Category: Tech Support

How to troubleshoot printing problems

Filed under: Computing Tips,Tech Support - Sep 02 2020

When you are trying to print something from your computer and the printer doesn’t respond or the pages come out half-printed or blank, below are some troubleshooting tips to help you figure out what the problem could be and how to fix it.

  • Are pages blank, have streaks or not printing some colors? It’s likely that one or more of your ink cartridge colors are out-of-ink or ink has dried out in the printing mechanisms. Print this test page, then compare the printed output vs. what you see on your screen. If all colors don’t look good on paper, try cleaning the print heads via the printer’s maintenance menu or replacing the ink cartridges. If this is a common occurance you may also want to consider getting a laser printer – or moving to a more humid climate. 😀
  • Is there no response from your printer when trying to print? Make sure that you are printing to the correct printer before clicking “Print”. Often there will be several copies of your printer – usually a wired/USB, and a wireless connection. You will also likely have a PDF printing option, and may have other printers on your network display in your list of printers.
  • Is your wireless printer working sporadically? Wireless printing problems are one of our most frequent calls for service. Often Wi-Fi interference will cause the printer to no longer be reachable on the network. Sometimes simply powering off/on your printer and computer will fix the problem. In some cases you may need to turn off and unplug the power to printer for about a minute. After plugging it back in and turning it on, try printing again.

If you’re still having printing problems, contact us for an on-site printer and/or Wi-Fi diagnostic.

Print This Article Print This Article

Give the gift of computer help or service

Filed under: Tech Support - Apr 01 2020

Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone who needs computer help or service? Consider giving the gift of computer help or service with the purchase of a Computer Techs eGift Card. eGift Cards can be used towards payment of remote support or on-site services. Click the link picture below for more details, or to purchase now.

Installing a home security camera may require updated Wi-Fi

Filed under: Security,Tech Support - Mar 05 2019

Home security cameras and video doorbells have become quite popular in the past few years. Many of the systems from names such as Ring, Nest and Arlo require a speedy and stable wireless internet connection in order to be able to view the live video and recordings – a minimum of 2 Mbps upload speed is recommended per streaming camera . Does your wireless internet meet the minimum system requirements to run such a system? DSL internet and some of the slower speed tiers from AT&T do not meet the minimum upload recommendation.

You can check the internet speed at your computer here . Even if your internet speed qualifies on your computer, it may be too slow if walls, distance and other Wi-Fi devices interfere with the signal between your internet router and wireless security camera.

We can perform an on-site survey of your Wi-Fi and recommend/setup a wireless solution that will work with security camera. For more information read more…

Computer Techs News Feed Stream on Facebook

Is it time to replace your Wi-Fi?

Filed under: Security,Tech Support - Feb 19 2018

Updated May 2020:

Wi-Fi enables your computing devices to wirelessly communicate throughout your home. When Wi-Fi was first introduced wireless devices used to just include computers, then later came smartphones, internet video streaming devices and speakers. In recent years the amount of wireless devices in your home may now include “smart home” devices such as wireless security cameras, digital assistants, internet-connected thermostats, light bulbs, garage door openers, sprinkler systems and kitchen appliances – just to name some of the more common devices.

In the past few years security flaws have been found in the Wi-Fi protocol that’s used in all routers and gateways, and patches have been released as firmware updates for only the newest routers manufactured in the past few years. As of May 2020, we only recommend the use of routers certified as “Wi-Fi 5” (802.11ac) or “Wi-Fi 6” (802.11ax).

If your Wi-Fi router or internet gateway (provided by your internet provider) is over a few years old, it’s time to replace it with newer, faster and more secure technology that can accommodate the dozens of wireless devices that connect through it and onto the internet.

A benefit of replacing your Wi-Fi not only fixes current known security vulnerabilities, a new Wi-Fi router can increase the range and reliability of your Wi-Fi.

If you recently set up a new Wi-Fi 5 or 6 router or gateway and you still have slow or unreliable Wi-Fi, it may need to be optimized in your environment.

Optimization includes placing the device in the best location where the Wi-Fi signal isn’t blocked, and using the best channels and/or frequency bands to help reduce interference from neighboring networks. Adding an “extender” or “repeater” may actually degrade Wi-Fi performance in your home. On the other hand the latest “mesh” networking technology can help blanket your home in wireless coverage using 2 or more linked Wi-Fi radios.

To find out if you need new Wi-Fi, contact us to for an evaluation of your current Wi-Fi equipment.

Print This Article Print This Article

Keep your computer secure and up-to-date with our Computer Maintenance Plan

Filed under: Tech Support - Jun 01 2017

Updated June 2020:

Over the years many of our clients have asked for a way to keep their computers secure and up-to-date, and not have to worry about the seemingly constant barrage of updates. With websites getting hacked on a daily basis, and the increasing chance of your personal information being compromised, it’s more important than ever to keep your computer up-to-date and maintained.

With the Computer Techs Maintenance Plan, we will maintain, update and check the security on your computer on a convenient quarterly schedule. Service will be performed via a Remote Support session which takes about an hour. Services include:

  • Install security updates for browser add-ons, program updates, available router updates, critical computer firmware and Windows updates
  • Remove adware/toolbars/homepage hijackers
  • Remove or disable unused or unnecessary apps that cause security or performance issues
  • Check internet connection settings and remove any malicious scripts, DNS or proxy settings
  • Malware scan
  • Check hard drive health and used space
  • Check back-up and restore settings
  • Defragment hard drive files
  • Check browser settings and remove unnecessary extensions
  • Delete unnecessary temporary, log and update cache files to free up drive space
  • Check Wi-Fi settings and adjust if interference or performance issues exist
  • Apply computer manufacturer’s urgent and recommended software and hardware updates if needed
  • Check for print jobs stuck in the queue
  • Check for frequent app crashes or system “blue screen” errors that could lead to more serious problems

Additional benefits of being on our quarterly Computer Maintenance Plan include:

  • Priority callbacks and email replies with simple or easy-to-resolve issues or questions under 5 minutes at no charge.

When you sign up for the Computer Techs Computer Maintenance Plan, you’ll get all of the services above for less than the price of a house call – quarterly remote service for one computer is just $80 payable at the time of each quarterly service. Additional computers maintained during the same appointment time are just $20 each. Semi-annual remote appointments are also available for $89 and $30 for additional computers. On-site service is also available at regular hourly rates. To sign-up for your initial quarterly remote service, schedule your appointment – or contact us for semi-annual and/or on-site service.

Print This Article Print This Article

AT&T Email and account changes after Yahoo’s sale to Verizon

Filed under: Tech Support - May 24 2017

You may have recently heard the news or received an email about Yahoo selling its operating business to Verizon in June 2017. Below are some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers about the sale.

  • You will not have to change your email address. However due to the insecurity of AT&T/Yahoo Mail as it is today, we suggest switching to a new email provider such as Gmail and having your current email address forward to Gmail. Please read this article for details.
  • If you currently have an AT&T email address (@att.net, @sbcglobal.net, @nvbell.net, @prodigy.net, etc) in order to use Yahoo services other than email, you will need to use an existing @yahoo.com address or create a new Yahoo account. Examples of such Yahoo services include Yahoo Finance, My Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Sports, etc. – read this for more details.
  • If you access your AT&T email from anyplace other that the att.net homepage (i.e. a smartphone or tablet app, Windows Mail, Apple Mail), the settings to access your email may need to be changed. If your email stops working while using an email client app, see this AT&T support article for details.

If you need assistance with switching to a new email provider or changing settings, please contact us.

Why you need an alternative web browser

Filed under: Computing Tips,Security,Tech Support - Mar 07 2017

Updated March 2017:

A web browser is the program that you use to access internet web sites. For most of this decade the most popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and the AOL browser. Some browsers are faster than others, while others have more security precautions built-in. Whichever one you use, it’s a good idea to install and become familiar with at least one alternative web browser now – in case your regular web browser doesn’t work or can’t access some or all web sites.

browser-icons

In 2015 Microsoft released a new browser called “Microsoft Edge” bundled with their Windows 10 operating system. Since the release of Edge, Microsoft has stopped updating features in the once-popular Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer has become less reliable and more prone to security issues in the past few years and we no longer recommend it using it as your primary browser. Currently the most popular and secure browser is Google’s Chrome browser.

In summary you need to have and be familiar with multiple browsers, so when one doesn’t work to access certain web sites, you’ve got a backup alternative browser.

Troubleshooting Tip: If accessing web sites with your regular browser does not work, but it does work with an alternative web browser, it can be assumed that it’s a problem with your browser or web site and not a problem with your internet connection. With an alternative browser you can continue to access web sites until Computer Techs can fix your regular browser.

Like backing up your computer before disaster strikes, we suggest installing an alternative web browser today so that you’ll have it available in case of an emergency.

Print This Article Print This Article

How to improve wireless reception at home

Filed under: Tech Support - Feb 16 2017

Do you have poor Wi-Fi coverage inside your home due to low signal or interference from other nearby Wi-Fi routers? How about poor wireless cell coverage at home due to wireless carriers having trouble locating their cellular transmission antennas, towers and poles in residential neighborhoods? Resident complaints that cell towers will decrease property values or become eyesores within the landscape have persuaded elected officials to deny the permits needed to construct new cell sites.

Fortunately there are a few solutions that will improve Wi-Fi and wireless cell coverage in the home and other small-to-medium size buildings where coverage is weak.

Wi-Fi coverage

In the past few years new Wi-Fi technology has allowed manufacturers to produce more powerful Wi-Fi routers, range extenders and mesh network devices that increase range, speed and reduce “dead spots” within the home or office.

Wireless cell coverage

All four major U.S. wireless carriers now offer Wi-Fi Calling, which is available on many of the latest smartphones. Wi-Fi Calling uses the existing Wi-Fi connection in your home to connect your phone to the wireless cellular network through your home broadband internet connection. When connected, calls and text messages will typically be as clear and reliable as your Wi-Fi connection.

Alternatively, the carriers also offer a small device that connects to your home broadband internet connection called a “femtocell” which improves the wireless signal to cell phones located nearby. Each carrier has their own branded femtocell – links for the individual carrier’s femtocell offerings follow:

The advantage of Wi-Fi Calling vs. getting a femtocell is that if you have a compatible smartphone and a Wi-Fi router, there is no extra cost to setup Wi-Fi Calling. A femtocell can cost up to a few hundred dollars, however carriers will sometimes discount or fully subsidize the cost for the device for their more profitable customers.

Computer Techs can help with the setup of new Wi-Fi devices, Wi-Fi Calling on your smartphone or a femtocell – just contact us to setup an appointment.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free provides hassle-free virus protection

Filed under: Security,Tech Support - Jan 04 2017

Updated 1/4/17:

We began recommending Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition in late 2014 since it offers free detection of most viruses and malware, with little user interaction needed. For more details you can read PCMag’s review of Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2017). After installation, Bitdefender requires creation of a free MyBitdefender account by providing your name, email address and a password to continue the free protection beyond 29 days.

BitDefender registration

 

After 29 days of installation if you have not created your free MyBitdefender account and confirmed your email address, you will get a notice that your computer is not protected. To create a MyBitdefender account, open the program and follow the prompts. After you create your account, go to your email and click the confirmation link in the email that Bitdefender sends immediately after registering. Within a minute or so, Bitdefender’s status should change to “Protected”.

If you have any questions or require assistance with registering or confirming your email address with Bitdefender, please contact your tech.

 

Print This Article Print This Article

Next Page »