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Leasing vs. Financing IT Equipment

Internet Security in Education: 3 Laws that Protect Students and Their Information

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021

What is 5G?

Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology

Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues

PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me?

4 Things Your IT Support Team Wants You to Know

6 Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer

Posts Tagged ‘it’

Leasing vs. Financing IT Equipment

 

IT equipment is essential for businesses in 2021. The main question is — leasing vs financing IT equipment? There are pros and cons for both options, but it depends on the kind of working environment, efficiency requirements, and budget. 

Leasing 

One of the greatest advantages of leasing is not being financially responsible for the equipment. Rather than having your company held responsible, you would be passing the financials to the leasing company. Instead of paying up front for the equipment needed, leasing allows you to set a monthly payment. A lease is also an option that will guarantee the same equipment with fixed monthly payments. 

Financials aside, leasing provides access to the newest, up-to-date equipment. Once your equipment has run its course, you can easily upgrade. Newer equipment requires less maintenance, which allows for greater productivity. 

However, there are some disadvantages to leasing IT equipment. Depending on your leasing terms and IT needs, leasing can be more expensive than financing — especially if you sign a lease and don’t end up using the equipment, as you are still obligated to pay. 

Financing

If leasing isn’t for you, you also have the option to finance. When financing, there are no contracts involved — you simply buy the equipment directly from the source. If maintenance is required, financing allows you to go about it at your own discretion. You won’t need to make an appointment with the leasing company or be stuck with damaged equipment. When you own the equipment, you can simply take care of everything on your own. 

For businesses on a tight budget, financing is the more cost-effective option. With one simple payment, the equipment is yours! 

However, there are a few downsides when it comes to financing. Depending on the business, making a big investment like this could max out your credit lines. Furthermore, you could be stuck with outdated equipment, whereas in leasing, updated equipment is always available. 

The Final Decision 

Between financing and leasing IT equipment, both have their pros and cons. However, it is up to you to decide which option is most cost-efficient, given your budget and IT needs. For the most advanced models that don’t require one big payment, leasing would be the best option. For a one-time payment and maintenance freedom, the best option would be financing. 

 

  Not sure whether to finance or lease IT equipment? We can help!    Feel free to give us a call or visit our website

Internet Security in Education: 3 Laws that Protect Students and Their Information

In the era of technology, some have concerns about their privacy. In schools, the top priority is to protect students and their information. With students constantly engaging in technology, whether it be submitting homework, emails with teachers, or saving documents, state and federal internet security laws protect all this information. 

 

 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is one of the most widely known federal laws regarding student privacy. It applies to every educational institution or those of a similar rank. This law protects the education records of all students and sets boundaries between what information students’ parents have access to when the student becomes 18 years of age. If educational records are needed by another school, parent, or in medical cases, there must be a written permission letter from the student or guardian to release that information. Details such as name, birthdate, phone number and school attendance is not under this law and does not require a written permission. 

 

COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Different from FERPA, COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is specific to the online services used by children 13 years and younger. This act controls what personal information is collected from young children. Applications and websites all have to abide by this act and schools can intervene as parental consent if needed. 

 

CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act 

In addition to protecting the privacy of students, it prevents them from seeing unwanted information while on the internet. CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act uses a filtered web system that schools and libraries use. This system blocks and hides harmful information or acts such as chat rooms and cyberbullying. CIPA also sets a curriculum on how to protect minors on the internet. This curriculum is required to use this program. Schools and libraries must implement these guidelines addressing a new internet safety policy. 

 

These three acts and laws are a preventative measure from harmful internet activities and exploitation. With the main goal of protecting students’ privacy and engaging them in new internet safety protocols these acts are required by law. 

 

Technology can be confusing, and it’s important to know your rights! Have any further questions on internet privacy? Contact WesTec today! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2021! It’s been a whirlwind year thus far, but we have seen many advancements in business technology. As remote work becomes the new normal, businesses everywhere have begun adopting new technology and software to make this transition easier. Here are a few small business tech trends that have proven to be revolutionary this year:

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

AI-Operated CRMs

In 2021, small businesses everywhere are looking to streamline their work with CRM software. AI-operated CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) allow businesses to effectively identify, track, and target leads through automated campaigns. Businesses have found that CRMs are a more effective approach to their sales processes, as this software produces more personalized customer engagement.

 

Remote Onboarding

Since the pandemic, many industries are making the switch to remote work. As smooth and successful as this transition has been for some, remote work may become a more long-term option. Now, businesses are implementing remote onboarding software to simplify and expedite the hiring process. This new software is more convenient and cost-effective than traditional hiring processes.

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

Centralized, Comprehensive HR Software

Remote work provides so much ease and convenience for employees and executives alike. However, with limited human-to-human contact, HR departments have had difficulty keeping up with the needs of their employees. With the introduction of centralized HR software, HR professionals can automate daily processes and store data. This software will also improve performance management and employee communication.

 

At WesTec Services, business technology is our specialty. From Managed Services and Network Installation to IT Consulting and more, we’re your one-stop shop. From computer hardware and software to telephone systems and integrated security, we’ll make it all work seamlessly together. 

Interested in learning more about the services we offer? Visit our website or contact WesTec Services today!

Want to stay up-to-date on emerging business technology trends? Visit our blog.

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What is 5G? - WesTec Services

What is 5G?

The world of technology is constantly evolving and presenting new ideas that promise ease, reliability, and productivity. 5G is one of these innovations and is not falling short of its promises. 

5G has revolutionized telecommunications as we know it. You’ve probably heard of 5G, but what is it and why do we need it? Here’s everything you need to know:

 

What is it?

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network that creates an Internet of Things (IoT) by connecting everything, including machines, objects, and devices. 5G boasts better data speeds, greater network capacity, and lower latency — ultimately creating an enhanced mobile broadband and improving user experience.

With these new, more reliable capabilities, this network has opened the door to new possibilities for industries across the board. For instance, 5G has made remote healthcare possible; this was especially groundbreaking for the healthcare industry in the midst of the recent global pandemic.

 

The Benefits  

The perceived benefits of 5G surpass those of its predecessors. With its ability to support a wide range of industries, we can expect to see massive economic growth. According to QualComm, it is projected that this network will enable a $13.1 trillion flow of goods and services by 2035. Additionally, with all the new, emerging applications, this network has the opportunity to create 22.8 million new jobs.

With lower latency, industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics will experience less wait time before completing a data transfer — less wait time means increased productivity! Furthermore, with its enhanced network capacity, 5G enables businesses everywhere to scale their technology.

For gamers, the higher speeds and minimal lag will improve the gaming experience. We can also expect virtual reality and augmented reality applications to become more popular, as the improved connectivity will allow for a more immersive experience.

 

5G was introduced in late 2019, so its availability is still somewhat limited in the United States. Want to stay up-to-date on all things 5G? Visit our blog for updates as we receive them.

Interested in learning more about the services we offer? Visit our website or contact WesTec Services today!

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Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology - Westec Services

Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology

Summer is right around the corner. If you haven’t tackled Spring cleaning yet, now is your opportunity! Here are a few ways to clean up your system and improve its overall performance with regular maintenance:

 

Business Technology MaintenanceDust with compressed air and wipe down the monitor

Starting with the outside of your system, dust the keyboard and mouse with a can of compressed air. Compressed air is strong and will clean out any built up dust particles and other grime. You may also consider wiping down your keyboard and mouse with an antibacterial solution, to rid the surfaces of germs and bacteria. Avoid spraying the keyboard and mouse directly — instead, lightly spritz a rag and wipe. Wipe down your monitor with a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and anything else that may be crusted to the monitor. 

 

Clean hardware system

Once you have dusted the outside of your system, you should focus on cleaning your hardware. Before you begin, close any active programs/files, shut your computer down, and unplug the computer from the wall. Unscrew the hardware casing and use compressed air to dust all the nooks and crannies of your system. Compressed air is safe to use on hardware and should not cause any damage.

 

Turn your computer off or restart regularly 

Simply putting your computer to sleep while it is not in use will cause your system minimal damage. However, you should make a habit of restarting or shutting your system down every now and then — especially if you use an older system. Rebooting your computer will prevent overheating and will allow your system to refresh its settings and resources. Allowing your computer to reboot and refresh will improve its overall performance.

 

Business Technology MaintenanceClear up drive space

One thing that will slow your computer’s performance is a full drive. Improve your computer’s performance by clearing up drive space regularly — there’s no reason to hold on to files and downloads you no longer need! Delete any unnecessary files and consider moving files you wish to keep to an external harddrive.

 

Remove malware and viruses  

Malware can affect operability and cause data loss or theft. There are a number of ways your system can be infected by malware and other viruses. Therefore, it is important that you use antivirus software to protect your computer and remove any potential threats. This software will run diagnostics, identify viruses, and resolve these.

 

Install updates

It is important that you install program updates regularly, as to ensure all programs are running efficiently. Failing to install new updates can affect the speed and performance of your programs. Most programs have regular updates that will address security holes and minimize unnecessary features.

 

 

At WesTec Services, we believe regular maintenance is crucial for maintaining the health of your system. With regular maintenance, you can prevent the worst from happening — and prevention is key! 

Most IT consultants simply put band-aid fixes on computer network problems and react to problems instead of looking for ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. As with most things in life, prevention really is better than cure — and it’s no surprise to find that prevention is the secret of good IT support too. Interested in learning more about our IT services? Contact us today!

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Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues - WesTec Services

Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues

If you work on a computer all day long, you’re likely to encounter tech issues. At WesTec, we believe knowledge is power. Therefore, we have compiled a list of a few quick fixes to common tech issues:

 

Unresponsive applications

For a number of reasons, you may receive a dialogue box stating that the application you are trying to use is unresponsive. This issue will prevent you from using the application and will likely slow the performance of your system. Fortunately, there’s no need to call IT support, as this issue has an easy fix!

On PC, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete in order to access your Task Manager. From this dialogue box, you can end specific tasks. Your Task Manager will indicate which applications are unresponsive, and you can hit “End Task” to close the application.

On Mac, you can achieve the same result by pressing Command + Option + Esc. You will receive a pop-up displaying active applications. Select the unresponsive application and click “Force Quit.”

 

Slow or poor internet connection

There’s nothing more disruptive than a slow or poor internet connection. When you encounter this issue, minimize downtime with this quick fix.

Your wireless internet connection is supported by a router. Restart your router by unplugging its power source for 30 – 60 seconds. Then, plug the router back in. You will notice it may take a few minutes before you have a stable internet connection. If this does not work, try restarting your computer and checking your connection again.

You may also consider clearing your browsing history and cache. A collection of cookies and cache could be slowing specific sites. Every internet browser is different, but you can easily clear your cache in your general settings.

 

Slow computer performance  

Is your system underperforming? There could be several reasons for this! Before calling IT, there are a few things you can try in order to improve the speed of your computer.

If you have too many windows or programs open and running at once, this could be affecting your computer’s performance. Close any windows or programs you are not using. If your computer is full of downloads, try deleting any files you no longer need and empty your trash bin. This will likely improve your computer’s performance, but it also wouldn’t hurt to restart your computer.

If this issue persists, we recommend calling IT, as you may have a virus that is affecting your system.

 

 

Struggling to troubleshoot your tech issues? Minimize the downtime spent searching for solutions and outsource IT support with WesTec Services! Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

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PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me? - WesTec Services

PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me?

The PC vs. Mac debate has the tech world divided. Whether it’s PC or Mac, users are loyal to their system. This begs the question: which system is better? What are the pros and cons of each system? WesTec Services has created a breakdown for each computer:

PC

One of the most obvious benefits to purchasing a PC is the price. PCs not only offer a wide range of products, but these products are more affordable than Mac products. According to VoltCave, a standard PC in 2021 costs anywhere from $500-$1000. Meanwhile, a Mac starts at $1299.

PCs also offer better hardware and configuration than Mac products. Boasting superior hardware and graphics cards, a PC is the better option for someone with interests in gaming. 

PCs use Windows operating systems, which allows users more freedom to customize and modify their system’s functionality and storage. Since Windows is the most commonly used operating system, there is more compatible software available for PCs.

Mac

Apple is known for their user-friendly, intuitive systems, making Mac computers the obvious choice for beginners. Meanwhile, PCs using Windows operating systems come with a bit of learning curve.

Though superficial, Mac is the preferred choice for its sleek appearance, as Mac products are more aesthetically pleasing than most PCs. For those with iPhones, iPads, or iPods, Mac’s easy multi-device integration allows its users to seamlessly sync all their Apple products together. When integrating devices, users can place calls and send iMessages directly from their computer, and easily access/share files directly from their devices. 

Additionally, Mac systems boast clear, built-in “Retina” displays. Therefore, these systems are ideal for those who require superior visual elements, such as graphic designers and artists.

 

When choosing between PC and Mac, it’s important to understand that not one system is better than the other — you simply must consider what system meets your needs and budget! Regardless of what system your company favors, WesTec Services is here to provide superior IT support. Interested in learning more about our Managed Services or IT Consulting? Contact us today!

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4 Things Your IT Support Team Wants You to Know - WesTec Services

4 Things Your IT Support Team Wants You to Know

For many computer novices, IT protocol is widely misunderstood. Given the complexity of some of these procedures, computer users are left feeling frustrated with IT support. However, IT is only here to help! Here are 4 things your IT support team wants you to know:

 

Your network is being monitored

Whether you have an internal IT department or you outsource your IT support, there is a chance that your network is being monitored around the clock. This often does not occur to many people. Therefore, you should avoid storing personal information or searching sensitive material on your work computer. If you wouldn’t want your boss or coworkers seeing it, it’s safe to say it shouldn’t be on your work computer.

 

IT has to assume you have zero tech knowledge

In order for your IT support team to assist you in resolving issues, they must first assume you have very little knowledge of computers. This means they will offer simple solutions to start. For someone with a basic understanding of computer functions, it may be frustrating to be asked, “Have you tried restarting your computer?” These questions seem like no-brainers, but IT wants to find the solution to your problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. If there’s a quick fix, they can find this solution by asking basic questions.  

They’re not magicians

For IT professionals with years of knowledge and experience, most tech issues will have easy, obvious solutions. However, that does not mean IT won’t encounter issues from time to time that require a little more thought and effort. Be patient with IT — they want to find a solution to your problem just as badly as you do. Remember, they’re people, not miracle workers.

 

Suggestions are meant to help you, not make your job harder

There’s a reason IT recommends you update your passwords regularly and perform program updates — they want to ensure your computer is secure and performing as it should be! When you take these suggestions seriously, you spend less time on the phone with IT resolving issues that could have been avoided to begin with; less time on the phone with IT means less downtime.

 

WesTec Services is your one-stop-source for all things IT support & consulting in Houston! Does your business require network installation, backup & disaster recovery, managed services, consulting, and more? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today.

 

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6 Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do - WesTec Services

6 Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

With emerging technology, comes a major learning curve. For many, it’s difficult to even keep up! No worries — WesTec has got you covered and our IT support professionals are keeping it simple. Here are 6 things every computer user should know how to do in 2021:

IT support

Setup Your Wireless Network

If computer users must know one thing, it should be how to setup a wireless network and resolve wifi issues. A wireless connection is supported by a router; this router must be plugged in for users to access the internet. Most routers have several lights on the front that indicate the strength of the connection. If these lights are not on, the user should unplug and reset the router. Your computer will also indicate whether you are connected to the wireless network. On PC, the status of your connection can be found in the bottom right corner. On Mac, it can be found in the upper right corner.

 

Perform a Data Backup

System failure and natural disaster often strike with little to no warning. Therefore, it is crucial you know how to perform regular data backups. You can backup important data and files on flash drives and external hard drives. PC and Mac also offer software and servers that you can use to backup your data.

 

Install Antivirus Software

According to InfoWorld, 30% of computers in the United States are infected by some type of virus. Therefore, antivirus software is a must! Any IT professional would be happy to install your anti-virus software, but this process is actually pretty beginner-friendly. Antivirus software, like McAfee and Norton, can be downloaded directly from the internet and installed with ease. Dialogue boxes will walk you through the installation process.

IT support

Basic Troubleshooting

IT support professionals troubleshoot computer issues all the time, but it doesn’t hurt for a computer user to know basic troubleshooting skills. If your programs are failing or you are encountering an issue you cannot resolve, you must troubleshoot. Troubleshooting will identify what the problem is. To troubleshoot on PC, open your Start menu, then select “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Troubleshoot.” On Mac, open your Apple menu and select “Restart.” Then, press and hold the “D” key while your Mac restarts. A screen with a list of languages will appear. Select your language of choice and your computer will begin running diagnostics.

 

Change Basic Settings

If you own a computer, you must know how to change your settings. Whether it’s adjusting sound levels or connecting a printer, knowing how to change basic settings comes in handy. On PC, open your Start menu and select “Settings” or “Control Panel” to make these necessary adjustments. On Mac, simply select the Preferences application, which can be found on your Dock.

 

Access Task Manager

If your computer is slow or unresponsive, you may have too many active programs open or a specific program has failed. Before calling your IT support team, try accessing your computer’s Task Manager. The Task Manager allows you to view active programs and force quit specific programs if necessary. On PC, you can access the Task Manager by holding Ctrl + Alt + Delete. On Mac, hold Command + Option + Esc. 

 

It’s helpful to know how to perform a few basic computer tasks, but if you’re just not tech-savvy, WesTec Services can help! We offer a variety of IT support services that can be tailored to your needs. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

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Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer - WesTec Services

Easy Ways to Protect the Health of Your Computer

man using access control systemMaintaining your computer’s health requires regular care and maintenance. Here are a few things you can do to protect the health of your computer on a daily basis:

 

Routine deep cleans

You would be surprised by the number of files that collect on a computer over time. Too many files and programs can actually affect a computer’s load speed and overall performance. Therefore, it is crucial that you perform routine deep cleans on your system. Delete any files that you no longer need and are simply taking up space. If there are files you would like to keep, store these on an external hard drive (and back this drive up) before removing the files from your system.  

 

Download security updates

You’ve likely received notifications to download new security updates and declined for the sake of time and convenience. If you do not regularly download security updates, your computer may be vulnerable to hacking. These updates work to “patch” any holes in your computer’s security. Without these updates, hackers can intercept your security and access your information, files, programs, etc.

 

Install and update antivirus software

Viruses and malware can affect your computer’s overall performance, which can disrupt productivity. Therefore, it is important that you install an antivirus software and update this software regularly. Antivirus software will scan your computer for existing viruses, resolve these issues, and block more viruses from infecting your computer. 

 

When you fail to perform routine deep cleans and maintain your antivirus and security software, your computer is at risk of system failure. At WesTec Services, we understand it can be easy to forget to do these things. Don’t neglect your computer any longer — outsource IT support with WesTec Services! From IT consulting services and network installation to backup & disaster recovery, we’ve got you covered. Protect your computer’s health with WesTec Services. Contact us today!

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Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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