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    A new survey from CIRP argues that Google Home captured about 40 percent of holiday sales.

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  • How to Change IP Address

    Need to change your IP?

    Here are some common reasons you may want to change your IP address:

    1. Security reasons. Hackers can determine your real geographic location and identity by your local IP address. It can be used by third parties to track back your online activities, and hackers then can associate those activities with you. With these small bits of data taken from your IP address over time, a hacker can build your entire digital signature and offline persona and use it to commit ID fraud. When your IP address, you help protect against this.
    2. Overcome a site-based IP ban. If a certain website banned you based on your IP address, you can get around the ban by changing it.
    3. Change your identity following an attack. If you’ve already been attacked by a hacker, your original IP address is vulnerable and needs to be changed.
    4. Get around IP-based restrictions. Can’t access something based on your IP address? This can happen because of location restrictions, typically if you’re in a foreign country. By changing your IP address, you may be able to gain access.
    5. Register more than one account on a site. Want more than one account? By changing your IP address, you can have multiple.
    6. The network connection isn’t working properly. Changing your IP address may help with this situation.
    7. Gaming. Some servers do not allow more than X connections per IP.


    Figure out: Is Your IP Address Static or Dynamic?

    Static vs dynamic IP address

    Now, before you go any further with this process, you need to know if your IP address is static or dynamic. Generally, it’s easy to change your IP address when it’s dynamic:

    Just unplug the modem and router for 10 seconds and voila, you’ll have a new IP.

    However, static IP addresses can’t be changed unless you contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) – and even then, you still likely won’t be able to change it.

    Luckily most IP addresses assigned today are dynamic – these types of addresses are more cost effective for both you and the ISP.

    To figure out what type of IP address you have, go to

    Want to Change Your Public or Private IP Address?

    You can have both a public and private IP address.

    The public IP address is the one that is assigned to your router. So when you change this IP address, it will also change the IP address for all devices connected to your Internet network.

    The private IP address is assigned to your device and connected to a private local area network (LAN Network).

    A different process is required to change each kind of IP address. We’ll go over both processes…

    Public or Private IP address

    #1. How to Change Your Public IP Address

    1. Unplug the Modem

    This one is quite simple. All you have to do is unplug the modem and wait for a few minutes.

    When you plug it back in and turn the router on, you’re likely to have a new IP address assigned.

    If you wait five minutes and it still doesn’t work, try unplugging it overnight for 8 hours or so.

    To check if your IP changed, just follow the instructions we listed before at

    2. Adjust the Router Settings

    This is a bit more of an in-depth process, but it’s a good option if the unplugging the modem doesn’t do the trick.

    Here’s what you need to do:

    1. Open your browser and enter your router’s web address into the web address bar(the router’s web address is usually If that doesn’t work, then your router may have a different web address. Check the router’s manual or visit the router manufacturer’s website to discover the router’s default IP address.
    2. From here, you’ll be redirected to a web page and asked to enter a username and password. Both of these are usually “admin” unless you or your network administrator changed them.
    3. Release your IP address (the steps here will depend on your router’s manufacturer).
    4. Follow the “unplug the modem” process again and leave it unplugged for at least 8 hours. When you reconnect and check, you should have a different IP address.

    3. Use a Proxy or VPN Server

    If the following two strategies don’t work, you can also opt for a proxy or VPN. These mask your IP address and give you an IP address from a different part of the world. They also allow you to browse the Internet without being traced.

    There are several VPNs to choose from (some of them free to get started) – and you can find a good one for about $5 or $10 a month.

    4. Contact Your ISP Provider

    If all else fails and you don’t want to go with a proxy or VPN, you can also contact your ISP provider.

    Simply give them a call and ask them to change your IP address for you.


    #2. How to Change Your Private IP Address

    The process is different with Windows compared to a Mac. We’ll explain how to change your private IP address on each one…

    1. Changing Your Private IP Address on Windows

    1. Click the “Start” button, then right-click “Network”.
    2. Select “Manage/View network connections” on the left side.
    3. Right click on the private connection you want to change, and then click “Properties”.
    4. Under the “Networking” tab, click “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click the “Properties” button.
    5. To create your new private IP address, select the “Use the following IP address” option.
    6. Enter the IP address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway. A typical IP Address on a private network is through (for multiple computers). A typical subnet mask looks like: The default gateway is the address for your router
    7. Once you’ve entered in all these numbers, click “Ok”.

    2. Changing Your Private IP Address on a MacBook (OS X)

    1. Go to the Apple menu on the top left-hand corner of your screen and select “System Preferences”.
    2. Click the “Network” icon.
    3. Select the active network connection (it will have a green dot next to it).
    4. Click on the TCP/IP tab. Your IP address is composed of the numbers labeled “IPv4 Address”.
    5. Select the drop-down menu labeled “Configure IPv4:” and then select “Manually”.
    6. Input your desired values for the IP address next to the “IPv4 Address:” label.
    7. Click on the “Apply” button to save your configuration with the new IP address change.


    There are several advantages to changing your IP address. It can make your online identity more secure, give you access to websites you previously couldn’t access, protect you after an attack, fix your network connection, and even allow you to register more than one account on a site.

    Keep in mind – it’s much tougher to change your IP address if it’s static. But if it’s dynamic (which it likely will be), the process is easy. Follow the strategies listed here and you can change your IP address quickly.


  • Is your computer slow? 10 ways to make it run faster

    Man sitting in front of a laptop looking angry

    There's nothing more frustrating than a sluggish computer, especially when you know it still has legs in it. 

    Rather than buying a new laptop or PC, here are 10 ways of avoiding a costly new purchase by making your old computer run faster.

    1) Uninstall unused programs

    New PCs come with a whole load of programs you will never use, and you probably don’t even know they exist.

    Some programs even run background processes when you load your computer, even though you are not using them.

    To remove all these pointless programs, open the Control Panel’s Programs and Features page, and have a trawl through the list of installed software. Uninstall those that you do not need, while being careful to leave programs your computer’s hardware needs (typically their publisher will be listed as the PC maker’s name or as Microsoft).

    If you are still unsure about which programs to use, try a third-party called such as PC Decrapifier – it’s free for non-commercial use – which should tell you which programs you don’t want or need. 

    2) Automatically delete temporary files

    Temporary files amass on your computer through everyday tasks and can remain on your hard disk, slowing the computer down. Getting rid of these files, including your internet history and cookies, should give you a larger amount of hard disk space, speeding up your PC.

    To do this, open “My Computer”, and select your local drive (usually C:\). Select the “Windows” folder and then open the folder titled “Temp”.

    Windows document folders


    Use your mouse to right-click on the folder, and in the “View” options, choose “Details”. Once this is done, select all the files that are older than the current date and press the delete key. Then go to the Recycle Bin on your desktop and empty it. 

    3) Install a solid state drive

    Hard drives are the biggest cause of slow speeds and especially slow startup speeds on your PC.

    While they are not cheap, installing a solid state drive, which have extremely fast read times, can speed up your startup considerably. 

    4) More hard drive storage

    Even if you make sure to regularly clean out all your temporarily files, if your hard drive becomes 85 per cent full, it’s going to affect your computer’s speed.

    If you regularly film videos or use your PC for recording television, then you will want as big a hard drive as you can get, upwards of 1TB in size.

    Here is a handy video on how to install your new hard drive.

    5) Prevent unnecessary start ups

    This method will primarily affect how long it takes for your laptop or PC to startup, but often many of the programs which are launched on startup continue to run and use up your computer’s memory.

    To do this, click “Start” and “Run”. In “Run”, type “msconfig” and then press enter. You should then see the “Startup” tab, with all the programs ticked the ones which will load upon your computer starting up. There is a good chance the list will contain a number of programs you might not have realised were running on your computer during startup, or even at all.

    Windows system configuration edit startup


    You can either manually deselect those which you do not want to load, or click “Disable All” and then select those you want to run, such as particularly important programs like anti-virus software.

    Another trick can be removing all the unnecessary fonts Windows loads. Windows 7 loads more than 200 fonts on startup which can slow down the speed at which it boots up. Go to the Start Menu’s search box, search for the Fonts folder and check off all the fonts you don’t need, and click the “Hide” button in the toolbar.

    Windows appearance and personalisation of fonts


    6) Get more RAM

    RAM, which stands for Random Access Memory, is the temporary storage memory used by your computer and is in use when tasks are being executed by different programs. Therefore, the more programs you use, the more RAM you need, and the slower your computer will be if you don’t have enough.

    A clear indicator of not having enough RAM is if your computer slows down every time you try and process large files, or it freezes will carrying out several different actions at once.

    You can either add more RAM with an extra memory stick or two, or buy getting completely new memory if all the slots are taken. There is theoretically no upper limit on the amount of RAM that you can have with a 64-bit operating system, but in practical terms 4GB is more than enough for most people.

    For a handy guide on what kind of RAM you need, look here, or watch the video below on how it should be installed.

    You can also find out how many RAM your computer is using in the Task Manager’s Performance tab (hit Ctrl-Shift-Esc to bring this up). 

    7) Run a disk defragment

    Sounds complicated, but this is basically a way of reconfiguring how your hard drive stores information for maximum efficiency.

    Go to “My Computer”, right-click on the hard drive and select “Properties”. Under the “Tools” tab there should be an option to “Defragment Now”.

    Windows disk defragment


    8) Run disk clean up

    Windows also includes a built-in disk de-cluttering tool called “Disk Cleanup”.

    It searches through the system for unnecessary large files such as temporary Internet files, program installers, and so on.

    Open Disk Cleanup by clicking “Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup”. 

    9) Give your computer a static IP

    Another trick for speeding up your computer loading time is to give your computer a static IP address that never changes.

    When you startup your computer, it spends a decent amount of time asking the network for an IP address. Not only does having a static IP address make the network easier to manage (particularly if you have several devices using the same network), but it also cuts time off your startup.

    To do this, visit the “Network and Sharing Center”, and select “Change adapter settings”. Right click on your local adapter and select “Properties”. You then need to highlight what should be titled “Internet Protocoal Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and click the properties button.

    In “Use the following IP address” enter in the correct IP, Subnet mask, and Default gateway which correspond with your network setup.

    Make sure to check “Validate settings upon exit” so Windows can find any problems with the addresses you entered.

    To find out what your IP, subnet mask and default gateway are, go to “Start” and then “Run”, and type in “cmd”. At the command prompt, type “IPCONFIG/All” and it should come up, as shown below.

    10) Hoover out the dust

    Again, this sounds a tad radical, but dust is your computer’s enemy. It can impede airflow, which is vital to keeping your computer’s temperature down, and if your computer is overheating, it is likely it will slow down its performance to cope.

    (Incidentally, overheating will also make it impossible to use programs such as Skype, because for the person on the other end of the conversation it constantly sounds like an aeroplane is taking off).

    If you have a desktop or a laptop, you can take off the computer’s exterior and use a hoover on a low power setting to try and remove some of the dust. Make sure your computer has been switched off for at least 30 minutes and that all cables are disconnected before starting your clean.

    Use your hoover with a small attachment, and try either the reverse setting to blow air into the vents and push the dust out, or use its standard suction to try and extract some of the dust.