Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Before Bankruptcy

Understand it before you need it and you may be able to avoid it. You may also be more confident about getting through it if you need to.
Cost/Benefit analysis is thought of as a Business Procedure, but you are in the business of remaining solvent if possible. Your Family and Yourself could have no more critical business to attend to.
What is your Day? What do you spend your time doing?
As the grip of debt grows tighter, time is what you have to spend; some days it may be all you have to spend. Roll with it. Panic doesn't solve anything.
The basics of course are:
* Water
* Food
* Shelter
We take water for granted, but that's a different subject. Once your children (family) are fed and sheltered, in a sense everything after that is extra.
Believe it or not one of the next priorities is 'entertainment', not TV, Dancing, Big Screen type entertainment. I mean, what do you do with your time?
Most of our society is trained that entertainment means, 'Where should we spend our Money'. The kind of entertainment I mean is 'How should we spend our TIME?' Those of you with small children realize that sometimes it doesn't matter how much you spend, sometimes it just ain't 'entertaining' to the audience.
Sit down with everyone in your Family that 'spends' money and discuss the daily expenditures. Write them down. I know we've all heard that before, 'Write down where ever penny goes'. It really will open your eyes to corners you can cut. Prioritize these possible reductions.
Analyze your day, making decisions as to 'necessity', 'entertainment value' and 'cost per hour of entertainment'. Things like 'Should we give up the daily and weekend paper? That $12 a month could be spent better.' But when considered as the hours you spend reading the paper, Sunday Comics, Editorials etc, is $12 a month expensive? You've done something you enjoy for Hours a week.
Is it worth Buying DVD's? Again, I don't know about you, but I don't buy a DVD or CD unless it's something I know I'll watch or listen to many times. I consider a Classic Movie, especially with 'Special Features' to be a very enjoyable use of time, every time I watch it.
Is it worth paying for Cable TV or Satellite? A good internet connection is something I consider a basic necessity. I use DSL and get my phone bill from the same company. Depending on the area in which you live, the combination may be Cable + Internet, or Dish + whatever, you will make that determination as part of the Plan you are going to formulate before you finish this document. My Cable system uses a tier system and it is quite a financial jump to go to a higher tier to get 1 or 2 channels. On the other hand they also offer Hi-Speed Internet.
For the sake of educating our children I put quite a bit of 'weight' on access to a good internet connection. We can't go to the Library 5 times a day. Admittedly there are many concerns with the internet as well as TV, but in my estimation more selective value can be garnered from the internet than is available on TV.
As far as the rest of the offerings from TV and the 'Entertainment Media' which lately includes the shows I remember that were known as 'News'. Years ago they were labeled a 'wasteland', now wasted land maybe. If you look at our 'Post Modern' cycle of 'Marketing that which they all need', (Because we told them so), you may notice that ALL TV Programs are selling something, even without the 55 minutes per hour of commercials, the 'show' is selling something. Watch closely, if you dare to watch. The subtle persuasive techniques can have you spending in a flash, almost whether you want to or not.
If your decision may include bankruptcy, more education is in order. Because people are usually not aware of the differences between chapter 13 and chapter 7, they are unsure of which bankruptcy chapter to file.
Webmaster and Editor of informational Blogs and Sites since 2000
C R Ellsworth is retired from Corporate America and living in the 'Great Northwoods'
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VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) - An Overview

You've probably at least heard of the word "VoIP", even if you didn't quite understand what all the excitement is about. VoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol" and is going to change the way you think about making long distance phone calls. Basically, VoIP technology turns analog audio signals (i.e. the sounds you hear when talking on your regular telephone) into a digital signal (which is then transmitted over the Internet.)
So why is VoIP revolutionizing the industry?
Because it means that by getting your hands on some of the free software that's available right now, you can totally bypass your telephone company, and start making long distance phone calls for free! This revolutionary technology has the ability to totally change the phone system of the entire world! Perhaps you've seen television commercials for one of the pioneers of VoIP - Vonage. Vonage brands itself as the "broadband telephone company" and offers enticing perks to customers who switch to it's VoIP service such as low-cost 800 numbers and very cheap international rates (fees are waived from the U.S. to Canada, and international calls are as low as .03 cents a minute to overseas locations such as Paris). But Vonage isn't the only company who is interested in harnessing the power of VoIP. AT&T is setting up VoIP calling in several areas of the U.S. and there are other major VoIP players on the scene as well, such as Skype, who is relying on viral advertising to get the word out. Even some regional cable television companies are now offering VoIP telephone service at deep discounts to their customers.
One of the interesting components about VoIP is that there's not just one way to make a VoIP call. There are actually three ways to make a VoIP call:
1) VoIP via ATA: is the most commonly used VoIP method right now. Using the ATA (analog telephone adaptor), you connect your regular telephone to your computer or Internet connection. The ATA is an analog-to-digital converter and it takes the analog signal from your phone and converts it into digital data and transmits it over the Internet so you are able to make VoIP calls. This is how Vonage and AT&T's CallVantage handle VoIP calls. The ATA is free with their services. And using an ATA for VoIP is so simple that anyone can do it. Open the box, plug the cable from your phone into the ATA instead of the wall socket, and you're ready to begin making VoIP calls. Depending on your computer, where you live, and what type of Internet connection you have, you may need to also install VoIP software onto your computer, but this shouldn't be too difficult for most people.
2) VoIP via IP Phones:VoIP phones look just like a standard telephone. They have a handset, cradles and buttons. But an VoIP phone uses an RJ-45 Ethernet connector instead of the standard RJ-11 phone connectors. VoIP phones connect directly to your router and all the hardware and software is already built inside to handle your VoIP calls. Look for Wi-Fi IP phones to be available in the near future, which will allow you to make VoIP calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot. This will allow you to take your VoIP phone with you when you travel, and stop in at any Internet café, hotel or other location where you can use your Wi-Fi laptop, and you can use VoIP technology to "phone home" from anyplace in the world.
3) VoIP via Computer-to-Computer:This is arguably the easiest way to use VoIP. There are no fees for long distance calls and there are several companies offering free or low-cost software right now for you to make use of VoIP technology. All you need is the software, a microphone, speakers, a sound card and a broadband or cable DSL Internet connection, and you can start using VoIP service right away. Except for your normal monthly ISP fee, there is no charge for any computer-to-computer VoIP call, no matter how far away they are. is one such VoIP service. Chances are, you've already been using the VoIP technology without even being aware of it, any time you've made a long distance telephone call recently. Many of the major phone companies are already using VoIP technology to reduce their own bandwidth. It's a simple matter of routing thousands of phone calls through a circuit switch and into an IP gateway. Once received on the other side of the gateway, the VoIP calls are decompressed, reassembled and routed back to a local circuit switch.
VoIP telephony is the wave of the future.
VoIP technology makes sense in terms of ROI, from both an economic and infrastructure point of view. It may take some time, but eventually all of the current circuit-switched networks that are in use today will be replaced by packet-switching VoIP technology. More and more businesses are already installing VoIP systems, and as VoIP technology makes its way into our everyday language, our lives, and our homes, it will continue to grow in popularity. According to Forrester Research, nearly 5 million U.S. households will have VoIP phone service by the end of 2006. The two biggest advantages of VoIP for home users are price and flexibility. Currently, most VoIP providers offer calling plans similar to that of cell-phone companies, which are commonly called "minute-rate" plans, for as little as $30 a month. And as with cell-phone plans, you can also get unlimited plans for around $79 a month.
With the elimination of long-distances charges, unregulated charges, and all the freebies that come standard with VoIP service, it can actually amount to a significant savings for you. For example, you may be paying extra for features like:
· Call waiting
· Three way calling
· Call forwarding
· Caller I.D.
· Repeat dial
· Last call return with VoIP
These services come standard. Plus there are some advanced features that make VoIP something worth looking into. With some VoIP carriers, you can set up call-filtering options and actually have some control over how calls from certain numbers are handled. For example, you can:
· Forward the call to a particular number
· Send the call directly to voicemail
· Give the caller a busy signal
· Play a "not in service" message with most VoIP services.
You can also check your voice mail on the Internet, or attach messages to an email that is sent directly to your computer or handheld. (By the way, if you're interested in any of these features, not all VoIP companies are created equal, so do a little shopping around first, because VoIP prices and services do vary).
The second benefit that makes VoIP so attractive for home and small business users is flexibility. With VoIP you can make a call anywhere you can get broadband connectivity. Since the VoIP phones or ATAs broadcast information over the Internet, they can be administered by any provider. For business travelers, this means they can take their VoIP phone or ATA with them on the road and never miss a home phone call.
How does VoIP / Internet Phone Work?
VoIP converts the voice signal from your telephone into a digital signal that travels over the Internet. If you are calling a regular phone number, the signal is then converted back at the other end. VoIP can allow you to make a call directly from a computer. If you make a VoIP call using a phone with an adaptor, you’ll be able to dial just as you always have, and the service provider may also provide a dial tone. If your service assigns you a regular phone number, then a person can call you from his or her regular phone without using special equipment.
Does My Computer Have to be Turned On for VoIP to work?
Not if you are making VoIP calls with a phone and adaptor or special VoIP internet phone, however your broadband Internet connection needs to be active. You can also use your computer while talking on the phone.
Is There a Difference Between Making a Local Call and a Long Distance Call?
Some VoIP providers offer their local service for free, normally only charging for calls to non- subscribers to the VoIP service. Some VoIP internet telephony providers charge for long distance calls to numbers outside your calling area, similar to existing, traditional wireline telephone service. Other VoIP providers permit you to call anywhere at a flat rate for a fixed number of minutes. Your VoIP internet telephony provider may permit you to select an area code different from the area in which you live. This means that if your VoIP provider charges for long distance, then charges could be based on whether you call within your area code rather than geographic area. It also means that people who call you may incur long distance charges depending on their area code and service.
Can I Take My internet Phone Adapter with me when I Travel in order to use VoIP?
You may be able to use your VoIP service wherever you travel as long as you have a broadband Internet connection available. In that case VoIP service would work the same as in your home.
How Do I Know If I have a VoIP Phone Call?
The phone will ring like any other call.
Additional Considerations for VoIP service:
If you’re considering replacing your traditional telephone service with VoIP, there are some possible considerations you should be aware of: Some VoIP services will not work during power outages and the VoIP service provider may not offer backup power. It may also be difficult for some VoIP services to seamlessly connect with the 911 emergency dispatch center or to identify the location of VoIP 911 callers. In May 2005, the FCC ordered providers of Internet-based phone calls to certify that their customers will be able to reach an emergency dispatcher when they call 911.
Dispatchers also must be able to identify the caller's phone number and location. You can review additional information about VoIP and 911 considerations at [] VoIP providers may or may not offer directory assistance/white page listings. Aspects of these considerations may change with new development in Internet Voice technology. You should always check with the potential VoIP service provider to confirm any advantages and limitations to the VoIP service they offer.
To provide reliable VOIP [] information, David Dunlap has created a comprehensive resouce directory at [] where all of your VOIP questions can be answered.

Bleeding Edge or Expensive Enterprise Satellite Internet?

The State of Satellite Internet in 2005
For those businesses unable can't get T1, Cable or DSL internet service for less than half a year's Gross Profit, vsat (very small aperture terminal) satellite internet is about the only way to obtain decent internet speed. Over the last two years or so many companies have advertised about upcoming solutions to this issue...after all, the business internet industry is huge and growing by giant leaps each year and there are potential profits out there.
Let's take a look at what is currently available and what is on the way:
Available Ku Band Enterprise Systems
This is a "catch all" phrase covering the more expensive equipment and service offered by several large uplink comapnies. It is characterized by larger satellite dishes (typically 1.0 meter or larger), more powerful transmitters (at least 2 watts) and less populated transponders than the "residential" or "small business" setup's available from Direcway, Starband and Wildblue. The result is more consistent, faster service.....what most businesses expect.
There are two general avenues you can take regarding speed and throughput: Shared or dedicated bandwidth - and the difference in price is staggering. For most business applications, shared bandwidth (the less expensive choice) will work fine - giving a company 1.5 kbps downloads and 256 kbps uploads over 90% of the time for prices in the $400-$1500 range. The crucial element of ANY offering is the "contention ratio" - how much they oversell the product or the number of concurrent users they allow on a transponder. Any company that does not put the ratio in writing is not worth doing business with - period...and any company with a contention ratio above 20-1 is not offering you true Enterprise service. With dedicated service (Guaranteed speeds) you will spend over $1,900 per month (up to several thousand per month), but will have service that is nearly bulletproof.
The most tested and dependable Enterprise setup available today in N. America is centered around a modem designed by iDirect Technologies This is a proven system that will give you what you pay for.
Other systems are coming into the marketplace like the ViaSat Surfbeam DOCSIS setup and another DOCSIS product from Telnor; however, this is very new technology and certainly qualifies as "Bleeding Edge". Only three companies have the equipment to make it work right now and there are bumps in the road. Surfbeam and Telnor's big promise is a better utilization of available ku bandwidth, but no field results have confirmed this yet to my knowledge.
If it provides similar speeds during field testing, it will force iDirect to rethink modem pricing as the DOCSIS setup can be installed for about $500-$1,000 less.
Wireless and Satellite Internet Technology On The Horizon
The Satellite Internet world could be turned on it's head in the coming years as WIMAX emerges. It is a grand plan by Intel and others to cover very large areas of the world with a brand of microwave technology capable of sending data extremely fast to small antennas at homes and businesses. The big difference between WIFI and WIMAX is the distance covered by the main antenna.....the claim is 15-30 miles! Talk about bleeding edge....many of the "Big Boys" including Nokia and Cisco have abandoned plans to invest in it and speak of it as a bad business model to try to replace DSL. They point out that there are currently over 15 "standards" for the technology, not exactly a harmoneous start!
Ka band satellite internet for Enterprise has some real promise. The ability to "reuse" bandwidth, if the concept works, will enable companies to have T1 speeds or greater at any business location for much less than a T1 cost. A unit of SkyTerra Communications - the company managing Hughes Network Systems now, is working on advanced ka band spot beam technology to that end.
The greatest challange facing the satellite internet industry during the next 24 months is figuring out how to make the absence of someone finding a business model that can show consistant profit, all of the transponder space allocated to internet will quickly be redeployed to HDTV or other types of profitable on it!
About the Author:
Randy Scott has been involved in the bi-directional satellite internet industry from it’s beginning as a Sr. Sales Engineer, consultant and business owner. Randy is the founder of VSAT U.S., a consulting and sales organization, representing the most prestigious satellite internet providers in the America’s. For more information about current VSAT satellite internet offerings including Ka band, visit or email

Everything You Need to Know About MPLS (Mult Protocol Label Switching)

The trend for network solutions encompassing multiple geographic locations is application of MPLS solutions. And with very good reason. However, there are some things you need to know to make sure it's done right.
Historically, tag switching (now called LABEL) was first proposed as a way to move IP packets more quickly than was possible with conventional routing. But, soon after implementations, it became apparent that any increase in speed was very slight. What really allowed MPLS to grow as an infrastructure technology was that it could provide new IP based services such as VPN's, Traffic Engineering (TE) etc.
The MPLS architecture separates the control information for packets required for packet transfer itself; that is, it separates the control and data planes. The data plane is used for the transport of packets (or label swapping algorithm), and the control plane is analogous to routing information (for example, the location to which to send the packet). This capability is programmed into hardware by the control plane. This separation permits applications to be developed and deployed in a scalable and flexible manner. Examples of applications that are facilitated by MPLS technology include the following......
MPLS QoS, BGP VPNs Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Traffic engineering Traffic engineering (enables one to control traffic routing via constraint-based routing), Multicast routing Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM), Pseudowires [These can be used to evolve legacy networks and services, such as Frame Relay, ATM, PPP, High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC), and Ethernet], Generalized MPLS (GMPLS) etc.
Services offered by Service Providers (SP's) may include the following.....
* Layer 2 VPNs
* Layer 3 VPNs
* Remote Access and IPSec Integration with MPLS VPNs
* MPLS Security
* Traffic Engineering
* Quality of Service
* Multicast and NGNs (Next Generation Networks)
* IPv6 over MPLS
MPLS models adopted by service providers (SP) of broadband services depend on the services offered and also on the models adopted according to customer demands. The services provided have changed significantly through the last few years as technology has progressed. For example, many wholesale providers who offered ATM as access links now have moved on to Gigabit Ethernet.
For example, two of the most common braodband SP's would be the following.....
* Retail Provider - Any provider thats sells services to an end-user which can be business or residential. Usually they would lease bandwidth from a wholesale provider.
* Wholesale Povider - Any operator that sells services to other network operators. In context of the current broadband world, the wholesaler is usually whoever owns the subscriber plant (wires, cables etc.)
In between the subscriber and their "ISP" is the wholesale provider who owns actually owns and operates the access network, for e.g, DSL, Cable, Ethernet etc. Of course, for an IP network, these are just different types of access.
Several applications that are facilitated by the implementation of MPLS include....
* MPLS QoS - Quality of service mechanisms, for e.g, differentiated service, which enables the creation of LSPs with guaranteed bandwidth.
* Layer 3 VPN - Uses BGP in the service provider's network with IP routing protocols or static routing between the service provider and the customer. BGP is used to exchange the FEC-label binding.
* Traffic engineering - Uses extensions of IS-IS or OSPF to distribute attributes in the network. Traffic engineering enables you to control traffic routing and thus optimize network utilization.
* Multicast routing via PIM - The protocol used to create FEC tables; extensions of version 2 of the PIM protocol are used to exchange FEC label binding.
* Layer 2 VPN - Can be created via a Layer 2 circuit over MPLS. Layer 2 VPNs use Layer 2 transport as a building block.
Of course, features such as Security and Metro Ethernet are part of the MPLS architecture also.
Architectural Components and choices for SP's.......
* Scaling MPLS VPNs to Multi-AS, Multi-Provider, and Hierarchical Networks:
* Inter-AS VPNs: The 3 basic models discussed in RFC2547bis for Inter-AS connectivity are as follows:
- Back-to-back VPN connectivity between ASBRs
- VPNv4 exchange of routes and peering between ASBRs
- IPv4 exchange of routes and peering between ASBR's
All three above models focus on propagating VPN routes from one AS to the other AS. The first model is a simple one in which the ASBRs connect back to back via logical circuits or VLANs one per VRF. The back-to-back connections enable VPN connectivity and the exchange of routes between ASBRs on a per-VPN basis. For example, if ASBR1 and 2 need to exchange routes for 10 VPNs, 10 logical circuits exist between ASBR1 and ASBR2one for each VPN.
* Carrier Supporting Carrier.....
Another method of scaling MPLS VPNs is to create hierarchical VPNs. Consider a national or international carrier that is selling a VPN service to smaller stub carriers. The smaller stub carriers might in turn be selling another MPLS VPN service to end users (enterprises). By nesting stub carrier VPNs within the core or national carrier VPN, a hierarchical VPN can be built. With the CSC mode described in RFC 2547bis, the stub carrier VPNs and their routes do not show up in the core carrieronly the stub carrier IGP routes are part of the core carrier VPN. So, the core carrier does not need to learn or understand end user routes because the end user of the core carrier is the stub carrier. The core carrier needs only to provide VPN connectivity so that the core carrier's CEs (ironically, they are stub carrier PEs) are reachable. These CEs are called CSCCEs, whereas the PE that connects to the stub carrier and has MPLS enabled on the PE-CE link is called the CSCPE.
* Deployment Guideline considerations will involve the following summary guideline.....
Centralizing address translation makes keeping track of address assignment easier. Multiple NAT PEs might be required for load balancing. If this is the case, make sure public address pools do not overlap. One of the possible disadvantages to centralizing is the amount of redundancy that can be achieved by replication. For example, in a noncentralized environment, one gateway/server failure can result in an outage of only that VPN's service. However, in a centralized environment, a single gateway/shared PE failure can affect multiple VPNs. This drawback can be easily overcome by having multiple PEs that serve as shared gateways, which provide services to the same VPNs. So, you can provide redundancy with shared gateways.
If VPNs that use overlapping private address space need to access a shared services segment, make sure that private address space is translated somewhere in the path.
NAT impacts CPU utilization to a degree. Some protocols are more CPU-intensive than others. Therefore, the type of translation being performed could have significant performance impact. The impact is less for newer particle-based routers and more powerful routers.
As the number of translation entries increases, the throughput in terms of packets per second (PPS) decreases. The effect is negligible for less than 10,000 translation table entries.
The rate at which a router can add a new translation table entry decreases as the number of entries in the translation table increases.
As the number of translation entries in the translation table increases, the amount of memory used increases.
In addition to the above, there must be considerations regarding the following tools and policies.....
* Management, Provisioning, and Troubleshooting
* Equipment Scalability Versus Network Scalability
Finally, the basic arichitecture and mode of service will probably depend on customer demand and SP's commitment to deliver the same.
Here is a small list of some of the things that customers might want....
* More service selections
* Better quality
* Ease of migration
* Ease of deployment
* Ease of maintenance
* Lower cost
* Fewer hassles
Service providers want all of the above, plus......
* High-margin accounts
* Rapid recovery
* No loss of service
* 99.99999% reliability
Enterprises want.......
* A simpler, easier network to manage
Enterprise networks range in consistency from very stable to constantly changing. Companies on growth trends are building new facilities and acquiring other businesses. They want ease of intermigration and implementation. Changes must be ably employed within their limited maintenance windows. Their data centers must run flawlessly.
The above information ... if it hasn't made your eyes go crossed ... should give you everything you ever need to know about MPLS.
But if you need more ...... as in help to reduce your time, effort, cost, and frustration in finding the right MPLS solution for your network application(s) ..... I recommend using the no cost assistance available to you through FreedomFire Communications.
Michael is the owner of FreedomFire Communications....including Michael also authors Broadband Nation where you're always welcome to drop in and catch up on the latest BroadBand news, tips, insights, and ramblings for the masses.

How the Internet Actually Works

To most people, the Internet is the place to which everyone plugs in their computer and views webpages and sends e-mail. That's a very human-centric viewpoint, but if we're to truly understand the Internet, we need to be more exact:
The Internet is THE large global computer network that people connect to by-default, by virtue of the fact that it's the largest. And, like any computer network, there are conventions that allow it to work.
This is all it is really - a very big computer network. However, this article will go beyond explaining just the Internet, as it will also explain the 'World Wide Web'. Most people don't know the difference between the Internet and Web, but really it's quite simple: the Internet is a computer network, and the Web is a system of publishing (of websites) for it.
Computer networks
And, what's a computer network? A computer network is just two or more of computers connected together such that they may send messages between each other. On larger networks computers are connected together in complex arrangements, where some intermediary computers have more than one connection to other computers, such that every computer can reach any other computer in the network via paths through some of those intermediary computers.
Computers aren't the only things that use networks - the road and rail networks are very similar to computer networks, just those networks transport people instead of information.
Trains on a rail network operate on a certain kind of track - such a convention is needed, because otherwise the network could not effectively work. Likewise, roads are designed to suit vehicles that match a kind of pattern - robust vehicles of a certain size range that travel within a certain reasonable speed range. Computers in a network have conventions too, and we usually call these conventions 'protocols'.
There are many kinds of popular computer network today. The most conventional by far is the so-called 'Ethernet' network that physically connects computers together in homes, schools and offices. However, WiFi is becoming increasingly popular for connecting together devices so that cables aren't required at all.
Connecting to the Internet
When you connect to the Internet, you're using networking technology, but things are usually a lot muddier. There's an apt phrase, "Rome wasn't built in a day" because neither was the Internet. The only reason the Internet could spring up so quickly and cheaply for people was because another kind of network already existed throughout the world - the phone network!
The pre-existence of the phone network provided a medium for ordinary computers in ordinary people's homes to be connected onto the great high-tech military and research network that had been developed in years before. It just required some technological mastery in the form of 'modems'. Modems allow phone lines to be turned into a mini-network connection between a home and a special company (an 'ISP') that already is connected up to the Internet. It's like a bridge joining up the road networks on an island and the mainland - the road networks become one, due to a special kind of connection between them.
Fast Internet connections that are done via '(A)DSL' and 'Cable' are no different to phone line connections really - there's still a joining process of some kind going on behind the scenes. As Arthur C. Clarke once said, 'any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'.
The Internet
The really amazing about the Internet isn't the technology. We've actually had big Internet-like computer networks before, and 'The Internet' existed long before normal people knew the term. The amazing thing is that such a massive computer network could exist without being built or governed in any kind of seriously organised way. The only organisation that really has a grip on the core computer network of the Internet is a US-government-backed non-profit company called 'ICANN', but nobody could claim they 'controlled' the Internet, as their mandate and activities are extremely limited.
The Internet is a testament both simultaneously due to the way technologists cooperated and by the way entrepreneurs took up the task, unmanaged, to use the conventions of the technologists to hook up regular people and businesses. The Internet didn't develop on the Microsoft Windows 'operating system' - Internet technology was built around much older technical operating systems; nevertheless, the technology could be applied to ordinary computers by simply building support for the necessary networking conventions on top of Windows. It was never planned, but good foundations and a lack of bottlenecks (such as controlling bodies) often lead to unforeseen great rises - like the telephone network before, or even the world-wide spread of human population and society.
What I have described so far is probably not the Internet as you or most would see it. It's unlikely you see the Internet as a democratic and uniform computer network, and to an extent, it isn't. The reason for this is that I have only explained the foundations of the system so far, and this foundation operates below the level you'd normally be aware of. On the lowest level you would be aware of, the Internet is actually more like a situation between a getter and a giver - there's something you want from the Internet, so you connect up and get it. Even when you send an e-mail, you're getting the service of e-mail delivery.
Being a computer network, the Internet consists of computers - however, not all computers on the Internet are created equal. Some computers are there to provide services, and some are there to consume those services. We call the providing computers 'servers' and the consuming computers 'clients'. At the theoretical level, the computers have equal status on the network, but servers are much better connected than clients and are generally put in place by companies providing some kind of commercial service. You don't pay to view a web site, but somebody pays for the server the website is located on - usually the owner of the web site pays a 'web host' (a commercial company who owns the server).
Making contact
I've established how the Internet is a computer network: now I will explain how two computers that could be on other sides of the world can send messages to each other.
Imagine you were writing a letter and needed to send it to someone. If you just wrote a name on the front, it would never arrive, unless perhaps you lived in a small village. A name is rarely specific enough. Therefore, as we all know, we use addresses to contact someone, often using: the name, the house number, the road name, the town name, the county name, and sometimes, the country name. This allows sending of messages on another kind of network - the postal network. When you send a letter, typically it will be passed between postal sorting offices starting from the sorting office nearest to the origin, then up to increasingly large sorting offices until it's handled by a sorting office covering regions for both the origin and the destination, then down to increasingly small sorting offices until it's at the sorting office nearest the destination - and then it's delivered.
In our postal situation, there are two key factors at work - a form of addressing that 'homes in' on the destination location, and a form of message delivery that 'broadens out' then 'narrows in'. Computers are more organised, but they actually effectively do exactly the same thing.
Each computer on the Internet is given an address ('IP address'), and this 'homes in' on their location. The 'homing in' isn't done strictly geographically, rather in terms of the connection-relationship between the smaller computer networks within the Internet. For the real world, being a neighbour is geographical, but on a computer network, being a neighbour is having a direct network connection.
Like the postal network with its sorting offices, computer networks usually have connections to a few other computer networks. A computer network will send the message to a larger network (a network that is more likely to recognise at least some part of the address). This process of 'broadening out' continues until the message is being handled by a network that is 'over' the destination, and then the 'narrowing in' process will occur.
An example 'IP address' is ''. They are just series of digit groups where the digit groups towards the right are increasingly local. Each digit group is a number between 0 and 255. This is just an approximation, but you could think of this address meaning:
  • A computer 116
  • in a small neighbourhood 115
  • in a larger neighbourhood 60
  • controlled by an ISP 69
  • (on the Internet)

The small neighbourhood, the larger neighbourhood, the ISP, and the Internet, could all be consider computer networks in their own right. Therefore, for a message to the same 'larger neighbourhood', the message would be passed up towards one of those intermediary computers in the larger neighbourhood and then back down to the correct smaller neighbourhood, and then to the correct computer.Getting the message across
Now that we are able to deliver messages the hard part is over. All we need to do is to put stuff in our messages in a certain way such that it makes sense at the other end.
Letters we send in the real world always have stuff in common - they are written on paper and in a language understood by both sender and receiver. I've discussed before how conventions are important for networks to operate, and this important concept remains true for our messages.
All parts of the Internet transfer messages written in things called 'Packets', and the layout and contents of those 'packets' are done according to the 'Internet Protocol' (IP). You don't need to know these terms, but you do need to know that these simple messages are error prone and simplistic.
You can think of 'packets' as the Internet equivalence of a sentence - for an ongoing conversation, there would be many of them sent in both directions of communication.
Getting the true message across
All those who've played 'Chinese whispers' will know how messed up ('corrupted') messages can get when they are sent between many agents to get from their origin to their destination. Computer networks aren't as bad as that, but things do go wrong, and it's necessary to be able to automatically detect and correct problems when they do.
Imagine you're trying to correct spelling errors in a letter. It's usually easy to do because there are far fewer words than there are possible word-length combinations of letters. You can see when letter combinations don't spell out words ('errors'), and then easily guess what the correct word should have been.
It reely does worke.
Errors in messages on the Internet are corrected in a very similar way. The messages that are sent are simply made longer than they need to be, and the extra space is used to "sum up" the message so to speak - if the "summing up" doesn't match the message an error has been found and the message will need to be resent.
In actual fact, it is often possible to logically estimate with reasonable accuracy what was wrong with a message without requiring resending.
Error detection and correction can never be perfect, as the message and "summing up" part could be coincidently messed-up so that they falsely indicate nothing went wrong. The theory is based off storing a big enough "summing up" part so that this unfortunate possibility is so unlikely that it can be safely ignored.
Reliable message transfer on the Internet is done via 'TCP'. You may have heard the term 'TCP/IP': this is just the normal combination of 'IP' and 'TCP', and is used for almost all Internet communication. IP is fundamental to the Internet, but TCP is not - there are in fact other 'protocols' that may be used that I won't be covering.
Names, not numbers
When most people think of an 'Internet Address' they think of something like '' rather than ''. People relate to names with greater ease than numbers, so special computers that humans need to access are typically assigned names ('domain names') using a system known as 'DNS' (the 'domain name system').
All Internet communication is still done using IP addresses (recall '' is an IP address). The 'domain names' are therefore translated to IP addresses behind the scenes, before the main communication starts.
At the core, the process of looking up a domain name is quite simple - it's a process of 'homing in' by moving leftwards through the name, following an interrogation path. This is best shown by example - '' would be looked up as follows:
  • Every computer on the Internet knows how to contact the computers (the 'root' 'DNS servers') responsible for things like 'com', 'org', 'net' and 'uk'. There are a few such computers and one is contacted at random. The DNS server computer is asked if they know '' and will respond saying they know which server computer is responsible for 'com'.
  • The 'com' server computer is asked it knows '' and will respond saying they know which server computer is responsible for ''.
  • 'The '' server computer is asked if it knows '' and will respond saying that it knows the corresponding server computer to be ''.

Note that there is a difference between a server computer being 'responsible' for a domain name and the domain name actually corresponding to that computer. For example, the '' responsible DNS server might not necessarily be the same server as '' itself.As certain domain names, or parts of domain names, are very commonly used, computers will remember results to avoid doing a full interrogation for every name they need to lookup. In fact, I have simplified the process considerably in my example because the looking-up computer does not actually perform the full search itself. If all computers on the Internet did full searches it would overload the 'root DNS servers', as well as the DNS servers responsible for names like 'com'. Instead, the looking up computer would ask it's own special 'local DNS server', which might remember a result of a partial result, or might solicit help (full, or partial) from it's own 'local DNS server', and so on - until, in a worst case scenario, the process has to be completed in full.
Domain names are allocated by the person wanting them registering the domain name with an agent (a 'registrar') of the organisation responsible for the furthest right-hand part of the domain name. At the time of writing a company named 'VeriSign' (of which 'Network Solutions' is a subsidiary) is responsible for things like 'com' and 'net'. There are an uncountable number of registrars operating for VeriSign, and most domain purchasers are likely not aware of the chain of responsibility present - instead, they just get the domains they want from the agent, and deal solely with that agent and their web host (who are often the same company). Domains are never purchased, but rather rented and exclusively renewable for a period a bit longer than the rental period.
Meaningful dialogue
I've fully covered the essence of how messages are delivered over the Internet, but so far these messages are completely raw and meaningless. Before meaningful communication can occur we need to layer on yet another protocol (recall IP and TCP protocols are already layered over our physical network).
There are many protocols that work on the communications already established, including:
  • HTTP - for web pages, typically read in web browser software
  • POP3 - for reading e-mail in e-mail software, with it stored on a user's own computer
  • IMAP4 - for reading e-mail in e-mail software, with it archived on the receiving server
  • SMTP - for sending e-mail from e-mail software
  • FTP - for uploading and downloading files (sometimes via a web browser, although using special FTP software is better)
  • ICMP - for 'pinging', amongst other things (a 'ping' is the Internet equivalent to shouting out a 'are you there')
  • MSN Messenger - this is just one example of many protocols that aren't really standard and shared conventions, but rather ones designed by a single software manufacturer wholly for the purposes of their own software

I'm not going to go into the details of any of these protocols because it's not really relevant unless you actually need to know it.The information transferred via a protocol is usually a request for something, or a response for something requested. For example, with HTTP, a client computer requests a certain web page from a server via HTTP and then the web server, basically, responds with the file embedded within HTTP.
Each of these protocols operates on more or more so-called 'ports', and it is these 'ports' that allow the computers to know which protocol to use. For example, a web server (special computer software running on a server computer that serves out web pages) uses a port of number '80', and hence when the server receives messages on that port it passes them to the web server software which naturally knows that they'll be written in HTTP.
For a client computer it's simpler - it knows that a response to a message it sent will be in the same protocol it initially used. When the messages are sent back and forth the server computer and client computer typically set up a so-called 'stream' (a marked conversation) between them. They are then able to associate messages to the stream according to their origin address and port number.
The World Wide Web
I've explained how the Internet works, but not yet how the 'World Wide Web' (the 'web') works. The web is the publishing system that most people don't realise is distinguishable from the Internet itself.
The Internet uses IP addresses (often found via domain names) to identify resources, but the web has to have something more sophisticated as it would be silly if every single page on the Internet had to have it's own 'domain name'. The web uses 'URLs' (uniform resource locators), and I'm sure you know about these as nowadays they are printed all over the place in the real world (albeit, usually only in short-hand).
A typical URL looks like this:

For example:

That said that's not really a full URL, because occasionally URLs can be much more complex. For example:

You can ignore the more complex example, because it's not really relevant for the purposes of this article.HTTP is the core protocol for the web. This is why URLs usually start 'http://'. Web browsers almost always also support FTP, which is why some URLs may start 'ftp://'.
Typically the 'resource identifier' is simply a file on the server computer. For example, 'mywebsite/index.html' would be a file on the server computer of the same path, stored underneath a special directory. On Windows the "" symbol is used to write out directory names, but as the web wasn't invented for Windows, the convention of the older operating systems is used.
We now have three kinds of 'Internet Address', in order of increasing sophistication:
  • IP addresses
  • Domain names
  • URLs

If a URL were put into web browser software by a prospective reader then the web browser would send out an appropriate request (usually, with the HTTP protocol being appropriate) to the server computer identified by the URL. The server computer would then respond and typically the web browser would end up with a file. The web browser would then interpret the file for display, much like any software running on a computer would interpret the files it understands. For the HTTP protocol, the web browser knows what to interpret the file as because the HTTP protocol uses something called a 'MIME type' to identify each kind of resource the server can send out. If the web server computer is just sending out an on-disk file then the web server computer works out the MIME type from the file extension (such as '.html') of the file.An 'HTML' file is the kind of file that defines a web page. It's written in plain text, and basically mixes information showing show to display a document along with the document itself. If you're curious, try using the "View page source" function of your web browser when viewing a web page, and you'll see a mix of portions of normal human text and short text between '
Chris Graham is Managing Director of ocProducts (, a company specialising in advanced website solutions, via the ocPortal website engine ( ocPortal allows the creation of interactive and dynamic websites with great ease; advanced websites that anybody can create, run and manage.

Do I Need A New Computer?

Do you really need a new computer? You keep seeing commercials that say that the newest computer is incredible and that many things have changed. Have things changed that much with personal computer technology?
Yes and no. The popular computer manufacturers are always pushing their newest computers and technology. After all, without new sales, their businesses would be in serious trouble. Do you really need the newest computer sitting on your desk at home? The computer manufactures will tell you that you should constantly update your hardware. Is it really necessary to stay on the cutting edge?
Let me give you a resounding NO. If your computer is operating well and is able to complete the tasks that you desire you probably do not need to upgrade your equipment.
Back in the early days of home computers, technology was evolving at an incredible pace. I remember my first IBM XT desktop computer. At the time it was an incredible joy to have a computer at home to call my own. My first computer had a whopping 20 meg hard drive and two 5 and 1/4 inch floppy drives. It was a dream come true back in 1989.
My next computer was a big leap forward to a 486. The increase in speed and functionality was incredible. You see, my first computer (the XT) was not able to keep up with my 90 words per minute typing speed. I would type a sentence or two and then I would have to wait for computer screen to catch up. With the 486, the computer was finally able to process the keystrokes faster than I could type. It was incredible.
As the 1990's progressed, the technology kept growing by leaps and bounds. Then came the 2000's and still the technology was improving. However, even though the technology kept improving, the changes in performance as far as the user was concerned became less noticeable.
That's where we are today. Yes, the technology is still improving but the average computer user will not notice much difference between a new computer and a computer that is a year or two older.
Do you think that a newer, faster computer will speed up the Internet? It won't and here's why. Assuming that your computer is not infected with hundreds if not thousands of ad-ware and spy-ware programs, your computer has nothing to do with your Internet speed.
The speed of your Internet connection is controlled by your Internet provider. If you want a faster Internet connection, you need to upgrade your connection speed with your carrier.
If you have dial-up, go to cable or DSL. If you have cable or DSL and your provider has faster speed packages (more bandwidth) available, take an upgraded package instead. Going from a 768k package to 5 meg package will definitely be noticeable while you are surfing.
Today, most people can improve the performance of their existing computer by simply cleaning it. No, this does not involve a bottle of Windex and a rag. It does require a thorough scanning of the hard drive and the files that make up your computer's configuration.
This is not always an easy task though. You really need to be somewhat of a techie if you are going to try to clean your computer yourself.
You see, every time that you remove a program, there is a potential that not all of the files were removed correctly. These abandoned files can go a long way towards fouling up your system. Additionally, just about every web site that you visit, leaves a small file on your computer as well.
Not all of these files are dangerous though. Some of these files, also known as 'cookies', are left to help you log in the next time you visit the same site. However, there are a vast array of sites that leave nasty little files on you computer that slow you down and make your computer seem like it's dying.
To give your computer a pick-me-up, there are many cleaning programs and services available that anyone can use to successfully clean their computer. Most of these programs or services are referred to as 'registry cleaners' or services that promise to 'speed up your PC'.
If your computer is running slow, take a look at some type of cleaning program or service before you run out to the store to purchase a new computer. Sometimes a good cleaning will bring your current computer back to a blazing fast speed. If your computer is older than 3 or 4 years, maybe it is time for an upgrade to some new hardware.
Bottom line, does your computer do everything that you need it to do? If so, then save your money and ignore those fancy new commercials. If not, then feel free to jump on the cutting edge and bring home a shiny new computer to your home office.

Satellite System Application At Home - What You Can Get From Your Satellite Dish?

When it comes to home use satellite dish, what gets into your mind in the first place? I bet 90% of y'all will be thinking of TV entertainment. Without a doubt, satellite TV broadcasting is for sure the widest application for satellite dish. Nevertheless as technologies advance rapidly, more and more services are commercialized and made available via satellite dish nowadays. A few instant examples are satellite Internet access and satellite radio services.
Satellite Radio Services
While satellite radio services might sound stranger to you, Sirius and XM, two major satellite radio providers in United States kept marching on their pace towards more and more subscribers. At the time of writing, these two satellite radio service providers own more than 14 millions subscribers (XM claims about 8 million; while Sirius 6 million) in total and the number is increasing fast. The claims on such fast rising trend is no surprise to anyone in the business as satellite radio companies are taking creative ways to promote their services, including offering their radio setup as original equipments in the car model. BMW, MINI, Mercedes, FORD, Honda, and many more are now the sole partners for Sirius Satellite Radio on the expansions. With such promotion strategy, car buyers are most likely turned into their subscribers instantly when they made the purchase.
What's good about satellite radio service?
Satellite radio is most probably the only radio services that offer uncensored radio shows in the states. With about $15 per month, both XM and Sirius radio users enjoy hundred of digital quality uncensored radio programming. On top of that, majority of the satellite radio programming are commercial free. This means you get nothing but your favorite radio talk show or music with satellite radio, no more crappy advertisement that cuts in like AM/FM radio. Sirius Satellite Radio, for instant offers more than 70 channels commercial free radio programming.
Disadvantages with satellite radio
While you get free programming from the AM/FM radio, you need to pay for what you are listening at satellite radio services. Currently the only problem from what we see with satellite radio is the price of subscription. The $15/mo seems a bit expensive when compare to totally free radio services with AM/FM radio. The price, however, seems reasonable as they are run their show solely based on user subscription.
Satellite Internet Services
Satellite Internet service is a new method you can get online nowadays.
What's good about satellite Internet service?
For those who stay in rural area where DSL cables are unreachable, satellite Internet service works best for those who need high speed Internet. At the time of writing, satellite Internet speed ranged around 500kbps to 1.5kbps in its download speed. Not as fast as cable DSL connection, but the speed is sufficient for Internet users to do most of the daily surfing.
Disadvantages with satellite Internet
The bigger problem than connection speed with satellite Internet is latency problem
Latency errors limit the usage of various satellite Internet service such as network gaming, video streaming, as well as real time video conferencing. A prominent example is network gaming. Multiple players connect their gaming consoles or personal computers to the Internet and participate in an online game, World of War Craft for example, to compete against each other. The communication and synchronization between each player is highly important. These games require the possibility of reacting quickly to events occurring in the game. With a lagging effect of even 0.5 seconds, normal game play is affected, causing players using satellite internet to be at the disadvantage position in the game.
Wrapping things up
Both satellite radio and satellite Internet are meant for different needs. In case you need quality radio service or you're a big fans of Howard's talk show, satellite radio (Sirius) is surely something you don't want to miss. Satellite Internet, on the other hand, solves the needs of high speed Internet services in rural area.
Interested to know more about satellite Internet service and Satellite Radio Services? Check out for more guide in services-related to satellite systems.
Article by Teddy.

All About Wireless Routers

It is an incomplete computer network without a router. So, what all it does within a network. A router actually transfers data packets along networks. It requires at least two networks for a router to connect, commonly it connects two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP network. As a connecter device, routers are positioned at gateways, where two or more networks are connected.
Routing in the Internet Routing is the technique using which data get its transfer path from one host computer to another. To say technically, routers uses headers and tables to determine the best path for transferring data packets among networks, and for this they use protocols such as ICMP to communicate with one other and thus configures the best route between any two hosts.
Difference between Routers, Switches and Hubs Many people understand routers, switches and hubs for one another beside their different type of functionality.
Today most routers are integrated into a single device having the features of a router, switch and hub. Still a router, switch and a hub are all quite different from one another, even after integrating all into a single device.
A switch and hub are two devices, which do similar task on a network. Both serves to be as a central part of your network and transfers data, which are known as frames. A transferred frame from a computer is received and improved to transmit it to the port of the destination computer. The difference here between these two devices is in the way by which frames are transferred.
On another side, routers are completely different from a switch or hub. Where a hub or switch job is to transmit frames, a router role is to route the data packets to other networks where its task is to submit the data packet to its destination ultimately. The major difference here of the data packet is that it contains destination address together with the data, which guides it to its destination.
All routers have a port to connect to a DSL or Cable modem and the integrated switch facilitate users to create a LAN. This makes possibility for the computers on a LAN to connect to the Internet.
How a Wireless Router Work A router is connected to the broadband modem and in turn, it is connected to your computer to connect the Internet. There are wide ranges of wireless routers available in the market. In the wireless router category, for the transmission speed of data, they do not actually compete with each other.
The data transmitting speed is an important aspect and should be high. People who want to have a router should also find it easy to install as well. The array of its OS support should be versatile. A wireless router working well with Windows, Mac and Linux should be the best one among all.
While Setting up Your Wireless Router... Once you had decided to go wireless for your Internet, then your laptops/computers should have in-built wireless points to carry it around your workplace or at home without any LAN cables. It will be astonishing to work so.
But you also need to know a little background to set it up. Generally, a wireless router features many, a router, modem, firewall, port switch and a wireless access point. It makes your broadband easily sharable among others in you office or at home.
While installation, it needs to be careful about which socket on your router is the correct one for connecting it to the port on the wall. Improper connection may lead to temporary access loss consuming hours together to fix it. So please make sure that the cables you are supposed to connect are of right match.
Setting up a wired router should be comparatively easy by simply following the instructions manual given with the router. However, for installing a wireless router, it needs to be little trickier. Usually the instructions should be sufficient but checking out to have few tips on setting a wireless router will make you secure doing it.
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Broadband - What is it and Why Use It?

Broadband, derived from the words broad bandwidth, is a term that is used to describe any high-speed Internet connection that does not utilize a dial up service. This includes Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable, Fiber, Wireless, Satellite and Broadband Over Power Line (BPL) connections. It is by far the most popular way to connect to the Internet because it is said to have many advantages over dial-up.
The main difference between broadband and dial-up is the way by which your connection is established. Dial-up connects using a modem and an existing phone line. Every time you want to initiate a new web session, you have to establish a new connection and IP address. Because of its limited transmission capability, at best, you will get a maximum connection speed of 56,000 bytes per second (56kbps), which makes downloading or opening large files a time consuming, if not impossible, task.
As noted above, there are several different types of Broadband services, all of which are capable of transmitting data faster and more efficiently than dial-up. You never have to reestablish a connection or IP address because it is always on, regardless of whether you are using DSL, Cable, or Satellite etc. The only way it goes offline is if someone physically disconnects it. The best part is that you will normally have a connection speed of approximately 5 million bytes per second (5Mbps) with this type of service.
There are definite advantages to using broadband Internet. There are a wide variety of new services available that dial-up just plain can't handle, such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoiP or digital phone). You never have to worry about additional phone lines, usage charges, or tying up your main phone line while you are online. Loading graphic intense web pages and downloading/ uploading large files are no longer a problem. As far as performance goes, it is definitely the better choice.
There are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. The overall cost of broadband, including installation, equipment, and monthly service charges, can be significantly higher than dial-up. Also, because you are always connected to the Internet, there is an increased security risk. However, Installing a good firewall should help eliminate that problem.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether or not broadband is right for you. Some people feel that it is not worth paying such a higher price for while others feel that it is worth paying more. If you are the type of person that uses the Internet just to check their mail and read the news, then you are probably better off with a dial-up connection. If you are one that likes to watch videos, play online games, or download a lot of data then it might be worth it for you to switch to broadband.
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The 4G Obsession and the Mobile Computing Revolution

It's a quiet little revolution that's stretching across the globe: 4G and WiMAX are spreading like wildfire. Why are people infatuated with this new wireless Internet technology? What's to love?
It turns out that the fans aren't restricted to one particular group. Avid gamers, multitasking moms, swamped students, and Google-searching grandpas are all proclaiming their undying love for this fourth generation of mobile Internet service. They're all hoping 4G is 4Ever, because now that they can work and play anywhere without a slow connection, they're hooked. There's no going back.
WiMAX is the technology that makes this fourth generation possible. Using a giant cloud of harmless microwaves between towers, this new service is deployed relatively quickly in cities. It's already offered in most major metro areas in the U.S., with more cities added on a monthly basis. And it's not restricted to America: more than 150 countries have WiMAX in place. Its popularity stems from its use of towers and clouds rather than wires or small Wi-Fi hotspots. Because it's up to five times faster than 3G and isn't a wire-based service, users are able to use their laptops while in motion.
It's like the difference between a remote-control toy car and a wired car - one is much more fun than the other. 4G versus DSL is like freedom versus limitation. Gamers can play online at the same speed as they could through DSL. Parents can keep the kids busy on the laptop while driving around town, while grandma and grandpa can go over their retirement portfolio at their favorite restaurant. There's no Wi-Fi hotspot needed. Your city is your hotspot; your favorite restaurant is your hotspot; your local swimming pool is your hotspot. Students can video chat with parents while riding the bus. The potential uses are limited by your imagination.
Some people admittedly sign up to for the service simply because they like cutting edge technology. This technology is simply better and faster than 3G. The only initial reservation that some people have expressed is the fact that you must be in a 4G zone in order to have coverage. This is partially correct. You can only use 4G in cities that offer the service, and not all cities are yet covered. However, more cities are added all the time. 3G wasn't offered everywhere at first. It takes time. If you're extremely concerned about having coverage outside the city, you can opt for the 3G/4G dual-mode card that allows you to hook into the 3G network. Granted, you won't have 4G speeds, but you'll at least be able to have some service.
Users that are particularly fanatical about this new Internet technology are the ones who multitask endlessly. They are what you'd call Type A personalities. They can't stay seated and they have to be busy with something all the time. They're driven and ambitious. With DSL or cable technology, the broadband speed is there, but the mobility is not. 4G, however, allows our Type A friends to cut the cord and take care of business on the road. They can watch live sports while sitting in a waiting room or buy stocks on the train. Take their 4G away from them, and you'll have a mutiny on your hands.
Clear Internet Corpus Christi provides simple and affordable plans for home internet, mobile internet and VoIP.

Business Satellite Internet Products Compared - 2005

There are a number of options available for Business Class Satellite Internet connectivity in the U.S. today. New offerings seem to launch every week in 2005 and it is becoming a bit confusing for the business owner who can't obtain traditional high speed internet or can't afford the expense of running a T1 line to a location off the beaten path. I've outlined below several options for business with the positive aspects as well as negative where applicable. Each company and heavy individual user has different needs, so no one platform is a "one size fits all". I will outline them and you decide:
1. iDirect Platform:
This is a proven Enterprise platform which provides a wide range of dependable speeds for most any business, government or heavy use individual. Download speeds from 64 kbps to over 2000 kbps and Upload speeds from 64 kbps to over 1000 kbps are available. The platform supports "shared bandwidth" or guaranteed "QOS" bandwidth at much higher pricing. In the U.S. a 1.2 meter dish is standard.
Equipment Cost: Equipment - A 2 watt system will cost about $2,700 installed. A 4 watt system is about $4,300 installed.
Monthly Service: A minimum circuit is about $250. A typical setup of 1000/256 kbps is $499 per month for a shared bandwidth-no FAP setup. For about $350 per month you can get 2000/500 kbps service with a 3 GB throughput allowance per month. There is a cost of $.09 per MB thereafter. The "shared bandwidth" package is far more predictable with the iDirect platform than with DirecWay or Starband setup's. You can expect to see the advertised speeds 85 % of the time or better.
2. Surfbeam Platform:
This product is in the process of being introduced in America. Surfbeam uses the same platform basically that a cable or DSL provider would use, except it is satellite internet. It is much less expensive than "Enterprise" grade systems. There is only one provider ready to launch this platform in the U.S. and they should begin shipping equipment by April 1, 2005. In most cases a 1.2 meter dish will be utilized with a 2-3 watt transmitter. Download speeds of 1500 kbps and uploads in excess of 500 kbps are the advertised speeds; however, this hasn't been verified in the field as of this article date.
Equipment Cost: Ranging from $1,295 - $1,995 including installation.
Monthly Service: Ranging from $95 - $400.
3. Starband 484 Platform U.S. :
This is the "beefed up" version of Starband service designed to attract small businesses and heavy individual users. This is DVB (digital video broadcast) technology which is converted to IP - the conversion process is the problem. It adds to overall latency and even with higher upload speeds than their consumer products (they advertise "up to" 256 kbps in Turbo Max mode- unclear what that really is), they don't support VNP traffic or VOIP connections. Download speeds are listed as up to 20 times faster than dialup...whatever that means. Dish size is 24"x36" and transmitter strength not given.
Equipment Cost: $900 + shipping + installation (price not given)
Monthly Service: $160
4. DirecWay Business Plus Service (U.S. only):
This is the DirecWay "beefed up" version of service. The only meaningful difference between this platform and the Starband setup above is DirecWay has more experience "massaging" the DVB conversion to IP and possibly more advanced acceleration techniques. They will support some types of VPN and VOIP, but it requires expensive equipment ($2,000+) to be placed at the satellite location and at Headquarters for a VPN circuit- often to the chagrin of the IT department at HQ. Inadequate upload speeds for heavy VPN "chatty" programs still plague this platform.
You can expect download speeds ranging from 800 kbps to 1500 kbps or more. Upload speeds range from 29 kbps to 90 kbps. This system uses a .98 meter dish and 1 watt transmitter.
Equipment Cost: $900 + $375 installation (shipping included)
Monthly Service: $129+
5. Ka Band Satellite Internet:
When this technology becomes available the summer of 2005, it could literally shake the foundation of the satellite internet world - or not! It is a technology that has been many years and over 1.5 Billion dollars in the making. There will be 30 spot beams aimed at the U.S. and 5 used by uplink centers with the initial satellite (Telesat's Anik F2) which will be operated by Wildblue Communications, a Denver, Co. based company.
It is being targeted to small business operators and consumers in rural areas through a network of rural electric operators (NRTC) initially and through two national distributors as the year progresses. If it works as advertised it will permit telecommuters to successfully VPN into home office much like they would with a cable or DSL connection - except at somewhat slower speeds (due to about 500ms of latency). Still, it has a lot of promise for the small businessman. They will not offer an Enterprise solution for some time- if ever.
With a satellite dish about the size of a trashcan lid (.67 meters) and a two watt transmitter, users will be able to download at speeds up to 1500 kbps and upload at speeds ranging from 128 kbps to 256 kbps.
Equipment Cost: $300-$500 Installation: $ ??
Monthly Service: Three plans with varying download speeds
$49 - 500 kbps download speeds
$69 - 1000 kbps
$79 - 1500 kbps
It is unclear whether the upload speeds shown above will apply to all service levels.
At this time, I am recommending that small and medium businesses needing connectivity right away, go with the more proven iDirect platform. You can learn more about it and other offerings at or email .
About the Author:
Randy Scott is the founder of VSAT U.S., a Colorado based sales and consulting firm which provides VSAT satellite internet platforms to business and heavy individual users throughout the America’s and most of the world. Randy has over 10 years experience in the high technology field, both in bi-directional satellite internet and industrial computer hardware as a business owner and Sr. Sales Engineer. You can reach Randy by email: or toll free@ 1-866-978-4613.

Connecting in the Country With Satellite Broadband

Of all the things we cherish most in our lives, independence definitely holds a place at the top of the list. The ability to survive and prosper on one's own in many ways defines the pioneering American spirit. In our modern society, this idea has a new significance. Countless numbers of people have figured out a way to support themselves without going to the office or even staying close to centers of commerce. It's not just the rugged individualist rancher or the earnest small farmer. The entrepreneur, the freelancer, the telecommuter -- you name it, many have found a way to earn a living without leaving their rural retreat. But how does it get done? To achieve this sort of independence one must practice diligence and stay on top of the latest trends in your field. You must have the tools to succeed, among them the technology to keep you in touch when you need it.
If you have chosen to live in the country, you will likely face a limited number of options when it comes to the all-important high-speed internet. In most cases you will have to do without DSL or cable internet. So the choice will ultimately fall to satellite internet broadband or classic dial-up access.
With dial-up you have the advantage of spending very little on an Internet Service Provider. However, among the numerous concerns for a dial-up subscriber, speed has to top the list. Notorious for its dropped connections and snail-like page downloads, dial-up service is best for the occasional email and not much else. If you're interested in real-time stock quotes or seeing important videos related to your industry, you won't be finding it there. On top of these negatives, you will only be able to use the internet if you sacrifice your telephone service while online. If you want to use your cell phone as a back-up, you're barking up the wrong tree. The same areas not serviced by cable and DSL lines usually have poor cell phone reception, if any at all. It's the country, remember? You will have to take the good with the bad.
In the case of satellite internet, "the bad" is not bad at all. The connection has the potential to reach speeds up to fifty times faster than dial-up. That means getting online when you want and getting the work done quickly. If you want to watch the sunset or plant a new herb in your garden, you won't waste time waiting for basic internet access. Satellite broadband keeps you connected to the internet at all times. You decide how to use it. You can talk on the phone while you breeze through the pages at professional-grade speed. You can download videos and presentations with very little waiting time. It doesn't cost a fortune. Satellite internet will cost you more than dial-up, for service and equipment, but it is getting more affordable every year. And you'll definitely get what you pay for. It's like the difference between night and day -- or between the city and the countryside.
Ditch dial-up and get Hughes Net. You can connect at faster speeds. Hughes internet deals available now!

Who Wins When Terrestrial Broadband and 4G Wireless Compete?

At first, terrestrial broadband companies providing DSL and cable internet services weren't particularly worried about 4G wireless since they didn't see it as a directly competitive technology with their land area network services. While 3G internet, for example, the internet used in phones and other portable devices was great for having mobile internet, it certainly didn't replace the need for a broadband connection at home. Now, much to the surprise of DSL and cable companies, internet subscribers in many cities are not only getting hooked up to 4G internet, but cancelling their terrestrial broadband subscriptions shortly after. Here are some of the top reasons people are making the switch.
One connection is enough. With the reliability and download speeds of 4G, which are often equal to terrestrial broadband services, there's no need to have 2 internet subscriptions sitting side by side.
Triple Play packages are a thing of the past. Many people sign up for terrestrial broadband internet service because it comes with a package including cable television and a home phone line. The problem today is that most people pay for these services and then never use them. The vast majority of customers use their cell phone basically all the time, get their TV and movies off the internet, and now have an alternative broadband source.
Mobility. People in today's fast paced world are busy. In fact, they are too busy to sit around at home surfing the internet very often. Instead, they want to be able to surf the internet when they have downtime and are already on the road. When the internet can be used, even while in motion on the bus or in the carpool lane people save time and energy- something always appreciated. Not to mention, forget about running in circles looking for a Wi-Fi hotspot that corresponds with your current service, or a great place to work in general. Customers like being able to sit down wherever they like to work with mobile WiMax.
The average internet subscriber today wants convenience not speed. For most people, there really isn't much difference between using broadband, and the superfast super high speed fiber networks many terrestrial broadband providers are putting out now. There will always be customers that need super fast broadband, like in scientific laboratories, university computers, and online gaming geeks. The rest of the population uses the internet for communication, basic browsing, staying up to date at work, and performing basic tasks. Any notebook that can do this on the go has an advantage over one that can send files twice as large as the customer will ever see.
It's nice to have a choice. After many years of being told what kind of internet is available in their area, many customers are just finally glad to have an option. Many have be jerked around by the same inattentive terrestrial broadband provider for years, and spent days of their lives on the phone attempting to fix issues and troubleshoot with under qualified employees. It's nice to be able to try something fresh and new, that even if it has some kinks, they are new kinks and not the same old same old as before.
Making the switch from DSL to CLEAR has made many internet subscribers around the world very happy. See for yourself why everyone loves clear wireless Internet.

Satellite Internet and Online Gaming: Does It Work?

Online gaming is one of the fastest growing trends in the world right now. With games such as Runescape boasting subscriber numbers of around a million and World of Warcraft exceeding 7 million active members, the total number of MMOG subscriptions is verging on the absurd, quickly approaching the 14 million mark worldwide[6/06,]. This tremendous growth in the popularity of the online gaming industry has, in part, been fueled by the accessibility of high-speed broadband internet. A high-speed connection allows for a much more enjoyable game-play experience. Everyone knows that online games work exceptionally well on DSL and Cable internet connections, but what about the newer high-speed service satellite internet? As satellite internet is becoming more readily available and cost effective more and more rural dial-up customers are making the switch to cash in on the faster speeds and always on access. But, when it comes to online gaming many are concerned that their game-play experience will be less satisfactory, if they can even connect to play at all.
The reason for this concern is the issue of latency. Latency is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. This is direly important when it come to on-line gaming in that latency translates into the time that it takes from the moment that a button is pushed to when the action is performed in the game. Often this can mean the difference between life and death. With DSL and Cable the response time is almost immediate, being between 50milliseconds-150milliseconds. The latency for satellite internet is between 600milliseconds-800milliseconds. This may sound like the end of online gaming for someone who has just made the switch to satellite internet but it is not. Although this degree of latency does all but rule out first-person shooters there are a good number of MMOGs that operate well over a satellite internet connection. And, although the effects of latency can never be completely eliminated, there are ways in which to improve upon them. The simplest way to do this is by speeding up the way that one's computer handles and responds to information being transferred through the connection and by increasing the total amount of available bandwidth. Some operating systems have built in reserves on bandwidth that are non-essential to the functionality of most web applications, see link for a tweak .
By eliminating non-essential services i.e. bandwidth hogs that the average user never utilizes and dedicating more physical resources to the most used application can help tremendously. Minimizing the effects of latency down to the bare minimum allowed by the laws of physics enables one to play more online gaming that was before not workable and also speeds up the responses of other games that already do work. So, although there are limitations to on-line gaming over satellite internet there are also ways to improve upon game-play responsiveness and many games that will play well without operating system tweaks. Below is a list of online games for both console and PC that, according to subscribers that have tested and played them, do and do not work over satellite internet. This is not a definitive list of games guaranteed to work, so be cautious as results may vary.
What Works
Xbox/Xbox360/PS2/Handheld Games:
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat(for me anyway doesn't for some others)
Perfect Dark Zero
All Tony Hawk games
Mario Kart DS
Call of Duty 2
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
Socom 3(mixed results)
Socom 2(so-so)
Nascar 06 total team control(works kinda)
Rainbow Six Series(Host boots for high ping usually, But CO-OP and 2 V 2 work well)
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
PC Games:
Asheron's Call
Everquest 2
World of Warcraft
Star Wars Galaxies
Dark Age of Camelot
Roma Victor
Eve Online
Star Wars: Empire at War
Dungeon and Dragons online
City of Heroes(very difficult to connect to the patch server..other than that it works fine)
Final Fantasy XI
Contract Jack
Auto Assault
Aces High Online flight sim
WarRock Beta
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast
America's Army
Red Orchestra
Diablo 2
Titan Quest
Postal 2
What doesn't work or is not enjoyable
Xbox/Xbox360/PS2/Handheld Games:
Far Cry Instincts Predator
Halo 2
NBA Live 2006
Quake 4
Prey Demo
Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked
PC Games:
Star Craft
BattleField 2 Demo
Call of Duty 1&2
Band of Brothers
C&C Generals
UT2004(playable..not enjoyable)
Prey Demo
Civ 4
Battlefield 2142
Jacob Minett is a consultant and copy writer for the fullfillment company My Net LLC. With six years experience in the satellite industry, Jacob has worked both in the field as a lead technician and now consulting and web copy duties for which specializes in WildBlue Satellite Internet.

Computer Security - Four Rules You Need to Know

Computer security is on a lot of people's minds. And there are lots of companies out there offering all sorts of ways to stay hack proof. Most high-end products are geared toward large enterprises. This makes sense since they are worth millions or billions of dollars. Security companies go where the money leads. But what about the typical home computer user? How can novice users traverse this brave new world? Let's take a look at my four rules for home computer security.
Let's face it, the internet can be like the wild west. You never know what you're going to find and it's hard to trust anyone. But a little caution can go a long way. The first rule to keep in mind is the rule of the low hanging fruit. What's fruit have to do with computer security? Well, actually it has a lot to do with computer security. People tend to go after the path of least resistance. If you were to pick fruit off a tree, which fruit would you go after? Would you go after the fruit at the top of the tree or would you go after the one hanging in your face? Of course, you would go after the low hanging fruit. Hackers are no different. They will tend to exploit the targets that promise the biggest bang for the least effort. If you require more effort to hack, most hackers will pass you by.
The second rule is the rule of the front door. You never, ever want to hook your computer directly up to the internet. A caveat to this rule is if you know what you're doing and set up a firewall directly on that computer. There are other considerations, but I'm going after straight-forward solutions for you. What I mean is that you never want to hook a DSL or cable modem directly into your computer. You always want to put some type of router between the modem and your computer. This can be a simple dsl/cable router from someone like Linksys. This helps to segment a private network from the public internet network. Let me use an analogy. If you hook up your computer directly to your modem, it's like opening your front door and letting anyone into your house. There is no barrier between you and the outside world. However, if you put a router between the modem and your computer, it's like closing that door on the front of your house. Now, only certain, trusted people are allowed in.
The third rule is the rule of pest control. Please don't run a computer without virus protection. You can have the best front door in the world, but if you let the back door open it's useless. Anti virus programs help control loopholes in trusted communication lines. A friend of mine got a floppy from a friend. He then quickly copied a presentation for a corporate client on it. He went to the client, inserted the floppy, and was greeted by an obnoxious virus alert. The client was furious, my friend was highly embarrassed, but the software did its job. Never run a computer without virus protection. And these days, you need spyware protection. There are some great free ones out there like Spybot Search and Destroy. I also like SpywareGuide's Xscan for interval scanning.
The fourth rule is the rule of sewing. Ok, I'm not talking about sewing in the traditional sense. I'm talking about putting patches on - on your operating system that is. If you are using Windows, you need to make sure windows update is set to automatically download updates. Security patches regularly come out and you would be less than wise to ignore them. And be warned, in this day and age, some security issues involve simply visiting malicious websites to breech your security. Don't be a victim, be prepared.
While this certainly won't fend off the most hardened hacker, it will keep most at bay. It's sort of like home security. Is a thief going to target the home with lax security or the one with great security? I'll leave that answer to you.
Copyright 2006 Jack Knows Inc.
Paul McGillivary has been a technologist for 15 years. In that time, Paul has experienced thousands of technology problems, challenges, and products. He brings this experience to bear in the articles that he presents.
Visit Paul's tech blog for more great information on Computer Security [].