India has become second largest wireless network in the world after China by overtaking USA, as per data available on CTIA (International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry) website.

The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 261.09 million at the end of March 2008. A total of 10.16 million wireless subscribers have been added in the month of March 2008 as against 8.53 million wireless subscribers added in the
month of February 2008.

Total 10.40 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) have been added during March 2008 as compared to 8.49 million connections added in February 2008. The total number of telephone connections reaches 300.51 million at the end of March 2008 as compared to 290.11 million in February 2008. The overall tele-density is 26.22% at the end of March 2008 as against 25.31% in February 2008.

In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has increased to 39.42 million in the month of March 2008 as against 39.18 million subscribers in February 2008

source @

Are you ready to make the move from a dial-up internet connection to cable or DSL? for high internet speed experience If so, then you probably want to find out which one is better for you.

What is Cable?

Cable is a broadband internet frequency that transmits data over high-speed cable. The modem is set to where the cable hook-up is in your wall. Your internet service provider (ISP) sets the cable hook-up directly to your computer. Most cable installers are not trained in solving your computer software problems. If your PC doesn’t see the internet after connecting the cable modem, you may need help.

What is DSL?

DSL is a high-speed internet connection which uses your existing phone lines to work. You can have service through your modem anywhere there is a phone jack. When you order DSL service, they send everything to you in a box with directions. Sometimes this is confusing and you wish you had help to set it up.

Is there a way to tell which of the cookies on my PC are helping, and which ones are spying? - Harlan Davis, Warrenville, Illinois

A cookie is merely a small file that a Web site puts on your PC to identify you, or to store information about you or your computer, such as your IP address. The good ones save you the trouble of logging on to the site on return visits, a big help if you use subscription news services such as that of the New York Times.

The bad cookies are placed by ad companies that pay for the right to place advertising on the sites' pages (some sites also leave their own ad cookies). These files track your visits to pages that display their clients' ads (or their own), and they may tailor the ads you see to your browsing history.

Over time, cookies can reveal your browsing habits, though standard ad cookies, like those that DoubleClick uses, can't attach a name to a specific surfing trail.
That means, if you wipe out your cookies as soon as you close your browser, the ad networks never get a chance to track your surfing from session to session.

Internet Explorer 6 and 7 and Firefox 1.x and 2 have good cookie-handling procedures. IE lets you keep first-party cookies (left by the site you're visiting) but block those from third parties: Select Tools, Internet Options, Privacy, Advanced. In the Advanced Privacy Settings dialog box, check Override automatic cookie handling (see FIGURE 1). Under 'First-party Cookies', select Accept; under 'Third-party Cookies', choose Block. Ignore the session cookies option. Click OK twice.

Firefox 2 can accept, and regularly wipe away, any cookie you haven't explicitly told it to keep: Click Tools, Options, Privacy, check Accept cookies from sites, and in the 'Keep until' drop-down box, select I close Firefox. To keep cookies from a few trusted sites, click Exceptions, and in the dialog box, enter the URLs of the sites whose first-party cookies you wish to keep in the 'Address of web site' field. Click Allow for each, and when you're done, click Close And OK. If you're using Firefox 1.5, click Tools, Options, Privacy, Cookies, check Allow sites to set cookies, and choose for the originating site only.

Many security programs, including Norton Internet Security, PC-Cillin, and Ad-Aware, also identify and destroy known spying cookies.
Disable the Windows Key
I'm a computer gamer. Accidentally hitting the Windows key in the middle of a game is a disaster. Can I disable it? - Joe Barteluce, Kelso, Washington

You can with a little Registry tweaking. But back up the Registry first; see the boxed item below for details. Once the Registry is backed up, select Start, Run (just Start in Vista), type regedit, and press . In the left pane, navigate to and select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout (this is not to be confused with the 'Keyboard Layouts' option just beneath it). Click Edit, New, Binary Value, name the new value Scancode Map, and then double-click it. Enter the code below, which will wrap automatically as shown here:
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 5B E0 00 00 5C E0 00 00 00 00
Click OK, close the Registry Editor, and reboot Windows. Your Windows key will be no more. If you want to disable the Windows key only for specific applications.

Back Up the Registry in Windows XP and Vista

It's always a good idea to back up the Windows Registry before installing new software or making other system changes. In XP, select Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. Click Create a restore point, choose Next, and follow the prompts. In Vista, click Start, type sysdm.cpl, and press . In the User Account Control box, enter your password if necessary and select Continue. Choose System Protection, Create, and then follow the prompts. Another option, and the best for users of Windows 2000 .

Why do we get drawn to the Internet so much? One key reason is that you can find the kind of stuff you like to read. And there’s more info coming up every hour! Bloggers post blogs regularly, news sites get updated every few hours and new sites go live. To keep up with the latest on the Internet more easily, sign up for RSS feeds.

Let’s say you are interested only in sports or entertainment news, and find two or three blogs really engaging. To see if new content has come up you might be visiting the sites often. That’s a sheer waste of time. Instead you could be told instantly about the exciting new developments in the sports world, or that the blog on automobiles that you like to follow has a new post. You won’t have to visit each of the six or seven sites individually everyday.

That’s what RSS does. It stands for Really Simple Syndication. Yes, you heard that right! And like its name, the technology is really quite simple. RSS is a format that is used to collect and deliver content that is regularly updated, to those readers who are interested in that content.

How to subscribe to an RSS feed

If there are six websites that interest you, all you have to do is subscribe to an RSS feed from those sites. For this, you need an RSS reader or a feed reader installed on your computer. There are several free ones that you can download. The reader shows you all the updated information in one place.

Go to the site which you want the reader to track. Look for an orange button (a feed-icon) on the site, click it and add the web page’s address to your feed reader. And the next time you open up your feed reader, the new headlines and snippets of content (or in some cases, entire articles) will be displayed to you, all in one place. Some feed readers also let you search for content right inside them.

Now several news-related sites, bloggers and podcasters use RSS to let their readers and viewers know when new content is published. This feed is basically an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file that contains information regarding what you have published. The feed reader automatically checks the website for updates, compares it with what you have already read. If there is anything new, it informs you the next time you log in. Thus, it lets web developers and bloggers to reach specific audiences with greater ease, getting them increased traffic.

Feed readers or ‘aggregators’ are available for various platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac. Some are integrated with email clients like Outlook and Thunderbird. Apart from these, there are also several web-based feed readers. Once you get your feed reader, find websites that you visit on a regular basis, see whether they offer RSS feeds, and subscribe to them.

The number of sites that offer RSS feeds is also growing day by day, and currently includes many popular sites like BBC, CNN, Wired, Forbes, etc. RSS makes it easier for you to find and keep up with the information you need.

With RSS, you save time, and you no longer need to join each website’s mailing list. And when you don’t want to receive news of a particular kind anymore, you don’t have to send out an “unsubscribe” request and wait to be taken off their mailing list. Just remove the website’s address from your feed aggregator.

Some of my RSS Feed of Interest

Windows Operating System

Computer Repair

High Speed Internet

Firewall Setup

Data Backup

Software Update

Standalone Printer

Software Update

Epson Printer Support

Lexmark Printer

Even if you’re paying top dollar for high-speed Internet service, you may not be getting the performance you expect. Follow our guide to boost your broadband speed.

If you’re serious about the Internet, chances are you spend anywhere from $30 to $99 per month for a broadband Internet connection. But regardless of how much you pay, are you getting all the speed that your Internet service provider promised you? And does your connection persist reliably without dropping out frequently or requiring modem reboots? With our quick guide, you can squeeze every last kilobit-per-second (kbps) of throughput out of your broadband modem and keep your connection running smoothly.

1. Test Your Connection Speed

Before you start tweaking, get a baseline reading of your downstream and upstream connection Internet speed. If possible, measure the speeds at different times of day, especially during the hours when you use the connection most frequently and at least once after midnight or 1:00 a.m. (when competition for bandwith is likely to be at its lowest level).

2. Update Your Firmware or Get a New Modem

If your cable or DSL modem is more than a couple of years old, ask your ISP for a new one. The exchange will probably be free; if there is a fee, you can usually waive it by agreeing to a new one-year contract. The latest cable modems meet the DOCSIS 2.0 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard. If you have a 1.1 modem and a high-throughput plan, you’ll likely experience a large speed increase just by swapping modems.

Even with a brand-new modem, make sure that you have the latest firmware installed. I upgraded my two-year-old Efficient Networks 5100b DSL modem from firmware version to and immediately saw my Speedtest throughput increase from 5.3 mbps to 5.9 mbps, just a hair below the 6 mbps that I’m paying for. Cable providers such as Comcast usually push new firmware to modems, so there’s no need for most cable modem users to perform upgrades themselves.

To update your DSL modem, you’ll have to connect to its Web interface, which means that you’ll need to know the IP address of the modem on your local network. This information should be in your user manual; alternatively, you can find default settings for most modems on the Internet. The address will probably look something like or Enter this character string into your browser and the Web interface should come up. You’ll likely have to sign in, using either a security code printed on the bottom of the modem or a default username and password (unless you previously changed it). Write down the login information for future reference.

Once you’ve logged in, check the firmware number on the status page and see whether a newer version of the firmware is available on the manufacturer’s site. If it is, download this more recent firmware to your PC and then find and run the firmware update procedure from the modem’s browser utility. Reboot, rerun Speedtest and see whether your data is traveling faster. Besides boosting transfer speeds, using a new modem or updated firmware can solve a host of nagging connection issues, such as intermittent dropouts.

3. Check Your Modem Parameters

While you’re updating the firmware, check some key parameters. First, the maximum allowed speeds (both downstream and up) should match your service plan. If they don’t, your ISP didn’t set your service up properly. Give your ISP a call and ask it to fix the setup remotely.

Second, look for signal-to-noise ratio (or SN margin) and line attenuation, both measured in decibels (dB). The lower the signal-to-noise ratio, the more interference you have and the greater the number of packets that will need to be re-sent because they didn’t come through the first time. For this reason, a noisy line can dramatically cut throughput. Line attenuation measures the drop in voltage that comes with splitting the signal (especially for cable modems) and with long runs of cable or older wiring. Excessive signal loss will cause a drop in throughput.

For DSL modems, anything above about 50 dB for line attenuation is poor and 20 to 30 dB is excellent. For signal-to-noise ratio, 7 to 10 dB is marginal and 20 to 28 dB is excellent. My modem’s SN margin registered at 12.5 dB, barely reaching the good range, and its line attenuation reading was 30.5 dB, which rates as very good. Note that acceptable ranges may vary depending on your service level and modem type (faster connections need to be cleaner), so check with your cable or DSL provider to see what numbers you should look for.

4. Troubleshooting Line Quality

If your off-peak Speedtest numbers didn’t measure up to your plan’s specifications and if you found poor signal-to-noise or line attenuation numbers, it’s time to troubleshoot your wiring. Excessive noise may cause intermittent dropouts, too.

Your first task is to determine whether the signal is already degraded when it reaches your house or whether your own wiring is at fault. To test this, move your cable modem as close as you can to where the wire first splits. If possible, take a laptop and power cord for your modem outside to the junction where it connects to the house. Retest and see if things improve. If they don’t, call your cable company. If your own wiring looks to be at fault, reduce the number of splits that occur before the wiring reaches your modem and/or replace the wire itself, which may be faulty. The ultimate solution for cable modems is to create a split directly after the junction box and then run a clean new cable directly to your modem, using the other split for all of your TVs (which are less affected by noise).

For DSL modems, noisy inside wiring tends to be due to the other phone equipment on your line. This interference is supposed to be controlled by the filters placed between the wall jack and each device. Make sure that they are all in place. If you still have too much noise, the best solution is to install a “DSL/POTS splitter” immediately after the phone box, where the wiring comes into the house, and then run a dedicated “homerun” wire straight to the modem. This arrangement will completely isolate your modem from the regular phone wiring - and the new wire should help, too.

If you don’t want to do this job yourself, you can ask your cable or phone company to perform both tasks for a fee.

Finally, improper grounding can be a source of noise, especially on cable. Make sure that all of your TV equipment is plugged into properly grounded outlets, with polarized plugs oriented in the right direction and without any three-prong-to-two-prong adapters. If you have an electric outlet tester, use it to check for excess voltage on your cable wiring. An electrician can find and fix any grounding problems, which are safety concerns as well.

5. Optimize Software Settings

Now that your cable or DSL line is as clean as you can make it, you’re ready to tweak your system and applications for maximum performance, and Improve Internet Speed too.

For optimizing network performance parameters in Windows XP or Vista, we like TotalIdea Software’s Tweak-XP Pro Premium and TweakVI Premium. Both programs simplify optimization without requiring you to understand Registry editing or hidden Windows settings. Both packages include dozens of tweaks in addition to network and browser adjustments. The Pro version of Network Magic, an excellent network monitoring utility, includes optimization capabilities as well.

System-level optimization is less important in Vista than in XP, since Vista tunes your TCP stack dynamically. In fact, Vista users can probably get away with just optimizing specific applications, especially their browsers. To speed up Firefox page displays, try Firetune or Fasterfox. Both are free and one-click easy. Fasterfox adds a few more customization options for expert users. Both tweak low-level Firefox settings such as cache memory capacity, maximum simultaneous connections and “pipelining” (performing multiple data requests simultaneously).

6. Accelerate Your Downloads

Frequent downloaders can save huge amounts of time by using a download manager like our favorite, FlashGet. FlashGet creates multiple simultaneous download links and then puts the file together afterward. All you do is click or drag download links to the FlashGet window; the program does the rest. It integrates with Internet Explorer and works with Firefox using a companion utility called FlashGot.

Security in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Change the System ID: Devices come with a default system ID called the SSID (Service Set Identifier) or ESSID (Extended Service Set Identifier). It is easy for a hacker to find out what the default identifier is for each manufacturer of wireless equipment so you need to change this to something else. Use something unique- not your name or something easily guessed.
  2. Disable Identifier Broadcasting: Announcing that you have a wireless connection to the world is an invitation for hackers. You already know you have one so you don’t need to broadcast it. Check the manual for your hardware and figure out how to disable broadcasting.
  3. Enable Encryption: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encrypt your data so that only the intended recipient is supposed to be able to read it.

WEP has many holes and is easily cracked. 128-bit keys impact performance slightly without a significant increase in security so 40-bit (or 64-bit on some equipment) encryption is just as well. As with all security measures there are ways around it, but by using encryption you will keep the casual hackers out of your systems. If possible, you should use WPA encryption (most older equipment can be upgraded to be WPA compatible). WPA fixes the security flaws in WEP but it is still subject to DOS (denial-of-service) attacks.

  1. Restrict Unnecessary Traffic: Many wired and wireless routers have built-in firewalls. They are not the most technically advanced firewalls, but they help create one more line of defense. Read the manual for your hardware and learn how to configure your router to only allow incoming or outgoing traffic that you have approved.
  2. Change the Default Administrator Password: This is just good practice for ALL hardware and software. The default passwords are easily obtained and because so many people don’t bother to take the simple step of changing them they are usually what hackers try first. Make sure you change the default password on your wireless router / access point to something that is not easily guessed like your last name.
  3. Patch and Protect Your PC’s: As a last line of defense you should have personal firewall and Install anti-virus software installed on your computer. As important as installing the anti-virus software, you must keep it up to date. New viruses are discovered daily and anti-virus software vendors generally release updates at least once a week. You also must keep up to date with patches for known security vulnerabilities. For Microsoft operating systems you can use Windows Update to try and help keep you current with patches.

It wasn’t too long ago that computers were a luxury rather than a necessity. Only the lucky and the wealthy had even one in their home and a network was something reserved for large corporations.

Fast forward a decade or so and everyone has to have their own computer. There is one for the parents and one or more for the kids to use for homework and games. Home users have gone from no Internet access to 9600 kbps dial-up Internet access beyond 56 kbps dial-up access and are moving on to broadband connections to increase internet speed or match the T1 connections they relish at work.

As the Internet and the World Wide Web have exploded into our culture and are replacing other media forms for people to find news, weather, sports, recipes, yellow pages and a million other things, the new struggle is not only for time on the computer at home, but for time on the Internet connection.

The hardware and software vendors have come forth with a variety of solutions allowing home users to share one Internet connection among two or more computers. They all have one thing in common though- the computers must somehow be networked.

To connect your computers together has traditionally involved having some physical medium running between them. It could be phone wire, coaxial cable or the ubiquitous CAT5 cable. Recently hardware has been introduced that even lets home users network computers through the electrical wiring. But, one of the easiest and least messy ways to network computers throughout your home is to use wireless technology.

It is a fairly simple setup. The Internet connection comes in from your provider and is connected to a wireless access point or router which broadcasts the signal. You connect wireless antenna network cards to your computers to receive that signal and talk back to the wireless access point and you are in business.

The problem with having the signal broadcast though is that it is difficult to contain where that signal may travel. If it can get from upstairs to your office in the basement then it can also go that same 100 feet to your neighbors living room. Or, a hacker searching for insecure wireless connections can get into your systems from a car parked on the street.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use wireless networking. You just have to be smart about it and take some basic precautions to make it more difficult for curiosity seekers to get into your personal information. The next section contains some simple steps you can take to secure your wireless network.

Broadband Security in 6 Easy Steps