My ISP also works on our computers, will using Net-Tech cause a disruption of email or internet?
No, there should be no change in your service unless you decide to change it. I never go into a new client’s office with the intent of changing who they use for internet and email. I will offer suggestions if the client is having problems with their service, or are looking to expand or utilize some new technology. Internet Service Providers main focus is selling internet and email, and there are quite a few providers in the area all trying to get your business. That makes the competition stiff and prices go down which is good for you. Bad for you is the fact that many times your ISP has not informed you nor automatically reduced your bill when they are selling the same service you are using for a cheaper price to new customers. Sound like the TV and Phone companies? Maybe you can reduce your monthly bill.
As I said before, ISPs main focus is selling you Internet and email service. Computer repair and networking are secondary to them. We as consumers almost automatically feel as if they would be the best place to have look at our home or business computers. This is not necessarily the case . Have we checked to see if the tech is qualified? Do they have any certifications? How long have they been a tech? All good questions, yet we usually don’t ask them we just assume since they work for the ISP that they know what they are doing.
Consider the case where you are having internet or email problems. Is a tech from the ISP going to admit that their service is the issue? I don’t find it very common that they do. That would be admitting fault and make them responsible to fix the problem. Typically it is explained away with some inane technical explanation. I prefer honesty and since I don’t work for an ISP it makes it easier to give the client all the information.
How do I know if I am infected with a virus or spyware?
Typically I tell people that if your PC is acting unusual (very slow, pop-ups all the time, websites don’t go where you expect them to) then more than likely you are infected. Sometimes you don’t know, unless you run a scan with an updated antivirus and a spyware/malware scanner. I recommend NOD32 by Eset as an antivirus program and Malwarebytes for a spyware cleaner. NOD32 has a free online scanner and a 30 day trial, and Malwarebytes has a free scanner and a purchase option as well.
How often should I defragment my hard drive?
That depends on how much you use your computer and what you do when you do use it. A typical user that does some social networking (Facebook, MySpace), downloads some music, and adds pictures from a cell phone to their picture library; I would say once every other month. A user that spends more time on the computer should defragment once a month. Over doing it causes unnecessary wear on your hard drive, not doing it slows down PC operation.