The Unspoken Hero or Silent Killer of your Business

In our busy internet influenced life we often don’t think too much about how being without our electronic stuff would be. Because of a recent electrical storm, I didn’t think too much about it. Until I thought about a nearby restaurant and wondered if they had a particular item on the menu, I immediately grabbed my tablet, turned it on, then it hit me, the power is out and there is no internet (duh!). Imagine this same scenario but this time we need to send an important document, a powerpoint presentation, or even a contract. But, instead of just the electricity being down we’re permanently down because our computers drive has just crashed.

The silent killer is definitely the outage, and not having access to our data. We depend on it, and it would destroy our business without it. Even for a short time I couldn’t last long without the internet.

Most of the time being a computer consultant I go about doing my regular tasks. These tasks are unseen by customers and occur on an ongoing basis, its just part of the job to spend so much time working with backups. Recently with my new “Managed Service” offering I changed my strategy because of the difference between a consultant that is called when things just break, and a true “Managed Service” provider.

There are several factors to consider when creating a good backup plan. What kind of business is involved? How long could this customer be without their files? How many days could they gap if they lost part of their information? If a ransomware attack occurred how are the backups stored? What if a tornado landed?

Computer Hardware

Certainly, the list can go on, but, taking the most important ones and developing the plan is what a good consultant and a “Managed Service” provider do. I just started implementing mock ransomware attacks on my managed service clients as an ongoing test to make 100% sure they are ready. Have concerns that when your network crashes you’re ready? Give me a call, I’ll be happy to offer a 68 point network review at no cost. In the Dallas / Ft. Worth area call 972-571-4808.

Time face
What was your time?

Should you want to see how long you could go without your network or internet connection, turn off or unplug your electronic devices and see how much time it takes you before you reach for one.

 

 

Computer Doesn’t Work Right After Adobe Update! What Gives!!

This is about the most exasperating problem that causes many of my customers problems. What happens is during an Adobe download or update (Acrobat (reader), Flash Player, and others) there is an additional download option to also install additional software. Sometimes it’s Google Chrome, sometimes it’s McAfee Security Scan Plus, and sometimes it’s both.

Yeah, so what’s the big deal?

Well, as you install software on your computer, you will somtimes receive a popup that the certain software requires that you allow it through your computers firewall. It will popup a box similar to the following…So, you click “Allow Access” and now that software can freely access any web-enabled features that it needs. Keep in mind, this could be any software on your computer that you have given special access to.

Here’s the deal…

By allowing (by default I might add) the download and install of “McAfee Security Scan Plus” it contains a firewall, and it doesn’t look at your current firewall settings, it just installs itself in front of it, with its “minimal” allowed configuration. What this does is disable many previous installed applications, and even your network, email, and many other programs.

Things just stop working

Yes they will. Don’t misunderstand, we need protection on our computers, and I think the goal of software vendors allowing other products to be downloaded with their updates is an effort for not only additional revenue, but help users safety. As an average computer user, we don’t see the unexpected consequences from what appears an innocent task, after all you just want your software updated.

What can I do, how can I fix it?

The most important thing you can do is pay attention to what your downloading. We often click “License agreements” and “Privacy polices” and honestly never read there 50 page content. Don’t assume that just because its a big company that they are looking out for your best interest. If you just did a software update and things are not working correctly check your firewall settings, check for any software installed that you didnt expect or don’t know about.

I’m here to help

If you are in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area, call me at 972.571.4808, I offer a $75.00 flat rate computer check-up.

 

My Notebook Won’t Connect to My New N750 Linksys Router or When You’re Not Holding All The Aces Your Holding The Bag

Holding All the Aces
My ever faithful US Robotics Router has been acting very intermittent lately, so it was time to replace it. After all, the servers that sit behind it run this site and some others and we can’t have those down. So, with a little research I ended up with a Linksys N750 (EA3500) router. Configuring the basic router functions went pretty easily, it did take a while to find where to input the virtual settings so the servers would get pass thru on the correct ports. But, all in all it went pretty well and those functions wouldn’t be used by a typical household.

UNTIL…. I went to configure my notebook to connect to the wireless part of the router.

Holding the Bag
After using the settings that came with the router for wireless access, my notebook asked for the pass code (as normal), I supplied it, but, unfortunately it wouldn’t connect. I thought it must be in that new fangled WPA2/WPA Mixed setting. After all it’s too simple to just supply the wireless password and everything would work right? right! After all the usual computer consulting trouble shooting, I changed the settings to the old standard WEP, still no dice. Linksys support website said to attempt the connection put in the password and you’ll connect, then asked “Was this information helpful?”.  But what if that doesn’t work? What now?

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This is where we have to think small, and start methodically. Here’s what to do:

  1. Unplug the Linksys Router, wait about 20 seconds and plug it back in. Wait for it to boot up completely.
  2. Restart the device (in my case my notebook) and attempt the connection.
  3. It Worked.

Amazing how much, just resetting clears the confusion in a device sometimes. So, next time before you make the call, check the connections, power down the devices and try one last time. BTW, there is an order to starting network devices and each one should be completely up before you move on to the next one, and they are: Modem, Router, Switch, Computer.

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