Archive for 'Computer Repair'

As experienced computer technicians, we have a lot of experience surrounding the old topic of virus removal (now more frequently referred to as malware: malicious software), and have assisted thousands of customers since 2002 with malware removal from both home and business level computer users.

Virus Removal in Boston

Virus Removal

We get calls and emails daily regarding computer viruses from troubled individuals that want to know what they can do to remove the virus(es) and spyware, or better put, malware (malicious software) from their computer. Our initial reaction is always to ensure their immediate security, so we ask them questions like:

“Is your machine powered on and are you connected to the internet?”

–>We ask this to ensure that the virus is not transmitting their personal data back to its host (the hacker that wrote the malware application). If so, we ask them to at least disable their internet connection by unplugging their Ethernet cable from either their PC or the Router, and if, god forbid, they are still using dial-up, then disconnect the phone line from their PC. This precautionary action will terminate their connection to the internet and cease any possible communication between the virus/malware and their host.

“What are you running for security software? If yes, is it a free version or paid version, and is your license current?” (e.g. anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc. software such as AVG, Norton, Avast, Panda, McAfee, CA, etc.)

–> This helps us determine how badly their machine is infected. Let’s face it, none of these security software are infallible, but we try to put our best foot forward when protecting our networks, data and PC’s. If they tell us that they are not running any security software or it has expired, we know, right off the bat, that the machine is swimming with many viruses.

“Are you able to get online?”

–> This helps us determine whether or not a remote session would even be possible, or do we need to physically possess the computer to conduct a proper virus removal. It also helps us determine how badly the viruses have infiltrated the computer.

Computer Virus Removal

Computer Virus Removal

A PROPER virus removal….hmm…that brings us to the theme of this blog post. Every kid out there with a screw driver and a computer that thinks they know even a little about computer repair, is on the web advertising his or her services (mostly on Craigslist.com and Google/Yahoo & Bing Maps since it is free to advertise there) claiming that they are some kind of expert: BUYERS BEWARE!

  • They undercut the market since they do not have any company overhead such as insurance payments and in many cases personal and/or commercial rent/utilities, etc.
  • They don’t have any technical certifications and/or very little field experience beyond their own PC’s
  • Most of which are still in high school or just barely graduated (if they graduated at all), and even more have zero college or formal education, and definitely no technical training.
  • They don’t carry any sort of insurance, so when they botch the job and lose all your data you as a consumer have zero recourse.
  • Most importantly: They don’t truly understand Virus Removal and how to do it correctly!
Buyer's Beware

Buyer’s Beware

We as a company are constantly interviewing technicians and looking for the best of the best technicians. As such, we have a pretty steady flow of resumes coming in through our IT Jobs recruitment. and we personally review each and every one of these resumes – most of which get tossed out. Occasionally we do receive resumes that look promising and merit at least an initial investigatory phone call – which I myself place. When conducting these initial interview calls, we begin to drill down on the technical aspects of computer repair and networking as a start to begin to judge what the candidates’ true technical knowledge and experience are, and one of the first topics we discuss is virus removal.

10 times out of 10, the candidate will state that they really understand virus removal and it is no problem for them. Then, as the conversation continues, and we ask them to walk us through a typical virus removal process and we discover about 9.5 times out of 10 that the candidate really doesn’t get how to do a simple, or a complex (or thorough) virus removal. It is not as simple as most people think. Typically unless someone has been trained by a technician who really knows what they are doing, they themselves really don’t know the proper tools to use, or how to use them correctly (e.g. the anti-virus software that really work, how to effectively use a hard drive adapter kit so you don’t boot into windows but can read the drive and run virus scans, how to use Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking effectively to ensure success, etc.)

Even more importantly, most don’t get that we first and foremost have to be concerned with any sensitive data on the customer’s hard drive as a priority to recover, and then worry about the virus removal process. For most customers the data on their hard drive is a priority. As such, we always prioritize the data recovery and include questions surrounding this topic in our list of questions when we are “getting our arms around” the problem initially.

Lastly, most techs out there will only run one (or perhaps) two anti-virus applications on a computer, find some viruses, remove them, and then think they are all done – when in fact, they have only removed a minority of the malware on the hard drive and most likely still have some remnants of the malware, which are most likely to return in some fashion. These are the techs that will tell you they can do a virus removal in an hour or two. To truly do a thorough cleaning of a hard drive the proper way, you must run at least 4+ applications on your hard drive – which brings me back to the point that to do a proper virus removal takes anywhere from at least 3 hours, to as long as 24 hours depending on the depth of infection, how many files are on the hard drive and how powerful the machine is from a hardware standpoint.

We also recommend running a registry cleaner software such as RegCure to help optimize your PC’s performance and cut down on possible registry errors.

Feel free to call us to answer any questions you have – no obligation for free advice: 1-866-417-3945. It is our goal to help you achieve the peace of mind over your computer system, and the computer services company that assists you with your home or business IT infrastructure.

Technology to Relax

Technology to Relax…

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People new to wireless computing often confuse WiFi technology with cellular phone technology. The wireless capability built-into laptops is known as WiFi, and is defined by the IEEE standard for networking,

Wireless Networking Services

Wireless Networking Services

(802.11b/g/n and sometimes y), where “b” is an older, slower standard, and “g” is the most widely used. Faster and more powerful versions, “n” and “y” have been defined for some time but were only implemented in laptop hardware very recently. WiFi technology relies on low power transceivers built-into both the laptop and the modem/router that brings high speed Internet into your home or workplace. WiFi may also be transmitted through stand-alone routers or repeaters (access points) that are hard wired to a high speed network. The range of the current WiFi networks is very low, on the order 100ft (30m) within a structure, depending on the construction, and not more than a few hundred feet (100m) in the open air.

Not surprisingly, the first problem most new laptop owners encounter with trying to connect to a wireless network is that their WiFi has inadvertently been switched off. The next most common problem is that the signal strength is too weak to hold a connection. This can be extremely confusing if the network is working fine for a person sitting at the next table, but that laptop might have a more sensitive receiver, be set in just the right location, or even be accessing a different network. When you’re troubleshooting a wireless connection, it makes sense to get as close to the router as you can, certainly in the same room if it’s in your own home, so you can eliminate signal strength as a possible issue.

If you are facing any wireless connectivity issue feel free to contact your trusted nationwide IT services provider for any technical assistance

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National IT Services

National IT Services

Businesses these days rely on computers to make their day to day operations much easier; in most cases the computers is actually required for them to do all of their tasks. Because of their importance, and their costs, company computers must only be serviced and maintained by IT professionals. And, when it comes to National IT services, there are actually several options you can choose from: hiring a full-time IT expert, getting services on an “as per needed” basis, or opting for a managed service provider. You need to think carefully which one of the available IT options is the best for your company’s needs.

To help make your decision a bit easier, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each IT services options:

Hiring Permanent IT Personnel

One of the biggest benefits of having your own IT technician is that you do not have to wait long for repairs and maintenance since the technician is already in the company. The downside to having your own in-house computer technician is that you still have to pay him/her for downtime. Think about this; how many times in a month do any of your computers break down? If the number is quite low, then you might want to reconsider getting an IT expert on your company payroll; he/she won’t have too much to do around the office anyway.

“As per Need” Basis

This is when you only get the help of nationwide IT service professionals when your computers are in trouble. The great thing about this option is that you only need to pay for services rendered, which is actually cheaper than hiring a full time technician. On the other hand, if there is an urgent task that need to get done, you have to wait for the technicians to come to your aid, and sometimes they will not be able to respond to your request immediately because they have other tasks at hand.

Managed Service Providers

These services are a combination of the previous two options; they will offer you contracts (monthly, quarterly, or annual) and they will provide you services similar to having your own in-house IT experts. Although this kind of IT service is not as cheap as getting them on a “per need” basis, it does give almost the same kind of assurance as having a full-time technician.

You need to weigh the pros and the cons when choosing Nationwide IT services because there is actually no such thing as “the best one”, the best that you can do is find the one that is perfect for your particular needs.

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National IT Services

For companies operating in this day and age, it is of the utmost importance that they have in their employ at least one skilled IT professional; not only do they make sure that your computers are always in tip-top shape, they also ensure that the data within them are always kept safe from unauthorized access. Unfortunately, smaller companies like yours do not have the time or resources to go through all of the necessary hiring procedures. This is why national IT services are heaven-sent; now you can get quality IT personnel without all the usual hassles attached to them.

For one thing, you do not have to go through all the hardships of placing an ad in the newspapers and job hunting websites and then wait for the applicants to contact you. When you get the help of nationwide IT services you will immediately get a list of viable candidates. Most of the reliable IT service providers already have a deep pool of possible applicants for your company.

You also do not have to worry about screening the applicants yourself. If no one in your current staff is knowledgeable enough about IT to actually interview and screen eligible applicants, then it is best that you get in touch with an agency instead. With their help, you are almost guaranteed to get the best kind of IT professional your company needs; you do not have to worry about choosing an inept applicant because the agency will sift through the muck to find the gem. These companies make it their business to find the best IT personnel so you don’t have to.

Now, if you are not really looking for a permanent member of your staff, national IT services can still be of help. You can actually hire an IT professional for just a limited amount of time. If your company is still in the start-up stages, you may not have enough in your coffers to afford paying the salary of a computer technician or network administrator, then hiring one for three months at a time is perfect; not only will you get the kind of tech support your company needs, you will also save thousands of dollars.

The great thing about having a business these days is that you can use computers to make every aspect of your daily operations much easier. And with the help of IT services, you can also make sure that your very important computers are kept secure and in good working condition.

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Telecommunications Services

Although VoIP systems are all the rage nowadays, it is far from the perfect telecommunications solution for all businesses. This is not to say that your trusty old landline phone is any better, but it is better that you know about all of the shortcomings of VoIP phones so you do not run into any surprises later. Here you will find the most common problems that VoIP users run into so you will know what to expect once you change your company’s system.

Call Quality Depends On Connection Speed

If your company is still using dial-up (yes, there are still some companies who do use them) then you should probably not use VoIP. You will need at least a DSL connection to make full use of VoIP capabilities, anything slower and you will experience really bad call quality; it may have been better if you have stayed with your old landline. So before you sign up for VoIP telecommunications solutions, you better make sure that you will be upgrading your internet connection as well.

Expect Higher Electric Bills

When you change to VoIP you will be adding a considerable amount of hardware. You will need to install additional routers, switches, and not to mention phone units that you need to plug into the wall socket before you can use them. Now if your company will be using around a dozen separate phone lines then you should expect to see an increase in your monthly electric bill after you make the switch to VoIP; don’t worry too much though because you will be saving a considerable amount of money on phone calls in exchange.

Emergency Calling

As of now, not all VoIP providers offer emergency calls, or the very least, the emergency numbers are not “911”. Things are bound to change in the future, but until then it is better that you consult with your chosen telecommunications solutions provider about the emergency calling situation so you won’t be caught with your pants down whenever there is an emergency.

Yes, VoIP is the future of telecommunications, but it is not as flawless as most people think it is. To make sure that you will be making the right decision when choosing a service for your business or home, you need to take the issues mentioned above into consideration when discussing your plans with the different providers.

 

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