Voice over IP

Voice over IP technology has existed for years now. The phone companies use it themselves to route your calls around the country, but it's finally going main stream. Many companies are offering this service to residential customers, but if you are not a real techno-head you may be asking just what is Voice over IP?

Voice over IP or VoIP is simply a way to transmit voice over the internet the same way we transmit web pages and email.

How does Windows XP differ from the old Windows?

Have you recently traded in your old clunker of a computer for a new one? Likely the old one was running Windows 98 or Windows Millenium also known as Windows ME. The new computer, of course, will be running Windows XP.

At first Windows XP may seem like just a dressed up Windows 98 with that pretty green start button and all those soothing shades of blue, but look a little closer and you'll see some differences.

Cool things to do online

Several weeks ago, A nice police officer in Sealy, Texas gave me a ticket for driving a little fast. Of course, not wanting my insurance rates to higher than they already are, I chose to take the defensive driving option to dispose of this ticket. In the old days you had to waste an entire day trying to stay awake through a defensive driving class.

Do you use Kazaa or Morpheus to download music? Not a good idea.

Do you use Kazaa or Morpheus to download music? Not a good idea. Not only are these programs designed to load your computer with spyware and popup ads, but in most cases it is illegal to download music because of copyright laws. The RIAA is suing computer users by the hundreds for illegally sharing music online.

Protect your computer with a firewall

I wrote a little on this subject back in December, but I think I need to address it again. You need a firewall protecting your computer.

Computers behind firewalls are protected from worms like Sasser and MSBlaster. With no firewall, this type of worm or virus can infest your computer without you clicking on anything.

How to get rid of and prevent pop-up ads and spyware

You turn on your computer and start up Internet Explorer to do a little web surfing and then it hits. The barrage of pop-up ads. They are everywhere. You can't seem to click on anything without seeing advertisements for everything from medicines to online dating services and vacations.

How to keep your Windows up to date

Most people know that Microsoft Windows has a few bugs and security holes. What they might not know, is that Microsoft is constantly releasing software patches and fixes to repair these problems as they are discovered.

A good example of this is the Blaster worm that wreaked havoc last year.

Computer maintenance made easy

Do you change your car's oil regularly? Rotate the tires? Well your computer needs a little regular maintenance too. Here are a couple things you can do to keep it running smoothly.

Install an anti-virus utility and make sure each of the following is working:
- Automatic virus definitions updates
- Real-time protection
- Full scans each night
If you do not have an anti-virus utility or if your subscription has expired, you can find a good free one at PreactiveIT.com.

Secure Your Wireless Network

Santa Clause brought the kids a wireless network this year. You opened all the boxes, plugged everything in and ran the setup software. Every computer in the house shares your high speed Internet connection now. Works like a charm....right? Not so fast.