Time to upgrade to an SSD?

Have you not yet upgraded to a SSD in your computer? Does it feel like your computer takes forever and a half to boot? Are you tired of staring at your computer screen waiting for it to load while trying to open a file or application? If so you’re going to want to look at what upgrading your hard drive to a Solid State Drive can do.


What is an SSD?

SSD stands for Solid State Drive, which is similar to USB’s or SD cards. There are zero moving parts inside a SSD but instead  microchips are used to store data. Typically they use NAND memory which is non-volatile, which just means when the drive loses power the data isn’t erased and forgotten. When SSD first started to be used in consumer computers there were rumors about the stored data being worn off from use. This myth has been debunked with research showing SSDs working for upwards of 200 years and having read/write Pb worth of data.

Solid State Drive (SSD)


  • Faster boot time
  • Read/write speeds up to 3500/2100 MB/s
  • Low heat production due to zero moving parts and lower power consumption


  • Cost per gigabyte is higher
  • Average capacity is less than 1 terabyte


What is an HDD?

Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are mechanical disk drives that rely on multiple moving parts. These parts are the platter which spins at typically 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm using magnets to store the data. A head is used to read/write data to the platter where speed is dependent on how fast it’s spinning at.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)


  • Low cost per gigabyte
  • Storage capacity typically found between 1-10 terabytes


  • Slow read/write speeds (120MB/s)
  • Produces heat
  • Higher failure rate
  • Magnets can erase/corrupt data on the drive

SSD/HDD Recommendation:

Our recommendation is combining these storage options. Since a SSD cost more we recommend getting a large enough drive to store your operating system and any applications you use regularly. Then add a larger HDD as a secondary drive to store the rest of your data. Doing this will allow you to see the benefit of using an SSD while still having room to store a lot of data.

Best SSDs of 2017

Wireshark display and capture filters

Wireshark Filters: Display vs Capture

A common thought by beginners when it comes to Wireshark filters is that display and capture filters do the same thing. Well, they don’t; they may seem to be doing the same thing to you but the difference is when the packets get filtered.

Display filters don’t stop Wireshark from capturing any packets, you still capture all packets but it only displays you the packets you asked for. While capture filters when used make it so Wireshark won’t capture any packets that you have specified not to.

Wireshark Filters



Wireshark Basic Overview

What is Wireshark?

Wireshark is open source software for Windows and UNIX/Linux, open source meaning that anyone can download it for free and can if they want alter the source code however they please. It’s considered the best network packet analyzer you can use today.

But, What is a network packet analyzer?

A network packet analyzer captures network packets on a specified network and would then display very detailed data about the network protocols of each packet.

Typical users are:

Network administrators- who can use it to troubleshoot network issues

Cyber Security Engineers- Can watch and see any attempted attacks on a network

Developers- to Debug protocols

Wireshark Logo


For more information check out



Check out our post on display filters and capture filters 


Cryptocurrency Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency Basics

During this years’ summer, you may have started to hear people and the news talking about the Cryptomarket and Cryptocurrency. These terms may be new to a vast majority of people, but they have actually been around for a few years, pointing back to 2009 with the creation of Bitcoin. The reason you’re hearing about them is due to record highs being posted in May and early June. Bitcoin reached around $3000 per coin, and Ethereum posted a record of $417.21 during June. Just last December one Ethereum coin only cost $6! With these huge gains, more people wanted to invest and reap the same benefits, causing the once little known cryptocurrency world to hit the mainstream.


Simply put its digital currency.Bitcoin


There are two ways to get your hands on these coins. First, you could purchase them, or you could mine them. However, buying coins isn’t the most user-friendly experience, with some sites having problems due to traffic. But it is still very similar to buying and trading stock in the stock market. To get coins from mining you must first have a “Mining Rig”. This is a computer that uses graphics cards or the CPU to mine. There are also specially developed machines call ASIC machines that can mine coins. The coins have different algorithms, so depending on what coin you want to mine will depend on which hardware route you will take.


First, mining is setting up your computer or ASIC machine to use its computing power to support the network’s transactions. Your computing power is used to validate and process transactions where your coin is being used. Each time a transaction occurs, they must pay a transaction fee, which will then be evenly distributed to miners on the network. This is based on the amount of work their machines did to support said transaction.

To actually get mining, you must first choose your correct hardware. Then, once you research which coin you want to mine, you download and run specialized software to begin mining. A simpler way is to use Nicehash miner, which once downloaded, all you have to do is click mine and the program will mine the most profitable coin for your machine and automatically turn it into Bitcoin for you. Depending on which coin you’re trying to mine, you’re also going to need a wallet to store your coins in, as leaving them on an exchange or anywhere on the internet is risky. Each coin has wallets you can download locally onto your machine or smartphone. You can also buy external hardware wallets which provide an extra layer of security for your coins.

Windows 10 command line

Windows 10 Command Line Tips and Info

If you like to work at the command line with nothing more than a curser and some text, but you’re not really into PowerShell, have no fear the “Administrative Command Prompt” is here. Ok, so that’s really nothing new to you. You probably even use netsh to check your firewall status

netsh advfirewall>show currentprofile

 or survey your wireless LAN.

netsh wlan show all  

Maybe all you need to do is check your “ipconfig /all” status every so often. If you just want to know what your computer’s name is on the network all you need to do is run the “hostname” command. “net users” command to see who is on the network. Very basic but useful things you can do from the command line or shell.
Well let’s see, maybe you already know about the Windows Management Instrumentation Command line (WMIC), but you really don’t use it that much. Maybe you’ve never known about it. It tends to be a mystery to many, but why should it be. It’s not like it’s hidden or anything. I believe that when it comes to working efficiently it’s sometimes very productive to venture into territories that are not often traveled by most. Let’s see if we can find something here to make our work a little simpler.
At your command line type what’s in between the quotes: “wmic /?” (enter)

Terminal Output:

[global switches] <command>

The following global switches are available:

/NAMESPACE Path for the namespace the alias operate against.

/ROLE Path for the role containing the alias definitions.

/NODE Servers the alias will operate against.

/IMPLEVEL Client impersonation level.

/AUTHLEVEL Client authentication level.

/LOCALE Language id the client should use.

/PRIVILEGES Enable or disable all privileges.

/TRACE Outputs debugging information to stderr.

/RECORD Logs all input commands and output.

/INTERACTIVE Sets or resets the interactive mode.

/FAILFAST Sets or resets the FailFast mode.

/USER User to be used during the session.

/PASSWORD Password to be used for session login.

/OUTPUT Specifies the mode for output redirection.

/APPEND Specifies the mode for output redirection.

/AGGREGATE Sets or resets aggregate mode.

/AUTHORITY Specifies the <authority type> for the connection.

/?[:<BRIEF|FULL>] Usage information.

For more information on a specific global switch, type: switch-name /?

The following alias/es are available in the current role:

ALIAS – Access to the aliases available on the local system

BASEBOARD – Base board (also known as a motherboard or system board) management.

BIOS – Basic input/output services (BIOS) management.

BOOTCONFIG – Boot configuration management.

CDROM – CD-ROM management.

COMPUTERSYSTEM – Computer system management.

CPU – CPU management.

CSPRODUCT – Computer system product information from SMBIOS.

DATAFILE – DataFile Management.

DCOMAPP – DCOM Application management.

DESKTOP – User’s Desktop management.

DESKTOPMONITOR – Desktop Monitor management.

DEVICEMEMORYADDRESS – Device memory addresses management.

DISKDRIVE – Physical disk drive management.

DISKQUOTA – Disk space usage for NTFS volumes.

DMACHANNEL – Direct memory access (DMA) channel management.

ENVIRONMENT – System environment settings management.

FSDIR – Filesystem directory entry management.

GROUP – Group account management.

IDECONTROLLER – IDE Controller management.

IRQ – Interrupt request line (IRQ) management.

JOB – Provides access to the jobs scheduled using the schedule service.

LOADORDER – Management of system services that define execution dependencies.

LOGICALDISK – Local storage device management.

LOGON – LOGON Sessions.

MEMCACHE – Cache memory management.

MEMORYCHIP – Memory chip information.

MEMPHYSICAL – Computer system’s physical memory management.

NETCLIENT – Network Client management.

NETLOGIN – Network login information (of a particular user) management.

NETPROTOCOL – Protocols (and their network characteristics) management.

NETUSE – Active network connection management.

NIC – Network Interface Controller (NIC) management.

NICCONFIG – Network adapter management.

NTDOMAIN – NT Domain management.

NTEVENT – Entries in the NT Event Log.

NTEVENTLOG – NT eventlog file management.

ONBOARDDEVICE – Management of common adapter devices built into the motherboard (system board).

OS – Installed Operating System/s management.

PAGEFILE – Virtual memory file swapping management.

PAGEFILESET – Page file settings management.

PARTITION – Management of partitioned areas of a physical disk.

PORT – I/O port management.

PORTCONNECTOR – Physical connection ports management.

PRINTER – Printer device management.

PRINTERCONFIG – Printer device configuration management.

PRINTJOB – Print job management.

PROCESS – Process management.

PRODUCT – Installation package task management.

QFE – Quick Fix Engineering.

QUOTASETTING – Setting information for disk quotas on a volume.

RDACCOUNT – Remote Desktop connection permission management.

RDNIC – Remote Desktop connection management on a specific network adapter.

RDPERMISSIONS – Permissions to a specific Remote Desktop connection.

RDTOGGLE – Turning Remote Desktop listener on or off remotely.

RECOVEROS – Information that will be gathered from memory when the operating system fails.

REGISTRY – Computer system registry management.

SCSICONTROLLER – SCSI Controller management.

SERVER – Server information management.

SERVICE – Service application management.

SHADOWCOPY – Shadow copy management.

SHADOWSTORAGE – Shadow copy storage area management.

SHARE – Shared resource management.

SOFTWAREELEMENT – Management of the elements of a software product installed on a system.

SOFTWAREFEATURE – Management of software product subsets of SoftwareElement.

SOUNDDEV – Sound Device management.

STARTUP – Management of commands that run automatically when users log onto the computer system.

SYSACCOUNT – System account management.

SYSDRIVER – Management of the system driver for a base service.

SYSTEMENCLOSURE – Physical system enclosure management.

SYSTEMSLOT – Management of physical connection points including ports, slots and peripherals, and propr
ietary connections points.

TAPEDRIVE – Tape drive management.

TEMPERATURE – Data management of a temperature sensor (electronic thermometer).

TIMEZONE – Time zone data management.

UPS – Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) management.

USERACCOUNT – User account management.

VOLTAGE – Voltage sensor (electronic voltmeter) data management.

VOLUME – Local storage volume management.

VOLUMEQUOTASETTING – Associates the disk quota setting with a specific disk volume.

VOLUMEUSERQUOTA – Per user storage volume quota management.

WMISET – WMI service operational parameters management.

For more information on a specific alias, type: alias /?

CLASS – Escapes to full WMI schema.

PATH – Escapes to full WMI object paths.

CONTEXT – Displays the state of all the global switches.

QUIT/EXIT – Exits the program.

well now what do you see?

There should be some global switches, available aliases.
There’s a lot of useful commands here to explore and learn about.
The last alias in the list should tell you how to exit the program by typing QUIT/EXIT.
and finally an info line that states:”For more information on CLASS/PATH/CONTEXT, type: (CLASS | PATH | CONTEXT) /?”
Now if you want to do all this in PowerShell’s ISE, you can – it should work. It might even be a little easier to read depending on how your current shell is set up, but I’ll stay in the good old Administrator: Command Prompt for now.
To demonstrate that there are usually more ways to get the information or results you’re looking for we’ll do one thing two different ways.
One of the things I like to check in powershell is the current status of any recently installed hotfixes.
In Powershell it’s fairly simple. I even sort them in order of when they were installed:
Get-hotfix | sort “InstalledOn”
In WMIC it’s even easier to see what HotFixes are installed and list some info about the operating System.
wmic:root\cli>os assoc
You should see your Operating System info, Computer system name, and all your security updates. You could get even more data by just running “systeminfo” at the regular command prompt or if all you really want is to look at a simple GUI for information about your system you can always just type in “msinfo32.exe“, but that’s no fun. There’s lots of useful commands that you can run from the command line. Powershell is very powerful, but the regular cmd or netsh prompts still have a lot to offer.

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