenario. But despite the incredible availability of satellite, there are still 200 million residents unable to access high speed broadband, and about 20 million Europeans with no fixed broadband access. Yet, it is still being reported that satellite has definitely reached a tipping point.
In light of the scandal surrounding the recent revelation about the NSA collecting the personal information of millions of Americans, the European Commission has warned that as a result, it may no longer choose to associate with American internet provider companies, specifically those American companies which offer cloud services. The Commission said that cloud providers are far less likely to be trusted with so much suspicion that governments and businesses may be the victims of spying. They went on to say that there is little point in paying a cloud company to keep company data safe if that data is being shared against the owner’s wishes.
The reason the Commission has said that it’s the American cloud service providers who will take the hardest hit should European business and government terminate their connections is because the U.S. is a leading cloud service provider. It was demanded earlier in the month by the European Parliament that United States internet service providers be willing to provide full disclosure with regard to email data, in addition to other communications. If compliance is not met by the United States, the resolution could revoke two of its key deals for information sharing, namely the Passenger Name Records (PNR) and Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) programs.
iGR, a market strategy consultancy whose focus is the mobile and wireless communications industry recently released a study regarding broadband usage in the home. And the findings were surprising. According to the report, there has definitely been an increase in broadband usage. The growth in bandwidth usage is due to the fact that more households are accessing the internet from their home broadband connection. More specifically, it’s internet access via Wi-Fi that’s causing the increase in data usage. So what this means is that household members using devices like smart phones to get online via Wi-Fi in the home are now the users which are causing this growth in data usage.
Measuring data usage by light, medium and extreme, the report revealed some interesting characteristics of each user type. A household involved in light internet usage consumed less than thirty GB per month, with 15.5 GB of that usage being via Wi-Fi internet providers. Medium usage households account for about 50% of all households, consuming about 5.000 Petabytes per month. And in extreme households, 395 GB per month of data is consumed, with 225 GB occurring via Wi-Fi. The full report is available for purchase from iGH’s website, and is said to be valuable to mobile operators, as well as content providers and distributors.
A lawsuit will be forthcoming from two web groups in New Jersey who want to block the state’s law for online ads of a certain nature. The two groups are concerned about the law, which they say could hold third parties responsible for the internet information users access, simply because that information would be sent over their systems. The ads in question advertise underage workers in the sex trade. And the lawsuit may see some success, as one of the involved internet groups has already been able to block a similar law in 2012 in Washington state.
As far as the New Jersey law is concerned, it counts a person guilty of advertising the commercial sex abuse of a minor if they knowingly cause, directly or indirectly, the publication, dissemination or display of any advertising for a commercial sex act. The New Jersey internet providers in my area are trying to solve the issue of trying to stop the underage sex trade and be able to count on the support of the intermediaries who control the work of law enforcement. It has also been said that this effort is a part of a larger strategy with the goal of attempting to amend section 230 of the 2006 New Jersey law.
Wireless internet can be an incredibly convenient way to get online no matter where in your home you may be. But unless your home’s wireless internet network is properly configured, you could be setting yourself up for many security risks, not to mention the loss of sensitive data. Continuing to use a wireless network that is unsecured can result in messages and transactions being intercepted by malicious third parties, not to mention your usernames and passwords being obtained. Once this information has been obtained, identity theft can become a certainty.
Luckily, there are ways to minimize your risk. One way is to stop broadcasting your wireless internet SSID. This, your logon username, is like a beacon to those hackers who scan for SSIDs in neighborhoods. You can stop broadcasting your SSID by changing its name to something that doesn’t reveal personal details. An SSID of this type could be a ten-character name consisting of both letters and numbers that appears to have no relevance. Another way to protect yourself is to set your wireless internet security to WPA-2, and the encryption to AES. WEP encryption, according to the experts is very weak and thus, should never be used.
It’s a commonly-accepted assumption that today’s young generation have no qualms about being monitored by social media companies and government agencies. After all, they were practically born posting their every move online. So this makes the news coming out of Chicago that much more intriguing: the younger generation is actually concerned about their privacy. Research is revealing that while they are sharing more information online than any generation before them, the younger crowd is actually getting quite skilled at hiding their online presence. And not only that, but many of them are actually fighting for privacy more than their ancestors did.
A poll done just a few days ago by the Pew Research Center For The People & The Press revealed a huge division between young adults and older generations on the subject of federal surveillance. 45% of those young adults surveyed said that personal privacy was more important to preserve than executing terror investigations involving the access of information via internet service providers. Close to equal numbers of respondents were in favor of government surveillance. But the interesting results clearly show that the younger generation isn’t as apathetic about having their online moves tracked as was once thought.
With all of the buzz in the news over how the United States is far behind the rest of the world with its internet speeds, it can make you wonder if there is anywhere in the country where high-speed internet can be had for cheap. The good news is that there is. In Vermont, some customers can get their hands on gigabit-speed internet for just $30-$35 per month. But how is this possible? In other cities, gigabit internet cannot be had for much less than $70 per month. And this offering extends only to 17,500 customers who are living in rural areas.
The feat was achieved largely due to lots of federal funding. $81 million from a broadband stimulus grant, and a $35 million loan, to be exact. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the funds, which are to go toward both gigabit internet and deployment of cellular networks across the state. The true cost of the gigabit internet service is around $70 per month, as VTel, the best internet provider offering the service, is only making it available as part of its phone service. This is the only way the company can tap into federal money to continue the extension of its high speed internet offering.
Fiber optic is one of the fastest and most popular residential internet options available. And recent news has revealed that this internet type is reaching its limits as far as data capacity is concerned. But are we giving fiber optic cable the credit it deserves? Some say that the hair-thin glass cable is capable of carrying much more data than we originally thought. Researchers have recently discovered that the simple change in ‘spin’ of the light waves that fiber optic cable uses to transmit information can not only cause more information to be able to be stored, but also result in that information being reliably sent over long distances.
Fiber optic cable’s ability to use light to transmit data means that different colors can be used to send data. However, most of these are already being used for data transmission. But in spinning the photons in a different manner, more data can be fit into transmissions. Doing this creates additional channels that can handle data. Researchers theorize that this creation of new ‘modes’ can be incredibly stable, and proved this not only to be true, but also proved that data could be transmitted at a whopping 400 GB per second across several channels.
There are certainly a few types of internet connection to choose from these days. And as demand for data increases, so does the speed of the connections we want. But although some of us may be loving our higher speeds, others choose to forego them. This can have us asking why. While many people now live in cities or near to them, still others choose to live in more remote areas. These areas are unreachable, both due to the cost to build infrastruture and the fact that locations like this are too sparsely populated to justify a rollout, regardless of the demand.
And so, many people in rural areas choose a different kind of internet service which doesn’t require expensive infrastructure. Satellite internet affords them with a speed that’s comparable to other types of high-speed connections. Those who are installing satellite for the first time may have to purchase the equipment that accompanies it, such as a dish and receiver. However, in many cases, a newly-purchased home may already have a dish installed so that all that’s needed is to obtain a receiver and purchase a subscription to the service. Satellite internet and television can offer the home user many options for accessing the media they want.
September 9, 2013 marks when Washington D.C.’s Federal Appeals Court will hear at least one ISP regarding net neutrality. The internet provider, one of the more well-known in the country is challenging the rules laid out by the Federal Communications Commission, which says that internet users should not be restricted by internet service providers when trying to access applications and content online, even if the application and content represent industry competition of some kind. The ISP who is challenging the FCC’s ruling says that it organization is overstepping its bounds by trying to regulate the internet as a whole.
Other views on the issue include those of public interest groups, who say that the FCC needs to lay down more rules. Leaders on the Democratic side say that any decision that favors the ISP challenging the rules will be opposed. The issue of net neutrality has made many headlines over the last few years. This ruling over cable, satellite, fiber and dsl providers will be an important one, as it will greatly affect the net neutrality debate. But the FCC did get backing for its position in May from the Supreme Court.
Whether or not you’ve experienced issues with your provider, eventually the time may come to see what other companies are offering. And although every company will appear as though they are the best one for you, you may wish to find more information that provides the insight you’re looking for to make an educated decision about what a company can offer you in terms of speed, uptime, support and price. The best place to start is to understand what it is you do when you go online. If you tend to do a lot of low-intensity activities, like checking email or online banking, you may not require high speed internet via something like a fiber optic connection.
However, many web sites now contain videos and images which are of high quality, and so require a higher speed connection in order to display properly. And you may also enjoy watching movies or television shows online. This will require a more robust connection so that there are no interruptions in the downloading or viewing of content. One of the smartest ways to find the best internet provider in my area is to read reviews, both from industry companies and from former and current customers.
Remember those old spy movies, where a shoe turned into a phone, and a watch was a surveillance device? The old spy days may be right now, if recent news about the NSA and our information are any indication. But the computer user may soon have another way to protect not only themselves, but those to whom their email messages are sent. A major internet company has filed a patent that would see email messages self-destructing after a time determined by the sender. AT&T’s filing would mark the first by any internet company.
The patent filing comes as part of the recognition that email messages can end up living on a server or inbox for long period of time that could span years. But there is currently no server feature or any internet options that allow users to control how long an email message lives. This new patent would allow users a few choices, which include deletion after recipient reading has occurred, and restricting any replication of the message. Of course, this may raise a number of new questions with regard to user privacy and security, such as whether or not the message is deleted from servers completely, or simply just from the recipient’s view.
Technology does have a number of benefits, but for the developing child, it can result in the absence of the skills essential to proper development. In experiencing the world primarily in a virtual way, no physical contact occurs, which is necessary in order to learn about and understand the world around them. The same is true for person-to-person interactions. The virtual world doesn’t operate by the same rules as physical interactions do. And so certain facial and verbal clues, along with body language are not visible. So how can it be ensured that a child receives the contact they need with other people, but without depriving them of the benefits of technology?
The key may be in continuing to use traditional communication and other tools. As well, limiting the time a child spends with technology, especially during their younger years can help familiarize them with those things that are necessary for healthy development. It may also help to attach the importance of earning time or ownership of technology as a child gets older, so that respect for the use and cost of technology can be instilled. There are also many parents who have decided not to use technology at all, which also has its own set of benefits. The decision about whether or not to use technology in the home is one that only the parents can make.
With all of the recent news surrounding the alleged monitoring of our communications by the NSA and other agencies, many internet users have decided to protect themselves. And some have decided to go completely offline. But is it necessary to go to this extreme to avoid being spied on? Not necessarily. It is possible to do this, if you want to put all of your messages on thumb drives and physically pass them back and forth. It has been done, both by whistleblower Snowden and Osama bin Laden. But it’s probably not practical for the average home internet user.
Over voice, you will need VOIP phones and the know-how to assign each phone with its own internal and fixed IP address. VPNs, or virtual private networks may offer a solution. These enable secure communications between two locations via high speed internet or other means. Every router has VPN capability, and so all that’s needed is to set up a VPN for each person with whom you wish to communicate. Once you’ve set encryption at 3DES, that’s all you need. But you will need to make sure that each VPN contains a different subnet configuration.
Going wireless can mean the ultimate in convenience when you need to be able to get online anywhere in your home. But choosing the company that will provide you with affordable wireless access can be difficult, especially if you are living in an area where there are many companies offering service. But choosing a company can be made much easier when you take a few things into consideration. First of all, what’s their reputation like? A company that will live up to its promises not only puts the customer first, but ensures that any previous issues have been resolved to the best of its ability.
Transparency is something that more and more consumers are demanding every day from all of the companies they deal with. And wireless internet service providers are no different. And so when seeking a quality company, focus on how easy it is to find the information you’re looking for. Are their terms clearly listed on their site? This will also tell you how well a company will serve your wireless internet needs over the long term. Although there is no guarantee that the company you choose will deliver on what they promise, you can lessen the possibility of having to find yet another company by ensuring these qualities are present before you sign up.
Yesterday, two major players joined forces to offer product data in the cloud. The service, called “Amazon Inc.” is the first of its kind. The endeavor, a joint effort between General Electric Co. and Amazon Web Services, will begin the creation of a way to help companies tap what they call ‘big data’, or the incredibly large amounts of stored information and be able to quickly analyze, understand and put it to work. However, this data will be of an industrial nature – information about items like jet engines and gas turbines.
This industrial data, according to experts is expected to enjoy growth at twice the rate of other big data over the next ten years. Along with Amazon and GE, other existing partnerships with other companies will be involved, which include Accenture Plc and Pivotal. The role that will be played which will allow access of industrial data via internet service will include data capture, the performance of local processes and the industrial analytics in real time. Sectors analyzed will run the gamut from energy and transportation to health care.