Tag: Tips

20
Sep
2017

Prevent Discovery Of Your Mac

Your Mac is pretty safe on your private home network, but what about when you’re surfing the Web in airports or coffee shops? Anyone with a computer and rudimentary hacking skills could target you, which is why it’s important to make sure your Mac’s built-in Firewall is enabled and that stealth mode is turned on.

Apple’s macOS Firewall feature blocks unwanted network traffic coming into your computer, and stealth mode makes your Mac essentially invisible to hackers snooping for computers to target. They aren’t foolproof features, but they will keep most people from finding and attacking your Mac on public networks.

First, you need to make sure your Mac’s Firewall is enabled:

• Go to () Apple menu > System Preferences.
• Choose Security & Privacy.
• Select the Firewall tab.
• If the Firewall is active you’ll see a green dot and “Firewall: On.” If not, click Turn Firewall On. You may have to click the padlock icon and authenticate with your Mac’s password to change the setting.

Next, enable stealth mode:

• Click Firewall Options. It’s below the button for turning the Firewall on and off.
• Check Enable stealth mode.
• Click OK.

Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections” and “Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections” should already be checked. Those settings let the apps you already have communicate through the firewall without you having to take any extra steps. Leave those checked unless you know what you’re doing and plan to manage app network access manually. You should leave “Block all incoming connections” unchecked too, unless all you’re doing is surfing the Web.

 

22
May
2017

macOS Wi-FI Tip

Did you know that you can quickly access information about your Router, and check if your Wi-Fi Network is performing well? See your BSSID, signal-to-noise ratio, and even the transmit rate between your Router and Computer. All it takes is a press of a button and a click of your trackpad/mouse.

If you hold down the Option (alt) key and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, it will provide you with details about your Router and the Network you’re using. The items in gray (except for “Wi-Fi: On”) are all pieces of additional information seen only in this mode.

IP Address: This is your computer’s IP address.

Router: Your router’s IP address. You can type this into your browser to access your router’s web interface.

Internet: This tells you if you are able to access the internet or not. If not, open Wireless Diagnostics.

Security: Your router’s security. Most Routers on the market offer WPA2 Personal, and it keeps your network encrypted.

BSSID: This is your Router’s MAC, or hardware address. It acts as an identifier for your Router that lets it talk to other network-connected devices.

Channel: This is your WLAN channel, and it determines which radio frequency the router uses to transmit information.

RSSI: Received Signal Strength Indicator measures how well a device “hears” a signal from the router. It’s useful for determining if you have enough signal to get a good wireless connection.

Noise: This measures how much radio noise is interfering with the RSSI signal. Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels.

TX Rate: The transmit rate is the speed of the data that is transmitted between your Router and your Computer. Right now I have a speed of 450 Mbps.

PHY Mode: This is the wireless protocol that the Router uses, according to the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard.

MCS Index: This number corresponds to the protocols uses to encode the radio signal.

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