Goodbye Summer... Hello Fall

Splish Splash NGL's Water Bash

Every year NGL Connection throws a summer party for employees and their families. Our Event Committee decided that a water party would be a good theme to celebrate the end of the long hot summer. It was our first time as an Event Committee and our turnout was successful. We had great food and desserts catered from our local Smith's store. Some of us played volleyball while others enjoyed throwing the football. A few water gun feuds broke out during the party--kids against kids, adults against kids, and adults against adults. In the end our bellies were full and we were cooled off for the day.

For past Newsletters and more information about NGL Connection visit our website at www.nglconnection.com


Our Installers and Tower Crew

July 2018 - Movies at the Park.jpg


Chad and Trevor are always coming up with ways to make things run smoother for the company. Chad does our wire installations and has been working for NGL for about four years. He likes to hunt and be with his family. Trevor does our tower work and has been with us for a year and a half. He lives in Bridger Valley and one of his hobbies is building cars and participating in demolition derbies. They fix, build, and maintain everything in the Uinta, Bridger Valley and Rich County areas.

42586361_1805074459541500_369483142983057408_n.jpg
20729054_10211927908626339_7721053347107635887_o.jpg
Carol - Southwest Sublette Pioneers.jpg


Chuck has been working for NGL Connection for three years. He likes to hike and fly his drone. We enjoy many of his videos that he shares with us in the office. Chuck is one of our installers that takes care of the Big Piney and Kemmerer area along with the assistance of Carol. Carol has been with us for a year and she is our only woman installer. Just like most of us living in Wyoming, Carol loves to hunt and be outdoors.

We are very grateful for our hard working crew. Without them NGL would't be what it is.


Go RED DEVILS!

September 2018 - Proud to Support Red Devils FB Cover.jpg

What better way to show our support for the EHS Red Devils than to have a float in the Homecoming Parade. Next week will be the beginning of Spirit week and it will end with their annual Homecoming events. This year's theme is Disney Magic and on Friday everyone should wear red attire along with Mickey Mouse ears. The parade starts at 4:30 pm so get there early to grab a good spot. Bring your kids and don't forget to bring something to hold all the candy. NGL will be throwing our Red Devil Footballs along with our candy.

For more information about our Red Devils visit their Facebook page.


Scotty's Bits and Bytes

September 2018 - Scotty WY Downs.jpg


Here at NGL, we offer a multitude of services and products. These vary from our different, flexible internet services to a variety of computer protection services. Although our technicians all have different hobbies and opinions, they have come together to suggest a couple of services that they think will be of great interest.

For people looking for great internet quality, our technicians offered this package as their pick of the month:

Gamer Package! Its perfect for the small and mid-sized families looking to be active together or even online independently. Don’t just listen to me though, hear from some of my fellows at NGL!

From David Jones, our Network Lead: “Gamer Internet. This Package is a great value and allows multiple Netflix and video streams at once. I am running into more and more people that have their kids or spouses watching Youtube, Hulu, or Netflix on a phone or tablet when they want to be on and watch something else. This gives them the ability to easily do that with the added bonus of being able to download games at a decent speed all without breaking the bank.”

Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, I don’t use your internet”. Don’t worry, we have a recommendation for you as well:

Remote Monitoring and Managed Services, Ultimate! This is designed to give you peace of mind at home when using your laptop or desktop computer. As before, let’s hear from our friendly NGL fellows!

From Lupita Palma, our marketing guru: “Having the monitoring program allows us to see issues when they happen and our techs can fix those issues, as soon as possible!”

Or Garrett Biebinger, the computer guy himself: “For our customer's peace of mind, and to reduce computer-induced stress I highly recommend our Ultimate Protection plan. This offers premier virus protection, patch management, remote support, and one on one computer technical help.”

Scotty Heckert

T1-T2 Technician


Talk to us Today

307-288-5491

933 Main Street, Evanston WY, 82930

And They're Off... NGL at the Downs

Betting definitely takes things to a whole new level, it makes it all the more fun. As proud sponsors, we had the opportunity to spend a day at the race track. We enjoyed cold beverages, food, and gained a bit more knowledge on the process of betting. Most of us didn't have beginners luck on our side. Our co-worker, Renee, was able to win a couple of races and that encouraged us to make our own bets. We hope to go again and maybe next year we won't have to depend on luck to win.

For more information on the Wyoming Downs visit their website at wydowns.com.


Heritage Park, Lyman - Movies at the Park

July 2018 - Movies at the Park.jpg

Main Street Promotions is made up of various employees that work for the Downtown district that meet once a month. Working as a group we put together ideas and plan events to promote our Downtown area. We, at NGL, are lucky to be a part of something that is for the benefit of our community.

38841208_1654610091315340_8382988743962787840_n.jpg

This year we were able to host our first 'Get to Know your Neighbor Block Party'. There was music and dancing, games, hot dogs and cold drinks. We hope to make this an annual event for our Downtown businesses.

For more information about Main Street Promotions visit their Facebook page.


Small-Town Happenings

August 2018 - Cowboy Days Cover.jpg

Cowboy Days is one of Evanston's major annual events. It is held during Labor Day weekend. You will have non-stop entertainment, rodeos, a grand parade and plenty of other fun events to choose from for the entire family. Don't miss out on "The Biggest Little Rodeo in the World!"

For more information visit their website at www.evanstoncowboydays.com.


Customer Service Portal

business1.jpg

Finding ways to make life easier is something we can all agree on. By using our Customer Portal you will have 24/7 access to view your invoice and due date, account status, monthly data usage, and pay online. With our newest feature, you have the ability to create a ticket for one of our technicians. A technician will then contact you in a timely manner to assist you with your Internet needs.

If you have any questions about the Customer Portal, please call our office at(307) 288-5491 or visit our website at www.nglconnection.com.


Change is in the Air

NGL Connection has hit a major milestone and we are making some changes. This summer, NGL Connection will be upgrading to a new software system. What's even better? You as a customer will only see slight changes to the appearance of your monthly invoices and a more streamlined User Portal online. 

Our technicians are working hard to make sure this conversion is as smooth as possible. If you have any questions about the changes you will be seeing or anything else, give us a call at (307) 288-5491. You can also view our FAQ page for more information.


Main Street "Block Party"

June 2018 - Block Party Pic3.jpg

Main Street Promotions is made up of various employees that work for the Downtown district that meet once a month. Working as a group we put together ideas and plan events to promote our Downtown area. We, at NGL, are lucky to be a part of something that is for the benefit of our community.

June 2018 - Block Party Pic 2.jpg

This year we were able to host our first 'Get to Know your Neighbor Block Party'. There was music and dancing, games, hot dogs and cold drinks. We hope to make this an annual event for our Downtown businesses.

For more information about Main Street Promotions visit their Facebook page.


Fossilfest Galore

June 2018 - Fossilfest pic2.jpg
June 2018 - Fossilfest pic1.jpg

This year we wanted to be part of the different communities in the areas we serve. Kemmerer provides an annual two-day event in their Downtown,Triangle Park. Fossilfest is a family friendly event with activities for all ages. 

June 2018 - Fossilfest pic3.jpg

NGL was happy to be a sponsor. We were able to provide free WiFi throughout the park, thanks to our two installers that service Kemmerer. The food trucks had BBQ, Indian Tacos, and hamburgers. Other vendors had everything from homemade candles, jewelry to clothes.

We had a good time listening to the bands that played. One of my favorite parts was the Floating Lantern Release. Our lantern didn't do much floating as you can see in the bottom left picture. Next year we will get our lantern in the air and floating! 


Small-Town Happenings

July 2018 - Oyster Ridge Facebook Cover.jpg

Kemmerer also provides a completely free music festival that could cost hundreds to attend anywhere else. People from across the region travel to take a part of this historic event. Grab your family, friends, and a blanket to enjoy a weekend at the park.

For more information about Oyster Ridge click here.

Get your popcorn and snacks ready for movie nights! The Bridger Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts a Movies at the Park from June to the end of August. NGL will be sponsoring The Peanuts movie next Thursday. We will be there to hand out popcorn and raffle some goodie bags. We hope to see you there!

For more information visit the Bridger Valley Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.


Talk to us Today

307-288-5491

933 Main Street, Evanston WY, 82930


Memories Among the Clouds

Recently I had the honor of watching my mother get married. It was beautiful, her smile painted the room as they exchanged their “I do’s.” Experiences like this will forever be in my memories because we made certain we had photos and videos to last a lifetime. Even better, because of online social media, the family that couldn’t be present will be able to relive these moments time and again. 

We collect memories in the form of photos and videos for everything, graduations, weddings, birthdays and so much more. They are all very important. Being able to recover them in the event of disaster is even more important. We can be hit at a moment’s notice with events like viral infections, hard drive crashes and accidental deletions. It is important to have a back up waiting in the background should anything occur. Did you know some of us utilize these back ups without ever realizing it? 

Social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, is the perfect way to share files and photos with friends and family. These services also offer a quick and easy way to retrieve photos and videos. Everything you place on it stays there as long as you want it to. My mom shared her happiest moments using Facebook alone; this let her share those moments with my siblings outside of Wyoming. Giving my sister a way to live this moment with her.

Now what about your important documents?

Services such as Google Drive and Amazon Prime also offer systems for more than just photos. This provides us the ability to store documents and other files for retrieval later. As an aspiring writer, I rely on Google Drive to not only give me the tools to develop stories and files, but also to keep them safe. 

I’ve found that a piece I wrote years ago is probably unrecoverable because it was not saved to anything but an old computer no longer functioning. I spent weeks getting it written and all of that labor and work has been lost. Using Google Drive, I have been able to keep my most recent pieces at the stroke of a key. 

Don’t lose your memories, moments or greatest accomplishments to bad luck or dangerous programs. Keep your memories in the clouds using the web-based tools at your disposal. If you find yourself with further questions, give us a call at (307) 288-5491, our technicians will be happy to assist you in any way they can.
 

Our Protectors

As youngsters, we often frustrate our mothers. I know I did – I never took out the trash or washed the dishes.  Mom always had solid advice for me – like not to rough house with my Uncle’s puppy.  Of course, that advice fell on deaf ears. The end result was a cut lip and a bruised eye. Mom bandaged me up, gave me some ice for the swelling, and sent me on my way.  What would we do without Moms?

My father is a veteran from the Vietnam War. He served our country with courage, and I want to thank him for that. My Dad effectively prepared me for many aspects of life and always kept me feeling safe. He taught me to be cautious about who I trust. I have met many veterans in my lifetime, and every one has shared these common characteristics.  My Dad is my hero – he modeled strong character traits forme and I was fortunate enough to grab on to them. 

Moms and veterans are in the business of keeping households and our country running safely and smoothly.  My job at NGL Connection revolves around keeping your Internet connection operating at optimal efficiency.  I take great pride in my work as I like to provide solutions for your online troubles.  We also like to provide a safe and sound environment for your computers.  We employ computer wizards who specialize in addressing hardware problems in your home.  We provide this service two different ways – drop your device off at our shop at 933 Main Street, or partake in a program that lets us access your computer remotely.  The remote access is wonderful – we can fix a number of challenges by logging into your computer from our office, troubleshooting the problem, and repairing the issue. 

At NGL Connection, some of my teammates are mothers, while others are veterans who served our country proudly and courageously.  We provide services to many people who are mothers or veterans, or both.  It is important to us to embrace the incredible traits taught by Moms and veterans.  We strive to keep your computers safe, your personal information safe, and your Internet connection to your loved ones running smoothly.  If your Internet is giving you a headache, or your computer needs a bandaid, please call us.  We would love to chat with you about solutions to your technology challenges.  You can reach us on (307) 288-5491, or you can drop in to our store located at 933 Main Street in Evanston. 

To my wonderful Mom, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.  And to my heroic Dad, thanks for your service. 

Remote Monitoring

Avoid frustration with Remote Monitoring Management for your home computers

Lately, NGL Connection has been busy promoting our managed services for business. Our managed services provide business clients with the ability to keep their computer systems safe from cyber criminals, but did you know we do the same for your home computer?

Home computers face many of the same challenges with cybercrime as big businesses deal with daily. Your banking information and other important data can be compromised by just opening a link on an email.

NGL Connection offers security for the home computer user with our Apollo Packages. Our home remote monitoring services can give you peace of mind by taking proactive steps to keep your information secure.

With both our ultimate package and the premium package, you receive 24-monitoring and anti-virus protection. The basic package offers 24-hour monitoring of your computer.

Moving up to the ultimate package provides the added security of patch management, managed windows updates, an annual tune-up and virus related repairs. With the premium package, you get 50 percent off of labor for virus-related repairs and the basic package provides 15 percent off.

Customers with the ultimate package pay only $60 per hour for any onsite repairs while premium and basic customers pay $80 per hour, which is still a bargain.

The ultimate package costs only $20 per month, far less than two people going out for dinner. The premium package is $12 and the basic package is $8. You can save 10 percent when you sign up for one year’s service.

To get started, call NGL Connection and ask us about our Apollo Remote Monitoring services.

 

APRIL SPECIAL

10% OFF on Spring Cleaning

Your computer is just like your house, car or boat. It requires maintenance to ensure it continues to function efficiently. A little Spring Cleaning is just what the Computer Doctor ordered. Call and make an appointment to have your computer checked, clean any viruses and fix any issues you may have. Use this coupon and receive 10% off of your Spring Cleaning.

Call NGL Connection at 307-288-5491

 

Can't connect? Don't wait, call us today.

It’s frustrating to be logged onto the internet, working – or playing – and suddenly you lose your connection. With NGL’s Streamer package, losing connection in the middle of watching the latest episode of “Marvel’s The Defenders” can be upsetting. If you are using your computer for work, downtime can be costly.

So what should you do when you lose connection?

Your first thought might be to run through the neighborhood screaming “why, why, why me!” That would not be your best decision. Instead, stay calm, pick up the phone and call NGL Connection at 307-288-5491.

The technicians at NGL Connection are skilled, talented professionals who will work with you to resolve your problem. Calling NGL Connection first, instead of attempting to correct the problem yourself, will save you time and frustration. Our technicians will walk you through a step-by-step process that eliminates repeated steps. 

There are numerous reasons to lose your internet services and the professionals at NGL Connection have seen and dealt with nearly all of them. So don’t get angry or frustrated, call NGL Connection when you have a problem and get back online so you can finish binge watching “Longmire.”

Season of Giving Leads to Reflection

As we move into December and I reflect on our annual Season of Giving, it has caused me to think about the past year at NGL Connection. There have been many changes, most are a result of wanting to Give Back to our existing customers as well as to potential new customers in the outlying areas.  Some of those changes included:

  • Going from 18 Full-time Employees in January to 23 Employees in November (and it looks like we are not done with adding to our staff)
  • Purchase of the Kemmerer area to complete our link northward.
  • Acquiring additional office space and equipment to house our support services.
  • Upgrade of equipment & maintenance on 26 tower sites.
  • Restructuring our organization to better meet the needs of our customers, externally as well as internally.

Just looking at the list is exhausting!  And, of course, none of this happened without working through some major pain points.  That being said, we are grateful to those who have hung in there with us – customers and staff alike.  We could not have done it without you!

On the flip side, all this work has also allowed us to build better relationships.  As a company, we have the right people in the right seats, but hiring new staff and restructuring the organization does not come without a lot of training, practice, and, yes, a few mistakes along the way.  Externally, it has been a year of getting out to our service areas, talking to people, hearing their concerns, and finding ways to be more involved in their communities.  As a result, two major decisions were made:

1.     Our Season of Giving this year will be to give back to the Senior Center Meal Programs in all of our areas served.  It became apparent that we have meal programs in all of the areas that NGL Connection provides service and that there is a need for support.  Consequently, for every NGL Customer who pays their December invoice by the 20th of the month, $2 will be donated to the Senior Meal Programs in January 2018.  It will be divided equally between the 6 Senior Center Meal Programs in our service area.

2.     As we got out to all our service areas, the other “Aha” moment was when we realized we needed to be more involved in all our communities.  Consequently, it was decided that the theme for 2018 would be “Local Is As Local Does”.  It is our goal to focus on community events and happenings throughout the year on a monthly basis. (2017 theme was “Together We Can Do More” where we focused on local businesses and organizations every month but all were in the Evanston area.)

At NGL Connection, it has definitely been a crazy year – lots of changes, lots of growth.  That being said, we are so very excited to be able to Give Back to our entire service area.  As for 2018, if you know of a community event in your area this coming year, please give our Marketing Department a call at 307-288-5491, ext 712 or email us at marketing@nglconnection.com.

Avoid Becoming Just Another Statistic

According to the 2016 Statistic Brain Research Institute, 40% of all U.S. households have been affected by computer viruses.  To take it a step further, the estimated cost to U.S. households for viruses, spyware, and phishing is $4.55 billion – Holy Moly, who’s got that kind of cash!  

As much as we would like to believe this would never happen here in Cowboy Country, the truth of the matter is that every computer connected to the internet is susceptible.  And once your computer becomes corrupted, it just goes from bad to worse impacting productivity, causing frustration, perhaps data loss, and eventually, you may even need to buy a new computer.  Think about it in terms of your vehicle – you rotate the tires, change the oil, check other fluids, and, at the very least, clean it out from time to time.  You do all of this to keep that expensive investment running well as long as possible. Your computer is the same, otherwise it slows down and can’t keep up with all your needs and eventually becomes obsolete.

But what if you had “Computer Geeks on Call” and they could service your computer without you ever having to leave your home!  Low and behold, there is such a program which we call Remote Monitoring Management (RMM).  Let me tell you how it works:

1.    Software is installed on your computer by NGL Connection which notifies you and our tech support team about critical issues.

2.    If your computer experiences a problem, a small notification will automatically appear with information about how to contact NGL Connection.

3.    A built-in contact form allows you to contact us with any issues that you experience.

4.    Benefit:  You receive faster repairs, quick access to support and a higher quality of overall service.

I can sincerely attest to the value of our program as I do have this installed on my home computer.  The main reason I signed up for RMM is because I am the type of computer user who doesn’t care how the computer works nor am I willing to learn – I just want my computer to work all the time, every time.   Additionally, I never know when I get a request to download an update or an alert about a possible virus, what should I do…. Or not do.  NGL takes care of this for me and I don’t have to think about it.  Just recently, I had a pop-up say I had to reinstall some software; I wasn’t sure whether I should do it or not.  So, I sent a message on the contact form to NGL Connection (this was on Sunday).  The next day, they called me and said that they needed to remote into my computer so I followed their instruction which allowed them the access and the computer tech took it from there.  It was so easy!

Depending upon the package you choose, there are many other benefits, as well.  Additionally, as long as you have access to internet -- any internet service -- we can still reach you remotely and provide service.  Give our computer service department a call today at 307-288-5960, and they can answer all your questions as well as help you decide if this is the right product for you.

Your Router -- Is It Haunted or Dead?

In our “August Tech Talks” newsletter, we briefly touched on the life span of routers.  Upon further research, I realized that your router plays an integral role in quality internet service.  Your internet service could be just fine and yet you find yourself constantly having to reboot your router, having intermittent service and/or slow internet speeds. Consequently, I thought we should talk more about this topic.  That being said, what do you really know about your router (other than you should have one)?  

-- Routers have a lifespan of about 3 - 5 years.  It’s not that they necessarily die on you, it’s just that technology changes so much that your older router cannot keep up.  The older a router is, the harder time it has working through the “noise” as well as supporting multiple devices.

-- Routers have antennas -- some are on the outside while most have them on the inside.  So, how do you know if your antennas are bad?  For the most part it is trial and error but usually if you have a low signal even when you are relatively close to the router, that is a sign that they are bad.  Also, only the screw on external antennas are replaceable; internal antennas are not replaceable so you have to get a new router.  

-- Location, location, location. If your router is located far from your devices, your internet speed will not be optimal.  Also know that physical obstacles placed between the router and your devices, especially water and metal, can reduce internet speed.

-- Routers can either be single-band or dual-band.  Both have pros and cons so you need to do your research.  Some of the differences include:  

Single-band routers are usually less expensive than the dual-band.

Single-band routers broadcast on only one band whereas a dual-band has two network signals which is far less crowded and offers more channels.  This is extremely helpful for those who connect different devices during the same time ie. one person can stream Netflix while another can be on the internet on another device.

So, that is probably way more than what you ever wanted to know…. But my trouble-shooting buddies at NGL Connection keep telling me that knowledge is power.  Personally, I don’t need anymore power…. I just want it to work!  On that note, some easy trouble-shooting things you can do on your own:

1.  Always double-check cable connections - I know this sounds silly, but stuff happens -- kids, pets, etc.

2.  Reboot the router - disconnect completely from the power source for a full 10 seconds before plugging back in. (Personally, I do it for 20 seconds because I am of the opinion that more is better!)

3.  Clean the vents -- if your router is shutting itself down intermittently, for no apparent reason, it might be overheating.

4.  If your router’s ethernet cable is plugged into a PoE (a black box about the size of a deck of cards which goes to the antenna), make sure that the cable is not loose and the PoE has a light showing. If your PoE does not have a light, the problem could be that your PoE is not getting power for some reason.  You may want to check the power source.

5.  Last but not least, consider leasing an Eclipse Access Device from NGL -- this is a router that we can monitor, maintain, and remotely access, if necessary.  Additionally, when there is a firmware update for this equipment, it will automatically occur via NGL Connection so you will never have to worry about whether or not your router is up-to-date.

If you should have additional questions or are interested in leasing our Eclipse Access Device, feel free to give us a call at 307-288-5491.  Our Customer Support staff is always happy to help! Also, if you are not receiving our monthly “Tech Talks” and would like to, you can subscribe by going to our website at www.nglconnection.com or our NGL Connection Facebook page.

Spread Your Wings and Fly Away

During my recent and random on-line reading, I came across this -- "…1. Irritating old people who come down to Florida from Northern states, drive like maniacs, and should be illegal.  2. Disgusting old people from northern states who wear speedos on our beaches.  God help us all….”

According to the Urban Dictionary, that's the definition of a Snowbird.  I am pretty close to snowbird age myself, but this just made me laugh!  I really don’t care how they define a Snowbird, I want to be one!  Further reading revealed there really is such a thing as a Snowbird – Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “…a widespread and variable junco with gray or brown upper parts and a white belly….” – who knew?

So, you may be asking, “How does this apply to my wireless internet?”  Since you asked....   If you are a Snowbird -- or even if you need to take a break from your internet service for an extended period of time – at NGL Connection, you can!  I mean, why pay for internet service that you are not using, right?  There are a few things you need to know:

1.     Call us in advance of leaving so that we can schedule your turn off date.

2.    If you are renting an Eclipse Access Device (EAD) from us, you have two options:

a.     Pay $2.00/month to keep your device hooked up.  This can be paid prior to your leaving.  The benefit of leaving it in place is that if there are any firmware updates that occur in your absence, your device will be automatically updated.  You just need to remember to leave your device as well as your antenna plugged in so the updates can occur.  Plus, it is one less thing to worry about as you prepare for your trek southward.

b.     OR - unplug your EAD and return it to NGL Connection and there will be no charge.

3.    Should you need to extend your time away from our blustery Wyoming winter, please give us a call and let us know.  We will update your account with the new return date.

And that is all there is to it!  If you want to take advantage of our Seasonal or Voluntary Suspension, just give us a call at 307-288-5491.  And, while you sit on your patio, sipping on your glass of chardonnay (or sparkling water), be sure and think of me sitting here in snow up to my-you-know-what counting the days until I get to be a Snowbird too! 

Does Your Computer Play Nice with Others

Last month I went out and bought myself a whole new computer set up – new screen, computer tower, keyboard, wireless printer (which I already had), wireless adapter  – I bought the works!  I took it all home and could hardly wait to get it all put together.  I was all set up, but it didn’t work!  Not really - afterall, I do work at NGL Connection so I do have connections!  But what if you don’t work here…. or, you don’t have a child or grandchild who lives nearby to get you hooked up?  (We all know they can do this stuff with their eyes closed!)    Maybe you have a business with 3 or 4 computers, 2 printers, a fax machine, a scanner, etc. – now the set-up becomes even more complicated.  

Simply put, a computer network is nothing more than a bunch of equipment connected wirelessly or by cables so that they talk to each other.  The network can be as small as my set-up at home (a one-person network) or as large as the one at NGL Connection where we have 23 employees all with their own computer set-up connected to each other as well as to printers, scanners, servers, etc.

Just a few things to think about:

1.      If you are adding on to an existing set-up, are you adding on brand new equipment to older equipment?  For example, I had a 7+ year old lap top and bought a brand new wireless printer.  I could never make the printer work wirelessly and had to get a cable for it because my printer could not speak to the router.  (Speaking of routers, how old is your router – they do have a life span and unfortunately, do not last forever! Their average lifespan is about 3 years -- not because they break, but more because technology changes that fast!)

2.     Often times the size of the network will determine how you connect your network.  Wireless connections are very common for home set-ups whereas wired connections are often more widely used in businesses.  Additionally, the bigger your network the more extra parts you are going to need to make it all run efficiently.

3.     Maybe at your home each family member has their own lap top, but only one is connected to the printer….. do you just use the one lap top to print things from?  You can connect all the laptops to the one printer.  (Of course, I don’t know how to do it, but I know people who do!)

4.     You work in an office with 4 computers, 2 printers, a scanner, a fax machine… and now you need a server to make sure they are all talking to each other.  I am not going to even pretend to know what you should do next, but I do know that you basically have three options:  become an expert (in all your spare time) as a computer networking  tech OR hire an IT person and pay their salary, benefits, taxes OR contract with NGL Connection for your own IT expert at a minimal monthly fee.

Computers are useful tools that mean different things to different people.  Some of us just want to do basic tasks and we couldn’t care less about how it works while others actually like modifying their computer set-up and are tech-savvy enough to make it happen.  Personally, I am in the first group of people and fortunately have access to computer geeks (I say that affectionately) to assist me when I want to change something in my network at home.  No matter what your needs, give us a call today at 307-288-5491.

 

Those Were The Days!

Those were the days when you got a new Easter bonnet and all gussied up in your favorite dress to go to Sunday school.  These little girls are all grown up now, but their picture lives on as a memory in my computer along with a lot of other family photographs, holiday gatherings, and special events.  I used to put them in hard bound albums, but now it has become so easy to store these keepsakes on computers, in external hard drives, on phones or even on a USB flash drive.  

We keep so much information electronically, ranging from business-critical documents, such as Quickbooks and Outlook files, to treasured photographs, videos, term papers, music, etc. Unfortunately, all of this can be lost in an instant and there are dozens of things that can cause it:  virus attacks, accidental reformats, hitting the wrong key, or even spilled coffee!  No matter who, what or how it occurs, the result is the same.  We go into panic mode -- but thanks to data recovery, all may not be lost!

 To start with, data recovery can be put into two categories:

  • Logical Problems:  your hard drive is working perfectly, but, for some unknown reason, you have deleted files, formatted your drive, and/or lost data.  (Side note: Just because you delete a file and empty your recycle bin, you may think that your file is gone forever…. That is not the case and there is a good chance your file can be recovered.)
  • Physical Problems: your hard drive and some mechanical or electrical components of the drive no longer work -- maybe your computer has been in a fire or a flood.  (In my case, it was spilled coffee all over my laptop keyboard.)                                                

The good news -- no matter what the problem, often times the data can be recovered.

 So, what causes data loss?

Deleted Data: Files can be deleted on purpose or by accident -- no matter the reason, they can be found (even if you have already emptied your Recycle Bin.)

Corrupted Data: Your files can be corrupted in a variety of ways -- these too can be recovered.

Dropped External Hard Drives: These are portable devices and are fragile -- if dropped, it can compromise data.

Power Loss/Electrical Surges: Both situations can cause unexpected data losses.

And there are many other situations that can cause data loss, but I think you get the picture!  

If you find yourself in any of these situations, don’t despair -- there are steps you can take to try to recover your data.  

  1. There are software applications out there for data recovery.  Should you choose to go this route and download an application from the internet, you need to make sure it is from a trusted source.  An untrusted source could destroy deleted data and/or change the contents of the drive.  
  2. Contact your friendly computer technician at NGL Connection.  They can run a diagnostic on your computer to determine the issues impacting your data before any work is done.  (Trust me, I know -- I have had to do this more than once.)
  3. If the damage is minimal, the work can be done in-house and an estimate would be provided to you.  If there is major damage and we are not able to recover data, you can opt to have your computer service technician send your computer out to a data recovery specialist.

 So there you have it! Hopefully, you found this information helpful, and maybe even a little relief. You do have options and you don’t have to hit the panic button the next time you accidentally hit “delete”.

 

How's Your Line of Sight?

Oh My Goodness -- I thought winter would never leave!  Spring has finally sprung -- the grass is green again, the flowers are in bloom, and my allergies are running full throttle -- okay, that part is not so good, but I do love Spring and Summer in Evanston, Wyoming.  Unfortunately, this time of year can also impact your internet service by obstructing the wireless signal at your home.  

Installers generally refer to the path from your antenna to the tower as “The Line of Sight”. This pathway must be unobstructed for wireless signals to be transmitted from one device to the other.  It pretty much works along the same lines as when you point  a remote control directly at your television to change the channels.   There is also a  “Fresnel Zone” which can impact the internet signal, as well.  Think of this as the area directly above and below the line of sight.  Reflections from objects within this area can also decrease signal power.

Let’s look at a few scenarios.

Scenario #1:  Your internet service in the late Fall and Winter is pretty decent (except when there is an ice or wind storm), but every Spring and Summer, your service is “hit and miss”.  It could be due to the leaves (which are full of water) that are now on the trees.  This can cause interference with the line of sight from the tower to your antenna.  And then, if the wind blows, even if the trees are not in the line of sight, they could be blowing in and out of the fresnel zone which can impact your internet signal.

Scenario #2:  My service is fine until I have friends and family come visit for an extended period of time.  If they are coming from afar, are they arriving in a large RV which they park in an area that blocks your antenna?  This creates an obstruction between your antenna and the tower and you may need to move the RV to another area.  (And, as mentioned in a previous blog, if all those friends and family are connecting up to your wi-fi while visiting, that may also slow the internet speed at your house due to the number of devices.)

Scenario #3:  I used to have great internet service, but lately it doesn’t seem to connect as well.  If you live in an area where the wind continually blows, your antenna may have moved and is no longer pointing toward the tower.  If you think that this might be the case, give us a call.  One of our techs can do some troubleshooting, and if need be, have an installer come out to re -aim the antenna for you.

Now that I have pretty much exhausted my wealth of knowledge, my parting words of wisdom: When you get the urge to plant some trees this summer, be cautious where you dig the hole -- those trees are going to grow up one of these days!  If you have additional questions and/or concerns, please give us a call at 307-288-5491.

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

closed-book-clipart-3.png

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.