CPU

6 Sings Your Computer Is Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency

While blockchain technology represents one of the safest ways to secure and keep your funds, hackers are also trying to keep track of the most recent technologies and security measures to try to find a way to bypass high levels of security. In that matter, it is very important to earn how to store your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies most safely. The safest method is to keep them on your e-wallet, especially offline ones while choosing to store them on some online platform like crypto exchange might bring some risks. There were already some cases where thefts managed to steal millions from online crypto platforms. Also, you should beware of unknown sources when it comes to trading websites as well. You can visit techround.co.uk to read more about the important factors that you should know before choosing the right online exchange.

Furthermore, we have to mention cryptojacking, which is one of the most recent methods that hackers are using to exploit sources of other people to mine cryptocurrencies. They are using various methods for this technique. Some of the most common are malware files that can start using your PC for mining and adding a code to your website. The main issue is that you might not notice that on time. Here are some of the best ways to find out if someone is secretly mine cryptocurrencies on your computer.

1. Overheating Hardware

Source:onlinecmag.com

Hardware is the most important part of the mining process, especially the graphics card. Since the mining process is getting more difficult over time, people need more resources for the efficient creating of blocks of codes. That is especially important for Bitcoin. Today, we have big mining centers where miners are combining hundreds of mining rigs for more efficient processes. However, some of them might try to use some alternative ways to get enough resources, and sharing malware files is one of them. The blockchain coding requires high spec hardware, and you could notice that something is not right with your PC in case it starts overheating even when you are not running any demanding operations on it. That is the sign for checking all of the files and look for malware and viruses.

2. Inspect Your Websites

Another method is adding a secret code to your websites where they could use the resources from the server to create blocks of codes. The best way to find if someone is using your websites is to check their performances. Additional files and codes that are not part of your online platform could make it become much slower, which can have a negative effect on your business by making the clients less attracted to your website.

3. Scan You PC Regularly

Source:ecpi.edu

The main issue with this type of cyber-attacks is that most standard antivirus software’s are not able to detect this type of malware. In that matter, you should try to find some advanced options that could detect unauthorized blockchain processes on your computer. Moreover, you should check all of the files in your PC and if you notice that there are some unknown processes in your system, that might be a sign for this issue.

4. Lower Performances

The most common indication that someone might be using your resources for mining is if you notice that your PC suddenly became less capable of opening advanced programs and video games. It is quite useful to know that this method of cybercriminal exists since many people would think how they should replace some of the hardware, while the issue will continue after that as well. The main problem is for business where computers are connected, and hackers might easily infect all of them by reaching to one unit.

5.  Check the Usage of CPU

Source:youtube

Another method that can help you to check if someone is using this method is to monitor the processes run by the CPU. You can easily check that by opening the task manager and see if some unknown programs are using a lot of the memory and processing power. Moreover, you should know that hackers might activate unauthorized mining even after you visit some websites. That is another reason to avoid unknown sources.

6. Learn More About This Issue

As we already mentioned, hackers are trying to find new ways to add malware files and exploit your resources in their favor.  Therefore, you should stay informed about this problem by reading news on relevant websites like Today on Chain, Coin Desk, and Crypto Slate, which are platforms where experts in the word of blockchain are providing people with the most recent news about cryptocurrencies, advanced security measures, potential threats, and more.

How to Avoid This Problem?

First of all, being informed that this method exists is the best way to avoid it by learning more about the ways to avoid getting malware files or visiting suspicious websites. Also, if you own a company, you will have to educate your employees about this issue. For example, you will have to explain to them the importance of using the PCs in the office only for professional matters. Nevertheless, you can use an additional measure of protection by installing the anti-mining program in the browser. Another method is to add ad block into the extensions of your browser. One of the best ways to stay safe while browsing the internet is to turn off the JavaScript that will prevent hackers from entering the mining code into your software.

Conclusion

Source:tscnet.eu

As you can see, even the blockchain technology that is one of the safest systems for storing data and making transactions today have some risks from cyber-attacks. Therefore, you should always pay attention to keep the password of your e-wallet safe and avoid any suspicious files and websites while on PC. Even though they are not able to steal anything with this technique, you will struggle with lower performances and even get higher electricity bills at the end of the month. In that matter, be sure to learn more about all of the methods they are using to trick people and find a way to improve the levels of security.

How to Clean Printed Circuit Boards

If your computer shows slower processing speed, there is a big chance that there is some grime, dirt, or corrosion on the circuit board that you will need to clean. There are a few different ways that you can clean the printed circuit board and the treatment you choose will depend on the issue. Dirt and dust can be treated with compressed air, while grime and corrosion can be treated with spot-cleaning. However, significant corrosion should be treated with baking soda. In this article, you will be able to read what treatments should you perform for specific issues, as well as how to do it. Let’s take a closer look:

Source:pinterest

Cleaning a Circuit Board by Using Compressed Air

Step 01 – According to the team of experts from www.pcbonline.com/blog, the first thing you should do is to shut down your computer. Shut it down and unplug it entirely from all the cables. Using compressed air while the computer is on can damage some components and you are also at risk of electrocution.

Step 02 – spray the compressed air into the CPU (central processing unit) in short bursts. Place the nozzle of the compressed air canister into the fan ports, which are usually placed on the back of the console top. Ensure that you keep the canister upright when you spray, and sprat in contained, short, bursts. Keep in mind that turning the canister upside down or spraying the components for too long will cool the air, hence, you might freeze some parts of your PC.

Step 03 – by using a screwdriver, open the CPU. Then slide the side panel off the unit and that should provide you access to the circuitry. You might need a flathead or a hex head screwdriver, but this will depend on the model of your computer.

Step 04 – spray the air on the board. It will most likely be green, which silver lines on it. Spray the air in short bursts on the board, keeping the canister upright at all time, as well as keeping the nozzle a few inches away from the printed circuit board. This can also provide you with insights to look for corrosion or grime that you might need to clean as well.

Step 05 – once you are done, slide the panel back on, screw it on, connect your computer to its cables, and you are good to go.

Source:envirotechint.com

Cleaning a Circuit Board by Spot-Cleaning it

Step 01 – dampen a cotton swab with alcohol. You should buy isopropyl alcohol that is at least 90 percent alcohol. Pour a little bit of it into a bowl and dip the swabs in it. Then, squeeze out the extra moisture in order for the swabs to be lightly damp. Keep in mind that you should never swab, drip, or leave puddles of alcohol of the circuit board. This can cause even more damage to it.

Step 02 – brush the swabs across the grime so that you can dislodge it. Look for grime that is close to the heat generators and on top of the circuit pathways. Lightly brush it and build up your find with the swabs until your dislodge it entirely. During this step, you should be patient, not forceful. If you have been brushing it for some time and you cannot dislodge it, do not apply more pressure to it. You will just need to move on to cleaning it with baking soda.

Step 03 – allow the alcohol to dry. It should not take more than an hour for it to dry and in most cases, it takes about 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can continue with brushing other parts of your PC in order to try to dislodge the grime.

Step 04 – use compressed air to get rid of the grime you dislodged. Return everything back where it belongs, connect you PC, and you are done.

Cleaning a Circuit Board from Significant Corrosion

Source:chemtronics.com

Method 01 – the first thing you should try is to rub the corrosion off with a pencil eraser. If your printed circuit board has significant corrosion that you could not remove by spot-cleaning it, you should try removing it with a pencil eraser. This is a good method if you want to avoid using baking soda on it, which if used improperly, can cause damage to your circuit board. The pencil eraser method is also useful for cleaning circuit boards that have copper components.

Method 02 – mix together water and baking soda and apply it to the areas that have corrosion. Mix a bit of water and baking soda together in a bowl (the amount you mix will depend on the number of corroded areas), until you form a runny paste from the mixture. Then, you should soak a cotton swab in the mixture and apply it gently to the areas that have corroded. Keep in mind that you will want the mixture almost dripping from the swabs so that the mixture can soak the corroded areas as much as possible. You should leave the paste to dry for at least one day and then remove the corrosion. After it is dry, dampen the swabs in isopropyl alcohol and squeeze out the moisture. Brush away the dried paste with the swabs. Again, do not apply a lot of force and be patient. You do not want to damage the circuit.

Method 03 – replace the battery that caused the circuit board to corrode. As you might already know, corrosion is often caused by acid leaking from the battery neat the printed circuit boards. You should be able to spot the battery quite easily since it will also be corroded – even more than the circuit board. Put on some rubber gloves and carefully remove the battery, clean the corrosion it left in the battery socket, and insert a new battery to replace the malfunctioning one. You can recycle the old battery at an electronics store or at a recycling center. You can even mail it to a specialized recycling company. The information that you will need to find a suitable replacement battery is usually in your computer’s documentation or on the battery itself. If you cannot find information on the battery or if you do not know where your PC documents are, place the battery in a bag and take it to an electronics store for identification.

Conclusion

As you can see, the methods from this article can help you with cleaning your printed circuit boards, hence, you will be able to improve your PC’s processing time, as well as prevent your computer from needing expensive repairs.

 

Best gaming PC under 1000

How We Decided What To Test

We went through a lot of respected and well-known gaming PC manufacturers like, Dell, HP, CyberPowerPC, iBuyPower and even the newest prebuilt gaming desktop PCs from companies that only do upgrades and customizations like CUK.

After a thorough sweep, we made a list of some prebuilt PCs we thought could make it and really looked at their specs, made comparisons and in the end ended up with 5 best gaming PCs just under $1,000.

What to Watch out for When Buying a Gaming PC

Not everyone has the knowledge of all the PC peripherals to built their own PC, so a lot of gamers and people, in general, go for prebuilt PCs. So let’s take a look at what you should be looking at when buying a PC like this.

GPU

Img Source: itpro.co.uk

It doesn’t matter if it’s a prebuilt or a custom-built gaming PC, the graphics card is definitely the most important piece of hardware. It’s the engine that gives power to any gaming PC.

This is what enables you to see a picture or video on your monitor and has a very big influence on the graphics quality you will be able to have in games. As a matter of fact, if you pair an average graphics card, such as a GTX 1660 with a lower quality i5 CPU it can yield you some great results. Of course you can’t do that with every single game, there are a lot of factors that go into how a game performs, such as how optimized it is, but in general, games are chiefly dependent on the GPU more than the CPU.

CPU, RAM and Storage

Img Source: store.hp.com

Now even after saying all that, processors also matter in gaming. But the CPU doesn’t improve framerate as much as the GPU does because the CPU focuses on doing tasks in general rather than rendering.

As far as RAM goes for this price anything below 8GB of DDR4 won’t fly with us nor should it with you, it is unacceptable.

Last but not least, the storage. At this price range, it pretty common to find an SSD and an HDD together in one PC, and having an SSD is very helpful.

Unless you find a prebuilt PC that just blows your out of the water but does not have both an HDD and an SSD then you should really try to get one that has. SSDs are much faster than their older versions and are in most cases the biggest performance booster when you look at the price. But they don’t boast the sheer amount of storage, well not at the same price at least. So it basically comes down to whether you want quality, quantity or a bit of both.

How Did We Do the Tests

Img Source: wccftech.com

This time, unlike our tests with PCs under $800 and $500 dollars, we tested the games at 1440p/ultra settings. I mean for that price 1080p would be a breeze, so we decided to make them sweat a bit.

If you don’t have a 1440p monitor, then it would be a smart idea to look into buying one now, since you will be futureproofing your new PC and if you really want to get the most out of your new shiny PC.

These PCs should be able to handle these games at 2k and 4k on average with some small differences. Games like Fortnite, Player Unknown’s Battleground, Overwatch, Warframe, Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, Dota 2, Monster Hunter: World and Grand Theft Auto V.

With the right settings in mind, you can get 60fps gaming on all these video game. If you really want the best performance then it would probably be best to turn down the graphics from ultra to high, but it is really subjective, some people prefer the visuals over performance. But competitive players would never want better visuals at a loss of framerates.

Now let’s look at each PC and what they offer.

iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming PC

Img Source: amazon.com

The iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming PC is a very strong prebuilt PC, and that’s holding back on our praise. What this machine brings to the table is not only a great multitasking CPU in the Ryzen 7 2700X, but it comes together with a new RTX 2060. The games we mentioned before don’t stand a chance against this beast, you won’t have to worry about getting better framerates at the cost of visuals with this PC. Another thing this PC can handle with ease is VR, although VR isn’t as popular it’s still good to be able to do it.

Just like the other PCs this rig comes with Windows 10 preinstalled and even has WiFi. The computer case has RGB lights inside it that can be controlled remotely and it has a tempered glass side panel, so the lights inside really get the most out of them.

Now, this gaming PC is ideal for any game out there, but with this powerful CPU streamer or content creators, in general, can make use of it without worry.

You also get a mouse and keyboard with it, but maybe you should check out some other one since these are not that good.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8560A

Img Source: amazon.com

This PC has a lot of really good hardware, like a 9700F Intel chip, 16 GB DDR4 RAM and a GTX 1660 Ti. When it comes to the design of the case, it really appealed to our senses since it comes with an RGB fan setup which can light up the whole room. Just like the last case, this one also has a tempered glass side panel which makes the RGB lights even better.

The main part of this whole case is, of course, how the GPU and CPU go together. The CPU is one of the best you can get at this price range, and the might 1660 Ti paired with the CPU make an incredible duo.

Having 16GB DDR4 RAM is no slouch either, it greatly speeds up this whole build and is quite enough for today’s gaming standards. Another thing you have in this case is a 120GB SSD which is perfect for having your OS on. Just like the last PC it also comes with a free keyboard and mouse, but the same advice goes for this too.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR

Img Source: pcverge.com

As far as the price goes, it is perfect for this PC, especially for a prebuilt PC, it really packs a punch. This prebuilt PC is made for VR, and that’s the reason it has an RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB memory. As far as the CPU compartment, it’s not really the most powerful one at this price point, but it will definitely satisfy your gaming needs for its price.

The case just like the last two comes with WiFi and tempered glass so that you always have a view inside it. The case has a very modern design and features really good airflow to prevent overheating, so your temperatures should be stable during those long gaming sessions.

Now even though the CPU and GPU are the most important parts that are not all it also has a 120 GB SSD which will improve those pesky loading times in games and 1TB HDD to store files to your heart’s content.

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme VR GXiVR8480A2

Img Source: amazon.com

This gaming rig brings some incredibly powerful GPU performance to the table. But before we talk about the GPU let’s mention the CPU, which could be considered sold, it’s an i5-9400f that has a base clock speed of 2.9GHz and is quite enough for a PC at this price point. But as already mentioned, the main part is the RTX 2060 Super with 8GB of memory. That is a very powerful GPU that is going to run any game at max settings with ease.

SkyTech Shiva Gaming Computer

Img Source: amazon.com

SkyTech brings the Shiva as a rival to the other gaming rigs, and it sure packs a punch.

The main part of this whole rig is its Ryzen 2600 CPU whose base clock speed stands at 3,4 GHz and can boosted up to 3.9 GHz, which considering the price is quite a lot. Now paired with this amazing CPU is an RTX 2010 which gives you raytracing technology and some solid performance.

This PC is built for gaming so we’re not surprised to see 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which will futureproof you for quite some time since that is the perfect amount nowadays. As I’ve mentioned before to get the most out of your games and to lesson those loading times, you need an SSD, and luckily this PC has a 500 GB SSD. But unfortunately, that’s the only storage it has, but it’s enough to get you started.

Now when it comes to the design of the case, it’s a very good one, but we’re not surprised since it’s from InWin. On the side of the case, there is a large glass case that lets you see every little detail inside this machine. The hardware in this machine is actually flipped, which means the PSU is at the top. The best thing about its design is that you can mount the fans on the back panel so you won’t use any airflow and you’ll still get the most out of the light show.

Conclusion

We have our own pick for the best rig, but in general, there isn’t that much difference between them, so it really comes down to personal taste.