Winter Is Here!
As I write this, the temperature outside is -17 and it's 2PM! Since you all are undoubtedly at home trying to stay warm and busy, I hope this newsletter will provide you with some interesting reading and a diversion from the frigid weather.
In the last issue (#1) I discussed the importance of backing up the data on your computers, with an emphasis on local storage. But what happens if theft, fire, or another "act of God" renders those backups unavailable? The most effective backup plans include both on-site and off-site ("Cloud") copies of data, and the most effective Cloud solutions allow for automatic backups and version control. I can recommend two Cloud providers: Carbonite and Google One. They both are easy to use, automatically back up data, and allow for retrieval of older versions of documents/data.
Carbonite is the more integrated of the two, with the backup software and storage service tightly linked. Pricing begins at $6/month/computer, and increases with additional functionality. Once installed Carbonite continuously backs up files, making loss of data unlikely. They keep the last three versions of each file indefinitely, and even more versions for the most recent 90 days.
Google One (sometimes referred to as Google Drive) presents a more affordable option, with 100GB of storage available for just $1.99/month and 200GB for $2.99/month. They also offer 15GB of storage for free. Google offers free companion software, "Backup And Sync", to make regular backups of your data as well as synchronize files/folders. This separation of storage and software allows you to share storage across multiple computers. Google One keeps the last 30 days or 100 revisions of a file, whichever is less.
I've found both services to be reliable and easy to use, and both have Windows and Mac compatibility. Contact PC Publican to discuss which is a better fit for your home or business.
Wireless routers are a piece of equipment that when operating properly most people forget they even own. In today's highly connected business or home, however, when they fail it causes no end of problems. I see two typical "failure" modes in most routers: lack of stable connection and insufficient bandwidth (speed). Both can be minimized with the right choice of equipment.
A home or (small) business may be well served by a single router. A larger home or typical business will need a wireless "mesh," which is a set of routers working together to provide seamless coverage. PC Publican can perform a site survey to help accurately determine what your wireless needs are.
If your router is older than 5 years it likely is using an older wireless standard (wireless-N or -G). Given that today's Internet service providers are regularly delivering 100+ Mbps download speeds it's possible your router is a bottleneck in your local network. PC Publican can assess the performance of your current network and help you decide whether equipment upgrades are needed, and if so, what the optimal solution looks like.
Windows 7 End Of Support
Windows 7 has been a workhorse operating system for Microsoft, and is objectively superior to its Windows 8/8.1 successors. Windows 10, however, is solid and Microsoft is actively building its ecosystem around it. This means that the current end-of-support date for Windows 7, January 14, 2020, is unlikely to change. After that date, computers with Windows 7 will no longer receive any patches or bug-fixes.
This doesn't mean that on January 15th, 2020 your Windows 7 computer will stop working. What it does mean is that it will begin a gradual decline in security and proper functioning (Windows XP owners know exactly what I'm talking about!). I recommend getting ahead of this curve and planning for a 2019 replacement of Windows 7 computers. PC Publican can help with the purchase of a replacement as well as the migration of your existing applications and data to the new computer.
Reviews & Referrals
Finally, if you have used our services in the past and were satisfied, please leave a review on Google and/or Yelp. If you weren't happy please call, e-mail, or text and let us know how we can do better.
Below are links to products I frequently use and recommend:
External Hard Drives
Cloud Storage Providers