Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Networking can be complex and difficult, and the various versions of Windows, while attempting to make easier, often end up with exactly the opposite result. Windows networking is hard.

Does turning off Network Discovery improve wireless security?

Unfortunately, network sniffing is a very simple thing to do and it has actually nothing to do with the network discovery option.

How can I tell what internet activity is happening on my machine?

Network activity can happen for many reasons from expected to benign to malicious. There are free tools that allow you to easily see what's happening.

How do I contact my network administrator for my home computer?

Some Windows messages indicate something was set by your network administrator or just the administrator. That's probably you, even if you didn't do it.

How do I get rid of unused network icons in my taskbar notification area?

The area of you Windows taskbar near the clock can have an icon for every network connection. We'll look at how to get only those you care about.

How do I share files on my Windows 7 machine with my Windows XP machine?

Windows networking is difficult, to put it mildly. I'll walk through setting up a share and connecting to it, and explain why it's not terribly secure.

How do I tell if my ethernet is encrypted?

Ethernet LAN does not imply (or provide) any encryption. It is simply a method to get data packets from point A to Point B. It's up to you to set up any encryption.

My internet connection status shows millions of packets when I'm not doing anything; do I have a virus?

A lot of network traffic can mean several things. It can mean that you're doing a lot on the internet or it could mean that some malware is.

Why am I being told I'm connected when I'm not?

If your computer is connecting unexpectedly, there are things you should check. You may have spyware, or your email program may have a mind of its own.

Why can't my Windows 7 machines 'see' each other on my network?

In Windows 7, the firewall is on by default. Sometimes, the firewall will actually prevent machines from seeing one another, even within your local LAN.

Why didn't my gigabit network card result in better performance?

Gigabit network cards hold the promise of faster connections and operations. The key is knowing where your other bottlenecks might be.

Why does my dial-up connection drop every so often?

Dial-up connections can drop because of noise on the line. There are several sources to look for and only one remedy.