Belarc Advisor – Help Keep Your System Secure and Up To Date

The Belarc Advisor tool is a useful tool for keeping your system secure and up to date. It also can tell you a good deal of information about system in a pinch. This tool creates a quick and handy HTML page that gives you a ton of information including system keys you may need to reinstall software on your system.

Belarc Download and Installation

You can download the utility by going to the Belarc website. There is a prominent link on there to download the tool. Once the tool is downloaded it is a pretty simple process to get it installed. After the program is installed, it will ask you if you want to check for new security definitions. This will help the program discover any missing Windows updates that are necessary to secure your computer. If you are not using Belarc for this feature, then you can skip this step. The installation does not take much space on your hard drive so you will not have to worry about needing a great deal of space to get it installed.

Using Belarc

Once the program is installed and the definitions are downloaded then Belarc will begin analyzing your PC. This will take a few minutes for it to completely scan your PC. Once it is complete, it will open an HTML page like the one shown below.

 

As you can see there is a great deal of information on this initial page. But, you can use the links on the right hand side to dig even deeper into your PC. You can find things like the operating system, the amount of RAM, missing updates, storage, shares and a range of other information. Two of the most useful areas of the program are the Software License section and the Missing Microsoft Security Hotfixes section. In the former section you can find license keys for the software installed on your machine. The latter section can help you identify any important updates that are missing on your computer. It will also give you a link to the article that details the issue.

At the top you can see a nice summary of your machine. It will tell you if your Antivirus is up to date and will give you a security score for your computer. If you click on any of these it will take you to another section that gives you a detailed explanation of how they arrived at this score. It will give you useful insight into what you need to do to raise the score. Examples could be to make your password stronger, or if you need to lock down user shares on your computer.

Belarc is a good, free tool to get a lot of useful information on your computer. It has been around for quite awhile, and it has a solid reputation is a system analysis tool. It is probably not a good fit as an enterprise tool, but for getting information on single computers it is a great tool.

How to Update Router Firmware

It is good practice to check for updates to your router’s firmware on a regular basis, and update it if available. Most routers have a chip inside similar to what is inside a computer. Firmware is the code that runs on the router, and it is what provides functionality to the router. Updates are important to implement because they can introduce new features to your router, or they can plug in security holes that have been identified. Updating the firmware can even help solve some of the strange issues you will find on your local area network at times.

Typically, you can get firmware for the router in one of two ways. Some manufacturers will ask you to go to their support website and download the upgrade and manually update in another step. Other routers have the ability to connect to the Internet themselves and update the firmwa

re in an automated fashion

Step 1 – Get All The Details

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have the correct router information before you download a specific firmware set. If you download the incorrect version and try to apply the wrong version, it can cause severe problems later on; maybe even rendering the router useless.

Typically, you can find the model number on a label on the bottom of the router.

Once you have that information, you can visit the company website to see how to proceed with firmware upgrades.

Step 2 – Install the Firmware

The next thing you need to do is to login to your router. You can usually type the IP address of the router in your browser and get to a login screen. In most home networks, the router is either http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1. In some cases, it could be 192.168.0.254 or 192.168.1.254. It depends on the default settings the manufacturer uses, and if you made any changes on the initial install.

Once you get to the login screen, you will need to enter your username and password. Again, this will depend on the manufacturer and if you changed the default. If you do not believe you changed the credentials, and you can’t remember the default, you can find many default credentials here.

If you have the ability to back up your router settings prior to the firmware upgrade, it is a good idea to do so. Look for an area that allows you to save system settings, backup or similar wording.

Look for a tab or link that mentions firmware updates. This could be listed under advanced settings or system settings. This will also depend on the manufacturer. From here, you will have the option to browse for the firmware you previously downloaded or the ability to connect directly to the firmware storage. Once the firmware is installed, the router will need to be rebooted for the changes to take place. At this point, you are done with the upgrade.

We will try to post some router specific tutorials in the future. In the meantime, you can find specific information on your manufacturer’s website.

 

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