Patrick Marshall gives advice on Wi-Fi access for guests and upgrading to Windows 10.
Q: My new router offers me the opportunity to create a “guest” network. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?
— B. Austin
A: Guest Wi-Fi networks are a great way to offer your house guests easy access to the Internet without also giving them access to your LAN, computers, printers, etc.
Some routers do allow you to give guests access to network resources and to see each other on the guest network — or not. Generally, it’s safer to prevent guest computers from accessing other guest computers.
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Hosts tend to offer easy-to-remember passwords for the limited guest accounts, so they tend to be less secure. And while I always turn off station ID broadcasting for my Wi-Fi access point, making it more difficult for anyone trying to use my bandwidth, I leave the guest network name in broadcast mode, making it easy for guests to connect to.
Finally, when I don’t have guests, I turn the guest network off.
Q: I tried upgrading to Windows 10 and received a message that an application I had, a spyware program, was incompatible with Windows 10 and I needed to uninstall it.
I did and then tried to upgrade again. I received the same message. I checked in my Programs and Features tab in the Control Panel, and there was no sign of that program in the list. I opened Windows Task Manager and looked at the processes running, but there was no sign of it there.
Is there some residual code or something that Windows is seeing that I can’t find? Do you have any sense of how I might work around this?
— George W. Jarecke
A: Yes, some applications leave traces of themselves behind even after you’ve uninstalled them. That may be what is tripping up the Windows installation process.
Instead of upgrading the computer to Windows 10, try doing a fresh installation of Windows 10. Of course, you’ll want to back up all of your data first. And you’ll need to reinstall all of your applications after installing Windows 10.
When the Windows 10 installation routine begins, instead of choosing “Upgrade this PC” choose “Create installation media for another PC.” Follow the directions for creating installation media: The most convenient option is to save to a USB drive, which will need to have at least 3 gigabytes of storage available.
Finally, when the download is complete, reinsert the USB drive and launch the Setup file using Windows Explorer.