Grab a delicious hot chocolate or cup of tea instead!
Come join us at Yellowstone Computing this Thursday (12/5/19) for the last Coffee and Cookie Thursday of 2019! Banish the chill with a cup of specialty coffee and a plate of home-baked goodies! Sit a while and spin a yarn or grab a cup to go! Coffee not your beverage of choice?
Grab a delicious hot chocolate or cup of tea instead!
With the rise of mobile technology, combined with increasing urban congestion, remote work is becoming an accepted norm in the workplace. In fact, according to a 2018 study by the International Workplace Group, “70% of employees are working at least one day a week somewhere other than the office”. So it’s no surprise that while sales of both desktop and tablet computers are set to fall in the coming years, Statistica forecast global laptop sales to increase.
Of course, not all laptops are created equal, so what are the most important features you should look for when purchasing this crucial piece of business hardware?
The ability to take your computer wherever you go is central to the appeal of a laptop – a computer that causes shoulder strain when being carted around isn’t much use – so weight is an important consideration. Modern laptops fall into several broad categories: ultra-portable (with a 9–13ʺ screen and weighing about 2.5 pounds), laptop (11–15ʺ screen and 3–6.5 pounds) and desktop replacement (15ʺ screen or larger and heavier than 4.5 pounds). Generally speaking, weight equals computing power, so ask how much punch you require vs. how far and often you’ll have to carry it. And be sure to check whether the listed weight includes the battery (which can add up to another pound).
With many workers constantly on the move, manufacturers have begun to take durability seriously as a selling point. Generally, metal cases offer more protection than plastic ones – though nothing beats a rubber case. You’re also going to want to consider a spill-resistant keyboard if liquids are a factor in your workplace. For less durable models, you might consider buying a shockproof case that attaches to the laptop or investing in a robust carry bag.
Laptops are available that offer between 128GB and 2TB of space. For those who frequently use larger files, such as videos and high-resolution images, more space is better. However, even 128GB is enough for about 60,000 photos, 19,000 songs, or 3.3 million documents. If people in your business travel frequently, you might consider a laptop with a solid-state drive (SSD). Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs don’t have any moving parts, which makes them quicker, more durable and resistant to overheating. On the flipside, if speed isn’t vital, external hard drives are an increasingly affordable option, with 2TB expansion drives selling for less than $100 these days. They also offer increased flexibility, being able to plug into different computers.
4. Battery life
For those who use their laptop on the commute or in other locations that don’t have a convenient wall outlet, battery life is crucial – after all, without an unreliable battery, your laptop quickly becomes an expensive paperweight. That said, while battery life is an important aspect of any laptop, it’s also a difficult beast to nail down because the same machine will last for different periods based on how it’s being used. Simply drafting up a report on a word processor will see a battery last a lot longer than watching videos on YouTube. And new batteries perform far better than older ones. In fact, some new business laptops sail past the nine-hour mark, giving you a full day of work on a single charge.
Ultimately it all boils down to performance. However, this is also a question of your requirements. You can spend as much as ten thousand dollars on a laptop that displays video in 4K and packs the processing power to play the most advanced games on the market. Most business laptops come in at a fraction of that price yet offer fast processors with integrated graphics cards that support multi-tabbed browsing and common office programs. In many cases, this is all you’ll need. Of course, if you do work with large media files, frequently edit photos and videos, or want to play video games on your lunch break, you’d do well to select a laptop with superior graphics, memory, and RAM.
We know picking out the right laptop can seem daunting, but we make it easy! Contact Yellowstone Computing today and let us help you find the perfect laptop for you! 715-255-0325
“Why is this computer running so slow?” It’s a common complaint. The question is whether it’s your computer or your internet connection.
You may feel your computer is moving at a snail’s pace, but it used to be cheetah-fast! You’re going to want to identify and address the issue to get back up to speed. Yet it’s hard to know whether to blame your computer or the internet, especially now that so many computer applications rely on internet connectivity.
So, how do you determine whether it’s your computer or connectivity that’s the problem? If you are having the problem only on one device in a network, you can guess it’s the computer not the connectivity. Otherwise, think about when you are having slow woes.
If you notice programs are taking longer to load up, your computer may not be up to the task. Running large applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or some accounting packages can cause slowdowns. The hardware may be overwhelmed. You may not have enough available storage space. Sometimes your computer’s parts are simply too old and not fast enough.
Even a new computer could be the problem if it’s an inexpensive one. Or perhaps you didn’t get enough random-access memory (RAM). Your computer needs RAM to run applications or games; it’s the short-term memory of the computer. This is where the computer loads all the things it thinks it might need soon so that it can process them quickly. Without enough available RAM, the computer has to work harder (and slower) to get the results you want.
No wonder common advice for people dealing with slow computers is to invest in more RAM. If your device is less than five years old, you can often upgrade the RAM inexpensively, or switch to a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD reads and writes differently than a traditional hard drive, which allows it to access information faster. Meanwhile, buying a replacement computer may be the answer if your device is more than five years old.
Then Again, Maybe It’s the Internet Connection
On the other hand, you might notice computer slowness when online. Web pages might be slow to load, or you might be waiting ages to access YouTube videos. If the lag is happening on only one website, it could be that site’s problem. Otherwise, internet slowness could be a provider problem. Or you might have a poor connection.
One way to confirm a connection issue is to check your internet speed. A site such as fast.com or speedtest.net can measure your speed, then you can compare it against the connection speed you’re paying for. Don’t know that? Check your service bill. You may have a slow internet speed plan. Maybe you haven’t changed it in years but have added many more devices. In that case, you’ll want to call your service provider about an upgrade … or confiscate the kid’s devices when you want to stream a favorite show.
When testing, you are looking for a speed of at least 10 Mbps. Anything below that, and you’ll start seeing slowdowns and hearing the complaints from all corners of the house. To put that in perspective, Netflix needs at least 5mbps to stream in HD.
Other Tidbits to Tackle Slowness
You might also try rebooting your computer or your modem and router. If you leave these running all the time, never actually turning them off, they can get stuck in a slow rut.
If you’re on Wi-Fi, that could also be the root of your problem. Maybe you’re on a network with too many users making demands. For instance, if everyone in your family is streaming on their devices, expect a slowdown. You might be in a signal dead zone. In that case, you could look into a Wi-Fi mesh network.
Ultimately, there are many reasons for a slow computer or internet connection. Don’t get stuck with a tortoise of technology. A managed services provider can find the root cause and get you running faster. Contact us today at 715-255-0325.
Our office will be closed Thursday and Friday (11/28-29)
for the Thanksgiving celebration.
We thank you for your business and pray you have a safe holiday
with family and friends.
Why can’t we all just get along? You’ve probably thought that before. But the sentiment is also one that goes through our heads when we’re trying to set up home networking. When cables and passwords abound, we can’t help but wish it was easier to get all our devices to play nicely together. Here’s help.
Desktop computers. Laptops. Tablets. Network printers. Routers. Modems. Smartphones. Smart speakers. Media players. Gaming systems. Homes today have many, if not all of these. Each has all sorts of features, and they’d be even more useful if they connected to one another. If only it wasn’t so challenging to get all our devices to relay information between each other reliably.
Home networking can bring so many benefits. You might enjoy:
What Your Home Network Needs
First, take a moment to imagine connecting all the computers and smart devices in your home via cables. Ack! As if you want more cables snaking around your home! You don’t want to feel as if you’re rooming with Medusa. So, you’ll be looking into a wireless home network to connect your devices to the internet and each other. That means setting up a modem and a router (we’re assuming you already have an internet service provider).
The modem is what connects your network to the internet. The router connects your devices to each other and to the internet through your modem. The router communicates the wireless signal between your devices and the modem. A gateway option combines the modem and router functions in one device.
If your home is spread out over several floors or square feet, or you have to deal with thick walls, you might have difficulties at home with Wi-Fi dead spots. Great! You’ve made all this effort, and it’s still not working! You could try a mesh network. Instead of making one device do all the signaling, a primary router and many smaller satellites (or nodes) relay the signals with equal power.
Securing Your Home Network
When you get your devices connected, you’ll want to secure your home network. Taking these simple steps helps protect your personal information and prevent cyberattacks. First, change the default passwords on your modem and router, and choose something more complex than “123456,” “password,” or “letmein.” You’ll also want to set up a guest network if the router supports it. This allows visitors to access the Wi-Fi without you having to share access to your main network.
Also, rename your Wi-Fi network so that it isn’t obvious that it’s your house. For example, if you live at 920 Hassell Place, you wouldn’t name it 920Hassell. Or, if you’re the Wilsons, don’t name it WilsonNetwork. Don’t make it easy for someone trying to target you to identify which network they are trying to hack.
You like using all your devices but getting them all networked seems like a headache. Still, once you have a home network set up, you’ll wonder why you waited so long. Don’t put off the convenience any longer. We can help you get all your devices playing together nicely and securely.
Connect with us today at 715-255-0325!
Passwords are essential to your cybersafety. You know it, but if you’re like the rest of the digital society, you probably have dozens of passwords to remember. It’s a lot. So, you might take shortcuts. Taking advantage of your laissez-faire attitude is one way bad guys access your passwords.
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