North Texas Broadband
Help & Tech Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that the Windows 95, 98, Millennium, and XP Service Pack 1 operating systems are no longer supported by Microsoft. Installing these systems or changing the network settings for them runs the risk of making your computer inoperable. Your Internet technical support team will not be able to assist you making any changes or configuring your system due to the lack of support from Microsoft and the risk involved.
From here you can find information on how to do a number of common tasks, as well as get answers to frequently asked questions.
Why do I get slow speeds?
How can I improve my connection speed?
Your computer’s hardware configuration is an important factor when judging the performance of your Internet experience. The better the hardware, the better your experience visiting websites with high graphical content and flashy logos. There are many sites on the Internet that offer tips on how to tweak and improve your hardware’s performance. We list a few of these here and recommend that you follow any instructions at your own risk. Read the instructions thoroughly before changing any settings in your computer.
What is a Firewall and should I be using one?
A firewall can be described as a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be either hardware based, a software application or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to block unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet.
Software based firewalls are the cheapest and easiest to set up but can interfere with your Internet connection if not properly configured. Hardware firewalls are more expensive and difficult to configure but offer more stability to a network. If you feel that you need the security a firewall offers, the following websites can help you decide which method is best for you.
- BlackICE Defender
- Mcafee McAfee Internet Guard Dog for Windows
- Symantec Norton Internet Security
Test your computer’s susceptibility to security and virus threats:
General Security Information and Links:
What are Viruses and how do I protect myself?
What is Malware?
Malware – short for malicious software – refers to any malicious or unexpected program or code such as viruses, Trojans, and droppers. Not all malicious programs or codes are viruses. Viruses, however, occupy a majority of all known malware to date including worms. The other major types of malware are Trojans, droppers, and kits.
Due to the many facets of malicious code or a malicious program, referring to it as malware helps to avoid confusion. For example, a virus that also has Trojan-like capabilities can be called malware.
What is a Trojan?
A Trojan is malware that performs unexpected or unauthorized, often malicious, actions. The main difference between a Trojan and a virus is the inability to replicate. Trojans cause damage, unexpected system behavior, and compromise the security of systems, but do not replicate. If it replicates, then it should be classified as a virus.
A Trojan, coined from Greek mythology’s Trojan horse, typically comes in good packaging but has some hidden malicious intent within its code. When a Trojan is executed users will likely experience unwanted system problems in operation, and sometimes loss of valuable data.
What is a Virus?
A computer virus is a program – a piece of executable code – that has the unique ability to replicate. Like biological viruses, computer viruses can spread quickly and are often difficult to eradicate. They can attach themselves to just about any type of file and are spread as files that are copied and sent from individual to individual.
In addition to replication, some computer viruses share another commonality: a damage routine that delivers the virus payload. While payloads may only display messages or images, they can also destroy files, reformat your hard drive, or cause other damage. If the virus does not contain a damage routine, it can cause trouble by consuming storage space and memory, and degrading the overall performance of your computer.
Several years ago most viruses spread primarily via floppy disk, but the Internet has introduced new virus distribution mechanisms. With email now used as an essential business communication tool, viruses are spreading faster than ever. Viruses attached to email messages can infect an entire enterprise in a matter of minutes, costing companies millions of dollars annually in lost productivity and clean-up expenses.
Viruses won’t go away anytime soon: More than 60,000 have been identified, and 400 new ones are created every month, according to the International Computer Security Association (ICSA). With numbers like this, it’s safe to say that most organizations will regularly encounter virus outbreaks. No one who uses computers is immune to viruses.
Life Cycle of a Virus
The life cycle of a virus begins when it is created and ends when it is completely eradicated. The following outline describes each stage:
Until recently, creating a virus required knowledge of a computer programming language. Today anyone with basic programming knowledge can create a virus. Typically, individuals who wish to cause widespread, random damage to computers create viruses.
Viruses typically replicate for a long period of time before they activate, allowing plenty of time to spread.
Viruses with damage routines will activate when certain conditions are met, for example, on a certain date or when the infected user performs a particular action. Viruses without damage routines do not activate, instead causing damage by stealing storage space.
This phase does not always follow activation, but typically does. When a virus is detected and isolated, it is sent to the ICSA in Washington, D.C., to be documented and distributed to antivirus software developers. Discovery normally takes place at least one year before the virus might have become a threat to the computing community.
At this point, antivirus software developers modify their software so that it can detect the new virus. This can take anywhere from one day to six months, depending on the developer and the virus type.
If enough users install up-to-date virus protection software, any virus can be wiped out. So far no viruses have disappeared completely, but some have long ceased to be a major threat.
What can you do to Protect against Malware?
There are many things you can do to protect against malware. At the top of the list is using a powerful antivirus product, and keeping it up-to-date with the latest pattern files.
For additional information on securing your system see /index.php?page=Security
What is a personal website and how do I access it?
For instructions on how to set up your personal web space, see this page:
The following sites can provide information on how to create your webpage.
How do I connect a second computer to the Internet?
Although we do not officially recommend or support networking multiple computers to your Cable Internet Connection, we can direct you on the right path. The following will outline various methods that can be used, but how to do it will be your responsibility.
There are a few ways to get a second computer online:
- Network Hub (easiest) – Your account will require a second IP address. Contact your Cable provider for availability.
- Network Router (difficult) – Requires LAN setup knowledge.
- Server with 2 Network Cards (hardest) – Requires LAN setup knowledge and Operating System capable of managing 2 network adapters.
Customer Service 1.888.365.2930
Internet Technical Support 1.888.725.9402