Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 020522

By | February 5, 2022
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Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 020522

Here we are. It’s Saturday. The weekend is here and you know what that means. It’s time for more Bonus Questions & Answers.

Sometimes the best tips and tricks are hidden in the questions and answers we publish. And rarely do we post questions and answers on this website. Today, we’re featuring some of the questions and answers from past issues of our InfoAve Weekly newsletters. 

These answers were selected at random from past InfoAve Weekly newsletters.


Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 020522

Sandy is worried that the blazing speed of fiber optic cables will burn up her computer
I have a Dell Intel Core 13. 1T memory In April it will be 5 years old. Our phone company is putting in all fiber-optic lines and going to hook up to my house/computer. I was wondering if this would burn up my computer. One of my friends said that it would burn up the hard drive. Is that true?

Our answer
Hi Sandy. Your friend is wrong. It’s absolutely, positively, NOT true. If fiber optic cables burned up computers, half the world’s computers would be burned up by now. And all of Amazon’s and all of Google’s servers (which are just specially configured computers) would be burned up. Fiber optic cables can carry more bandwidth faster. They deliver greater speeds and extra bandwidth; they don’t deliver heat.

Sandy wrote back: “Thank you so much. Oh, what a relief. I have to quit listening to some of these people. I’m glad I know I can come to Cloudeight. Thank you, Sandy.”


Mona has four email addresses and needs help sorting them out
Here I am again… I have 4 email addresses (Google), keeping business and personal accounts. Because I spend time moving from one Google account to another and trying to help my husband who doesn’t like computers. Is there any way that one log-in will open the four accounts and keep them open until I physically close them? It would be so much easier than having to log in every time I have something to do on a different account.

Our answer
Hi Mona. The easiest option is to use a mail program like OE Classic, as all four accounts can be set up in the program, and all four will stay separate. If you are interested in that see this page.

Another option is to set up each in a different browser, i.e.., Edge, Chrome, Firefox. But still requires a lot of clicking.

You can also open each account in the browser’s Incognito mode, also called In-Private mode/Private mode depending on the browser.

The third option is to have one Gmail account check the other three and create labels to keep them separate. You should also set up the main Gmail account to send from any of the four when replying. This is an option in Settings for Gmail.

We hope this helps you, Mona.


Earla wants to know what’s using up her bandwidth
I am using Networx to monitor my internet connections. Today I was receiving warnings that 200 MB/per min were being uploaded and shortly the DL registered 2.62 GB used – it had been around 1.5 GB when I started.

I just shut off my Turbo Hub to stop it. Is it possible to find out what (program?) specifically was suddenly using so much data?

I went to Windows Update to see if it registered anything new but saw no indication of something being interrupted if it was. Couldn’t see anything within Networx topics that helped.

I sure would appreciate your thoughts on this because it does happen from time to time and I am on a limited data usage plan. I usually figure it is a windows update. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Our answer
Hi Earla. I had to look up “Networx” to find out what it is. I found that it measures your bandwidth consumption.

Windows 10 (and Windows 11) does that automatically, so there’s no need to use a 3rd-party program. Windows Update uses bandwidth when it checks for updates and sometimes it downloads updates I’ve never used Networx so I’m not sure why it’s not showing you exactly what is using your bandwidth/data.

However, if you read our article here, you’ll see that Windows 10 keeps track of your data usage and shows you exactly what’s using the most bandwidth (and the least bandwidth). If you follow the instructions in that article, you’ll be able to see what is using that much bandwidth.

I hope this helps you, Earla. If not, just let us know.


Penny wants to download plain color desktop backgrounds
Can you suggest a website where I can download plain backgrounds for my desktop? I would prefer soft colors and no images. Thanks, Penny.

Our answer
Hi Penny. You don’t need to download plain backgrounds. Since you’re using Windows 10, you can make your desktop background any color you want. Here’s how:

1. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop.
2. Click Personalize
3. Click on Background in the menu on the left.
4..Under Background, click the down arrow to reveal the choices… “Pictures”, “Solid Color”, or “Slideshow”.
5. Click “Solid color”

Windows Tips by Cloudeight

6. When you select “Solid color” you can select one of the colors showing. Or you can choose any color you want by clicking on the + sign next to “Custom color”.

Windows Tips by Cloudeight

7. After you click “Custom color” you can use the slider and the circle to choose any color you want.

Windows Tips by Cloudeight

8. And if that’s not enough color choices for you, click on the down arrow next to “More” and you’ll see this…

Windows Tips by Cloudeight .

This dialog allows you to choose a background color in several other ways.

In short, you can choose any solid color you can imagine using this tip. 


August runs a speed test on both of his computers but…
I ran the test on both of my computers and the desktop was as follows: Ping 9 download 112 upload was 9.9 On the laptop I get only 57 download upload was 9.8. What could cause the difference between the two? The laptop is much slower than the desktop. Do I need to have you look into this?

Our answer

Hi August. There are many factors at play here. If your desktop is plugged into the router or modem with an Ethernet cable, it’s always going to be faster than a wireless connection.

If both computers are using wireless connections, the one closest to the router will be faster. And even if both computers are using Wi-Fi and both are the same distance from the router, you still can have variations. Each computer may have different wireless cards. Also, the age of the computer and the configuration can affect the internet connection speed.

It is certainly not unusual, and it does not indicate any kind of problem.


Candace gets an Emsisoft warning
Hi TC. Help! I entered a link to download a Facebook video, and I got a warning from Emsisoft telling me that the program has been changed. It has an option to update the rule (which was highlighted) or to remove the rule. I’m wondering what to do.

Our answer
Hi Candace. Any time you update a program you’ve used before, Emsisoft will give you a warning that the program has changed (update the rule Emsisoft uses to recognize the program as safe), Since you know it has changed because you just reinstalled it, it’s okay to go ahead and let Emsisoft update the rule.

I have several programs on my computer that I frequently update – Emsisoft warns me the program has changed and asks if I want to update the rule. As long as I know the program and know it has changed, I know it’s okay to let Emsisoft update the rule.


Stanley has questions about finding and downloading software
You have been so helpful in the past that I hope you can help me with this question, which I also think would be of interest to many of your subscribers.

I was looking for a website that is even half as good as you are in giving advice and reviews about programs before I download them. My saga begins when I was looking for a program that could compress a WMV file and/or convert it to an avi file.

When I searched for a program to do this, I got many hits. However, after a couple of hours, I got more and more frustrated with the information these sites gave me, so I gave up.

The first big problem was that when I looked at the reviews, they were given by a company that made software to do this, so of course, they gave their products rave reviews compared to other products. I could not find any independent websites to give an honest review such as you do.

The second problem was websites that advertise free downloads. If I had my way, I would block them for misleading information. They could indeed be downloaded and then installed on the computer. It was only after spending a lot of time downloading the file that I wanted to convert that I received the error message that the file was too big, but if I still wanted to continue, I could purchase the full program.

I apologize for such a long message but, I am sure you will have heard similar complaints from many people who like me would very much appreciate your help. I wish you good health during this difficult time that we are all going through. Regards, Stanley.

Our answer
Hi Stanley. Thanks for your nice comments.

The problem you detail has been a problem that has faced every single person who has ever searched for software. The worst thing you can do is search for a program and just accept the results. You really have to hone your search skills… I’m lucky as I learned this lesson long ago – Darcy used to call me the king of search.

If I wanted to convert an audio file from one format to another, I would look for an online converter. By using the search term (without quotes) “convert WMV to AVI online” I came up with this site:

https://cloudconvert.com/wmv-to-avi

One way I know that site is legit is they offer services for which they charge. Plus, I’ve used this site before. This is the self-description they offer…

CloudConvert is your Swiss army knife for file conversions. We support nearly all audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet, and presentation formats. Plus, you can use our online tool without downloading any software.

I don’t know what the size of your file is, and I don’t know what, if any file size limits CloudConvert’s free service has. They have a pricing schedule where you can but 500 minutes of conversion time for $8.00 (U.S.) with unlimited file sizes (5 gigabytes is the theoretical limit).

We know from experience that downloading most free YouTube converters, file converters, music converters, etc. is an invitation to download software bundled with PUPs or malware. These days more than 50% of freeware seems to be compromised in some way.

And you have to be careful of download sites too. CNET/Download.com, Softonic, Tucows, and many others have been known to take good, clean, free software and bundle it with other software (PUPs/malware/questionable software). There are several download sites that you can trust, for instance, www.snapfiles.com (the one we trust most), followed by www.majorgeeks.com. We rarely venture from those two sites unless we find a developer who offers software from his/her site and who does not play whack-a-mole with download buttons and/or bundled software.

Finding good, free, software is similar to walking through a minefield. You have to be wary with every step you take. And you have to hone your search skills to increase the chances you’ll come up with good, reliable, and safe search results.

We hope this helps you, Stanley, but if not, let us know.
—————-
Stanley wrote back: “Wow! That was quick. As always you have really helped me. Why can’t you offer a paying service that would give advice in a similar way to the information I received now? I would definitely consider using this. In the long run, it would save a lot of time and frustration. I have no doubt that many others feel the same. Keep safe and well. Stanley.”


Erik has a question about SSDs (Solid State Drives)
Hi Darcy and TC. I want to change my SSD drive for a bigger one. I ask your opinion about the different possibilities … do you think it is a good idea for a CRUCIAL – SSD Internal – P1 – 1To – M.2 Nvme (CT1000P1SSD8) ($125) or the regular SSD? Is the Nvme really much faster than a regular SSD? My motherboard is equipped with a Nvme SSD. But I will only decide after your opinion

Our answer
Hi Erik. According to people who worry about this kind of stuff — NVMe can deliver sustained read/write speeds of 2000MB per second, much faster than the SATA SSD III, which has read/writes speeds of 600MB per second. So yes, NVMe is much faster than a standard SATA SSD.

So, there you have it. If you have a need for speed, then the Crucial NVMe is faster. Whether you’ll notice the difference is whole other animal. Once things seem “instant”, it’s hard for human beings to differentiate between instant and “more instant”.

And just in case you’re interested A 7200 RPM HDD (standard hard drive) has a read/write speed of 120MB per second.

We hope this helps you, Erik.


Donald wants to block spam
I am getting a lot of spam emails that I want to block. My ISP allows me to enter either an email address OR a domain to block that spam in the future. In many of the spam email addresses, the email address is preceded by some words that are in quotes. If I enter the words in quotes will that block all spam emails that begin with those words?

Our answer
Hi Donald. I’m afraid you’re fighting a losing battle trying to block spam by email address or domain. Spammers forge email headers and rarely send spam from the same domain or email address.

Since you have a Gmail account, you can control spam the way we control spam which is over 98% effective. We get hundreds of emails each week and rarely ever see a spam email come into our inboxes.

Here’s how we do it and you can do it this way too. I can tell you from experience, if you do it this way, you’ll get very little spam (if any) coming to your inbox. And you’ll rarely find a “good” email in your spam folder.

We hope this helps you, Donald.


Beverley lost her Internet connection
I was working away one night and out of the side of my eye, I saw some kind of light and bingo I had no more internet. It was totally gone when I looked down at the bottom bar of my computer. There is nothing there. Can this be fixed to install internet somehow or what has to be done. Any suggestions would be appreciated. It is not the computer that I am using to send you this as this is a very old one that I resurrected to keep me going till I can get my sick computer fixed.

Thanks, TC, I really appreciate all the help you have given me over the years. I am not good with words so I hope you can understand what kind of a major problem I have. Beverley.

Our answer
Hi Beverley. Thanks so much.

It sounds like your network card or wireless card stopped working – but I’m not sure about the ‘flash’ of light though.

If you’re using a wireless connection you can buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter for around $25 that will fix your problem if the wireless network card has gone bad. See our article here.

If you were using a wired connection (Ethernet), and you don’t want to open the case and replace the network interface card, you can buy a USB network interface for Ethernet connections for around $20. See this page.

We hope this answers your questions, if not, let us know.


Angie says her computer shuts down if she’s not online
Hi. If I am not online, my computer shuts down after a few moments. How can I change it so it stays un until I shut it down?

Our answer
Hi Angie. Right-click on the start button, click Power Options. Under Power Options change the number of minutes under Screen to a larger number and under “Sleep” change it to “Never”.

Let us know if this helps you.
——
Angie wrote back: “It worked! Thank you again. It’s so simple if you know what you are doing. It works great! Angie.”


Sue needs to clear her backup drive but she’s having a problem
Hi, I have gained so much insight from you in all these years and am so grateful you are still here for us! I have a question about File History and backups. My external drive is full (hopefully with backups) and now I need to delete most of it so I can continue to back up. I’ve tried a couple of things that I found on the internet,  but nothing works. I get an error: “Could not clean up File History data. Element not found”. Is there another way I can get rid of these files and not have to mess with having to repair Win 10 which was a suggestion?

Thanks so much, I always feel you’ll have the answer!

Our answer
Hi Sue. You can right-click on the external (backup) drive and choose Format. Do a quick format on the drive, then set up File History again on that drive. You might need to reset File History for it to work correctly again.

If you do need to reset File History, see this page.

We hope this helps you, Sue.
————–
Sue wrote back: “Oh my gosh, TC, thank you so very much!! Of course, formatting!!  Thanks for the link as well. Honestly, I hope you and Darcy know just how very much you are needed & appreciated, how you have saved our hair from being pulled out and our computers from being invaded. You consistently smarten us up for scams and safe downloads. I can’t thank you enough. I’ll be making a donation today! Sue.”


Tricia wants to know if searching from our Start page helps us
I have your Start page as my browser’s home page. Do you get some remuneration each time I go to your Start page and use the search on that page to find something? If so, let me know, and I will use it a lot more. Tricia.

Our answer
Hi Tricia. We get a small amount from Google each time someone searches our Start page at https://thundercloud.net/start/.

And… thank you so much for using our Start page and for using it to search from too!


Shirley might be a victim of a phishing scam
I have bought Emsisoft from you, but I need to know if I need something like LifeLock. I have renewed Emsisoft. But someone from my local Home Depot put my Social Security number on the Dark Web. I had protection provided by Home Depot for two years, but last year I got all my credit cards hacked and even my PayPal account. Should I buy LifeLock?

Many thanks for years of great info and help. Blessing to you, Shirley.

Our answer
Hi Shirley. Thank you for your nice comments.

It sounds like you have been the victim of phishing emails and you’ve given criminals your personal information. No software program can prevent you from falling for a phishing scam. Lifelock has been sued a least a half-a-dozen times for false advertising.

The only advice we can give you is don’t click links in emails if you’re not sure who sent them – and NEVER click any links in emails that ask you to click to change your password or change your personal information.

See this page to learn how to avoid falling for phishing scams.

And remember you have to be careful with links in email because no software programs, antivirus, antimalware — no software at all — can protect you from you clicking a link and giving your information to criminals. So, don’t spend your money on LifeLock – it’s expensive and their advertising isn’t all true.

Just be very careful with email and don’t click links if you’re not sure who sent the email. And remember, criminals can make any email look like it came from Home Depot, your bank, a credit card company, etc.

I hope this helps you, Shirley. If you need anything else, please let us know.


Wait! Before you go…

Every week we help dozens of people with their computers without charge or any expectation of payment. And we have helped many folks who have fallen for tech support scams or other scams designed to steal their money.

And we now depend more on readers like you to help keep us going. Your donation helps us to help more people with their computers and helps us keep everyone safer online.

Please help support our small business and help us to keep on helping you.

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3 thoughts on “Saturday Bonus Questions and Answers – 020522

  1. SB

    I have a fourth option for Mona with the four Gmail addresses … she can add accounts to the same account and switch between them easily.
    1. sign in to any of the accounts and then click the user icon in the top right corner
    2. select Add Another Account
    3. sign in to that one
    4. repeat for each account
    At this point, she would be able to click the user icon (in any of the accounts) and have a list of all her accounts – just click the one she wants to access.
    (I prefer the OE Classic method myself, but for someone used to using the Gmail interface, I think this way is most efficient.)

    Reply
  2. Joann B

    Please help! I don’t know what to do. I already had presented the problem but it was not accepted because it was determined to be a possible fraud. I have received a “thank you for payment” for $399.00 from renewing a Norton anti-virue, which I’ve never had. I have Emsisoft & have had it for a number of yrs. I will not type in the man’s name because I wonder if that sent up a red flag causing my problem to not be accepted. I have NOT touched anything at all on the “thankyou notice” for fear of making a horrendous error. Please help me right away if possible. I’m ever afraid to continue to use my computer at all. Thank you ever so very much. Joann B.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      It’s a scam, Joann. Delete the email. This scam has been going around for months. See this articleand this oneand this one.

      The more informed you are the less afraid you’ll be. The articles we linked will help you understand how these kinds of scams work and how to avoid becoming a victim.

      We hope this helps you, Joann.

      Reply

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