Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Top Tips For Using VPNs

Top Tips For Using VPNs

Connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot on your laptop or phone carries risks, because the security may not be very good and it is possible that someone could snoop on your internet activity. A VPN (virtual private network) creates a secure and encrypted connection between you and the VPN server, bypassing anyone that might try to look at what you are doing, including the owner of the hotspot.

A VPN is especially useful for online shopping, banking and anything that requires you to log in, because it adds a layer of almost uncrackable security. Some VPNs such as Hotspot Shield ( will detect when you are using an insecure public Wi-Fi hotspot and automatically switch on to secure it. A VPN can be manually enabled, too – just don’t forget to switch it on!

Best free sticky-notes software

Best free sticky-notes software

Is your workspace drowning in a sea of Post-It notes? Chuck them out and transfer their vital information to the Desktop of your PC. Andy Shaw tests six of the best tools to do it

Why Your Wi-Fi Is Still Slow

Why Your Wi-FI Is Still Slow

Don’t put up with slow, unreliable internet. Wayne Williams explains how you can identify the causes of a weak connection and quickly get back up to speed

Recent research by Ofcom ( found that the average download speed for home broadband in the UK is now an impressive 37Mbps (although some rural areas struggle to get 2Mbps). But that doesn’t mean everyone enjoys superfast speeds all the time.

Running a test using a tool such as Ookla Speedtest ( may confirm that your connection isn’t as fast as it should be, but it won’t tell you how to fix the problem. In this feature, we explain the most common reasons for slow internet and reveal the secret tweaks that unlock extra speed.

Over the following six pages, we look at which hardware upgrades are worth the money, the router settings you should be using and the main causes of weak Wi-Fi and common network problems. We also explain how you can test your connection speed, so you can find out exactly where the dead spots are in your home and what improvements your changes have made.