Securing your devices using DNS

We have long wondered why some of the more harmful webpages are not blocked more easily using DNS, and we finally found a system that does it for us. Securing your devices using DNS may sound like an odd concept, but read on to find out more. You can now improve your Internet Security & Privacy In a Few Easy Steps

dns9.quad9.net is a great free service that blocks many bad things from talking to your computers and other devices. Alot of the viruses people get come from either webpages or email and use DNS to talk to their command and control (C&C) server(s). Quad9 provides Internet Security & Privacy
In a Few Easy Steps

dns9.quad9.net will allow you to block all harmful webpages and many other things without you even being aware of it.

If your unsure what DNS is, its the Domain Name System. in other words, its the domain name of the site (such as securetech.com.au) which resolves into an IP address of “208.113.162.199”. which one is easier to remember?

Remove preinstalled window 10 apps for all users using powershell

We all need Remove preinstalled window 10 apps for all users at some point. We can do this using powershell. The list on this page is hard to keep current, but running the following code will give you a list of the names of your currently installed packages and you can remove what you think isn’t required. It is fairly easy to re-install if required, but we still advise caution.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Select Name

To remove the preinstalled windows 10 apps for all users using powershell, open powershell as Administrator, and paste the following.

#Be careful with the first line ... you may want to keep the windows store installed as alot of applications come through there now, rather than direct installs.
#Get-appxpackage -allusers windowsstore | install-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers xboxapp | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers 3dbuilder | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers zune | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers camera | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers solitaire | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers bing | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers getstarted | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers photos | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers alarms | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers skype | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers phone | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers maps | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers people | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers messaging | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers connectivity | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers communication | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -allusers candy | remove-appxpackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers office | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-appxpackage -AllUsers twitter | Remove-AppxPackage

If you didn’t actually read the above before copying and pasting (as we may or may not have done), you will need to re-install the store if you want it (which is likely):

Get-AppXPackage WindowsStore -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

To Add singular packages back in, use the following code

Get-appxpackage -allusers twitter | install-appxpackage

Powershell is an amazing thing that allows the reasonably knowledgeable person to do many functions easily which would normally require alot more time and or effort.

Microsoft also has a great resource on what apps are installed, system apps and if not on the list are therefore removable … Windows 10 – Apps – Windows Application Management | Microsoft Docs

Update 2021

The following list is one that I have found on a newly installed win10 machine and most of the problematic apps where removed. it should be noted that when i re-ran the list and found most of the apps still installed, so im working on a way to remove the likes of skype … good old microsoft, always doing what it thinks is right by us, despite being told to remove an app and actually showing it as removing, the app doesn’t remove … go figure.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.GetHelp | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsAlarms | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsCalculator | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsCamera | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsMaps | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsSoundRecorder | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.YourPhone | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers SpotifyAB.SpotifyMusic | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.XboxApp | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.MixedReality.Portal | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.Microsoft3DViewer | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.Getstarted | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.ZuneVideo | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.ZuneMusic | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.BingWeather | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.WindowsFeedbackHub | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.MicrosoftSolitaireCollection | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.MicrosoftStickyNotes | Remove-AppPackage
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.SkypeApp | Remove-AppPackage

How to replace Dropbox OneDrive or sugarsync with syncthing

If your sick of paying for synchronization software that is overpriced or your running out of space using a free account, Syncthing is one answer, particularly if you have computers in multiple locations or have a good friend or family member that is happy to share some HDD space and internet bandwidth to allow you to do offsite automatic backups.

We recently discovered SyncThing and have been very impressed with it’s features, functionality and security. If you have not yet heard of SyncThing, then you don’t know what your missing out on. It has many awesome features, a few of which are listed below.

  • Syncthing is an amazing free software that allows you to share folders between networked devices, such as laptops and mobile phones.
  • Syncthing has clients for windows, mac and linux computers
  • Syncthing has clients for android and apple ios (ipad, iphone, ipod) although the later has limited support.
  • Sycthing is secure.
  • Syncthing can be setup to sync in a mesh or spoke.