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Posts Tagged ‘performance’

FAST Internet Speed for Your Business Made Easy

Friday, April 13th, 2012

A small to medium sized business today needs to move at the speed of light in order to remain competitive. All too often, employee productivity is tied directly to the responsiveness of the office internet connection. With remote workers, social media, online apps, cloud databases, email, and other web based technologies forming the hub of a company’s communication system it is critical to maximize internet speed in order for work to be completed quickly.

Internet speeds have come a long way from the days of Dial-up and many different technologies have emerged to help connect your small to medium sized business computers to the Cloud. The most common of these technologies for an office include DSL, Dedicated T1, Cable, and Cellular. With each differing technology comes a range of different features, varying reliability, and different levels of performance, price, customer service and ease of use.

When the time comes to evaluate an internet provider for your office and business technology needs, it is important to weigh everything together. The overall speed, price, reliability, provided features, and even the reputation of the service providers are important when it comes to making the final decision. Here is a general overview of the main differences between various types of data technologies for your office:

Rated by Speed from Slowest to Fastest in a Typical Environment

  • DSL (usually the slowest)
  • Cellular
  • T1
  • Cable Broadband (usually the fastest)

Average Prices from Least to Most Expensive

  • DSL
  • Cellular
  • Cable
  • T1

Average Reliability from Least to Most Reliable

  • Cellular
  • DSL
  • Cable
  • T1

While the least expensive choice for business solutions is DSL, it is usually the slowest speed which can have a crippling effect on workplace productivity. Whenever taking speed into consideration, it is important for a professional to evaluate the number of computers, devices, and what they will be used for. That information can be compared to speed ratings for the various types of internet available.

This is a standard cable modem

Another important point to evaluate with intended usage is the need for 24×7 connectivity. In some cases, for example if an email server or web server is part of the office technology deployment, it is more important to lean towards the more reliable solutions to avoid any disruption in services. The most reliable and expensive solution is a dedicated T1. A T1 maintains a connection to the Cloud at a constant speed with 99.99% up-time. While this is the most expensive choice, it has the highest probability of working when you need it.

T1 TDM router

If mobility is what you’re after, you’re going to want to take a look at cellular. Cellular data technologies allow you to take your work with you wherever you go. And last but not least, the best bang for your buck overall is Cable broadband. This is a great choice if you need a lot of speed at a great price.

Are you moving offices, looking at starting up a new office, or just need to upgrade your existing office? my PC Techs is a locally owned, Phoenix, Arizona based technology consulting firm. We have special connections to all of the big data providers in the area, including Cox, Integra, Verizon, and Centurylink (formerly Qwest). We can help your business evaluate speed, price, and reliability and decide between DSL, T1, Cable, or Cellular. Most importantly, we will help you get the best price and make the installation easy for you.

Speed up your office and get more work done in less time for less money. That’s what we do at my PC Techs. We help your business increase productivity, save time, and save money. Don’t lose another minute of productivity due to slow or unreliable Internet access! Give our experts a call today @ (602) 456-0150 for a free consultation and find out for yourself why our clients rave about our superior service and affordable prices.

Protecting Point of Sale Systems from Costly Downtime

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Point of Sale SystemWe do work for several restaurants and retail stores here in Phoenix, Arizona. These shops are all using windows based point of sale systems. While the software and database that run on the computers to transact credit card payments and process menu items are highly customized and supported by the franchise in most cases, the underlying operating system and hardware is not.

We have learned a lot about these systems and can say with certainty that the biggest issues we have run into are lack of proper backups and lack of spare hardware. When a point of sale system goes down for a store, especially a busy store, it is NO FUN. Employees need to process payments manually by hand and write out paper receipts. As you can imagine, the slowdown at the register does a lot to aggravate customers and employees alike. But there are three things that you can do as a retail store business owner to minimize downtime in the event of a system crash.

1. Perform regular system maintenance

Hiring a firm like my PC Techs to regularly maintain your equipment each month can save you from several hours worth of headache and hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales. Our technicians will visit your store and examine your systems for irregular performance. System errors, faulty hardware, failing hard drives, botched OS updates, and corrupted data can, in many cases, be identified and corrected before it becomes a larger problem. Dust can be cleaned out (the largest cause of hardware failure), and parts inspected. Unnecessary programs can be removed and system performance improved. The best part of this scenario, the repairs can be performed before or after regular hours, so customers never experience delay.

2. Perform regular, complete data backups

Usually during the same time as the system maintenance, our technicians can perform a complete data backup of all of your POS systems. This is important. When a hard drive crashes, you want to get your system back online as quickly as possible. To rebuild an entire system, restore data from on off site repository, and get all the hardware and software working correctly could take many hours. With a complete system backup, it could be as simple as popping in the right piece of replacement hardware and running a 30 minute recovery.

3. Identify and build an inventory of replacement parts

When a system failure happens, recovery time can be improved considerably when the right spare parts are kept on hand. Rather than buying hard to find computer equipment online, and waiting for it to be shipped, a replacement part can be obtained from storage and quickly installed to replace the broken component. That part can later be replaced to storage, so you always have a backup on hand for the next time disaster strikes.

When you think about the security of your data and your ability to transact business, keep in mind your local computer experts and ways that they can work with you to help improve the reliability of your computer operations. For help with the maintenance and emergency support of your POS systems, contact my PC Techs today. (602) 456-0150.

Keeping technology working, so you can too!

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Can anyone name a small business, or any business for that matter, that doesn’t rely upon technology for day to day operations? Computers play such an integrated role in our lives. Much like automobiles, it is important to maintain your computers and run periodic checks on them to avoid failure.

When doing routine system maintenance, there are several different areas of the computer that should be checked for potential problems. The operating system itself, installed software, updates and patches, anti-virus definitions, the network settings, the system fans, dust levels, hard disk drives, backups, and external devices! Some are more important than others. For example, if your hard drive fails, you could face some very costly data recovery issues. Dust is another one, dust and heat are the biggest killers of electronic components. A competent computer repair firm will have a checklist of items that a technician will run through, the hard drive and dust levels being just one of those, to ensure optimal performance.

Not to get stuck on the automobile analogy, but it’s so easy to do comparisons between that and computer repair. If you forget to change your oil, over time your engine suffers. If you go long enough, eventually your engine will fail. Computer maintenance is the same way. A lot of clients have come to us with failed hard drives. Sometimes we can get their data off pretty easily and recover their systems. In the worst cases, those hard drives need to be sent off to a lab where data recovery becomes extremely costly. Client with crashed hard drives are usually surprised when we tell them that the crash could have been avoided. There are warning signs that most equipment will give when things go bad, and the signs usually begin a while before the actual crash takes place. For hard drives, it could be slow performance, errors while working, errors in system logs, or even clicking or grinding sounds. Most computer fans make noises too when they are about to fail.

Our experts service and repair machines and are experienced in the different ways you can identify computer problems. If you hire a team of professionals that know how to keep your computers working, and have them come out monthly for a quick checkup, you too will be able to keep working. For most people, computer failures usually happen at the worst possible time. Like, right before an important project deadline. If your computer suddenly crashes or the network is not working you may lose work and income. All of this could be avoided with just a couple hours of preventative maintenance per month.


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