Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Update Brings Secure Wifi, VPN

A week ago, Samsung rolled out a new update for its flagship Galaxy Note 8. The update contains bug fixes and security features for Android-powered devices.

Among the security updates contained in the Galaxy Note 9 software update is the VPN service. Samsung users were not able to notice the new built-in service immediately.

What it makes more interesting is that the Galaxy Note 8 update introduces a new feature for the Galaxy Note series. The VPN service feature allows mobile users to establish a more secure Wi-Fi connection.

It is worthy to note that Samsung previous launched its Secure Wi-Fi service to the Galaxy J series. Some Galaxy J series actually lauded this feature since they are using a low-end type of device.

So how does this VPN works? The built-in VPN service works similarly with Samsung’s latest flagship devices. The service offers users several options to select based on the various plan for the VPN service.

Samsung users can actually pick a VPN service that is free but with limitations. By having a secure Wi-FI, it allows a user to browse the internet when they connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

Enabling the VPN service will provide users with a safe access to the internet through encryption, especially the outgoing web traffic.

Samsung also said that such feature prevents access to both websites and applications from users who tracked web activities. This means that the Galaxy Note 8 update adds a new layer of security while being productive.

iPhone users use Wi-Fi more than Android users

A ComScore study found out that iPhone owners in US and UK consumes more of their data over Wi-Fi and their carrier’s wireless signal than users who have Android’s as their chosen smartphone OS.

The study which was done last February was released today. It showed that 71% of Americans use their iPhones both on cellular signal and Wi-Fi networks. Android users on the other hand had 32% who use both means of connection. Only 68% of iPhone users and 29% of Android users stay connected through the internet via their carrier’s network.

In the other side of the Atlantic, ComScore found out that 87% of iPhone users use both means of connection. Android users on the other hand account to 57%.

According to ComScore’s president of operator and mobile solution Serge Matta, “In the UK, the scarcity of unlimited data plans and higher incidence of smartphone prepaid contracts with pay-as-you-go data model likely contributes to data offloading among users wanting to economize their mobile usage. In addition, the current lack of high-speed data networks in the UK might also lead users to seek out higher bandwidth capacity on Wi-Fi networks.”

In the US, the majority of those who use Wi-Fi and cellular networks are those who are under AT&T followed by Verizon and T-Mobile. UK on the other hand is led by Vodafone followed by Orange and Telefonica.

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Wireless chip from Sony capable of 6.3Gbps

Dreaming of a faster router that can accommodate your fast Internet connection? Tired of the 802.11n Wi-Fi technology that majority, if not all of us are using?


Sony and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are currently developing a router that is 14 times faster in transferring speeds of the current commercial routers. Pegged at 6.3Gbps, this router can boost your Wi-Fi experience to an all new level.


According to a press release, “implementation of this technology will enable users to transmit and receive data at much higher speeds between mobile devices without the need for cable connections. This technology will also enable users to enjoy uncompressed high-quality video streaming from a mobile device to a display.”

Imagine being able to transmit an uncompressed Blu-ray copy of a movie from your handheld to your television?

Unfortunately, this is still under development so we might not be seeing this device anytime soon.

Professor Akira Matsuzawa, Associate professor Kenichi Okada, and others from the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing the radio frequency chip. Sony on the other hand is responsible for creating the low-power baseband chip and manages overall chip improvement.

The proposed system operates on a millimeter wave 60GHz band that employs 802.15.3c standards.

Image source: Sony

Free app that EASILY turns your notebook into a WiFi hotspot

Having a portable Wi-Fi device with you is a big help. Being able to share you connection to your friends will make you popular. Unfortunately, carrying with you a portable device that lets you do this is a bit of hassle to some. While these devices are small, the idea of buying one could make you think twice.

Though there are now ways to configure Windows to enable you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, the process involved could make you think otherwise.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the answer to your question is here. Connectify is here.

Using Connectify is as easy as 1, 2, and 3.

You first have to download the application on their site and install it in your laptop. Then open the application then set a password and SSID for your hotspot. Then choose the connection that you want to share and click on the large, friendly ‘Start Hotspot’ button and you’re good to go.

There are two versions of Connectify.

There is the free version. This type allows you to share your internet connections. It is a reliable application and does its job fairly well. What’s good is that it features no ads.

The other one is the paid version. This type allows you to rename your hotspot and automatically detects you Internet connection and has product support. You have to shell $29.95 for you to avail of the Pro version.

If you want flexibility, power and you have money to shell, then choose to buy the pro. But the free version is enough if you only want to share your connection to friends. Either way, you won’t be disappointed with this program.

Japan introduces vending machines with free wifi

Vending machines are popular in Japan. Almost all streets in Japan have one or more. The popularity of these devices gave some individuals an idea to upgrade them and make more money out of it.

The drink company Asahi are introducing a new type of vending machine. Over the next 12 months, they will be upgrading or distributing their machines to have Wi-Fi capability. Turning these selling contraptions into hotspots is a nice idea considering that people nowadays have Wi-Fi capability phones or devices.

The range of the signal being emitted from the machines can reach about 50 meters. It is free to use. You don’t have to buy something in order for you to use their signal. You can use the signal for 30 minutes before it cuts out. Asahi is hoping that those individuals using the Wi-Fi signal would buy a cold drink. But it is not an assured.

The company has about 250,000 vending machines around Japan. They will initially set-up 1,000 of this Wi-Fi enabled devices. They are hoping to increase this number to about 10,000 machines by 2017.

Free Wi-Fi is a rarity in Japan. So this move by Asahi could lead to people huddling around this single machine with their Wi-Fi capable devices at hand.

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In-Flight Wi-Fi Revenue to Surpass $1.5 Billion in 2015

New research has shown that in-flight Wi-Fi revenues will surpass the $1.5 billion mark in 2015.

According to In-Stat Senior Analyst Amy Cravens, ““While airlines initially viewed in-flight broadband as a competitive differentiator, it is now simply viewed in the US market as a competitive requirement. The future of in-flight Wi-Fi will be less about convincing airlines of the merit and more about leveraging the network to provide a broader breadth of services. As in the hotspot market, Wi-Fi access is likely to become a commodity in the in-flight market, with the revenue opportunity resting on the services and features, not the connection.”

Ever since wi-fi internet became available on airplanes, we loved the idea. Now it seems we can’t get enough and want to install it on all of the airplanes we can get our hands on, and for good reason. In the not so recent past, we had *gasp* NO internet on airplane flights and would suffer for hours without it before we landed at our destination.  Personally I think this is a pretty good idea and the statistics are positive. Now if only I can try out the wi-fi on a plane myself…

Ford: Turning your car into Wi-Fi hotspots

Today, the Dearborn, Michigan-based auto company announced that they will be releasing the second generation of its Sync in-car connectivity system which can turn the vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The first generation of the Sync is currently offered on 13 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles which supports Apple’s iPod and Microsoft’s Zune. It also allows Bluetooth-capable phones to sync with the car’s system.

The second generation of the Sync in-car connectivity system takes it a notch higher by offering internet connectivity via Wi-Fi to those who are within the vehicle. Passengers or the driver will have to insert their USB mobile broadband modem into a USB port.  Standard WPA2 security protocols will require users to enter a random password, and will have to specifically allow a device to connect. This is to ensure that unauthorized users (say, your neighbor in that supermarket parking lot) to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

No word yet as to the exact date of the release of the 2nd gen Sync. Ford also did not say how many models in 2010 will come with the new technology.


Want free Wi-Fi? Head over to McDonald’s

If  you were feeling pretty resentful in giving over that $2.95 for two hours of Internet access when lunching at McDonald’s, this one’s for you.

According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal, the world’s biggest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants announced that they will be offering free Wi-Fi internet access starting January.

This move is made possible with a new deal AT&T, and will provide free Wi-Fi to 11,000 of the 13,000 McDonald’s in the U.S.

David Groom, chief information officer for McDonald’s USA, is pretty optimistic with the new free service.

“We’re excited about it,” Groom said to Dallas News. “One thing our customers have told us is: ‘We like your Wi-Fi, but would you make it free?’ This is one thing they’ve consistently asked for. It’s just another reason to come to McDonald’s.”

And yes, according to Groom, “free is free”. Meaning, you don’t need to purchase that delicious fries or that Big Mac to access their Wi-Fi. 🙂


Nokia and Apple: the war begins?

Yup, you read that right. The biggest handset maker in the world and the maker of the most popular handset are heading to what could be a long legal battle.

Nokia is suing Apple because the latter has refused to license 10 patents and according to a statement released by the Finnish phone maker, all iPhone models (yup, that means even the original iPhone) is infringing.

“The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for,” Ilkka Rahnasto, vice president, legal and intellectual property at Nokia said. “Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree to appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”

According to Nokia, the company has spent over $60 billion on R&D related to wireless technology. The patents that Apple allegedly violated include patents on wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption. It also said that for any phone to be able to run on a GSM, 3G, or Wi-Fi network, it would have to license one of its patents – an action that Apple did not make.

So what will happen if Nokia wins in court?

According to Apple analyst Gene Munster, Nokia can extract a royalty payment of 1 to 2 percent for every iPhone EVER sold (basically that $6 to $12 per phone or $204 to $408 for all iPhones). What’s worse for Apple is that if the court found that a “willful infringement” was committed by the company, they will have to pay Nokia three times the amount of whatever the judgment won.

And what does that leave Apple? Either they settle this out of court, or they can invalidate Nokia’s patents. According to Jason Schultz, director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law however, the latter could be much more difficult to do.

“Invalidating 10 patents is a lot, that’s like running the Boston Marathon. It’s really hard to do. You might get one, two or even five,” Shultz said. “But 10 is a lot.”

Stay tuned!


Faster free Wi-Fi in Singapore

Residents of the Asian country need not worry about keeping up with cyberspace as Singapore’s free Wi-Fi has gotten a speed boost this week.

Wireless@SG went from 512Kbps to 1Mbps making it much faster and accessible for internet lovers. Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the government agency that oversees the service, announced in a statement that they also plan to add new features to the network.

The new features include location-based services and secure automated login capabilities. These will be added by January of next year. Advertising, payments and facility monitoring will soon be added to the service too, although the IDC did not give any timeframe.

Wireless@SG has already 7,500 hotspots which are managed by three operators: iCell Network, Singapore Telecommunications, and Qmax Communcation. The Wi-Fi service started in 2006 and will remain free until March 2013.


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