How to expand your iPhone storage

We’ve all run out of storage on our phones before.  Here we give you 4 tips for expanding your iPhone storage easily! If you don’t want to read the full article we recommend using Amazon Prime Photos, free with your prime subscription.

USB Stick for your iPhone
Everyone is familiar with a USB stick and so these devices sell well. They behave in exactly the same way as a normal USB stick (you put it into the USB slot of your computer and load up your files), however they also have an iPhone connector so you can slot it into your iPhone too. You usually download an additional app from the AppStore to access the stick on your iPhone. There are lots out there, but it is good to have Apple certification. For this reason we recommend the iDiskk (click here to see it) which, with certification, gives you 64GB of storage.

Network Attached Storage over wifi
If you are just concerned with accessing files whilst you are at home, then a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is for you. These have the benefit of massive storage (think terabytes) but they are generally not portable. They usually hook into your home wifi; once this is done you can access them via your home computer or an app on your mobile device. We find these quite clunky solutions, only really needed if you need huge storage space. If you were to go for one we’d recommend the 5TB Seagate Personal Cloud which is good value for money.

Storage case
If you’re happy with making your phone a little larger then there are some great phone cases which add storage capacity to your phone. They essentially have a memory card inside the case, which plugs into you phone as you slip the case onto it. This is particularly good as you’ll always have you additional storage with you when you are out and about. We like this case from KUNER (click here to see it) as it gives you three things in one:

  1. Phone protection – this is a case after all so it will still protect your phone
  2. Storage – it gives you 16GB of extra storage which is the boost you probably need
  3. Battery – it even has a built in battery pack which will juice up your phone on the go

The KUNER case comes in three colors (black, white and pink).

Cloud Storage
This option is great if you don’t want any extra physical hardware to carry out. A cloud storage solution can automatically back up your data and keep your files accessible so long as you have a web connection. Rather than storing your files on the phone, they are stored on the cloud service provider’s servers (with all their advanced & secure backup systems). There are many cloud storage providers out there, but we’re recommending Amazon’s Prime Photos storage system. This is because it works across multiple platforms (unlike iCloud which is tied to your iPhone) and you get completely unlimited photo storage with your Amazon Prime subscription. Amazon Prime costs a few dollars per month but is worth is as you get free same day delivery (which earns your money back immediately), a subscription to amazon’s video service, early access to deals and loads more. Sign up for prime here (free for 30 days anyway) and then after that, sync up your Amazon Prime Photos with your iPhone.

The Verdict

We’re not fans of unnecessary additional hardware, so we’re going with the cloud storage option.  Amazon Prime Photos is particularly good because you get unlimited photo storage with your prime subscription (which you really should have if you buy stuff online – get it here if you don’t) and you can use it across multiple platforms.

If you don’t want to go down the cloud route then we suggest you buy the Kuner case with its built in protection, storage and battery.

Answered: Do I need anti-virus software for Windows 10? [Updated for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition]

Updated for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition (12th August 2016)

Back in January of this year we wrote about the anti-virus capabilities of Windows 10 (available to download at this link if you don’t yet have a copy).  Since then Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition which updates Windows Defender so that:

  1. If you chose to run your own antivirus (such as McAfee for $9.99) then Windows Defender will no longer be disabled.  It will periodically check your PC and also perform all its other security functions.
  2. Windows Defender is tied into the better notification system in Windows 10 so that, if a problem is found, you will be notified immediately.

If you want to read more about Windows Defender’s own capabilities without additional antivirus then carry on reading below…

Original Post (also at this link)

Those that have been Windows users for a long time will be familiar with buying antivirus software. For a long time it has been essential, and potentially considered irresponsible to not use it (you can distribute viruses to others without knowing about it, for example). Apple Mac users used to look on smugly as their Windows using counterparts suffered attack after attack.

Windows users regularly installed software such as Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky etc. However, Windows 10 has is now here and stable. Windows 10 is a free upgrade for most, however if this isn’t the case for you or you are installing it onto a new computer you can buy a copy of Windows 10 Home on a USB stick from Amazon (click here for a direct link). Does it get rid of the need for anti-virus software? No, of course not. There are still plenty of viruses, malware and other nasties kicking around the web. However, Windows 10 comes with a comprehensive set of built in security tools that will more than address your needs. These all come under the umbrella of Windows Defender.

Windows Defender is a robust set of tools that automatically scan your computer for viruses, malware, spyware and more. It does not get in the way of your everyday use of the computer, letting you get on with your tasks at hand, but it does keep running in the background keeping everything secure.


A major point is that, whilst you can have the best antivirus software in the world, if its knowledge of current viruses is out of date then its performance will suffer. It needs up to date definitions to know what to look for, so you have to keep your software update date. This is where Windows 10 with Windows Defender really wins. Windows 10 is now an operating system as a service, which means it is updated in the background without you having to do anything (especially if you are on Windows 10 Home… Pro users have more responsibility to manage updates). New virus definitions are updated along with all the usual Windows updates, which you don’t need to take control of. The upshot is that your system will be as up to date with the latest virus definitions as it can be, without you needing to take any action.

With Windows 10 there is little need for additional security software (unless, of course, you are the type of person who prepares for doomsday) given what Microsoft have made available for free. Of course, you have to trust Microsoft to get it right, but that’s another story. 🙂

Is this malware? Chromium browser update needed…

I can’t work this one out.  I’ve Googled around the web, but not found anything.  Periodically, I get the following image pop up on my Windows 10 PC:

Update Required

It reads:

Update Required

Your version of Yahoo search is out of date.

There is a newer and improved version available with the fresh and intuitive Chromium browser.  By clicking “OK” you agree to Install Chromium browser as your default browser, install our Desktop search bar, set Yahoo provided search as your default search, homepage and new tab on all of your compatible browsers.

I don’t want any of that! I also don’t use Yahoo search (so I don’t really think this is from Yahoo), which is why I wonder if it is malware.  Windows Defender does not seem to pick anything up.




How to: Touchscreen pen annotation in Microsoft Windows 10

It is ridiculous that we still print out documents and scrawl all over them with a biro.  Not only is this terrible for the environment, but it’s expensive and wasteful for print resources.

Windows 10 has some built in features that enable you to annotate documents and websites.  Paired with the right hardware this can be a slick process which removes the need to print.  If you don’t have a copy of Windows 10 you can pick up a copy here.

Hardware wise we’re using a Dell XPS 13 which has a built in touchscreen (see more details of the Dell here).  For pen like annotation we’re using the Adonit Jot Pro – this is not expensive it retails at $22.49 on Amazon (see here).

Once you’ve got your PDF that you want to annotate, open up Microsoft’s OneNote desktop application.  You need to go to ‘Insert’ then ‘File Printout’ which will import the PDF:

Annotate PDF with pen in Windows 10

Once the PDF has loaded, click on Draw and select the Pen.  You can then annotate your PDF as you would do a normal document by touching the pen to the touchscreen:

Annotate a pdf with pen in Windows 10

 

A helpful tip when writing is to zoom in on the document to get finer granularity.

If you want to annotate a web page fire up Microsoft Edge (Windows 10’s new browser). Tap the icon with a pen on the right of the address bar.  You can save your notes (and the original webpage) to Microsoft’s OneNote service as was used above to annotate the pdf.



Block WordPress XMLRPC attack

Our site is a standard WordPress install.  It has recently been subjected to a Denial of Service (probably distributed) which makes many many calls to xmlrpc.php using HTTP POST.  This simply overwhelms the server.

We found this out by looking at the access log.  You will see lines like this:

    igbreviews.com:80 176.31.39.108 – – [08/Aug/2016:08:03:04 +0000] “POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.1” 200 790 “-” “Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.google.com/bot.html)”

This is not actually the Googlebot, but a rather nefarious attacker.  You can tell this by running

    host 176.31.39.108

If this returns a Google domain you are fine, if not you are being attacked.

We first started by adding each malicious IP address to apache’s .htaccess file (found in our site root).  This worked well, but the attackers kept changing IP address.

Instead we’ve blocked all access to xmlrpc.php and only allow our specific IP addresses access this with the following code:

    <Files xmlrpc.php>
        order deny,allow
        deny from all
        allow from 1.2.3.4
    </Files>




Xiaomi Mi 5 Radio Frequencies (4G LTE Bands)

The Xiaomi Mi 5 is a great dual sim android phone. Most people import it from China or India.

You’ll need to make sure the phone supports the 4G LTE frequencies that your network operator supports in your country. Most of the time 3G and 2G (Edge) frequencies are fine, but they are worth checking too.


The Mi 5 has the following frequencies / bands supported:


Xiaomi mi5 4G & 3G support:

FDD-LTE Bands: 1 (2100), 3 (1800+), 7 (2600)
TD-LTE Bands: 38 (TD 2600), 39 (TD 1900+), 40 (TD 2300), 41 (TD 2500)
TD-SCDMA Bands: 34 (TD 2000), 39 (TD 1900+)
WCDMA Bands: 1 (2100), 2 (1900), 5 (850), 8 (900)
GSM Bands: 2, 3, 5, 8

You can safely import the Xiaomi Mi5 from Gearbest here.

Guide to iPhone printing – you probably have everything you need already

We now live in a world where we can do most computing tasks from our mobile devices. We haven’t completely got rid of paper though, and we still need to print documents and photos. Luckily, if you own a printer you probably have everything you need already.

Your iPhone (and iPad) has the ability to wireless print to printers compatible with the AirPrint standard. This is a specification and capability that Apple have made and designed into their products. You will need a compatible printer, but more on that in a moment.

To print from your iPhone first make sure you are on your home or office wifi network. Then open the document/email/picture/thing that you’d like to print. Tap the share icon (it looks like a document with an arrow pointing upwards and can usually be found in the lower toolbar). Scroll right a bit and select Print. Chose the printer on your network and go get you print out. Very simple!



Now for this to have worked your printer needs to support Apple’s AirPrint and be connected to your wifi network. AirPrint is supported by most contemporary printers and the easiest way to find out if yours is compatible is just to try it. Do remember to make sure that your printer is on and connected to wifi, and that your iPhone is on the right wifi network.

If you don’t have a compatible printer (or no printer at all) not to worry, they are really cheap. Check out this Amazon link to see a whole range (click here).  If you are on a budget there are some seriously good deals, such as this all in one color Canon printer (link here).  We generally like HP printers using them at home and in the office, they are reliable and the scan quality is good.  For just $79 you can pick up this HP all in one printer/scanner/copier with AirPrint support (link here).

How to enable Wi-Fi Calling on your iPhone

Wi-fi calling is a particularly useful feature for people who are in areas of limited coverage, or often make calls from basement offices.  In this article we show you, with screen shots, how to enable wi-fi calling.

Wi-fi calling enables you to make and receive calls and SMS as usual, but using your wifi network rather than the cellular network.  Unlike services such as Skype and Whatsapp, there are no additional apps or different accounts to use; your phone operates and normal and people can call you as normal; it’s all done through your mobile operator, just via wifi instead of their cell tower.

First of all you need to ensure that your mobile network supports wi-fi calling. At the time of writing in the USA T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and (soon) Verizon support it, whilst in the UK support is found from EE and Vodafone.

If you are on a supported network:

1. Open your settings

2. Select the Phone option

Select Phone in your iPhone Settings
Select Phone in your iPhone Settings

3. Select Wi-Fi Calling

Select Wifi Calling
Select Wi-fi Calling

4. Move the Wi-Fi Calling slider to on

Move the slider to on
Move the slider to on

Your device will ensure that the wifi network you are using has sufficient bandwidth to support the call.  If it does you will see your network change to say ‘WiFi Call’:

WiFi Calling is Enabled
WiFi Calling is Enabled

Once you leave the wifi area your phone will switch to a cellular network, if one is available.

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