Trending February 2024 # Review: Skiva Powerflow 7 Port Standcharger + Giveaway # Suggested March 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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Chances are that if you’re reading this review, you have more than one portable device that charges via USB. Maybe you have two—a tablet and a phone—or maybe you have multiple phones.

Admittedly, someone like me is a bit of anomaly, as I review phones and cover them on a daily basis. Hence, it’s not out of the ordinary for me to have multiple smartphones at any given time. This has especially become true as I get acquainted with more Android devices.

One of the main caveats of having this many portable devices is keeping them charged. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up a phone or a tablet that I haven’t touched in a while, only to find it dead—the dreaded “dead phone syndrome”.

The problem really is two-fold: a). I don’t have enough wall outlets and chargers in convenient places to keep the devices topped off, and b). my devices are usually scattered all over the place.

Skiva’s new PowerFlow StandCharger 7-Port USB Charging Station aims to eliminate both problems. It can charge all of your devices at the same time via the seven 2.4 Amp USB ports, and it also houses each device in a organized manner.

What’s in the box?

Skiva StandCharger

AC Adapter Cable

AC-DC Adapter

7 velcro straps

Build Quality

One of the first things that you’ll notice about the Skiva StandCharger is its build quality. It’s made of plastic, and it’s not the high quality type of plastic. That said, the slots that house each device do feel solid, and there are rubber feet on the bottom of the StandCharger to give it solid footing.

One of the biggest downsides of the Skiva StandCharger is that it’s a absolute fingerprint magnet. The shiny black plastic is never a good choice if you wish to keep fingerprints at bay, so keep a cleaning cloth nearby for frequent wipe downs.

Using the StandCharger

One thing to keep in mind is that no actual charing cables are included with the StandCharger, so you’ll need to provide your own.

Skiva included one of its USBLink 0.5 ft Lightning to USB 2-in-1 Cable’s for me to test out, which is really good. This cable contains a cap that transforms the USB micro cable into a Lightning connector. This means that it’s versatile enough to charge Android devices and iPhones with a single cable. I also appreciated that its short length meant less cable mess when attached to the StandCharger. These cables are MFi certified, and while they aren’t very cheap at $10~ a piece, they make the StandCharger much easier on the eyes and are super flexible.

That said, you can certainly use the USB cables that you already have, and Skiva has included 7 velcro straps for keeping lengthy cables looking neat and tidy.

Once you connect the power adapter, it’s just a matter of positioning your devices into the 7 different slots, connecting each cable to one of the seven 2.4 Amp USB ports, and connecting to each device. Next, press the power button on the top of the device to send power to each USB port and charge up to seven devices at the same time.

Skiva notes that while each port can send up to 2.4 Amps of current, it’s also capable of intelligently detecting the device that it’s connected to in order to provide optimal current and safe and fast charging. This means that you shouldn’t have problems charging large tablets and smaller smartphones at the same time.

I tested the StandCharger out for over a week and found that it worked well. There are no fans included in the device’s housing, so it doesn’t add any additional noise to your environment. I do wish that it was constructed out of higher quality materials, but it feels solid enough to get by. As mentioned, my biggest gripe with the device is the fact that it’s a fingerprint magnet, which is really annoying.

What’s Hot

Can charge 7 devices simultaneously

Includes intelligent device detection for safe and fast charging

Rubber surface keeps both the StandCharger and phones from sliding around

What’s Not

Fingerprint magnet!!!!

Plastic feels a bit cheap

Conclusion

If you have more than a couple of mobile devices lying around that you use on a regular basis, then it’s worth considering a device like the StandCharger. It can help stop “dead phone syndrome”, and it can serve to organize your space and eliminate the amount of cable and smartphone clutter around the office. It’s definitely better when used with Skiva’s 0.5” versatile USB 2-in-1 cable, but that’s not a requirement.

As someone who has way to many devices laying around the office, there’s a certain peace of mind knowing where my phones are, and that they’re always ready to go when needed.

Would you benefit from a device like this? Good news, we’re giving away this review unit.

Giveaway

Step 2: Follow @iDownloadBlog on Twitter

Step 3: Retweet this tweet

The winner will be selected next Friday.

Winner

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What Is An Smb Port? What Is Port 445 And Port 139 Used For?

NetBIOS stands for Network Basic Input Output System. It is a software protocol that allows applications, PCs, and Desktops on a local area network (LAN) to communicate with network hardware and to transmit data across the network. Software applications that run on a NetBIOS network locate and identify each other via their NetBIOS names. A NetBIOS name is up to 16 characters long and usually, separate from the computer name. Two applications start a NetBIOS session when one (the client) sends a command to “call” another client (the server) over TCP Port 139.

What is Port 139 used for

NetBIOS on your WAN or over the Internet, however, is an enormous security risk. All sorts of information, such as your domain, workgroup and system names, as well as account information can be obtained via NetBIOS. So, it is essential to maintain your NetBIOS on the preferred network and ensure it never leaves your network.

Firewalls, as a measure of safety always block this port first, if you have it opened. Port 139 is used for File and Printer Sharing but happens to be the single most dangerous Port on the Internet. This is so because it leaves the hard disk of a user exposed to hackers.

Once an attacker has located an active Port 139 on a device, he can run NBSTAT a diagnostic tool for NetBIOS over TCP/IP, primarily designed to help troubleshoot NetBIOS name resolution problems. This marks an important first step of an attack — Footprinting.

Using NBSTAT command, the attacker can obtain some or all of the critical information related to:

A list of local NetBIOS names

Computer name

A list of names resolved by WINS

IP addresses

Contents of the session table with the destination IP addresses

With the above details at hand, the attacker has all the important information about the OS, services, and major applications running on the system. Besides these, he also has private IP addresses that the LAN/WAN and security engineers have tried hard to hide behind NAT.  Moreover, User IDs are also included in the lists provided by running NBSTAT.

This makes it easier for hackers to gain remote access to the contents of hard disk directories or drives. They can then, silently upload and run any programs of their choice via some freeware tools without the computer owner ever being aware.

If you are using a multi-homed machine, disable NetBIOS on every network card, or Dial-Up Connection under the TCP/IP properties, that is not part of your local network.

Read: How to disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.

What is an SMB Port

While Port 139 is known technically as ‘NBT over IP’, Port 445 is ‘SMB over IP’. SMB stands for ‘Server Message Blocks’. Server Message Block in modern language is also known as Common Internet File System. The system operates as an application-layer network protocol primarily used for offering shared access to files, printers, serial ports, and other sorts of communications between nodes on a network.

Most usage of SMB involves computers running Microsoft Windows, where it was known as ‘Microsoft Windows Network’ before the subsequent introduction of Active Directory. It can run on top of the Session (and lower) network layers in multiple ways.

For instance, on Windows, SMB can run directly over TCP/IP without the need for NetBIOS over TCP/IP. This will use, as you point out, port 445. On other systems, you’ll find services and applications using port 139. This means that SMB is running with NetBIOS over TCP/IP.

Malicious hackers admit, that Port 445 is vulnerable and has many insecurities. One chilling example of Port 445 misuse is the relatively silent appearance of NetBIOS worms. These worms slowly but in a well-defined manner scan the Internet for instances of port 445, use tools like PsExec to transfer themselves into the new victim computer, then redouble their scanning efforts. It is through this not much-known method, that massive “Bot Armies“, containing tens of thousands of NetBIOS worm compromised machines, are assembled and now inhabit the Internet.

Read: How to forward Ports?

How to check if SMB port is open in Windows 10

You need to use this PowerShell command. If you’re going to enable the SMBv2 file transfer protocol on your computer, you first need to check whether your system can install it or not. Once you know the status you can opt to enable or disable SMBv2.

Is SMB port 445 secure?

Considering the above perils, it is in our interest to not expose Port 445 to the Internet but like Windows Port 135, Port 445 is deeply embedded in Windows and is hard to close safely. That said, its closure is possible, however, other dependent services such as DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) which is frequently used for automatically obtaining an IP address from the DHCP servers used by many corporations and ISPs, will stop functioning. These posts show you how to disable SMBv1 and SMBv2.

Considering all the security reasons described above, many ISPs feel it necessary to block this Port on behalf of their users. This happens only when port 445 is not found to be protected by NAT router or personal firewall. In such a situation, your ISP may probably prevent port 445 traffic from reaching you.

Hdmi Port Is Not Working On Pc: 7 Ways To Fix It

HDMI Port is not Working on PC: 7 Ways to Fix it Try these tested solutions to HDMI problems on Windows 10

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If your HDMI port is not working, recently installed apps may interfere and need to be uninstalled.

It would be best if you used to try easy checks such as restarting your device and cleaning out dirt from the HDMI head before venturing into more complex fixes. 

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INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE

To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

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readers this month.

You must have encountered a problem that has led to your HDMI port not working on windows 10. This is a problem other users have experienced.

This port is handy for connectivity, especially with modern equipment, so we will show you how to fix this problem.

Why is my HDMI port not working on my PC?

There are multiple reasons why the HDMI port isn’t working on Windows, and in most cases, this is just a glitch with your graphics card, so you might want to check your drivers.

This issue can affect any PC, and many reported that HDMI isn’t working on laptops. If drivers aren’t the issue, a solid workaround would be to use a specialized adapter.

However, that’s not always the best solution since sometimes the USB to HDMI adapter won’t work, so it’s essential to find the core cause of this issue.

Here are some quick examples of how these issues can manifest:

The most common problem with HDMI is that audio or video is missing, and in most cases, that’s caused by driver incompatibility, but there are a few things you can do to fix this problem.

How do I test my HDMI port?

Check for damage along the length of the chord.

Check for particles in the head of the chord and the port on the device. You can spray some compressed air to remove these particles.

Insert one end of the chord in the source device and the other in the display device.

Boot the display device and ensure it is set to HDMI mode.

Boot your source device and ensure it is set to export images.

If the image and sound quality are fine, nothing is wrong with your HDMI chord.

If there’s no sound, video is missing, or your HDMI port is not working on your PC, follow the below steps to refresh your audio and video drivers.

How can I fix the HDMI port if it’s not working on PC?

Before you go into any of the solutions provided, make sure you do the following:

Enable your HDMI port on Windows 10

Restart your computer

Make sure to select the correct HDMI port on the display device

Check the hardware and make sure the HDMI cable is not slipping out

1. Set your HDMI device as the Default Device

First, the HDMI port will not work on your monitor if your HDMI device is not set as the default device.

2. Update your drivers

2. Expand any section with outdated devices (Start with the Display adapters).

5. Install the drivers found by the wizard.

Expert tip:

You can also update your video and audio drivers using the Device Manager, as shown above.

One common factor that can generate your HDMI port not to function correctly is out-of-date drivers. Therefore, updating your device is crucial, and we recommend you do this by using professional software.

Often, your computer system might not be able to update the generic drivers for your hardware and peripherals correctly. There are vital differences between a generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver. Finding the correct driver versions for every hardware component can become tiresome.

That’s why a dependable updater can help you find and update your drivers automatically. We strongly suggest the Outbyte Driver Updater, and here’s how to do it:

Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.

Launch the software and wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.

Now, it will show you a list of all outdated drivers to select the ones to Update or Ignore.

Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.

Outbyte Driver Updater

Maintain your device healthy by letting OutByte Driver Updater find the latest driver options.

Free trial Download now

Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.

3. Rollback to the older driver

Sometimes, it’s better to use the default driver to avoid compatibility issues. You’ll need to uninstall the current driver, and the default one will install itself.

However, using the Roll Back feature is also an effective method of getting back an old driver. Check if this resolves the issue of the HDMI port not working on Windows 10.

4. Uninstall the graphics driver

Check if this resolves the issue of the HDMI port not working on Windows 10.

5. Remove recently installed software

If you recently installed new software on your computer, try uninstalling it. Then, check if this resolves the issue of the HDMI port not working on Windows 10.

This solution may work if the HDMI port is not showing in your Device Manager. Sometimes, newly installed software may trigger compatibility issues and various connection problems.

6. Run System Restore

The System Restore option allows you to restore the previous well-performing system configuration without losing files, except for a few customizable features and settings.

7. Replace your cable

Also, there might be situations when your problem is hardware-related. In this case, we recommend you look at some highly-rated products you could buy.

This way, you can ensure the HDMI output works great on your Windows 10 devices.

That would be all; we hope these solutions helped you solve any problem you may encounter regarding your HDMI port not working on your Windows 10 device.

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Msn Messenger 7 Beta: Sneak Review

MSN Messenger 7 Beta: Sneak Review

Just the other day I got hold of the beta version of this much hyped up upgrade to the very popular instant messaging client MSN Messenger 7. I downloaded it onto a test machine and found that its download size of the beta is almost 7 megs. This size is almost double of that of current generation of full-fledged browsers like Opera and Mozilla Firefox. Opera even packs an email application and an IRC client in half that download size! Maybe it is due to all the flashy stuff (winks) that MSN Messenger 7 introduces.

MSN Messenger 7 features the Nudges, which shake the messaging window with a noise and are too long for comfort. Everyone knows it is directly lifted out of Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo Messenger’s buzz is of a shorter and tolerable duration than MSN’s nudge though MSN has a less distracting sound effect to go with it. On the bright side unlike Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger let users to turn off nudge completely.

Yahoo! Messenger’s audibles were exciting and were limited to the small area inside chat window. MSN Messenger’s Winks are more in your face. It takes over the entire client window and play mostly dumb animations. Luckily, both the messengers let us disable the respective options. Both nudges and winks just add to fun factor and would have a short shelf life with most users disabling them in few days (if not hours!).

The new search bar is handy but again very in your face. This is very unlike Yahoo! Messenger, which puts it at the more discreet location at the bottom. Similar to Yahoo! Messenger, we can now select a word (or phrase) in an ongoing conversation and search it on the respective search engine. Nothing revolutionary here. However, I could not find an option to disable the search bar from the preferences, so it is disappointing from Microsoft’s side. Even the left side tabs cannot be disabled from the preferences! Not many users would like this considering version 6 has this option. Hoping for a quick fix on these issues.

On the brighter side, I appreciate getting the ability to set my status before logging into the messaging services. It was long due. However, users cannot still set custom status messages, which Yahoo! Messenger let us do.

Last but not the least, where is the capability to send offline messages? Yahoo! Messenger has it since ages. Microsoft just about managed to give functional archive ability in the last version; I had expected to get offline messaging facility in this version. I hope that MSN Messenger developers have this on their to-do list and we can hope to get it in a coming version.

Sushubh Mittal is the publisher of Software news at Software Journal and Tech Consultant to the Search Engine Journal.

The Specified Port Is Already Open Vpn Error: 4 Quick Fixes

The Specified Port is Already Open VPN Error: 4 Quick Fixes

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The specified port is already open error can prevent you from using your VPN client.

Port conflations are a common cause for this error, so you’ll have to prevent apps from using certain ports.

One way to fix the issue is by modifying your registry, so be sure to try that as well.

X

INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE

To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

0

readers this month.

It isn’t uncommon to encounter a series of error messages while using a VPN on your PC. However, the specified port is already open error seems to be predominant with Sonicwall VPN’s NetExtender. 

Many users have also reported that they got this error after updating their windows to the newer versions. This problem can affect various clients, and many reported that SonicWall VPN stopped working due to this error.

Although this error can be caused by many reasons, its major cause stems from any attempt by another application on your device to open a non-sharable network connection port used by the VPN. 

While this guide will attempt to provide solutions, we’ll first explore the possible causes of the VPN error if the specified port is already open. 

What causes the specified port is already open error when using VPN?

Computer sleep mode activated due to inactivity. When a VPN is actively running and the PC goes to a sleep mode because of inactivity, the non-sharable connection is still locked. As such, the reestablished connection pops up the error after the user reawakens the PC.

Secondly, the error message could also occur if another application attempts to use the same port as the non-sharable connection used by the VPN. 

Although this is more associated with Mac and Linux, SSH forwarding could prompt this error message. Both Meraki and SonicWALL VPN users reported The specified port is already open, but you can experience it on other VPN clients.

In addition, software bugs and lags due to computer updates could be another reason why this VPN error message may come up. 

Hence, these are the basic troubleshooting fixes to solve this error.

How can I fix specified port is already open VPN error on Windows 11/10? 1. Restart the PC

Although this is a basic fix, it is one of the most efficient methods to troubleshoot most PC problems. The locked connection is closed after a reboot and the VPN can create a new connection. 

So be sure to try this method if you’re getting VPN error The specified port is already open on Windows 11.

2. Use the Registry Editor

By editing the registry, you might fix VPN The specified port is already open when using L2TP protocol, so be sure to try this method.

3. Modify connection port in Command prompt

This is a forceful attempt to stop an app from using the VPN’s dedicated port, and it can help you if you’re getting The specified port is already open error when using PPTP protocol.

4. Use the Control Panel

This fix is for modem-related issues that cause VPN the required port is open problem on Windows 11/10. 

How can I fix VPN The specified port is already open on Windows 10?

All Windows versions are similar in terms of functionality and settings, so most features work exactly the same on almost versions.

The same goes for VPN, and if you’re having this issue on your Windows 10 PC, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can use all the solutions from this guide to fix it.

These are the best fixes for this VPN error message. If none works for you, Check out our comprehensive guide on VPN errors on Windows 10/11. 

Also, our article on VPN troubleshooting may provide you with additional information on how best to solve your VPN issues. 

However, if your VPN has stopped working altogether, read this guide on what to do if your VPN stops working. 

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7 Reasons To Migrate To Windows 7

If you’re straddling the fence, what’s your reason for not upgrading to Windows 7? Many IT managers wait for the first service pack before deploying an OS upgrade; others update the operating system as part of a hardware refresh.

Microsoft’s enterprise desktop operating system has a long-term pattern of OS upgrades: Windows 7 is the long-term successor to Windows XP, just as XP was the clear successor to NT 4.0.

Each of these was the golden child of the Microsoft machine, blessed with prime market positioning, lack of extreme overhauls and sporting a high level of polish. As the latest entrant, Windows 7 is here to stay and adoption rates are already very high.

Once you accept that Windows 7 is coming to your environment sometime over the next several years then the question truly becomes: “What are you waiting for?” The sooner that you get Windows 7 in place, the sooner you can make the transition and the sooner you can start reaping the benefits of the latest technologies. Most shops are moving from XP to 7 today.

One of the biggest complaints of users who switched to Vista from XP was a lack of performance. Windows 7 addresses this very well. It offers better performance than Vista and has lower minimum requirements, allowing it be used in the Netbook realm that was previously reserved for Windows XP.

Having a Windows operating system that actually outperforms its predecessor on the same hardware is a major feat. Traditionally an OS was only expected to be comparable or faster when used on hardware current to its release.

Unlike any other Windows upgrade, Windows 7 can be deployed onto existing hardware without needing hardware upgrades and you will still see small performance gains. This alone removes one of the traditional obstacles to in-place operating system upgrades.

Security is always of concern and Windows 7 comes with a slew of security enhancements. The best one results in an improved user experience as well – the update of User Account Control (UAC.)

This update makes UAC (the bane of Windows Vista) into the security tool that it was always meant to be. UAC is now easy to use and control but still powerful enough to protect you in critical ways.

Moving from XP to 7 provides a very important security update, while moving from Vista to 7 makes this technology user friendly enough so that it can remain enabled without the bulk of users demanding that it be removed.

With solid state drives rapidly dropping in price and growing in popularity, having specific support for them in Windows 7 is a already very big deal. This will be even more true over the next few years as solid state drives move from the realm of power user equipment to mainstream user equipment.

Windows 7’s solid state enhancements like TRIM and removal of spindle drive tools like Superfetch and ReadyBoost give SSDs better performance and longer lifespan on Windows 7 then on previous Windows iterations.

These features may not seem like a big deal today but over the lifespan of Windows 7 – as SSDs become more and more of an expected desktop component for the average office worker – these SSD-specific features will play a bigger and bigger role.

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