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What Is Meant by Network Security?

A Woman Reacts to Getting Hacked.

Keep Your Devices Secure

In today’s world, we have security systems in our offices and homes, in our cars, on our bank accounts and credit cards, and even on our Smartphones. And unfortunately, we now need network security too – even our computers aren’t safe. 

Is network security that important? 

Network security is especially important for businesses because an attack can affect not just the business, but their customers, employees, and vendors. A computer system has sensitive data for many reasons, and a proper network security system will protect that data from cyberattacks. It ensures that the network is trustworthy while staying usable by the people that should have access. 

It isn’t anything ‘new’ to see a news story about a company’s computer network system having experienced a security breach. It has been reported by one company known internationally that over $4 million was lost due to data breaches in 2022 alone. Without improving their network security, this amount is only going to increase every year. 

What measures can be taken to protect a computer network from malicious actions? 

There are best practices that every business should implement and practice today that will provide their network security.

  1. Install a firewall and monitor it regularly: Blocks unauthorized access with a set of rules that control all accesses by network traffic.
  2. Change passwords every 6 months or more frequently: Advise all employees not to use default passwords that can easily be hacked like ‘123456’ or date of birth, etc. 

Utilize advanced endpoint detection: AI offers technology to watch for any possible compromises of the network system and react accordingly. 

3. Create a VPN: What is a VPN?  A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted connection between a device and a network, a key in network security. Every employee that has offsite access should be assigned a VPN for authorization to access the company system. This decreases any chance of the company system being hacked through a wireless access point. 

4. Train all employees, review and update that training once a year: Educating your employees and frequent meetings that remind them about risks and mitigation steps will keep network security in mind. 

5. Require all computers to be shut down when not in use: Leaving computers on all night (or day) when not in use makes them easily accessible and visible to hackers. By turning them off, access is limited and even blocked simply by turning every computer off that isn’t being used. 

6. Delete and filter spam emails: Hackers and phishing emails go hand in hand in luring employees to open the email, click on an incredible offer or link, and BOOM, your company system is hacked.  

7. Encrypt all company files: “HTTPS” is an indication of a network security system has encryption in place. Encryption protects sensitive data on your operating system with special software that masks the company’s IP address. 

8. Securing personal devices: Implement and review with each employee that uses their personal devices the predetermined security protocols. This includes requiring Bluetooth to be turned off when not in use and to never use unsecured public Wi-Fi. 

9. Attain the services of a network security specialist: Hiring a technology management provider that is experienced in network security is the best way to overcome the challenges of today’s hackers. 

How does a firewall protect a computer network? 

A successful network security strategy employs multiple security solutions that will protect your business from cyberattacks or malware by denying access and service. A firewall is installed between the network connection and the network and keeps attackers from using one computer in your company to infect the other. Keep in mind that if an unauthorized user gains access to a computer, it can attack all computers within that segment. 

What is a black hat hacker and a white hat hacker, and what is the difference?

This can go back to the days of old westerns where the good guy wore a white hat and the bad guys wore a black hat.  A white hat hacker is a person that works with a company in identifying weaknesses in the company network security and computer system. They make updates as necessary to keep the network security protected and strong. A black hat hacker is a person(s) that illegally accesses a network with malicious intent, and/or personal gain. 

How can antivirus software help protect a computer network? 

Antivirus software will detect, quarantine, and/or delete malicious code that can damage your network. Security of antivirus software prevents malware from causing damage, and today, you can choose one that will update automatically. This ensures it is providing protection against various malware and the latest viruses.

What are the benefits of implementing two-factor authentication?

When you own a business, there can’t be enough steps for network security, and two-factor authentication reduces an account from a hacker while being monitored. The two-step factor is one more layer of protection.

What exactly is encryption and how is it useful in network security? 

When it comes to network security, the word ‘encryption’ is frequently used, but what is that exactly? To simplify, encryption is a process that encodes data to keep it hidden from unauthorized users and makes it inaccessible. Encryption protects private information and sensitive data,  providing enhanced network security between client apps and company servers. 

What is a DoS attack and how can it be prevented?

A DoS (Denial of Service) attack slows or takes down machines or networks so they are no longer accessible by authorized people. It is important to note that there are DoS and DDoS attacks. A DoS attack uses a single system. A DDoS attack is on multiple systems. As you may guess, a  DoS attack is easier to detect & contain. 

CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is an organization with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It can appear as a non-malicious issue, like a technical problem, or system maintenance.  There are steps to increase network security and protect a company’s system:

  • Monitor and analyze network traffic.
  • Strengthen their security posture.
  • Monitor traffic.
  • Establish a DoS attack response plan.
Viruses Are One Reason Network Security Is Important.

Securing Your Network Security – Final Statement

If your business has to pinch pennies, it shouldn’t be with your network security in Long Island, NY. Hire the services of a professional company like TotalTech Repair for which network security is their main focus and who will keep your company’s data healthy and safe. Get help today by calling (631) 517-0021.

What Is Network Security?

A Person Typing on a Computer Keyboard

Why You Need a Secure Network

If you’re like most others, when you hear the words ‘network security’, the safety and security of a company’s computer system probably come to mind. And that’s for good reason!  We trust the companies that we do business with to keep our personal and private data secure from the dark web and untrustworthy. Unfortunately, even the tightest network security measures can meet its challenge to the unscrupulous. 

Even more unsettling, the safety and security in your home can be at risk. This means that you need to be on alert for network security at home too.  Wait a minute! Why do we need to worry about network security at home? Just what is network security?

Network security is a matter of protecting the availability, confidentiality, and most of all, integrity, of a computer network system the data coming going through the system, physically and virtually. So, does this mean there is a fence built around your computer? Well, not a physical fence, but an invisible fence of sorts perhaps. 

So, what is included in having a network security system? 

Network security will generally consist of the hardware and software that work together within a process that doesn’t let any unauthorized access to the network system. A strong network security system keeps out anyone that is attempting to misuse or modify a system. Components used to do this include: 

  • Firewalls
  • Antivirus software
  • Intrusion detection
  • Prevention systems
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • Data Encryption

… other security measures include monitoring the network traffic, managing user access, and more. 

Why do you need to worry about network security at home?

Consider what you do on your computer at home. You pay bills and check your bank account balance. You have emails from family, friends, and others that may contain personal information. This means your computers at home are at risk just like any business network.  Security is just as important to protect your devices and the data going across those devices from hackers and malicious attacks. 

You need network security that will safeguard your account numbers and other information from unauthorized parties that can steal your identity, leading to financial loss and more. Your computer is just as much at risk as the network system of any business when it comes to malware phishing, and other malicious content and software.

Are there steps you can do to secure your home network? 

Fortunately, yes there are ways you can keep your home network security safe, keeping cybercriminals and unauthorized persons out. Here are 7 steps recommended by the good guys in the internet world: 

1. Change Your Wi-Fi Name 

Every home network system as a service set identifier (SSID), or a name for simplicity! Wireless router manufacturers give all wireless routers a name or a default SSID. As a computer searches for wireless networks nearby, every network is listed on a public broadcast, allowing hackers a better chance to break into any network, including your home network. By changing your SSID name, aka your Wi-Fi name, you can throw a wrench into a hacker’s attempt. 

2. Strong Network Password 

Just like the wireless routers assign names, they also use default passwords, both of which hackers can guess with ease. Choosing a strong password for your home network security system is your best guard against hackers. Choose a password with a minimum of 20 characters. These can be letters, numbers, or symbols. 

3. Network Encryption Enabled

Your wireless router likely came with an encryption feature that, by default, is typically turned off. Turning the encryption setting is a strong step in network security immediately after your router is installed. WPA2 is the most effective and most recent available today.

4. Network Name Broadcasting

Disabling the network name broadcasting for public access is recommended. What good does that do? When neighbors and others are searching for a Wi-Fi connection, yours won’t be visible. Every business, including hotels, libraries, and restaurants will keep theirs visible so you can leave your feedback on Facebook and other social sites. For your home network security though, that isn’t necessary. 

5. Keep Software Updated

The firmware of a router is like any software, there can be flaws that can make it vulnerable. A manufacturer is always watching for these things and creates a fix with firmware releases. As a homeowner, install those software updates as soon as they are available to keep your home network security up to date. 

6. A Good Firewall

A computer firewall isn’t designed literally for a fire as you may have pictured. A computer firewall protects the computer from intrusions like malware, viruses, and more. Wireless routers have a built-in firewall but are typically shipped with them turned off. As you connect your computer, make sure the firewall is turned on and if it doesn’t have a firewall, you need to find a comparable solution that will guard your home network security against any malicious access attempt. 

7. Require A VPN

A VPM (a virtual private network) is a group of computers or a network of computers that work together via the Internet. Each individual has a VPN assigned to them that secures and encrypts their communications which require the login with assigned credentials. 

How do you know your home network has been hacked? 

The router manages the connection between your home’s internet-connected devices and the Wi-Fi and once the router has been hacked, a third party can maliciously attack your computer. They can steal your identity and attack it with malware and reroute websites. Some ways to know if your router has been compromised are: 

  • Your router login isn’t effective
  • Your network has foreign IP addresses listed
  • Your computer is receiving fake antivirus messages and ransomware
  • Software installations happen without your permission
  • Your ISP (Internet Service Provider)  contacts you

The indications of your router being attacked can vary based on what the hacker is attempting to accomplish. If they are simply looking for a free Wi-Fi connection, you’ll probably notice a foreign IP address. 

Can you protect your data when on a public Wi-Fi network? 

Utilizing a Virtual Private Network when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. This creates a private tunnel, and all your private data will be encrypted as it runs through the network. 

How can you secure your home computers from malware and viruses? 

A few tips that will keep your home network security safe from malware and viruses: 

  • Install an antivirus or anti-malware software and keep them up to date
  • Regularly run antivirus scans
  • Keep your computer’s operating system up to date
  • Protect your network and think before you click
  • Keep your personal data and information secure by never using an unsecured Wi-Fi
Two Women Worry About Network Security on Laptop.

Have You Been Hacked? 

If you receive any email or message that is suspicious, you may have been hacked, or an attempt to hack has been made. So, what should you do if you receive any emails or messages that are suspicious? Well, first of all, do not engage in conversation, that is the best way to avoid trouble. If you think you might have been hacked and are worried about network security in Long Island, NY, give TotalTech Repair a call at (631) 517-0021.

How Do You Know if Your Laptop Screen is Damaged?

close-up of an individual working on a laptop computer

Dealing With a Damaged Laptop

Do you have a laptop sitting around that was working fine until the screen got damaged? If you’ve never had a broken laptop screen, you may be wondering, “What causes laptop screen damage?” After all, we handle them with kid gloves and TLC, right? 

Well, accidents do happen, and unfortunately, accidents can happen with our laptop computers. No matter how careful we are, they get dragged off the desk, dropped, or something falls on it. The results often include a damaged screen. So, do you just toss it in the electronic recycle bin or can you get laptop screen repairs

Is Laptop Screen Repair Worth It?

When it comes to computer printers and ink, it is often cheaper to get a new printer than to purchase ink. So, with a laptop screen repair, you have to wonder, is it worth fixing a laptop screen? The immediate answer is ‘maybe’, and while we live in a toss-it-and-replace-it world today, laptop screen repair is possible. Whether it is the best choice all depends on these factors: 

  • Cost: The cost may or may not make sense for a laptop screen repair if it is going to cost 50% or more than buying a new laptop. 
  • Content: Is the content or software on the laptop valuable? If you purchased a software program and installed it on the laptop, the 50% economic value theory is null and void. The same goes if you have valuable documents saved on the laptop; in this case, the cost of a laptop screen repair may be well worth the cost.
  • Additional Damage: If there are more parts broken or other kinds of damage on the laptop other than the screen, like a broken hard drive or damaged hinges, all those repairs in addition to the laptop screen repair are going to go over that 50% rule. In this case, it may not be worth the expense, unless the above-mentioned “content” rule applies. 

What Does a Damaged Laptop Screen Look Like?

Laptops today are manufactured with a focus on fashion and not function. This has resulted in slim, sleek designs, leaving laptops vulnerable to being damaged, and especially laptop screens. If the screen glass is broken or cracked, or if the display has black splotches, it may be obvious that laptop screen repair will be needed.

Most laptop owners will take their laptop in for laptop screen repair or replacement with the comment that they don’t know how it got broken. Any experienced technician will tell you that they “don’t just break”. There had to be some type of accident, known or unknown, that broke the screen. 

A laptop screen is typically broken because of an impact from the lid. Another possible factor that leads to a need laptop screen repairs is improperly opening and closing the lid. As an FYI for all laptop computer owners: Never open and close the lid by one corner. Always use one hand to close the lid from the center and keep the other hand placed on the lid palm side down, gently pressing the lid closed, or holding the keyboard as the other hand opens the lid.

A defective laptop screen may be noticeable even if there is no broken glass. Other indications of a broken laptop screen are:

  • Distorted Images
  • Coloring
  • Pixelization
  • Resolution Lines
  • Backlighting Issues
  • A Blank Screen

Can a Laptop Screen Be Changed?

Yes, most cracked or dying laptop displays aren’t an indication to toss the unit. Laptop screen repair is typically a matter of replacing the damaged part. To have it done by a technician, you can expect to pay as much as $300, which is where that 50% rule we talked about comes into play. 

In some cases, you may be able to purchase the screen for under $100 and replace it yourself. If you’re a technically inclined person, it isn’t that difficult and with all the YouTube videos available today, you can find one that will walk you through the process. However, if you don’t already have some experience working with technology, this is a job best left to the experts. There is a lot that can go wrong if you aren’t certain what you are doing. 

Can Heat Damage a Laptop Screen?

Absolutely!  A laptop that gets overheated can damage the internal components of the entire unit, however, a properly working laptop should attempt to shut down before that happens. 

A laptop can run on the warm side, even too much to sit on your lap. Typically, that isn’t a problem. However, if you notice a burning odor or the fan doesn’t turn on or is running constantly, you probably need to shut it down, unplug it, and let it rest. 

And like your children or pets, never leave your laptop locked in a hot car. Of course, the laptop can be replaced, but if you’ve got one or all of these, never leave them in the car! Keep your laptop out of direct sunlight, even indoors, and leave it inside while working out by the swimming pool. 

Why is My Laptop Screen Flickering?

It is unlikely that you need a physical laptop screen repair. For a laptop that is running Windows, a flickering laptop screen is typical of out-of-date display drivers. Simply update the display driver and that should be the fix. Check your owner’s manual or look for online help using another computer. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to have a technician service the computer. 

laptop computer with a damaged screen

Wrapping Up Our Lesson

The first thing to keep in mind when considering why a laptop screen turns black: you’ve got bad news. This is the screen of death. Your laptop has had a critical Windows system error. So, what is there to do when a laptop screen goes black? Either get professional help or it is time to replace the unit. Again, that 50% rule should be used after getting a quote for possible repair.

But what if your laptop screen doesn’t turn on at all? This may happen when there is a corrupt system file that is preventing the operating system from loading. So, what should you do when a laptop screen doesn’t turn on? Restart Windows and hope it is a temporary issue that rebooting will resolve. If not, you may need to erase the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

How To Design an At-Home Movie Theatre

home theater with a sofa and large screen

Building Your Home Theater

The days of “going to a movie” have changed, and more families have invested in a home theater system. Is it the price of the tickets, the cost of snacks, or simply just an easier way for entertainment for the family? 

Maybe, it’s all the above and more! With the 2020 COVID quarantine, many of us found ways to entertain the kids and ourselves, and watching movies was one of the most popular. Whether a family member had COVID or the fear of getting COVID, many of us discovered a home theater may be a worthwhile investment otherwise. 

Still, for those that haven’t made the investment, there are concerns and questions, which we are going to address in our piece today. Like, what all do you need for a home theater? With a home theater set up, you want to make it the most enjoyable for your listening and viewing pleasure. 

That doesn’t mean you have to go full out with the latest and greatest equipment on the market. You can use your 32-inch LCD/LED television and simply add a soundbar. Or, if your budget allows, depending on the size of the room, you need to consider what you have or want of these things for your home theater: 

  • Ambient lighting
  • Carpeting or no carpeting
  • Replace paneling with drywall
  • Component cabinet or closet
  • Surround sound speakers, ceiling mounted or in the wall
  • Seating

Things you may have already or need to add can include: 

  • TV or Video Projector
  • Receiver or Preamp/Amp Combination
  • Loudspeakers, Subwoofer
  • Source Components – there are many different components to choose from, including: 
  • DVD player, DVD/VHS recorders
  • Blu-ray Disc player or Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc player
  • CD player
  • Turntable
  • Antenna/cable/satellite
  • Internet streaming device
  • Surge Protector or Power Conditioner
  • Connection Cables and Speaker Wires
  • Remote Control Options
  • Home Theater Furniture

What size should a home theater room be?

There isn’t a “perfect size” for a home theater, but if you’re wanting a fully immersed experience, experts recommend 20’ x 15’ with a high ceiling.  The number one important factor in deciding the size of your home theater room will be the viewing screen size. Each screen will have a recommended viewing distance. 

The next factor to consider is acoustics. You want speakers to provide adequate sound that fills the room, but the wrong shape can distort the sound waves. The Golden Trapagon is the most often recommended shape by home theater experts. There are no parallel walls to create a bounce with the sound waves, resulting in a clearer sound for your home theater.  This is the shape preferred by industry professionals for both audio and cinema.

The ideal dimensions of a home theater screen for those who like viewing towards the front with a 36-degree field of vision and a 16:9 screen, simply convert it to inches the multiply by .746 for the recommended diagonal size of your home theater screen. 

What type of lights should you use in a home theater?

Home theater lighting should be subtle, creating a theater atmosphere. However, you should have the capabilities to fully illuminate the room when needed too. The recommended lighting options for a home theater are remote-controlled and dimmable. Among the choices are:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Fiber optic or LED lighting strips on the baseboards
  • Recessed lighting
  • Wall sconces
  • Task lamps next to seats

Do you need a projector for a home theater, or are there TV’s large enough for an at-home theater?

A projector is not necessary, but one will bring the ‘real’ theater feel to your home theater. But they are more complicated than a television, requiring extra factors to consider when purchasing. Basically, if the room allows it, a 65” television will give you the same results. 

What type of screen is used for a home theater?

When it comes to setting up a home theater, the least technical element is the projector screen, but it is just as important as the other elements.  You can choose a fixed, portable, or retractable screen, each having pros and cons. Then there is the material used for the screen. 

This is the projector screen gain factor and refers to the amount of light reflected.  It is noted in a ratio number, like 1.0 or 1.5, which represents the lumens being reflected. A 1.5 gain reflects 1.5 times the number of lumens. What does that mean? That means the image is brighter.

Maybe you purchased a cheap projector, or you already have one that is outdated. You want to get a projection screen with a higher gain screen to increase the brightness and get a better-quality image.

How far should chairs be from the main screen?

Remember the days when your parents would tell you “You’re sitting too close to the television!”? Well, those days are no longer because of the technology used in televisions. But, when it comes to seating for a home theater, the standard rule is to have one and half times the diagonal size of the screen for the distance between the seating and the screen. 

young woman enjoying a movie and eating popcorn

Is A Home Theater Worthwhile? 

So, before you go to the expense of building or creating a home theater, you probably want to review the benefits of a home theater first. Some of the benefits you can look forward to as a movie-goer is the money that you’ll save from buying overpriced candy, drinks, and popcorn!  And, you’ll be in total control of the movie choices, and you can pause it for potty breaks too! Don’t forget the family time too. 

How to Prepare Your Computer for Repair

technician repairing parts of a modem

Having Your Computer Fixed

During the pandemic of 2020, a lot of people were told they would be working from home. And there are many of us that found jobs that allowed us to work from home independently. That, however, means we have become their own IT department and sometimes, we still need a professional to help us with our computer repairs

And with that, a lot of us aren’t sure what we need to do before we have our computer repaired. Is it the same thought process of cleaning the house before the maid arrives? Are there steps to take before the technician arrives or before we take the unit into the computer shop?  Should I wipe my computer before getting it repaired?

Things to Consider

Well, that will depend on where you’re taking the unit for computer repair. Is this somebody you know and trust or an authorized company by the manufacturer? Here are some things to consider either way on how to protect sensitive data on your computer when you have Windows OS: 

1. Do Not Share Your Login Password

Unless the computer repair technician will be booting up your computer for repairs, they shouldn’t need your password. The technician should be able to boot your computer up till the Windows login screen comes on and that should be all they need. 

If the computer repair technician insists on having the password, log out of your Microsoft Account and set up a Local Account, a Guest account, a Standard account, or disable the password requirement.

2. Formatting

Leave everything as it is, no need to do anything with the formatting, the OS, or the antivirus software. 

3. Uninstall sensitive software

Uninstall your sensitive software, including the History, Settings, and User Data.

4. Log out of all online accounts

Back up your passwords and favorites, log out of all online accounts and delete the browsing history. There are privacy cleaner extensions or tools available to clear these out of your browser if you want to go one step further. 

5. Back up your data

Do a manual backup to an external hard drive of all your data and files. There is free backup software available also, or create a System Image and save it to an external drive.

6. Erase or shred your deleted files

Once all your files, pictures, and data are backed up, use a software program to completely erase or shred the data files permanently. There are software programs that can help you do this which will make hard disk space unrecoverable. 

7. Encrypt your files

If you have sensitive files that you don’t want to or can’t remove, use file encryption software that will encrypt the files, lock them, and set up password protection. 

8. Delete your history and junk

There are several programs available that will walk you through deleting your Windows OS history completely.

9. Remove all accessories

Remove all attached accessories if they aren’t part of the computer repair needs. Most computer repair technicians will ask you to remove them before you arrive. They don’t want to be responsible for damaging your accessories. 

How long does computer repair take?

Not including holidays and weekends, the average turnaround time for most computer repair services is 1 to 7. There are factors that can affect this time, such as if they must do a data recovery or if they must order components or parts. 

How much does computer repair cost?

For a business owner or a person that freelances from home, their computer is often their lifeline to productivity. When the computer keeps shutting down or having other problems, it is frustrating and can be devastating in some cases. 

Fortunately, there are countless computer repair service technicians that can come to you or are set up and ready for you to bring the unit to them. The average cost of computer repair is $75 per hour for the problem to be diagnosed and if you’re lucky, a quick fix right there. 

If a computer repair technician comes to you, they will typically have a flat call-out or travel fee in addition to the hourly rate. If any components or parts are needed, those are an additional cost. 

pieces of computer parts laid out

Is it cheaper to repair or replace a computer, Is it worth repairing a laptop?

In most cases, a professional computer repair technician will provide you with a free quote and the computer repair will usually be less expensive than purchasing a new computer. The age of the computer will factor into this equation, but the computer repair is estimated to be more than 50% of a new computer, you’ll be better off going with the new unit. 

Is a seven-year-old computer worth fixing?

If your 7-year-old computer has value to it and the computer repair cost is 20% or less than a new computer, have it fixed. For a computer that is 5 years old or older and the computer repair will be over 20%, consider replacing the unit, unless the computer is of more than a monetary value to you personally. 

In Closing – Doing Your Own Computer Repair May Not Be Wise

How much is a computer screen repair?

A cracked display doesn’t mean your laptop can’t be saved. A broken laptop screen repair by a professional will cost you around $300.00. However, if you’re feeling confident that you can do your own screen replacement, a new screen is usually less than $100.00.  Keep in mind that by not being an authorized computer repair center, you will void any warranty of the computer. 

The same is to be said about a computer keyboard repair.  Doing your own repair or replacement may not be that difficult, even if you know how to repair a computer keyboard, but, if you are not an authorized repair center, the warranty will be void if you do your own keyboard or screen replacement. 

TotalTech Repair provides professional computer repair in Long Island, NY. Contact us at (631) 517-0021 for assistance.

Is it cheaper to repair or replace your computer?

close-up of a laptop being repaired

Computer Repair Vs. Replacement

Today, there is a computer almost anywhere you look. In businesses, hospitals, manufacturing, government agencies, and homes – they are everywhere. From the time we wake up until we fall asleep, computers have something to do with our day. All of this has made a strong business in computer repairs

Sometimes though, it may be less expensive to replace a computer than to have a computer repair service. So, how much do computers cost to fix? The cost of computer repairs can have several factors and variables, like if it is a desktop or a laptop. The brand and the model will affect the cost too. When it comes to computer repairs, it is pretty much like automotive repairs. 

A software problem won’t require parts, but other types of computer repairs will be based on labor and parts. And while there aren’t a lot of tools like a mechanic shop has, there is certain computer repair equipment needed for computer repairs, most of it is basic and can be used on any brand and model. For the answer to the question, we found the basic pricing on some common repairs.

Laptop Computer Repairs: 

  • Keyboard Replacement Cost: Averages between $100 and $10 for most laptops, the exception being a Mac laptop because they require being completely dismantled for keyboard computer repair.
  • Water Damage Repair Cost: Minimal water damage, computer repairs average around $100.00 Extensive water damage can start around $250 and go upward. The time the computer was submerged in water will determine the cost. 
  • Fan Replacement Cost: Maybe one of the cheapest computer repairs around $20.00
  • Hard Drive Replacement Cost: Parts and labor for SATA hard drive computer repairs, the cost is around $120.00 with a 500 gigabyte. SSD (solid state drive) computer repairs for parts and labor is around $180.00 
  • Laptop Battery: Computer repairs for battery replacement can be as low as $30 and as high as $250. 
  • Other laptop computer repairs include replacing the Laptop Hinge, around $150, and Laptop Screen Repair between $125 and $195. 

Desktop Computer Repairs can range between $100 up to $1,000.  The labor is the most expensive part and with that in mind, many computer owners will choose to replace the computer before investing in computer repair. A basic rule to follow is if the cost of the repair is ¼ or more than the cost of a new one, buy a new one.

How do I check my computer for problems?

If you’re having issues with your computer running slow, you should know that computers get sluggish over time, usually because of how much has been stored on the hard drive. And if you don’t shut your computer down correctly, the files can be corrupted. Or maybe your computer keeps freezing.  Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, you can check your computer for problems before taking it in for computer repairs. 

Starting with Windows XP and 2000, computers came with a tool built in that will help you scan the hard drive to check for errors. This tool, Check Disk can be used following these steps: 

  • Open My Computer or go to the Start button and choose My Computer.
  • Right-click on the drive to be scanned.
  • Select Properties.
  • Select the Tools tab and click on the Check Now button.
  • Now click on Start for the scan to begin.

There is an option for Automatically Fix Errors and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors.  By choosing these options, Windows may be able to fix any errors found during the scan. 

How can I repair my laptop?

Today, there are YouTube videos that can walk you through most computer repairs your laptop may need, like replacing the cover, the screen, even the keyboard. You’ll want to make sure you have the proper tools, like small screwdrivers. 

In general, laptops are compact pieces of equipment. A person with large fingers may not be able to do all computer repairs needed and you’ll find taking it to shop for computer repairs. Then that brings the worry is it safe to send a computer for repair and can computer repair shops steal your data? 

If you’re sending your computer to a trusted and certified repair center, yes – it’s safe. However, there are computer technicians with bad intentions, even in the most trusted computer repairs center. So, yes again, your data can be hacked, spying tools or malware software can be installed if your computer gets in the wrong hands. 

technician repairing a computer

In Closing 

When you purchase your computer, whether it is a desktop or laptop, asking the seller where to repair the computer monitor is recommended. In most cases, where you purchase your computer will also offer computer repairs, often offering you a maintenance program that includes monthly updates and checkups. This is often the best place for any computer repairs you may need because they are going to want your repeat business. 

How important is antivirus software?

man shouting at his computer in frustration

How Antivirus Software Benefits You

Have you ever wondered why antivirus software is important? COVID, a human-contracted virus, all but stopped the world from spinning. Imagine what it would be like if a computer virus got into every computerized thing in our lives. 

In today’s world, technology is what sustains us, from the cell phone alarm that wakes us up each day to the computer controlling our security system when we go to bed. In between those, there are computers involved in our everyday life, even if we may not realize it. Without antivirus software installation in our computers, our world wouldn’t quit spinning, but it would certainly slow way down. 

What are computer viruses?

Just like we wonder about this COVID virus and so many others that exist, don’t you wonder what computer viruses are? A computer virus is a malicious code or program that is written by humans with ill intent. They write these codes and programs to alter how a computer operates. They are designed to spread between computers through shared files and networks by affixing or inserting themselves into what appears to be a legitimate document or program. 

So where do these viruses come from, how do computer viruses spread, and just as important, why do computer viruses exist? Many computer viruses spread via mass-emailing of “worms” that open up doors to Botnets. From there, cybercriminals emerge and they push out Botnets of infected malware. That malware gives these cybercriminals, aka hackers, control of computers. They use that control to take over bank information, credit cards, and even Social Security numbers, all for their own financial gain. Antivirus software installation is designed to stop the viruses that cybercriminals develop.  

Now, with that short lesson on how computer viruses work, you may be wondering how antivirus software works. With antivirus software installation, a computer scans all incoming codes and files that are passed through network traffic. Antivirus software companies assemble an extensive database of known malware and viruses, and then “teach” this antivirus software they’ve designed to detect, flag, and remove the virus before it can do any harm. 

Can antivirus software remove viruses?

Yes and no. Antivirus software installation is just a step in the prevention of computer viruses. Antivirus software will prevent virus-corrupted files from being downloaded onto computers and try to prevent any virus from activating if it does get past the antivirus. 

So, no it isn’t removing the virus-laden file, but it does a good job of stopping the viruses from being downloaded. However, some viruses can still get past the defenses granted by antivirus software installation, though not without being flagged as malware. After that, the malware software installation will remove it. In essence, antivirus software installation is Robin, and malware software installation is Batman. The duo works together in keeping our computers safe from the evil doings of cybercriminals and computer hackers.

Can you still get a computer virus with antivirus software? 

Yes, even with the best of the best antivirus software installation and malware installation, there are viruses that can get past them and cause havoc. Fortunately, there are computer virus removal software programs available to save the day. You can protect a computer by installing an antivirus program designed to clean computer systems safely of any virus that has made it way past Batman and Robin. However, there are specific conditions that have to be adhered to for these programs to run effectively and safely. 

What types of computer viruses are out there?

Just like humans, computers catch viruses that spread from one to another until there is a mass infection. Some of the most common computer viruses that IT specialists are constantly battling are: 


The resident virus sets up shop in the RAM part of a computer and interferes with the system’s operations. This sneaky virus can even attach to anti-virus software. 


The multipartite virus infects the whole system and spreads by executing unsanctioned actions on the computer operating system, folders, and the installed programs.


This virus functions by targeting specific file types, typically .exe files (executable files). It does this by duplicating and infecting files. Fortunately, because it has a targeted nature it is easy to detect with antivirus software installations and easy to remove.


This virus can infect the browser on a computer, redirecting the user to malicious websites. However, it is another virus that is easily detected by antivirus software installations. 


As indicated by the name, this virus will overwrite the content of files and infect all the folders, files, and computer programs installed on a computer.


This virus is sneaky and disguises itself within ads, coding of links, images, videos, and even site code. It can infect computer systems when a user downloads malicious files or visits a malicious website.


Like the Direct Action virus, this virus targets .exe files (executable files) and slows down programs, causing system file damage when the programs are run by a user. 


This virus travels through network connections, replicating through shared resources.


This virus is easy to avoid as it hides in the files on email attachments or on a USB drive. If it gets activated, it infects the master boot record and damages the system.

What computer virus is the worst?

What costs American businesses over $100 billion dollars each year? Computer viruses! This is why companies are hiring the best IT specialists to implement the best antivirus software installation possible. While all of this costs money, they can’t afford to not be vigilant. Ten of the worse computer viruses in recent times have been:

  • Code Red
  • Melissa
  • Storm Trojan
  • Sasser
  • My Doom
  • Zeus
  • Conficker
  • Stuxnet
  • CryptoLocker
laptop being checked with a stethoscope

In Closing

All of this helpful information can be confusing and overwhelming. If you don’t have an IT specialist on your team, you’re probably wondering, “How do I choose antivirus software?” The perfect scenario is to choose an antivirus software installation that is lightweight, meaning it won’t slow your computer down but will offer a high rate of detection while blocking anything malicious. Here are a few tips on what is important in an antivirus software installation: 

  • Database of Known Malware – Without this database, your antivirus software installation won’t know what to look for.
  • Update Automatically – An antivirus software installation should have automatic updates to keep things clean. Choose one that updates quickly and frequently. 
  • Removes Malware – Robin’s job isn’t complete if Batman doesn’t do his job.
  • Ransomware Protection – Choose an antivirus software installation that comes with this protection to keep your files from being encrypted by unwanted cybercriminals.
  • File Shredder – “Delete” doesn’t really get rid of files – you probably know that, right? You want your antivirus software installation to include a file shredder to actually clear the files that you don’t need or want anymore.
  • Firewall – Choose an antivirus software installation that will scan internet traffic for any incoming threats. After that, Robin and Batman can concentrate on the things that got through and not worry about what’s coming in.

Other features an antivirus software installation should include are DNS protection and password manager. Browser protection, System Optimization, Phishing protection, and Antispam are good to have too.

How long does screen repair take?

Close-up of a cracked screen.

Dealing With Screen Damage

Technology is wonderful, isn’t it?  With the 2020 Quarantine, many of us ended up working from home with a laptop, and if you have kids, that could be creating a setting for a screen to be damaged. Heck, even without kids, laptop screens get damaged, but does that mean you need a new laptop? Or is screen repair possible? 

Can you repair screen scratches?

Having that annoying scratch on a computer screen or television screen is one of the worst things – especially if you’re on your computer all day. If you’re working or playing games, a computer screen scratch can cause you to hit the wrong key. It can distort what you’re seeing, like having that scratch on your new sunglasses. 

Here are few tips to do your own screen repair on any computer screens, laptop screens, flat television screens, DLP screensLCD monitorsLED Screens, even plasma screens, and more.

  1. Wipe the scratched screen with a clean microfiber cloth or cotton ball. 
  2. Put a dab of hand lotion or petroleum jelly on the cotton ball or your finger.
  3. With a gentle push, rub the hand lotion or petroleum jelly into the scratch.
  4. Keep applying small amounts until the scratch is filled in. 
  5. Let the petroleum jelly or hand lotion sit for a few minutes in the screen scratch.
  6. After a 3 to 5 minutes, use a clean microfiber cloth and wipe away the hand lotion or petroleum jelly very gently.
  7. Note: Too much pressure will remove it all and you need to leave some in the scratch. 
  8. Repeat this process as much as needed until the scratch is gone. 

This works on minor scratches – big deep scratches or cracks, you’ll need to take your item in for professional assessment if screen repair is possible. Now, another question – does a screen repair fix an LCD too? Yes, minor scratches can be fixed on an LCD using these steps. You can also find screen repair kits at your local big box stores where electronics are sold. 

Why is screen repair so expensive? 

Just like your dentist, a medical doctor or mechanic, computer repair technicians have specialized training in their field.  They pay for the education and certification, like A+ and others.  It can cost around $20 per hour, much like a plumber, or they may have a flat rate for screen repairs. 

A professional screen repair can cost around $300 and up. Or, if you have any technical background you can do your own or by purchasing the new screen between $50 and up to $100 online and replace it yourself. Like anything these days, you can find several YouTube videos online to walk you through the process. 

Is screen repair worth it?

With the information we provided above for screen repair cost by a professional, you can expect to pay a minimum of $300 plus parts. A new laptop, depending on what you need can be as low as $300 and upwards into the thousands. Again, it depends on what you need on your laptop.

It can also be based on what is on your current computer that you can’t afford to lose.  Deciding if a computer screen repair is worth the cost is a personal choice. Which is cheaper, screen repair or replacement will be a decision you’ll need to weigh out and decide.

Is there screen repair with warranty?

This will be up to the computer shop you use for your screen repair. In most cases, probably not because they have no control over how you use your computer.  They can only warranty the screen replacement and the work they do. 

Laptop with a cracked screen

Closing Words

If you breathe, live, and depend on your laptop for work, the muffling “CRACK” of a broken screen can be heart-stopping. Maybe it was dropped, stepped on, something heavy leaned against it, or it was just clumsiness. It doesn’t matter – you likely can’t use it until you have the screen repaired or replaced. 

Or maybe you’re working away and all of the sudden, you have a bright color on the screen (no, not the dreaded blue is dead screen), or there is nothing but bars running across or vertical lines. This is common when there is an electrical connection failure. Again, it doesn’t matter, does it? You just need computer screen repair now. 

Guess what? It isn’t the end of the world. It is a bump in the road, but often a screen repair is all you need. The cost of a screen repair vs LCD repair can start as low as $70 for labor up toward $180, along with the cost of the screen itself if screen repair isn’t possible and a new screen is required. 

It is recommended if this computer screen repair is for an essential computer for your business or work to use a certified and registered computer tech company. Finding one that is 3rd party authorized is akin to finding an authorized mechanic to work on your BMW. Or having a dentist do your open-heart surgery. 

Computers are cheaper than they were just ten years ago, but they can be expensive, and they can contain information you’ve worked on that is expensive or sensitive.  Never trust your computer to somebody that doesn’t prove their certified expertise. If you need help with screen repair in Long Island, NY reach out to TotalTech Repair at (631) 517-0021 today.

Are Home Theaters Worth It?

home theater set up

What is home theater installation? 

Things sure have come a long way haven’t they, like television.  Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented demonstrated the first electronic television in 1927. Considering his home didn’t have electricity until he was 14 makes that even more amazing.  Today, we have big flat screen televisions, many homes have one in every room of the house. The more common thing today is having a home theater installation. Farnsworth wouldn’t believe what his descendants have in their homes! 

As the cost of electronics have dropped, the popularity of having a home theater installation has become more popular over the past few years. In fact, the builders of higher end homes offer a home theater installation. So, a home theater setup with tv and surround sound though. 

A home theater is actually theater quality comfort, sight, and sounds.  to enjoy remarkable sound and video quality in the comfort of your own home. The components of a home theater installation includes a mixture, or all of the following: 

  • Television set with large flat screen
  • DVD player
  • Blu Ray, DVR, or VCR unit
  • Surround Sound 
  • Speakers

Along with all of those components there is the storage for all along with the cables, connectors, wiring, surge protectors, etc.  Then there is the consideration of how to connect and hook up all of this equipment, without any wires showing. So, do you need an electrician or a home theater installation professional? 

Who does home theater installation?

In addition to determining what equipment is needed and what are the must-have components for a home theater installation, there is the actual installation. Here are 7 areas to think it through before deciding this is a great DIY project: 

1. Attic or Crawl Space

You’ll need to run cabling and wiring for the television, speakers, surround sound, and more. For that, do you have access to your attic or crawl space, or do you have crown molding in the room? Attic and crawl space will make the job easier and faster, but the addition of crown molding will work for hiding the audio and video cables and wiring. For the video portion, you’ll HDMI, and a cable that is long enough run between the AV receiver to the television. Then there is the wiring for the audio portion, will you have speakers in the walls or the ceiling?  

2. First Home Theater Installation or Expanding A Current One

If you haven’t ever assembled a home theater installation, you may find yourself getting overwhelmed. However, if you currently have a home theater, installation of more speakers or other new hardware won’t be as confusing. 

3. Home Renovation Experience

Installing and setting up a home theater installation will require some basic  home construction. You’re going to be cutting holes and setting up low voltage boxes, locating wiring, and then there are the tools you’ll need.  

4. The Required Tools

For a successful home theater installation, you’ll need some specific tools and the knowledge how to use them. Among those tools are: 

  • Cordless drill
  • Keyhole saw
  • Stud finder
  • Hammer
  • Fish Rods
  • Box knife
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Tape measure
  • Paddle bits
  • Low voltage boxes and kit

If your home theater installation is going to require a room being built, or you’re planning on finishing out the attic, basement, or garage, you’re going to need some addition tools. These addition tools are needed for building walls, closing off doors, etc. The basic tools for this home construction includes: 

  • Cordless circular saw
  • Cordless reciprocating saw
  • Level
  • Pneumatic nail gun
  • Electrical box
  • Electrical outlets
  • Electrical cable

5. The Time

This is going to be more than one day project, and if you’re finishing out or building a room, it is definitely more than a weekend DIY project. So, make sure you aren’t taking on too much. You don’t want to get started then have a business trip that takes you away for 10 days. Of if you have young children or active teens in the house, do you have spare time for a project this entailed? 

6. Budgeting 

The budget for a home theater installation may be more than you’re thinking. Beyond the components, there is the furnishing, lumber, tools, etc. Yes furnishing – you’re going to want comfortable seating once that home theater installation is complete. 

7. Soundproofing

Soundproofing a home theater installation can be difficult, but so necessary. If the walls are down to the studs, soundproofing won’t be as difficult. You need to consider not just the theater sound escaping into the rest of the house, but the other sounds of your house getting into the home theater, like the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, and the HVAC system. 

Should I get a home theater system or a soundbar?

It depends on what you prefer.  A soundbar is going to deliver the audio “AT” you from the front. A home theater system will surround you in sound like the theater. 

What is the ideal size for a home theater room?

Use your own eyes and ears to determine what is best for your home theater installation. If you follow all the marketing hype and suggestions, you could get more than you need or will ever use.  Things you need to consider are: 

  • The television and speakers need to fit the room size. 
  • The angle and distance of the seating in relation to the screen and speakers. 
  • The acoustics are affected by the furnishings, materials, and shape of the room. 
  • Consider the exterior windows and the interior lighting of the room when positioning the television. 
  • Make sure you have adequate ventilation for the room to keep viewers comfortable. 

How do I know what size my home theater screen is?

If you have a projector screen currently and need to replace it, grab your tape measure, and see what you have. The most common measurement of screens and televisions is diagonal. Measure the screen length from the top-left to the bottom-right for the diagonal screen size.

How far should you sit from a 120 inch screen?

It will depend on the size of your home theater and where your 120-inch screen is installed in that room.  For a cinema at home setup, the formula that most audio-visual companies use is a ratio for seat-to-screen distance is 100.8 inches back from a 120-inch screen. 

flat screen tv

Are home theaters worth it?

If movie watching is your thing, then yes, absolutely a home theater installation is worthwhile. You won’t have to go to an actual theater anymore, and with today’s concerns about Corona and other illness, this will be the safer way to watch your favorite movies. If you decide to sell your home, a $20,000 investment for home theater installation, real estate experts estimate you can see approximately 65% back on that investment.

So, maybe you’re not so confident about doing your own home theater installation? Do an internet search for “professional home cinema installation near me” or get a list of recommendations from the store where you purchase the electronics. Most stores contract with 3rd party installers that are certified in the brands they sell. Call (631) 517-0021 today for your home theater system in Long Island, NY.

What are print designs?

printer creating business documents

Why print design?

Every business owner wants their business to stand out above the competition. This is done with the biggest sign on the building, the fanciest business cards, radio and television advertising, and good old fashion word-of-mouth. What works better today than all of that is print design for business advertising. 

With print design, focus is on your business name, branding, and what product or services are offered. With print design for businesses, you can create a unique design and logo that will become your branding and get your company recognized as soon as that logo is spotted. Nike would be one example – that swoosh logo says it all without saying anything. 

With print design and signage, you can’t help but get your company’s name out there and recognized. For a new business, its all about establishing your branding and for an established business, it’s all about keeping your branding recognized. What better way to do that than working with an experienced print designer? 

What does a print designer do?

A print designers is where to print graphic design is done, usually in a digital format these days. They work with you client on a print design for business from the concept and design of an emblem, logo, or symbol to the end product. That end product is then printed on various materials in a physical form in any of the following and more: 

  • Ceramic
  • Cloth
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Paper
  • Plastic 

The print design business is found any direction you look on any given day, all day. If you’re reading this piece on a computer, there is a logo on there somewhere that stated out as concept print design for business, like the Apple, Hewlett Packard, or Texas Instrument logos.

You cell phone has a brand name and logo on it, your tennis shoes, your car, and the components that create your car all have what was once an idea for a print design for business.  When you attend a function like a business trade show or an event like a concert, a rodeo, or any type of gathering, they are either handing things out with a print design for business logo or the theme of the event. 

A print designer works with a business owner to create those print design for business logos and themes. They help design something that is catchy and stands out from the competition. They often help a business owner choose the company “colors” and even the company “message”. 

What makes a good print design?

Designing a great end product that is deliverable is a creative process that is appreciated by many but understood by few. The aspect of how the print design for business goes from concept to computer screen to the finished product. The print design for businesses should fit their branding and the concept should be seen and understood across all platforms the print design is use.  A good print design for business will include the following five qualities: 

  • Readability: The style should be a simple read with a layout that aims so the viewer does not have to work at uncovering the message in a font that is easily read.
  • Placement: Keep it every print design for business clear and un-muddled. When print design for business is muddled, it loses the viewer’s attention and focus. Don’t keep it all centered with lots of white space and don’t feel every space has to be used. 
  • Audience: A good print design for business should stay focused on the intended audience. The information for any print desig for business should have an acceptable and direct message for the targeted audience. 
  • Grammar and Spelling: Poor grammar and spelling shows customers that errors and glitches are acceptable. A print design for business that has errors will stick with the branding and the targeted audience will loose confidence in that business. 
  • Layout: With a good print design for business, know what you want the reader to see first and what is important to see last for that lasting impression. Remember the average view will read from left to right, anything out of that normal can be confusing and the branding and message are lost. 

What is the difference between print design vs graphic design? 

To summarize the answer: A great print design for business will be a dreadful web design. The big canvas size print design is a controlled layout that makes it visually superior. A graphic design is engaging and interactive. The two media forms have many differences and different approaches are needed to use the strength each has to offer. 

  • Print design allows the eyes to “walk” over the information provided, being selective at what they want to see.  
  • Web design allows the hands to move around to what the user wants to see by clicking and scrolling. 

Why is print design important?

Having print design for business that is effective, well-designed in marketing materials builds your brand recognition and contributes to your business credibility. The branding that print design for business creates a connection emotionally and visually with the client base and future clients. Call (631) 517-0021 today to get started on your print design needs in Long Island, NY.