Ask Leo! #561 – A question for you, Turning off peer-to-peer and Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10, harassing email and more…

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My turn for a question for you!

Continue Reading: My turn for a question for you!


Turn off Windows 10 peer-to-peer delivery optimization

Peer-to-peer downloading is pretty amazing technology. It can speed up downloads significantly, and it can make downloading significantly more resilient to network hiccups and other types of failures.

It's most commonly associated with BitTorrent, which uses peer-to-peer to create a network of download sites that are efficient, resilient, and potentially difficult to track down. But the technology is used in other places as well – download a Linux distribution, and peer-to-peer BitTorrent downloads are often an option; updates for large applications, like online games, are often provided using peer-to-peer technology.

Now, Windows 10 is apparently using peer-to-peer technology as part of its approach to distributing updates.

There are, however, some problems, both generally and with Windows 10 peer-to-peer downloads.

Continue Reading: Turn off Windows 10 peer-to-peer delivery optimization

How do I find out who's sending harassing email?

My son has been receiving harassing e-mail that is sent to his Yahoo account and on Facebook. How do I find out the IP, and where and who they are coming from?

I think it's kind of frightening how often I get questions like this one.

The sad reality is that the answer for most people is very, very simple:

You don't.

So what can you do?

Continue Reading: How do I find out who's sending harassing email?

How do I turn off Wi-Fi Sense (and what is it?)

One of the new "features" in Windows 10 is something called "Wi-Fi Sense". Its goal is to make using wireless networks easier, particularly among friends.

Unfortunately, it's also raised a number of privacy concerns.

To top it off, it's enabled by default.

Let's look at what it is, why it may or may not be an issue, and, perhaps most importantly, how to turn it off.

Continue Reading: How do I turn off Wi-Fi Sense (and what is it?)


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Glossary Term


A proxy acts as an intermediary for certain types of transactions on the internet.

The most common is probably a web proxy. When configured to use a proxy, a web browser makes its requests of the proxy, not of the actual website being requested. The proxy then makes those requests on behalf of the browser, and returns the result.

For example, normally when browsing a website such as a web browser connects directly to the server hosting the web site and requests whatever pages are being viewed. When configured to use a proxy, the browser connects instead to a proxy server to make its requests. The proxy server then connects to the desired website – in this case – on behalf of the original web browser.

Proxies can be used for several different reasons, but most commonly to implement some kind of filtering: either restricting what sites can be viewed, or examining the information returned by those sites for malware and perhaps other prohibited content.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
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Featured Comments

My machine's full of malware; should I get a new computer?

Rob writes:

Is this advice still valid today if someone got remote access on your computer? My wife fell for the Microsoft virus scam. For 20 minutes she followed the instructions given her by two MS "technicians."

My wife is almost literally a pc illiterate. She does not have the admin password for the computer. She said at one point she was told to make payment at an address in our town, and at this point a window opened with the address on it (and without her typing anything in; for this reason I suspect that someone got control of the pc and maybe installed spyware or other malware.

Would the above-mentioned procedure remove any malware directly loaded to my pc? Also, do I need to worry about the BIOS or my router having been compromised?

I am grateful for any advice!

Leo writes:

This advice is still true. You do NOT need to buy a new computer. Wipe the existing computer and install Windows, programs and restore your data all from scratch.

Let's talk about photographs

Raymond Kaping writes:

I must say that I'm not quite as OCD as your talk on backing up photos, but maybe I should be. My biggest loss was when I was backing up photos by burning DVD backups. I discovered that a DVD burner can fail to burn a DVD and you be clueless to that fact. I failed to check every DVD backup and at a later date when I was going through my DVD's looking for specific pictures, I discovered that the DVD burner had failed to write.

My current regimen is to copy my pictures to a Flash drives which I keep in a fire proof safe. I make these backups to the flash drive as soon as I have processed the photos and I have both the RAW picture files and my processed pictures files saved. I have considered cloud storage, but it will be expensive for me to maintain cloud storage since I'm currently keeping around a tetra byte worth of images on hand at this time. I have also taken family pictures that I have dating to the early 1900's and scanning them to digital files and archiving them also.

At this point in time, I have a full image backups of my system and my flash drives with the photos and separate flash drives with my documents.

Four ways to go back to Windows 7 from Windows 10

geoff writes:

You better listen to Leo and others. Do not do an upgrade to Windows 10 without a complete system image. Don't assume there's going to be a functioning reverting process in Windows 10 because you really will be rolling the dice with your system and data . Check the microsoft forums and you'll find many people struggling to get back to a functioning system. I have a Windows 7 computer and a tablet that was running Windows 8.1 both of which were running fine, although the tablet had a few buggy issues with a media player which I love to use and was hoping Windows 10 would address. The tablet with Windows 10 installed is working better than ever, and I was suprised to find Windows 10 did fix the issues with my media player, and also find my touch screen is much more responsive. That's one for Microsoft. The Windows 7 to 10 upgrade has been very disappointing. Upgrade went without a hitch, worked great for a couple days, then the same bugs others dealing with in the forums started cropping up. Maybe has something to do with an older system? I actually haven't given up on Windows 10 on this computer yet. I have the luxury of being able to tinker and tweak because I have a Windows7 system image I know I can go back to if I ultimately have to give upon the upgrade. I also have the confidence of having restored system images many times for different reasons and I know it will work.I even now have a couple of Windows 10 system images in what seems to be a stable functioning state and have even used one once when I couldn't get the tweaks to correct problems. One by one I've dealt with 4 or 5 serious problems that have cropped up; right now the system seems to be working and I actually like Windows 10 so I've got my fingers crossed that nothing fatal will occur. Others though. might not have the time or patience.

So please, before you upgrade listen to others who post here a lot smarter than me, and get yourself a backup hard drive , download Macrium or similar software and back up your system. You just might need that backup image.

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
Just Do This: Back Up! The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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