Submarine cables: The true backbone of the Internet (video documentary!)

Did you know that less than 1% of the global Internet traffic is transmitted via satellites? The actual workhorses are 1.1 million kilometers of submarine cables that lay on the bottom of the ocean floor. More than 400 of these cables connect the continents and make the Internet a really global thing. But how did they get there and how do they survive?

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I finally found a reason again to have a screensaver on my PC

Ever since our monitors support power-safe modes we had little reason to use animated screen-savers anymore. When we don’t use the computer the monitors are turned off and go dark. Safe the planet! And I have to confess that I didn’t install any fancy screensavers for years.

But the other day I came across a screensaver that by itself is reason enough to leave the monitor on a little longer. Apple had created an “Aerial” screensaver for Apple TV that uses gorgeous, slow moving aerial video shots from drones and helicopters as screensaver material. And some guy found out where and how the data is stored… Now there are versions for OSX, Windows and Linux.

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Which low-cost Windows 10 tablet is the best low-budget remote probe for PRTG Network Monitor?

Ten days ago I started using four ultra low-cost ATOM-processor based tablets (running under Windows 10) as monitoring stations (or “remote probes”, as we call them in the context of PRTG). Each of them was monitoring about 100 sensors in my home lan, including wifi quality and temperature. Here are my experiences of the first 10 days:

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How to monitor the system temperature of a Windows 10 system with PRTG

Three days ago I set up 4 low-cost Windows 10 tablets to become cheap monitoring stations in my private home. Yesterday I added custom sensors to monitor the quality of my wireless network.

Today I added sensors that are getting the built-in system temperature from the tablets.

Again I am using a Exe/Script Advanced Sensor with this Powershell script

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How to monitor wifi signal strength and speed with PRTG Network Monitor

Two days ago I set up 4 low-cost Windows 10 tablets to become cheap monitoring stations (we call them “remote probes”) for my personal instance of PRTG Network Monitor.

Today I have set up a custom sensor that reads out the wifi signal strength from the system, so I can now monitor the quality of my wireless network in 4 different areas of my house when I distribute the tablets in different rooms.

The sensor can be used with all Windows 10 PCs, laptops, or tablets, as long as they are connected to the network via wifi. It also displays the transmit and receive rate which the wifi module has chosen to connect to the access point and the wifi channel.

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Comparing 4 ultra low cost Windows 10 tablets (€64 and up) for use as wifi monitoring stations for PRTG

Many IT admins maintain not only one copper-based network, but also remote sites and wifi networks. To monitor these (more-or-less) remote locations our monitoring software PRTG Network Monitor offers the “remote probe” feature (other vendors call this polling engine, poller, agent, etc.). The user can create as many of them as desired at no additional cost.

The idea is to install a small piece of software on a PC at the remote location. Then it connects to the central monitoring server, receives its configuration, starts monitoring and sends results to the monitoring server.

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Digital in 2017 Global Overview

Did you know…

  • that 50% of the 7.5 billion people on earth are Internet users (annual growth 10%)
  • that >85% of the people in North America and Europe are Internet users
  • that 66% of the 7.5 billion people on earth are mobile phone users, and each one of them has 1.6 SIM cards/contracts on average (8 billion, more SIM cards than people on earth)
  • that 45% of global web traffic comes from laptops & desktop (down by 20% from last year)
  • that 50% of global web traffic comes from mobile phones (up by 30%)
  • that 37% of the global population are social media users and 55% of them check in every day
  • that an average smartphone uses 1.9 GB of data per month (globally!)

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How do you explain the security threats of smart home and IoT devices in private home networks to your technologically challenged peers?

Our modern tech-life creates more and more security and privacy threats. Most ordinary people have no idea about the implications which affect all of us. Everybody is installing hordes of connected smart devices like web cams, access-points, thermometers, speakers (e.g. Amazon Echo), light bulbs, etc. in their homes. But: Are they aware what it means to have all these devices that talk to the outside world?

The people from Kurzgesagt (“In a nutshell”), a German animation company that creates wonderful explanatory videos (check out their Youtube channel!), have created a nice video that we tech people can now share with our non-tech peers to educate them.

Continue reading “How do you explain the security threats of smart home and IoT devices in private home networks to your technologically challenged peers?”