For your convenience, most common customer questions are answered right here.
Q: Which product do you recommend for Anti-Virus?
A: Most new computers come packaged with one anti-virus software or another and some of the common ones are from Symantec and McAfee. While there are numerous others that could be mentioned, I prefer a free license from Avast. Avast, a Czech technology company, has a suite of products that can protect your computer and as of 2015, Avast Anti-Virus was the most popular antivirus on the market, and it had the largest share of the market for antivirus applications. I can assist you with installing Avast, or any other anti-virus software that you prefer.
Q: Spyware, Malware, Adware… the list goes on… how do I protect myself?
A: The very first thing you should do after purchasing a new computer, is to set it up. I can assist you with that because most people want to turn on the power and just start using it. But the first step is to establish that line of protection and even with a reputable anti-virus software installed, some form of “something-ware” may get onto your computer. I have always used a product known as “Spybot – Search and Destroy” and it is a spyware and adware removal computer program compatible with Microsoft Windows 95 and later. It scans the computer hard drive and memory for malicious software. Spybot-S&D was written by the German software engineer Patrick Michael Kolla, and is distributed by Kolla’s Irish company Safer-Networking Limited.
Q: Someone mentioned that I should “defrag” my computer… what is that?
A: Fragmentation is easily explained by the entry in Wikipedia and you can read that article here. Although Microsoft bundles in a “defragmentation” program with Windows, I have always used a product from Auslogics. The program, “Auslogics Disk Defrag” is published by Auslogics Software Pty Ltd, an Australian-based company that specializes in maintenance software for computers that run the Microsoft Windows operating system. Started in 2008, the company gained recognition for its two most highly rated products – Auslogics BoostSpeed and Auslogics Disk Defrag. Auslogics Disk Defrag is a free software application for Microsoft Windows intended to defragment files and folders on a hard drive, consolidate free space and optimize file placement using different criteria.
Q: Do you recommend any backup solutions for me at home?
A: You can backup your important data with several methods. First it depends on how much data you have and whether or not you wish to spend some money. You can save data to DVD’s or CD’s, you can save data to an external hard drive or NAS (Network Area Storage), or you can get an automated method using an offline remote backup. The most common remote backup is through Carbonite. This involves downloading and installing software on your computer which automatically backs up your files to an offsite storage. There is an annual fee involved and Carbonite offers different plans for different needs. An initial backup can take a long time, but after it is complete, Carbonite only backs up files that have changed. You can also restore files from their offsite storage vault.
Q: How do you help me remotely?
A: Once you feel comfortable with me in supporting your computer needs, not every issue will require an onsite visit which would greatly cut down on costs for support. I use a product known as TeamViewer. TeamViewer is a popular piece of software used for Internet-based remote access and support. It can connect to any PC or server, so you can share your desktop with me and I can easily work with you as if we were sitting there together. It is a safe product to use and I cannot connect to your computer without your permission since a newly generated PIN code is required for each session. If you are a Windows 10 user, I can use the built-in Quick Assist to remotely assist you.
Q: My computer seems to be sluggish since I first bought it.
A: When you first started to use your computer, there is a minimal amount of “stuff” on the computer besides what came from the factory. Once you started to install software, browse the Internet or save data, your hard drive becomes fragmented. There is also a large amount of temporary files that never quite get cleaned up. And on top of that, if you install an antivirus program, each file that is read or written, is scanned for viruses. You have to perform some regular maintenance to keep the computer running smoothly. Tasks such as removing temporary files with a product such as CCleaner from Piriform followed by defragmentation of the hard drive, will improve performance.