NetBalancer gives your the proper priority to your internet activities

Even in today’s world of high speed internet and wide pipes, prioritizing and monitoring what takes up the bulk of that personal bandwidth can be important.  If you have large files that you need to transfer quickly then pulling back incidental network traffic can be important. If you have small things that you’d rather move in front of that large file transfer, throttling the large transfer in favor of the low hanging fruit may provide the win.  That’s why I like NetBalancer. It’s a network utility for Windows.

NetBalancer allows you to browse and complete any internet activity easily, even when transferring huge files from one end point to another.  All you need to do is lower their network priority with NetBalancer. You can use NetBalancer to set network transfer rate priorities for any application, and monitor that traffic.

Applications with a higher network priority will gain more traffic bandwidth than those with a lower one. You can set download and upload speed limits for a process. You can manage priorities and limits for each network adaptor (wired vs. wireLESS, for example).  In short, you can define detailed network traffic rules.  You can group local network computers together, and synchronize and balance their network traffic.

The app provides a volume of information, including a system tray monitor and graphical representation of both traffic coming in and out of your adapters. While the free version is limited, the paid version is reasonably priced and depending on the amount of bandwidth you consume every month, may be well worth the purchase price.

read full review | download NetBalancer

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AT&T-Mo – I Love you, but I’m not IN Love with You

AT&T has finally admitted defeat in its proposed $39B USD takeover of GSM rival, T-Mobile USA. So… NOW what?

I saw the news a few weeks ago and part of me was both relieved and sad.  AT&T has given up on consummating its proposed $39B USD takeover of GSM rival, T-Mobile USA. So the big question left for us Monday Morning Quarter backs is simple – Now what?

In their announcement, AT&T chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson, indicates that the transaction was about spectrum and capacity – meaning that AT&T can’t meet the needs of its customers without the ability to add additional capacity to their network.  They need wireless spectrum to satisfy the needs of their LTE rollout while still keeping their EDGE, UMTS and HPSA/HPSA+ networks functioning. Now that they’ve dropped the transaction they owe Deutsche Telekom a great deal of money and, interestingly enough, wireless spectrum.  In a press released late in the afternoon on December 19th, Stephenson states,

“To reflect the break-up considerations due Deutsche Telekom, AT&T will recognize a pretax accounting charge of $4 billion in the 4th quarter of 2011.  Additionally, AT&T will enter a mutually beneficial roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom.”

What I’m most interested in is the “mutually beneficial roaming agreement.”  There’s no additional information on this at this time. I can find no details on the agreement or what this means to either AT&T or T-Mobile USA.  If it means that T-Mo users will have access to AT&T’s 3G network and vice-versa, that…would be awesome. That could enable 3G speeds on all unlocked iPhones on T-Mo.  It could provide AT&T customers with additional stability (meaning less dropped calls) …but without the details on the roaming agreement, this is really speculation at best.

It’s also been reported that T-Mobile has been refarming some of their spectrum and networks in Utah, Nevada, and Northern California to use the 1900mHz band for 3G.  Even in these areas, it’s not wide spread, and in small pockets.  However, unlocked iPhones (as well as other unlocked phones that make use of the 1900mHz band) in those areas are getting 3G speeds, on T-Mobile.  One can only hope that they do more of this, and perhaps arrange the AT&T roaming agreement to enable this, in larger areas.

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Create ad-hoc VPN’s and protect your internet activity with Hamachi

I hate trolls!
You know what I mean…those individuals that skulk around looking for an opportunity to tap into your network or file transmissions with the intent of stealing your sensitive information.  Those kinds of people just really bother me. Over and above the fact that mean people stink, what I send to another person or website is no one’s business but my own (and the other person designated as the information receiver). That’s why I really like applications like Hamachi. It’s a multiplatform secure networking tool that works for both Windows and Mac.

With Hamachi, you can create virtual private networks on-demand. LogMeIn’s Hamachi is a hosted VPN service that lets you securely extend LAN-like networks to distributed teams, mobile workers and your gamer friends alike, in minutes. With it, you can remotely network printers, cameras, gaming consoles and more, all on demand and all over the web.

When implemented, users are provided access to your network resources, from a centralized gateway, without modifying firewalls or network routers.  You can provide user access
to specific computers, printers, drives, etc. Hamachi also allows you to connect all of your network clients to each other.  You can quickly and easily create a simple, virtual, mesh network that allows remote machines to directly connect to each other, thereby giving users basic network access to all the network resources they need, all while using 256-bit SSL encryption, employing the same level of security as your bank, over both public and private networks.

read full review | download Hamachi

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Turn any USB HDD into a Network Storage Device with LaPlug

Have you ever wanted to turn a USB hard drive (or key) into a Wireless network storage device ? There is an interesting way to do this with a device called LaPlug.

LaPlug can be used to share personal files such as vacation or birthday photos with family and friends wirelessly. The device can stream multimedia content and back up multiple computers to one central location. Even better, all this functionality can be achieved with a USB hard drive(s) you may already have. All you need to do is to connect LaPlug to the network and connect the USB drive(s) to the LaPlug and you’ll have a Wireless network storage device. Moreover, you can connect a USB printer to the LaPlug and make it wirelessly available to all computers on the network. LaPlug also supports remote access. Instead of emailing large files between friends, you can simply give them access to the LaPlug – all they need is an Internet connection. You can even set up a custom web address so access to the LaPlug as easy as typing a URL.

Shortly, LaPlus can be used to:

  • Plug and share USB disks or printers on your network
  • Access your files from any computer, even remotely
  • Stream your media wirelessly on your gaming console
  • Easy automatic backup; Time Machine compatible

The LaPlug retail price: $74.99. More info here.

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NetworkMiner seeks hidden traffic

NetworkMiner is a Network Forensic Analysis Tool (NFAT) for Windows. NetworkMiner can be used as a passive network sniffer/packet capturing tool in order to detect operating systems, sessions, hostnames, open ports etc. without putting any traffic on the network. NetworkMiner can also parse PCAP files for off-line analysis and to regenerate/reassemble transmitted files and certificates from PCAP files.

The purpose of NetworkMiner is to collect data (such as forensic evidence) about hosts on the network rather than to collect data regarding the traffic on the network. The main view is host centric (information grouped per host) rather than packet centric (information showed as a list of packets/frames).

NetworkMiner has, since the first release in 2007, become popular tool among incident responce teams as well as law enforcement. NetworkMiner is today used by companies and organizations all over the world.

The professional edition comes installed on a specially designed USB flash drive. You can run NetworkMiner directly from the USB flash drive since NetworkMiner is a portable application that doesn’t require any installation. It is recommended that you copy NetworkMiner to the local hard drive of your computer in order to achieve maximum performance.

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Sony Online Entertainment also hacked

Further investigations in the PSNetwork security breach brings bad news for Sony. Its multiplayer game service was also hacked. Known as Sony Online Entertainment, the service is the second major victim of a huge hack attack on the Sony’s most ‘moneymaker’ products. PlayStation chief Kaz Hirai declared on Sunday that the credit card details of nearly 10 million PSN users may have been acquired illegally.

The damage doesn’t stop here. Another 10,700 bank account numbers have been stolen from the SOE network, property of users outside US (Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain). The first lawsuit against Sony’s latest security issues comes from a user in Alabama, and this is just the beginning of a wave of legal scrutiny.

read PSN down for the seventh day | read PlayStation Network will be back up this week

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PSN down for the seventh day

Like all the other PS 3 users I was unable to connect to their online service this week. I wasn’t very upset because I’m not huge fan of this product, but I’m still amazed how could a bunch of hackers destroy the image and eventually the business of such a huge company.

Today is the seventh day when the PSNetwork is down and will remain so until further analyzes. The access to the service seems to have been banned by the company itself from the moment they found out their service was hacked. At the moment there are only rumors circulating the internet, but it seems that personal information such as name, address, e-mail, birthday, and PSN login information were obtained by the hackers. It is not confirmed if the purchase history and also credit card information may have been compromised as well.

The only thing I’m sure is that Sony will have to rebuild the PSN infrastructure and to invest a lot in marketing assuring the customers that their system is secure again. Until then, expect the unexpected!

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Joost To Become The World’s Largest Video Platform

Adconion Media Group, an independent global audience and content network, announced today its board of directors approved Adconion’s video product, Joost Video Network, to be spun off into a separate standalone business with the intent to form the world’s largest video platform effective immediately. The newly launched Joost, a digital media company, will be dedicated to providing premium branded solutions for advertisers and brand marketers seeking to reach their targeted audience with engaging and high impact in-stream and in-banner video advertising. The new unit will be led by Nick Higgins as executive vice- president, where he was previously the head of global video at Adconion Media Group. Prior to joining Adconion, Higgins was at MSN where he held several senior positions over the last 10 years.

Joost also offers branded entertainment services through its partnership with RedLever, a state-of-the-art, global studio specializing in developing and producing brand-integrated content for the Web. And as a standalone business unit, Joost will benefit from a better-defined, more distinct and expanded role in the video marketplace. The new unit will concentrate on leveraging its core strengths in three primary areas:

- Owned and operated Joost.com which includes pre-roll, in-banner and site skinning capabilities among;

- Exclusive partnerships including exclusive site and inventory representation as well as exclusive content; and

- Premium relationships which includes but not limited to pre-roll and display network, in-banner videos and Joost distributable player

Joost will continue to focus on building its premium video network but will now also increase its exclusive audience and global reach across it’s owned and operated Joost.com, and will continue to sign exclusive site representation deals with leading video and entertainment sites. The new unit will improve its market visibility as an online, brand-centric video provider of choice, and will be able to react even faster to client needs and dynamic market changes.

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