Enhance Internet Speed


Q. I live in an area that lacks access to cable or DSL service. As a result I’m limited to a dial-up telephone line for an Internet connection. And, of course, that means my transmission speeds are frustratingly slow. Is there something I can do to speed up that snail’s pace connection?

A. There are at least three things you can do. The most expensive—and the most effective of the three—is to engage a satellite service, which requires the installation of a roof-top disk antenna. While its monthly charge is about the same as the one for cable and DSL, the initial cost of the equipment and installation can be as high as $1,000. Also, heavy rain or snow can interfere with the satellite link, interrupting service.

A relatively new option—one that I’ve been using quite successfully this year since I, too, live in a rural location without cable or DSL access—is to subscribe to an accelerator service. Such a service compresses both incoming and outgoing Internet data, effectively speeding their transmission. For example, the service I use boosts my effective transmission rate (with a 56 K V.90 modem) from 28 kilobytes per second (kbps) without the service to as high as 173 kbps. Usually, though, the rate hovers around 75 kbps. The service rents for about $6 a month.

Also, if you use Word as your e-mail format, you can give a little extra boost to outgoing transmissions by filtering the attached graphics code (HTML) without changing the text or formatting. To make that adjustment in Word, click on Tools , Options , the General tab, E-mail Options and the General tab again. And then, under HTML filtering options , click on Medium .


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.