Tag Archives: upgrade

Consider These When Purchasing a Modem

New modems should be carefully chosen.

New modems should be carefully chosen.

When Purchasing a New Cable Modem, Seriously Consider These Things

Most internet service providers charge a rental fee for use of their modem. Knowing you need a modem for online usage, you agree. With some research, you can save lots of money with buying your own modem.

Many companies have you believe you have to rent their modem, but you do not. If you would like to purchase a cable modem, consider these things, and know there are many things to consider when you’re a computer owner.

1. Be Sure the Modem Works With Your Cable Provider

Majority of modems work for almost all providers, but with some exceptions. An example is, Motorola Surfboard SB6141, it does not work with AT&T U-verse or Verizon FIOS. Majority of provider have a page listing modems which work with their services. It is not always easy to find for every provider, which you can conduct a search online, look on customer forums, or contact their customer representatives.

2. Be Sure it is Fast Enough for Your Internet

Cable providers is a standard DOCSIS for sending information over wires, with 3 different repetitions: 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x. Best performance will be received if you purchase DOCSIS 3.0 compatible (or higher). Mid-range modem DOCSIS 3.0, gives up to 340 Mbps download speeds and 130 Mbps upload speeds. Higher download speeds are offered on higher-end modems.

Keep in mind, it does not matter how fast a modem is, it will not give you a faster internet connection. If you purchase a modem that is 300 Mbps and your plan you are subscribed to is 100 Mbps, the max internet connection you will receive is 100 Mbps.

For approximately half the cost of the 3.0, you can purchase a DOCSIS 2.0 that would work well if you subscribe to a plan of 30 or 50 Mbps.

3. Confirm Your Ethernet Port Speed

When running a router separately from your modem, if the Ethernet port is slow your connection will be slowed down even if you have a fast router. For your computer to receive the internet connection, the signal goes from lines from your cable company, through the modem, to the router from going across an Ethernet cord, finally thought air ending at your computer.

Internet speed can be limited from some choke points, which one of these can be the Ethernet cord. There would be no issues if your modem supports a Ethernet of a gigabit.

4. Think about if you want to purchase a modem/router combination.

Modem/router combination boxes may seem useful due to less clutter, and fewer wires, but you may want to choose against this choice. Your flexibly is limited with one box. If you want your wireless router upgraded, the whole device would need to be replaced. It is a cheaper way when only having to replace your router when wanting to upgrade.

You Have Control

Save money, and possibly have your internet connection improved at the same time when purchasing a new cable modem for yourself.

How You Can Downgrade From Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1

Windows 10 is going around, do you want to keep it?

Windows 10 is going around, do you want to keep it?

Downgrading Made Easy

Did you upgrade to Windows 10 and don’t like it? If your upgrade was within the last month, you are able to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1. If you decide later to go back to Windows 10, you can.

Downgrade Option Built-in

When upgrading to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows, the old OS files are stores in a folder with the name Wondows.old.

There is a feature built-in allowing you to return to your old operating system. The stipulation is, this option is available for only one month after upgrading. There are other options available if this time has passed.

To start, press Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery. You will notice a header named Go back to Windows X (depending on what version you previously had). Press Get started.

There will be a window asking why you are returning to the old version. After filling this in, press Next, keep note of the information and prompts, such as do not unplug your system during process. Your system will now begin to rollback, during which time it is unable to be used.

Downgrade When There is No Option Given

If you do not have the option anymore, you will need to do a fresh install of Windows 7 or 8.1 on your system. Keep in mind, doing so wipes everything from your drive. If you have a physical copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, put it into your computer. If you do not have a physical version, Microsoft Product Recovery for Windows 7 and 8.1 allows you to create one.

Next, restart your system looking for a message similar to this “press Esc to choose boot device.” The key and message might vary – F12 and F10 are keys commonly used also. To be sure it is registered, you can tap the key several times.

A menu is displayed with a list of all your bootable devices in which you can choose from. To choose the device that matches the media use your arrow keys and hit Enter. Next, follow the wizard for installation. If prompted, choose custom install – which means this is a completely fresh install. You will be asked to enter a product key, this is on installation media (if purchased separately), or with documentation for the PC (if PC came with Windows), or a sticker which is on the device. Some Window 8 PC’s you do not need to enter the key due to it being embedded in the computers firmware. In this case, it is detected automatically and allows you to install Windows without you having to enter a key.

Going Back to Windows 10

If you decide to hang on to Windows 7 or 8.1 for little longer, you can downgrade. Upgrading to Windows 10 is free for the first year. Just give it a go, but know that you have the option to use whichever you feel the most comfortable with.

Media Center Alternatives in Windows 10

Media Center is phasing out.

Media Center is phasing out.

Media Center Might Be a Thing of the Past

With the release of Windows 10, there will no longer be support for Windows Media Center. If you have WMC, it will stop working when upgrading to Windows 10. Time has come to find a media center alternative compatible with Windows 10.

Kodi/XBMC

Kodi (formally XBMC) is thought of as the best alternative for many users, open source and free. Users can watch videos, podcasts, play music, and any digital media files stored. There are several plug-ins available that allow users to access to content online from websites such as YouTube, Grooveshark, Pandora Radio, and Spotify. Live TV recording is excellent. There are several skins available to give you the look you want.

Plex

Very popular choice of media players even though live TV shows are not able to be recorded. Users are able to watch videos, podcasts, and view photos. With plug-ins available for Plex, users can watch online content on Hulu, CNN video, and Netflix.

MediaPortal

MediaPortal is free and open source with ability to record, play, and pause live TV, play music and videos, and show pictures stored on local storage or media card. Plug-in allow users to listen to music or watch videos online. This media center has skins available to change the way it looks. There is not much difference between Kodi and MediaPortal, which have been rivals for many years.

Freevo Media Center

Another open source alternative to Windows Media Center with functions including personal and digital recording, gaming, playing videos, listening to music, and much more. TV streams can be recorded and online videos can be streamed from websites such as Hulu, YouTube, and Flickr. Users are able to rewind or pause TV shows which are live. Freevo allows users to schedule recordings as well.

MythTV

An open source alternative having almost every requirement a standard media center requires. PC’s can be converted into complete multimedia entertainment set-up. Uses have the ability to rewind, skip, and pause live TV, and schedule recordings.

Emby

Easily connect from any device to stream Live TV and manage your DVR. Users have the ability to share media and features for parental controls, and cloud sync. There is Chromecast support with an attractive user interface.

JRiver MediaCenter

Single license available for $49.98, and is a premium option. This alternative is a strong choice that offers supports for video, audio, photos, and DLNA devices also have network support. A huge selling point for this media center is playing music from any device.
With Windows 10 upgrade there are some superior alternatives to Windows Media Center. If using a PC for only media, there is no need to up upgrade to Windows 10.

Ways to Boost Your Gaming PC

The performance of your PC matters.

The performance of your PC matters.

 

Boost the Performance of Your Gaming PC

Having a gaming PC sometimes requires a little work to get the best performance. You can get the best from your hardware, with a few steps. No need to have any tech experience, these are very simple to follow. In no time at all, your gaming PC will have boosted performance.

Driver Update for GPU

First thing to get the boost you are looking for, update GPU drivers. Doing this can give a boost in speed instantly. Graphic cards have regular updates for performance improvement. As new games are released, the more demanding they are on your graphic card. There have been some games that failed to play, until updates of graphic drivers were ready. Majority of times, you will be notified there is an upgrade available. You should also keep an eye out on AMD’s and Nvidia’s driver page, to ensure you have the latest.

Stop Background Applications That are Not Necessary

When you are gaming, you want as much system resources possible, dedicated to the game. Applications running in the background tend to slow computer performance. While all applications should not be disabled, there are some that can. You can choose to get an add-on for instance, Game Booster which disables what is not needed automatically. If there are applications you want left running, you can tell this program to ignore them.

You can also disable apps on your own without an add-on, if preferred. Open your task manager and select start up, uncheck each application that is uncritical. Beware if using this method, you may uncheck an application that is needed by your operating system. Game Booster knows which applications are safe to disable. If you believe an application is related to any hardware, or Windows, do not disable it.

Optimize Your Settings

AMD and Nvidia provide software that will optimize your game. Through much research they have learned scalable game presets, and hardware configuration that is distinct. This allows users to easily tailor settings in their game, with a slider using AMD Gaming Evolved or Nvidia GeForce Experience. This slider targets visual quality and performance. Some games have presets of their own, if you are not sure what settings to use.

Make sure you’re doing the necessary maintenance!

Hardware Upgrade if Still Not Boosted

If you have done everything suggested and not noticing a game boost, it may mean it is time for hardware upgrade. At some point you will have to update your hardware, in order to game on the PC. Games are starting to need more RAM in order to run, this is your cheapest upgrade. If you GPU is several years old, you want to upgrade that, as well. If you are confused what RAM or graphic card your PC can handle, contact a computer technician for assistance.

You can get the most out of the computer that you have, including high tech gaming. You just have to ensure you’re PC is ready and willing to handle it when the time comes.

How to Update Windows 8 to 8.1

How to Update Windows 8 to 8.1

Windows 8.1 is an upgraded version of Windows 8. It allows you to go to apps and play them much faster than you previously were. It was designed to help tablets and other touchscreen devices work faster than they currently do with Windows 8 on them.  Enjoy new features, like boot directly to desktop and the start button.

If you have a computer, tablet or other device that is currently running Windows 8, upgrading to 8.1 is free. It is a bit different than other updates you might have done in the past – this one comes from the Windows Store.

Preparing

Usually, if your computer or device is already set up for Windows 8, then you probably do not need to do much. However, there are some things to keep in mind prior to putting 8.1 on the device.

All of your files, desktop applications, setting and user accounts will automatically switch over – but, any apps that you purchased from the Window Store will not. You’ll have to go to the store to re-download them into the system. You will not have to pay again, though. Make sure to check the compatibility to Windows 8.1 on them.

There is a scan that is done by the system before it downloads. They check to make sure that everything is ready to go and that you do not have to worry about having to do something halfway through the download. A lot of times, you’re good to go.

If you do not already use a Microsoft account to log into your computer, it is recommended that you get one before getting 8.1. This is because it can help with many of the new features such as backing everything up on your computer using the cloud, see your contacts and download apps from the store.

You’re able to continue using the computer – even as the new update installs. This means it is not going to slow you down. If you do decide to go do something else, make sure everything is saved and closed down.

Your Computer or Device

Here are some things that should be done prior to installing the updates.

  • Back up all of your files on your computer. You want to make sure you have them once you make the switch.
  • Make sure there is enough space free on the disk to ensure that you can download this upgrade. If you do not, you’re going to have to re-do your computer to clean it out.
  • Make sure that your device is always plugged in. You do not want to lose power half way in between.
  • Make sure you’re connected to the Internet for the process. If you’re not, the process could take much longer.
  • Update all of your updates. Any critical or important ones should be updated before you put the new system into your device.
  • Turn off your antivirus program just for a short time. This is to stop the program from stopping the new software from being installed.

 

Getting the Update

Now you should be ready to download the free update from the Windows Store.

1. Go to the Start screen and then on the Store tile.

2. Click on the Windows 8.1 update within the store.

3. Click on Download to get it started.

4. The update will then begin downloading and installing itself in the background on your computer. You can use it to do other things in the mean time.

If something happens during installation, you’re able to go back to the Store and restart the download where it left off before it was interrupted.

Time to Restart

Once the download is complete and the first phase that comes with installation is complete, then it is time to restart the device. The download and first installation phase could take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours depending on the Internet connection and your specific device. Before it restarts, it lets you know that you have 15 minutes to save your work and close the apps. You can let it restart on its own or choose to do it yourself.

If you’re going to be walking away from your computer while doing this process, make sure nothing important is left running. You can lose all of your work by doing this. Save all your work and close out of everything, then walk away.

Restarting the computer and waiting for it to boot back up will take longer than it normally would. This is because it is downloading the new apps and updates needed to run the new system. It can go from 20 minutes to around an hour. Just be patient – you can’t use your computer during this time.

Welcome to Your New Windows

A lot of the start screen is going to look familiar to you once you’re ready to go. You can see all of your apps in the Store and check out which ones might be new to the system.

Now is a good time to re-install any apps that were deleted during the installation of the new system upgrade.

Enjoy Windows 8.1!

If you feel this is too much of a task for you, just contact a computer repair technician at IQ Computer Services.

What’s New In Windows 8.1

new in Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 What’s New

Windows 8 brought an entire new innovative operating system to the consumer. As with all new operating systems there were features that the public wanted to see and with the release of Windows 8.1 some of these features have come to light. Some of these additional features range from small tweaks in the interface to enhanced searching capabilities.

New and Enhanced Features

  1. Addition of a Start button – This new button on your desktop only takes you to the modern interface. (Also know as the metro interface)
  2. Boot directly to the desktop on start up – This feature does exactly what it says. you can now configure your system to boot right to the desktop eliminating the modern interface should you feel the need. To accomplish this Right click on your task bar and select properties. Then go to the Navigation Tab and choose the option that best suits your needs.
  3. Improved searching capabilities – Searching with in the modern interface has been enhanced using the power of Bing to assist the system in it’s searching.
  4. Enhanced Dual screen abilities – This feature is in windows 8 but in windows 8.1 you are not really limited as to how large or small you want the two screens.
  5. Staying in the Modern interface – They have made it more user-friendly staying in the modern interface and being able to access things like sky drive settings.

I would recommend updating to the Windows 8.1, if you are already using Windows 8. The enhanced features are convenient and easy to get used to. You can get Windows 8.1  from the app store for free if you already have Windows 8. Be sure to plug-in to power first.  Just go to the modern interface select store and there is a big app that says update. Click on that and then you click download.  Be prepared to wait a long time as this is a large download your system will restart several times.  As always visit IQ Computer Services for all your computer system needs from repair services to buying a new system.