Author Archives: Fred Langa

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.

Beware bogus ‘Security Essentials’ downloads!

What’s a sure sign of success? If you’re a Microsoft product, you become the favorite target of hackers — and the newest mark is Security Essentials.

Hackers are offering fake copies of the popular security app to snare the unwary — but a few simple steps easily thwart this ploy.

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Avoid the security risk of shortened URLs

The compact URLs produced by services such as TinyURL, bit.ly, is.gd, and many others are convenient and save space, but they can also be used to hide the identity of malicious sites.

Fortunately, there are several ways to peek behind a shortened URL to see exactly where the link will take you — before you click it!

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An old PC speed-up hoax reappears

Like bad pennies and Nigerian money scams, those bogus offers to speed up your online connection keep coming back.

Most of these speedup come-ons give bad advice — disable Windows’ networking Quality of Service feature.

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Windows XP: Looking back, looking forward

On October 22, Microsoft pulled the plug on sales of Windows XP, ending the operating system’s spectacular nine-year run.

With no new copies being sold, support for XP will start to decline. Fortunately, XP’s long run has produced a ton of collected wisdom: everything you need to keep your copy going strong and — when ready — to help you move on.

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Finding a cure may mean looking elsewhere

Sometimes, what seems to be a networking problem is actually caused by the actions of a totally different PC subsystem.

By making simple adjustments to that second system, you can often resolve the networking problem.

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What speed LAN hardware do you really need?

It’s always tempting to buy the fastest-possible hardware, but sometimes it’s just a waste of money.

Fortunately, some free tests can help you ensure that your networking gear is the right speed for the tasks you actually perform.

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Simple change in settings pumps up Win7 networks

Windows 7 has many good things going for it, but home networking is not always one of them.

But with just two quick clicks within Win7’s Advanced sharing settings, you can improve your local network throughput by as much as 12%.

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