November 10, 2010

Kim Komando solves your technology problems

OSKALOOSA — Q. I accidentally formatted my camera’s memory card. Is there a way to recover my photos?

A. There are a few free file recovery programs that will work. Recuva is a powerful free recovery program. It will work on almost any digital media. However, it may not detect all photo file formats. In that case, use Zero Assumption Recovery. It is specifically designed to read photo files. That includes many proprietary RAW formats. When recovering files, there is something important to remember. Don’t restore files to the same place you are recovering them from. You will overwrite the files you are trying to recover. Visit Komando.com/news to download these free programs.

Q. I have several flash drives. Some are much slower than others. Why is that?

A. Flash drives are based on flash memory. However, not all flash memory is created equal. There are faster and slower varieties. Naturally, faster varieties are more expensive. Speed is also dependent on the memory controller. A basic memory controller will be slower than a high-quality memory controller. That means bargain or off-brand flash drives tend to be slower. Manufacturers often put read and write speeds on flash drives. So, look for faster speeds when buying. I recommend a write speed of 30 MB/s or faster.

Q. I’m concerned about using public Wi-Fi when I travel in my RV. Can I set up a personal router to rebroadcast the signal securely?

A. Rebroadcasting a Wi-Fi signal isn’t terribly difficult. But it is hard to do when it isn’t your own network. In some cases, it won’t be possible. Plus, it won’t add much extra security. The connection between your router and the public Wi-Fi won’t be encrypted. You’ll be better off making sure your computer is secure. That means installing security software, including a firewall. Disabling file sharing is also a good idea. Visit Komando.com/news for links to free security software and to learn how to disable file sharing.

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