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.