Sunday, September 16, 2012

What do my speed test results mean?


The basics
  1. 8 Kilobits (Kb) = 1 Kilobyte (KB)
    8 Megabits (Mb) = 1 Megabyte (MB)

    KB and MB are measurements of data file sizes and storage.
  2. Kbps and Mbps are short for "Kilobits per second" and "Megabits per second" and are measurements of data transfer rates (also known as connection speed).
  3. To estimate how long it would take to download a large file based upon your connection speed, you can use the following simple mathematical equation:(Convert file size to Mb) / coneection speed (in Mbps) = # of seconds to complete download.
    So if your connection speed is 16 Mbps then, then you could theoretically download a 2 MB file, such as a high-resolution digital photo, in approximately one second.
    (2 MB x 8 Mb) / 16 Mbps = 1 second

Bandwidth Calculator

How long does it take to download a file at different connection speeds?

Instructions: Our calculator measures the estimated time needed to download a file at different connection speeds. Simply type in the file size in the field below and choose a measurement unit. The fields below will automatically populate with estimated download times *based on connection speed.
MB (Megabytes)
GB (Gigabytes)
TB (Terabytes)
33.6 K (Modem)33,600 bps41 mins, 36 secs
56 K (Modem)56,000 bps24 mins, 57 secs
64 K (DS-0)64,000 bps21 mins, 50 secs
128 K (ISDN)128,000 bps10 mins, 55 secs
256 K (DSL)256,000 bps5 mins, 27 secs
640 K (DSL/Cable)640,000 bps2 mins, 11 secs
768 K (DSL/Cable)768,000 bps1 min, 49 secs
T1, DS-11.544 Mbps54 secs
T3, DS-344.736 Mbps1 sec
OC-151.840 Mbps1 sec
OC-3155.520 MbpsLess than a second.
OC-12622.520 MbpsLess than a second.
OC-482.488 GbpsLess than a second.
OC-19210GbpsLess than a second.
*Note: these calculations assume a "perfect" connection at the stated speed. Actual performance will vary due to retries, latency, transmission protocol requirements, and other concurrent traffic.

Get the most from your Internet service

Maximize your Internet experience.           
The equipment you use to access the Internet affects your Internet speeds. Find out how to maximize your online experience below.

Your Computer

Our Recommended System Requirements Your computer's processor speed (CPU), memory (RAM), operating system, and your browser all affect how fast your computer performs.

Processor Speed (CPU)
The faster the processor, the faster your computer runs. We recommend a minimum of 1.5 GHz for PCs, and at least 800 MHz for Mac.
Memory (RAM)
RAM is the temporary storage place your computer uses to do its calculations. The more RAM you have, the faster your programs run. We recommend at least 1GB for PCs and Mac. More is better.
Web Browser
We recommend using the latest version of your favorite browser.
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari

Optimize your computer's Internet connectionThe Comcast TCP Optimizer is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps you make the most of your Internet connection by modifying your network settings. The Comcast TCP Optimizer is designed for Windows XP computers.

Remove Spyware from your computer
Spyware is a form of malware that transmits personally identifiable information from your computer over the Internet to another party — without your knowledge. What’s more, spyware can slow your computer down. Spyware is installed secretly on your computer when you surf the Internet.
Remove spyware from your computer by downloading and installing our Comcast Toolbar. This includes Spyware Scan, which provides you with spyware detection, cleaning, and quarantining capabilities.

Get rid of computer viruses
Included with the Constant Guard Protection Suite we offer the top-rated Norton™ Security Suite, which helps protect your computer from viruses, hackers, and online predators, and keeps your identity protected online.

Free up hard drive space Your web browser has a Temporary Internet Files cache, which contains a record of everything you’ve downloaded, such as images, web pages and cookies. This takes up space on your computer, and causes it to run slower. We recommend clearing your cache on a regular basis.

Run a Windows Defrag and Scandisk If you use Microsoft Windows, tune up your filesystem to ensure it’s running properly, with Defrag and Scandisk. Defrag defragments your disk, and organizes your filesystem to help Windows read files faster. Scandisk checks your hard drive to make sure it has no problems. We recommend running these two tools once a month to keep your computer running at peak speeds.

Your Modem

If your Internet connection seems slow, check to make sure you’re using a Comcast Approved modem. Ultra and Extreme 50 customers should use a DOCSIS 3.0 compatible modem. Then power cycle (reboot) your modem, which will also download any available updates.
Find out how to power cycle your modem. If you use a digital voice modem to access the Internet and make phone calls, here’s how to power cycle your voice modem.

Your Wireless Network Equipment

The three major wireless standards are b, g and n, with n being the newest and fastest. We recommend using an 802.11n-capable router as it provides the best coverage and fastest wireless speeds.

EasySolve - Free for XFINITY Internet Customers

Now you can download EasySolve, a troubleshooting application for XFINITY Internet. It optimizes your PC, provides outage resolutions and more, giving you a smooth Internet experience.

Download Easysolve now

Tutorial:Recording Screen Cap Videos w/Windows Media Encoder and Camstudio

How to record a video
Tutorial:Recording Screen Cap Videos w/Windows Media Encoder and Camstudio
We have 3 methods, using either the free Windows Media Encoder , the open-source software Camstudio or Jing available for the Mac (also PC).
There are some audio-sync issues with Camstudio that don't exist with Windows Media Encoder, so we recommend WME!

Tutorial:Recording Screen Cap Videos w/Windows Media Encoder
Camstudio is a great piece of open-source software for screen recording, but Microsoft's Windows Media Encoder is a much more user friendly and consistent piece of software. I recommend using it for making recordings due to both it's ease of use and file size (about 5x smaller than the camstudio produced moves = 5x shorter upload times!).

Step 1: Download and install Windows Media Encoder. It is free as long as you have a genuine copy of Windows.

Step 2: Open the program and select File -> New, then select Capture Screen and click Next


Step 3: This tutorial is going to focus on recording with the Region of the screen setting, but feel free to use Specific Window if you are only recording 1 window. So with that out of the way, select Region of the screen. If you are recording audio with your video, check the box Capture audio from the default audio device, then click Next. (If you use Specific Window, skip to step #5).


Step 4: Click the Selection Button (top button highlighted in the picture), then drag the cursor around the window you want to record. Since all videos are displayed on the site in a 640x480 window, try to capture an area with an aspect ratio of around 4:3 for best viewing. Also make sure to check Flash border during capture so you can see exactly what is being captured!


Step 5: Select any output file (just make sure you remember where you saved it!), and make sure it ends in .wmv, then click Next. On the next page select High Quality for the quality setting and click Next. On the next page you can type in your user information if you want, but it will all be lost during conversion, so to save time just leave it empty and click Finish.

Step 6: Once you are ready to start recording, click the button entitled Start Encoding!


Step 7: As soon as you are done click on the Stop button and then upload your video using the video uploader
Tutorial: Recording Screen Cap with Camstudio
We recommend recording using the open source screen-capture program CamStudio.

Step 1)
Download and Install CamStudio

Step 2)

Open "CamStudio," then go to Options-->Video Options:


Change your settings to match these. Since videos displayed on the site only have 15 frames/second, you will save uploading time by using these settings.

Step 3)

If you plan to record audio (recommended), then go to Options-->Record Audio From Microphone

Then go to Options-->Audio Options-->Audio Options for Microphone, and click the volume button at the top. Ensure the microphone volume is loud enough to record properly. You do not need to mess with any of the other audio settings.

If you are not recording audio, make sure to check Options-->Do Not Record Audio, as it will make the file size much smaller.

Step 4)

You are now ready to record!
Go to the Region menu and select Region, which indicates you will set the recording size when you start recording.

When your match is about to start, go to File-->Record and then using the mouse icon, draw a box around the region you want to record:


Helpful Hint: All videos posted on the site are shown at 640 x 480 pixels, so try to make your region around that size or slightly larger to ensure best video quality.

Step 5)

Go to File-->Stop when you are doing recording and save the file to whatever directory you would like.

Step 6)

Upload your video!

If you are still having trouble, be sure to visit our Technical Support forum
What is it?
CamStudio is able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer and create industry-standard AVI video files and using its built-in SWF Producer can turn those AVIs into lean, mean, bandwidth-friendly Streaming Flash videos (SWFs)

Publisher's Description

From Hyperionics Technology:

HyperCam captures the action and sound from any part of Windows desktop and saves it to standard AVI movie files. Captures cursor movements, menus selections, windows popping up, and everything else you see on the screen. Correctly handles color palette changes if recording in 256 color mode. Allow you to pan the recorded area around the screen. Optionally annotates recorded movies with text.
What's new in this version: Version 2.27 has fixed for selecting screen area (region or window), which did not work correctly under 150% or larger screen magnification.
Click to see larger images

Internet browser review

Internet browser review

2012 Internet Browser Software Product Comparisons

Excellent 5/5star
Very Good
Poor 0/5
Google ChromeFirefoxInternet Explorer Opera Safari Maxthon RockMelt SeaMonkey Deepnet Explorer Avant Browser
Google Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari Maxthon RockMelt SeaMonkey Deepnet Explorer Avant Browser
Reviewer CommentsRead Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review Read Review
Lowest PriceVisit Google Chrome 16Visit Firefox 9Visit Internet Explorer 9Visit Opera 11.6Visit Safari 5.1.2Visit Maxthon 3Visit RockMelt SeaMonkey 2.6.1Visit Deepnet Explorer 1.5Visit Avant Browser 3.61

Internet Browser Software Review

Why Internet Browsers?

An internet browser is a software application that enables you to browse the world wide web, locating and accessing webpages. Browsers translate HTML code, allowing you to read text, view images, play videos and listen to audio clips on websites. They also interpret hyperlinks that allow you to travel to different webpages when clicked on. While internet browsers are primarily intended to access the internet, they can also be used to access private information on web servers or through file systems.
Get online faster with a Chromebook. Buy now.

Internet Browsers: What to Look For

Heavy web users need an internet browser that is both fast and secure, and though all browsers enable internet access, not all are created equal. Different browsers can render webpages differently, and there can be a large disparity in performance between the top competitors. The three main things to consider when choosing an internet browser are simplicity, speed and security. Excelling in each of these areas, Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer are among the current best internet browsers. To learn more, check out our side-by-side comparisons and articles on internet browsers. The following is the in-depth criteria we used to evaluate the best internet browsers on the market.
Feature Set – A web browser should provide practical, convenient features that make surfing the web easy and fast. For instance, a browser should offer tabbed browsing, a customizable toolbar and an integrated search engine. For a more personalized web experience, the browser should also provide the ability to save bookmarks, set parental controls and create RSS feeds. Generally speaking, the more features an internet browser provides, the better.
Security – While online security measures have come a long way since the inception of the internet, the web is still rife with security risks, namely small-scale attacks to hack electronic data. Security features such as privacy settings, a pop-up blocker and antispyware enable safe internet surfing and help keep personal information such as passwords secure.
Speed & Compatibility – Web browsers should load quickly and be compatible with all major operating systems. We tested the speed of each browser in our lineup using the same Windows 7 system and a stopwatch, timing how quickly each one initially started up and was able to navigate between websites. A top internet browser will load and navigate between pages within just a few seconds.
Ease of Use – The best internet browsers are those that strike a seamless balance between features and ease of use. While features on a web browser are important, they become worthless if a browser’s interface hinders your ability to utilize them. Web browsers should boast an intuitive layout that fosters easy and convenient navigation.
Help & Support – Although some internet browsers are open source and therefore not supplemented with dedicated technical support, we still considered the quality of support options available. When it comes to internet browsers, available support can come in many forms, ranging from FAQs to tutorials, email support to a product manual.
While all internet browsers will provide access to the internet, selecting a fast and secure one will ensure safe and enjoyable online browsing. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™

Check your password—is it strong?

Check your password—is it strong? Check your password Your online accounts, computer files, and personal information are more secure when you use strong passwords to help protect them.

Test the strength of your passwords: Type a password into the box. Password: Strength: Weak Not ratedMedium Strong Best

Note: This does not guarantee the security of the password.
This is for your personal reference only.
What is a strong password? The strength of a password depends on the different types of characters that you use, the overall length of the password, and whether the password can be found in a dictionary.
It should be 8 or more characters long. For tips about how to create passwords that are easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess, read Create strong passwords.
About this password strength checker Microsoft does not retain information entered into this password checker. The password you enter is checked and validated on your computer. It is not sent over the Internet.

Tutorial of: How to create strong password?

Create strong passwords

Create strong passwords

A strong password is an important protection to help you have safer online transactions. Here are steps you can take to create a strong password. Some or all might help protect your online transactions:
  • Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters.
  • Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing "and" to "&" or "to" to "2."
  • Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months.
  • Variety. Don't use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.
There are many ways to create a long, complex password. Here are some suggestions that might help you remember it easily:
What to doExample
Start with a sentence or two.Complex passwords are safer.
Remove the spaces between the words in the sentence.Complexpasswordsaresafer.
Turn words into shorthand or intentionally misspell a word.ComplekspasswordsRsafer.
Add length with numbers. Put numbers that are meaningful to you after the sentence.ComplekspasswordsRsafer2011.

More strategies for strong passwords

Test your password with a password checker

A password checker evaluates your password's strength automatically. Try our secure password checker.

Avoid common password pitfalls

Cyber criminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly decipher passwords.
Avoid creating passwords that use:
  • Dictionary words in any language.
  • Words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
  • Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty).
  • Personal information. Your name, birthday, driver's license, passport number, or similar information.

How I protect my computer against Hackers, Spyware and Viruses

1. Install Anti-Virus Software 

-This should not even have to be listed, if you don’t have anti-virus software installed, you’re asking for trouble! And if your reason for not installing anti-virus software is because it’s too expensive, then that can reason can be shot down because there are several free anti-virus programs out there that are considered better than commercial software packages. Here are two of the most popular ones:

AVG Anti-Virus – Very good and completely free.
Avast Anti-Virus – Almost on par with AVG.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus – Not free, but one of the best detection rates.

2. Update All Software
- Installing an anti-virus program by itself is not enough. There are hundreds of new threats that are found daily and the anti-virus programs release updates regularly to combat the new threats. Make sure you anti-virus program is set to update automatically so that you don’t have to rely on your memory to do it.
 Also, this goes for all the software on your computer. The most important software to keep up to date is your Windows operating system. It is essential to have Automatic Updates turned on and set to download and install updates automatically.

3. Install only Trusted Software
 - If you’re not sure what a piece of software does from it’s name, then don’t install it. Also, don’t install anything you didn’t intend to install in the first place. Sometimes programs will ask you to install other programs during the install of the first application. Be careful of that because it’s usually spyware. Install software from big names sites only, such as Microsoft or Adobe.

4. Avoid P2P File Sharing Software
– If used with great caution, P2P software is quite useful for movies, songs and software, but if you’re not very technically savvy, you might end up downloading a song that has a keystroke logger attached to it that will send anything you type to some other computer over the Internet. It’s almost impossible to tell that this is occurring unless your anti-virus or anti-spyware programs pick it up in their scans.

5. Delete Unknown Emails
– If you receive emails from random people’s names, do not bother to open the email, just delete it. If you have any doubts after reading the name and the subject, it’s probably not someone you know. Never download or open attachments unless you are sure it’s from someone you know. Give the person a call quickly and ask them if you’re not sure. Most large companies that you create online accounts with will not send you attachments unless you specifically ask for them through their web site. Also, be wary of any emails from sites pretending to be banks, auction sites, etc asking for you to verify bank account info or address info. No bank ever does that.

6. Do not click on Ads
- Avoid clicking on ads if you can. Especially those ads where something is flying around and if you shoot the duck, you win some prize! Ads have become more sophisticated in that they try to make the ad interactive so that you’ll be tempted to play it like a game.

7. Run Virus Scans Regularly
– If you’re not in the mood to scan every day, at least run a scan once a week. Actually, setup a schedule for your computer in your anti-virus software to run a scan late at night or whenever you don’t use your computer and that way you won’t be bothered with a slow computer.

8. Be careful what you attach to your computer
– This is a more common way to transfer viruses than you might think. Everyone now has a USB flash stick that they carry around on their key chains, ready to snap into any computer. But who knows what your viruses are on your friends computers and what accidentally got transferred to their USB stick. A lot of virus programs will auto launch right when the USB stick is put into the computer, so you don’t even have to open or download any of the files to be infected.

9. Avoid Shady Web Sites
– If you need to look at porn, then make sure you do it in a virtual environment. You are DEFINITELY going to get some virus or spyware if you browse porn sites on your computer. Virtualization basically allows you to run programs like Internet Explorer in a virtual environment that does not effect your current operating system. If you want to find out more, search for “Virtual PC” or “VM Ware” in Google. Otherwise, simply avoid going to shady web sites!

10. Turn On or Install a Firewall
- If you’re running Windows XP, make sure Windows Firewall is turned on. A firewall prevents hackers from gaining access to your computer by limiting the number of ports that are open to the public. Also, when buying a wireless router, make sure it has a built in firewall. Having a software and hardware firewall is better than just having one or the other.

11. Secure Your Wireless Network
– Most wireless routers are set to no security when you install them. Be sure to log into the router and at least set the basic security that requires a password. There are stronger encryption options, but if you don’t understand those, then simply set a password on the router, otherwise anyone can connect to your home network and access everything.

12. Use a Complex Password for Login
– This means that you should already have a password to login to your computer. Not having a password at all is not a good idea. Create a password for all user accounts and make sure it’s complex. Complex means it should have numbers, upper case characters, lower case characters, and symbols. This makes it way more difficult for a hacker to get into your computer.

How to boost your malware defense and protect your PC Free computer protection to help secure your computer against malware:

Build up your computer's defenses Do not be tricked into downloading malware Build up your malware defenses Install antivirus and antispyware programs from a trusted source Never download anything in response to a warning from a program you didn't install or don't recognize that claims to protect your PC or offers to remove viruses. It is highly likely to do the opposite.

Get reputable anti-malware programs from a vendor you trust. Microsoft Security Essentials offers free real-time protection against malicious software for your PC.

Or, choose from a list of Microsoft partners who provide anti-malware software.

Update software regularly Cybercriminals are endlessly inventive in their efforts to exploit vulnerabilities in software, and many software companies work tirelessly to combat these threats.
That is why you should: Regularly install updates for all your software—antivirus and antispyware programs, browsers (like Windows Internet Explorer), operating systems (like Windows), and word processing and other programs.

Subscribe to automatic software updates whenever they are offered—for example, you can automatically update all Microsoft software. Uninstall software that you don't use. You can remove it using Windows Control Panel.

Use strong passwords and keep them secret Strong passwords are at least 14 characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Find out how to create them.
Don't share passwords with anyone. Don’t use the same password on all sites. If it is stolen, all the information it protects is at risk.
Create different strong passwords for the router and the wireless key of your wireless connection at home.
 Find out how from the company that provides your router. Never turn off your firewall A firewall puts a protective barrier between your computer and the Internet.
Turning it off for even a minute increases the risk that your PC will be infected with malware.
Use flash drives cautiously Minimize the chance that you'll infect your computer with malware: Don't put an unknown flash (or thumb) drive into your PC.

Hold down the SHIFT key when you insert the drive into your computer.

 If you forget to do this, click in the upper-right corner to close any flash drive-related pop-up windows. Don't open files on your drive that you're not expecting.

Don't be tricked into downloading malware Instead, follow this advice: Be very cautious about opening attachments or clicking links in email or IM, or in posts on social networks (like Facebook)—even if you know the sender. Call to ask if a friend sent it; if not, delete it or close the IM window.

Avoid clicking Agree, OK, or I accept in banner ads, in unexpected pop-up windows or warnings, on websites that may not seem legitimate, or in offers to remove spyware or viruses.
Instead, press CTRL + F4 on your keyboard. If that doesn’t close the window, press ALT + F4 on your keyboard to close the browser. If asked, close all tabs and don’t save any tabs for the next time you start the browser.
Only download software from websites you trust. Be cautious of "free" offers of music, games, videos, and the like. They are notorious for including malware in the download.