Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slow Computer

Slow Computer

When you first got your computer, it was probably really fast, especially if it’s equipped with the latest processors, RAM, and ample hard drive space. But over time even a high-end computer can start to run slowly, which is frustrating when you need to get things done. Fortunately, when your computer does break down, you can bring it to ComputerFix where we can help fix your slow computer and get you back to creating documents, surfing the internet, and being productive on your machine.

In cases where the PC might not require computer repair just yet, there are some steps you can take on your own to speed it up. Here are a few of the most common issues, and ways to resolve them without bringing it to Computerfix yet.

Start Simple

If you are using your machine to surf the internet, you should have some antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware software protection on it. These programs help protect you from some of the most dangerous viruses, spyware, and malware that can end up on your machine, but they do no filter out everything. As a result, problematic software or programs can sometimes sneak through the firewall and end up on your computer. Before you do any other computer repair, do a quick scan with your antivirus to identify, quarantine, and fix any issues identified.

No Cookies

We’re not talking about the cookies you eat, we’re talking about the little files on your computer that are stored as temporary internet files and help track your movements all over the web (think of cookie crumbs to help mark your path around the internet). They can be useful for helping with things like remembering passwords or usernames, but they can also be detrimental because they can clog up your machine and cause difficulty in accessing other files.

Avoid Excess Temporary Files

Under your Tools, you can change the settings that determine how many temporary internet files are stored on your machine at once. Usually the default on a PC is set very high (500 MB, 1 GB, or more), but you can reduce it down as low a 250 MB to help remove these unnecessary files more quickly. You can also set your PC to just eliminate all temporary internet files every time you close out of a website.

Clean Up Your Startup

When you add new software, it often includes a default setting that launches the program at startup. With programs that you rarely use, adjusting the settings so they the program doesn’t automatically open on startup can significantly speed up the machine. You might also consider deleting some of the folders from your desktop, since they all have to start and then refresh constantly.

Update Regularly

Finally, you want to stay on top of all the latest developments in the software that you have, which can include bug fixes, extra security, and more. You can set your computer to automatically check for updates, and be sure to install them when you discover they are out there, or you can try to remember to check your software often so you get proper updates in a timely manner.

After you try these simple fixes, if you still have a slow machine, bring it to Computerfix. We can help fix your slow computer and get it running like new again without the cost of buying a totally new machine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cyber Security Tips

Cyber Security Tips
Electronics are a ubiquitous part of our lives these days, and we use them on a regular basis—for most people, getting online is as much a daily habit as eating a meal or brushing your teeth. Unfortunately with all the time we spend online, we open ourselves up to potential risks from cyber security threats, such as identity theft and credit card fraud. From staying in touch with friends, colleagues and loved ones to paying bills, researching topics, and shopping, without proper computer security, information about your life is constantly exposed to criminals who would use it to commit crimes.

The Threats

Many people ask, “What are the most common threats, and how do I protect my computer and my data?” There are a wide variety of threats out there, but some of the most common ones you see include:

·         Malware, spyware, and bots

·         Spam

·         Hacked accounts, and “phishing”

·         Unsecured wireless data transmission

These threats can range from virtually harmless—for example, a hacker might just be messing around and accidentally stumble on your information—to life altering. In cases where the cyber criminal is looking for data to steal, the potential that s/he could use your identity to open new credit accounts, steal financial data, create false identification, and even commit crimes using your name is high. If these things happen, catching the criminal and rebuilding your credit and your life can take months, and even years. 

Tools for Protection

While the threat is very real and very serious, there are many ways that you can stay secure online. The key to avoid becoming a victim is to have adequate computer security and to stay alert while you are surfing the internet.

One of the first things you should do before going online is make sure you have up-to-date antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware programs installed on your machine. Spyware, malware, and “bots” are designed to record information about the websites you are visiting, and potentially even keystrokes that could record sensitive information such as passwords. Regularly update this software to stay on top of patches for new viruses. If you need recommendations on the best antivirus software, talk to ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.

Whenever you create an online account, be sure to use passwords that are strong and difficult to crack. It’s best if you can use a seemingly random string of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try to avoid using common passwords that are easy to guess, such as birthdates, children’s or pet’s names, etc. Also, before you enter any personal information on a website, check to make sure the URL begins with “https” (instead of just “http”). The “s” is for “secure”.

Set a filter on your email to protect you from getting an endless string of spam messages—the electronic version of junk mail. Sometimes these messages can contain links or attachments that will install harmful software, spyware, or other programs. In addition, be careful of “phishing” emails that request sensitive personal information, such as a username or password, and may look like they come from a legitimate source, such as your bank. Never click a link or download an attachment from these messages. If you think it could be a legitimate message, call the company directly to provide the information, or open a new browser window and type in their website address instead of using the email link.

Finally, if you are surfing the web on a wireless network, make sure it is secured with a password. Leaving a network open can invite cyber criminals to hack into the wireless signal and see information that is transferred over the network.

For more tips on computer security online, and an answer to the question “how do I protect my computer?” talk to the experts at ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

When your computer isn’t working, it can cause all kinds of headaches, whether you use it for day-to-day activities, work, or just for gaming and entertainment. The good news is that there are several smaller computer problems that can be quickly and easily fixed with some do-it-yourself computer repairs that even a computer novice can handle. Here are a few of the most common things you might see, and instructions to get you through the repairs.

1: You turn it on, but nothing happens

Many computer repair experts, like those at Computer Fix Salt Lake City, will tell you that the first thing you should always check is to make sure the computer is plugged in and getting power. If you’ve checked the cords and still nothing is happening, you may want to check to find out whether your power supply is working properly. You may need to purchase a new one if your current one is gone, and if you’ve never replaced a power supply before, take it to the experts.

2: It’s very slow to start up

When you first get your computer, it only has a few factory-installed programs. Over time, you probably added more programs, and often they have a default to open at startup, which hogs all the computer’s memory as it’s starting up. In cases where you don’t use the programs very often, you can disable this automatic startup feature on individual programs and your computer will open much more quickly. If you’re not sure which ones you should and should not disable, talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City for some guidance.

3: The screen looks distorted

Most screens today are viewed at a resolution of 1024x768 or the increasingly popular 1366x768. If you have it configured to different settings, it may be distorting the view of all your desktop items. If they look stretched, some are not visible on the screen, or you just don’t like the view, you can change it. Alternately, if the more traditional resolutions are too small for you, making adjustments can help you see the icons better. Simply go to the Properties window, find the screen resolution settings, and view all the options available. You can also preview each to make sure you like it.

4: You’re seeing the “blue screen of death”

When the computer crashes, it displays a blue screen and an error message, which often means computer problems. Fortunately the fix can be fairly simply, especially if you can figure out what you were doing immediately before it crashed. For example, if you were in the middle of installing a new program, it could be a problem with the new software. If you haven’t run a virus check in a while, it could be triggered by malware or spyware, and running the virus removal software to fix these issues will clear up the problem. When this problem persists, though, it’s best to get it in for more advanced computer repairs. 

Your computer is likely a very important part of your life, which means that dealing with small annoyances like these issues can get in the way of your productivity and your fun. If you have tried to do some basic troubleshooting and you’re still not getting the machine to work for you, bring it to Computer Fix Salt Lake City today.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Computer Problems?

The most common computer problems are often the ones that will be the most annoying, but fortunately since they are fairly common, you can often do a little computer repair on your own, or take it into a place like Computer Fix SLC and get the machine back up and running quickly and easily. Here are some of the things you’re most likely to see on your PC.

Malware and Spyware

Whether you have a virus, Trojan horse, worm, adware, or spyware, it can all harm the computer and do significant damage. The type of malware you have will determine what steps you should take to fix it. For run-of-the-mill malware, you may be able to fix it with a simple antivirus program that you can install and run on your machine. For more complex issues, it may require the computer repair expertise of someone like Computer Fix SLC.

Encumbered Machine

When your machine starts to get cluttered with files, folders, software, and other applications, it will run more slowly. Just like your home or your office, you have to ensure that you are storing things efficiently and not keeping too much clutter around that can make it difficult to navigate your system.

Power Failure

The last time you tried to turn on the computer and got nothing—no signs of life, no lights, and no sounds inside, most likely the problem was with your power supply. You could try to get a new power supply, but you may also want to take it to Computer Fix SLC to have them run tests and diagnose the problem before spending a lot of time and effort fixing something that is not broken. You can also try other devices in the same plug to find out if it’s an issue with your home’s electricity.

Blank Screens

A blank (black) screen is different from the “blue screen of death”, and in most cases it’s not because of a major system failure, it’s just a problem with the connection between the computer and the monitor. Check all the cables for connectivity, and test them on other devices to ensure they work properly.

Frozen Device

There are few things more frustrating than a freezing computer, and the problem could range from insufficient RAM, registry conflicts, missing/corrupt files, or spyware, to more. Rather than trying to fix all these computer problems, take it to Computer Fix SLC so they can test and diagnose.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Components in a Computer

What are the Most Important Component in a Computer?

Buying a computer is an exciting thing, and today they are a necessity for most people. The process of buying a computer, though, is often not as exciting for people who are just casual users and are not quite sure what they are looking for with all the different components and terminology. Unless you’re a computer expert, the process of figuring out computer parts can be confusing and frustrating. Here are a few of the most important components of your computer and why you need them.

The Motherboard

Think of this as the central control area, building the foundation for everything that you can put into your computer and how it will all work together. The wrong motherboard may limit how much memory your computer can have, what kind of processor you get, and the other peripherals that you can connect to the machine. Most people aren’t really familiar with how to choose the best motherboard, so talk to the experts at Computer Fix to learn more.

The Hard Drive (also called HDD)

This is where you keep and store all of your data, and it is not unlimited. The bigger your hard drive, the more information you can put on your computer. Since all your software and all your files will require some amount of memory—measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and even terabytes (TB)—it’s always best to have more than you think you might need. To determine whether you need a 256 GB or 1 TB hard drive, think about what you plan to use the machine for. If you’re going to play games, or store large files such as photos and video, you need a bigger hard drive. Larger HDDs are pretty inexpensive, so it’s best to overestimate your needs and buy big. If you do run out of hard drive space, you can talk to someone at Computer Fix to help with computer repair and get an external drive to store more data.


The most popular central processing units are Intel (you’ve probably heard of the brand), and they allow your computer to multi-task. These are sort of like the “brain” of the computer, running all the processes on the machine. More advanced CPUs can process programs more quickly, and today the lowest end CPU is a dual-core, which can run two programs at the same time before the computer slows down. On the high end you can find CPUs that run eight or more programs simultaneously.

The Graphics Card

A graphics card, also called a video card or GPU, is what the machine uses to process and display textures and images, generally in gaming or videos. Better graphics cards will render 3D images and textures in games and videos more quickly, but if you’re not planning to do a lot of gaming, you can probably get away with just using the factory-installed card. 

The Memory

Memory is measured in RAM (random accessory memory), and determines where things are stored on the machine. More memory allows you to run more programs simultaneously without affecting performance.

If you’re looking for a new machine, all these components are important. Before you buy just any computer, talk to the experts at Computer Fix to find exactly the machine you need that fits in your budget and will give you the computing power and speed that you require. If any of these parts are malfunctioning, you can always visit Computer Fix to get computer repair and keep your machine running smoothly.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Laptop vs Desktop

Laptop vs Desktop
So you have made the decision to purchase a new computer, but now you have to decide whether you want to buy a desktop or a laptop computer. This can be one of the most difficult decisions you make, and there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should get a desktop or laptop. It’s really all about which one is best for you, but there are a few key decisions factors you should use to determine which one you need.

Decision Factor: Where Will You Use It?

One of the biggest differences between a desktop computer and a laptop computer is the ability to travel with it (or not). If you are purchasing a computer that will have a permanent home on a desk or table somewhere in your house, you may not need the ability to take it out and about and you can go with a desktop computer. If you plan to use your computer anywhere and everywhere, lugging around the components of a desktop computer is just not feasible and you will need a laptop. Be sure to consider carefully how and where you want to use it before you buy.

Decision Factor: Speed

Desktop and laptop computers used to be worlds apart in terms of performance and speed—if you wanted a speedy processor, you had to get a desktop. Today’s laptops, though, are a vast improvement. Places like Computer Fix SLC have the ability to get you a laptop that can perform just like a desktop. However, if you plan to use your computer for a lot of graphics-intensive video games and having the highest quality graphics is important to you, desktop computers still outperform laptops for gaming.

Decision Factor: Storage

Most laptops have smaller RAM and hard drive storage capacity, although in recent years they have caught up with desktops in some cases. Laptops now offer the ability to get larger amounts of RAM and bigger hard drives that are just about equal to what you can find in a desktop PC. However, if you do plan to use your computer for a lot of large files, including photos, music, and videos, you may prefer the larger storage capacity of the desktop. You can also add more memory to a desktop fairly easily if you need more down the road, which you cannot do as easily with a laptop.

Decision Factor: Size

Size does matter, especially for your computer. When you are shopping for a new machine at a place like Computer Fix SLC, consider the different sizes and the advantages and disadvantages of each. A desktop computer often means a very large screen (sometimes as big or bigger than flat screen televisions today), while a laptop will usually limit you to a screen that is somewhere between 10 and 18 inches. Desktops are also available in a range of sizes and shapes, so you can find one that will fit perfectly on or under your desk, or even as part of an all-in-one screen and computer combo. Finally, you can find laptops with different weights, ranging from just a few ounces to a few pounds. How you plan to use it, and especially whether you’ll be carrying it around a lot, should be part of your decision of which to purchase.



Friday, May 17, 2013

What is the Best Computer Processor?

If you own a PC, you have probably heard the term “processor” (short for Central Processing Unit, or CPU), and perhaps you have also heard of brands that make the processors such as Intel or AMD. Even if you are familiar with the term, many consumers are not quite sure exactly what that little processor is doing, and why one might be better than another when you’re shopping for a computer. The key to getting the best machine from a place like Computer Fix Salt Lake City is knowing which kind of computer processors are going to perform the tasks you need the best. Here’s a quick overview and comparison of some of the most common.

What’s a Processor?

The processor of your computer is like a tiny brain for your machine, taking instructions from the software programs and executing those programs as efficiently as possible. There are some single-core processors, which can only do one task at a time, but today there are also dual-core and quad-core processors that allow you to do much more with your machine, without slowing down (there are even six-core and higher processors available for desktop computers, custom computers, and rarely for laptops as well). Depending on the size of your computer, and how much you want to spend, you can get a wide variety of different options.

What’s the “Core”?

The “core” is the engine in the processor, where all the data crunching happens. If you have only a single core, the computer can run only one process at a time before it begins to slow down significantly. With dual-core, quad-core, or higher, the CPU has more than one processing unit, so it can handle more than one program without slowing down. This is particularly helpful for people who need to be able to run several large programs at once.

Benefits of Intel
Intel has long been the dominant processor on the market, supplying a significant number of processors each year. Today there are a wide variety of different Intel processors to choose from, ranging from very basic with the Intel Core i3 to much more advanced with CPUs like the Intel Core i7. Generally when comparing one unit to another within the Intel line, a higher number is better, giving you more power and more functionality than the lower end of the line. These processors are known for being reliable and powerful in both off-the-shelf and custom computers, which is why they have long dominated the market.

AMD: The New Kid on the Block

While AMD is not necessarily really new to the market, they have been slowly creeping up on Intel as a contender for the CPU market, especially when it comes to graphics. Many buyers choose AMD for graphics-heavy use because AMD bought out famed graphics-specialized CPU maker ATI in 2006. The CPU maker did a little research and discovered that users really care about having a good graphics experience, which is why they focus their efforts on delivering quality graphics, including 7.1 surround sound and other special features. They also have a line of different levels, starting with Vision, then moving up to Vision Premium and Vision Ultimate. For most users, a Vision or Vision Premium will suffice.

When it comes to your processor, the “brain” of your computer, most people want that brain to function as well as possible, allowing for maximum usability no matter what programs you’re running. Choosing the right CPU with help from experts at a place like Computer Fix Salt Lake City can get you the right PC for all your needs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How to Know When to Repair or Replace Your PC

How do you know when to repair or replace your PC?

Computers, along with refrigerators and lawn mowers, are some of the most common household gadgets that people get repaired every year. According to a recent Consumer Reports Repair or Replace survey, these items are not necessarily failing more often than they did previously, but because they are becoming more and more complex, it’s more difficult than ever to repair them on your own. In some cases, things can also go horribly wrong and you need to replace it altogether. But how do you know when you should bring your machine to Computer Fix for computer repairs, and when you should just replace your PC? Here are some ways to decide.

Check Your Timeline

There are some appliances that you purchase and will likely not replace for several decades, but computers usually do not fall into that category. If you have had your machine for several years (more than about 3-4 years), you may be experiencing enough headaches and the machine may be old enough that the cost of a new one would be similar, or even less, than the cost to repair the damage done to your existing computer. If you’re not sure what it would take to fix the PC, take it to the shop for some computer help, including a quick scan and estimate of the damage.

Assess the Damage

The most common reason computers break is because of malicious viruses, malware, and spyware that has infected the machine. Another common problem is a hard drive failure.

Before you start experiencing delays, difficulty opening programs, frequent crashing, or other symptoms of viruses, it’s good to install a reputable and reliable antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware program on your computer. You can talk to the experts at Computer Fix to find out which programs work best for your budget. Be sure to keep the virus protection updated with the latest patches and security fixes, so you stay protected from the latest viruses and malware.

If you have had hard drive failure, the cost to repair your computer can get pretty high. Often the biggest cost is recovering the data—if you have to send it out to a data recovery firm, that cost can reach into the thousands (especially for high-volume data storage machines such as ones you use at work), or just a few hundred bucks in less severe cases.

Since hard drive failure can be caused by a variety of different things, ranging from mechanical failure to electronic or firmware failure, the real costs of repair and the ability to return your machine to “normal” following the failure can vary widely. You can find out whether you are able to get your machine fixed, or if it would be better to just replace it with a new machine, by taking it to Computer Fix. 

Look at Your Bottom Line

In most cases, there is about a 50 percent rule: if the cost of the repairs is more than half the cost of a new product, then go ahead and buy the new one. Of course, this also depends on your personal budget; if you cannot afford the cost of a new product, you can often get good computer repairs at Computer Fix that can keep your machine going until you can save enough to buy a new one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How do I Protect Myself Against Hackers?

How do you Protect Yourself Against Hackers?

No system is completely safe from hackers, and even the most secure data can be at risk. However, with the volume of information that we put online today and the amount of transactions people complete on a daily basis over the internet, taking extra steps to protect yourself from being a victim of computer hackers is critical.

Understand the Risks

The only way to completely protect yourself from online hackers would be to disconnect from the internet entirely. For most people, this is unrealistic, given the volume of information that we exchange online every single day. From online banking and bill pay to email accounts, social media, and shopping, we spend a lot of time online. The next best thing is to understand the risks so you can minimize your exposure without cutting yourself off from the cyber world completely.

Keep AntiVirus Software Updated

One of the best steps you can take to protect from needing excessive credit repair or computer repair after a hacking incident is to have current antivirus software, and keep it updated. You can often go into your software and set it to automatically update, or at least to alert you when there are updates available if you prefer to do it manually.

Change Your Passwords

With so many different sites that we use today, it can seem convenient to use the same password for all your accounts. While this does make it easy to remember, it also makes it really easy for a hacker to get into several different accounts and do extensive damage. Most hackers will not be able to hack every account you have, or find every password that you create, but if they can find one password and it translates to several different sites, they can quickly drain your accounts, install viruses, and generally wreak havoc on your cyber life.

If you would like to make your passwords easy to remember, have one phrase or idea that you base your passwords on, then create several variations of that idea to make different passwords. Use numbers, symbols, and capitol/lowercase letters to mix it up and make it harder to guess. You can also create a spreadsheet or other log of all your passwords, but you need to protect that sheet with a separate password and ensure that you have adequate security to protect it, otherwise all your efforts will be in vain.

Don’t Share Everything

People often come to Computer Fix Salt Lake City after experiencing devastating effects from hackers and viruses on their computer, despite efforts to keep passwords and website safe. They may not even realize that they are making it easy for computer hackers to find their information through over-sharing on social media sites. People often use names of children, pets, maiden names, and other similar information for passwords because it’s easy to remember. If you have that information readily available on your social media sites, it can be easy for a hacker to guess your passwords just by surfing your sites. If you’re going to include that info on your profile, just make sure it’s adequately protected with privacy controls.

Shop Smart

If you plan to shop online (and many people do, because it’s convenient and easy), be careful about what information you leave behind. The more retailers you store information with, the more chances you have to be hacked. Instead, find sites that let you store your information in just one place and use it at several retailers online, or work with your bank to get a special “online debit card” that can be reloaded easily and quickly when you want to make a purchase, but that is not connected to the rest of your finances. That way if it does get hacked, all your cash is not vulnerable.

The online world is a great place to share and find information, and has many benefits. It also has many pitfalls for someone who is not careful about when and how they spend time online. Use these tips to protect yourself from computer hackers online.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Most Common Computer Threats

Most Common Computer Threats

Computers are an amazing way to connect to the world around you, but they can also harbor several dangers. Many people may not even know how un-secure their computer is against things such as a hijacker, Trojans, spyware, and worms, but here is a list of the most common computer threats that you should be on the lookout for, and ways to protect your machine against these dangerous threats.

Computer Virus

One of the biggest threats to computer security that we see at Computer Fix SLC is the computer virus. It’s an insidious threat that, once inside your machine, can replicate itself and infect your PC, even before you might know it is in there. You may contract a virus from a hijacker, or just from a seemingly innocuous website or email that you receive. No matter what the source, it’s critical that you have an antivirus software installed on your machine in order to prevent the virus from taking over your machine, deleting or corrupting your files, and spreading through your networks.


Detecting spyware can be very difficult, since it is designed to be installed on a PC without the user knowing of its existence. If you do get spyware on your machine, it could be monitoring your movements, tracking your network activity, or even interfering with the control of your machine. It collects information, including the websites that you go to, passwords and usernames used to log in to sensitive sites, and even personal details such as social security number, bank accounts and credit cards. You can get spyware removal programs, which function much like antivirus software, to scan your activity and keep spyware out. You can also do monthly scans, or bring your machine to Computer Fix SLC for regular scans to detect and remove the harmful programs.


Nobody wants to get worms, and that is true for your computer as well. Computer worms are software programs that attach to a program within your PC, then replicate themselves once you interact with the program. One of the biggest drawbacks to having a worm is how it can affect your network. By replicating and spreading through the network, it can reduce your network performance, and take up bandwidth, affecting your connection speeds and quality. On the more serious side, it can poke holes in your firewall or other system security that allows hackers to get into your computer and control it remotely. Keeping your system current with the latest security patches, and running scans to detect worms can keep them from getting into your PC.


If you don’t remember history class, the Trojans were the ones who tricked their enemies into letting them into their city by hiding inside a large, hollow horse. Once inside the city, they could attack from within and defeat their powerful enemy. In your computer, a Trojan or Trojan horse is software that looks just like a legitimate program, but it harbors a malicious program that will be released once inside. If they allow hackers or other malicious programs in to your machine, Trojans can cause significant damage or steal troves of private information from your PC.

The best defense against malicious software on your machine is a good offense. Being proactive about keeping your system clean and free of bad programs can help you avoid the difficulty that comes with trying to get rid of them once they are inside. Bring your PC to Computer Fix SLC to learn more and get it scanned for problems.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How do I Protect my Computer Against Viruses?

How do I Protect my Computer Against Viruses?

If you are like most people these days, your computer is a pretty important part of your life. Whether you’re using it to play computer games, stay in touch with friends and family, pay bills, or even work, you need a functioning machine. Unfortunately if you get computer viruses, it can put your machine at risk, and also put your personal information and files at risk. Here are the most important steps you can take to protect computer from viruses so you can avoid significant computer repair at Computer Fix Salt Lake City.

Use an Antivirus Program

If you use your computer on the internet at all, you need an antivirus program. There are dozens of different antivirus programs available out there with varying degrees of efficacy, but the most important thing is that you get a program on your computer. Some of the ones that protect computers best also include anti-malware and anti-spyware programs. Without this protection, your machine could be vulnerable to malicious viruses, spyware, and malware that you encounter online. Once installed, be sure to keep it updated to protect against new viruses.

Avoid Suspicious Sites

Anyone can post a website online, which means that even computer hackers and users trying to spread computer viruses can put up websites. Often these sites will be designed to draw you in and have you click on an executable file (one that ends in a .exe), which can install the harmful programs on your computer. Avoid sites that are not well known to you, or that seem suspicious, and especially avoid clicking any links on those sites if you do find yourself there.

Email Attachments

Email attachments are one of the most common ways antiviruses are downloaded. If you get an attachment, be sure it’s something you were expecting, and it’s from a trusted source before you open it. In some cases an email may come from someone you know, but the attachment could still contain a virus, so if it seems like a suspicious attachment, contact the person to be sure they sent it to you before opening it. Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know.

Use the Firewall

Today most computers come with firewalls that can block potential viruses, worms, and hackers from accessing your machine. The firewall may not be turned on by default, so when you start using a new machine, be sure to go into the “settings” and turn on the firewall if it is not already on.

Keep Operating Systems Updated

Your operating system runs the entire machine, and can include important security updates, so if you want to protect a computer from viruses, it’s best to have the most current version of your OS.

Computer repair is never fun, and the best way to ensure that you won’t need it on your machine is to protect the computer with the right software and hardware, then practice safe internet behavior that can keep you from mistakenly getting computer viruses on your machine. If you need information on the latest antivirus software or other protection measures for your computer, come talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is Computer Firewall?

What is Computer Firewall?

Before the internet and networks, the term “firewall” actually referred to a wall made of fireproof or fire resistant material that was built to protect a building or area in case a fire erupted in another part of the same structure. These walls were designed to insulate parts of a building from threat of fire, for example, between separate apartment units or between the garage and the main part of a home.

In 1988, the NASA Ames Research Center reported the first known internet virus attack, and since then the online community has been building the best “firewall” software programs or hardware to protect a computer or network from external threats such as viruses, hackers, and worms that come through a network connection. With our increasingly connected world, a threat on one computer or machine can quickly threaten hundreds, even millions, of other connected devices. To prevent the need for excessive computer repair, it’s important to protect your machine with a good firewall.

Two Types of Firewalls

The two main types of firewalls are either software or hardware. The features and benefits of each are different, so it’s important to understand each so you know which one will be most beneficial for your situation. If you have questions about firewalls, talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City to find out more.

Hardware Firewalls

These are often referred to as “network firewalls”, consisting of an external device between your computer and your internet connecting. If you’re using your computer at home, this type of protection is often built right into the broadband router so you can connect several machines or devices through one router and they will all be protected. Even if you only have one computer, a firewall can still be a valuable form of protection.

In larger network environments, such as a company, the same physical firewall may be used, but instead of being in a small router, it will likely be larger, and will be housed in the server or IT area of the company, protecting several dozen (or even several hundred) machines at once.   

Software firewall

While hardware firewalls are one form of protection, they are not the only recommended line of defense. In fact, most computers also run a software firewall that monitors all the incoming and outgoing traffic through the network and identifies potential threats.

Many of today’s operating systems, such as Windows or Mac, include a built-in firewall that users should take advantage of. In order to get the maximum protection from this available firewall, ensure that it is turned on in your general settings.

There are also several third-party vendors that offer programs called an “internet security suite” for virus protection, spyware, malware, and other common internet threats.

The right kind of firewall can not only provide great protection from the myriad of external threats designed to bring harm to your machine to avoid computer repair, it can also help improve your internet connection and the performance of your broadband service.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Improve Your Computers Performance

Improve Your Computers Performance

When you first come home with your shiny new PC, it can be hard to believe that the average lifespan of these computers is only about 3-4 years, according to survey data—over time, that fast machine will start to slow down. While it’s inevitable that your PC will not run like new for years and years to come, there are ways that you can help improve performance, stretching the PC lifecycle just a little bit longer without incurring a large support or service bill.

Before You Begin

Prior to doing any maintenance project on your PC, it’s important to backup your data. Once you start messing around with the inner components of the machine, there is always a chance you could mistakenly erase important files and documents. If you have little or no experience with PC repair, it may be best to take it to Computerfix Salt Lake City for computer repair.

In order to help with your computer, professionals always begin with the least invasive procedure, only moving to more complex processes if the PC doesn’t respond to the easier things. If you’re planning to do your own computer repair, you should follow a similar strategy. In the event you begin a process and are unsure whether it could do damage, it’s best to stop and take it to a place like Computerfix Salt Lake City to avoid extensive (and irreparable) damage.

Upgrade Your Hardware

Before you can do anything to enhance your machine’s performance, you must have sufficient hardware in place to support the software you intend to run, including your operating system. There are many hardware components you can upgrade (if you know how to do it correctly), including RAM, graphics card, hard drive, optical drive, and the processor. Some of these upgrades are easier than others, so if you have never done it or are not sure how to upgrade any particular item, it’s best to take it into a professional computer repair shop.

Check for Viruses & Spyware

The next thing you can do is check the machine for viruses, spyware, malware, and adware. All these types of files can be damaging to the machine, taking up space and slowing down the machine. While spyware and adware are often not intended to cause damage to your machine, they can cause the computer to slow down as it works to process these programs alongside your other programs. Viruses are often intended to cause harm, damaging files and destroying your computer. In both cases, having a good antivirus software can help you scan for and remove these files before they do damage that cannot be repaired.

Clean the Machine

Since your computer only has a limited amount of storage space and processing capacity, running dozens of unnecessary programs can cause the PC to slow down. If you’re not using a specific program, go into your system files and uninstall it (note: deleting the shortcut on the desktop is not the same as uninstalling a program). If you’re not sure how to do this, take it to the technicians at Computerfix Salt Lake City to have them help.

Reboot the Entire System

When nothing else works, you can also consider uninstalling and reinstalling the operating system and other programs, but this is a significant step and should only be done in extreme cases. If possible, it’s best to have a professional do this as it can cause irreparable damage to the machine when done incorrectly. Don’t forget to backup all your data before doing this, because it will all be gone as soon as you uninstall the OS.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prolong the Life of your PC

Prolong the Life of your PC

For most people these days, a computer is a permanent and important part of your daily life, whether you’re using it for homework, gaming, or just to keep in touch with friends and family through social media networks and email. While the cost of computers has gone down significantly over the past couple of decades, it’s still a significant investment for many people. Here are a few ways you can prolong the useful life of your PC.

Adjust the Settings

When you first get your PC, there are many “factory settings” that are already determined, but often these are not things that most users require on a daily basis, especially if you are using your PC for more basic work, such as surfing the internet, word processing, and email. Check out the factory settings and disable things that you do not use as often to maximize the functionality of the programs you do use. If you’re not sure which programs you use and which you can shut off, talk to the experts at ComputerfixSLC for some help.

Upgrade the Components

When you first buy your machine, you often cannot predict what types of functionality you will need in the future. Your computer may slow down when the RAM and storage space start running low. Instead of buying a new computer or taking it in for computer repair, consider replacing components that you need to improve, such as adding more RAM (random access memory), or storage. You may also want to get an external hard drive to store larger files (videos, photos, etc.) because they can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. This can also protect you in case the computer is ever stolen, or shuts down, because you’ll have a backup.

Keep the Machine Cool

If you use your PC a lot, and you have it stored in a confined space, it will often get very warm and not cool off properly while it is in use. This often happens with laptops too. Overheating is one of the most common problems that cause your computer to malfunction and require computer repair. Keep the machine in a well-ventilated area, and allow it to “breathe” while it’s in use so you can get the most out of your machine.

Clean the Computer Regularly

When you use your PC, and when it’s not in use, it is collecting dust and debris from the air nearby. Often this dust collects and is stored inside the computer, causing damage over time and speeding up the time it takes before you need to start replacing components. In addition, a computer that is not properly cleaned can be more susceptible to overheating, which is problematic.

Get the Right Accessories

Stop by ComputerfixSLC even visit out web site to discuss some of the most useful accessories you can have for your computer, including cleaner, fans, and things like laptop desks for your laptop PC. You can find exactly the items you need to keep your PC running in great shape, and ensure that investment is built to last.




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tips on Buying a Desktop Computer

 Tips on Buying a Desktop Computer

While many people have moved from the desktop computer to more portable options such as laptops and tablets, there is still a place for the desktop PC. In terms of price, power, and versatility, it still beats a laptop, and can be an essential part of your computing world—the key is to find the right one. Whether you decide to go with off-the-shelf models or custom made computers, it’s important to know which components will help you build the perfect machine.

Start with Processing Power

The Central Processing Unit, also known as CPU or processor, is like your computer’s “brain”, controlling how long it takes the system to boot, how well it runs applications, and how much power it requires. There are a wide variety of CPUs out there and a CPU upgrade can get pricey, so it’s important to know what you want your system to do in order to get the best one at the right price. If you’re not sure what you need, talk to the experts at Computer Fix.

 You can adjust your CPU for custom computers based on a few factors—the speed (measured in gigahertz or GHz), the number of cores that the processor includes, and the brand. Generally more GHz is better, and the more cores you have, the more programs it can run simultaneously without affecting the performance of the machine.
Choose an Operating System

There are basically three operating systems (OS) to choose from—the most common is Microsoft’s Windows, followed by Apple’s OS X and Linux. The OS is the foundation for running various programs, so you want one that offers reliability, stability, and as much functionality as possible.

Most PCs today come already loaded with Windows, unless you buy an Apple computer (Mac). Linux ranks third in terms of total users, and while it is a free open source system, it is often only utilized by people with a lot of experience working with computers and is not generally used by the masses. Windows offers a variety of different OS options, most notably versions for home or professional users, and you can decide based on how you intend to use the computer.

Hard Drive & Memory

The next choice for your custom made computers is how big you want the hard drive, and how much memory you need. These are not the same thing—each has a distinct role within the computer, but both are absolutely critical. The hard drive (measured in GB) stores your data, while the memory is what accesses and runs programs (measured in RAM). You will usually have hundreds or even thousands of GB of storage (hard drive), while you will only have about 4 to 8 GB of RAM (memory). Generally speaking, more hard drive and more memory are good things, especially if you intend to run RAM-intensive programs like Adobe Photoshop, or you want to store significant-size files, such as videos and pictures.

The Finishing Touches

You also need to decide whether you want custom made computers with upgraded video cards. If your purpose is to use the computer for word processing, spreadsheets, and email, a video card will not be as important. If you’re using it for video games and other graphics-intensive programs, consider upgrading.

The final step is to choose your accessories, such as the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Decide whether you need wireless or wired accessories, and what size and resolution you want your monitor to be. Today’s monitors are often super high resolution and large, offering an experience similar to watching television on an HDTV.

When you know what you want from your computer, visit Computer Fix to build a custom machine with everything you need.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is Your Computer Running Slow?

Slow Computer?

Computers certainly make our lives and our work easier in many ways, and they have become a permanent part of daily life for most people. That’s why when they begin to run slowly it can be extremely frustrating. Whether you have had your PC for a while, or it’s brand new, there are a few common reasons it may be running slowly. Use this checklist to determine if your machine is suffering from these common ailments, so you can fix the slow computer and get it back to working like new again.

Reason #1: Spyware, Malware, Viruses

There are so many different ways that a computer can pick up spyware, malware, and viruses throughout the course of normal use that it’s important to check for it regularly. You should have a proper antivirus and antispyware program installed on your machine to help protect it, but also avoid doing things that usually result in spyware—surfing non-reputable websites, opening attachments in emails from people you don’t know, or clicking on links that you are not sure where they will lead. If you have a serious case of spyware, you may need to take it to a professional shop like Computer Fix to have it cleaned.

Reason #2: Overload at Startup

When you first get your machine, it probably only contains a few of the factory-installed programs. As you use it regularly, you install more and more programs that take up space on the hard drive and claim some of the start-up status, which can slow the machine down significantly. You can check out your start-up list by going to All Programs, and remove any that are unnecessary to have starting automatically when you turn on the machine. That is often a default setting, but it’s not necessary for all programs.

Reason #3: Not Enough Memory

Perhaps you purchased the computer and at the time were not aware exactly how much RAM you might need, or perhaps the memory capabilities have declined over time with fragmentation from opening, using, and closing various programs and files. Some programs may also be hogging some of that memory by not releasing RAM after it closes. You may want to consider adding more memory, which you can do on your own, or you can take it to a place like Computer Fix and have the experts upgrade your machine to make it a faster computer.

Reason #4: Fragmented Disks

Every time you create new files, delete old files, and open or close programs, the computer splits it up and stores the files in several different places. Over time, the effort to recover those fragmented pieces becomes difficult on the computer, causing excessive wear and tear on the physical components inside the machine. To optimize the system and avoid unnecessary effort for the internal components, consider defragmenting your disk every now and then to maintain drive integrity and realign the items inside the PC.

Reason #5: Redundant Programs

Your computer has a limited amount of space, so it’s important that you only install and run necessary programs. If you find the PC slowing down and you’re looking for ways to fix a slow computer, look at your list of programs and find out if there are redundancies that you can eliminate by uninstalling programs. There are also programs out there that can help you detect and identify redundancies in your system, then remove them.

These tips can help you get a faster computer without having to purchase a whole new machine. At Computer Fix can help get your machine back in shape, hopefully running like it was when it was new.