To Tune-Up or To Not Tune-Up -- That is the Question

It seems the more miles traveled, the more often you need a tune-up -- the car gets checked regularly, the snowblower or the lawn mower gets tweaked before the next season, and even I seem to be getting more tune-ups on a regular basis!  But what about your computer -- when did it have it’s last check-up, and, at what point do you choose to move on and put the old dinosaur to rest?  (I’m talking about the computer!)

If you have a brand new desktop or laptop computer, you are in good shape -- it has the latest and greatest software, a lot of memory available, and it probably runs pretty fast.  But if you are from the “keep it until it dies or breaks” generation, your computer may not be running as fast or as smoothly as it once did, sound familiar? Some of the signs and symptoms your computer might be exhibiting include:

  • Longer startup times
  • Slow speeds
  • Loss of internet connection
  • Inability to use multiple programs simultaneously

Inability to use programs that have a lot of graphics.

There are some things you can do yourself, if you are not technologically-challenged, to improve performance.  This might include:

  • Uninstalling unnecessary software (like I would really know what is necessary and what isn’t)
  • Removing viruses, spyware, and other malware (again, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start)
  • Adding memory might help an older computer, but then you have to know if it has a 32-bit operating system or a 64-bit operating system (yep, here again, I am clueless!  And, by the way, what constitutes an older computer anyway - 1 year, 3 years, 5 years.  Technology is constantly changing!  I have been told that a computer more than 6 years old slows down the internet speed it is connected to while it tries to figure out how to operate.  I have files on my laptop that were created in 2010!  But I have digressed…..)

A computer set-up can be an expensive investment.   More importantly, you don’t want to run the risk of possibly losing important information such as photos, saved documents, music, etc. A regular tune-up can be done to inspect and clean your computer inside and out.  Recommendations can be made by the computer technician as to the benefit of adding memory and/or a hard-drive to improve performance.  

The bottom-line is three-fold:

  • My computer obviously needs a tune-up and maybe even a burial!
  • If performance can be improved, wouldn’t it be less costly than having to buy a new computer.
  • Wouldn’t you want it to be done by someone, other than me, with the technical expertise to do a full diagnosis?

Give our computer services technician a call today and be sure to mention the $5.00 discount on a tune-up, memory or hard-drive upgrade.

Internet Speed Sometimes Slow, Sometimes Fast -- What Can I Do?

Ever wonder why sometimes your internet speed is slow and other times it seems faster.  I always thought it had something to do with my internet service provider -- dang them!  Why couldn’t they provide consistently good service all the time?

A few months ago, I was listening in on one of the NGL Techs who was doing some troubleshooting with a customer over the phone.  The customer was having issues with slow speeds and intermittent internet connection issues.  As part of the troubleshooting process, the Tech asked questions about the number and type of devices in their home.  It turns out it was a family of four who all had their own cell phone, each had their own tablet or laptop, one hard-drive computer setup, and one television where they streamed Netflix -- ten devices that could potentially be accessing their internet service simultaneously!  I had never really thought about the number of devices impacting my internet speed…..and that’s when I had my “A-HA” moment!  

Let’s use the family of four scenario.  If there was one person streaming Netflix or Hulu (approximately 6 Mbps), another checking their emails (approximately 2 Mbps), and two people on-line surfing (about 2 Mbps each), they would be needing approximately 12 Mbps.  If this is a rare occurrence, then no big deal, but if this is an everyday situation, then you may need a larger internet package to meet your needs.

Other things to consider:

  1. If you have out-of-town visitors for long periods of time who want access to your internet for their cell-phones -- you would need to count these devices, as well.
  2. If your computer is more than 6 years old, it’s processing power slows your internet speed down while it tries to figure out how to operate.
  3. Subscribe to a package with a little higher speed than your actual needs. 

Ultra Package - 20 Mbps

Gamer Package - 15 Mbps

Streamer Package - 10 Mbps

Basic Package - 5 Mbps

As for me, after listening to that call, I went home that night and assessed our internet usage  -- there is only the two of us.  Sure enough, as soon as I walked in the door, my phone connected to our internet, and my husband was streaming his favorite show on Netflix AND checking his email on his laptop.  I knew immediately that if I even tried to get onto the internet via my laptop, it wasn’t going to be fast!

Moral of the Story:  Too many devices spoil the speed!  

For more information or if you need help with assessing your current usage, give us a call at NGL Connection, 307-288-5491.

An eBook Guide To Ransomware

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Click Here To View eBook

You've heard us throw around the term "malware" (or malicious software) before, but we've never really delved too deep into the different types of malware that are out in the world. That's all about to change, because this month, we'll be discussing one of the most dangerous and costly forms of malicious software- ransomware. 

2016 saw a significant rise in businesses and home internet users targeted by ransomware attacks. In this eBook, we'll discuss exactly what ransomware and the threat it poses, we'll take a look at it's key characteristics and how cyber criminals pick their targets, and finally we'll look into how you can protect yourself. 

This eBook is designed to give you, your family, friends, or your business an edge in the fight against malware, so don't hesitate to pass this information along by sharing it to your own social media accounts.