February 17, 2010

How to Setup Parental Controls in your Vista Laptop

To setup parental controls in your Vista laptop, you must use an administrator account or you must know the password for an administrator account. Administrator account passwords should never be divulged to the children otherwise, they can easily change the parental control settings or use the administrator account in doing activities for which they are not allowed.

For you to be able to control the activities of your child while using your Vista laptop, you must give the child her own user name which she must always use to log on to the computer. If you want to add a user name, you can open your control panel and click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link. Under User Accounts of the next window, click on Add or Remove User Accounts and in the Manage Accounts window, click on Create a New Account. Type in the user name that you want your child to use and click on the button Create Account.

To start setting up parental controls, open the control panel of your Vista laptop. Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link on the control panel home page. Click on parental controls then select the user name of the child whose use of the Vista laptop you want to control.

On the User Control window, click the On radio buttons under both the Parental controls and the Activity Reporting headings. To control what web sites the child can visit, click on the Windows Vista Web Filter link. To specify the only web sites that the child can visit, click on the Edit the Allow and Block List link, then type in the URL of the web site and click on the Allow button. After entering all the URLs of web sites that the child is allowed to visit, click on the check box Only Allow websites which are on the allow list.

You may alternatively choose to block content automatically for the child by clicking on a restriction level below the heading Block Web Content Automatically. If you choose either the high or medium level, you will be shown a description of the categories that will be blocked. If you click on the None radio button, be sure to edit the Allow and Block list and to add the URLs of the sites that you don't want your child to be allowed to visit. If you click on the Custom radio button, you will be allowed to check the categories of content that you don't want your child to be exposed to. If you want to disable your child from downloading files from the Internet, click on Block File Downloads checkbox in the Web Restrictions page of the control panel. Don't forget to click on the OK button to enable the settings to be applied.

To set the time limits on which the child can use the Vista laptop, open your control panel, click on User Accounts and Family Safety link on the control panel, click on Setup Parental Control for Any User then click on the user name of the child for whom you want to limit the time for using the Vista laptop. On the User Controls window, click on the Time Limits link then click on the time for the days that the child will not be allowed to use the Vista laptop. Click the OK button once you have completed blocking off all the times that the child won't be allowed to use the laptop.

To specify which computer games the child will be allowed to play, go to the Parental Controls window of your Control Panel and select the user name of the child for whom you want to control access to computer games. On the User Controls window, click on the Games link and on the Games Control window, click on Set Game Ratings. On the next window, click on the radio button of the rating that is suitable for your child. Additionally, you could block the game from being played by your child even if the game has an allowed rating if the game contains scenes where various content types are involved. Click on the check boxes of the type of content for allowed games that you want to additionally block. Click on OK to enable the settings.

If you want to block specific games from being played by the child, you can click on Block or Allow Specific Games on the Game Controls window for that particular user in your Control Panel. In the Games Overrides window, click on the radio buttons pertaining to your choice of whether to apply the user rating setting, always allow or always block the user from playing the specific game. Click on the OK button to enable the settings.

If you want to control which computer programs in the Vista laptop your child can use, go to the Parental Controls window of your Control Panel and choose the user name of the child for whom you want to control the use of specific programs in your computer. In the User Controls window, click on the Allow and Block Specific Programs link. Click on the radio button opposite the phrase User Name Can Only Use the Programs I Allow. Click on the check boxes opposite the programs that you would like your child to be allowed to use. Click on the OK button on the page to enable the settings.

You can view a weekly report on the child's activity on the Vista laptop by clicking on the View Activity Reports link on the User Controls window of the user name of your child. On the report, you can see the most visited and the most recently visited web sites, the programs used and the games played by the child for the week.

Those are the detailed steps that you need to undertake for you to be able to setup parental controls in your Vista laptop. You can control what web sites the child can visit, the times on which your child is allowed to use the Vista laptop, the computer games that the child is allowed to play and the computer programs that the child is allowed to use. You can also review the weekly computer activities of your child.

You can also read my article on how you can do some useful tasks with your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-do-some-useful-things-with-your.html.

You can also read my article on how you can use the desktop features of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-use-your-vista-computers-desktop.html.

You can also read my article on how the magnifier and the narrator of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-to-use-magnifier-and-narrator-of.html.

Read my other article on working quickly and taking care of your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/working-quickly-while-taking-care-of.html.



February 14, 2010

How to Perform Some Setup Tasks for your DLink DIR-300 Wireless Router

Here are some useful steps for performing setup tasks for your DLink DIR-300 wireless router.

Access your DLink DIR-300 Wireless Router from your Computer

Open your Internet browser. Type the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your DIR-300 on the address bar of the browser and press the enter key.

Specify your DIR-300's Internet Protocol Address

This is the IP address of your router inside your wireless home network. The default is 192.168.0.1. Enter the IP address and the subnet mask that you want your router to use and click on the Enable DNS Relay check box to enable it. Click on the Save Settings button.

Stop DLink DIR-300 from Broadcasting your Network Name

Do this if you don't want your neighbors to know that you're using a wireless router for connecting your computers to the Internet. To stop your router from broadcasting your wireless network name, Click on Setup at the top portion of the router's configuration window. Click on Wireless Setup at the top left hand portion of the web-based router setup interface. Under Wireless Network Settings, click on the check box opposite Enable Hidden Wireless. Click on the Save Settings button. Now when you want to allow a new computer to access your router, the computer won't be able to find your wireless home network. You have to manually enter the name and password of your network on the network setup of the new computer.

Change your Home Wireless Network Password

Click on Setup at the top portion of your wireless router's configuration window. Click on Wireless Setup at the top left hand portion of the page. Find the space opposite the phrase Network Key and change it. Click the Save Settings button on the page.

Enable DHCP Service on your DLink DIR-300

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is enabled by default in your wireless router. To disable it, Click on Setup at the top portion of the web-based configuration window. Click on the LAN Setup at the left hand portion of the window. Click on the check box opposite Enable DHCP Server to remove the check mark and disable it. Do the opposite to re-enable it. Input the range of IP addresses that you want your wireless router to distribute to computers that will use your wireless connection.

Reserve an IP address for a Computer in your Home Wireless Network

This step is needed if you want that one or more computers in your network will always receive a particular IP address when the computer boots. Click on Setup at the top of the configuration window. Click on LAN Setup at the left hand side of the window. Under DHCP Reservation, enter the computer name, the IP address that you want to reserve and the machine address of the wireless adapter of the computer that will use that IP address. Click on the Save Settings button on the page.

Synchronize your Router's Time with DLink's Internet Time Server

Click on Setup at the top of the router's configuration window. Click on Time and Date on the left hand side of the window. Under Automatic Time and Date Configuration, click the check box opposite Automatically synchronize with D-Link's Internet time server to enable it. Click on the button Update Now and then click on the Save Settings button on the page.

Enable Access Control in your DLink DIR-300 Wireless Router

Click on Advanced at the topmost portion of the router configuration page. Click Access Control on the left hand part of the page. Choose from the drop-down box what type of access control you want to implement in your wireless network. Enter the machine addresses of computers that you want to be affected by your access control rule. Click on the check box to enable the access control rule to be applied to that particular computer. Click on the Save Settings button on the page.

Stop your Router from Responding to Ping Requests

Ping is a computer command that checks if a computer with a certain IP address exists in a netwrok. It can be used by malicious people to locate a computer in your network. DLink recommends that this feature be disabled in your router. To disable it, click on Advanced at the top of the configuration page. Click on Advanced Network at the top left portion of the page. Under WAN Ping, click on the check box opposite Enable WAN Ping Respond to disable it. Click on the Save Settings button on the page.

Change your User Name and Password

Click on Maintenance at the upper portion of the window. Under Administrator, type in your new user name or password or both. Click the button Save Settings at the upper portion of the web-based interface.

Update your Wireless Router's Firmware

Click on Maintenance at the upper portion of the web interface. Under Current Firmware Info, click on the Check Now button. Follow on screen instructions if your firmware needs upgrade.

Setup Dynamic DNS Host Name for your Wireless Router

Click on Maintenance at the upper portion of the configuration window. Click on DDNS Setting at the left hand portion of the window. Enter your host name plus period plus dynamic DNS domain name. Enter your user name and password for the dynamic DNS service provider. Click on the DDNS Account Testing. Correct erroneous input if there is a problem and repeat the procedure.

Check if your Router has been given IP Address by your Internet Service Provider

Your DLink DIR-300 wireless router will not work without a valid IP address that is routable in the Internet. If you have been given a static address by your Internet service provider, you don't have to do this because your router will always have a routable IP address. Most commonly, your router is getting its address from the DHCP server of your Internet service provider. To check if your router has a routable IP address, click on Status at the top portion of the router configuration page. At the top left portion of the window, click on Device Info. Under Internet, check that the IP address and subnet mask are not all zeros. If they are, click on the DHCP Renew button to tell your router to get a new IP address from your Internet provider's DHCP server.

View your Router's Log

To view the messages made by your wireless router, click on Status at the top of the configuration window. Click on Log at the left hand side of the window.

Check which Computers are connecting with your DLink DIR-300 Wireless Router

Click on Status at the top portion of the DIR-300 configuration page. Click on Active Session at the left hand side of the page. Under the NAPT Session, you will have a number of IP addresses that are connected to your wireless router. If you know that you have a certain number of computers and cell phones that are connecting to your router right now, you should see the same number of entries here. If you have more, then probably someone out there is using your Internet connection for free.

Find out the Machine Addresses of Computers that are connecting with your Router

If you know all the wireless machine addresses of computers, PDAs and cell phones that are using your Internet connection, it is easy to find out if someone outside is connecting with your router. Click on Status at the top portion of the configuration page. Click on Wireless at the top left hand portion of the page. Under Connected Wireless Client List, you will see all the machine addresses of computers that use your Internet connection. If there is a machine address here that you don't know, then it is probably someone outside who is piggybacking on your Internet connection for free. Immediately change the Administrator user name and password for your DIR-300 wireless router. Change also your wireless home network's password. Make up long and difficult to guess passwords for both the router Administrator and the wireless network.

Read my article on how you can access your DLink DIR-300 wireless router from the Internet at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-you-can-access-your-dlink-dir-300.html.

Read my other article on Internet Protocol addressing for setting up DHCP on your DLink DIR-300 wireless router at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/12/internet-protocol-addressing-for.html.

Read an article on how to make up a more secure Windows password at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/how-secure-is-your-windows-password.