Compute IT

USB versions

Are you aware that USB has “grown up” and since 2013 we have had Version 3.1 available? That is as long as your computer is set up for it. Easiest way to find out is to look at the colour of the insulator in a USB port on your computer. If it’s blue, then you have USB Version 3 running through that port. To take advantage of this, you need to be using a USB3 capable device. This could be a memory stick or external drive; these can be identified by their internal blue insulator. There is no problem plugging a USB2 device in the USB3 port, it will just run at the slower USB2 speed. Same for running a USB3 device in a USB2 port, it will drop down the lesser transfer rate. While USB2 is fast, running at a theoretical transfer rate of 60 megabytes per second (MBps), it pales in comparison to USB3 which is supposed to run at 640MBps. That’s over 10 times faster than USB2. In reality neither of these will often hit their theoretical maximum, but a potential 10 fold increase in your speed achieved is still worth using, especially for large backups. Faster means less waiting time.


I know I have been banging on about these, but really, how long ago did you make one? Do you have a bit of a plan on how often to make them and what do you store your backup on? Would losing all you documents, pictures and movies cause you a bit, or maybe a lot, of anxiety? Please consider safe computing and put your plan into action. If you have replaced an “old” internal hard disk with a newer and larger capacity hard disk, what do you do with the “old” disk? Perhaps you could buy a USB3 external case for it and use it for your backups? This is self-recycling at its best.

Wi-Fi Signal Strength

Several months back I wrote about using a Range Extender to allow a weak Wi-Fi signal to be boosted and then travel further. But, how do you know where to drop off point is for the signal? You could use a laptop and move around the house counting the number of small bars being displayed.

An even better way is to use and “app” on your smart phone to display this and move around the house to find the good and dead spots. One really good app is Wi-Fi SweetSpots. Start by being close to the modem to determine the top score, and then move around the house to see what happens. Sometimes just one more wall can be enough to go from pretty good to dead spot. That’s where the Range Extender will help and now you know where to locate it.

If you need help with this, or would just like to chat about your options, give me a call at 345-6098. To find out more about this, follow this link:

Wayne Parkinson
Abingdon Computing Essentials –
Phone – 345-6098
Contact Wayne for all your virus and computer fixes or training needs.