April 30th, 2014

How to use “Lost Mode” for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Apple has a system inside of all their mobile devices you can use to track a lost or stolen iOS device. A tiny amount of preparation can help avoid a major panic if you misplace your iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone.

BEFORE you misplace your device you need to turn on Find my iPhone (it has the same name on all iOS devices)

Here’s a step by step guide on how to use ‘Lost Mode’ that will track your device when it tries to connect to the internet:



July 22nd, 2013

Why doesn’t a 3 year old router cut it anymore?

Does this sound like you or someone you know?

Meet my parents.

They are not nerdy in the least. They have two smartphones, a game console, two laptops and a tablet. That’s 6 total. Mom uses her tablet while watching Netflix through a game console, while Dad is in the office doing research and chatting on Skype. That’s two video streams at the same time as two web browsing sessions. Truth is they are the new normal.

Sometimes my Mom would complain that her Netflix wouldn’t work if my Dad opened a Skype window while uploading files to Skydrive.

Does this sound familiar? Has it happened to you? How many devices do you own that access the internet wirelessly? If you’re an average household the answer is probably 5 or 6. Where do most of your devices connect to the internet at home? Through a wireless router.

Most people I deal with are similar to my parents. They aren’t tech savvy yet they can easily consume an above average amount of bandwidth.

I did some quick checks on my parents’ system and realized that the problem wasn’t with any of the devices like my parents thought. It was with the router.

Turns out a three year old router just wouldn’t cut it anymore.

My parents had an older wireless N router. It was one of the first ones that came out. It was better than what their internet service provider offered which was only wireless G. For a while it was fine and didn’t hiccup. Then they got new laptops, a tablet and eventually smartphones. The router was ok if only one of them was doing stuff but once they both started doing things the connection slowed to a crawl.

After some frustrating nights of staring at blank screen waiting for connections my Dad called me up and asked what was going on. He was asking me about the different speeds from his provider and which one he should use. I knew what he needed to do but it didn’t involve a higher monthly bill. My answer: Buy a new router.

After getting the new one setup they were back in action and no matter who was doing what, no one slowed down. They didn’t need to upgrade their speed from their provider at all.

Why doesn’t a 3 year old router cut it anymore?

Well most of the technology inside of older routers is the same as it was a few years ago. The difference is that now there’s more bandwidth available at more affordable prices. There are also different steps in wireless N that allow for everyone to buy a router for their needs without spending more than necessary.

I tested a new D-Link router at my house to see what it could do for people like my parents. Being a lot more nerdy than my parents, I have 17 things that could connect to it over WIFI.

On most days my family needs 6 connections at once just like my parents. My house is about 1600 sq/ft on three floors if you include the basement. It’s a townhouse with lots of interference from neighbours’ wireless routers and we hang out in the back-yard lots. My basement is where the router lives which is solid thick concrete.

Here is my solution to the router jam.

D-Link DIR-855L DIR-855L_200x200

What it’s got that’s important:
– Wireless N 900 — maximum 900 Mpbs vs maximum 150 or 300 from the old router
– Dual band antennas — 2.4ghz is cluttered but needed on some older devices 5ghz is much clearer
– Smart beam technology – higher power antennas push the signal out further even outside

What I found:
– Gave my 4 year old a tablet with streaming an HD movie from Skydrive
– My wife grabbed her laptop and went on Facebook chat while doing some emailing and uploading high resolution files to our photo lab to print on canvas
– I fired up a game console and downloaded a couple full games from the store
– While that was going I went on my laptop and opened up Skype and chatted with someone in Vancouver

Nothing slowed down at all. The games downloaded perfectly while my Skype video and the tablet didn’t skip a single frame. I walked into the back yard and kept chatting without any interruptions.
My wife didn’t miss a single blip on Facebook and the photos uploaded without interruption.

To top it off, it was amazingly easy to setup. You don’t even need a disk or a nerd for a son and you can set one up in 5 minutes. Great range and speed. Overall an amazing router. This little D-Link is now my silent champion keeping us connected all day without slowdowns.

Julian Sanders
In @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

July 3rd, 2013

SurfEasy Mobile is here!

Your smartphone is a modern marvel. It’s your banker, your friends, your spouse, your work, your recipe book, your tour guide, your photographer, your personal shopper and so much more. With all that access to everything in your life in one place have you ever stopped to consider how secure your connection is? You may usually connect to cellular data which is secure for the most part. When you connect to WIFI, especially open hotspots with no password, you don’t really know how safe it is. Most people just trust that they have nothing important to steal. You might say “I’m not that interesting to a hacker.” Just imagine if someone got the password to just your email account. They could use it to reset the passwords on all your social media accounts. Then they could spam your friends and business contacts that looks like it’s coming from you. That alone is just embarrassing. If they get hold of your banking information that can cause you gross inconvenience while you fix the problem and hopefully insurance covers your losses.

There is a solution that can protect you from this. SurfEasy Mobile VPN.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an extra layer of protection that routes everything through a secure server. The connection between your device and the server is encrypted which means it’s only visible to you and no one else.

SurfEasy Mobile VPN is a service you pay for. It costs $29.99 a year available at London Drugs. It works on Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) and Android. It installs a service within your device that routes all internet traffic through a secure connection run by SurfEasy. The connection is not only encrypted to make sure no one is looking in at what you’re doing it also hides the physical address of your phone. There’s a little bit of magic that the SurfEasy conjured up to give just enough information to location aware apps like Maps and Foursquare so they still work.

The SurfEasy Mobile VPN also makes your device make it look like it’s in another country. That means you can get US Netflix or other blocked content not normally available in Canada. There is no bandwidth cap on the paid SurfEasy Mobile VPN so you don’t have to worry about how much you use the security and location changing.

I tried it out for a few weeks on my iPhone 5 with LTE. I was impressed at the speed. You don’t want anything slowing down your data connection. If SurfEasy slowed me down I would just turn it off most of the time. I have left it on for almost a month and have never turned it off. Other free ones I tried in the past have been notorious for being slow. That’s mostly because there are so many people using it. SurfEasy is paid so there’s less people on it and they maintain a very fast server with a limited number of users per connection. You don’t have to worry about the server filling up because you have priority on it at as a paid user.

I noticed a couple interesting things when I was using it. First when I went to search for something Bing or Google would ask me to fill in a human verification check because I was ‘changing locations so quickly’ which means it’s working well! I also had to re-verify my user name and password on a few of my social media apps. Once I did it once I was fine. They just want to check that you are who you say you are even if you traveled 10,000 km at the speed of light.

Available in store and online: http://www.londondrugs.com/SurfEasy-Mobile-VPN-with-Unlimited-Data-Protection/L7725906

Still not sure SurfEasy Mobile VPN is right for you? They have a free trial and more information available here http://www.surfeasy.com

Check back for the recently release SurfEasy Total VPN for Mac and PC review I just started playing with it.

Julian Sanders
in @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

June 21st, 2013

Kindle Fire HD now available – how does that compare to an ereader

Readers rejoice! The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is available now. I often get the question if an e-ink display is better then a Kindle. Jeremy and I break it down for you:

More details are available in store or here.

Julian Sanders
in @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

May 9th, 2013

Blackberry Q10 & Samsung Galaxy S4

Jeremy and I talk about what all the buzz is about two of the hottest new smartphones.

Julian Sanders
in @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

April 20th, 2013

How to setup parental controls on your computer and tablet

For years computers have been in classrooms and now tablets are becoming more popular. You have a computer and probably a tablet. You can let your children use a computer and tablet without giving them free access to the entire internet.

There’s parental controls available for all of todays connected devices. You can customize their access and even monitor them to suit your child’s unique level. You can use these same links if your phone is an Android or iPhone.

Here’s some useful links to help you understand and set up parental control:

Windows 7  – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows7/set-up-parental-controls

Windows 8 – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-CA/windows-8/set-up-kids-accounts#1TC=t1

Mac with OSX Mountain Lion (10.8.X) – http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11354
Android – Add this app to your device: Norton Parental Control
iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone – http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4213
Feel free to ask a question by reaching out to us on Facebook, Twitter or in-store.
in @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

March 6th, 2013

3 Things Skydrive Can Do

It’s been a buzz term so long I bet you’ve tuned it out already. I want to share with you three things I do with (insert booming voice here) THE CLOUD.

I’ve used web based cloud storage services since they first started. I love how easy it is to share files with others and get access to my stuff on whatever device I want. First I should explain what cloud storage is. READ MORE

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