Identify and troubleshoot wireless networking connections with inSSIDer

inssider_iconMost everything that computes today is wireless.  There’s more wireless networks broadcasting signals near where you are right now than you might think. The problem is, connecting to a network you’re authorized to connect to isn’t always easy. Its for this reason that apps like insider are an important part of any Windows utility toolbox.

inSSIDer for Home helps you measure the signal strength of available Wi-Fi signals and networks and attempts to estimate their performance. The app can show you how walls, stairways, and doors affect your wireless network coverage, and can most likely help you choose the best place to put your wireless router, access point or signal repeater.

All Wi-Fi must share channels with other electronic devices, including other wireless networks and signals.  If there are too many networks sharing or overlapping a channel, your network speed and performance can suffer. inSSIDer helps you find the best channel for your Wi-Fi network.

inSSIDer

Many local governments and municipalities may require your Wi-Fi signal to be secured.  Running your wireless network wide open so that anyone can use it isn’t really a good idea.  If you have a bandwidth cap, it can easily be exceeded.  There have also been reports of people hacking corporate networks with unsecured Wi-Fi signals.  Securing your network is important, and inSSIDer can help you set and determine which security settings your Wi-Fi is using, reducing the risk of unauthorized access into your home network.

iSSIDer is an interesting app. I wish I had something like this on the Mac side of the world. Its displays are cool, and provide you with the information it needs to get your network running well. I had a great deal of trouble installing the software however, especially on my Windows 8 machines (I have two…) It failed to install on both of them. The app requires .NET Framework to run, but does not include the components as part of the installation file, and it needs to.

download inSSIDer

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Eggrr a handy RSS tool

Sometimes you don’t want or need to read an entire article. Sometimes you just want to quickly skim the headlines. Sometimes, getting the internet to work for you can be difficult.  This is why I like Eggrr. It’s an easy to use RSS tool for Windows.

One of the nicest things about the internet is that it has a lot of information on it.  You can find subject matter on just about everything that interests you.  News, technology, video, audio…it’s all there, waiting for you to sort through it.  Eggrr is an RSS (really simple syndication) aggregator. It gather’s content in specific categories and presents summaries to you. If you want more, you can surf to the article from within the application.  Eggrr can even pull down audio and video content, like podcasts, for you to listen to after they’ve been posted.

The application is easy to use, but we bumped into a couple of issues with it while installing and trying to use it. The application requires that you install Flash. Unfortunately, it wanted to install an outdated version of Flash.  It also requires a great deal of MS middleware (like .NET Framework) and the download and install of those components took nearly three times as long to pull down and install than the application did.

The app’s website also has very little information on the application itself. Finding out what it did and any other product or marketing information on it wasn’t really possible.  The best way to learn about it is to install it and give it a go; but not everyone wants to learn about products that way.

download Eggrr

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