Your Personal Computing Resource

CalendarDecember 1, 2023

December Tip: Try a Smart Doorbell

December Tip: Try a Smart DoorbellI just installed my first smart doorbell. One week later, I can confidently say it was a good decision.

As much as I like technology, I rarely go after the latest gadgets. Many are gimmicky, low-quality, or unnecessary. Smart appliances, like Wi-Fi-enabled toasters and microwaves, come to mind. I bought a "smart" Weber grill last year and haven't used the Wi-Fi once.

But a smart doorbell... that makes more sense. Not only does the built-in camera provide security by recording the porch area, it also serves as a deterrent to potential porch pirates. I took the plunge and installed the ecobee Smart Doorbell last week:

CalendarNovember 25, 2023

Help Center: What is the difference between the Xfinity XB7-T and XB8-T routers?

PC.net Help CenterThe Xfinity XB7-T and XB8-T modem/routers look pretty similar. They are both white towers with two telephone jacks and four Ethernet ports. The XB8 is slightly larger, with a rounded top and a USB-C port on the back.

After upgrading to the XB8-T, I noticed two significant improvements:

  1. Better wireless range
  2. Faster upload speeds

With the XB7, my iPhone 13 and 15 Pro would struggle to maintain a Wi-Fi connection in my living room, which is one floor lower and on the other side of the house — roughly 100 ft away. The Wi-Fi signal would often cut out completely when I stepped into the backyard.

CalendarNovember 1, 2023

November Tip: Use a Silent Mode Backup

November Tip: Use a Silent Mode BackupWe've all experienced that awkward moment when someone's phone rings in a quiet setting. Maybe you've experienced it first hand — you thought your phone was on silent mode, but then RINGGGGG!.

Whether it's a classroom or boardroom, the unexpected ring or alert from a phone is distracting and embarrassing. To avoid this uncomfortable situation, here's a "backup silent mode" tip:

Turn down the volume.

CalendarOctober 7, 2023

View the History of PC.net

View the History of PC.netLast week, I published the new PC.net. So far, version 7 has been a great success, and I'm excited about the future. But I also thought it might be fun to look back and see how the website has evolved over the years.

PC.net has a storied history that dates back to 1999. That's right, the website you're viewing right now was first launched in the previous millennium. 🤯 Some visitors weren't even alive then. Those who were had to access the Internet using a dial-up modem. Which means I was how old when I created the site? Let's just say I was a lot younger.

But enough hype and hyperbole. If you're curious how early versions of PC.net looked — or maybe just how it survived over two decades — take a journey through the PC.net History and see how it happened.

CalendarSeptember 29, 2023

PC.net is Back!

PC.net is Back!Some said it was washed up. Others said it was past its prime. But PC.net is back, and — you guessed it – better than ever. Today, I'm launching "PC.net 7.0," with loads of updates and new features.

How long has it been since the last website update? Well, I published version 6 in November 2010, so almost 13 years. 😳

Of course, PC.net has not been dormant for the past decade. I've been publishing monthly tips, occasional articles, and other updates across the site. But the design and structure haven't changed since 2010. The web has changed a lot in the past 13 years, and PC.net was showing its age. So, I decided to bring the site up to modern standards and did some restructuring in the process. Below is a list of improvements and updates in the new PC.net 7.0.

CalendarSeptember 1, 2023

September Tip: Check Your Internet Speed

September Tip: Check Your Internet SpeedHow fast is your Internet connection?

Not the speed listed in your ISP agreement... your actual speed. When was the last time you checked?

Your Internet service provider may offer specific download and upload speeds, but that doesn't mean those are the numbers you're getting. Several factors can affect your actual data transfer rate, including Wi-Fi limitations, local network bandwidth (several devices using the Internet at once), router/modem problems, and issues with the connection to your ISP.

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