May 152015
 

Are you looking to expand the range of your wireless in your business or organization, due to poor wifi coverage in certain areas of your building?

Do you want to improve your security by adding HD cameras either indoors our outdoors that have the ability to not only capture video, but audio as well?

Imagine if you worked on a dairy farm and spent a lot of time across the farm in other buildings, working with cows, collecting an enormous amount of statistical data on paper, just to have to go back to the office and enter it all into the computer again. What if you had wifi access and could enter the data into a tablet which in turn would automatically update itself on your computer in the barn office?

What if you owned an auto dealership. Your sales person is talking with a potential customer. You overhear them saying, “That’s a good question, but I need to go to my computer and look that up for you. Wait right here while I go get that information.” As they walk away, the excitement in the prospects eyes begins to dim as the minutes tick away. What if the sales person could look up the required information right on the spot with their tablet or laptop instead…..so they can close the sale?

What if your home is just large enough that your wireless signal from your router just doesn’t quite make it far enough to the other end of the house where you like to sit with your laptop while watching TV?

What if you not only wanted to provide password protected wifi access to your employees for sharing information and printing, but you also wanted separate public access for your visitors just so they can get on the internet?

Ubiquiti-Unifi

We have recently been testing out a line of high-powered access points, security cameras, and other related products with some of our customers with great success using UniFi from Ubiquity Networks. They have a large variety of routers, access points, antennas, security cameras, and more. They offer centralized management through a web-based control console. You can manage hundereds or even thousands of devices at a time through your console so it makes implementing and managing a large number of devices a breeze.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION!

Feb 022015
 

We have had a proliferation of customers recently who have come to us with their computers infected by a form of cryptographic virus. The virus is usually known by one of two name: CryptoLocker or CryptoWall.  Although, there are other variations. They have also been lumped into the category of “RansomWare” due to how the viruses are implemented on a user’s computer.

While most viruses try to attack Windows operating system files, this particularly nasty virus goes directly for the user’s data. MS Office documents, PDF files, ZIP files, photos, videos, and more. It compresses your data with a high level encryption algorithm. It cannot be hacked, unlocked, etc. without the decryption key and a special decryptor issued by the ransomer.

You will know if you are infected if you suddenly cannot open your data, but you find an unusual file on your desktop (or in the root of each data folder that is infected). When you open the file a window pops up telling you your data is being held for ransom. You must pay $500 to decrypt your data. If you don’t respond within XX number of days, it goes up to $1000. If you don’t respond within XX days after that, they will delete your data.

Unfortunately, once you are infected the only way around it is to “pay the piper”. However, the good news is, there are ways to protect yourself.

 

The first is to make sure you have a good antivirus product that protects against this kind of virus. We recommend Webroot Endpoint!

The second is to make sure you have a good backup plan in place. We recommend a cloud-based backup service that gets a copy of your data off-site. If you currently use local backups (ie. external hard drives, flash drives, etc) they can be infected along with the rest of your data. A cloud backup service ensures that if you get infected, once your system is refreshed, you will be able to recover your data from before the time of infection. We recommend Carbonite!

Home & Business Computer Services is a Webroot and Carbonite Partner! We would be happy to help you secure your critical data! Call us today for more information!

Apr 282014
 

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Fox Valley Lutheran High School is hosting an electronics recycling drive on Friday April 24th from 2:30pm to 5:30pm and Saturday April 25th from 8am to 11am.

Items accepted include: TV’s, monitors, printers, copiers, computers and peripherals, VCR/DVD/CD players and other home entertainment equipment, and microwaves.

Items NOT accepted are large home appliances, appliances w/coolant, and gas operated tools and/or appliances.

Donations can be taken to the loading dock on the north side of the building. Students will be available to help you unload your items.

 

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Feb 042014
 

On April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP will no longer be available. Don’t let your PC go unprotected!

What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for them, along with their hardware and software partners, to invest their resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that they can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

 

How do I stay protected?

Buy a new PC
There are a variety of new computer options available from a variety of sources. Most of your local retailers, both local and online, sell computer systems pre-installed with Windows 8, the latest version of the Microsoft operating system. However, many of our customers find this operating system to be uncomfortable to learn and use. They feel it is not intuitive and hard to find the things they need to work.

Home & Business Computer Services is one of the few places in the Fox Valley area that still sells systems with Windows 7.  You can get a brand new or factory certified refurbished, fully warrantied, Dell computer system at a great price! When you buy a new computer from Home & Business Computer Services, as part of your purchase experience, we will transfer data from your old computer system and install any of your existing software programs at no additional cost!! You will also receive a selection of great industry leading productivity software to get you started with your new computer. This includes programs for zip compression, disc burning, movie player, office suite, antivirus/antimalware, and more.

Refurbish your old PC with a more advanced operating system
Many people consider upgrading their old Windows XP machine. However, most machines of this age cannot efficiently support the demanding system requirements of Windows 7 or Windows 8. This is where the power of open source software comes in!

For a fee, we can replace your retiring Windows XP operating system with a more advanced operating sytem like Linux! We work with two of the industry leading versions of Linux (Ubuntu & Linux Mint) to bring you a fast, secure, stable operating system that is also FREE! Not only is the operating system and all it’s future versions free, but most of the software you get for it is free as well. You simply download what you need from an online repository and start working! Your new Linux installation will come pre-loaded with all kinds of useful programs to help you get productive from the moment you turn on your computer.

Linux is available for both refurbished and new computers purchased from Home & Business Computer Services. If interested, ask us for more information.