How To Tell If Your Website Has Been Attacked By Bots

Bots—software applications that run scripts over the internet—make up more than half of all internet traffic. This creates a major blind spot for IT security teams, as 79% of CISOs and other security leaders said they can’t tell for certain if web traffic comes from humans or bots, according to a recent Radware report.

It’s key to understand that there are good bots and bad bots, said Reid Tatoris, vice president of product outreach and marketing at Distil Networks. “‘Good bots enable search engines to index web content, price comparison services to save consumers money, and market researchers to gauge sentiment on social media, for example,” Tatoris said. These also include chatbots, and search engine and social media bots.

Meanwhile, “‘bad bots are used to conduct a variety of harmful activities, such as denial-of-service attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, stealing of intellectual property, unauthorized vulnerability scans, spam, and digital ad fraud,” Tatoris said. These include impersonators, scrapers, hackers, and spambots.

Bad bots are used by many different groups, ranging from organized crime to state actors pushing a political agenda to people trying to make money. But there are ways to tell if your website has been visited by a bot and keep it safe.

Here are five ways to spot a bot.

1. Monitor login attempts

One of the most profitable uses of bots for an attacker is via credential stuffing, the mass-scale automated testing of username and password combinations across multiple websites, according to Patrick Sullivan, Akamai director of security technology and strategy. When successful matches are discovered, attackers use these logins to take over the account for fraud or to resell the confirmed credentials.

One simple step to detect bots is to monitor macro-level success and failure rates of login attempts, Sullivan said. “Regardless of how advanced the bots are and how difficult they are to identify, credential stuffing generates high levels of failed logins,” he added. “Even if fraudsters are careful enough not to trigger account lockouts, they will generate failed logins, which are early warning signs of bot activity.”

2. Check your server logs

Most bots will visit the same website regularly, even several times a day, he said. “If you keep seeing the same IP address pop up on your logs, then the chances are they could be a bot,” he added. You can check the IP addresses, location, and hostname manually, using a website like IPAvoid. If the IP is included on a blacklist or is not a residential address, there’s a strong chance that it’s a bot.

3. Check your email outbox

If your Sent messages folder contains messages that have been drafted, sent, or returned to you that you did not write, this is a tell-tale sign that you may have been visited by a bot, said Steve Pritchard, search content manager at giffgaff. “The bot is then intending to infiltrate the computers of your email contacts by sending them emails riddled with malware,” Pritchard said.

4. Watch if your website slows down or crashes

“Bots move fast across websites and do so in hoards, so you get a lot of server requests per second, which can overload the system and cause a major slowdown in loading times,” said Tatoris. “The result is that you end up spending more money on server costs for traffic that doesn’t translate into any benefit for your business. In addition, any humans who try to visit your site or make a purchase at a time when the site slows down will typically leave and take their business somewhere else.”

5. Check if your site content shows up elsewhere on the internet

Bots can sometimes copy website content and post it elsewhere without permission, Tatoris said. “The site Copyscape can help you to determine whether or not any of your site information has been posted elsewhere on the internet,” he added. “If you enter in the URL of a page from your website into their search field, they will return any pages that have high percentage matches to the content on the referenced page. While this isn’t a sure fire way of telling whether your content has been copied, it can potentially give you some idea.”

For more information on how to secure your Window 10 pc, click here.

How to Stop Windows 10 Upgrade

What I did was uninstall updates KB3035583, KB2990214, and KB2952664. The first two were mentioned by other users as connected with the Windows 10 upgrade. The third was installed on my computer on 7/31/2015 which is the day the upgrade takeover of my computer began.

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THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO ENSURE THAT THESE UPDATES ARE NEVER INSTALLED AGAIN!

Turn off automatic updates. The first and third update are listed as “Important” updates, yet are NOT automatically selected. There is an “Optional” update ‘Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro’ (no KB number) which IS automatically selected—this may be the middle update listed above.

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I still find TrustedInstaller.exe running on my computer when I power up, yet it disappears after a while. This process can NOT be ended via Windows Task Manager. There are also files installed on my computer that cannot be deleted without permission from TrustedInstaller which is above any Administrator and System privileges. These files are in the hidden C:\$Windows.~BT folder.

I hope this info is helpful to you.

Another user states:

I had the exact same issue as all of you.  Once the Windows 10 install files were downloaded, there was no way to change your mind, you’re in the clutches of Windows Update!   Completely ridiculous if you ask me!

Luckily I came up with a solution that worked perfectly for me.  I performed a system restore to the first available date prior to July 29th.  Once my system was restored, I searched for the above installed updates (KB3035583, KB2990214, and KB2952664) and uninstalled them.  After uninstalling, I went back in and “hid” those updates so that they wouldn’t show up when Windows Update would run.
I did all this 2 days ago and my PC is running like a champ as nothing had ever happened!
Hope this helps.

Select the KB3035583 update with a click or a tap and then press the Uninstall button found at the top of the updates list. Confirm that you want to uninstall this update and wait for the process to finish. Then, reboot your device. Now, the “Get Windows 10” app is completely removed from your system.

From Microsoft:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

802.11ac Is Here, 5 Things You Need To Know

Gigabit Wi-Fi, 802.11ac, is officially here, but what does that really mean? Here’s my list of the five things you need to know before you invest in this new wireless technology.

1) 802.11ac is not going to give you a Gigabit of throughput

True, 802.11ac access points working with 802.11ac devices will give you faster data transmission feeds than 802.11n. The Wi-Fi Alliance claims that Wi-Fi Certified 802.11ac can deliver data rates up to more than double those of a typical 802.11n network. Practically speaking the Alliance claims that “this means a network can support simultaneously streaming multiple HD-quality videos to multiple devices.”

Fair enough, but in practice you’re not likely to see an 802.11ac reach its theoretical maximum of 1.3 Gigabit per second (Gbps). That’s because the conditions you need to reach that speed requires a laboratory not your office.

To reach the highest speeds you need three data-streams, each of which can run up to 433 Megabits per second (Mbps). A typical 802.11ac access point can support up to eight data streams. Client devices must only support one.

For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 supports 802.11ac with the Broadcom BCM4335 Wi-Fi chipset. This chipset only supports a single stream so, even in the best of all possible worlds, you’ll only see 433Mbps.

The “unofficial” 802.11ac devices that have been shipping for the last few months, and the first generation of the standard 802.11ac devices aren’t likely to hit these speeds even on a testbed. The fastest speeds here in CNeET/ZDNet land we’ve seen to date came from the NetGear R6300 WiFi Router, which hit a high of 331Mbps.

That’s great, but it’s not gigabit great. It is, however, a lot faster than you’ll see then with any combination of 802.11n gear.

2) Working out the range

802.11ac only supports the 5GHz frequency. The good news about that is that there’s far more room in that frequency spread than there is in the over-used 2.4GHz . The bad news is that a 5GHz signal has less range.

At the same time, 802.11ac has another feature, beam-forming, that gets around the general 5Ghz range problem. For the Wi-Fi access point in your office today, the signal is omni-directional—it forms a communications sphere around the device. With 802.11ac the signal is broadcast directly from the access point (AP) to a specific device and back again.

While no one seems to have published much on what this means, I expect it means that if you’re in an environment with few 802.11ac devices, say eight, you’ll actually see excellent range. But, if you’re in at a convention center with hundreds of 802.11ac devices I suspect you’ll need to be much closer to an AP to get a signal. That said, life is always miserable for Wi-Fi users in hotels and large meetings rooms.

3) Backwards Compatibility

All 802.11ac devices will support older Wi-Fi technologies such as your 802.11n-equipped laptop or even your old 802.11g network bridge. 802.11ac can’t do magic though. For example, if you buy an 802.11ac AP you’ll still be limited to your older devices’ maximum speeds.

Soon, there will be a lot of new gear that supports 802.11ac as clients. If you buy an 802.11ac AP now you’re really buying for future use. It’s not going to do you much good today.

As always you should remember that any network is only as fast as its slowest link. For instance, if you’re buying 802.11ac to improve your Netflix viewing experience and your Internet connect is 10Mbps, it won’t do you a darn bit of good. 802.11n, or even 802.11g, is all you’ll need.

4) AP Channel Conflict Ahoy

Anyone who does any Wi-Fi network management knows that the 2.4GHz range is as crowded as a Best Buy store on Black Friday morning. In theory, you can use up to 14 channels. In practice, to avoid interference, you can only use three or four channels. If you have conflicting channels, you’ll see your network performance go down the toilet. The advantage of 802.11a and 802.11n’s 5Ghz range is that was so much room that you didn’t need to worry about interference. Get worried again.

One of the big ways that 802.11ac gains its speed is by using 80MHz wide channels. In 802.11ac wave two devices–the next generation of 802.11ac, which will start showing up in 2014–the channels will take up 160MHz of frequency. What that means exactly depends on your country, since there are a wide variety of rules on how the 5GHz range can be used. But, in the United States that means 802.11ac will have at most five available channel selections. When 802.11ac second-wave appears it will go down to one or two.

80211acChannels
The 5GHz frequency range is messy, and using it is only going to get a lot messier as 802.11ac continues to evolve. (Credit: Cisco)

In other words, network administrators should start working out now where they’ll be placing 802.11ac APs, because once more you’ll need to be wary of fouling up performance because of AP interference. And, let’s not talk about that business on the floor below you that’s always munging up your network.

5) 802.11ac requires additional infrastructure

I know, you thought 802.11ac would let you get rid of some of your Gigabit wiring. Nope. Not going to happen. First, as I already explained you’re not really going to get Gigabit speeds out of 802.11ac.

Second, and what many people don’t know, is that second-wave 802.11ac APs will require two, not one, Gigabit Ethernet ports. That just doubled your need for switch ports and cable runs. Oh boy!

Sure, you can get by with one port for now, but remember you’re not really going to have that many 802.11ac clients in 2013. Next year is when they’ll start showing up in large numbers and that’s when the second wave 802.11ac APs will be appearing.

So, you can forget about doing a drop and replace for your existing 802.11g/n network APs. You won’t be able to do it. Look on the bright side: Even with the next generation of 802.11ac you probably won’t need to back them up with 10Gbps up-links.

What all this means is that Gigabit Wi-Fi isn’t really here. Faster Wi-Fi is but it’s not really going to take off until 2014 and when it does come deploying it is going to be expensive. I foresee all of us using 802.11n Wi-Fi for years still to come. 802.11ac is not going to roll out quickly.

Difference Between Windows 8 and 8.1

Ever since Microsoft announced that the upcoming update to Windows 8 will be called as Windows 8.1 and will be available for free to all Windows 8 users, many users who aren’t closely following Microsoft, seem to have confused Windows 8.1 as a service pack.

Windows 8.1

For those who’re under the impression that Windows 8.1 update is a service pack, a service pack mainly contains previously released updates and fixes, but doesn’t include new features. So, Windows 8 isn’t a service pack as includes new features.

As some of you may know, when Windows Vista was released back in 2007, it didn’t do well in the market and two years later, Microsoft released a polished version of Vista and named it as Windows 7, which went on to become the highest selling operating system in the history. The only major difference (leaving aside features) between Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is that Windows 7 wasn’t a free update to Vista users and Windows 8.1 is absolutely free to all Windows 8 users.

As the “.1” in the Windows 8.1 name suggests, Windows 8.1 is based on Windows 8. Windows 8.1 update adds hundreds of new features and functionalities to Windows 8 without removing existing features, and is completely free to all Windows 8 users.

Windows 8.1 update is largely based on the feedbacks that Microsoft received by millions of Windows 8 users over the last year. According to Microsoft, this update will encourage XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users to upgrade to the newest version of Windows.

One can say that Windows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been, or we can also say that “.1” completes Windows 8!

Windows 8.1 adds the missing Start button to easily switch to the Start screen, an option to boot directly to desktop by skipping Start screen, settings to customize the Start screen, option to automatically set desktop background as Start screen, an easier way to shutdown and restart PC, and hundreds of other features.

Go through the below chart to know some of the key features present in Windows 8.1 that aren’t part of Windows 8:

Difference Between Windows 8 and 8.1

Good luck!

How To Determine What Is Causing The Issue After A Clean Boot

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  3. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, and then tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
  5. Tap or click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Service list.
  6. Tap or click OK, and then tap or click Restart.
  7. After the computer finishes restarting, determine whether the problem still occurs.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 1 through 6, but clear the lower half of the check boxes in the Service list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 1 through 6, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Service list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem when only one service is selected in the Service list, this means that the selected service causes the problem, and you should go to step 11. If no service causes the problem, go to step 8.
  8. Repeat steps 1 and 3 in this section.
  9. Tap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Startup Item list.
  10. Click OK, and then click Restart.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 8 and 9, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Startup Item list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 8 and 9, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Startup Item list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one Startup Item is selected in the Startup Item list, this means that the selected Startup Item causes the problem, and you should go to step 11. If no Startup Item causes this problem, a Microsoft service probably causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat steps 1 through 7 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in each step.
  11. After you determine the startup item or the service that causes the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration utility, and then tap or click to clear the check box for the problem item.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
    A screenshot for this step.
  3. Click the Services tab, and then click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
  4. Click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Service list.
  5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
  6. After the computer finishes restarting, determine whether the problem still occurs.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 1 through 5, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Service list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 1 through 5, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Service list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one service is selected in the Service list, this means that the selected service causes the problem. Go to step 10. If no service causes this problem, go to step 7.
  7. Perform a clean boot by repeating steps 1 and 2.
  8. Click the Startup tab, and then click to select the upper half of the check boxes in the Startup Item list. A screenshot for this step.
  9. Click OK, and then click Restart.
    • If the problem still occurs, repeat steps 7 and 8, but clear the lower half of the checked boxes in the Startup Item list that you originally selected.
    • If the problem does not occur, repeat steps 7 and 8, and select only the upper half of the remaining check boxes that are cleared in the Startup Item list. Repeat these steps until you have selected all the check boxes.
    • If you still experience the problem after only one Startup Item is selected in the Startup Item list, this means that the selected Startup Item causes the problem. Go to Step 10. If no Startup Item causes this problem, a Microsoft service probably causes the problem. To determine which Microsoft service may be causing the problem, repeat steps 1 through 6 without selecting the Hide all Microsoft services check box in either step.
  10. After you determine the startup item or the service that causes the problem, contact the program manufacturer to determine whether the problem can be resolved. Or, run the System Configuration utility, and then click to clear the check box for the problem item.

How To Restart Windows Normally After Clean Boot

After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, wipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the General tab, tap or click the Normal Startup option.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then tap or click Enable all.
  5. ap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click Open Task Manager.
  6. In task manager, enable all of your startup programs, and then tap or click OK.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, tap or click Restart.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
  2. On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
  3. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

How To Perform A Clean Boot In Windows

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.
Why software conflicts occur?

When you start Windows by using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts.
How to perform a clean boot

Notes

  • You must log on to the computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
  • Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start the computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behavior if the problem still exists.
  • If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a Microsoft support engineer directs you to do this. Doing this may make the computer unusable.

Use the following steps to perform a clean boot:

Windows 10
  1. From Start, search for msconfig.
  2. Select System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. Type msconfig in the search box, and then tap or click msconfig. A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager. A screenshot for this step.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable. A screenshot for this step.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer. A screenshot for this step.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
    A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the General tab, click the Selective startup option, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.A screenshot for this step.
    Note This step lets Microsoft services continue to run. These services include Networking, Plug and Play, Event Logging, Error Reporting, and other services. If you disable these services, you may permanently delete all restore points. Do not do this if you want to use the System Restore utility together with existing restore points.
  5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
What is next when I have a clean boot environment?

After the computer is restarted, you will have a clean boot environment. Then, do one of the following, as appropriate for your situation:

  • If you could not install or uninstall a program or an update before you performed the clean boot, try to install or uninstall the program or update again.Note If you receive the “The Windows Installer service could not be accessed” error during the installation or uninstallation, follow How to start the Windows Installer service when system services are not loaded, and then install or uninstall the program or update again.
    • If the installation or uninstallation is successful, you have resolved your issue. Follow How to reset the computer to start as usual to reset your computer to the normal startup.
    • If the installation or uninstallation still fails, that means this issue is not caused by application or service interference. You may have to go to Microsoft Support for more specific support.
  • If you could not run a program before you performed the clean boot, try to run the program again.
How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting

After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, wipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the General tab, tap or click the Normal Startup option.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then tap or click Enable all.
  5. ap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click Open Task Manager.
  6. In task manager, enable all of your startup programs, and then tap or click OK.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, tap or click Restart.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
  2. On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
  3. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

Why Your Home Wi-Fi Is Lousy

If you think your home Wi-Fi is annoying now—flaky, slow, riddled with dead zones—just wait until your streaming 4K TVs are battling phones, laptops, game systems and connected gadgets for the available bandwidth. The future depends on your home network, but even today’s best home networks aren’t ready.

I call this problem the home-spectrum crunch, and it’s a relatively new phenomenon. It’s a product of a 100-fold increase in demand for wireless bandwidth on home Wi-Fi networks in just the past five or so years.

In place of Web browsing on one or two devices—requiring less than 5 megabits per second—we now have streaming video and multiple Internet-connected devices consuming more than 100 megabits per second. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2013 estimated that the average household with two teenagers had 10 Internet-connected devices. By 2017, the OECD projected the number would be 17; by 2022, it would climb to 50.

To grasp the problem, think of each Wi-Fi router as a stereo system. When there were fewer Wi-Fi hot spots and fewer gadgets connecting to them, the ambient noise was bearable. But if you’ve opened your laptop and lately seen dozens of Wi-Fi networks, you understand our modern conundrum: All those networks are essentially trying to shout over one another to be “heard” by connected devices.

Trond Wuellner, product manager for Google’s OnHub Wi-Fi router, says the average OnHub router can “hear” 16 other hot spots; one of every 20 OnHubs can hear 50 other hot spots.

The upshot: the more Wi-Fi hot spots, the worse the overall Wi-Fi experience for everyone. This is the reverse of what should be and the opposite of what happens in an office, where all the Wi-Fi hot spots are made to play nice with each other by expensive equipment from the likes of Cisco Systems.

Having a good home Wi-Fi network has become something of an arms race: Buy a newer, more powerful router and your service could improve, but at the expense of your neighbors.

The fact that nearly everyone who makes Wi-Fi routers is trying to tackle this problem, along with Google, your cable company and a raft of startups, demonstrates how in-home Wi-Fi connections have become a serious bottleneck.

One such player is Eero. Wall Street Journal personal-tech columnist Geoff Fowler found that Eero’s multi-node “mesh networking” solution works well even in challenging environments.

But a stock Eero setup might not be adequate in a future when homes routinely have gigabit connections, a 10-fold increase over what’s widely available today. That’s because, as Eero CEO Nick Weaver explains, when you’re at the edge of a mesh network, your connection is only as fast as the slowest link back to the base station.

One solution would be to add more antennas, or nodes, throughout your home. Unfortunately, Eero’s units currently cost $200 a pop.

A new competitor announcing itself on Monday, called Plume, has gathered wireless-industry veterans to create what it claims is a new kind of Wi-Fi, protected by 14 patents. The company calls it “adaptive Wi-Fi.”

Fahri Diner, CEO of Plume and a veteran executive of Siemens and Qtera, says Plume’s system will consist of many cheap, “dumb” antennas, enough for every room of a house, for a total cost of about $100.

If Plume can do that, it would be enough to make a wireless-networking geek swoon. But we won’t know for a while, because the company doesn’t plan to unveil its product or partners until the third quarter of this year.

Essentially, Plume and most of its rivals aim to take the technology behind expensive, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi systems for offices and make it cheap enough to use in your home.

Others are tackling the problem with wires, paradoxically. Comcast, the nation’s largest cable-TV provider, has quietly been testing systems that rely on the networks of coaxial cables spread across newer U.S. homes. The systems put multiple routers in different parts of a home to create a single seamless wireless network, says a company spokesman.

The biggest competitor of all in this space could soon be Alphabet’s Google. Mr. Diner said he believes Google is working on a mesh solution similar to Plume’s. Mr. Wuellner declined to comment on Google’s plans for future iterations of OnHub. But he said most industry players are moving from a single hub, like Google’s current offering, toward systems with multiple nodes.

Taken together, this means that the future of Wi-Fi in your home looks a lot like the present of Wi-Fi in your office. There will be antennas everywhere, possibly in every room. It will be insanely fast. It will be cheap, though you might have a new monthly bill, to pay Plume, Google, your cable provider or some other company for the cloud services required to manage your home network.

© Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

Given our increasing dependence on ever more wireless bandwidth, these companies are betting we’ll be happy to pay for the privilege.

Write to Christopher Mims at christopher.mims@wsj.com

Article by: The Wall Street Journal

How Good Is This $79 Computer?

Computers are officially dirt cheap. Yep, this one costs $79.

One reason the Endless Mini is so cheap is that this grapefruit-sized PC is sold on its own. You supply the keyboard, mouse and display yourself. The computer, built with developing countries in mind, doesn’t just hook into newer, flat-panel screens via HDMI—it also connects to older tube TVs by way of a composite video cable.

The Mini runs a Linux-based operating system which looks and works much like a tablet, with a row of app icons laid out in a grid on-screen.

Because Internet access isn’t a given (even in the U.S.), the Mini designed to be useful without a Web connection. Straight out of the box, it has more than 100 apps pre-installed, in your choice of English or Spanish. These apps span from K-12 education, to a free office suite, to games and even recipes.

Endless Mobile, the startup behind the Mini, focused most of the pre-loaded apps on education, with lessons and videos covering math, history, science, geography, animals, dinosaurs, and other subjects. There’s a massive encyclopedia and apps for editing Word docs, spreadsheets and PowerPoint-style presentations.

© Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

By being able to handle both school work and grown-up work, the Endless Mini is a viable option for people at any age who are looking for a low-cost, easy-to-use PC. This is a computer both children and grandparents could take to easily.

Google’s Chrome Web browser is installed too. But to use that, you need Internet connectivity. The Endless Mini comes in two configurations: a basic $79 model that relies on an Ethernet port for wired Internet access (and has 1GB of RAM and 24GB of internal storage). A $99 version adds Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity (plus 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage).

Both versions run on a 1.5GHz ARM processor—the sort of CPU more often found in low-end phones than PCs. If this isn’t your first computer, you might be frustrated by the Endless Mini’s slow loading of apps and Web pages. In real-world use, online games like “Cut the Rope” were stuttery but playable, and YouTube buffered like it always does, but videos played fine. Only Facebook , with all its photos and videos, left me genuinely annoyed.

One other problem: a software glitch in a pre-production device loaned to the tester by Endless for this review was unable to log into the device about halfway through testing. Endless supplied a replacement and it worked fine. The company says the issue has been fixed on the devices currently being shipped. But this hiccup is a reminder that Endless, founded in 2011, is a young, unproven company. Who knows how long Endless will be around or whether or not its take on Linux will be supported for decades to come?

In truth, this isn’t a computer built to last as long as an expensive laptop or desktop. It’s a $79 or $99 PC for people who haven’t been able to afford a computer at all before. Because of its ease of use and wealth of pre-installed, offline-friendly apps, its usefulness extends to anyone of who doesn’t have hundreds to spend. For that person, a $79 PC could be life changing.

Article from Wall Street Journal