by Cheryl Sklar
While working from home the other day, I was not able to remotely connect to the office network like I normally do. I called in to our awesome Support Desk and one of our great desktop engineers, Andrew Powell, called me back right away to help solve my problem. After a few minutes of troubleshooting, we realized that my home Wi-Fi had defaulted to Xfinity Comcast, instead of my family’s personal Wi-Fi. (Incidentally, the reason we think this happened is because I recently upgraded my operating system on my MacBook Pro, so it changed the default.)
It is a good idea to change your default back to your personal Wi-Fi so that it doesn’t drain your bandwidth, which will slow down your connection or cause you to hit your data cap if your plan has one. Another (less worrisome) concern is that Xfinity users in your neighborhood might have the ability to access your personal information through the Xfinity Wi-Fi, or worse, that bad guys can use that as a way to hack into your system for malicious purposes.
Here are the instructions on how to disable Xfinity so that it won’t try to replace your own personal Wi-Fi.
The page should be https://customer.xfinity.com/WifiHotspot. You’ll need to log in to your Comcast account, and when you do there should just be a simple button to enable or disable. They might try and tell you not to disable, that it’s a “security risk,” but just click through it. Also, maybe check back every few months or so. Sometimes it randomly re-enables itself and if so you may have to turn it off again.
Cell Phone Battery Life:
Another surprising tip I heard recently was that closing apps on your phone does not necessarily improve battery life. In fact, it can actually make things worse. Both iOS and Android have algorithms for managing apps when they are not being used. When you close the apps, it forces them to reboot and completely start over the next time you open them. You’re better off simply letting your phone’s system do its thing on its own, closing apps that have been dormant for a while or are using more power or memory than they should. Apps that are already in memory open quickly, instead of having to fully start all over again. This is going to be a tough habit for me to break because I have been conditioned to always close my apps whenever I leave them, thinking that I was doing my phone a favor. Not anymore.
Here are a couple of easy suggestions to help save battery power:
- Turn down the brightness.
- Turn off location sharing for apps when you don’t need them.
- Turn off background refresh for apps.
- Use low power mode on iOS or Doze on Android.
- Put your phone in airplane mode.
I’ve been experimenting with this over the past couple of weeks; I’m still not convinced that this conserves battery power on my own phone. You’ll have to try it on your own device and see what works best for you.
Cheryl Sklar With over 26 years of experience in sales, marketing and general coordination, Cheryl uses her varied organizational skills to enhance the behind-the-scenes efficiency of Network 1. She strives to help things run smoothly wherever she can.
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Network 1 Consulting is an 18-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers, but what our clients value most are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important since technology, along with its associated regulations and threats, changes so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.