Category - Technology

1
Laptop Repair Service – Get Your Notebook Fixed
2
Kodi Not Working On Sky Broadband? Here’s How To Fix It.
3
How To Bypass Sky Broadband Shield in 2019

Laptop Repair Service – Get Your Notebook Fixed

Whilst there are a number of laptop problems that you can fix by yourself, if there is a serious problem with the underlying hardware you may need to use a laptop repair service.

Where Can I Take My Broken Laptop?

Fortunately there are loads of places where you can take a broken computer to be fixed. Each of these are explored below with some pro’s and con’s of each.

National Brand PC Repair Shops

There are a few large nationwide brands that can fix laptops. Curry’s PC World is just one example. The big brands can be more expensive than smaller independent outfits, but some people like the consistency commonly found with larger brands. I would recommend reading online reviews before going to any particular company with your laptop. Trustpilot and Yelp are two trustworthy independent review sites. Google Reviews is another, however these reviews tend to be less trustworthy as there is little moderation on the Google Reviews platform.

Independent PC Repair Shops

Most towns and cities have at least a few computer repair shops dotted around. Do a Google Maps search for computer repair on your mobile – you should see local businesses listed with contact details being presented. Again, be careful to check for online reviews and maybe ask family and friends if they have used a shop that they would recommend.

Online Laptop Repair Service

Another option is to send your laptop to an online laptop repair company. These businesses will typically ask you to post your device to them. They will then inspect it and if they think it can be fixed, they will provide a quote to repair. You can choose to go ahead and have them fix it, or just post it back to you.

Some internet laptop repair services charge a fee for inspecting and returning your laptop, whilst others only charge you if they are successful in fixing it.

If you are considering using an online laptop centre, be sure to check their fees and make sure they are reputable and display their full contact and address details. Independent online reviews are also important. Would you seriously post your £800 laptop to a random address without confirming they are legit first?

Kodi Not Working On Sky Broadband? Here’s How To Fix It.

Kodi Streams Stop Working On Sky

If you use Sky Broadband and Kodi has not been working recently, then you are not alone. A lot of people have reported problems watching Kodi streams whilst using Sky broadband.
You may have noticed that more and more movie or TV show streams seem to be down these days. You search for the latest move and click ‘Play’, only to be shown a ‘stream unavailable’ or ‘connection error’ message. You try the next available stream, only to be confronted with the same message.
Eventually, you may have become unable to find any working streams at all.

Sound familiar?

Many Kodi Streams Are Blocked On Sky.

Yes, it’s not just your Kodi installation that is broken. Sky, just like many other ISP’s in the UK have blocked a lot of Kodi streams.
At the time of writing, the following Kodi streams are known to be blocked by Sky Broadband:

  • FreeMusic
  • HDPopcorn
  • M4UFree
  • MVLinks
  • ExtraMovied
  • AnimeToon
  • SeeHD
  • WatchEpisodes
  • OceanOF

That’s far from an exhaustive list however, it is likely that many move video streaming services will be blocked by Sky into the future.

Why Does Sky Block Kodi Streams?

Sky don’t block streams just to be mean. They do it as they were forced by the courts to prevent copyright infringement by blocking people’s unrestricted access to copyrighted content. In an attempt to comply with the courts, Sky have actively blocked their customers from accessing a growing list of domain names and IP addresses.

As well as blocking access to video streams, Sky are also prohibiting access to torrent and filesharing websites.

Does My Current Broadband Provider Block Kodi Streams?

The simplest test you can do to see if there are active blocks on your current broadband connection is to try to visit a website that they are likely to have restricted.
At the time of writing, Sky are actively blocking access to www.thepiratebay.org and redirecting visitors to a warning message. Click on the button below to attempt to view www.thepiratebay.org.

Check For Block

If you see a Sky ‘Access Blocked’ message or other ‘access denied’ type messages, then you are being prevented from accessing at least that website, and quite likely popular movie video streams too.

If The Pirate Bay loads up, or any website loads at all that isn’t a block, then you’re probably not being blocked and video streams probably aren’t being actively blocked either.

If the web browser connection times out or if you see a DNS error of some sort, then access to pirated material may or may not be blocked.

How Can I Access Kodi Video Streams?

If your connection is being blocked by Sky or any other broadband ISP, then there are some ways around the block.

Disable Sky Broadband Shield

The first thing to rule out is Sky Broadband shield. Fortunately, you can just turn this off. Sky Broadband Shield is a parental firewall aimed to help parents prevent their children from accessing adult content.

Here’s how to turn Sky Broadband Shield off, in case it’s blocking access to your Kodi streams.

  1. Visit broadbandshield.sky.com and log in to your Sky account with your credentials.
  2. Find the option to ‘Switch Off’ the broadband shield altogether. You can select age ranges, but in this case we want to remove the shield facility altogether to make sure there is minimal chance of it effecting Kodi.
  3. Check to see if Kodi is working correctly.

Switch Broadband Providers

Possibly the most reliable way around Sky’s firewall is to switch broadband providers completely.

To find out if any particular ISP blocks video streams, try calling their customer service number and asking “Do you block any online websites or video streams?”. You can ask this without giving away any personal information if you’re worried about being identified.

Invest in a VPN

There are a wide array of private VPN providers on the market, each with their own particular perks and features. They’re all pretty much the same though, at least if you’re just looking to avoid your ISP from blocking traffic.

When subscribing to a VPN service, compare monthly rates between subscription lengths. Sometimes registering for a few years in one go can achieve big savings per month compared to smaller plans.

Tether Your Phone’s 4G Connection

This is only worth doing if you have a generous data limit on your mobile plan, or if you’re fortunate enough to have an unlimited 4g plan.

Most modern smart phones have a built-in ‘Wi-Fi Hotspot’ mode which creates an ad-hoc wireless network. You can connect to this from your laptop and try connecting again to video streams. Unless of course your 4G provider is blocking video streams too.

Other Computer Problems

There are many other computer problems that can affect Kodi, directly or indirectly. Since Kodi is software, most problems you encounter will be software and connectivity based. If however yu have a problem with your hardware, maybe you have a problem with your screen or your laptop trackpad isn’t working, then you may need to send your laptop in to a laptop repair service.

When you send your laptop in to be repaired, the electronics engineer working on it will inspect the condition of the electronics inside to asses the possibility of a fix. Parts are then replaced (or repaired if possible) to restore your PC’s full functionality.

 

How To Bypass Sky Broadband Shield in 2019

Let me guess, you’re here because you want to know how to bypass the Sky Broadband Shield. Right?
Well, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get around the block which looks like the image below:

Unblock Sky Broadband Shield

If the message says ‘Access Blocked’ with a mention of a court order, then you’ll want to read our Kodi Not Working on Sky Broadband article which discusses that topic in detail.

What Is Sky Broadband Shield?

Sky, the broadband internet provider have a network-wide content filter. In plain English, that means that if you’re using a Sky internet connection and the content filter is enabled, you will be blocked from accessing adult content.

This filter is disabled by default but can be set to various sensitivity levels. You may be blocked from watching porn, or if it’s on strict mode, you may not even be able to access many social media sites or forums.

How Does It Work?

When your computer (or other devices) tries to access a website, it uses a service called DNS to turn the web address (www.examplecom) into a numeric address, called an IP address.

Sky’s filter intercepts this request, so instead of giving your device the address of the server hosting the website, it sends it’s own address, sending your web browser to the dreaded block page.

How Can I Bypass Sky Broadband Sheild on Windows 10?

The trick is to tell your computer to use a different DNS service than the one provided by Sky. That way, Sky isn’t able to send an incorrect address as it’s not involved in the transaction!

To do this, we’ll go into the settings on the computer and set some static DNS entries. In this article, we’ll use Google’s public DNS servers, which are fast and completely unrestricted (as far as I am aware).

1. Navigate to settings

Navigate to settings

Click on Start, then click on the cog, to go to your computer’s settings.

2. Select ‘Network & Internet’

Select network and internet

Click on the ‘Network & Internet’ section. If you can’t see it, you can search for ‘network’ and it should appear.

3. Select ‘Change adapter options’

Change adapter options

Click on the ‘Change adapter options’ from the page that appears.

4. Right-click on the relevant network connection and select ‘Properties’

4 network properties

You may see a number of different connection here. The one pictured is my laptop’s Ethernet connection. If you have WiFi, your WiFi connection will have a green WiFi symbol on it. Right click on the relevant network and select ‘Properties’

5. Double-click on ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’

5 internet protocol version 4

If you can’t see ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ in the list, scroll down and it should be in there.

6. Enter new IP address into the ‘DNS server addresses’ section

6 dns ip addresses

Select the ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ option to enable the two DNS server boxes.

Then enter the following addresses, as in the screenshot above:

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4

Click ‘Ok’ to save your changes on this window and any others that are open.

Open up a web browser window and navigate to a website that was previously blocked. You should now be able to navigate to any website, completely unrestricted!

If there are any problems, you can always repeat the process and on the last step just select ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’. This reverts the change completely.

Other Methods

If for whatever reason you aren’t able to use the trick above, all is not lost. Here are some other suggestions.

Download and install TOR Browser

TOR (The Onion Router) Browser is a free web browser which is based on Firefox. It’s modified to automatically use public proxy servers in order to maintain your anonimity. It’s totally free and can be downloaded from here

Use a VPN

A VPN encrypts your web traffic to protect your privacy and prevent snooping by your ISP or other service providers. Another feature of any good VPN provider is that it provides in-build DNS services that are totally private.

VPNs normally cost a few pounds per month, but in my opinion, it is money well spent.

There is a wide range of VPN providers, but I recommend NordVPN. They are cheap, reliable and really easy to install and use.

Add the website addresses to your HOSTS file

If Windows finds an entry in your hosts file, it will use this to translate the website address into an IP address. This bypasses DNS entirely.

The first step is to get the IP address of the website. Just search Google for ‘website IP checker’ or use one of these I found:

  • http://www.ipvoid.com/find-website-ip/
  • https://ipinfo.info/html/ip_checker.php
  • https://www.site24x7.com/find-ip-address-of-web-site.html

Enter the domain name into the tool and it will provide you with it’s corresponding IP address.

Now you’ll need to open your HOSTS file (a system file used by Windows) and add it to that.

The HOSTS file is located at:

c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\HOSTS

You will need to open the file with Administrator privileges. To do this, I’d recommend finding Notepad in your Start menu (Start > Windows Accessories > Notepad), right-click on it, then select ‘Open as Administrator’. Your Notepad window will now have Administrator privileges, so when you open the HOSTS file from the File > Open menu, you will be able to save the file again.

Tip: If you’ve browsed to the directory but can’t see the HOSTS file, change the filetype dropdown to ‘All Files’.

When you’ve successfully opened the HOSTS file, add two new rows in the following format:

1.2.3.4 www.example.com

1.2.3.4 example.com

Your window should look like the screenshot below. Repeat the process for any other websites you’d like to access.

Editing Hosts File

Save the file and see if you can visit the website in your web browser. If not, try closing and re-opening the browser window first.

Use a web browser proxy

Sky have blocked many browser proxies, but new ones are being created all the time, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding ones that work. BEWARE: Do not log into anything sensitive using a public browser proxy. Everything you do can be logged and hijacked. They are considered high risk. This is my least recommended option.

To find public web browser proxies, try searching on Google for “web browser anonymous proxy” or similar.

Copyright © 2018. Created by Hayden Kibble.