I am often asked the question "Why does my eircom broadband go slow sometimes?".
The line is generally first to get the blame, however, the problem often lies elsewhere. Fortunately, it is easy to check the quality of the line youself.
Your internet speed can be affected by many things, including traffic, your computer and the telephone line it is carried on, but a good place to start diagnosing the problem is to check the modem.
eircom usually supply a Netopia modem. You can access the modem's user interface by entering http://192.168.1.254/ into your web browser. All going well, you should see a page similar to picture 1 below.
This page has a lot of useful information - we are interested in the connection information, and are looking for DSL to be Available and eircom broadband to be Connected. The current line speed is also indicated, and this should be equivalent to the speed you are paying for. The line speed is a good indicator of the quality of the line, and may drop if there is a problem with the line, and over time, is also a good indication of a good line, suggesting that the problem may lies elsewhere.
There are other pages under Troubleshoot | Statistics that give detailed statistics on the flow of data through the modem, and, of course, eircom's technical staff will have access to this and other data on your modem, and the corresponding modem in the equipment rack in the telephone exchange building.
It certainly is amazing when Amazon send out notification of an order before you order anything. Of course, this is another scam. The text goes something like:
Thanks for your order, email@example.com
Did you know you can view and edit your orders online, 24 hours a day? Visit Your Account.
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Order Grand Total: $ 30.99
Earn 3% rewards on your Amazon.com orders with the Amazon Visa Card. Learn More
Subtotal of items:
Total before tax:
Total for this Order:
The following item was ordered:
Click here and see items, Price: $ 74.99
By: Click here
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
The charge for this order will appear on your credit card statement from the merchant 'AMZN Payment Services.'
You can review your orders in Your Account. If you've explored the links on that page but still have a question, please visit our online Help Department.
Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.
Thanks again for shopping with us.
Earth's Biggest Selection
I've gone through the figures a few times, but I can't really figure out what the final charge is supposed to be. I suppose that that is the intention - you need to click on one of the links which goes to a site with a ".ru" domain name.
Again, this the classic email scam where there is some pending disaster, and you are encouraged to login immediately to your account using the bogus link provided!
Another email doing the rounds claims to be from the Civil Aviation Authority, and says that travellers affected can receive 2,000 pounds - if they pay an administration fee.
This is a scam, if you reply, you'll be asked for an 'administration fee' before your payment can be released and you'll never see a penny.
The e-mail claims to be from Frank Adam, chief consumer protection officer at the CAA, and says that the compensation is available for those stranded by the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds, in return for the administration fee and personal details, including passport information.
With hundereds of thousands of travellers affected recently by the plume of debris from the Eyjafjoell volcano in Iceland, some people might be pleased to receive the email - but should delete it immediately without responding!
A client received this email recently. I've changed the domain name to 'pwd', but basically the email encourages registration of domain names in Asia, suggesting that another company is about to register them before you.
Although it is possible that the other company exists, my gut feeling is that the registration company is just trying to get you pay for 9 domain names that don't, and are not likely to want.
Here's the text.
We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application yesterday, One company which is called " Revar Investment Co., Ltd. " is applying to register "pwd" as brand name and domain names as below :
After our initial checking, we found the brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company's, so we need to confirm with your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please DO NOT reply us, we will approve the application automatically. If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by " Revar Investment Co., Ltd." unconditionally.
Looking through my mailbox I see a recent email with a title "Notice Message from MBNA". The email goes on to say "Dear Mbna Customers," and continues "This is to inform you that your Mbna profile needs to be updated" and I am asked to click on an Update Profile link. The link brings me to a page that look exactly like the home page of MBNA's Irish website at www.mbna.ie. Indeed, the source code of both pages is exactly the same, except the login form in the "real" site goes to secure pages at bankservices.co.uk, whereas the fraudulent site points to a script on the bogus site.
This is a great example of a scam, where the you receive an email telling that you need to do something immediately, you choose the link, enter your login details and send them to, well, not who you should be! Their script will even kindly log you into the real site, so you won't notice anything strange, until you notice odd transactions in your credit card bill some weeks later!
By the way, the login script is hosted on the website of www.hollywooddiet.com, which looks like a real site selling diet products online. They even have a secure shopping cart on their site, but that doesn't necessarily prove anything.
The bottom line on this type of scam is:
- Don't respond to an unsolicited email asking you to click on a link. If you have an online banking account, go to your bank's website by type the address into the address bar or create a shortcut/bookmark.
- Watch out for emails that imply that there is a pending disaster, and you must take action immediately
- Banks don't lose your account details (if you thought they would, you wouldn't bank with them!), and if they need to contact you, they will wait until you next login, or contact you by another means, send a letter or telephone, for example.
I just got a few letters through my letterbox from a company called Internet Register Ireland, asking me to check if my details are complete and correct, and update them if required. The details are printed on a second page, which seems to contain an error, which I can correct by filling-in the form, signing and dating it, and then posting or faxing it back to them.
Of course, just below the form is a paragraph with small print and a heading "Order". The small print contains the text "An advertisement is chargeable at 958 euros per year...", and goes on to say that "The order is valid for the next three years from the date of order, and is subsequently extended each time by another year..." and "German law is applicable". In otherwise sending in the completed form will cost 958 euros per year for three or more years.
This scam is run by a German company named DAD Deutscher Adressdienst GMBH. It relies solely on the recipient not fully reading the small print. I suspect that the price of the advertisement was chosen because it is just less than 1,000 euros, and in legal terms this amount is significant.
A quick search in Google for "internet register ireland scam" reveals why you should beware before you sign anything your not sure about!