Archive for February, 2017


no internet connection and the shortfalls of help desk.

Have you lost your internet connection yet have a solid DSL or ADSL light?

Having a DSL light active, green and solid on your modem can be confusing for you, and the ISP help desk people. We receive many calls where help desk or ISP support staff do not have the advantage of being onsite, and find certain difficulties to explore the possibilities with the customer who may not be very familiar with cables, modem lights, isolation testing. Many people get so exasperated by technology when it doesn’t work that stress levels can take over and helping with troubleshooting tasks gets limited by this stress and no familiarity with the hardware or its interfaces.

Recently we seen a customer with a solid DSL light. Because the DSL was active the ISP argued that the connection was active but the customer had #nointernetconnection. The ISP chimed out on the support call suggesting the problem was at the customers end.

It wasn’t. And it’s a common story. We were able to get the internet connection back by an extended isolation with line sync and port reset. This suggests the problem was with the ISP all long. For home and small business owners to deal with help desk/support people who assert the problem is at their end tends to compound the existing disaster.

Another case of the customer who had 10 IT support people come into his home in the space of a year.

The customer had wifi dead zones in bedrooms and a lounge area in an average size suburban home. He had the local computer shop IT guys come over, he had an iinet technical support team come around, he was persistent but each IT guy had a different reason why this was happening, but no one was able to resolve it. In this case the problem was a group of interrelated issues and once identified we resolved the problem within an hour and without replacing the modem.

See our facebook page.


The end of the Outlook junk spam filter in 2017

Microsoft is ending support for the junk spam filter known as Smartscreen technology. At a time when email spam and phishing emails are at an all time high why is Microsoft ending support for Smartscreen? It’s worked well over the years because of the Bayesian technology and when your inbox starts getting 100 spam emails a day you are going to wonder how you are going to live without it. User trends such as cloud based computing is driving the change to Exchange Online Protection and ATP Advanced Threat Protection.

For those who do not use Office 365, Sharepoint, or Exchange Online, some ISP’s have some type of spam protection, others don’t. Some ISP’s will no doubt start charging (as one notable ISP has been doing for years with poor results if their forums are a gauge of spam filtering success or failure). Small business with their own domain name will probably have spam protection but it will need to be enabled, computers configured to work with the filter, and some basic education for end users.

Here are a few basic tips to help you avoid being seen as a live candidate and get on email spam lists:

  1. don’t open an email that is obvious spam
  2. don’t reply to a spammer to abuse them
  3. don’t delete email, this action is likely to send a signal that you are live. Sending an email to spam folder does not send this signal.
  4. don’t use your own email on forums and for sale sites, get a throwaway email address
  5. report unwanted (spam) email from your local liquor store or real estate to to help discourage our sacred inbox becoming a marketing portal.
  6. have an anti spam software solution in place

Don’t put up with spam every day. It uses bandwidth and is a complete waste of time and makes people angry. We provide an easy support solution via remote access to log in to your computer and configure for both home and small business, home office etc. There is a basic one hour charge to configure antispam measures which is better than dealing with spam everyday.


Where did all my bandwidth go? Windows 10

Microsoft may not understand that here in Australia we have less than half the internet speed and bandwidth allocated to us per month than Europe, America, and most Asian countries. The new feature in Windows 10 designed to take the load off windows update servers is the botnet microsoft has created to allow your computer to update other people computers. Here is where we can expect problems in Australia for non fibre-to-the-node, otherwise or formally known as NBN.

One of our customers for example has a 10gb monthly allowance and rang us to ask us to investigate why they used 8gb in just one day.

We looked into the “usage app” new to Windows 10. Just type usage then choose the usage overview. This is a pretty basic inbuilt app looking at the last 30 days. Then click on usage details to see which apps are chewing into your GB allowance. It is always the last 30 days, and no reset button or ability to view the last 7 days.

So, to have greater control over what we see I downloaded the windows 10 usage app which offers a two page spread sheet with a graph to give you a visual idea of where your data is going.

If your system is using too much data allowance under the system app and leaving you with a shaped internet, then you may need to turn off the Microsoft update other computers on the internet.

Need help? We offer a 7 day a week remote login service for our Australian customers.