Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Is your router being hacked?

Is your router being hacked

Hackers don’t just want to break into your PC – they’re after your router, too. Jane Hoskyn explains how to keep your internet connection safe

You know your PC can be hacked, you know your phone can be hacked and there seem to be new stories every day about websites being hacked. But your router?

Routers are actually very easy for hackers to break into. This is partly because your antivirus isn’t designed to protect your router, but mainly because we tend to be blasé about our router settings. When’s the last time you changed your router’s password or scanned it for malware? Exactly.

Here we’ll show you how to check your router for invaders, then kick them out and keep them out.

50 most useful Command Prompt commands. Part 1

50 most useful Command Prompt commands

In the first of a new series, Jane Hoskyn introduces your PC’s oldest – and most powerful – hidden tool

The Windows Command Prompt (‘command line’) is your PC’s last living link to MS-DOS. It’s barely aged a day and remains one of Windows’ most powerful tools, but it’s sorely under-used. No surprise, really: it’s stuffed with jargon and looks like something a nostalgic hacker would dream about.

Canon PIXMA MX495

Canon PIXMA MX495

A do-it all printer/scanner for the home

Manufacturers don’t make money from basic inkjet printers these days. Plenty in ink, but not the actual printers. Piling on more features is one way manufacturers try to stop the price falling so low that they’re actually paying you. So here’s the PIXMA MX495, another multifunction printer (MFP) that can print, scan, copy, and send/receive faxes.

XYZprinting da Vinci Jr

XYZprinting da Vinci Jr

The cheapest 3D printer so far

An affordable 3D printer that anyone can use? Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. We keep being promised machines that can output solid objects as easily as a Word file. But we get Heath Robinson contraptions that cost £1,000 and, after we spend three weeks asking people on the internet why nothing’s working, the printer takes all night to produce a cracked plastic blob.

Samsung Galaxy A3

Samsung Galaxy A3

A metal phone for the price of plastic one

Compared with Apple’s, it’s hard to see other smartphones without one word springing to mind: plastic. But Samsung finally went metal with last year’s Galaxy Alpha, and now you can get the same cool silvery durability (it also comes in black) in a mobile that costs less than £200 without a contract. It’s also available free with tariffs from under £20 a month.

Windows 10: Should You Upgrade?

Windows 10

Microsoft’s new operating system is finally here – but is it right for you? Jonathan Parkyn has all the information you need to decide whether to upgrade

After months of waiting, fuelled by expectation, rumour and more than a little confusion, Windows 10 is finally here.

As you’ll know by now, Microsoft’s new operating system (OS) brings a number of key improvements, but it will still feel familiar to all Windows users – which couldn’t be said for its predecessor, Windows 8, which was dramatically different from Windows 7. Windows 10, by contrast, is essentially a streamlined version of Windows as we’ve known it for years. It’s also safer, faster and, for a large number of people, completely free.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

A giant tablet with a built-in projector

There’s a reason why we talk about the march of technology – not the sprint. When you look back 20 years, of course, it’s absolutely amazing what we have now. But that doesn’t mean every new gizmo that gets made arrives in the Computeractive office to a collective gasp of astonishment. Week by week, we can pretty much guess what Silicon Valley is going to throw at us next. A slimmer this. A faster that... yadda yadda. Sometimes – and don’t tell the boss we said this – but it can all begin to feel rather predictable.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

Laptop? Tablet? Windows 10 helps to blur the lines

On your first glance at this very compact portable PC, you might be forgiven for thinking the ‘netbook’ was making a comeback. On closer inspection, however, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 E is a ‘convertible’: a touchscreen laptop that also works as a tablet. It comes with the full Desktop version of Windows 8.1, and is ready for a free upgrade to Windows 10.

HP Pavilion Mini

HP Pavilion Mini

A desktop computer, but smaller

There are two ways to make a desktop PC easier on the eye and therefore easier to live with: tart it up or stick it where the sun don’t shine. HP’s Pavilion Mini offers both options. It’s clinically curvy (like the equipment at a posh dentist’s) and it’s so small that, instead of wedging it under your desk, you can hide it behind a monitor, speaker or pot plant.