[This can be dangerous, use this information at your own risk… like everything you find on the Internet*] [*The Internet does contain factual data.]
(My Lenovo ThinkPad T470p struggles like a drowning rat when real-time protection is on, and I take reasonable care to not install crap, and I backup my data with every lunar eclipse.)
Click on the Windows menu and type “Windows Security Settings” and launch the application. Next, click on “Virus & threat protection”, and click “Manage Settings”
If Real-time protection is enabled, the screen will look like this:
If the option isn’t greyed-out, you can probably click on the toggle to select “Off”. You may need to be logged in as an administrative user to do so. Additionally, I’m going to assume you are not running any other anti-virus software, such as McAfee or Avast (oh god, don’t run those)
How to Make a Batch file to Disable Real-time Protection
Open a text editor such as Notepad and paste this single line:
Save the file, using a name like DisableRealtimeMonitoring.bat
The .bat extension means “batch file” which is similar to an ancient incantation of a recipe containing fairy dust and unicorn-hoof powder, used by magicians and unfortunate Windows users.
To run the file, right-click and choose “Run as administrator”
How to Disable Microsoft Defender’s Real-time Protection when your Machine Starts
Copy the above file into your startup items folder. When your machine starts, the file will run, and hopefully disable real-time protection.
To quickly navigate to your startup folder hit the keys Windows+R to open the “Run” box, type “shell:startup,” and then press Enter.
This will open the startup folder. Copy the above batch file into the folder and have a great day!
Apps want to track you. Don’t let them.
As of May 2021, and the release of iOS 14.5, Apple has rolled out a new feature which prevents apps from tracking you. Facebook, the $86B (2020) advertising giant behind Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and Novi Financial, is unhappy about this change, because it’s key to their strategy of showing you behaviorally targeted advertising.
Apple has put a gate up between you and your apps by letting you ask an app to not track you. By asking them to not track you, Apple won’t provide the app with a unique identifier for your device, known as the IDFA, or ‘Identifier For Advertisers’. Advertisers and app makers will always find ways to track and group visitors/users, perhaps using your IP address, your browser history, data about nearby cell phone towers or Wi-Fi router names, and even the names of other apps on your phone. Apple has drawn a line in the sand and as a consumer, I’m all for this.
If you see a request to track your activity, tap Ask App Not to Track.
How to modify tracking for apps
Settings > Privacy > Tracking
(I have this turned off – don’t even ask me, I’m not going to allow it)
11 Secrets to Increase Your Internet Speed
1. Replace your modem
With residential internet connections, modems are often overlooked. If you’re leasing your modem, call your provider and ask if a newer model is available. (Just like rental cars – ask for a free upgrade). Newer hardware works better. Also, if you’re leasing your modem, stop throwing away money. How long have you had your connection at home or your office? A long time. How long do you plan on continuing to be connected? A long time. Buy a modem. Whatever Walmart & Amazon have is probably newer – and faster – than what you’re using. (ARRIS is my favorite cable modem brand, and ZyXel is fine for DSL modems.) DSL uses an RJ-11 connector (a traditional phone line) and comes in three flavors – ADSL, SDSL, and VDSL. Cable modems use coax connector (like Cable TV) and speak a protocol known as DOCSIS. Make sure the modem you purchase is compatible with your provider. Here’s a list of compatible modems for AT&T, CenturyLink, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox. Sanity check your decision by looking at the back of the modem and ensuring it uses the connection type you have.
2. Skip Wifi and plug in directly
WiFi is awesome, but if you’re using a PC/laptop/TV/Roku/Apple TV/PlayStation/Xbox/printer at a fixed location, plug in. Most of the time, a wired connection is faster than wireless. It isn’t bombarded with interference and doesn’t have dead zones. Another divide-and-conquer idea is to use your laptop for video conferencing and use your cell phone to dial into the meeting for the audio. Be sure to disconnect the phone from WiFi. This will reduce usage of your wired connection a small amount.
3. Using WiFi? Change the Frequency, Kenneth
WiFi uses radio waves, and most of your neighbors are broadcasting on the same frequency, which causes interference. Imagine trying to order pizza over the phone while seven kids repeatedly hit you with sticks – this is the sad life of your WiFi connection. 802.11A runs at 5ghz. 802.11B & G operate at 2.4ghz. Most of America is crammed into this frequency. Consider upgrading to an 802.11AD or AX router which can operate at 60ghz. 802.11AX is marketed as WiFi 6.NetSpot is an excellent free tool for looking at the networks around you. Look for what channel the majority of your neighbors use and set your Wireless Access Point to something else.
4. Update your software and firmware
Log in to your router (maybe at 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1) and update the firmware on your router. Run Windows Update (to manually check for the latest recommended updates, select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates), Intel driver update, and any update utility which came with your computer. Here’s how to update the software on your Mac. Check for a newer BIOS version as well.
5. Turn off QoS, and double check connected devices
Now that you’re logged in to your router, try disabling QoS (Quality of service) and see what happens. QoS is a great idea; it allows you to choose which devices (your laptop) or software (Zoom) has priority over everything else. Unfortunately, most under powered residential-grade routers can’t handle QoS well – and end up slowing down everything as they thrash around in the water. Here’s Netgear instructions for disabling QoS. Asus calls it Adaptive QoS. Turning QoS off has always helped me – but your mileage may vary. Also, take a look at the connected devices, and if any exist which you do not recognize, kick them off the WiFi router. If devices continue connecting, change your WiFi password!
6. Turn off Windows Defender Firewall
Odds are your router has firewall capability, and having Windows play gatekeeper is just slowing things down. If you have other firewall software like Norton, ZoneAlarm, or Avast, uninstall it. (same with anti-virus software) It’ll never be as good as the security measures from the manufacturer of the operating system.
7. Replace your name servers
Your devices ask Name Servers for directions to websites behind the scenes; most people use the default provided by their ISP, but many free (and faster) options exist. Some of these free options also provide privacy and filtering options. DNS Benchmark is an awesome free comparison tool.
8. Reposition your router & consider using two access points
Move your WiFi router closer to your devices (whatever isn’t already connected using an Ethernet cable). And if your router can work on multiple bands, like 2.4ghz and 5ghz, setup the same SSID (network name) and password on both, which will make it easier for devices which move around to always find a working signal. If you have a second WiFi router, you may look into connecting it to the first to increase coverage.
Disable DHCP on the SECONDARY ROUTER.
Ensure the WiFi settings are the same.
Allocate the SECONDARY ROUTER a static IP address.
Physically connect the two routers using an Ethernet cable via LAN port.
9. Replace your wiring
Ethernet comes in a few flavors, and “Cat-5e” is the most common, gaining popularity 2 decades ago. Are you still using the cell phone you had in the 90’s? No. Take a moment to check out the cabling you’re using – odds are it’s time to replace it. Replace it with Cat6a. If you’re wiring a home or building, Consider Cat7. Keep in mind the Ethernet cable included with your Xbox, or router, may not be the latest and greatest.
If you’re facing unknown issues with copper DSL and you’ve checked everything else on this list, you may want to bypass the wiring in your house. This is a last-ditch-effort to speed up DSL: Find the box on the side of your house, install a splitter on the copper going into the home and run a phone line directly to your DSL modem. Here’s a helpful video.
10. Replace your provider
It may be time to see what other options are available in your area, such as community-provided broadband, fiber, 5G cellular, or satellite. Tesla’s sister company, SpaceX, offers Starlink, a new offering which is faster than traditional satellite providers because the satellites are in LEO – Low Earth Orbit, which means they are closer to Earth, so you spend less time waiting for a signal to reach the satellite and return to you. Be wary of any provider which refers to the connection as fast – without telling you the actual download and upload speeds you can expect. It’s also worth asking if the connection is symmetrical – when download and upload speeds are equal. Upload speed is important if you’re using video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, WebEx, or Zoom. 5G cellular connectivity may also be an option. Cellmapper.net shows a map of cell towers and signal strength.
11. Install an Ad Blocker and reduce bandwidth usage
Have a small business? Want everyone to be able to answer questions from customers? I recommend Availa for text messaging, payments, and scheduling.
5 Ways To Make More Money
Raise your prices.
When was the last time you looked at your pricing? When you started your business? The inflation of the US Dollar was 2.1% on average annually from 2000-2021, so to at least keep up with the value of the Dollar, you should raise your prices. Not to mention changes in taxes, local regulations, labor costs, the cost of living, and healthcare. If you sell something for $100, customers will be fine paying $102 for it. Add a reminder to your calendar to increase prices every year. A price increase may cause you to lose some customers, and that’s okay, you’ll replace them with higher paying customers. Your first goal in business is to stay in business, not give away services. Don’t merely survive, thrive!
Put a “buy” button on the first page of your website.
Make it as easy as possible for me to become your customer. Selling additional products or services to an existing customer is much easier than selling to someone for the first time – so make it easy for me to make the first purchase and have a positive experience with your company. Note – you can have any call to action on the first page; maybe it’s “Schedule a Tour” or “Talk to an Expert” – it doesn’t have to say “Buy” – but the point is – get people in the door. Work to eliminate hoops for your customers. Can they fill out your 19-question survey later? Must they provide every piece of information right now? What is the least amount of information you need from them? A phone number or email address and a credit card number? That’s a great start! Pressing the fast-forward button on getting new customers hopefully will cause you to rethink how you’re on-boarding clients. Make it easier. Netflix is a great example. They ask for your email address, ask you to pick a service, and enter your credit card number. Starbucks is another great example; walk-in, pick a coffee (and maybe a high-calorie snack) and pay. If a person can’t become your customer in 5 minutes, you have a broken process. Note – Your signup method cannot require context switching. If someone is talking to you on the phone, don’t tell them to go to your website. If someone is on your website, don’t ask them to email you or print something – finish the sale using the same communication method or medium it was started with.
Make recurring payments part of your business model.
It’s easier to sell to an existing customer and even easier to charge a credit card every week, month, or year. Editor’s note – if your business doesn’t accept credit cards, you’re turning away buyers. Many processors offer insurance. is you’ve been burned by a chargeback / dispute.
Is your business seasonal? If your customers pay $500 for you to file their taxes or replace the mulch in their yard (these are just random examples, roll with it) rather than charging your customers $500 at the time of delivery, what if you break that into 12 payments and spread it over the year? Being mindful of the time value of money, let’s increase your pricing by 2% first. Now we’re at $510/12 months = $42.5 per month. That’s much easier for customers to swallow, and levels out the peaks and valleys of your revenue flow!
Make it easier for customers to reach you.
My favorite personal trainers in Castle Rock, Colorado have the dreaded double number on their website. Instant confusion. Which number do I call or text if I want to sign up? Deliver an appliance? Ask for a refund? Inquire about the parking?
FedEx has one number. 1-800-GO-FEDEX. Be like FedEx. Make it as easy as possible for me to become or remain your customer.
Can your customers send your business text messages? Do you have one cell phone you pass around, or how does your staff reply to messages? I recommend Availa for business text messaging for your whole team. Everyone gets the app on their device, and everyone can see the conversation so customers are answered quickly.
Embrace your Unique Selling Proposition.
What sets you apart from your competitors? Do your customers know that? Lean in to what makes your business different from others in your market. One way to do this is to stake your claim on an extreme. Maybe you have the coldest ice cream or the shortest lines or the loudest stereos. Lowest prices? (It gets attention but may not be sustainable in the long-term; I suggest you try again) Also watch out for anything which could be conveyed on a coupon – 20% off is not a Unique Selling Point. The strongest coffee? Unique. Check out Death Wish Coffee Co.
Bonus Question! What is your industry going to look like in 5 years?
What changes will occur – to your customers’ lifestyle, to your services, products, suppliers, employees, to your company? Building a business is for the long-term. Ensure every decision is getting you closer to where you’ll need to be in the future. Daily progress and incremental improvement may not be enough – sorry to add one more thing to your plate – imagine calling taxi providers years ago, before Uber. Or people renting their 2nd homes, before Airbnb. Let me put it another way, as if we’re all dinosaurs – how will you thrive after the next asteroid?
Fun stuff – thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, post it to LinkedIn and share with a friend.