Let’s Learn About Some Ways The Internet of Things Is Already Affecting

The internet of things is already having a big impact on your life – even if you’re not be fully aware of it. Here’s how it affects your everyday life.
The internet of things (IoT) may sound like it belongs in a sci-fi movie, but it’s already here and impacting our daily lives. But what is the IoT? In essence, electronic devices and home appliances are becoming ‘smart’ – using computer chips and wireless technologies to connect and talk to other devices including smartphone and computers over the internet.

What is the internet of things?

Internet of things in the home

A smart home that’s energy efficient and makes life easier is often the first thing most people think of when considering a future shaped by the IoT. While we’re not yet at the point where our fridges can order a new carton of milk, the impact of the IoT is already evident in our home.

Smart TVs, games consoles, energy meters and home security systems already have the ability to be remotely controlled over the internet. British Gas’s Hive system has an intelligent thermostat that lets you remotely control your home’s heating and hot water from anywhere using an app on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. It works with your existing heating system and as you’re only heating your home when needed, you could save up to £150 per year on your energy bills. Home automation systems, such as Apple’s HomeKit, let you remotely control connected appliances and gadgets around your home, such as turning on the lights before you arrive home or locking and unlocking electronically smart doors.

Internet of things and health

When it comes to health, the potential of the IoT is far reaching. We already enjoy the benefits of wearable IoT health devices, such as activity trackers from likes of Fitbit and Jawbone, as well as the Apple Watch. These devices can record the steps we’ve taken, calculate the distance walked, calories burnt, and measure how long and hard we exercise – then transmit all this information to an app on our smartphone or tablet. Other smart wearable gadgets can track even more, including sleeping patterns and heart rate.

IoT connectivity is also helping to provide care for babies and the elderly. This includes smart baby sleepsuits that record sleeping patterns and temperatures, as well as care systems that allow you to remotely monitor an elderly loved-one’s health and activities with alerts should they leave their home at odd hours.

Driving and the internet of things

The IoT is set to fundamentally change the way we drive, making journeys safer and less stressful. For example, road sensors will communicate directly to car dashboards about unsafe driving conditions. But even today, smart cars monitor real-time traffic using connected sat-nav systems to reroute around congestion. Other car sensors with connected apps can monitor engine performance, diagnose problems, find parking places and even call for help in a crash. Smart cars will become ever more connected and soon-to-launch driverless cars from companies such as Google are set to change the daily commute forever.

The internet of things and the environment

The IoT is helping us monitor and reduce our environmental impact, from smart meters that help us use less energy at home to smart bins in our streets that send out an alert when they’re full, so collections are only made when necessary. IoT connectivity is also evident with sensors that detect water levels in our rivers to prevent flooding and sensors that monitor sewage to avoid it being dumped in the sea.

Shopping and the internet of things

The IoT has already begun to change the way we shop, with some retailers using Bluetooth signals from customers’ smartphones to track their journey through a store. Customers who have the retailer’s app on their smartphone can then be offered coupons and promotional material directly on their screens while they’re out shopping.

Know More About Li-Fi

Li-Fi is a new way of wirelessly connecting computers to the internet, in which a lightbulb can become a hyper-efficient internet connection.

What is Li-Fi?

Li-Fi, short for “light-fidelity”, is a new way of wirelessly connecting computers to the internet that could one day replace Wi-Fi.

It is substantially speedier than the networks that we’re used to, and can transmit huge amounts of data easily using light.

You can literally turn a lightbulb into a hyper-efficient internet connection.

What should I do if my broadband service isn’t working?

How Li-Fi works

Unlike standard Wi-Fi, which transmits information through radio waves, Li-Fi uses the light spectrum (hence “light-fidelity”).

The network signal is broadcast through an ordinary household LED bulb, using dims and flashes undetectable to the human eye. The signals are then picked up by a sensor on your computer or phone.

In theory this could be built into every lightbulb in your house, into street lights, the lighting on buses, trains or aeroplanes, in pubs or concert venues or into portable devices like torches, making connectivity extremely easy – if you can see it, then it’s connected.

Li-Fi vs Wi-Fi

Aside from extremely high speeds of data transfer (roughly ten times faster than broadband over Wi-Fi), Li-Fi has all sorts of advantages.

Because it uses light instead of radio waves, all of those places where using a Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal could be dangerous no longer apply, as there’s no risk of interference – that means unlimited data use in traditional no-go areas like aeroplanes and hospitals.

As light can’t travel through walls your data is much more secure – no-one can hack into your network through the Li-Fi because if they can’t see the bulb they can’t connect to it.

You could also connect many more devices to one network as the capacity is much greater. This makes internet-enabled household appliances (known as ‘the Internet of Things’) much more practical. It could even be used underwater, as light will pass more easily through water than radio waves.

What is the internet of things – and how does it affect you?

What are the disadvantages?

The main one is the range: light doesn’t pass through walls, so two devices can’t connect to the same light source if they are in different rooms. You’d have to have separate bulbs in each room.

And of course the light has to be switched on for the connection to work, so you might have to leave the lights on when you go to bed if you wanted your internet-enabled-fridge to send your order to the milkman, which could well be the case in the near future. Browsing on your phone in bed becomes much more problematic too.

This sounds brilliant – where can I sign up?

Actually at present you can’t – mainstream adaptation of Li-Fi technology is still a little way off.

Li-Fi pioneers PureLiFi have developed several products but none are actually on the market yet. They expect to roll out some early versions later this year.

So it’s not worth throwing your old router out just yet – even when Li-Fi devices are more common, it’s expected they’ll work alongside traditional Wi-Fi for some years, if they ever replace it at all.

Know More About Wi-Fi router you choose matter

If you are a frequent internet user you will have realised that the majority of Wi-Fi routers you get free when you sign up for broadband aren’t that good, especially if you live in an older house with thicker walls.

How does a router work?

The router lets your phone line or fibre cable transmit Wi-Fi signals; think of it as the brain of your home network.

It lets a single internet connection be shared between devices, but demands on it have increased dramatically.

Bandwidth explained

Smartphones, laptops, tablet computers, game consoles like Playstations and Xboxes, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime all need bandwidth.

Cheaper routers are only single band, compared to the three bands that some models boast, and you’ll find yourself competing for bandwidth with other equipment including cordless telephones, Bluetooth kit and even microwave ovens. The result frequently is poor and erratic service.

Single-band routers for basic networking operate on the 2.4GHz radio band and are usually fine for web browsing unless there are lots of people nearby using the same frequency.

Dual-band routers work on the same band but also on the less crowded 5GHz one. There are only three channels available on 2.4GHz but 23 channels available on 5GHz, so there is less interference and better throughput.

This means you should be able to run your phone and laptops on the 2.4GHz band, and use the 5GHz band for fast content video games or streaming HD video.

In general terms 5GHz delivers faster data over a short distance while 2.4GHz gives more range but may work at slower speeds.

Dual-band routers can switch between bands and operate on both simultaneously because under some circumstances the range on 5GHz can drop to 70% or less.

Tri-band routers have one 2.4 GHz band and two 5.0GHz bands. It’s a good idea to check your devices will support 5GHz before splashing out.

Get a router that suits your needs

Be warned: some of these devices won’t look great in the living room because they have six aerials; however, being able to alter the aerials’ positions can make a big difference to performance. Some routers with three visible aerials have three more inside.

Before buying a new router check whether your system connects to the internet using an ADSL modem or a cable one.

Some USB ports, preferably USB 3.0, are also useful for attaching external hard drives and printers.

More complex routers let you adjust network traffic priority for devices or applications, so you don’t lose your work connection when writing a report if the family have decided to watch the latest superhero film.

You can also set up separate access for your visitors to maintain your security. Parental controls can also be set to restrict times of use and web sites accessed.

New routers vs old

Routers have changed a lot in just the last three years. Newer ones have features that were not available on the old a, b, g and n standard protocol ones.

Some are even specifically designed for fast paced games. And more bandwidth means you can stream a film while other people are doing different things online.

The 802.11n routers operate on 2.4GHz and 5GHz with a theoretical maximum speed of about 240 megabits per second (Mbps).

Routers working on the new 802.11ac standard deliver, in theory, three times the speed – or 720Mbps – but work only on the 5GHz band.

Most phones, laptops and printers use 802.11n, which is capable of a maximum through put speed of up to 600Mbps.

Now 802.11n is being replaced by 802.11ac which allows higher speed and more bandwidth. Band ac is regarded as future-proof but a/b/g/n are not.

Numbers associated with routers such as N600 or AC1900 refers to the theoretical maximum speed the router is capable of achieving.

Other factors influence internet speed

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a better router will automatically improve your internet speed. This also depends on factors like the broadband speed, the number of devices in use and where the router is positioned.

As ever with any high speed connection into your home don’t forget to protect your router from hackers.

It is best with n or ac standards to use WPA2 (wireless protected access) with AES encryption because other WEP or WPA reduce bandwidth. Some can be tricky to set-up.

Some router options follow. There are some amazing deals so check around and be flexible.

Netgear N750 Dual Band

Plenty of range for most houses though the 5GHz drops 20 to 30ft outside the house. Holds signal well. Capable of internet speeds up to 1,000 MBits per second. Easy to set up with Apple’s Time Machine. Parental controls. Will be a big improvement for most people. Price has been as high as £150. Now £75 to £48

TP-LINK Archer C7 AC 1750

Dual band with six antennas but the dual USB ports are only 2.0 rather than 3.0. There’s a strong signal for a really good range, four LAN Gigabit ports and you can access the router and connected USB drives using your i0S or Android phone. Price £95 to £55.

Netgear Nighthawk R 7000

The Nighthawk R7000 strengthens connections by aiming the Wi-Fi signal and using three antennas. It works on the 5GHz and 2.4 GHz bands so is great for playing on line games or streaming HD video. Range should be good too. There are four LAN Gigabit ports for the best connection and two USB ports, one the faster 3.0 specification. The ReadySHARE system gives safe and secure remote access to your USB data. Price £125 to £150.

TP-LINK TL-WR841 N300

Despite its incredibly low price of around £20 the N300 was voted one of the top routers of 2016. True it only has two antenna and is single band, but it performs well in tests if you live somewhere not crowded with signals. You can’t connect a network drive but there are four LAN ports.

ASUS RT-AC5300

The AC500’s eight dual-band antennas work with multiple user technology to assign a dedicated network for each connected device so that there’s no queuing for printers or computers. This also makes it one of the best gaming routers. The signal is tri-band (two five GHz bands and one 2.4GHz) and there are four Gigabit LAN ports, but make sure your network can cope with MIMO (multiple input multiple output) networking capabilities. There’s a USB 3.0 port and a standard USB 2.0. Guest network options provide visitors with internet access without compromising personal information. Virtual private network (VPN) functions allow for secure and reliable remote access to the network. Files can be shared and download without turning the computer on. Apple users can backup data to a central drive with Time Machine. It’s a quality product but expect to pay £300 to £400.

D-Link DIR-868L

The smooth cylindrical shape of this dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) router is a huge surprise after the Christmas tree antennae of some. The router worked best on the 5GHz band. The USB3 port can be used to share music or video. The only annoyance is that the router does not have a built-up ADSL modem so you need a cable connection or an Ethernet modem or router to connect to its WAN port. Currently seems to be priced from £99 and upwards but early in 2015 a friend picked one up for just £66.

Information About Teen Internet Safety Tips

Spend much time surfing the web? If you do, you need to be wary of things that lurk on the dark side of the Internet. Not only are there viruses, hackers and spammers — online predators and a bunch of evildoers are out there just waiting to pounce on teens in the digital world.

You have probably heard of someone’s computer being hacked, his or her identity being stolen online, or even having some embarrassing pictures posted online.

“Nah, it can’t happen to me,” you think. Well, if you use the following Internet safety tips, you have a good chance of being right.

1. Keep Your Online Identity Secret
Don’t tell anyone your real name and address or what neighborhood you live in. Here’s the general rule: Don’t give out any information that a predator could possibly use to find you. The Federal Trade Commission says that even “small clues” like what school you attend or the name of your athletic team is enough for a predator to figure out your identity. You wouldn’t tell some 40-year-old man or woman you met at the mall your name and where you live, would you? So why would you tell CoolGuy985 or HotChick16 from the chat room?

2. Your Username and Password Belong to You … And Only You
Don’t give your username or password to anyone. It’s just that simple. What if a friend logs on and pretends to be you, and then says something really awful and gets you in trouble? Sure, it might seem funny to the “former” friend, but it’s serious and it happens everyday. With your username and password, someone can post language that gets you expelled from school, in trouble with your parents, or even in trouble with the law. Keep your name and password private.

3. The Internet has a Great Memory … So Keep Its Memory of You Clean
Just because the Internet is so massive does not mean that embarrassing or risqué pictures, rude or mean comments, or illegal activities will disappear forever. Watch what you post about yourself or others — or allow your friends to post about you — because you may have to live with it for a long, long time.

4. Be Good Online … Just Like You Are Offline
Writing “hate” emails, hacking into other people’s computers, illegally downloading music or movies and making online threats are just as illegal on the Internet as they are in the real world. You cannot hide behind a screen name and get away with it. Watch what you write — because someone else is watching what you write!

5. Be Extremely Careful about Meeting Someone in Person
The FBI gives an all-out blanket warning: “Never meet anyone in person that you meet online.” That said, many teens do make good friends online. You just have to be super-cautious and make sure other people you know and trust also know this “new” online person.

If you do decide to meet the new person, bring your parents with you. All of you meet together in a public area like a mall where there are tons of people around. Ask that the person’s parents come, too. If the situation feels creepy, it probably is creepy! Just like in the real world, trust your gut instincts — and walk away.

6. Your Parents Are Ultimately Responsible for Minors Online
Even if your parents don’t know much about the Internet, tell them what types of web sites you go to. They will probably be interested and impressed with your Internet skills. They may also help you avoid potential problems if a web site or new “friend” looks sketchy.

Some Extra Words of Caution
Almost Everything on the Internet Is Traceable

Every search, web site visit, online posting and email is registered or recorded somewhere on the Internet. Once you send something out on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to take it back. You have to be careful — not impulsive — when you write email or go to chat rooms.

People Live in “Fantasyland” Online

Even though someone writes, “Hi, I’m a really cool 15-year-old guy from New York City,” in reality that guy may be a 60-year-old man or even your next-door neighbor. Use scrutiny and caution.

Your Information Can Be Sold to Others
Some Extra Words of Caution continued…
Every web site has this thing called a “privacy policy.” It will tell you how that web site uses all the personal information about you, like your name. In some cases, though, when you’re not looking, some web sites ignore their privacy policy and sell your email address to other companies. When you open your email one day, you might have 150 spam emails in your inbox as a result. If a web site is asking for too much information about you, take control and leave the site. (Again, would you give this information to some older stranger at the mall? Probably not.)

What about Nude Photos and Sex Sites?

You’ve probably come across some explicit sexual material on the Internet. That’s because pornography is big business on the web. If you come across a pornography site or get pornographic email, take control: Leave the site or delete the email.

Remember, pornography is not real life. It’s made up — the men and women are acting. In real life, real people don’t act that way with each other. There are much better ways to learn about real sex if you’re curious — like WebMD’s Teen Health Channel.

Is It Safe to Post Photos of Myself on the Internet?

No way! In terms of bad ideas, this one tops the chart! John Shehan from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children based in Alexandria, Virginia, says that posting or emailing sexual pictures of yourself can be embarrassing — and dangerous. “Teens quickly learn the hard way that images are forever memorialized online, and they are almost impossible to delete,” Shehan says.

If someone asks you to send them sexual pictures, be very suspicious — and don’t do it. Alert your parents. Shehan says that teens who send out one sexual picture can sometimes be blackmailed to send more, when the sexual predator threatens to post the first picture online for millions to see — or show it to your family or friends.

Some Smarter Tips for MOre Efficient Internet Searching

Did you hate memorizing seemingly insignificant facts for tests at school? No photographic memory? Good news! Life is now an open-book exam — assuming you have a computer, browser, and Internet access. If you know how to use a good search engine, you don’t have to stuff your mind with facts that are useful only when playing Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit.

Chances are, you aren’t the first person to run across the problem you are experiencing. Chances are also good that an answer is awaiting your discovery on the Internet — you just have to remove the irrelevant pages and the unhelpful/incorrect results to find that needle in the haystack.

Google has been fanatical about speed. There is little doubt that it has built an incredibly fast and thorough search engine. Unfortunately, the human element of the Internet search equation is often overlooked. These 10 tips are designed to improve that human element and better your Internet search skills.

1: Use unique, specific terms

It is simply amazing how many Web pages are returned when performing a search. You might guess that the terms blue dolphin are relatively specialized. A Google search of those terms returned 2,440,000 results! To reduce the number of pages returned, use unique terms that are specific to the subject you are researching.

2: Use the minus operator (-) to narrow the search

How many times have you searched for a term and had the search engine return something totally unexpected? Terms with multiple meanings can return a lot of unwanted results. The rarely used but powerful minus operator, equivalent to a Boolean NOT, can remove many unwanted results. For example, when searching for the insect caterpillar, references to the company Caterpillar, Inc. will also be returned. Use Caterpillar -Inc to exclude references to the company or Caterpillar -Inc -Cat to further refine the search.

3: Use quotation marks for exact phrases

I often remember parts of phrases I have seen on a Web page or part of a quotation I want to track down. Using quotation marks around a phrase will return only those exact words in that order. It’s one of the best ways to limit the pages returned. Example: “Be nice to nerds”.Of course, you must have the phrase exactly right — and if your memory is as good as mine, that can be problematic.

4: Don’t use common words and punctuation

Common terms like a and the are called stop words and are usually ignored. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like the are significant. For instance, Raven and The Raven return entirely different results.

5: Capitalization

Most search engines do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase, even within quotation marks. The following are all equivalent:

technology
Technology
TECHNOLOGY
“technology”
“Technology”

6: Drop the suffixes

It’s usually best to enter the base word so that you don’t exclude relevant pages. For example, bird and not birds, walk and not walked. One exception is if you are looking for sites that focus on the act of walking, enter the whole term walking.

7: Maximize AutoComplete

Ordering search terms from general to specific in the search box will display helpful results in a drop-down list and is the most efficient way to use AutoComplete. Selecting the appropriate item as it appears will save time typing. You have several choices for how the AutoComplete feature works:

Use Google AutoComplete. The standard Google start page will display a drop-down list of suggestions supplied by the Google search engine. This option can be a handy way to discover similar, related searches. For example, typing in Tucson fast will not only bring up the suggestion Tucson fast food but also Tucson fast food coupons. Use browser AutoComplete. Use this Google start page to disable the Google AutoComplete feature and display a list of your previous searches in a drop-down box. I find this particularly useful when I’ve made dozens of searches in the past for a particular item. The browser’s AutoComplete feature must be turned on for this option to work. Click one of these links for instructions detailing how to turn AutoComplete on or off in I.E. and Firefox.

Examples:

Visual Basic statement case
Visual Basic statement for
Visual Basic call

8: Customize your searches

There are several other less well known ways to limit the number of results returned and reduce your search time:

The plus operator (+): As mentioned above, stop words are typically ignored by the search engine. The plus operator tells the search engine to include those words in the result set. Example: tall +and short will return results that include the word and.
The tilde operator (~): Include a tilde in front of a word to return results that include synonyms. The tilde operator does not work well for all terms and sometimes not at all. A search for ~CSS includes the synonym style and returns fashion related style pages —not exactly what someone searching for CSS wants. Examples: ~HTML to get results for HTML with synonyms; ~HTML -HTML to get synonyms only for HTML.
The wildcard operator (*): Google calls it the fill in the blank operator. For example, amusement * will return pages with amusement and any other term(s) the Google search engine deems relevant. You can’t use wildcards for parts of words. So for example, amusement p* is invalid.
The OR operator (OR) or (|): Use this operator to return results with either of two terms. For example happy joy will return pages with both happy and joy, while happy | joy will return pages with either happy or joy.
Numeric ranges: You can refine searches that use numeric terms by returning a specific range, but you must supply the unit of measurement. Examples: Windows XP 2003..2005, PC $700 $800.
Site search: Many Web sites have their own site search feature, but you may find that Google site search will return more pages. When doing research, it’s best to go directly to the source, and site search is a great way to do that. Example: site:www.intel.com rapid storage technology.
Related sites: For example, related:www.youtube.com can be used to find sites similar to YouTube.
Change your preferences: Search preferences can be set globally by clicking on the gear icon in the upper-right corner and selecting Search Settings. I like to change the Number Of Results option to 100 to reduce total search time.
Forums-only search: Under the Google logo on the left side of the search result page, click More | Discussions or go to Google Groups. Forums are great places to look for solutions to technical problems.
Advanced searches: Click the Advanced Search button by the search box on the Google start or results page to refine your search by date, country, amount, language, or other criteria.
Wonder Wheel: The Google Wonder Wheel can visually assist you as you refine your search from general to specific. Here’s how to use this tool

As you can see in Figure C, Google now displays two wheels showing the DBMS and dbms tutorial Wonder Wheels, with the results for dbms tutorial on the right side of the page. You can continue drilling down the tree to further narrow your search. Click the Close button at the top of the results to remove the Wonder Wheel(s).

9: Use browser history

Many times, I will be researching an item and scanning through dozens of pages when I suddenly remember something I had originally dismissed as being irrelevant. How do you quickly go back to that Web site? You can try to remember the exact words used for the search and then scan the results for the right site, but there is an easier way. If you can remember the general date and time of the search you can look through the browser history to find the Web page.

10: Set a time limit — then change tactics

Sometimes, you never can find what you are looking for. Start an internal clock, and when a certain amount of time has elapsed without results, stop beating your head against the wall. It’s time to try something else:

Use a different search engine, like Yahoo!, Bing, Startpage, or Lycos.
Ask a peer.
Call support.
Ask a question in the appropriate forum.
Use search experts who can find the answer for you.