Sunday, 24 March 2013

If it seems too good to be true...

As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.” Nowhere are these words of wisdom more applicable than on Facebook!

Very few words can capture one’s attention more than the word ‘FREE.’ You would think that the constant use and overuse by marketers worldwide would eventually wear the word out, but it's not the case. Just seeing the word on a page, in an online advertisement, or hearing it on the television or the radio is enough to grab the average person's attention.

Facebook scammers and spammers have enjoyed great success with the lure of false promises. At any given moment, you don’t have to look very hard to find Free iPads, iPhones, Computers, etc. -Including iPad Giveway and other ‘Giveaway’ Pages. The pics I've posted here are examples of a couple of these I've seen over the past day alone.

The whole premise that a new Iphone or Ipad can't be sold and has to be given away because the factory seal on the packaging has been broken is, frankly, unbelievable given the high value and desirability of these items.

The Apple name and logo have been used in the title of the Facebook page to make the offer appear legitimate and, perhaps, associated with Apple Inc. However take a look under the surface at the About info for any of these pages and you'll see there's little or no detail of who's behind the offers, and it's certainly not Apple Inc.

99% of the time, the end game encountered by unsuspecting users is either a survey scam or a marketing gimmick where you have to complete several ‘special’, ‘reward’ or ‘bonus’ offers to qualify for the promotion. These offers often cost real money, and we have yet to hear of a case where the participant actually received anything after jumping through all of the hoops.

I clicked on the links in the above pages just to test my theory which took me through to a web site where, before I could even see specific details of the offer, I was challenged to provide my name, email address and "any other relevant information" whatever that might be. So anyone clicking through just to check the details of the free offer doesn't even get the option to choose whether or not to subscribe. Seems like a very hard sell to me which, if the offer was genuine and above board, really wouldn't be necessary.

So my advice to you here is: avoid these like the plague!

Finally... I'm big enough to admit my mistakes. So if I'm wrong about any of these Facebook Ipad/Iphone giveaway offers I'll happily eat humble pie in this blog. However I'll need to see hard evidence from someone I know and trust to convince me.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

A simple fix for most WiFi signal strength problems

I'm often hearing from friends and clients who struggle with WiFi signal strength problems in their home or office. However there's always a solution to it and based on my own experience it's normally a trivial one. Here's some food for thought when approaching the task of deciding on the most appropriate solution.

Most of the time a WiFi repeater will provide an inexpensive solution to the problem. A wireless repeater will take an existing signal from a wireless router or access point and rebroadcast it to create a second network with an apparently seamless connection between the two networks. Those outside of the primary network will be able to connect through the new "repeated" network. Wireless repeaters are commonly used to improve signal range and strength within homes and small offices.

Generally speaking WiFi repeaters work best when positioned in an elevated setting within the room or space their WiFi signal is to be broadcast. That's because an elevated setting typically has fewer physical obstructions. However that elevated setting's not always easy to achieve in a home/office unless there's a high shelf or storage unit upon which the repeater can be placed. Furthermore this can also give rise to a problem of having an unsightly trailing power lead which is often undesirable in a home setting.

There's a popular preference for the wall-mounted type WiFi repeater. And it's understandable because they're compact and less obtrusive. Bear in mind though that they're often handicapped because they're likely do be plugged into a wall socket way down at shin level, and possibly obscured behind furniture and therefore not ideally situated to deliver optimum performance. For this reason they can deliver disappointing results.

The alternative to the plug-in adapter type repeater is the free standing type device such as the one pictured here. It'll have an external power adapter and most of these free-standing repeaters come with a wall-mounting kit. The device's external antennas are adjustable and help improve its WiFi signal strength.

In most situations either of the above products will do what's needed and I'm happy to recommend either. However I'd say the free-standing one is most likely to give the best/strongest signal, hence would be my first choice. Mine is sat on top of a book case and is out of sight but gives out a strong signal from up there.