Charlotte computer repair experts recommend rebooting system for new school year
A fast home computer may not be on the supply list for Charlotte students headed back to class this month, but prepared parents should make sure their digital tools are as sharp as their No. 2 pencils.
Phan Nueman, owner of NBS Technology, a highly rated computer repair company in the Ballantyne area, says he's seen big changes in how parents and children use technology for schoolwork over the past 14 years.
Teachers are using more software and online resources than ever, so how can families meet the demand for devices and bandwidth without cashing out the college savings account? We did the homework and asked Charlotte computer repair experts for tips to prepare for a year of online assignments, Bring Your Own Technology days, collaborative projects and, if it’s OK with Mom and Dad, the occasional YouTube break.
Cull the Clutter
To freshen up your home computers and laptops, rid them of useless, data-sucking, possibly malicious applications. "If you touch the Internet, you probably have some," says Tom Hall of Computer House Calls in Charlotte.
Hall recommends running the application CCleaner to remove the junk on your home PC.
This can improve the function of a computer or tablet that you’d like to get another year of use from before replacing. Think you need to hit restart and get a new computer now? Here’s how to tell when it’s time to buy a new computer.
Another tip to save some possible tears down the road: Get cloud storage to back up files and documents, and spare the drama of the late-night, on-deadline computer crash. Don’t forget to pick up a flash drive as well, as many K-12 schools don't allow students to access file-sharing sites on their networks.
Boost your Internet bandwidth at home. A family that’s doing homework, streaming television and Web browsing in the evening will need solid Internet speeds to avoid lagging (not to mention feuding siblings).
“We use the Internet for almost everything now,” Nueman says.
If you have two or three children, he recommends at least 35 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. At home, Nueman pays for 50 megabits per second download speed, with 5 Mbps upload speed from his Charlotte Internet service provider.
Protect your kids
Smart parents understand that the danger of computers, tablets and smart phones is what your child might happen upon, intentionally or unintentionally, out there in cyberspace.
For that reason, Nueman agrees with experts who suggest computers be kept and used in a central place, not bedrooms.
Nueman also recommends some additional protection. He likes Open DNS, a security network that uses remote servers to filter out websites you don’t want your child to see. It’s easy to install on home devices and computers, or a computer repair company can install it on your home’s router to cover every connected device.
For students going to college, Nueman recommends protecting them from computer malfunctions with a computer maintenance plan. “You don’t want them to have to wait to come home when they need something fixed right away,” he says. “Check Angie’s List in the area, and you can find a good one.”