Why You Shouldn’t Let an Amateur Loose on Your Network?

Amateur Computer TechnicianMost of us know a fair amount about computers, even kids are soldering electronic circuits and doing programming courses in schools – but does that make everyone an IT guru? Most workplaces have an employee they can turn to for basic computer troubleshooting. Yes they have skills, but they often know just enough to be dangerous if let loose on your business network.

Casual IT skills are learned on home computers which are very different to a professional business setup. When something goes wrong on a home computer, there is no drastic impact if parts need to be replaced, data is lost or it stays down for a week or two. In a business setting, every problem costs time and money and can create a domino effect throughout the entire network. Would you gamble the success of your business with a non-professional who did a quick Google search? You wouldn’t let someone be your lawyer purely on the fact that they can deliver a good argument, nor would you let someone perform surgery just because they saw it in a video on YouTube! Businesses have unique, specialist IT needs that to go beyond amateur computer skills and there is always a lot more money and time at stake.

Designing a custom backup solution for your business is a particularly interesting area. While most home users skip this part entirely, an IT professional has seen (and recovered) all manner of situations and will use that knowledge to ensure that if the worst happens to your business, you are safe and the data can be recovered. This could mean anything from having a complete copy of your drive stored securely in the cloud or drilling down to backup only the most important data. An IT expert is equipped to help you identify the value in each piece of data and implement a plan so robust that if your business is ever hit by disaster or breach, downtime and any losses are kept to a minimum.

If a disaster ever does occur, like fire, flood or theft, would an amateur know what to do? Who to call? These situations are so charged with tension and panic and making a wrong moves can lead to more damage. A professional helps design continuity / disaster plans, which show exactly what should happen, who should do it and in what order. It takes out the guesswork during the mayhem when issues occur and minimizes downtime. Perhaps more importantly, the expertly written disaster plan will include a complete risk analysis so that you know in advance in what areas to strengthen your protection. It also includes a business analysis so you know which systems are dependent so you can stop the domino effect, plus know the legal / contractual & financial impacts and so on.

Your IT professional will also help ensure your business is meeting any regulatory requirements. Many businesses are subject to strict data rules set by the government. These regulations change often and demand increasingly more attention to data security, with hefty penalties for businesses that fall behind. Professionals are constantly in the loop around upcoming revisions and how to best comply with little to no disruption to your daily business. Part of ensuring your business is safe means staying on top of security, software updates and patching multiple computers at the same time.

The best option is to run the updates before employees arrive for the day, and since the process can take a few hours and be quite fiddly, it is generally not something amateurs will prioritize and thus they can tend to forget them. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with recent cyber-attacks, delaying a security update can lead to disaster. Engaging an IT professional is a cost-effective solution that keeps your business running, growing and earning.

Let the professionals manage your tech the right way by calling us at 08 8326 4364 or at support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Shopping for a New Computer?

New computer

It can be overwhelming when shopping for a new computer! Choosing the right computer comes with so many options and questions abound. Helpful sales people offer RAM as it were a side of fries, measuring CPU’s in terms of the amount of ‘cores’ they have, and the specs of the various machines look like a foreign language.

What we do is first ask what the computer will be used for and try not to include tricky language that only makes sense to other computer geeks, we simply find out what you do on your computer and then recommend systems that suite.

Then comes the real fun.

Once you’ve got that new machine out of the box, you have entered another world again:

  • Which cord goes where?
  • It doesn’t work like your old one!
  • Why is it doing that?
  • How to put my programs back on?
  • Does it come with security already loaded?
  • How do I get all my data copied across?

If you’ve had your old computer for a few years, you know you’re in for a bit of inconvenience, as you now have to install all your programs, alter the settings to match your needs and then copy across all the data – as well as learning all the ins and outs of the new system. We can assist you through this transition period and make it all so much easier by helping to:

1) Transferring your old files for you.

One thing most people forget is how to get information off your old computer and onto your new one. If your old computer is not working then things become really hard. Our technicians can either copy across all the data or turn the old hard drive into an external drive for you.

2) Set up your email.

It is no secret that setting up email can cause headaches even for a tech person. Getting the settings perfect can sometimes be a bit of trial and error. The most common problem we see is email that can receive, but not send. It is a frustrating problem, especially when you’re sending important emails. We can set your email up successfully, copy across you old emails, contacts, calendars and tasks and ensure that it both sends and receives email.

3) Save your website favorites.

All those favorites and bookmarks you’ve made and carefully sorted (or not) are important. You may even have different collections of favorites in different browsers and the last thing you want to do is go find those webpages again. We can transfer your old favorites and put them onto your new computer, making your browser experience look and feel exactly as it did before, only faster.

4) Set up your software.

Software nowadays doesn’t come on a CD. While that’s forward thinking and reducing waste, don’t you miss having a disk you could install from and the license keys listed on the back? We can help you re-download your programs and set up the licenses good as new. As technicians, we can also make sure the new software is optimized, updated and working well. While we’re doing that, we make sure your anti-virus is up-to-date and you are as secure as possible against threats.

5) Connect extra devices

Sometimes it is a matter of knowing what cord goes where or getting the right adapter, but sometimes new devices can present software driver problems. Printers, webcams, game controllers, etc all have unique drivers that need to be installed before they work properly. Windows 10 is great at picking most of these up automatically, but if they are not playing nice or your new computer is suddenly missing the correct plug, we can help get you connected again.

We can install your new computer, transfer data and setup your new computer in no time. Call us today at 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au to arrange a time.

IT vs Productivity – How You Can Win the Battle

Productivity & ITHow much time and productivity did you and your staff lose on computer problems over the last year? Without getting an analyst in to crunch each action and every number, you’ll never know how much money you could have earned in those lost hours. Right now, what you know for sure is that you didn’t go into business to be an IT expert, but suddenly there you are: battling servers, workstations, software, protections and permissions, all on a daily basis…managing all those things you don’t particularly care about, or understand more than you need to. Somehow, you ended up running an IT company plus your regular business.

It didn’t start that way. You got into business because you’re great at what you do. We can help you get back to doing what you’re really passionate about, and free up your time for revenue growth activities. Offload all those niggly It tasks sucking away your day to our Managed Service Provider (MSP) team.

Here are some examples of what we can take care of for you:

Software and security updates: If it seems like an update for something is always popping up, sending your employees away for yet another coffee break while it runs, you’re not far off. While it is great that software providers are continually improving their product, patching holes and reinforcing against threats, keeping up with them all can be incredibly time-consuming. Our MSP can handle all updates and patches keeping your employees focused on their business tasks.

Help desk: We can take care of all those “I don’t know how to”, “I think it’s broken” or “I need another” tech problems that can drive you crazy. You can simply circulate the new protocol – ask DP Computing – and watch how fast these small problems are solved, and your employees are back to work, more productive than ever.

Network management and security: The last thing you want is extended downtime due to a crashed server or a cyber-attack. Our monthly MSP plans works with you to balance security with your business’ necessary tasks and access, leaving you protected and operational. You’ll have staff set-up with the exact permissions they need, robust backup systems in place, and early warning when hardware/software is aging out.

Strategic IT planning: Why blow your IT budget putting out fires, buying incompatible systems or tech you simply don’t need? DP Computing can conduct strategic planning in line with your goals so you’re able to scale what you already have and schedule new expenses in time to meet projections.

The time you spend battling IT problems could be time you spend earning money, growing your business and moving strategically forward. Moving to a monthly managed service plan with DP Computing is easier than you might think. Simply let us know you’re ready to get back to the parts of your business you love and we’ll take the stresss of computing away from you.

Get managed services for your business. Call us at 08 8326 4364 or via email support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Bought a New Device? Here’s the Essential Tech Prep You Can’t Afford to Skip

New Device SetupIt is fun and exciting getting a new device. Sellers like to say that it is ready to use straight from the box – and it is – except not quite the way you need it to work. Yes they all turn on, connect to wifi, and sure, you may be able to browse websites but what about emails, printers, your line of business software, security programs, software updates etc etc. Taking the time now to prepare your new device will save you time, stress, and quite possibly money.

So before you jump in head first here are some of the things to be aware of:

Security Updates and Fixes

The device doesn’t usually come directly from the factory to your office, the device has been in the box for at least a month. In the world of technology a month is an eternity. During time on the shelf, new viruses have come out and new software weaknesses have been discovered. Fortunately, new updates to combat these problems have been released and need to be installed before you go browsing the Internet. We can make sure your device is up-to-date and set to auto update in the future. That way, you know your device is safe to go online.

Data Transfer From Old to New

We can help transfer your data from your old machine to the new one. This way all your important documents and emails are there ready for you to continue working.

Setting up Email and Software

Often email programs need special configurations and settings to connect properly. We find people can sometimes get stuck and not able to send emails or get access to all their old emails. We can get all your emails transferred & setup along with all your other line of business software.

Setting up Hardware

Do you need to print, scan or connect the device to another peripheral?  These tasks that should be plug-and-play but as you know with computers nothing is ever as easy as it sounds!  We can help get you set up, with everything tested and working.

 

Setting up the Network

While tapping in a wifi password is easy enough but it doesn’t mean your browsing is secure or even as fast as it could possibly be. There are also other settings like mapped drives and connections to cloud based services that all need to be setup and tested.

 

So if you have purchased a new device through us we will have done a number of these things before we deliver it and can help and assist with the other steps when onsite. If you are purchasing a new device yourselves it will pay to at least speak with your IT professional to make sure everything is compatible with your network and setup.

If you need more assistance we would love to help you out. Give us a call at 08 8326 4364 or email at support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Should I Buy a New Computer or Upgrade?

Upgrade or New?The age old question as to whether you upgrade or purchase a new computer and the answer usually depends on who you are actually asking! A store salesman will always recommend a new one and that geeky friend will probably say upgrade. Your best bet though is to talk with an experienced consultant or technician who should provide a few different options.

Start by looking at what you currently have and seeing if an upgrade is technically possible. For example, if your car is 30 years old and always having problems it is time to replace the rust-bucket! However, if your car is reasonably modern and in good shape but just happens to stall occasionally a quick trip to the mechanics will probably save you a lot of money over buying a new car. It is the same with a computer.

If your computer does need to be replaced, chances are you already know this. But if you’re not sure and some days it could go either way, these tips will help you decide.

Laptop / Desktop: What type of computer do you have? Generally desktops are much easier to upgrade over a laptop. Some laptops due to their small size can’t be easily upgraded so you may not have a choice.

Hard drive upgrade: New SSD’s (Solid State Drives) are super quick when compared to the traditional HDD’s (hard disk drives) and I highly recommend them on all computers to give them a significant speed boost. The main issue with SSD’s drives are they generally hold less information that a HDD but that is becoming less and less of an issue as prices drop.

Memory / RAM upgrade: Some cheap computers are underpowered from day 1 with most of them needing a memory boost. But depending on your usage even a great machine bought a few years ago could benefit from extra memory. Generally adding extra memory is a fairly straight forward task so speak with your IT consultant to see if it is worth adding some extra memory in your machine.

Video card upgrade: As time rolls on games and high end graphics applications are getting more and more demanding. The days of stick-figure animations are gone and lifelike 3D is the new normal. With that improved experience comes a huge strain on your computer’s graphic resources. If you are a gamer or need high end applications for your business you can often super-power your computer with a single component – a new video card. Speak with your IT tech to see if a graphics card will give your current system a nice speed boost or whether a new system is required.

Data / Applications Transfer: A lot of people overlook this and purchase a new computer thinking it will be a cheaper way forward. What they forget is that their old applications may not run on a new computer, that they need all their old data transferred and things like email and printers need to be setup and installed. When upgrading your current system you don’t have to worry about this.

Computer Service: Sometimes your hardware may all be fine and your computer just needs a service and cleanout. As time goes by old files and settings get left behind which slowly start to slow the computer down. Dust and dirt also get clogged in vents and fans causing the computer to overheat and slowdown.

Where to draw the line: There are other upgrades such as the CPU (the brains of the computer) and the motherboard (where all the parts plug into) but once you’re in that territory, it is really time to go for a full replacement – you will save money by getting a computer that meets your needs and can grow with you.

Is your computer letting you down? Give us a call at 08 8326 4364 or on support@dpcomputing.com.au to help you with upgrading or selecting a new computer

Is Dropbox Suitable For Your Business?

Dropbox - is it suitable for me?

It seems easy! Install Dropbox and then drag your files into a Dropbox folder and you’ve got yourself a cloud based file storage system that brings your business in line with modern expectations. But then again, maybe not!

Due to its simplicity Dropbox has grown to become one of the main file sharing and cloud storage solutions around. For some businesses using Dropbox can provide good value, and it never hurts when your staff already know how to use the software. In other cases another alternative designed to meet business needs may be more suitable.

When Dropbox is a Good Choice

Micro-sized business: If your business is small with only yourself or a couple of employees.

No sensitive information: This includes personal details of customers, vendors and staff or other proprietary data such as accounting information.

Nobody ever accidentally deletes anything: Dropbox is a syncing service, which means when a file is deleted, it is deleted from all machines. While you can recover the file from the Dropbox website you need to do this within 30 days – which by the time you notice it’s missing may be too late.

If you’re thinking those attributes sound more like a fictional business, you’re not far off.

Dropbox’s popularity in the consumer space has caused businesses to use Dropbox despite the risks. Dropbox is designed for syncing and NOT backup. This means while your data is copied across all connected devices, it is a mirror of the data only – when you delete or change the original file it is immediately synced across devices. If malware infects one machine this can spread between all your connected devices and put all of them at risk.

You may require access control on certain files or folders. Dropbox acts like a free-for-all, the shared files are sitting there available to anyone with access to read, change and copy. You will also miss collaborative editing, losing out in productivity and data resilience as multiple employees overwrite each other simultaneously.

Another issue is – where are your files that are located in Dropbox actually stored? What country, what type of data centre, what countries laws apply, for privacy reasons do you require all data to be stored within Australia or another country? These are all legitimate questions which Dropbox doesn’t have an easy answer for.

If Dropbox makes sense for your business, there’s no reason to change. But if it is clearly not a good choice for you there are multiple corporate grade solutions available. These are designed for specifically for businesses with security, encryption and collaboration controls built in. Rather than the easiest solution which may pose a risk to your business consider implementing a business class scalable solution that meets all your needs.

Call us at 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au to discuss online cloud storage solutions for your business

3 Reasons To Upgrade Your Computer

The business case for faster & better computers

Older desktop and mobile devices run slow and may cost your business in repairs and downtime. They also lack the latest security technologies which may place your business and customers at risk.

Broad Choice of Form Factors

Check out the following for some reasons to upgrade your current computer.

1. Increased Productivity

Increased ProductivityDevices powered by the latest 6th generation Intel Core processors deliver up to 2.5x faster performance compared to systems five years or older. Mobile devices also have 3x the battery life compared to 5 year old systems. A new device wakes in an instant and are up to date so users are never left waiting. New computers also run the latest MS Windows 10 and associated MS Office software suite all with no issues.

2. Hardware Enhanced Security

Hardware Enhanced Security

Safeguard your business data with hardware enhanced security. Windows 10 introduces secure authentication with Windows Hello and Intel RealSense Technology.

3. Broader Form Factor Choice of Form Factors

Broader Choice of Form Factors

New form factors allow you to choose from a wide range of designs. Current form factors include:

  • The traditional tower computer.
  • Space saving All-In-Ones.
  • Mini or ultra small form factor computers
  • Tablets
  • Hybrid and 2 in one laptops
  • Traditional laptops
  • Ultrabooks.

You also don’t need to sacrifice flexibility for memory, storage space, ports etc as most of these options are full configurable.

Get the performance and security you need to move your business forward with a new PC. Contact us now to discuss your options.

General IT and Computer Troubleshooting Tips

Frustrated computer user

Don’t get frustrated  when your computer plays up. Check out the tips and tricks here to see if you  can easily solve the issue.
DISCLAIMER: DP  Computing will not be held responsible for any damage or data loss to your  system. If you are in doubt over something or if anything is different to what  you see on your computer contact DP  Computing.

  1. Take a deep  breath and don’t panic. Stand up and step back from your computer.  You need to approach things in a calm, and controlled manner. Panicking won’t  help solve the problem, and it could make things much worse.
  2. Save your current  work.Before doing anything, if you can, make sure you save your  current work so that you don’t lose it. Save it on the hard drive or on a USB  drive. It doesn’t matter where just make sure you save it.
  3. Backup your  critical data.If it looks like your hard drive may crash or the  computer may not start up again, take steps to backup all of your critical data  while it is still working and before you turn it off. Hopefully you have a  recent full backup and will only have to backup your most recent documents.  Consider copying the data to a network drive, USB drive or burning it onto a  CD-ROM.
  4. Check with others  in your office. Ask if anyone else in the office is having the same  issues.
  5. Reboot your  computer / modem / peripheral. Turn off the device you are having  issues with, let it sit for a 10 seconds, and reboot it. Sometimes one command  of the hundreds a computer executes every second can cause corrupted memory or  other unexplainable problems. Rebooting will clear out all the gremlins and  gives everything a fresh-start.
  6. What did you do  last? Did your problems start just after you installed a new  software program or some other update or change? This can be a great clue as to  the source of a problem. Undoing what you just did may solve the problem.
  7. Is everything  plugged in properly? Asking this a question may seem very basic, but  you will be surprised how often it can often be the fix you are looking for.  Cables get knocked or work themselves loose over time. Make sure they are all  snug and tight. If you want to look under the hood, and are comfortable doing  so, ideally you should check the cables and connections within your computer  case as well. You should also make sure all cards and memory are firmly seated  by gently but firmly pushing them into their respective slots.

Generally a tech  will need to be called in now. If it is an emergency and a technician is not  available consider going through the following steps as  well.

  1. Is your hardware  happy?Unhappy hardware is often the source of problems. To check  your hardware, right-click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the  Hardware tab, and then the Device Manager button. This will open the Device  Manager dialog box. It lists all the hardware devices on your computer. Devices  that aren’t working properly will have a yellow exclamation mark next to them.  Double-click on the problem devices to open a dialog box that may have details  on the problem, and a listing of suggestions on how to fix it.
  2. Check your  computer for nasties. Run a complete system scan with your  anti-virus software (make sure you update your virus definitions before you run  the scan). You can do a free online scan at TrendMicro’s Web site (http://housecall.trendmicro.com/au/).  You should also scan your computer for adware, spyware, or other malware with a  product like Malwarebytes (http://www.malwarebytes.org). Scanning your machine with these  products can be helpful as sometimes you will find something that one product  missed.
  3. Install software  or driver updates. If it seems one program or hardware device is  acting up, check the manufacturer’s Web site for updates. The code in most  software is thousands if not millions of lines long and it is impossible for  software companies to find all the bugs in their programs. As users discover  problems, software and hardware manufacturers often release revised software or  updated drivers that include new code to address newly discovered problems.
  4. Contact the  manufacturers support team. If you get as far as this step, your  problem is probably more complex. Most hardware and software manufacturers now  have extensive support information. Phone the appropriate support company for  further assistance.
  5. Still having  problems? • A technician will need to diagnose the issue. Contact DP Computing now to arrange a technician to  visit your site. • Document the detailed description of the problem and  the exact wording of any error messages. Knowing exactly what is wrong and being  able to share the message is critical to determining a solution. • Consider whether or not the problem occurs at random times or at  consistent/specific times. Random and/or intermittent problems are usually more  difficult to diagnose and fix. But if a problem occurs at a specific time and  you can reproduce the problem, the technician may be able to isolate the problem  to help find a solution.

DP Computing are a computer  support company providing IT consulting and support services throughout Adelaide  and the surrounding areas to SMB’s (small and medium sized businesses). If you  need any type of computer or IT help please contact  us.
A full list of services to  help small and medium sized businesses (SMB’s) is provided on our computer services page.