Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week

Tag Archives: WiFi

Networking At Home

Tags : 

I recently attended a preview of Telstra’s latest addition to the Foxtel galaxy of services, adding pay TV channels to its T-Box Digital Video Recorder. That service is initially going to be available only to Telstra Cable customers, rolling out later to its ADSL customers. Access to the network externally is one limiting factor, but there’s another challenge for most homes looking to networked devices, whether they’re digital recorders, Net-connected gaming consoles or just a plethora of plain old humble PCs. There are far more “Internet-Ready” devices around than there used to be, but all of them presume that you’ll have a connection for them to connect to, no matter where in your home you choose to place them.

How do you connect them all up within your home? There’s a couple of choices, but they’re not always all that well understood. Here’s a basic primer to your connection choices once you’ve got an Internet connection (of any type) into your home:

Cabled Ethernet:
Pros: Speed. With up to 1GBps (potential), there’s nothing to match having an actual cabled connection to each room that you need access from. In terms of sustained speed, nothing even comes close.
Cons: Physical cables are a pain, and the cost of retro-fitting and cabling your home can be quite high. Anyone building should consider basic Ethernet cabling as a must-have, however.

HomePlug/Powerline:
Pros: Easy installation. Powerline sits in the mid-ground between Cabled and Wireless Internet, using your existing power infrastructure to deliver a cabled connection to your devices. Plug one end in near your router or modem, and the other near your device, and you’re usually good to go. At around $200 for a pair of plugs, it’s much less expensive than Ethernet cabling
Cons: Not all plugs are cross compatible, and some don’t work well (if at all) on powerboards and across power phases in your home or office. Many of the plugs are large and unwieldy, which makes them take over many points all by themselves. Often the only way to work out if Powerline products will work for you is to plug them in and see.

WiFi:
Pros: Ubiquity. WiFi is all over most notebooks, many games consoles and is often available as an add-on for “Internet-Ready” televisions. There’s no unsightly wires to trip over, installation costs are typically very low, and most wireless routers (you probably got one from your ISP) can accommodate more wireless gadgets than you’ll ever own.
Cons: Access can be highly variable depending on a number of environmental factors that can leave some houses with WiFi “black spots”. Despite the highly promoted speed numbers on the boxes of most WiFi routers, real world speeds are typically a lot slower than their wired siblings. This is less of an issue for Web surfers and emailers, but for watching online video or playing games it can quickly hobble even the fastest connection.


Power Tips

Tags : 

There’s more notebooks sold now than desktops by a rather healthy margin, and this year should also see smartphones overtake standard mobiles as the portable phone platform of choice. Whether it’s a smartphone or a laptop, one thing remains constant: You can never have too much power.

Not so much in terms of processing power, although that can be quite handy, but definitely in terms of actual juice to run your computer or smartphone. Despite years of incremental advancements in battery technology, and the promise that fuel cells are “just around the corner” for longer than anybody wants to admit, most systems struggle to get through a full day without wanting to be connected to the mains. It gets worse the older any system gets, as batteries gracefully (and sometimes not so gracefully) degrade, giving you less and less time to get your computing tasks done.

There’s not that much you can do about battery degradation aside from purchasing new batteries when they go from “functional” to “able to hold less than a minute’s charge”, but there’s plenty of things you can do to make the battery you’ve got now last longer in actual usage. Here’s some quick tips:

1) Dim the screen

Brighter screens are easier to see, especially in bright sunlight, but they’re also a real power hog. If you’re able to use your system with a slightly less ambient display, you’ll be able to use it a whole lot longer.

2) Turn off unnecessary networks

For laptops, this means not having WiFi actually on if you’re not connected to the internet; even searching for nearby networks (most of which are likely to be locked down anyway) will kill your battery quite quickly. It’s even more true for smartphone users; drop Bluetooth if you’re not using it all, WiFi likewise, and if you really want to eke out a little bit more power before you reach a wall socket, drop your phone down from 3G to GSM. You’ll sacrifice network availability this way, but it’s the simplest way to get a smartphone that might only last half a day to last two or more.

3) Remove optical discs from drives

It shouldn’t be a surprise to note that mechanical moving parts use power, and optical drives can be a particular nuisance here. If you’ve got a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc in your notebook drive, it’ll spin up every time the operating system thinks there’s a chance you’ll need it, in order to maximise the speed at which you can use it. This, naturally enough, uses power, but it’s also not particularly good for the disc, which is going to bounce around in your notebook while you move around.

4) Don’t forget the power saving utilities!

These vary from vendor to vendor, but most of them will offer a power-saving profile on top of Windows’ inbuilt power saving utilities. The inbuilt Windows Power utility is good, but if your notebook vendor offers a specific utility, why wouldn’t you use it? It’s more likely to be specifically fine-tuned to the hardware you’ve got in your system. Many of the fixes they implement will be tips such as screen dimming, but it’s a simple way to set up power saving, and perhaps tweak settings like hard drive spin down time to your best advantage.

5) Switch off when practical

This tip is a touch more variable depending on your needs. Most notebooks will hibernate if you close the lid, only drawing a trickle of power. This is great when your meeting finishes and you just want to get going, because you don’t have to sit through lengthy shutdown processes, and when you next need it, operating system permitting, it should boot up in seconds. Still, a trickle of power is still a trickle of power, and if you’ve got more time than power, switching off will use exactly no power at all.


Recent News

There’s really never been a time when we’ve been this connected, thanks to the wonders of the Internet. But it’s not all Zoom parties and engaging content – there’s a darker side to the online world and internet privacy is serious business. It’s not all doom and gloom though – you do have some control

There’s a lot of choice right now when it comes to streaming video services online. They’re all built on the same basic premise; you get access to a large library of content to stream for a month, typically (but not always) for around $10 per month. That kind of price can net you access to

In Australia, the vast majority of smartphones sold are tied either to Apple or Samsung. Everyone else in a brand sense runs a very distant third. Smartphones are very well established as a category, but they’re linked very closely to smart watches that pair with them. Again, the same kinds of trends emerge, with research

If you’re an Apple user, you might have already heard of a built-in feature designed to protect your device if you lose it. ‘Lost Mode’ safeguards your Apple products and can help you find your iPhone if you’ve lost or misplaced it. To help you secure your Apple devices, let’s explore what Lost Mode is

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More