Subscribe: Data Doctors Tips and Tricks
http://feeds.datadoctors.com/feeds/TipsTricks.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
battery  devices  goo  https goo  https  internet  ios  iphone  lsquo  new  number  options  security  speed  update  web 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Data Doctors Tips and Tricks

Data Doctors Tips and Tricks



Computing Tips & Tricks



 



Can you help me understand all the numbers on SD camera cards?

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0700

(image) Today’s memory cards are a confusing batch of geek speak, but once you understand some of the basics, it might make it easier to digest.

Physical Size

Most of today’s devices use either SD or microSD cards, which you can determine by looking at the card slot on your camera.

Storage Capacity

The easiest specification to digest is the storage capacity, which is represented in gigabytes (GB). It’s easy to assume that the bigger the number, the better – in reality, this is not necessarily the case.

Not only can it be cheaper to use multiple smaller cards, you won’t live and die with just one card because they do degrade, get lost or experience data corruption.


SD vs SDHC vs SDXC

A memory card’s capacity is determined by the file system being used to store data designated by the type of card.

SD (Secure Digital) cards are the oldest, least used and limited to 2GB of storage.

SDHC (High Capacity) cards can store up to 32 GB of data, while SDXC (eXtended Capacity) cards can store up to 2 Terabytes (2000 GB).

Older devices may not be able to use the SDXC format, so make sure your device does support these larger cards before buying one.

Rated Speed

This is where things can get a bit confusing, as there can be various designations referring to the card’s speed. It’s represented in MB/s (megabytes per second) or a large number followed by an ‘x’ or sometimes both.


The ‘x’ designation is a marketing term - 1x represents 150 kb/s, so 600x is the same as a 90 MB/s rating (600 x 150 = 90,000). This number typically represent the ‘read’ speed, which is generally higher than the ‘write’ speed.


Speed Class

This specification is represented on the card as a number inside of the letter ‘C‘ to represent the minimum write speed and is most important to those shooting video or very large images in succession (burst mode).

There are four classes: 2, 4, 6 and 10 which represents the minimum sustained megabytes per second (MB/s) write speed – the higher the number, the faster the sustained speed.

UHS Speed Class

Faster SDXC memory cards will have the UHS or Ultra High Speed rating represented by a number inside the letter ‘U’. U1 means it’s 10 MB/s while U3 means it’s rated at 30 MB/s.

UHS Bus Class

Different from the UHS Speed Class, this rating refers to the ‘bus interface’ and is represented by a roman numeral. Think of the ‘bus interface’ as the number of lanes on a freeway vs the UHS Speed Class, which represents the speed of individual cars.


Video Speed Class

If you’re trying to shoot extremely high-resolution video (4 or 8K), this class of cards designated by the letter V and a number that ranges from 6 to 90 offers the fastest sustained write speeds (https://goo.gl/X9iuhW).

Overkill vs Future Proofing

If you have older equipment that you plan on upgrading soon, getting a faster card then you currently need may make sense, otherwise don’t spend more money then you need to as there’s no performance benefit.


To help you figure out what you actually need, checkout SanDisk’s web tool: https://goo.gl/4nGJUR.  Once you figure out the specs for your desired card, you can easily comparison shop around the Internet.




What filter are you using on the pictures you've recently posted on Instagram?

Thu, 8 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0700

(image) I’ve been road testing a Verizon Google Pixel 2 XL (https://goo.gl/r6Q1q) which has some pretty spectacular lens and camera technology built-in.

Features such as the automatic HDR+ and HDR+ enhanced help with images that have various levels of light, while the portrait mode creates images where your subject is in focus while the background is slightly blurred – like DSLRs can take.

One of the options that makes it simple to create some very interesting images like the one of my dog (https://goo.gl/uCcPh7) and the one with the group toast (https://goo.gl/XEdFWK) is the ‘Pop’ filter.

This effect is a preset combination of light, contrast, highlights, shadows and other settings that are available separately in the camera that instantly creates some ‘pop’. 

What’s Already There

If you’re not interested in getting a new phone, I’d suggest making sure that you’ve explored all the built-in features you may already have.  I commonly find that most smartphone users use a small fraction of the photo options that their phone offers.

You can find lots of information on your phone’s camera features by doing a search for ‘best camera features of xxx’.

Suggested Apps

If you’re looking for a lot of control both while you are taking the picture and after you take it, checkout the free Adobe Lightroom CC App in your app store.

Taking a better picture to begin with, improves your chances of better results with any of the filters or adjustments afterwards. If you use the app as your camera, you will have three modes to choose from: Automatic, Professional and HDR.

In Automatic mode, the majority of the settings are decided automatically by the app, but you can slide your finger across the screen to adjust the exposure setting before you take the picture.

In Professional mode, you’ll get a variety of manually adjustable settings like shutter speed, ISO and white balance before you snap your picture.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode is best used when there are significant differences in bright and dark areas in your shot, like the sun setting behind your subject.

The number of options for adjusting your image, whether it was taken through the Lightroom app or is already on your camera roll are impressive. While there are a large number of presets from 4 different categories, learning how to use the various manual options in the Light, Color and Effects menus will give you a lot more control over the final image.

If you want to add the blurred background effect, checkout the After Focus app (iPhone or Android - https://goo.gl/7TVo14)

If you shoot a lot of outdoor images in bright light, one of the best apps I’ve used is from EyeApps called Pro HDR (Android - https://goo.gl/2DoQuL) and Pro HDR X (iPhone - https://goo.gl/XqGD9M).

If you’re ready take on a really powerful tool, checkout Google’s Snapseed (Android or iPhone), which will come the closest to recreating the ‘pop’ effect that I referred to earlier.




Is the NUC an adequate desktop replacement computer?

Thu, 1 Feb 2018 00:00:00 +0700

(image) Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) was originally developed in 2013 as an alternative to netbooks and other small computing devices that mostly lacked in capability.

At its core, it’s a development platform that allows anyone to customize how it’s used or available as a traditional PC running Windows 10.  Its small size and portability even have some referring to it as a ‘laptop alternative’.

Intel saw a need for a more powerful computing device that could be used in situations where a small form-factor was important, such as digital signage, point-of-sale terminals, ATMs, etc.

Most of the focus in the early days was on business uses, but the NUC is now in its 8th generation of development and has proven to be a very powerful computing device for businesses and consumers.

Small Size, Big Performance

Measuring in at roughly 4”x4”, the various NUC models are fully-capable computers that can do just about everything the average PC user could ever need to do.

Traditionally, computing devices that were focused on reducing the footprint were very limited in expansion options, which limited their usefulness.

The NUC is small enough and light enough (@ 2lbs) that it can be mounted on the back of a display screen, which is why it works so well in the digital signage world.

This small size also makes it the perfect home theater PC or for use in an RV as a portable computing device that can plug into just about any TV.

Standard Features

If you’re going to purchase a pre-built system, a base model is likely going to come with Windows 10, 8GBs of RAM and a speedy Solid State Drive (SSD) ranging from 250 to 500 GBs and start around $800, so the small size does not mean it’s cheaper than larger computers.

Wired (Ethernet), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are also standard features on most upper-line models.

Options

Because the NUC can be used for so many different things, it comes in a variety of processor options, but if you plan on using it as your primary PC, I’d recommend sticking to an i3, i5 or i7 based model (lower cost units use Intel’s older Pentium or Celeron processors).

If you plan on doing more processor intensive tasks, such as photo or video editing or PC gaming, going with an i7-based model would be best.  If you primarily use it as an Internet terminal, an i3 or i5-based unit will work just fine.

Many models come standard with dual-display capabilities and you can add up to 32 GB of RAM. Their are a variety of external accessories ranging from powerful video cards that allow you to connect three or more displays, DVD drives and backup drives.

What’s Not Included

The NUC is just the computing device, so you’ll need to add a display and a USB or wireless mouse and keyboard, which you probably already have.

There are so many options for setting up a NUC, that it can get confusing for the non-enthusiast crowd, but many companies can help you wade through the maze on these awesome little computers! 




My computer is locked up with the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death after it installed a Windows 10 update, so what do I do to get my computer running again?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0700

(image) This scenario, also known as the ‘BSOD’ is among the most frustrating and potentially complicated issues that a Windows user can ever face and even for seasoned technical experts, it can be very time consuming to resolve.

When you experience a BSOD, it’s essentially Windows telling you that it’s detected a serious problem that makes using the operating system too unstable, which is why you get stopped in your tracks until it’s resolved.

BSOD Causes

The causes for a BSOD are extremely numerous and can range from a faulty hardware component such as RAM or hard drive to driver conflicts in older programs to major corruption to the OS from malware among dozens of other possibilities.

One of the reasons that resolving BSOD issues can be so complicated is that just about every computer on the planet has a unique combination of hardware, software and program settings that comes into play.

Generally speaking, you should see some type of stop code that helps narrow down the problem as Microsoft has over 350 stop codes that could come up on either a blue or black error screen.

The complete list of Microsoft’s stop codes can be found at: https://goo.gl/6ke7ei

Troubleshooting Options

Microsoft attempts to help users with an interactive troubleshooting guide (https://goo.gl/BeQXUV), but if things are really a mess, their generalized suggestions may get you nowhere.

If you can decipher the meaning of the stop code through Microsoft’s list, you may be able to find a path for troubleshooting, but in some cases, the stop code is pointing at the results not necessarily the cause.

You can also try doing an Internet search for your specific stop code as many thousands of resources exist for this all-to-common problem.

Widespread Increase

We’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of computers being brought to us stuck in a BSOD loop and we suspect that in Microsoft’s rush to patch the recent Meltdown and Spectre flaws, their normal process of testing the update was compressed.

They’re also now pushing out the Fall Creators Update to all machines on a staggered basis automatically.

We do know that if your anti-virus program has not confirmed that it’s compatible with the January 3rd ‘flaw’ update or if your computer has one of the AMD processors that has a known issue, Microsoft won’t offer you the update.

If you don’t see the update being available, you should not try to manually install any updates as that could certainly lead to a nightmare BSOD situation.

Preventative Measures

Since we know that both the flaw patch update and the Fall Creators Update are being automatically installed, the possibility for anyone to experience this problem goes up.

With this in mind, if you haven’t performed a complete backup recently, now is the time to do it as in some severe BSOD cases, reloading everything from scratch is the only reliable solution.

You’d be wise to gather all your software product keys as well in the event reinstallation is necessary, which can be done with the Belarc Advisor:  https://goo.gl/6jVEPE




What can I do if my iPhone 6 is getting really slow because of the update?

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0700

(image) The recent admission from Apple that they have been intentionally slowing down older iPhones since the release of iOS 10.2.1 in January of 2017 has many users upset.

Conspiracy theories have been floating around for years claiming that Apple intentionally makes older iPhones slower to encourage people to upgrade to a newer model, but this wasn’t what they admitted to doing.

The iOS update that started slowing older devices down was in response to an issue users were having with phones that would suddenly shut down.

Apple determined phones with weaker batteries were incapable of operating properly under a full load, which was causing them to suddenly shut down.

The 10.2.1 update was designed to examine the condition of the battery on iPhone 6 or older and when it detected an aging battery, it slowed the processing down to prevent the battery from becoming overloaded and shutting down.

With the release of iOS 11.2, users of iPhone 7 models with aging batteries will be subject to this same slow.

An aging battery turns out to be one of the most common causes of a slow iPhone, so I’d start there.

How Many Charging Cycles?

All Lithium Ion batteries suffer from loss of capacity as the number of charging cycles increase. Apple estimates that after 500 charging cycles, your battery can lose up to 20% of its capacity.

A charging cycle is considered a complete discharge and recharge of the battery equivalent to 100% of the batteries capacity, even if it’s done over several charging sessions.  For instance, if you recharge your battery when it’s at 50% twice, that equals one charge cycle.

There is nothing built-in to your iPhone that allows you to see the number of charging cycles, but knowing what the number is can be very helpful.

If you have a Mac-based computer, you can install an excellent free program called coconutBattery (https://goo.gl/uFU3py) that not only provides excellent info on your iPhone battery, it can do the same for your MacBook battery.

The ‘Loadcycles’ reading tells you how many charge cycles have been performed while the ‘Design capacity’ reading is an indication of the percentage of the original capacity left in your battery.

If you have a Windows-based computer, you can use a program called iMazing (https://goo.gl/ruresP) to check your iPhone’s battery details.


Free Battery Replacements

If you have an iPhone 6s that was manufactured between September and October of 2015, you may be eligible for a free battery replacement.

Apple has created a web resource (https://goo.gl/LXSUTV) that allows you to check your iPhone 6s by entering the serial number of your device. To find your device serial number, go to Settings > General > About.

Battery Replacement Options

If your iPhone is covered by AppleCare+, Apple will replace your battery at no charge when it falls below 80% capacity.

If you’re not sure if you have coverage, you can check here: https://goo.gl/ADx76k

If it’s not covered, Apple usually charges $79 to replace it, but recently announced that it will be offering $29 battery replacements for iPhone 6 or later in the near future: https://goo.gl/rpyHNK




Can you recommend a home security system that doesn't require a monitoring contract?

Thu, 7 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0700

The DIY home security market has exploded with Internet connected devices that can monitor just about anything in or around your home.If you’re willing to be the ‘monitoring company’ via your smartphone, there are numerous options that range from complete systems to various individual devices that can be used to create your own custom system.Self-monitoring means that if you sleep through an alert on your smartphone in the middle of the night, you won’t know about it until you wake up the next morning.It also means that you will have to decide when to call the police or 911 based on what you are seeing on your smartphone.Wired vs. WirelessYour first step is to access the areas that you want to monitor to determine if you have electrical power and wired or wireless Internet access.As Internet access goes, opting for wired devices over wireless devices can eliminate a common point of failure when Wi-Fi issues arise.Devices that plug directly into an electrical outlet also eliminate the possibility of a battery failure, but it can also limit where you are able to install devices.Complete SystemsIf you have a smaller home or apartment, you may be able to use one of the all-in-one solutions such as Canary (https://canary.is) or the upcoming Angee (https://meetangee.com).These single device security systems are simple to setup and can monitor motion, sound, temperature, and humidity while providing video streaming to show you what it’s seeing.  The primary device can monitor your primary living space with various sensor options for extending the monitoring area if needed.The popular SimpliSafe (https://simplisafe.com) platform offers a much larger variety of monitoring sensors that are still simple to setup because they’re all wireless. While they don’t require you to pay for their optional $15 per month monitoring service, you won’t get the full functionality such as controlling everything from your smartphone unless you do.  Their monitoring is month-to-month, so you have the flexibility to turn it on while you’re on vacation and discontinue upon your return.Lowe’s Iris platform (https://irisbylowes.com) offers a similar package including the ability to manage your devices remotely via your smartphone without having to pay for one of their monitoring packages.One of the more complete systems with a lot of options for tinkerers is from iSmartAlarm (https://ismartalarm.com) because it works with Amazon’s Alexa and the IFTTT platform (https://ifttt.com).Individual Device OptionsThere are a plethora of camera-based monitoring systems that range from the Ring Doorbell, Spot and Floodlight Cams (https://ring.com) to Nest Cams (https://nest.com/cameras) which can work with their optional alarm sensors (https://nest.com/alarm-system).For those needing completely wireless security cameras, both Arlo (https://arlo.com) and Blink (https://blinkforhome.com) offer wire-free devices so you can put them virtually anywhere you have a Wi-Fi signal.  The batteries generally last 1 to 2 years and both companies offer weatherproof options for outdoor use.If your Wi-Fi signal range is an issue, don’t forget about my previous suggestion to upgrade to a ‘mesh network’: https://goo.gl/MMbSuu [...]



Is it time for me to invest in Bitcoin and if so, where can I learn more?

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0700

(image) Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have long been the domain of the tech-savvy and rather confusing for the average consumer.  The confusion continues for most people, but with the massive increase in the value of Bitcoin since the beginning of the year, it’s getting a lot of people’s attention.

A single Bitcoin was valued at just under $1000 on January 1st of this year and by the end of November, it has popped up over $10,000 with new highs being reached almost daily.

I did a TV news segment in 2011 to try to help explain this ‘new currency’ (https://goo.gl/rNBiR6) and almost bought one just for the story. At that time, a single Bitcoin was valued at just over $3 – my loss!

It’s not surprising that anyone that simply looks at this at face value would consider it an investment opportunity, but this is far from anything resembling a traditional investment.

Wildly Volatile

Bitcoin has been extremely volatile from the beginning, with extreme changes to the value both up and down being commonplace.

Because there is no central bank, virtually any news story surrounding the use of Bitcoin from anywhere in the world can quickly impact the value.  In 2013 for instance, the value dropped in half overnight because of a change made by China’s largest Bitcoin exchange (https://goo.gl/Dkt3Yn).

There have been Bitcoin exchanges that have been hacked, shutdown by governments or in some cases, simply disappeared with the funds, so it’s far from a normal currency.  There are now more stable exchanges such as Coinbase (https://coinbase.com) backed by banks, large venture capital firms and even the New York Stock Exchange

The current run up has many predicting a crash, but the reality is that we are in uncharted waters when it comes to cryptocurrency.  Anyone that claims to know where all this is going is simply speculating based on traditional financial models, which really don’t apply to this new phenomenon.

But, with the massive acceleration in value of Bitcoin in such a short period of time, it’s easy to see why so many ‘experts’ are calling it a bubble that’s bound to burst.

Various Ways to Invest

Jumping into the frenzy and buying a fraction of one Bitcoin is just one way of getting started, but based on what has transpired recently, that seems very risky.

There are other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin that are substantially cheaper to buy such as Ethereum and Litecoin.  Coinbase makes it easy to buy any of them via their app if that’s your preferred method of investing/gambling.

There’s a decent chance that you’ll be able to invest through an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) sometime in 2018 which will spread your risk over many different cryptocurrencies and the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) recently announced that it plans to offer Bitcoin futures and options in the near future.

Educate Yourself

Whatever you decide to do, educating yourself is essential.  There are many ‘beginner’s guides’ available online, so if you have a favorite financial resource, search their website first.




Is it safe to install iOS 11 and if I do, can I uninstall it if I don't like it?

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0700

(image) Apple routinely releases a new version of its operating system, better known as iOS, whenever it introduces new phones.

iOS 11, which is the most recent major update, was released on September 19th followed by a minor updates on September 26th (11.0.1), October 3rd (11.0.2), October 11th (11.0.3) and October 31st (11.1).

As of this writing, 11.2 is in beta testing and should be released in the near future as the common complaint of reduced battery performance seems to have cropped up as it has with many past versions.

Understanding Build Numbers

This version numbering sequence (build number) is a general way to denote improvements over previous versions.


With this being the 11th major version of iOS, we have seen a pattern with every new release that is helpful to understand.

When you see the first number change, say from 10 to 11, you’ll know that it’s major update with a lot of new features.  With major updates come lots of undiscovered bugs and security issues which quickly become exposed as millions of eager users install and use the update.

When you see a version change from X.0 to X.0.1, this usually indicates a very minor update usually focused on bug and/or security fixes.  When you see a change from X.0 to X.1, this usually indicated a relatively minor update often accompanied by a feature update or two along with the bug/security fixes.

If you look at the update history of all 11 versions of iOS, you’ll see that it’s not uncommon for the version to go through a large number of updates until the final version is released.

iOS 10, for instance, had eleven different updated before it settled on 10.3.3 as the finalized version.

Minimizing Issues

For the most part, if you look back at the historical update patterns, waiting until you see version 11.2 or 11.3 would greatly reduce your chances of being part of the ‘guinea pig’ pool that helps Apple identify issues and bugs.

No Going Back

In the first couple of weeks of the iOS 11 release, there were ways to revert back to iOS 10.3.3 if things were not going well, but they were pretty involved and required you to have a proper backup before upgrading.

As of October 3rd, Apple made a change to how it addresses reverting which made it impossible to go back to iOS 10 once you’ve gone to iOS 11, so there is no going back.

General Rule of Thumb

As with any update, not everyone is going to experience issues because we’re all essentially running a unique combination of hardware and apps.

Before you install any iOS update, you can always click on the link in the description to see what new features are being added and what bugs or security issues are being addressed.  If the new features aren’t that compelling (like new emoji) or you’re not experiencing any issues listed, holding off on the update makes sense unless Apple expressly denotes that it’s a serious security patch.




What exactly is the 'deep web' and how to you get to it?

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0700

(image) Despite many representations of a nefarious underground operating out of sight, the deep web is actually mostly benign private databases and web resources not meant to be accessed by the general public.

The ‘surface web’ is essentially what can be indexed by search engines like Google or Bing, while the ‘deep web’ consists of items that can’t be accessed using a search engine through a standard web browser.

Protected Internet databases like those for banks, anything past a log in screen, like your private files stored in the cloud and data stored by private companies aren’t indexed by search engines. Websites can also specifically tell the search engines that they don’t want to be indexed making them relatively ‘invisible’ to the average user.

Most estimates put the deep web in the 90% range of the entire Internet because so much of what is stored online is protected information that requires some form of authentication or knowledge of a hidden web address.

The Dark Web

There is a very small percentage of the deep web where secret and sometimes nefarious activity is taking place, often referred to as the ‘dark web’ or the ‘darknet’. The tools used to access the dark web focus on anonymity by incorporating encryption and specialized privacy browsers like Tor.

Tor, also known as ‘The Onion Router’, uses a large network of relays to bounce Internet traffic through; it’s much like the layers of an onion, to make it much more difficult for anyone conducting any type of surveillance to see who is doing what.

The core technology used in Tor was actually developed by the US Naval Research Lab in the mid 90’s for use by the intelligence community for protecting online communications. To this day, Tor and other similar tools are used by governments, activists and whistleblowers to communicate anonymously.

The Tor Project states: “Tor users include ‘normal people’ who wish to keep their Internet activities private from websites and advertisers, people concerned about cyber-spying, users who are evading censorship such as activists, journalists, and military professionals.”

Using Tor alone doesn’t mean you’re completely anonymous and for most users, the trade off in slow performance isn’t worth the increase in privacy for daily surfing.

Tor’s Dark Side

Tor and other similar tools are also being used for illicit activities such as buying and selling drugs, stolen credit card numbers, stolen IDs, money laundering and more via black markets only accessible on the dark web.

One of the most famous dark web marketplaces was called Silk Road, which was shut down by the FBI in 2013. The site’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Despite law enforcements attempts to control illegal underground marketplaces, when one is shut down, two more seem to pop up.

To be fair, not all dark web resources operate in an illegal manner and much of the activity taking place is vital to our law enforcement and intelligence community’s efforts.  As with any technology, it’s impossible to control its uses for only legal purposes, so as always, it’s the good with the bad.




What's your opinion of the various smart firewalls?

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0700

With the growing popularity of Internet connected devices in the home, like web cameras, thermostats, doorbells and lighting systems – often referred to as the ‘Internet of Things’ – securing those devices is a critical step in keeping them safe.‘Smart firewalls’ are an emerging category of security products designed to help users protect all their connected devices.The Latest Attack VectorIoT devices are becoming a more popular attack vector for the underworld because of their sheer numbers. Current projections expect the number of IoT devices to exceed the number of mobile phones in 2018 with an estimated 18 billion IoT devices in use by 2022.Hackers go for easy targets and with the relative lack of focus on security by both manufacturers and consumers, IoT devices are in their crosshairs.Easy to compromise devices are being ‘recruited’ to become a part of an army of devices known as a ‘botnet’ that can wreak havoc in a number of ways. Botnets allow the controller to direct thousands of devices to attack a specific website, essentially making it inaccessible to real users (aka Denial of Service attacks).Users of compromised computers and IoT devices rarely have any idea that their devices are being used for malicious purposes, which is where smart firewalls can help.The recent discovery of the KRACK Wi-Fi security hole (https://goo.gl/4qv4ur) is just another reason to take security seriously, especially since some IoT devices can’t be updated to fix newly discovered security holes.How They WorkSmart Firewalls are hardware based devices that can do a better job of managing lots of devices versus a typical software firewall. The ‘smart’ portion of the device analyses your network traffic in real time to identify threats or suspicious activity, block them and notify you of the activity.This approach to network security is common in sophisticated business networks with tech savvy administrators that know how to configure powerful routers.Smart Firewalls takes the need for tech skills out of the equation, because they’re generally pre-configured to start protecting your entire network as soon as you plug them in.Early Stage DevelopmentThe first devices in this category started appearing in just the past couple of years, so we’re in the early stages of development.Some of the early entrants like the Bitdefender Box (https://goo.gl/Rg1Yx8) are in the process of releasing their second generation products while the Cujo (https://goo.gl/AsbuhE) has received lots of praise for its ease of setup and use.Another newcomer is the Norton Core (https://goo.gl/ueewTA), which is one of the more expensive solutions that’s so new that there not much of a track record for it.Virtually every option available requires either a monthly or yearly subscription to provide their cloud based threat analysis, so make sure you include this ongoing cost in your comparisons.There are devices that don’t require a subscription, such as the RATtrap (https://goo.gl/ztL6sT), but some users have complained about slower Internet speeds and it won’t work with modem/router combo devices.This category of devices is so new, I’m personally going to wait a little while to see how things shake out before committing to any of the platforms.[...]