Communications Group

Group meets at 1:00pm - 2nd Friday each month at
Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street. Visitors are welcome.

Google Drive Presentations

Note: For easier navigation, right click on links within presentations to open them in a new window.

Do I need a Third Party Firewall?

Firewall representationIn 2004, Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2, which finally included the Windows Firewall. This helped block malicious programs from getting into the system and also from communicating with the outside world. In 2006, Windows Vista brought UAC (User Account Control), which permitted the user to allow or deny program installations, which helped block malicious programs from installing with administrative rights. In 2009, Microsoft introduced Security Essentials which included free antivirus.

Flash forward to 2012 with Windows 8 (and Windows 10 released in 2015), Microsoft now includes a free firewall, antivirus, UAC - plus many, many other security improvements by default.

So as you can see: if you are running a modern operating system such as Windows 7, 8 or 10, you likely have plenty of protection as it is. As such, there really isn't any need to pay for "extra protection" - which simply adds processing overhead and slows your computer down to a crawl.
See the source for more details at: INFOPACKETS

Google Chrome 53.0.2785.89 - Review 2016

Google Chrome browserGoogle Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. Use one box for everything, type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and Web pages. Thumbnails of your top sites let you access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab. Desktop shortcuts allow you to launch your favorite Web apps straight from your desktop. Google Chrome also uses a brand new JavaScript engine (V8), which is much faster than existing javascript interpreters. This means you can create more complex and more intensive AJAX applications with fewer speed and processing constraints. Finally, Google Chrome is built on top of WebKit, so Google Chrome users will benefit from the CSS3 features being added to WebKit as those features are released.

Chrome has many useful features built in, including automatic full-page translation and access to thousands of apps, extensions, and themes from the Chrome Web Store. Google Chrome is one of the best solutions for Internet browsing giving you high level of security, speed and great features. Source: Neowin

PowerLine AV500 for Bandwidth-Intensive Extension Applications

Internet addressThe DHP-309AV features PowerLine AV500, enabling it to deliver data at speeds of up to 500 Mbps, higher than regular PowerLine AV products. This rapid transmission speed makes it ideal for bandwidth-intensive applications, which guarantees smooth HD video streaming, VoIP calls, and lag-free online gaming experiences. This device provides ample network bandwidth, enabling digital home consumers to tap into existing electrical wiring for high-quality multimedia streaming.

Convenient Setup and Secure Operation
The DHP-309AV plugs directly into a power outlet, and does not require any additional cables. Extend your home network by connecting multiple devices in the farthest corners of your home, or attach a switch or wireless access point to the adapter for additional connectivity. For convenient setup, an encryption key can be quickly configured with the push of a button. The adapter implements 128-bit AES data encryption to protect the network from unauthorized wire-tapping. With hassle-free plug and play installation, the DHP-309AV is an ideal solution to create a wall-to-wall home network.

Power-Saving Feature
The DHP-309AV incorporates a power-saving mode to comply with the European Energy Using Product (EuP) Directive. If no data transmission or reception occurs over a certain period of time, the adapter will automatically go into sleep mode to save power, reducing power usage by more than 70% and allowing you to save energy automatically, without sacrificing performance.

QoS (Quality of Service)
A QoS engine will analyze and separate the traffic of the DHP-309AV into multiple data streams. This allows for smooth streaming of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), HD video, and lag-free online gaming because the most demanding data streams are automatically given priority. Source & more details here.

How to Change Your IP Address

Internet address logoMost of us use a combination of router with a broadband modem, and therefore we have an external IP address (for the Internet) and an internal IP address (for the local area network). For example, your external IP address might be, and your internal address might be [Ed: Look here for more internal addresses and passwords]. To change your IP address, you should first visit a website that will tell you your external IP address, (Click "WhatIsMyIP Address" within QUICK LINKS at right). Then, do one of the following:

1. If you're not technically inclined and don't access to your router's administration page (via web browser), you can renew your IP by doing the following: unplug the power to the broadband modem and also the router, then wait 10 seconds. Then, turn the modem back on, wait about 10 seconds, then turn the router back on. This will effectively reset and renew your IP address. Optionally, you can try Step #2 below.

2. If your modem and router are in another location and / or you are technically inclined and have access to your router's administration page (via the web browser), you can: login to your router's admin control panel (usually, and look for an option to disconnect and then reconnect to the Internet. I can't say exactly where this option is located because each router is different. Once you choose to 'disconnect' and reconnect, your modem will obtain another IP address automatically.

When that's finished, you can revisit the website to check your external IP address. Then, go about your business.