DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., Appleton, Wis., was awarded
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., Appleton, Wis., was awarded
Authors: Derrick Wlodarz
Few technological shifts in our tumultuous industry have moved as slowly and methodically as the long-proposed shift to IPv6. The confusion surrounding this radical new approach to the way we view networking is still quite high, especially among computer technicians I speak to.
I’ve heard them refer to IPv6 as “the new internet” or “version 6 of the web.” Clearly there is an informational disconnect between those on the front lines working with these technologies and the major players pushing this change in the networking realm. If technicians are to be prepared to answer questions that customers will be asking as this revolution heats up, they need to have a base understanding of what IPv6 not only is, but what it aims to accomplish.
I want to address some of the most common concerns and questions about this shift, what it means for technicians, and most of all, what it means in real terms for the customers you support. For all intents and purposes, IPv6 is already a real technology that is steadily being implemented across the web – starting with the innermost core hardware that runs the modern internet and moving outward towards the hardware/software at the end-user level.
Here are some of the most important things you should know about this increasingly important standard.
IPv6 is just short for Internet Protocol Version 6. When most technicians think about networking, they probably encounter network addresses at customer locations that look like 192.168.1.120, 10.1.1.150, or similar. These are all considered IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) addresses which are the most prevalent and represent what a majority of equipment and software developed up until about 2007 solely utilized. The new standard doesn’t represent any new version of the internet as a whole; it merely updates the way in which devices and software inter-operate with one another.
One of the biggest reasons for the push to IPv6 is the real fact that we are slowly running out of IPv4 public addresses. Simply put, IPv4 is a 32-bit addressing scheme which translates into an available pool of only 4,294,967,296 addresses. That may seem like a lot of addresses, but we are very near the exhaustion point for much of what is publicly available. The use of NAT has pushed off the inevitable, but it’s more of a bona-fide bandage then an alternative to switching to IPv6. As they say, you can only slice a pie so many ways – eventually, there’s none left to go around.
The way that these public IP addresses get handed out globally is ultimately led by an authority known as IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.) This body hands address “pools” out to various RIRs (Regional Internet Registries) across the world, which in turn trickle down addresses to ISPs (for customer internet access, like what you are using to read this website now) and other parties that request them.
IPv6 redefines the addressing scheme for networking devices and software to a 128-bit structure. This allows for a near limitless number of addresses, or 2128 to be numerically exact. Technical experts proclaim they never expect there to be another address shortage due to IPv6. If that holds true obviously remains to be seen.
You can view a neat countdown ticker of how many IPv4 addresses are left in global registries provided by INTEC, Inc.
This is quite a tough question to answer with 100% certainty as most experts in the networking fields still don’t have a uniform voice to lead the way. Some claim that there is no pending crisis due to the depletion of IPv4; others are clamoring for a brisk and swift change to IPv6. I’m not in the camp that is calling this a global crisis yet, but I do believe that the reasonably mindful thing to do is to ensure that all new network gear you are purchasing for customers is IPv6 compliant.
Thankfully, this task is not as difficult as some may think. Most new networking hardware that has been in production since about 2010 (with a fair number of devices pre-2010 as well) natively support the IPv6 standard out of the box. This means that, in general, you don’t have to “hunt” for gear that supports IPv6. It’s still a good idea to check the equipment you are looking to purchase because some legacy gear on the market still doesn’t have dual compatibility. Spec sheets are always publicly available for most equipment sold and you can easily keyword scan them for IPv6 references.
In terms of “when” your customers should be IPv6 ready, this is also a catch 22 dilemma. Most networking realists are taking the cost-effective approach that all new gear going into place should have full IPv6 compatibility, and the hope is that slowly all equipment will be replaced by the time IPv4 is phased out. This is because coexistence plans are already in place for using IPv4 side-by-side with the new IPv6. Schemes such as dual IP stacks and IPv6-over-IPv4 tunneling are some of the methods that we will live in a cooperative networking world for the near term.
In plain terms: just ensure you are purchasing IPv6 capable equipment when the need arises; ensure that all new equipment has IPv6 turned on by default; and don’t turn IPv6 capability off within Windows for customers.
This is a common concern among technicians I speak to, and it happens to be the area that is already in place for IPv6. Microsoft included full out-of-the-box support for IPv6 in Windows Vista, 7, and 8 (a full compatibility chart has been posted for Microsoft products.) Windows XP has support too, but it has to be installed manually per these instructions.
Apple has our backs on IPv6 too, and has included full support for the new protocol since OS X 10.1 (it has only been turned on by default since 10.3, however.) In basic terms, technicians don’t have to do much for customers running Vista or above, and likewise, OS X 10.3 or above. All they need to worry about at this point is to ensure all network hardware is compatible (which is unfortunately much tougher and expensive to get into place.)
The easiest form of test you can run is a public-facing readiness test from one of the many sources that offer them. A good one that I like to use with customers is aptly named Test-IPv6.com and provides a visual result page with overview on your IPv6 public address, your DNS’ IPv6 compatiblity, as well as simple scores that show how “ready” you or a customer are for IPv6. Take the results with a grain of salt; even though I personally get a 0/10 for IPv6 readiness on this site, there is no immediate crisis since a majority of the world is still working hard to get all the proper switches flipped.
Within Windows, you can check your Network Connection status details for every flavor of Windows since XP to see what your current IPv6 address is; MAC’s control panel area for networking shows similar information for the wired/wireless adapters. To most people this information is not necessary yet… but remember, one day, IPv6 will become as prevalent, or replace, IPv4 that we are so fond of today.
If I knew the answer to this, I’d probably be some exec at a large and famous networking company. While IPv6 has been pushing its way into eventual relevance (and necessity, many say) with events like World IPv6 Launch Day, this change is so radical and far reaching that it likely has at least 4-6 years before it becomes a major force in the way we think about networking.
As I said earlier, however, as long as you are playing your part in preparing customers for the eventual switchover (whenever it happens, as gradual as it may be) then you are doing your part in this technical evolution. I’m not scaring customers of my company FireLogic with IPv6 readiness, but am being mindful to always look for IPv6 gear when new hardware goes into place.
More importantly, I haven’t willingly recommended any Windows XP-based workstations to clients in over a year now; Windows 7 is my base OS of choice thus far, with Windows 8 likely to be the eventual standard once it hits in October.
While the best thing technicians can do now is ensure their customers are being softened into an IPv6-ready ecosystem, rest assured that IPv4 won’t be dying in the flick of a finger. As mentioned above, dual-stacking schemes will likely be the compatibility path for some years down the road until a full steamrolling of the networking landscape happens globally. It’s a lofty prospect to see such a radical change happening in even 5 to 10 years, and I’d presume that it may take closer to 15 or more years before we even begin to see the dimming of IPv4 as a whole.
The likely scenario is that websites will slowly start forcing the IPv6 revolution from top-down, and we will see a slow squeeze to catch up by all of the network equipment vendors and software providers alike.
Following the simple guidelines I laid out above, you can help make this transition as painless for your customers as possible. While IPv6 may seem like mere hoopla for the time being, it will soon become a growing reality for the wired world.
Cash flow and access to capital is a critical small business issue. OnForce is actively helping the IT entrepreneur with this issue.
Authors: Bryce Whitty
Farbar Service Scanner is a small, portable and free application that gives a detailed report on the files, registries and services that are responsible for network connectivity. The purpose of this report is to help you identify the source of connectivity problems if one of these files is infected or corrupted. This is especially useful after you have removed Malware from the operating system system but it is still unable to connect to the internet.
Here is a typical logfile created by Farbar Service Scanner:
Farbar Service Scanner Version: 18-01-2012 01
Ran by TN(administrator) on 01-02-2012 at 22:49:44
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 (X64)
Boot Mode: Normal
Localhost is accessible.
Google IP is accessible.
Yahoo IP is accessible.
Firewall Disabled Policy:
SDRSVC Service is not running. Checking service configuration:
The start type of SDRSVC service is OK.
The ImagePath of SDRSVC service is OK.
The ServiceDll of SDRSVC service is OK.
VSS Service is not running. Checking service configuration:
The start type of VSS service is OK.
The ImagePath of VSS service is OK.
System Restore Disabled Policy:
C:\Windows\System32\nsisvc.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\nsiproxy.sys => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\dhcpcore.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\afd.sys => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\tdx.sys => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\tcpip.sys => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\dnsrslvr.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\mpssvc.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\bfe.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\mpsdrv.sys => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\SDRSVC.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\vssvc.exe => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\wscsvc.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\wbem\WMIsvc.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\wuaueng.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\qmgr.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\es.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\cryptsvc.dll => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\svchost.exe => MD5 is legit
C:\Windows\System32\rpcss.dll => MD5 is legit
**** End of log ****
Special thanks to forum member dk99 for recommending this one.
© Technibble – A Resource for Computer Technicians to start or improve their Computer Business
To get started with your own computer business, check out our Computer Business Kit. Fabar Service Scanner (FSS.exe) – Identify Internet Connectivity Problems
Authors: Bryce Whitty
Guest Post by Bryan Vest: Bryan Vest is a web developer/SEO specialist who enjoys writing articles to help make techs websites succeed.
As you all know sometimes finding the right keywords to target can be one of the hardest parts of SEO. With proper keyword research you can find keywords with low competition to bring you high quality local traffic. In this article, I would like to show you some methods to properly research keywords to target for your SEO campaign. This is by no chance the only ways, but these are very easy and great methods to look for keywords to target.
Now we all would like to jump right out there and target the short tail keywords like "Computer Repair"(673,000 unique searches) and "Virus Removal" (550,000 unique searches), but the competition on those keywords are very high and let’s face it without a very high SEO budget a small town Computer Repair shop doesn’t stand a chance. Another thing you have to think about is how much of this traffic is areas you actually can support. So the perfect keywords to target would be something that is low competition and focused on your supported area.
Now that we have the basics covered let’s begin with the process itself.I will be using local major cities in my area for the example. We will start with the just about universal tool for researching keywords, Google Adwords Keyword Tool. What would be better to use in getting to know the exact amount of hits your computer repair site can receive than a tool made by Google itself? Now follow the link https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This form should be very simple and easy to follow for just about everyone. You type the keywords you want to research in the "Word or phrase" box one line at a time. You may put your website in the website box, but for the sake of research you won’t want to since this will just pull keywords from your site. A good way to start your research is by typing in local cities you support followed by computer repair. In my case those major cities would be Temecula and Murrieta. Now just fill out the captcha and press search.
You will immediately see a list of keywords populate the bottom of the screen as seen above. As you can see in my case the searches "Temecula computer repair" brings in about 320 searches a month while “Murrieta computer repair” brings in about 170 unique searches. These would be good keywords to target since just imagine the work you could get if you had the combined 490 clicks to your site a month.
Now you have found 2 keywords you would like to target your next step is to find the competitiveness of the keywords. You may notice the competition bar as shown above.Just completely ignore this! You will find very noncompetitive keywords showing competition of way above 75% while highly competitive keywords ranking in the 30%. Now what we are going to do to find the competitiveness of the keyword is actually look at the competition! Click on the keywords to bring up the searches in a new tab.
Here you can see who is ranking for the keyword in question. Right off the bat you can tell this keyword is not very competitive as the Yahoo Local page is ranking 3rd! To properly assess the competition I always look at where I want to be. You always want to be number 1 so we will look at "Kyle’s Computer Repair". I will not be posting a picture of the design since this is a live site and it’s really has nothing to do with keyword research. Moving on, right click anywhere on the background of a page and select "view source". This will bring up his source coding of the website. Now if you don’t understand HTML don’t worry we will include some basics.
The first thing we will look at is the title tag. This is the main writing that appears when you search on Google. Now unless you are an industry leader the best thing you can do is put the keyword right in the beginning of the title tag. Is his case he put his company name first. Though this doesn’t hurt him it will not carry the same weight as say "Keyword – Business Name". In his case though the way he went the right way as his name includes computer repair.
The next thing you will want to look for is IMG tags. This is the biggest giveaway of them all since most designers forget about them and it is a clear sign if he is focusing on SEO. As you can say in this sites case the ALT attribute is left blank. This is major since Google’s spiders can’t read images as humans do, but can read the ALT attribute. Looking just at these 2 things you can determine that he is not really focused on SEO as much as he should be.
Now everyone knows the biggest part of SEO is backlinks! Backlinks are essentially other sites telling Google "Hey! This site is important!" We are now going to check the competitions backlinks to how hard this keyword will really be. Now there are many tools out there to check the backlinks of a site, but the simplest one for the sake of this guide will be http://www.backlinkwatch.com. Now once you open this site you just type the URL of the site you want to research in the box and click "Check Backlinks".
Now it might take a few seconds, but on the left side of the screen you will see a box up the left. This holds the important information you are looking for which is the total backlinks. As you can see with this site there are only a total of 9.
Now with knowing that the owner is not focused on the On-Site SEO and the Off-Site SEO, but is still ranked first for the keyword in question you know this keyword will be fairly easy to target. Now just repeat these steps with each keyword you would like to target and you will be gaining lots of high quality tech related traffic to your site in no time.
Here are some keyword combinations that will work quite often in major cities.
"[city] computer repair"
"[city] computer services"
"[city] virus removals"
"[city] data recovery"
© Technibble – A Resource for Computer Technicians to start or improve their computer business
To get started with your own computer business, check out our Computer Business Kit. Finding The Right Keywords For Your Computer Businesses Website
The OnForce community is full of entrepreneurs so the first National Enterpreneurs’ Day is a great day for us to celebrate your successes.
I just thought that I would take a little time today to share a couple of my observations of late. I hope that everyone is staying busy with their computer repair services. I seem to have lately found some free and cheap advertising that has had an immediate payoff. I have been a Chamber of Commerce member for a couple of years now, and one of my competitors is even on the board of our local chamber. He is a nice guy and I try to buy parts from him when I can.
The point is, I askedRead More…