Private Network Setting NOT gone from Windows 8.1

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Earlier today I posted about the Private Network Settings being gone from Windows 8.1, well I have found the root cause of the problem. I am happy to report that the setting is not gone from Windows 8.1, but it’s part of a typical change of feature that Microsoft didn’t bother to inform the populace about; maybe they did, but as a Microsoft Watcher I find it difficult that I would have missed the information. Continue reading

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Network Usage App – Keep an eye on your 3G/LTE Data

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Here is a really nice Tool to help keep an eye on your 3G/LTE Data consumption. The App presents your data consumption in a graph per month showing your download and upload totals. This way you can make sure you don’t overuse you data quota from your ISP. You can also see the details of your connection in the app, like whether it’s a roaming connection and its encryption type. Here is the full description from the Store:

Description
Network Usage displays the amount of data sent and received by your network interfaces. Usage data is displayed in an easy-to-read bar graph. Drill down into the data by clicking or tapping the graph’s bars.

Features
Supports multiple network interfaces
Bar graph with drill-down capability

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Above is my own mobile data usage for the past 3 months, now you can see why I have been spotty online, you can see I have been on the road since October, and explains my large mobile data usage.

As you can see, the App is Ad supported to make it free. So it is a good tool and its free too. You can download via the Source below.

Source: Windows Store

Windows Outbound Firewall Settings

Windows Outbound Firewall Settings
How To Activate Outbound Firewall Protection in Windows 8. Click on Picture so see the whole instruction.

This post was prompted by the need of someone on Twitter who is having issues with ZoneAlarm on Windows 8. Of course ZoneAlarm is broken in Windows8 because ZoneAlarm has been known to dig too deep into the Kernels, and that is not possible anymore. MS is having everyone keep their paws away from the Kernel. So his argument was that there is no Outbound Firewall protection in Windows, told him there has been Outbound Firewall protection in Windows since Vista, only most people don’t know it. Even if you know it, its going drive you crazy if activated since windows will be asking you every second if you want to allow an outbound traffic. At least this shows Windows has Outbound firewalling feature.

For anyone that is driven to this kind of solution, you may be actually better off by running a Network Monitor tool that shows you what is going on in your Network. I have two tools for this, MS Sysinternal’s TCPView and the big gun MS Network Monitor. This tools are more effective in identifying scrupulous apps on your network instead of blocking outbound traffic which can be a pain.

Ping for Windows 8 is in the Store

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Another great app that deserve a mention in this blog is Ping. A networking tool that most of us will find useful in our toolbox. The app afford you the opportunity to keep an eye on the performance of your Servers and Hosts. You can see their average availability in simple graphical form. Jujuba, the software vendor says they made actual TCP/IP connection to the hosts instead of the usual ICMP that is being blocked these days. I guess I’ll let Jujuba quote their own words:

Ping

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Description

Ping lets you test TCP/IP connection quality between your computer and servers both on local network and the Internet. Rather than using ICMP that is blocked by many firewalls, Jujuba Software Ping actually establishes TCP/IP connection and exchanges data with the server to measure packet loss percentage and round-trip time accurate to 0.01 milliseconds. Ping works great on both IPv4 and IPv6 networks. It allows you to ping several hosts at the same time and displays data in highly visual and intuitive manner.

This is another gem for your toolbox, and what’s more, it is Free as the air, so go get it via this link: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/b7e08c6b-7f41-4644-9b0e-787e3152b17d

PC Monitor App hits the Store

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Ladies and gentlemen we have the first true comprehensive tool in the Windows 8 Store. PC Monitor from MMSoft is indeed a Network Admin dream come true on a Mobile device. With the app you can monitor your whole network and see the status of all your servers and clients. You can see the configuration of the node and run commands on it. I haven’t used the app yet, so I don’t know if you have to install a client app on the nodes or not. You will need to register and install a client app to use the this App. But the app is looking to be a good management app for Professionals and Enthusiasts alike.

App description from the Store as follows:

Description

Monitor and manage your computers using this securely encrypted mobile app that gives you total control of your PC’s from anywhere, anytime.
– You can monitor up to 3 computers using this application for free, no subscription payment required and no time limitation.
– To create an account you will need to download and install the PC software from http://www.mobilepcmonitor.com first. A quick setup guide is available on the web site.
– For any questions or help please email us at support@mobilepcmonitor.com or visit forum.mobilepcmonitor.com

Features

View the status and uptime of all computers
View the current CPU usage
View the current available memory
View the external IP address
View and manage services
View and kill processes
View and run the scheduled tasks
View all logged in users and log them off
View hardware details like temperatures (system, CPU and HDD) and fan speeds (system and CPU)

Stangely, you’ll find this app in the Business Category instead of Tools category. Fortunately, the app is available on all platforms, which means you could use the app also on your ARM devices. Download the app from the following link and let us know what you think: http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/9efc1d1c-6816-48bc-8de7-d4b21a5b3589

What Kind of Wireless Networking Router Do You Use?

Wireless Router

How do you access the Internet…modem, ethernet, wireless card, wireless networking router ?  For the past month, I’ve been using Apple’s AirPort Extreme to broadcast a wireless signal throughout my home and later on my dorm room.  I purchased the 802.11N Wireless PCI Xtreme N Desktop Adapter for my desktop to connect the the AirPort Extreme.

Some Good Wireless Router Choices

AirPort Extreme

The AirPort Extreme lets you connect to the Internet wirelessly, connect to a USB enabled harddrive, and/or a USB printer.  It sets up the perfect home network.  The Extreme supports all wireless networks up to the draft 802.11N.  There are 4 ethernet ports for those computers that are not wireless.  The technical specs can be found HERE. Why did I choose to setup a wireless network for my desktop?  One good reason…I hate wires.  I also have friends with laptops who like to use my connection.  I have ordered the Dell Inspiron 1525 and it will also support the wireless N network.  For those who don’t know about wireless N technology, it’s a much faster version of the standard wireless G network.

AirPort Express

I also have the AirPort Express.  It is a much smaller, more portable, and more convenient version of the AirPort Extreme.   It plugs right in to any outlet.  You can plug in your Internet’s ethernet cord to broadcast a wireless signal.  You can also plug in a USB printer and speakers.  The AirPort Express can be used to extend your wireless network or to create a whole new network.  It can be easily unplugged and taken anywhere.  I specifically use it so I can wirelessly broadcast music to speakers.  Very cool technology.  The technical specs can be found HERE. The Airport Extreme retails for $179 and the AirPort Express retails for $99.  Is it worth it?  I would say yes, as long as your computer(s) support(s) a wireless N network and/or you desire to connect to a printer wirelessly.  Check it out.  It may be the right setup for you.  It’s fairly easy to setup and both Apple and PC users can take advantage of the Extreme and the Express.

If you have any other tips/views feel free to stop by the Landor Industries Live chat room at http://www.landorindustries.com/live.  We’re typically discussing technology related topics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’ll see you there! (For those of you who use an IRC client, the server is irc.wyldryde.org and the room is #landorindustries)

Posted by Gerald Smith on August 30, 2008