NETWORKING AND BEYOND
the peripheries of networking including best practices, an array of
cool apps for your smartphone and a look at virtual private networks
A look at apps: iPhone and Android
an internet connection is okay, but do you know that you can use your
phone to control your computer? Or use your computer to send text
messages via your phone using your computer? By installing a few
innovative apps, you can make full use of the potential that your phone
has to offer.
First let's take a look at some useful Android apps.
This tiny app gives you the freedom to use your computers keyboard to type your SMS. After you've installed the app, go to Settings > Language and Keyboard and check "WiFiKeyboard". Touch "Select Input Method" and select "WiFiKeyboard" to set it as your default keyboard.
To use this, you must connect your phone and compute to a Wi-Fi network. Once connected, open your browser and go to http://18.104.22.168:1111.
If you want to type a message, open New Message on your phone and while
the text box is highlighted, start typing in your browser to see the
text in your phone.
To go back to your default keyboard, long press the text field and select "Input Method" and select your default keyboard.
might already use this to share files with your friends on your
computer but now you can use it to share files on your phone too. Sign
up for an account if you already don’t have one and install the app. If
you share any file in Dropbox on your computer, you can use your phone
to access it any where and vice versa.
Once installed you
can see all the files you've shared on your computer and you're free to
download as many times as you want. You can also choose to upload files
from your phone to view them later on your laptop.
browsing the web on your computer and you find an interesting link
which you want to share on whatsapp or just want to save it on your
phone, what do you do? Mail it to yourself? The mobile Firefox app
offers a better solution. You can sync your browser to your computer and
have access to your browser history, bookmarks, passwords and open tabs
from any device. It also has Add-ons to customise your browser. Now you
can bookmark links on your computer to access them on your phone with
just a few clicks.
To sync your phone:
1. Go to Firefox Options and click on the Sync tab
2. Click on "Set up Sync and Create a New Account".
3. After you've filled your details, you'll see a security key, save it.
4. Once you've created an account, click on “Add a Device".
5. You'll see a window that asks you for a code.
Open Firefox in your device and go to Preferences. Under the Sync menu,
touch Connect and you'll see the code you have to enter.
7. Enter the Code. Once the code is verified your device will be synced.
8. You can choose what to sync from the Sync tab
If you're a Chrome user, you'll have to wait a while because the
official app for Chrome (Chrome to Phone) is not yet available in India.
Remote Gallery 3D
you've just come back from a trip clicking a lot of photos on your
mobile. But if you want to show many people, you'd have to transfer them
to a computer or pass your phone around so that everyone can get a good
look. Remote Gallery 3D is a free app that can show your pictures on
your PC/Mac/TV with just one tap from your Android phone. You don't need
a USB cable or any other software, just your regular browser and a
Just install the app from the market and
connect your PC and mobile to a Wi-Fi network. Run the app and follow
the simple instructions to view the pictures on your PC. You can choose
to download or edit them and even secure them with a password.
many times have you left home leaving your torrents on only to realise
later that they used up all your bandwidth? uTorrent Remote is a nice
little app that will allow you to monitor and manage the uTorrent
downloads on your PC or Mac from anywhere you get an internet
connection. You can use uTorrent Remote to add, remove, start, stop
torrents and check your download progress and check your RSS feeds and
start downloads on the go. Use your mobile browser to find torrents and
they will automatically be added to your home uTorrent. All the
completed downloads can even be shifted directly back to your Android
device for local playback.
an app that lets your phone control your PC no matter where you are!
PhoneMyPC is an exciting tool that lets you use your PCs from any
Android device as long as you have an internet connection.
All you need to do is download the app from the market for a fee and
install a small software on your PC and you're ready to go. After you've
installed the PC app, enter your desired username and password and
Once you've done this, run the app on your mobile and go to settings.
the same username and password and your mobile will be connected to
your computer and you'll get a notification on your computer. You mobile
will display your computer screen and you can take complete control of
your PC. You can create and delete files, play music, install software
etc. You can also attach a camera to your computer and monitor your
children or listen through an attached mic.
is a cool Apple app that lets you control iTunes and Apple TV using
your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad over your Wi-Fi network. You can choose
playlists, songs, and albums just like you would in iTunes. You can
also control every aspect of your Apple TV user interface. You can
quickly type using your device's keyboard instead of clicking each
letter on the Apple TV screen. You can pause, rewind, fast forward,
shuffle and control volume on each speaker independently. You can create
and edit playlists in iTunes and even control Shared Libraries on
iTunes and the new Apple TV.
Mobile Mouse Pro
of using your touchpad? Convert your iPhone into a mouse. Mobile Mouse
instantly transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into a wireless remote
for your computer so you can sit back and use this remote to surf the
web, browse your photo library or control your music player from the
comfort of your couch. Using the built in accelerometer, it translate
your hand motions into mouse movements on your screen. You can also use
it in trackpad mode; in this mode you can control your mouse with a
single finger just like your laptop touchpad. Mobile Mouse uses an
innovative application notification system to let the iPhone know what
program you're running at any time and show the appropriate keys for
that program. So if you're using a media player, it will show you the
start, pause, next buttons and if you're using it for a presentation
using powerpoint, it will show you the next and back button. It also has
unique multi touch features like two finger scroll, two finger tap,
swipe left/right with four fingers, swipe up/down with fouringers etc.
This app is available at the Apple App Store for $1.99
VNC lets you control your Windows PC or Mac using your iPhone or your
iPad. This app works similar to PhoneMyPC and letsyouview, create and
like gaming and play X-Plane then this is a must-have app for you. With
this app you can use your iPhone or iPod touch as wireless joystick for
your desktop computer flying X -Plane. This can be very useful if you're
ever traveling and do not have you joystick with you, you can simply
use your iPhone or iPod touch as a wireless joystick. You can control
the throttle, flaps, speedbrakes, landing gear, and brakes on your
desktop or laptop just as you do with your joystick.
Virtual Private Network
you need access to your data on a network while you're on the go, you
need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPN technology lets a computer
using a public internet connection join a private network by
establishing a secure tunnel between that machine and the network. It's
commonly used in offices where employees need to access the data on
their network from remote locations.
Windows 7 has a preloaded VPN client and it's very easy to set up a VPN in it.
First let's see how to build a VPN.
Setting up a Virtual Private Network
1. Open the Network and Sharing Center.
2. Click "Change Adapter Settings" in the left hand menu
3. Press Alt key to get the menu. From the File menu, select "New Incoming Connection".
You'll now be able to see a list of users you can allow to connect to
your computer. Select the users you'd like to give access to and click
5. Check the "Through the internet" checkbox.
6. Select the TCP/IPv4 protocol
7. Finally, click "Allow access"; you've now set up an incoming VPN connection.
8. Make a note of your IP address as you'll need it to connect to your VPN.
Connecting to a VPN
1. Now that we know how to set up a VPN, here are step-by-step instructions to connect to one.
2. Click the Start button and type VPN in the search bar and then select "Set up a virtual private network (VPN) connection".
3. Enter the IP address or domain name of the server to which you want to connect.
You can choose to set up the connection, but not connect by selecting
"Don't connect now" or leave it blank and click "Next"
5. Enter your username and password and click "Connect".
To connect, click on the Windows network logo on the lower-right part
of your screen; then select "Connect under VPN Connection".
past chapters, we saw how to connect all your devices to one network.
Since all your data is on this network, it's extremely important that
you secure it. An unsecured network can give any hacker access to your
data and passwords.
To get started, you'll need to log in
to your router's administrative console by typing the router's IP
address into your web browser's address bar. Refer to your router's
manual for this address (usually 192.168.1.1)
There are a few simple but effective ways to secure your network.
Enable WPA2 encryption
new WPA2 encryption offers better security than its predecessors - WEP
and WPA. You can choose the type of security when you create your
network. Make sure you enter a strong security key.
is the simplest way to protect your network. Keep changing your
passwords regularly. Although no password is foolproof, you can build a
complex password by using numbers and special characters. You'll have to
manage two passwords - Wi-Fi and router. Most often we forget to change
the router password. The default password is "admin" which is pretty
easy to guess. Make sure both your passwords are strong and do not use
birthdays or pet names as passwords.
Limit your connections
you always use the same number of devices, you should set your router
to allow limited number of connections. Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol (DHCP) makes it easy for your network to manage how many
devices can connect to your Wi-Fi network at any given time, by limiting
the number of IP addresses your router can assign to devices on your
network. Open your router administrator settings and go to DHCP
settings. Here you can change the number of client leases as per your
requirement. You can keep the number one higher than the devices you
have for guests.
Block WAN requests
can conceal your network from other users by enabling the Block WAN
Requests option. Once this feature is enabled, your router won't respond
to IP requests by remote users, preventing them from gleaning
potentially useful information about your network. Also disable remote
administration privileges through the router administrator so no one can
change your router settings wirelessly.
device that can connect to a network has a unique MAC (Media Access
Control) address. It's composed of six pairs of alphanumeric characters.
Using the MAC address you can allow only specific devices to connect to
your network. To know the MAC address of a Windows PC, open the Command
Prompt. Type ipconfig /all and press Enter to bring up your IP
settings. Here you'll be able to see the details of your network along
with the MAC address under the name of Physical Address.
you're on a Mac, open System Preferences and click "Network". From
there, select Wi-Fi from the list in the left-hand column, click
"Advanced" and look for Airport ID or Wi-Fi ID. If you want to find the
MAC address of a handheld or any other device, check the user manual.
You can also find the MAC address of this device if it's connected to a
network. Your router displays a list of devices connected to your
network along with their MAC address in the router administrator.