November 2020: How to change your background on Google Meet during a video meeting

Google is rolling out custom backgrounds for desktop users. Virtual backgrounds feature will roll out for Google Meet app users in the coming weeks.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Meet is rolling out virtual backgrounds for desktop users.
  • The virtual background feature does not require an extension or any additional software and works well within the user’s browser.
  • The virtual backgrounds will work on ChromeOS and the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices.

Google Meet is rolling out custom virtual backgrounds for desktop users. The feature does not require an extension or any additional software and works well within the user’s browser. Google notes that virtual backgrounds will ensure more productive meetings and less distraction. The virtual backgrounds feature is not new to the video conferencing apps as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have already rolled out similar features a few months back.

"Custom backgrounds can help you show more of your personality, as well as help hide your surroundings," Google noted in a blog post. The virtual backgrounds will work on ChromeOS and the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices. The support on Meet mobile apps will be coming soon, Google will notify users when it does roll out the feature.

Users can also select their picture as a virtual background. However, as of now, the option of selecting your own picture is not available to participants of meetings organised by Google Meet for Education customers. Google noted that there will be no admin controls for the virtual background feature at the launch. However, the company will roll them out in the coming weeks. The feature is off by default.

Google Meet has rolled out features like blur background and noise cancellation in the past for more efficient virtual meetings. Users can change the background on Google Meet by following the given steps.


To change the background on Google Meet before a video call:

-- Open Google Meet

-- Select the meeting

-- Click on the three dots on the bottom right or the More option

-- Select Change background

--You can select from slightly blur or completely blur in case you want to blur your backgrounds.

--Select Turn on background blur



-- Users can also select a pre-uploaded background. Selecting a background will turn on a user’s camera in case it was off

--Users can also add their own image by clicking on the Add option.

-- Select Join now


To change the background on Google Meet during a video call:

-- Click on the three dots on the bottom right or the More option.


-- Select Change background

--You can select from slightly blur or completely blur in case you want to blur your backgrounds.

-- On the bottom right of your self-view, click Change Background. To completely blur your background, click Blur your background.

-- Users can also select a pre-uploaded background. Selecting a background will turn on a user’s camera in case it was off.

--Users can also add their own image by clicking on the Add option.

Google notes that blurring background may slow down your device and that users should turn the feature off to allow other apps to run faster on your computer.

Compiled and Approved by  the technical support department

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October 2020: How to bulk delete emails from Gmail

Gmail users can bulk delete old, unnecessary emails from their Gmail account in a few simple steps. Clearing out the inbox can help users create space in their Google account.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gmail users can clear out mail based on categories, like read, unread, starred, and unstarred messages.
  • To bulk delete emails, users will require a computer. However, a small number of messages can be deleted from the Gmail app.
  • Deleted emails are moved to trash for 30 days after which they are automatically deleted permanently. Users can also clear out the trash before the end of 30 days.

It is amazing how much space clearing out old, unnecessary emails can make. If you are someone who has over 20,000 mails in your inbox, you may consider decluttering your mailbox. Especially when Google plans to put a 15GB cap on storage for your Google account for your Google photos, emails, and files from Google drive. All this while you may have taken all that free storage for granted and probably did forget to clear out your Gmail.

Deleting emails can be achieved through the Gmail app. However, when you have thousands you want to clear all at once, you will need a computer. Google on one of its support pages notes that you cannot delete all messages together from the Gmail app. To bulk delete emails from Gmail, follow the given steps:

-- Open Gmail, enter your email ID and password.

-- Go To Inbox, here you may see tabs for promotional email or emails from social media (chances are that you have never probably opened the emails and they are lying in your inbox eating your precious storage.)

-- Go on promotional or social or other tabs depending on what you want to delete.
-- Check the Select all option, it is a box on the top left.
-- You will get an option to “delete all (number of total messages) from that category”
-- Select the option.
-- Click Okay to confirm, it may take some time for the emails to clear out.

To delete messages from the inbox:


-- Click the down arrow in the top left
-- You will see categories for messages you would want to delete including all, none read, unread, starred, unstarred.
-- Select the option you want to choose.
-- Click on the Delete button.

You can also delete emails based on the date, the size of the file, or the sender by choosing the advanced search option. You have to click on the down arrow in the search bar and fill out the categories.

To delete large files:


-- Go to Gmail search bar, Press on the down arrow.
-- Fill in the size, for instance, 20MB, select the time window of the mails, for example, one month.
-- All 25MB files will show up. Select all and delete if you wish to delete all or you can back up your important files and then delete them.


You can also delete old emails in the same way by typing in the time range, based on if the email has an attachment, and if the email is unread.

All deleted messages go to Trash and remain there for 30 days. If you want to clear out your trash and permanently delete mails:
-- Select Menu or three lines from the top left.
-- Select Trash.
-- At the top, tap Empty trash now.

Compiled and approved by the technical support officer

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August 2020: How to schedule emails to send at a later time on Gmail

Gmail gives its users the option to schedule emails to send at a later time. Users can also alter and cancel the emails they have scheduled in case they change their minds.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gmail users can schedule emails to send at a later time, they can also cancel the scheduled emails.
  • A scheduled email becomes a draft if cancelled and can be altered before the mail is sent.
  • Gmail has the option to schedule as many as 100 emails.
For iPhone or iPad

There are times when sending emails at a particular time becomes a task because there are too many, or you are forgetful or too caught up to reply. For times like these, it is always better to schedule emails. Gmail gives the option to schedule as many as 100 emails. A scheduled email becomes a draft if cancelled and can be altered before the mail is sent. Google notes that emails are sent based on the timezone the user schedules them in. Here is how you can schedule emails to send at a later time on Gmail.

For Computer

-- Open Gmail

-- Log in to Gmail

-- Select Compose from the top left.

-- Create your email.

-- Instead of clicking on Send, click on the dropdown arrow

-- Click Schedule Send

For Android

-- Open Gmail

-- Log in to Gmail

--Select Compose from the top left

--Create your email.

--Tap on More from the top right

--Tap on Schedule Send > select an option


-- Open the Gmail app

--Tap on Compose from the bottom right.

--Create your email.

--Tap on More from the top right.

--Tap on Schedule Send > select an option

Users can also cancel and alter a scheduled email by following the given steps

For computer

--Go to Gmail

--On the left panel, click on scheduled

--Select the email you want to change

--At the top right of your email, click Cancel send

-- To change or alter the previous mail, users can create the changes.

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--At the bottom left next to Send, click on the dropdown arrow

--Click on the schedule and select a new date and time.

For Android and iPhone

-- Open the Gmail app

-- Tap on Menu or the three lines (hamburger) on the right

--Tap on Scheduled

--Select the email you want to change > Cancel Send

-- Tap the email again

-- Create your changes

-- At the top right, tap More

-- Tap on schedule send > Select an option

Cancelled emails become drafts. Users can unsend an email immediately after they have sent it by tapping on Sent and then tapping on Undo.

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July 2020: Having trouble connecting to a computer over the network check this out

In this article there you are going to learn about how to fix the different issues concerning computer connectivity over a network for instance at the office or at school or even at home, hang on in there and learn one or two things.

1. Workgroup

Make sure any computer you want to use is in the same working group. The Workgroup name on any machine should be exactly the same. Always, make sure to use the same case for names (all tops or all bottoms).

Press Start in Windows 7 or higher, type in Workgroup and then select Change Workgroup Name. To change the workgroup name press the Change tab.

2. Homegroup

Windows 7 introduced a new feature called the HomeGroup that sets things up automatically to allow you to share files between Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 computers.

3. File and Printer Sharing 

Make sure the network adapter is switched on for file and printer sharing. You can allow this by going to Control Panel, Network Connections, right-clicking on a network link, selecting Properties, and testing for Microsoft Networks File and Printer Sharing.

You need to go to the Network and Sharing Center in Windows 7 and higher, then press Advanced Sharing Settings and turn it on there.

4. Correct Subnet and IP addresses 

If all of your computers are connected to the same router, you really shouldn't have this problem, but it is worth mentioning. 

Ensure sure all machines have the same Subnet mask and Default Gateway. If these aren't the same, then there would be problems linking the machines over the network.

These details can be viewed by going to Start, Run, Type CMD and then typing IPCONFIG / ALL at the command prompt on each computer.

5 Check Firewalls 

My recommendation here is to disable the Windows Firewall on all machines first and then try to access the shared folders afterward. Additionally, make sure all third-party firewall programs like Norton or Comodo are disabled. 

If you notice that the sharing works with the firewall off, make sure to add File and Printer Sharing to the Windows Firewall and third-party firewall exceptions list

6. Shared permissions

If you get permission you do not have to use this network resource ... Access is denied message, the issue could also be that the shared directory permissions are not correctly set.

You'll need to configure the sharing properly depending on whether you're running XP Home or XP Pro. You can only share files with XP Home through Simple File Sharing. It is pretty quick because they have a wizard to guide you through the process of sharing.

You need to disable Simple File Sharing and set NTFS permissions for XP Pro, and share permissions to allow access for all. Check my post about setting file/folder permissions, or how to share files between computers for more information.

7. Use TCP/IP Protocol 

You probably don't have to worry about this either, but just to cover all the bases, you need to make sure the computers on the network all use the Internet TCP / IP protocol to communicate and not IPX / SPX or NetBEUI. 

You can go to Begin, Control Panel, Network Connections, right-click on the link to the network, select Properties, and see the protocol is specified in the list box.

8. Username and Passwords

If you have done all of the above correctly and still can't communicate, then you should always try to make sure the usernames and passwords are exactly the same on all devices.

It is best to use passwords on all accounts, and build a new account with the same username and password on each device. Often creating a new account is necessary, instead of just changing the name or password on an existing account. Make sure Administrators are the accounts.

9. Computer Names

Make sure the names of NetBIOS are specific for all computers. NetBIOS names are only 8 characters, so if you named one of the user1 and User2 computers they will have the same name as NetBIOS. 

Make sure that a computer name's first eight characters are identical, or you'll be having problems. Remember this is only a concern with very old Windows versions.

10. Local Security Policy 

A local security policy is another explanation you might not be able to reach another device across the network.

You can go to the Administrative Tools, Local Security Policy, Local Policies, Security Options, Control Panel. check the following protocol now:

Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares

Make sure that the value is set to Disabled. Also, make sure to disable only the setting that says “SAM accounts and shares” not the one that says “SAM accounts” only.

11. Uninstall anti-virus and Internet Security 

 Finally, make sure that all your anti-virus programs are either turned off or uninstalled to test out the connection. If you have any Internet Security programs such as Norton Internet Security or Kaspersky Internet Security, disable them!

That is literally about it check these settings out and in case you need more assistance contact the technical department about it via our email techsupport@wougnet.org

For more insight in-depth check out Online Tech Tips all images are from Online Tech Tips

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June 2020: Web hosting explained

When it comes to web hosting there are a couple of types and they are explained below, but before that let us understand what is meant by web hosting.

Web hosting

This is a service that is provided to a company from a remote location, its executed by a computer that is on 24/7, this computer stores all the files of a given website making it available upon request and that's why you find when you visit for instance wougnet.org you are able to see content any time of the day. Therefore, web hosting is the service that allows users to reach a server in a remote area and see the content of a website/web page(s) stored on that server.

Types of web hosting:

Shared web hosting

Shared hosting is the most basic form of web hosting available. Purchasing a shared hosting plan is like renting a home with a few roommates; or in this case, up to a few thousand.

When you purchase this type of plan, your business’ domain will be housed on a web server along with those of a few hundred to a few thousand other businesses. Generally, this works just fine as most of the web pages being housed on the server are relatively small and supported easily with little risk of site speed interference.

Advantages

  • Cost–As with any shared living situation, the most obvious advantage is splitting the cost of rent between multiple parties. When a hosting provider is able to split the cost of operating a single server between a couple of thousand clients, they’re able to offer very affordable rates.
  • Beginner-friendly—Generally, all your needs regarding setup will be accommodated under a shared hosting plan. This allows you the freedom to focus your attention on the development and web design aspects of your webpage instead.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, when sharing living space (or any other resource) it is always possible that you will run into competition for said resource. This is precisely what can happen when using a shared host.

  • Bad neighbors — the “bad neighbor effect” (yes, it is actually called that) is a phenomenon that occurs when one website on the shared server begins to hog resources, usually due to unusually high traffic or poor coding. This tends to result in slower loading speeds or operational downtime, which means it is more difficult to reach your website.
  • Customer service –– obviously, when a bad neighbor situation arises, every other website owner on the server is going to hop on the customer service line pronto. Unfortunately, when there are so many mouths to feed it is difficult to accommodate them all efficiently. Additionally, the incentive for companies to do so is rather low, given that most websites are only yielding the company $5-$10 each.
  • Inflexible –– Shared hosting does not allow you to customize your environment, since making changes to your own would affect every other website on the server.

VPS hosting

If shared hosting is comparable to sharing a house with roommates, then VPS hosting, which stands for Virtual Private Server, is a lot like renting your own apartment in an apartment complex.

Advantages

VPS offers a number of key advantages over simple shared hosting that make it far more desirable overall.

  • Reliability – Reduces the number of websites per server from a few thousand to about 20, decreasing the demand on the server. Resources are allocated evenly between websites. No single website is allowed to exceed its set share.
  • Flexibility – VPS servers offer the ability to customize your environment since you are virtually partitioned from the other websites on the server.
  • Scalability – Since you have a measured portion of the server’s resources dedicated to your website, it is a simple matter to increase the amount available to you.

Disadvantages

  • Cost — naturally, with added advantages comes added cost. The cost of VPS hosting ranges from around $20 per month at the lowest to $50 on average and is scalable all the way up to around $200.

The disadvantages of using VPS hosting are few and negligible. Many marketers agree the increased capacity allowed to your website quickly covers the increase in cost from VPS hosting.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is recommended for big companies with big websites and big needs. When you choose dedicated hosting, you enjoy a server dedicated strictly to running your website, and all its advantages.

Advantages

The advantages afforded by having a dedicated server are unique and significant in comparison to shared and VPS hosting.

  • No bad neighbors — Since the server is dedicated strictly to you, you don’t have any neighbors at all.
  • Reduced security risk — Without neighbors, there is far less risk of security issues.
  • Total flexibility — Most hosting companies allow extensive customization with a dedicated hosting plan. You have full autonomy to choose your desired operating system, amount of memory, and various other hardware features.
  • Customer service — As you would expect, big companies putting up big money for web hosting services net more attention on the customer service end.

Disadvantages

There are some distinct and rather consequential disadvantages to hosting your website on a dedicated server. We’ll start with the obvious and go from there.

  • Cost — The pricing jumps significantly with this type of package, ranging anywhere from $60 to $350 per month.
  • Technical knowledge—Managing your own server requires a good bit of technical acumen, particularly if you are using a fully unmanaged service.
  • Unmanaged service—Some services will require you to manage your server entirely on your own. In such cases, you will need someone with the know-how to:
  • Install your operating system
  • Install malware removal
  • Provide security scanning
  • Install other tools necessary to run a web server (there are a few)
  • Security—By hosting your website on a dedicated server you are essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. Should the hardware fail, your website will experience downtime until your own technician can get it up and running again.

Many web hosting providers will offer solutions to mitigate the negative aspects of using a dedicated server. For instance, your hosting provider may offer you the option to hire a service manager with the technical knowledge to take care of installation needs and oversee security. Of course, this comes with additional cost. However, it is expected that a company large enough to require such services will be able to absorb the additional cost.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting was developed as an innovative way to pull all the juice you need to run your website from a host of different computers, as opposed to a single server. It holds a lot of similarities to VPS hosting, so much so that many hosting companies refer to it as Cloud VPS.

Advantages

Cloud hosting offers incredible advantages over other options by combining a lot of its best features into one package. Some of these include the following, which we will cover further below:

  • Scalability
  • Setup
  • Advantageous billing structure
  • Security

Scalability

Increased scalability may be the single largest perk that cloud hosting offers over the others, particularly its cousin VPS. With traditional VPS, you can scale up, but only to the extent allowed by the capacity of the single server that houses your unit.

A cloud-based system, on the other hand, allows you to scale much further by combining the power of a multitude of computers. These networks form a virtual server that allocates resources based on need, so your potential for scalability is effectively endless.

Setup

An advantage that clouds shares with VPS and shared servers is that setup is essentially handled for you by whoever manages the host servers. The technical knowledge required to run a dedicated server is not required.

Billing Structure

Cloud-based services are billed differently than other services as well. As you will notice, every other type of package comes with a set price for a set amount of web resources. You will be charged the full amount for the number of resources allocated to you whether you use them or not.

This is not the case with cloud-based servers. In this case, the price is incurred as the resources are allocated; based on need. You will only be charged for the resources you actually use.

Security

Cloud hosting is also remarkably resilient against cyber-attacks, particularly of the DDoS variety. This type of attack is designed to overwhelm a server by sending huge numbers of requests at the same time. A cloud system is able to distribute these requests throughout the network and minimize their impact to keep your website up and running.

Disadvantages

Frankly, there are hardly any disadvantages to speak of. It is true that traffic spikes and the subsequent increase in resource consumption can make predicting cost a little tricky. However, this tends to be a rather minor concern since increased traffic tends to increase revenue, allowing a business to absorb the additional cost.

Self-service hosting

Self-service web hosting is precisely what it sounds like. Should you choose to undertake a fully self-sufficient hosting operation, you will be responsible for providing all of the following, and more.

  • Power
  • Cooling
  • Physical security
  • Internet uplink
  • Server hardware
  • Server software
  • Data storage
  • Backup procedures
  • Bandwidth
  • Systems administrator
  • Cybersecurity

Advantages

The advantages of hosting your operation on this type of system are numerous. You have full autonomy over:

  • Cost
  • Customizability
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Configuration

Essentially, you have a system that is customized and optimized to fit your needs. The only limits to what you can do are dictated by your budget and your technical expertise.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages to operating your own in-house hosting system should be pretty obvious. You are solely responsible for the up-front costs, as well as any additional costs which can rise dramatically should any of the following occur:

  • Hardware malfunction
  • Software malfunction
  • Security breach
  • Power failure
  • Cooling failure

This type of hosting is generally well beyond the scope of what is necessary to run an online business, especially a small one. There are a select few, though, that are both large enough and run their businesses entirely online, who might opt for this type of hosting system (for example, Amazon). However, the cost and level of effort necessary for the upkeep of a system like this will likely make this option prohibitive.

Reseller hosting

Reseller hosting is specific to those who wish to turn a profit by providing hosting services to others. In effect, they are shared hosting accounts with additional tools built-in to sweeten the pot and help resell host space. Some of these tools included in reseller web hosting include:

  • Website templates — Help business owners who may be new to website building.
  • Technical support — Built-in tech support allows better access to IT services than traditional shared host services, which are often lacking.
  • Private name servers — Used to give the appearance of authority by making your company seem larger.

Advantages

For the person(s) attempting to resell premium hosting space, the main advantage is profit. However, there are a couple of other advantages for those purchasing resold hosting space. Access to the tools listed above, particularly website templates and tech support, dramatically increases one’s ability to navigate a web buildout without acquiring a lot of technical knowledge. In short, it saves time and resources that can be used elsewhere.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages are essentially the same as those you would encounter using shared hosting services. There is the potential for:

  • Security issues
  • Slowing or downtime due to bad neighbors hogging web resources
  • Lack of flexibility and customizability

Fortunately, with features such as built-in tech support, many of these issues can be resolved in a more efficient manner. This makes resold space worth the consideration, especially if you have been burned in the past and are looking to make a change while staying within your existing budget.

Choose the right type of hosting for your business idea

While there are a few variations on hosting solutions that are available, most are built around the models explained above. At Domain.com, we aim to help you find the best solution to fit your needs and your budget. This is why we offer a wide array of web hosting packages at competitive prices.

Cited from Domain.com and approved by the technical department

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