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Windows 10 Free!

Microsoft has announced today that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade to all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year after release. Microsoft said that Windows 10 will be released later this year (expected Summer of 2015).

Why your wireless router is not secure (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)

Wifi WPS logo

Wifi Protected Setup

If your wireless router has WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) turned on, you need to turn it off. Just about any wireless router sold in the past 5 years has this feature, and they usually come with the feature turned on. Security researchers have recently discovered that many of the chips used in wireless routers are flawed allowing a hacker to gain access to your wireless router and possibly your computer. Users who are concerned about there computer security should turn this feature off. If you need help with this feel free to contact us and we can secure your wireless network.

Windows 8 is not that bad!

Windows 8 Start Menu Replacement - Classic ShellWindows 8 is not a bad operating system

There has been a lot of negative press about Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 lately. When I first began to use it I hated the giant icons on the start menu, that were obviously designed for a touch screen interface. After over a year of use I still don’t like the big block icons on the start menu, other than that its not that bad. A lot of people have compared it to Windows Vista. Really! Windows 8 is certainly not that bad, not even close. Windows Vista was slow and had a tendency to crash before all the service packs were released. Windows 8 is a fast OS I don’t think I’ve ever seen it crash, and its just a little bit more resource efficient when compared to Windows 7. The only thing that makes it “bad” is the big block interface that Microsoft has put on it, which can easily be replaced with free utility’s such as Classic Shell that will restore your start menu back to the old style interface.

Cheap Computers

 

Be cautious of cheap computers

LaptopRecently I have worked on several NEW laptops that are SLOW! Be cautious when purchasing a new laptop or desktop computer. There are a lot of cheap low end CPU’s being put in lower priced desktops and laptops that are not going to perform that well. These CPU’s do not benchmark much faster then a Pentium 4 from 10 years ago. I’ve had a few cases were a customer purchased a new laptop and there current laptop had a faster CPU. Stay away from names like AMD E-Series or Intel Celeron. Intel G-Series CPU’s perform well and are not that much more expensive, spend a little more and you can get a Intel i3 series which is even faster. A quick look through the local retail store ads and I see that the low end Windows 8 laptops are starting at around $280 up to around $329.99. You can get a Intel i3 series laptop for around $350-$400, I’ve seen them on sale a few times for even less. If you can afford it do yourself a favor and spend the extra $50.

Occasionally I have some nice used laptops and desktops that will perform better than the low end CPU laptops and desktops.

Do I need to pay $70 for a good HDMI cable?

No! The monster $70 HDMI cables are not needed. You can get a HDMI cable that performs just as well for $3 – $15 depending on length. Visit this website for quality HDMI cables.  If you need any help selecting the correct cable for your home theater or computer give us a call at 602-456-0064.

West Valley Tech

Windows XP security updates ending April 8th, 2014

The end of Windows XP

The end of Windows XP  is almost upon us. After a 13 year run, security patches will no longer be sent to your Windows XP computer beginning April 8th, 2014. Without these security updates, all those Windows XP PCs will be vulnerable to viruses, spyware and malware.

30 percent of Internet-connected PCs run Windows XP, no they wont stop working on April 8th, they will continue running like normal, they will not receive critical security, software and driver updates that keep your computer safe and running smoothly. Over time Windows XP will become increasingly full of security holes. Microsoft itself has dubbed the condition “Zero day forever”

What can you do to protect yourself?

  1. If your computer can support a newer operating system, upgrade to Windows 7
  2. Purchase a new computer

We can help you evaluate your computer and determine what the best course of action is. We can upgrade a capable Windows XP machine to Windows 7 for around $170, we also offer very competitive pricing on new computers

West Valley Tech – 602-456-0064

USB Flash Drive Data Recovery

West Valley Tech now offers USB flash drive data recovery service – $99 Flat Rate

Picture of damaged USB drive, data was recovered!

West Valley Tech Now Offers Microsoft Office Products

We now offer a full line of Microsoft Office 2013 products:

  • Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Business (1PC) Product Key Card Retail Box T5D-01575 $184.00
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student 2013 (1PC) Product Key Card Retail Box 79G-03550 $124.00
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student Full OEM Branded (Includes Disc) 79G-03550-OEM $130.00
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Professional (1PC) Product Key Card Retail Box 269-16094 $290.00
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Professional (Download) – 269-16094-dl $185.00
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Professional PKC Card (Branded) 269-16094-PKC $220.00

Can people with another Office version open documents I create with Office Home & Business 2013?
Yes, a person with a previous version of Microsoft Office can easily open documents created with the latest release of Office. Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 365, or Office 2013 users can open documents created using the latest release of Office applications without any additional action. Customers using earlier versions of Office may need to download and install a compatibility pack.

CryptoLocker Ransom Virus Encrypts Your Files

Cryptolocker files can now be recovered

UPDATE 8/7/2-14 : Good news the Cryptolocker data base has been recovered by law enforcement. Which means you can recover the keys to decrypt all of your lost files. You can obtain the keys and software to do so HERE.

If you would like us to recover your files contact us here.

CryptoLocker is an aggressive ransomware Trojan. It has been spreading in email as an executable file disguised as a PDF file, packed into a zip attachment and also via the Zues botnet.

If opened the virus proceeds to encrypt your documents (pictures, music, important program files or documents) across both local and mapped network drives. A ransom is then displayed on your computer screen demanding that you pay $300 plus dollars, within 3 days or your files will be lost.

The virus and ransom can be removed from your computer but the encrypted files are not able to be recovered unless the ransom is paid.

What can you do to protect your self?

  1. Be extremely cautions when opening email, or email attachments.
  2. Protect your computer with good anti-virus or internet security such as Kasperksy Internet Security.
  3. Keep your computer up to date with the latest security updates.
  4. Remove Java from your computer if it is not needed. Or keep it up to date with the newest release.
  5. Back up important files to a external hard drive, disconnect it and use it only when backups are needed.
  6. Or backup files to a online back up service such as SpiderOak.
West Valley Tech – 602-456-0064
13954 W Waddell Rd #103-263
Surprise, AZ 85379

Microsoft Stops Support for Windows XP

On April 9th, 2014 Microsoft will “end support” for all versions of Windows XP. What this means is that Microsoft will no longer provide important security updates for your Windows XP computer, making your computer vulnerable to virus infections and hacking.

It is predicted by computer security experts that makers of computer viruses and malware are with holding there exploits for Windows XP until after Microsoft stops releasing security updates on April 9th, 2014. Which means that in the months after this date Windows XP will become a popular target for virus makers.

If you use your computer for important tasks such as online banking we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Windows 7 or higher.

Contact us at West Valley Tech and we can determine whether your computer can run Windows 7, or if it is time to buy a new computer.