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Q & A: User Questions, Tech Answers! 2nd Edition

At Geek Easy Computers, we field lot’s of questions from individuals and businesses. We find many of the answers to some of these questions to be pretty sought after, so we thought it was time for another Q & A!

Below we list some of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers…

Q. I’m still running Windows XP on my computer. I just use it to check email and go to a site or two. Is that safe?

A. As of 14 April 2014, Microsoft ceased to support the Windows XP operating system. That means they are no longer releasing patches, updates, or security patches of ANY kind for XP ever. This also means that security on Windows XP is pretty much non-existent at this point. Regardless of what type of anti-virus protection you have installed on your computer, any & every time you connect an XP machine to the Internet you are subject to exploitation by hackers who can & will use security holes in Windows XP to access data on your computer. There is NO way to prevent this besides NEVER connecting that machine to the Internet.

Q. My computer seems to be running slower. Nothing particularly seems to be wrong but it is taking longer to do anything. How can I improve it’s performance?

A. Well, there are a lot of different reasons for a computer slowing down, but I’ll just address the most common issues. The best way to determine what is causing your sluggish operation would be to have your computer diagnosed by a computer professional, such as your experts at Geek Easy Computers. A diagnostic examination will tell us specifically what is affecting your device. It could be as simple as the computer needing a tune-up. A tune-up will basically clean potentially unwanted/unneeded programs, perform a heatsink service (replaces the thermal conductive material to prevent overheating), and physically cleans out the computer interior to ensure consistent airflow and help to maintain proper temperatures, streamlining your computer’s operation. Another common solution is a malware/spyware removal. Many times, changes in your computer’s performance can be indicative of intrusive software.

Q. How do I know if it’s time to replace/upgrade my wireless router?

A. Watch for drops in connectivity, or decreases in signal range. Try to keep track of how many devices are connected to the router when these issues occur. If it happens frequently or whenever more than 4 devices are connected, it could be time to replace the router. Especially if the router is a consumer (retail) router more than a couple years old. If your router is still running 802.11b or 802.11g (older wireless standards) it may also be time for an upgrade, as current generation devices are now supporting 802.11n and 802.11ac.

Q. What does “refurbished” mean?

A. Refurbished is one of those terms that can unfortunately mean different things to different people and circumstances. So I’ll define what it means to Geek Easy Computers. Our “pre-owned” computers are “refurbished”. These are computers that were previously leased by businesses. Once the lease was up they were returned to the lessor. They were then purchased from the lessor by a refurbishing company. That company then puts the computers through a series of tests to certify that the computer is in like new working order. Geek Easy then purchases those refurbished systems from the refurbisher. We only purchase grade “A” computers. Once we have the computers, we put them through our own stress testing before we offer them to the public for sale. So you can be assured that any refurbished computer you purchase from us has been thoroughly tested and certified.

Q. How long will it take to repair my computer?

A. It specifically depends on what repair is being performed on your computer. Typically, unless we are experiencing unusually large volumes, the initial diagnostic exam of your computer can take 1-3 days. Then we present you with a detailed repair quotation and estimated time of completion. If we have to order parts, they usually take 3-5 business days to arrive, depending on which vendor we obtain them from. Once we have the parts, installation usually occurs that same day, with testing to follow. Some repairs such as malware/virus removal or data recovery can take longer depending on the specifics of the situation. Also liquid spills and damaged computers take longer to diagnose because they have to be disassembled and often dried out before being worked on.

The crew at Geek Easy Computers is always available to answer your computer questions and help you with any technology issues. We want to make your technology easy!

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