Author: Making IT Right PTY LTD

WIFI Mesh Systems

A WiFi mesh is a type of wireless networking technology that utilizes multiple nodes or access points to provide a more extensive and robust wireless network coverage. Unlike traditional WiFi networks that rely on a single wireless router to provide coverage, a WiFi mesh system uses multiple access points or nodes that work together to create a mesh network.

Each access point or node in a WiFi mesh system communicates with the other nodes to provide seamless connectivity throughout the network. This means that if one node fails or becomes unavailable, the other nodes in the network will automatically take over, ensuring that there is no interruption in the wireless network service.

WiFi mesh networks are ideal for large homes, offices, or commercial buildings where a single wireless router may not provide adequate coverage. With a WiFi mesh system, you can extend the coverage of your wireless network and ensure that all devices can connect to the internet seamlessly.

I have rolled out many WiFi mesh systems into homes that have what we might call “Dead Zones” where the WiFi signal is either not visible or so weak that the service is unusable.

The system I primarily use is the TP-Link Deco m9 Plus They are sold as Single, 2-pack and 3-pack options. Normally I start with a 3 pack and add more units/nodes if required to get full home coverage. TP-Link have many models to choose from.

  • Seamless Coverage: Achieve seamless whole-home coverage with a mesh Wi-Fi system and eliminate weak signal areas once and for all.
  • One Unified Network: Multiple units form a whole-home network that auto-selects the best connection as you move around your home.
  • Broad Coverage: Enjoy Wi-Fi coverage up to 420 square metres with just 2 Deco M9 Plus units and expand it by just adding more Decos.
  • Fast Connections: Three separate wireless bands up to 2134 Mbps with a dynamic backhaul up to 1.5 Gbps ensure stable, high-speed connections wherever you are in your home.
  • Seamless Management: Deco M9 Plus acts as a hub for your wireless and smart home devices.
  • Connect Multiple Devices: Deco handles traffic from even the busiest networks, providing a lag-free connection for over 100 devices.
  • Total Security: HomeCareTM provides personalized features, including Parental Controls, Antivirus, and Quality of Service (QoS)* to ensure a safer online experience.
  • Setup Made Easier Than Ever: The Deco app walks you through setup—step by step

This 3-pack sells currently for around $450. Setup is fairly simple and done though your smart device using the DECO app. It will ask you what name you want to give your new WiFi system and what password.

Initially the system is setup in Router Mode but I normally switch this to Access Point Mode which will result in the system being part of the existing network. It also has an option to turn on a Guest Network for visitors. On each of the units there are 2 network ports which can be used to plug in a device which perhaps does not have WiFi capability. From what I have read, the USB port at this point does not have any functionality (Not sure why they have it then) On the top there is a small LED light which when the system is working will be green.

Other examples of other brands are :

o Netgear – ORBI 960 Series : Sells for $2800 for 3 pack

o NETGEAR Orbi WiFi 6 AX1800 Mesh System (RBK353) Sells for Just under $400 on sale. Normally $600

o Google Nest 3 Pack Sells for $450 1 Router and 2 Nodes.

Give me a call on 0414405007 to discuss if you are interested.

Donating Computer equipment to the Bayside Woman’s Shelter

2 years ago I was told about a request for computer equipment for the Bayside Woman’s Shelter.

I contacted the local Councillor Councillor Christina Curry and asked what they needed. Once I had an idea, I put together a complete system, including Desktop, Monitor, Speakers, Webcam, keyboard, Mouse. I then arrange from Christina to come and collect the equipment as privacy of the shelter location was important.

A few weeks ago, I contacted Christina again asking they they had a need for any more equipment. This time she requested that a laptop for the children to use would be a great addition. I checked what equipment I had and found a Toshiba 15.6″ laptop. I upgraded it to use a high speed SSD drive and doubled the Memory/RAM to 8gig. Once the laptop was up and running, I added some safe kids games, a few different web browsers, an Antivirus program, and Libra Office to do word processing.

I then detected that the keyboard had some issues where certain keys had to be pressed a number of times before it registered the keystroke. I contacted a colleague of mine, Amit who runs his own business called Laptop Rescue in Mascot. I told Amit what I planned to do with the laptop, and he ordered a replacement keyboard and installed it for me at no cost. Thank you Amit.

Last night Christina came over and I handed over the Laptop to her. I hope the kids get great use of the laptop. better than going to eWaste.

Ransomware impacting QNAP devices

A few weeks ago, a client of mine contacted me stating that their QNAP NAS had been attacked by a ransomware virus. The only saving grace was that they had taken a backup to an external USB drive a week earlier. Now to gain access to the QNAP NAS and reset the device, I took it to my office, put the device on a isolated network created by a standalone router, to prevent by office systems from potentially being impacted. Once I was in the device, I factory reset the device, clearing all the contents. Then I ensured I downloaded the latest Firmware for the NAS from QNAP. (This was not being done prior to the Ransomware attack.)

Once the latest firmware was installed, I updated all the apps requiring updates as a result of the firmware update within the NAS to their latest versions. I recreated the same configuration (Logins, folders etc) that existed prior to the reset.

I then restored the data backed up on the USB drive back to the NAS and returned the device back to the client site. Since the settings were the same as before, all computers onsite connected as before.

I cannot stress enough the importance of backups. You can be attacked at any time, so ensure your backups are up to date. If they are not automated, the odds are on that the backups won’t be done regularly. Have multiple backups as even a backup drive can fail. Once the backup is complete, disconnect it from the NAS so as to prevent an infection from spreading to the backup device. Keep multiple backups. Some automated (Always connected device) and some manual (Temp connected device)

Add 2FA – Two Factor Authentication on your facebook profile

Many people have had their Facebook website hacked and a fake profile created which then sends out friend requests to your Facebook friends. Within Facebook , navigate to Settings and Privacy, and then click on Security and Login. On the right hand panel, scroll down to the section on Two-Factor Authentication. Here you can choose to use the authentication app or get a SMS 6 digit code sent to your mobile number when an attempt is made to login to your account from an unrecognized device. Add one of these options to better secure your account.

NAS (Network Attached Storage) – QNAP Brand

Over recent months I have installed a number of 2 Bay QNAP branded NAS devices.

This is like having your own personal cloud storage (Like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive), except you control the environment and access.

There are many benefits of having such a device.

  • You can set it up to have a large storage pool.
  • It is run independent of the computer. (Access from your phone)
  • Works from Mac and PC
  • Can be accessed from any device on your home network or if configured to allow it, access from a remote location via the internet.
  • If the computer were to crash or be replaced, then we have all your data securely stored externally.
  • The device has built in redundancy (Two drives always mirroring each other)
  • You can send images or videos directly from your phone to your folder on the NAS.
  • You can setup shared access to images or folders to others.
  • You can have user restricted access to folders on the NAS.  Keep individuals data on the NAS Private.  Each office member can have their own private folder for storing data).
  • Mac laptop/desktop can also use this to perform it’s time machine backup.

There are two parts to it.

  1. The NAS box itself.  Which is about the size of a small shoe box.
  2. The two hard drives that you decide to install in the box.  This is where you can decide what size(Capacity) drives you want in the box.

I have been implementing the brand QNAP 2-Bay Units for a NAS and Seagate Ironwolf Pro Drives (Better Quality and Warranty).

To give you an idea on costs.

A Two Bay NAS Box (Diskless) will cost from around $250 through to the better faster 2 bay unit at around $750-800  .

The better units are faster to process data.

Then to get a standard NAS Hard Drive of which you will need two matching drives, can cost from $100 per 1TB drive to $1000 per 16TB drive .

I have found a number of software utilities that can run on either windows or mac computers to assist with NAS configuration, Data Synchronization, NAS Monitoring.

Qfinder Pro (available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu) allows you to quickly find and easily access all of the QNAP NAS on the same LAN. The Windows version provides “Storage Plug & Connect” functionality, allowing the QNAP NAS to be used as a PC network drive or virtual disk for convenient data storage. You can also use the “Media Upload” feature to save NAS system resources by performing media file transcoding on your local PC before uploading them to the NAS. Chromebook users can download Qfinder Pro from the Chrome Web Store to enjoy seamless connectivity to the QNAP NAS.


QSYNC : Qsync enables automatic file synchronization across different devices. Simply drag and drop files in the “Qsync folder,” data on devices linked with the NAS is updated simultaneously when changes are made. Additional sync modes, such as Smart Sync or Advanced Selective Sync, allow users to only sync selective data or folders. You can also create download links to share files with others without them having to create a user account for download.


NetBak Replicator: (Windows Only)        QNAP NetBak Replicator features real-time synchronization, scheduled and auto backup of the entire disk drives, documents, multimedia files and e-mails from multiple Windows PCs to QNAP NAS. It also supports backing up to a remote server via FTP and WebDAV over the Internet.

Notes Station 3 Clipper : The Notes Station 3 Clipper for Google Chrome™ assists in collecting online information by saving web content (including web pages, articles, and images) as notes in Notes Station 3 for quick and easy access. Simply add this Chrome extension to start clipping online content to Notes Station 3.

Note: The Notes Station 3 Clipper requires Notes Station 3 to be installed on your NAS.

Qsirch:  Qsirch is a fast, full-text search engine that enables you to search for files based on names, content, and metadata. You can choose from a variety of elaborate search options to quickly find documents, images, videos, emails, and much more stored on your QNAP NAS. You can also search through web, mobile app, browser extension, and Mac Finder. With Qsirch, you can easily find movies, songs or photos at home or increase your productivity and efficiency for your business.

QPhoto: Here is an app that many might find useful.  Managing your photo and backing them up directly to the NAS.

qphoto        qphoto app


System Requirements

  • QNAP NAS: QTS 4.1 (or later) with Photo Station installed and enabled. Note that you need a NAS account that has the permission to access Photo Station.
  • Mobile device: Android 4.0 (or later) or iOS 9.0 (or later).


Link for more information on Qphoto


There is also an app called Qvideo but this requires Video Station to be installed on the NAS is the App Center.

Mobile Phone App

Qvideo_6 - Copy

App on the NAS


Other apps


I have only discussed the 2 bay NAS devices but they come in larger configurations.

nas bays

Call me if you want to discuss options.




Image Backup saved client.

On February 13th I went to a client who had issues with one of her 2 laptops.  I provided a workaround solution to the issue that was being experienced at the time and also put in place a permanent solution that would be implemented a few weeks later.  While onsite I asked about backups and noted that no backups had been run for over a year on either laptop.

So, we installed the latest backup software from Acronis (3 device License) and installed copies of the software on her 2 laptops.  A full image backup was run on each device.

Great, we now had a snapshot of everything that each laptop had installed including the Operating System, all additional software and all data and settings.

Then  early in the afternoon on the 20th of February, I received an alarming SMS with a image of the Asus laptops (BIOS)  screen.  This screen is normally not displayed unless you press the key to go into this BIOS area or something has gone wrong. NOTE Port 0 does not have an entry.  This is where the main hard drive information should be displayed.  The laptop had 2 drives.  a 256GIG SSD and a 1TB conventional drive, plus a CDROM Drive.  Only 2 of the 3 were being found.  Drive died or had become disconnected.


I took the laptop, backup drive, power supply back to my office to investigate.  When I opened the drive cover I checked it was securely connected and then removed the SSD drive.  I checked if I could connect to drive from another computer via a docking station.  No Joy!!  DEAD DRIVE..


Left Side bay is where SDD drive was installed..

After resolving a number of other issues including upgrading the BIOS software version from 205 to the latest 211 version,  I installed a 480gig SSD drive asus10and then proceeded to restore the backup from the 13th to the new disk.  Once this completed, the laptop was restored back to how it looked on the 13th but now had a larger SSD drive.

Without this image backup the laptop would have had to be completely reinstalled including Windows 10 since the laptop was originally supplied with windows 8.1 and whet through the Windows 10 upgrade path (So no Windows 10 Install media available).

Then Office, antivirus, etc etc would also need to be installed and all accounts reconfigured.  This would have been a very time consuming task on top of the time to replace the SSD drive.  Restore time once everything was stable took around 30 minutes and I then returned the laptop to a relieved client.

Here we then performed a number of updates including Antivirus, Nvidea etc and then took another full image backup.

RUN YOUR BACKUPS and contact me if you need help.


Two Errors in Outlook this week.

In recent weeks I have had two customers contact me about errors when using outlook.

The first was when attempting to click on any link in outlook. The following error message appeared.  The computer was running windows 10 and office 2007.  It did not matter which web browser was set to be the default browser.  Tried Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, all triggered the same error.

Image result for cannot open link from outlook error

I attempted a repair of office software, and this also did not work.  One suggestion was to copy a registry Key from a working computer with the same setup to the computer with the error and import it into the registry.  Since I did not have another computer to do this, this was not an option.  I tried downloading a fix from Microsoft and this also did not work.

Finally, I found someone on Google who has the same issue with the same versions of software.  Their solution was to upgrade to Office 365 software.  So we created a Microsoft Account and purchased the Office 365 Personal Subscription for $129/year.

The first attempt to install Office 365 over the top of office 2007 failed with an error at the last stage of the install.  The second attempt worked. Go Figure!!  Once installed, when we clicked on links in emails, they opened in the default browser.  PROBLEM SOLVED.

Second Issue : Opening attachments in outlook.  Customer received a message similar to this example.

Outlook error

This happens when the temporary folder which outlook uses to store documents has it’s permissions changed to not allow files to be created in the folder.  I cannot say why this happens.  I located the name of the temp folder for outlook 2010 by following these steps.

If you are using Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Click My Computer, and then double-click drive C.
  2. On the File menu, click New, and then click Folder.
  3. Name the folder temp0.
  4. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  5. Locate and then click the following registry key:
  6. In the right pane, double-click OutlookSecureTempFolder.  Copy this value and paste it in windows explorer.  This will take you to this folder location.

You will need to change the permissions to full access in this folder which might have been set to “READ ONLY” and then you will be able to open attachments again.

Windows 10 “Spring Creator” Update 1803?

I read an article in PC & Tech Authority which reports that the latest planned Windows 10 1803 update is being blocked by a serious Bug “Blocking Bug” that Microsoft developers are trying to resolve.

It was due to arrive as part of the April 10th Tuesday patch, but this has caused a delay of what might be a few weeks.

Make sure your current system is backed up before the planned update is rolled out. This will allow you to have a roll back position should something go wrong with the update. I am sure like other roll-outs, there will be a 30 day period where you can roll back to the earlier version of windows 10. Not everyone will get the update initially as it will be released in phases.

Some notes from the website

  • Fluent Design reveal effects have been softened
  • Fluent Design Acrylic and Reveal effects are now showcased in more areas of the Shell.
  • The Start menu now features Fluent Design “reveal” effects in tiles and the apps list.
  • The “clear all”, “expand”, “collapse” and “see more” text in the Action Center now uses your chosen accent color.
  • You can now use a two finger swipe gesture to dismiss all notifications in the Action Center.
  • Windows will now show you your personalized lock screen when selecting your account on the login page.
  • The Calendar fly-out on the taskbar now features reveal effects.
  • Contacts pinned to the taskbar now show a list of connected apps rather than tiles.
  • The Taskbar now features the Acrylic blur effect.
  • Action Center notifications now feature Fluent Design reveal effects.
  • The “clear all” text in Action Center now says “clear all notifications” instead.
  • Nearby Share is now present in the Share UI and lets you share content between nearby devices.
  • Right-clicking a live tile will give you the option of jumping straight into that apps Settings.
  • Task View now includes Timeline that allows you to go back and resume apps you had open in the past up to 30 days.
  • Virtual Desktops has moved to the top of the Task View UI.
  • Fluent Design effects will be disabled when in battery saver mode.
  • The My People Hub now features Reveal and Acrylic effects.
  • You can now drag to reposition contacts pinned to the Taskbar.
  • You can now drag contacts between the Taskbar and the My People Hub.
  • Quiet Hours has been renamed to Focus Assist and has been updated with new features.
  • Documents and Pictures are now listed in the Start menu hamburger menu by default.
  • On devices with Windows Hello support, users can now setup Hello directly from the login screen.
  • The Xbox Gamebar has been updated with a new Fluent design UI.
  • Users on Windows 10 S can now use the Microsoft Authenticator app to log in to their PC.
    Eye Control has been updated with more functions in the eyebar.

Fake IT Support Calls

In recent weeks I received 3 calls from clients who had received calls or popup warning  from either Microsoft, Telstra or other “Fake companies”.  These calls or fake popups indicated that their systems were compromised and that they could fix the issue if remote access was permitted.  One such company was Smart365.

Smart 365, told the client to remove their useless “Trend Micro” antivirus and let them replace it with another.  This new antivirus was installed and was registered to a 3rd party “Bruce Smith” which was not my clients name.  For the software and 2 years non-existent support they were charged $450.  The computer had a number of other issues so it was decided that the best way forward was to backup all the data and then either rebuild the Windows 7 laptop (6 years old) or replace the laptop with a new Windows 10 model.  The later was chosen.

All emails were recovered as were documents, photos, favorites(Bookmarks).  Programs like Office 2010, Trend Micro reinstalled and configured.  Printer reconnected and tested OK.

Once this was done a backup system was implemented using 3 backup drives.  1 Offsite to be used for the two home computers and one dedicated for each for the two computers.  The offsite to be run as required perhaps monthly (MANUALLY) and the others are either scheduled as daily or weekly backup jobs.

A second customer received a call purporting to be from Telstra.  They asked if they had a credit card.   When they answered “No”, they then asked to process a payment via internet banking and they obtained remote access to the computer.  This customer was an elderly gentleman who I imagine was too trusting.  They then proceeded to withdraw funds out of his bank account.  I had to visit and give his computer a scan and the all clear before the bank would allow further online transactions.

A third customer was presented with a pop up warning that the computer was compromised and to call the number on the screen.  Here they were asked for online bank details which were not available so they then asked for a credit card.  This was provided and $250 Dollars was taken.  I removed all remote access software and scanned computer for other malware or possibly unwanted programs (PUP’s)

From the Microsoft Blog Website:

Helping consumers fight back
Our Customer Support Services team is leading efforts to help impacted customers. If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support, or affiliated with Microsoft, calls you:

  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

Discussion on Scammers

My father in law took a call from “Telstra”.  He said, “who is Telstra, I have not heard of them?”  They then said they were an internet company.  He said, “Internet?, is that like a fishing net?”  At this point they hung up, frustrated I am sure.

Please be very careful.  They are becoming more sophisticated with their methods of luring you in.



Dealing With Tel-Co’s

A few weeks ago, I was called into a business who’s owner was complaining about network issues and a few other issues.  OK so I went around to do an audit of the setup and make a recommendation.  The first thing I noticed was that the Modem which was being used (Provided by the Tel-co) was very old. It was using the B and G WiFi Radio Spectrum/protocol 802.11.  For those in the know, the current Spectrum is AC.  Between G and AC there was N.  The Modem was capable of a 54Mbit/s speed on the G protocol. A number of devices in the business could see the WiFi SSID or Signal Name but could not connect even though they knew the password.  So we decided, at the very least to upgrade the modem.

The new modem arrived a week later shipped to client by the Tel-Co.  I did request they send out a current Modem which hopefully would also be a Dual band AC Modem. (2.4ghz and 5 ghz)  No such luck, a single band modem was sent.  Anyway, I configured the modem then all the devices in the business could connect, however, there were constant dropouts of the service and the line rate reported in the modem was very low.  8000 kbps.  I called Tech Support and spoke with a very aggressive engineer.  Eventually, after doing Isolation tests etc, we finally got the line rate up to 11999kbps and the connection was no longer dropping out. This took an hour.  So far so good.

One Day later, business is not getting phone calls in on the same line that the modem was on.  I was then called and spent the better part of my day trying to understand what the issue was.  When talking to my client and Tech support on a conference call, they said that for the phone issue to be fixed, the business had to switch to the NBN.  Really?  I asked, when the NBN was initially available in the area, and I was told that I had to speak with customer service, but that would be a 45 minute wait.  They offered to call me back in an hour to prevent me from having to wait on the phone.  No Problem!!

An hour later, no call received.  2 Hours later, no call received.  I went online to have a online chat with support.  This is how that went.  I was chatting with Harper K

You • 02:53 PM Harper, can you tell me when “The Shop Address”, Double Bay 2028 had the NBN available from.

Harper K • 02:53 PM Sure

Harper K • 02:53 PM Allow me a minute here

You • 02:54 PM ok

Harper K • 02:54 PM I see that NBN is serviceable at “The Shop Address” DOUBLE BAY NSW 2028

You • 02:55 PM I know that it is now available, but how long ago was it available. I know we have around 18 months to make the switch, so how much longer before time runs out? (The 18 months)

Harper K • 02:56 PM There is no time limit it will be available full time

You • 02:57 PM Everywhere I look, I am told that you have to make the switch within 18 months of the NBN being available.
Harper K • 02:58 PM Let me check
Harper K • 03:02 PM Sorry we can not assure that before itself Sometimes it will available sometimes it might lost, we don’t have option to check that here
You • 03:04 PM For the above address, what is the latest that we can make the switch to the NBN before we are cut off
Harper K 3:05PM  The NBN is available at the above address.You 3:06PM I currently have ADSL2+ at the address and I know that the NBN is available also, but from when was it available?

Harper K 3:07PM  The NBN is available at the above address.

You 3:07PM  What date did the NBN become available?

Harper K 3:08PM  The NBN is available at the above address.


You 3:09PM.  Do you understand what I am asking you?  Don’t tell me it is available. Tell me when is was first available.

Harper K: 3:10PM.  An email was sent to the customer when the NBN became available.

You 3:11PM  When was the email sent?
Harper K 3:12PM  When the NBN became available at the above address.

Right now I felt I was in the twilight zone

You 3:13PM Can you tell me when that was, so I know how long before current services (ADSL) are cut off.

Harper K 3:15PM  Wait a Moment

Harper K 3:17PM  Be right with you

Harper K 3:19PM  1 Minute please

You 3:20PM I’m waiting.  This is a long minute.

Harper K 3:21PM  90 days from when the email went out.

At the same time I am calling the customer who has looked through their emails and cant find any related to the NBN.

You 3:22PM So I don’t know when this email was received, if it was received at all, no followup emails were sent, so possibly the deadline has arrived and we don’t know about it.

At this point I gave up.  Beaten and bruised.

So I called Customer service again.  This time I explained the situation to level 1 support or level zero.  They passed me onto a higher level support.  After explaining the situation again, I was then asked for the customer name and date of birth which I provided, but now for the first time, I also need to provide a 4 digit Pin????  No other time do I need a pin.  Called customer.  They don’t have a pin.  DEAD END!!!  Won’t speak to me.

The next day, phone service is back but now no internet.  WHAT THE!!!  Have they fixed the phone but broken the internet.  What progress…NOT!!.  DSL LIGHT ON MODEM KEEPS FLASHING.