Category Archives: wi-fi

404 Error and 504 Error: When a Webpage Won’t Load

You’re browsing online. Everything is going smoothly. And then it isn’t: you get an error message and suddenly you’re outta luck opening the webpage. A 404 or 504 error stops you dead in your tracks. The fact is, these web-based errors aren’t likely to be your fault. It’s usually a result of an error on the back-end, that is, on the server that’s hosting the webpage.  That being said, it’s still frustrating.

In the case when the problem does have something to do with your system setup, you wanna know how to fix it. And in any situation, you want to know where the root of the problem is.  Use this article to learn about the 404 and 504 errors: what they are and why they happen.  And then learn how to troubleshoot the problems, getting to the heart of the matter and finding out how to tackle the errors without going crazy.


A 404 error can appear in many different ways. Some cheeky websites even make 404 errors into a sort of joke. But sarcastic error messages aside, you’re still up against an error.


Basically, you get a 404 error if the page you are looking for isn’t on the website’s server any more. You can get the error in two ways. One, you may have simply typed in the URL wrong and send your browser to a bad location. Two, the website you’re trying to work with may have deleted or moved the page you’re looking for without redirecting the old location to the new one. Continue reading

Sync Isn’t Working in iTunes and iCloud

Whether you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, one of the features that you rely on is the ability to sync your stuff across platforms.  That means that you can get apps, docs, books, contacts, music and – yes – those digital photos all transferring between your devices through the magic of wi-fi.  If you use a desktop, be it a Mac or PC, you get those syncs automatically via services like iCloud and, of course, iTunes.

But what if the sync isn’t working like it’s supposed to? Sync errors occur when users attempt to synchronize their Apple iOS device with a manager like  iTunes or a service like iCloud.  Instead of updating the sync,  you see  a message; or worse, there’s no message, just missing photos in your “My Photo Stream” folder.

The Basics: iTunes and iCloud

iTunes – the essential media manager for music buying and playing.  iTunes was initially for  handling music, including both playing it and transferring it to the early generation iPods. But now it’s the primary interface by which you manage any device.

It handles music, video, ringtones, podcasts and apps; and lets you manage how this media is synced. It also provides the management tools for the devices themselves, supplying the controls to update a given devices’s firmware and – if needed – doing a factory restore.

iCloud – iCloud is the automatic syncing tool for devices.  It works on the same account as iTunes (an Apple account) but unlike iTunes, it isn’t a centralized control panel.  Instead, it sets up automatic transfers of data over wi-fi.  That means that when you take a picture with an iPhone, it automatically transfers to any wi-fi connected device that’s set up to receive it, including a Mac or iCloud enabled PC.

Photos are handled through a tool in iCloud called simply “Photos.”  Other things that are set up to transfer instantly include contact info and notes. iCloud also allows you save backup images of a device.  This is a list of instructions on how the device is set up, including all user-preferences. Continue reading

Troubleshoot: My Wireless Device Can’t Connect

It happens more often than it should; you’re surfing the web wirelessly and then you lose Internet connectivity.  You’ve checked and the other wireless devices on your network and they’re fine: it’s just the device you happen to be using.

The essential problem is that two parts of your wireless network are not communicating.  One is the router.  It broadcasts the signal even if you can’t see it.  The other is often equally invisible, but far nearer.  It’s a device (usually) inside your laptop, phone or tablet that receives the signal: the wireless network adapter.

an internal wireless network adapter

an external wireless network adapter

Troubleshooting like a Pro

First, the common-sense things: if it’s an external network adapter connected by a USB port, make sure it’s still plugged in correctly. Then try the classic reboot (making sure to exit out of all your stuff first.) Continue reading

Troubleshoot: “Not Connected” on a Wireless Network

Uh oh! You’re wireless Internet connection is out. Wi-fi is down. It may not be your worst nightmare, but on the day-to-day level, it’s pretty big pain, especially when it’s hard to know exactly where the problem lies. After all, the problem could be with one of four components: the modem, the router, the network adapter attached computer — or even the computer itself.

The good news is that nowadays setting up and maintaining a wireless network is easier than it’s ever been. That means that occasionally the problem will resolve itself if you wait a while or if you engage the old standby – restarting the computer. But if that doesn’t work it’s time to start troubleshooting. Use the steps below to figure out  (1.) where the problem is and (2.) the best steps for fixing it.

This is a straight-to-the point sort of guide. Sure there are complicated problems out there, and these can have really techy solutions, but the most likely scenario is that if you’re wi-fi was working before, then it won’t take too much to get it working again. Continue reading

Roll Call: Parts of a Wireless Network

So finding wifi networks right now is easy. Coffee shops, bookstores, fast-food restaurants, auto-centers and waiting rooms all over the country host wifi for their customers. Just as prolific, thousands of homes and apartments now sport a wireless networks. But even though such networks are now ubiquitous, the way they work can seem mysterious.

If you’ve ever wanted to know the basics of how a wireless network works, we’ll show you. Needless the say the technology behind wifi is decades in the making, and the precise elements of IP designating, packet handling and security are complex, but if you just want the crash course … the essential logic behind a wireless network, then here’re are the basics.

What is a wireless network anyway?

A wireless network is a coordinated link set up between devices. At one time, those devices would just be computers, but now they include smart devices, including smartphones, tablets and smart tvs. Continue reading