PC Doctor December 10, 2009

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

 Dear PC Doctor,

    My cousin recently visited along with his laptop. He was able to simply connect to my wireless network, no questions asked. I noticed that it says "unsecured network" or something along those lines. Is that bad for my network?


Dear Andy,

    Actually what it means is that you don't have a password requirement to log onto your network. If someone wants to hack onto your network, this is a perfect way to do it. Fortunately you can easily put a password on for your added protection. It just means that in order for other users to access the network, such as your cousin, you will have to give them the password.
    Go to the Start button and choose Control Panel. Find and select the Network Connections icon and you should then see your Wireless Network Connection. Double click on it and then open the support tab. Next to "default gateway" you should see a number that starts with 192.168 which is the address of your wireless router. Make a note of that number, and either commit it to memory or store a paper copy of it in a safe place. Close out of the boxes.
    Now to log onto your wireless router you need to open up Internet Explorer. In the address bar where you would normally type in www.athollibrary.org or a web address, instead type in your "default gateway" number that you just previously found (192.168.***.*). Now press the enter key. Your computer will search for your router and present you with a log in screen, where you can type in your router's username and password. This should be either in your manual for the router and given to you by your Internet provider if they installed it (if not call them to find out).
    Once you have successfully logged in, you will be presented with several sections of settings for your router. Because various router brands can be set up a little differently, you'll need to look around for the administrator section. When you find the administrator section, open it and then look for the password field. Go ahead, and create a password. Try to keep the password at least 8 characters long, and try to mix in some numbers or symbols. This will ensure a level of difficulty if someone tries to crack it, so as to log onto your network. Save the settings, and exit from the router's homepage. Your wireless network should now be secured, giving you control of who accesses the network. If you wish you can now charge an exuberant fee to all who desire access to your network!! Though you should consider giving your cousin a family discount, but hey, it's up to you. Enjoy your newly secured wireless network. Safe computing!

PC Doctor


Dear PC Doctor,

    Sometimes when I send a job to my printer I realize I made a mistake and don't want to waste paper. I've tried turning the printer off but it still wants to print when I turn it back on. What can I do to prevent it from printing?


Dear Patty,

    If your printer has a "stop," "cancel," or "clear" button you can try pushing that. If that doesn't work, you can access the printer's pending jobs via the printer icon in your System Tray. (The group of icons next to your computer's clock is the System's Tray) Double click the printer icon, or right click it and then select Open. Click on the print job that you wish to delete and then hit the "delete" key. That should clear the job, canceling the print. If it will take you a minute to figure this out while your printer merrily chugs away, just open the paper drawer or remove the paper while you cancel the print job. Good luck!

PC Doctor

PC Doctor's Tip of the Week: Free anti-virus protection

    A responsible computer owner should be always running an up to date anti-virus software. Unfortunately the latest software is usually expensive and some even require subscriptions. So finding good free anti-virus software would be pretty sweet. AVG's anti-virus is a popular one, and it's a secure one to go with. You can download it at AVG's website: www.avg.com. Another free anti-virus protection software, that was just recently released, is Microsoft's Windows Essentials. It also does a good job fighting those cyber baddies, and it's free to download at: www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/. Both of these programs are routinely provide updates, so be sure to download any as they are release.

PC Doctor
Until next time… happy computing!