Due to an increased demand for our computer support (we must be doing something right!) we have decided to trial a computer tuition service. We understand that not everyone is a "wizz" or "boffin" when it comes to computers and when performing our home visits we have noticed that a large percentage of our clients are fearful of exploring their computer for fear that they may cause irreversible damage.
These callouts, whilst not excessively expensive could easily be remedied by learning some of the basics when dealing with computers, below are a few examples.

Anti-Virus installation

When purchasing a new computer there are usually trial versions of anti-virus software pre-installed which offer protection typically for 30 days.
After this period you are prompted to pay for a subscription service to receive updates and technical support, this can range from between £15 to £40 per year. Even if you were persuaded to purchase an anti-virus solution when you bought your computer this will only be valid for just one year.

So what do I do?

Firstly, there are a number of FREE anti-virus solutions available for download. Many offer their free version in the hope that you like their software so much you decide to pay for it and receive additional features and support. These additional features are generally not required and can sometimes cause more issues.
When you have chosen your anti-virus software provider follow the download links to the FREE version, read the options carefully so you are not downloading a 30 day trial or similar option.
When running the installation setup if there are multiple options select basic as this is usually the free version with the wording such as complete or full protection usually being the trial versions.
Some installation programs usually come bundled with third party applications that are also installed along with free software. Please be vigilant as these whilst not directly harmful can result in annoying popups and unwanted spam emails offering to sell you products or services.
If you are asked for your email address read the text carefully to see if this is optional or mandatory (some anti-virus companies require your email for licences) though some have this solely for advertising, if in doubt untick any boxes and do not enter an email, if you are not allowed to progress without an email address this is then considered mandatory.

Updating Software

Generally software updates are required to improve the security and features of a program. Some applications such as Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash Player may prompt you to perform updates to software. These updates are usually necessary if you visit sites such as (video sharing) or for radio, TV or news.

So what do I do?

Read carefully what the popup is asking you. If the software is something you have not heard of before it may not be something you actually use and so may not be worth updating. As a rule of thumb, windows updates are best left to automatic as they generally help keep your computer secure. If you have recently updated your computer and you are now being told your copy of windows is not genuine please contact us for more help.
Remember: If you are in any doubt about the software update prompt do not allow it, simply click either cancel or the cross at the top right hand corner (if available).

If you have a computer related query that is not outlined above please contact us as we still may be able to help.

Internet Access

Driffield like most of the UK is benefiting from an increase in broadband speeds and a competitive market with the likes of BT, BSKYB, TalkTalk and Virgin Media competing for customers.
We are often asked to recommend a service provider and our answer is usually (all have their merits and issues) though the service provider we have had the most issues with is TalkTalk telecom, this could be as a result of an aggressive takeover strategy of Pipex, Tiscali, AOL as well as many other smaller companies. Growing your customer base too quickly without the capacity to match may have caused the issues with customers loosing internet connectivity. If you have experienced this and require assistance please contact talktalk first and then ourselves if your issue is not resolved.
When choosing an Internet Service Provider there are a number of areas we need to look at. Some may argue this is price we believe that it is value (of course the difference being you get what you pay for!).
We have experience in helping customers find the best deal that suits them. We are not paid by any of the ISPs for recommending their services so we will not bias our recommendations to line our pockets. We look at what each provider can offer and take the best three in our opinion for price, speed and reliability.
When our clients have experienced issues with their internet access we always offer to speak to their ISP on their behalf, due to many technical support centres being located outside the UK it is generally a tasks to understand clearly what details the "technician" is requesting let alone trying to understand the jargon such as IP Address, Router and Master socket.
We have experienced isolated cases where some of the call centre staff have blamed the clients computer for the issues and only when they have been questioned further has it arisen there is a serious issue with the network service.
With the recent addition of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) with products such as Infinity superpowered fibre or unlimited fibre we find our clients are at a loss as to which package will suit them.

So what do I do?

If you are experiencing technical difficulty first contact your internet service provider, make sure the numbers you are calling are FREE from your landline (so you do not incur additional costs to add to your inconvenience).
Make sure your router is connected to the main socket in your house, there is usually only one socket in a house so generally this isn't an issue unless you have additional phones that are not cordless. The main reason for this is that any cables between a master and secondary sockets could cause additional issues and also a lower speed for the internet (not to mention that if there is an issue and an engineer is called you may be liable for a bill up to £180).
Make sure any sky boxes are not connected to your telephone line (this can sometimes cause issues with connection speeds) simply unplug from the telephone socket.
If none of these remedy the situation we would be happy to help if possible.

When choosing a new provider first check and make note of the estimated speed you may receive on their website (using a combination of telephone number & post code or house number & post code) this will help if you have any issues in future regarding the speed. The speed is calculated by the distance from the telephone exchange (in Driffield this is next to the bus depot on middle street) to your house, being located closer provides you with a greater speed. Even though some adverts may show up to 8mb or up to 16mb your speed could be anything from 1mbps up to this.
Check the package you are selecting paying close attention to any usage limits (even though some products are marked as unlimited they may have limits attached referred to as "fair usage". Pay attention to special offers with usage limits of 10GB as even for novice internet surfers watching daily videos or listening to internet radio this could quickly exceed your usage.
If possible also speak to family and friends and see what service provider they use and what their experience has been. Again please be aware that your estimated speed may differ from that of family and friends depending on how close they are to the telephone exchange. If you are in doubt we will gladly help check your estimated speed and help with your decision.
Before you sign up with your new provider it may be beneficial to speak with your old supplier to ask for a mac (Migration Authorisation Code). When requesting this you may be transferred to cancellations or retentions who may try and keep you as a customer by offering a discount. If your service is consistent but you are seeking a cheaper deal this is the best time to try your haggling skills.
If you decide to leave be aware that your new supplier will send you a new router which will replace you old one, make note of the activation dates for both your broadband and landline (which can take around 3 weeks).

Remember: We will happily assist you with any issues you may experience and are just a phone call away.

Cashback when purchasing utilities or products

When buying products or services over the internet & instore we are constantly being enticed with attractive offers.

Some of you may not know you can also claim cashback on items or services you were going to buy anyway, to avoid misuse the payments are delayed for up to a few months and payment can either be made via PayPal, BACS, Amazon Gift Vouchers or Love2Shop (with the latter two options offering an additional 5% extra)

Click on the links below to view some of the deals

Online Cashback