Tag Archives: issues

Windows 7 security issues concerning…

Well I have to say that after yesterday’s experience with Windows 7 I am slightly concerned about the security side of the new operating system.

I’m not the only one with concerns for Microsoft’s security. Sophos, a valued security organisation, has criticized Microsoft says Windows 7 is vulnerable to “8 out of 10 viruses” spreading round the world wide web at this time.

My concern isn’t really to do with viruses, but more down to anti-malware in general.

I was quite frankly astounded that a trojan had made it’s way onto my computer just 2 weeks after installing Windows 7. Now I am quite experienced with computers (not to boast about it!!) and I don’t go round downloading malicious software from the internet, so I was quite puzzled when my computer started acting up.

Windows was mysteriously minimizing Windows randomly – typical sort of thing with a trojan. It didn’t take long for me to work out something had infected my computer and Comodo Internet Security wasn’t reporting any type of threat, so I downloaded some other software and eventually dug it out.

After about half an hour of scanning, the threat was fished out of the Windows Registry and I managed to fix the issue rather easily, and the symptoms immediately stopped.

What puzzles me is how easily a trojan managed to make its way into my registry and start messing around with my computer. I thought Windows was supposed to dig out threats before they take control.

Well, whatever. But it is a concerning issue. Microsoft needs to do something about this, and fast – or Windows 7 could quickly end up with a poor reputation. And a poor reputation is the last thing Microsoft want right now – not after the outrage from Windows Vista.

Review: 9DBi Wireless Router Antenna

I managed to dig out some money lately to buy a few gadgets and bits of kit, so you’ll probably see a few reviews on various items in the next few days. But first of all, I’ve got this 9DBi wireless router antenna.

I bought it simply because the little antenna that came with my D-Link DSL-2640B doesn’t quite cut it in my house. For some reason, the signal it emits just isn’t powerful enough to cover the whole of my small house, so I decided it was time for an upgrade.

After a quick search around on eBay, I found this. It is really a pretty good deal at just £6.99 so if you are having signal problems, I suggest you get one.

Most routers generally come with either built in antennas or removable ones. You are lucky if you have a removable one, because you can upgrade it. Sadly, built in antennas aren’t replaceable so you’ll just have to live with the poor signal range or just buy a new router.

If you do have a removable antenna on your router, you’ll be glad to know that you can use a wide range of different antennas. The most common type of antenna that is fitted to most routers by default is omnidirectional. This means that they broadcast in all directions – great if your router is in the center of your house but not so great if its in the corner of the house since a good 30-40% of your wireless power will be wasted going through the wall out of your house. You can get antennas that point in one direction, but these are less common and more expensive. Unless you’re really desperate, I’d suggest you stick to omnidirectional.

Another thing you’ll need to understand is the rating of the antenna. Most routers come with an antenna of about 3-5DBi which is fine for a small modern house. However you can get antennas up to about 9DBi which are much more powerful. Bare in mind they are much bigger than 3DBi antennas and you won’t be impressed if you want don’t like the look of your gadgets. F0r example, the one I now have (see eBay link above) is 37.5cm high so it will be quite hard to hide.

They are definitely worth the upgrade though. I am very impressed with mine, as the signal range is much better and I get much fewer disconnections which is good. The only thing I’m a little puzzled about is that my router says to lower the transmit power of the router if I install a high gain antenna – but why should I, doesn’t that just defeat the point of buying a more powerful antenna? Little odd.

Anyway, so yes, if you do experience wireless signal issues try getting a new antenna. Check that you can replace your antenna before you buy one for obvious reasons. If you can, you might find this makes a big difference.

Two things I really want sorted in Chrome

I love Chrome, it’s a fantastic browser that’s super-quick and very reliable. However, there are two things I really want Google to fix.

1. RSS: Why doesn’t Google Chrome support RSS? It seems a little dim, but can prove really annoying after a little while. Firefox shows an icon when an RSS feed is available on a website (see below) and even has a built in feed subscriber (see below), but Chrome has neither. Google need to sort this in my opinion. 

windowclippings_1c6f2f5f2b6442b6afb74ed86e013abd1Above: Firefox

ChromeAbove: Chrome

2. Downloads: I have a real issue with Chrome when you download something. When I download a file, I often ask it to download and then get into the habit of closing the web browser and forgetting something was downloading. In Firefox, this is no problem as a ‘Downloads’ window appears when you download a file and if you close the browser window by mistake, the file continues to download. However, in Chrome downloads run more internally and it doesn’t have a separate window for downloads. So if you close the browser, Chrome cancels the download! No problem if the file is 1MB or something as small as that, but if you’re in the middle of a 100MB file this is a pain. Even Internet Explorer (dare I say it) handles downloads better than Chrome. 

Those are my two rants with Chrome. Google, fix the RSS and the downloads. The problems aren’t big enough to put me off (Chrome is still my default browser) but they do get really annoying after a while. If Google would fix this in a later version, it would definately be to my benefit, and to many others.