Computer Security 101: The Basics

By John Forbes - October 17, 2018

The first thing I tell a customer when they ask me how to best protect their computer ( and their personal information ) is that its up to you. Thats right. The best way to help keep your computer secure is good browsing habits by your computer users. When searching for something on the internet be specific. Be specific as possible. For example don't search for golf clubs.... search for left handed golf clubs if that is what you are searching for. Then, when Google, or another search engine returns results to you, dont go beyond the first page of results. If you have to do that, then you were not specific enough in your search.

When hiring for a position at your company, never accept resume's in anything but PDF format. Files written with word or another editor can easily have secret code attached to them that can download viruses. 

Make sure you have security software running on your computer. Make sure it is up to date. It's amazing how often a customer will come to me with a computer infected with a virus, and I ask them what security software they have and their answer is either none, or its out of date. Its alot cheaper to buy a subscription to your favorite security software then it is to pay me to remove the bugs from your system.

A little effort on your part will save you time and certainly save you money. As always, if you do have computer performance issues, or you think you have a virus, give us a call right away. We will get you back up and running asap.

Small Business IT Support: Age Plays Factor in Computer Speed

August 22, 2018

For many, as time passes the speed at which they operate tends to slow down considerably. Unless you’ve located the proverbial fountain of youth, this fact also applies to anyone reading this but also transcends the human form. While elderly individuals move slower than teenagers and even older animals slower than their young, technology also operates at a reduced pace as it increases in age.

Whether it be a laptop or desktop computer, tablet or phone each seems to not function as quickly once it has been used for a while. This may occur within just a few short months or many years down the road but restoring a device to that just out of the box lightning speed seems as difficult as locating that youthful spring.

For humans - age, the wear and tear on our bodies, how we take care of ourselves, and our quality of life are all factors which may slow the process but do have an impact on one’s ability to function as they grow older. In technology, a few of the same principles apply and although your laptop isn’t heading to the gym for a workout or eating the newest fad diet, it does fill up with different programs and information, adding weight and limiting space often without receiving the proper updates when required.

Each of the following factors play a role in why computers tend to slow down with age and some tips to combat the issue.


A corrupted file or hard drive will decrease a device’s ability to function appropriately. Various files begin to accumulate the second you turn on a computer and many of them operate in the background without even noticing that they are running. Unless used often, even some files pre-programmed to start up with the operating system can be reassigned a command to function which may help to alleviate the issue.

As numerous files are generated the tendency for one to become corrupted or the drive to suffer a similar fate only increases. Outside factors that can trigger data corruption also present issues which need to be considered as the computer ages. These different techniques, especially power outages, can cause a file to become corrupted almost immediately which will inevitably slow down the computer’s operating capabilities.

Lack of Memory (RAM)

When a device is brand new it comes preloaded with only the manufacturer's recommended operating systems, applications, files, and operations. For many, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the locations of all necessary tools and then begin to add any which were not included but have been utilized almost as a second nature on a previous device. These additions immediately begin to suck the available memory and storage space out of any new computer, phone, or tablet.

Files are also often added without direct intention. While an app or new programs are purposefully installed for a specific use, computers also store files behind the scenes in an effort to increase their speed and productivity for the user which instead hinders both aspects. Computer cache is the name given for space taken on the RAM or hard drive storing recently visited web pages - every one of them. Think about how many times you’ve opened a new window or clicked to another page in just the past 10 minutes - each of these has taken a bit of space once available. The purpose is so when a user revisits the site it loads quickly, having previously been accessed, but instead many sites are opened once and then left to never return but their cache remains - slowing down the computer overall.

A lack of RAM, the memory necessary for the device to function, can also cause a slow down. The RAM operates all things currently being utilized by the device and if there is a shortage will continually be searching for additional measures to function - this slows a computer considerably and causes quite the headache.

Hard Drive Construction

Another cause for slow downs as a unit ages is the initial hard drive construction components of the device. Most older systems operate with a spinning hard drive which looks similar to a small record player. The hard drive literally spins and an arm writes or encrypts the necessary data onto the device.

The speed at which the platter rotates can weigh in on the performance of the computer, allowing the arm to “write” at faster speeds. However, age again plays a factor because the spin rate will naturally slow regardless of use as time passes. This lowers the performance but newer construction has eliminated this component.

Solid State hard drives utilize a different technology than traditional hard drives and while their operation may slow due to the other components discussed here, it will not be a slower spin rate as the culprit.


An attack by a virus onto your computer will likely slow down the processing capabilities if not worse. The longer a device is plugged into a system then the opportunity for exposure also increases. There are plenty of protection programs available to guard against such an attack but consumers must also be alert that for every program downloaded onto an electronic device for protection is also taking up space. While the slow process may not be as malicious as that of an attack from a computer virus, too many safety methods will also have an adverse effect.

If you need help speeding up the operation speeds of your device or getting the most out of your older product, let the experts with Custom Network Solutions help you today. Their friendly, highly trained, and professional staff can answer any questions you may have to get you or your business back on track and operating efficiently. Whether associated with lagging computer speeds, network construction, internet connectivity issues, computer repair or a variety of other related topics, their knowledgeable staff members are willing and ready to help. Contact us online or by phone at 720-726-9544 in order to get your technical questions answered today!

Business Computer Setup Highlights Wired Over Wireless Advantages

July 23, 2018

Wireless networks continue popping up across the world as the internet and accessibility remains a top priority for nearly everyone on the planet. What was once considered a large planet is seemingly shrinking with each passing day as the world becomes more and more connected. Many jobs are now reliant on internet accessibility and being able to work at any given time from almost anywhere creates a modern day convenience to which many would be unwilling to separate. However, there are also major advantages to tapping into a wired network for use over its wireless adversary.

While convenience may be the only key advantage to a wireless network, there remains many factors to consider when determining the best option for your present situation. Whether you are hoping to create a new network inside a home or office space, looking to complete some business on the go, or simply hoping to browse the internet for pleasure, shopping, or news - the fact remains that a hard-wired system will offer many more benefits than the wireless option has available to compete.

Although it appears there is a shift in preference to the wireless option from shear quantity of the new networks being established, many businesses and individuals both prefer to remain with their more consistent wired operations. Each of the following detailed factors makes selecting the wired option seem easy when given an appropriate amount of consideration against the one and only standard of wireless - convenience. The question one must ask themselves is - at what cost is it worth ignoring these wired benefits for simplicity with such obvious drawbacks?


There are mountains of information available online and stored on computers everywhere which if accessed by the wrong people can cause significant damage to anyone from individuals to schools, groups, organizations, communities, or even countries. Photographs, bank account information, medical or school records and legal matters make up just a small conglomerate of the available information kept somewhere on a hard drive. This information is vital to all who would need to access it but given to the wrong people could be used for harm instead of any intended means. Keeping all of this content safe and secure is of the utmost importance and can more easily be relegated by storing it within a hard wired network as opposed to something that is completely wireless.

Wireless networks which store this information are much more easily broken into and can then be accessed by hackers looking to steal someone else’s identity or even worse. Multiple wifi security threats exist which can be caused by someone else using a wireless connection in order to gain access to your network. The person may not even need to be in the vicinity to access it, using instead the wireless components of the network as their way into the information.

Unlike wireless connections, wired systems must physically be accessed via a cable and are significantly more contained than wireless. Entire systems which are all connected via different cables create an interlocking group of different stations or computers  which can typically only be breached by someone using either one of the different machines already available or accessing the network and plugging into the information. Remote accessibility is virtually zero.

Obviously one of the most important features with any system regardless of if it is a home network or tax office with loads of individual's private information - the decision for choosing wired is clear.


Wireless networks can typically only cover a certain amount of space before the signal weakens and connectivity becomes an issue. Also, physical structures such as walls - interior and exterior, floors/ceilings and windows also place a strain on the signal availability as distances increase from the main source. While signal boosters exist and are readily available, searching for the signal is a complete non-factor for a wired network. As long as the wire can reach a computer then that station can have connectivity to the system whereas a wireless option may not be serviceable.

Further, the amount of devices linked into a wireless system can also cause issues with the internet connection, something that is not a factor for wired units.

Wireless systems operate with a router which often needs to be reset and must be established with the computer hoping to log into the system. This initial setup can take some time and establishing the connection can be tricky whereas linking into a wired system involves simply plugging the desired computer into the appropriate cable.


Similar to connectivity issues which may arise from connecting multiple devices to the same wireless network, the speed of the computers will also suffer. Having multiple devices draining from the same source, slows the productivity from each station whereas cabled components are individually pulling from the main source and therefore much faster results.

One of the most frustrating things to encounter is slow internet, especially when attempting to complete a necessary task. By utilizing the productivity of a wired network, one can avoid this shortfall from wireless accessibility.

The fact is, ethernet cabling is still better than wifi and many of the issues which were prevalent when first establishing systems and computers remain today. Although there have been advances to wireless networks including the aforementioned signal boosters which can assist in helping a wireless network reach the outskirts of a home or office building, running the actual cable and physically plugging into the system cannot be beat.

If you need assistance with determining which system would be appropriate for your home or office, including wired and wireless networks, or any other technical support, let the experts with Custom Network Solutions help you today. Their highly trained and professional staff will be quick to answer any questions you may have to get you or your business back on track and operating efficiently. Whether associated with computer speed, network design, internet related issues, computer repair or a variety of other related topics, their friendly and knowledgeable staff members are willing and ready to help. Contact us online or by phone at 720-726-9544 in order to get your technical questions answered today!

Computer Repair Denver: Top 10 Ways to Make Your Computer Faster

June 27, 2018

It seemingly never fails to happen. You purchase a brand new computer or laptop and upon initial startup the device seems to run at amazingly fast speeds. In fact, this is one of the main reasons you decided upon this particular purchase and you can’t wait to operate multiple programs at one time with ease, open as many windows as you please, and download new applications onto your hard drive in order to make both life and work easier.

For a year or two, perhaps in just months after leaving the store, your computer begins to slow down considerably from those first few days out of the box. Gone is the time when startup took only mere seconds and now it unfortunately seems like forever. Opening different windows is slower, pages load over what seems to be an eternity and you become dissatisfied with your device which is often less than a few years old but outdated in terms of a technological lifespan.

In the meantime, new devices have entered the market and each is advertising an even faster speed than its predecessors. However, instead of having to upgrade your computer every few years there are a considerable amount of tips and tricks which can help to boost the speed of your current PC or laptop - often without spending any additional money on new programs or disk-drive space.

Following are 10 ideas to consider for boosting the speed of your dragging device and helping it return to that brand new, straight out of the box feeling.

1. Remove Temporary Files

A temporary file is created in order to store information while a file is being created. These are added to your computer daily and should be deleted once deemed unnecessary - which is often immediately after their initial use. Unfortunately, these hang around and must be manually removed from the computer. By accessing and deleting these temporary files on a consistent basis, your overall computer speed will increase.

2. Uninstall All Unused Programs

Similar to temporary files, programs are added to your computer on a regular basis. While these programs serve to aid in some form or fashion at one time or another, often they become unnecessary and are no longer being used.

Instead of being removed, these programs sit and run components in the background, dragging down the speed of the device on which they are installed. By completely uninstalling all of the programs which are no longer needed, you can save the device from using necessary energy to run unnecessary applications.

3. Delete Prefetch Files

When any application is ran for the very first time then a device will create a prefetch file. These are then used to help boot the page, app, or program when future loading takes place. While this initially speeds the process of loading, over time many prefetch files are created which are no longer used and instead of assisting in load times actually clog the system. Occasional removal of these benefits both the computer and user.

4. Run Disk Cleanup on the C: Drive

Disk cleanup applications are commonly a part of the system already installed on devices when they arrive from the manufacturer. However, many users rarely initiate the setting which can benefit the computer’s performance. A general monthly cleanup can prolong the faster speeds for your computer.

5. Manage Startup Applications

When the computer is booting, many startup applications begin running either on screen or in the background. These startup programs are often numerous and many can be deleted. Only the programs which are going to be used each and every time a computer is turned on should be a part of the startup process. Elimination can increase the speed, especially at the beginning, considerably.

6. Upgrade Virtual RAM

RAM is the amount of memory available on a PC or laptop and is often set at default factory settings. By increasing the amount manually and setting it to the registered components of your device, the speed will increase.

7. Disable Screensaver

Screensavers can be fun and were supposedly invented to save energy and protect both the monitor and computer contents. They can be password protected but often slow down the processing capabilities and keep computers from functioning accordingly. For example, if set for an inactivity level of five minutes then the computer is always counting down from the last detectable movement. Once a keystroke is made or a mouse clicked, the timer resets - a screensaver is one of those background running programs that is draining speed from your device.

8. Run Security Software

Similar to running the factory installed cleanup. Proper management of security software can help to keep viruses and malware from infecting your computer. While some type of software may come factory installed, proper research and the addition of a few outside sources can help.

9. Check Your Power Settings

One of the key components for allowing your PC to operate in top form is to manage the factory power settings. These are often set to energy efficient, which may help to conserve tiny amounts of power but make your device consistently slower. Instead, make sure the settings are set to high-performance and immediately begin to observe how much faster the device operates.

10. Check Hard drive for Errors

Finally, a slightly more complicated check of the hard drive for errors can serve to unveil any deficiencies located within the computer. By running this system check, all installed drives will display a progress report and any issues can then be taken care of to help speed the computer up overall.

If you need assistance with increasing the speed of your operating system or any other technical support, let the experts with Custom Network Solutions assist. Their trained staff will be quick to answer any questions you may have to get you or your business back on track and operating efficiently. Whether associated with computer speed, network design, internet related issues, computer repair or a variety of other related topics, their friendly and knowledgeable staff members are willing and ready to help. Contact us online or by phone at 720-726-9544 in order to get back on track!