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Have you been backing up your computer? If you’re like the rest of us poor sinning mortals, you probably haven’t. It might not have even crossed your mind.

And why should it? Very few people suffer the theft of their laptops or the crashing of hard drives, so it’s easy to assume that our files are safe. We have nothing to worry about, right?

Image result for computer images

Still, it’s wise to take a few precautions. Given what’s at stake, we should be backing up our computers routinely. If a power outage or accident destroys your computer, you could lose years of photos or business files, and if someone steals your laptop, you could lose all of the data for a project you’ve been working on for months. As a writer who has rough drafts for up to a dozen clients in my computer at any one time, I certainly couldn’t afford to take chances.

Data backup might not be as critical for your career, but you’ll probably feel the pain from data loss if your computer fails or is stolen.

What can you do, then? What means do you need for backing up your computer?For the most complete protection, you’ll need to combine local backup with cloud storage.


PCs and Macs already have built-in backup systems that are highly reliable, but you’ll need an external hard drive to use them properly. Seagate and Western Digital offer reasonably-priced models with solid reputations.. As a rule, your external drive should have at least as much capacity as your internal drive. Ideally, it will have 50% to 100% more.

Windows 10  (File History/ Backup and Restore)

Microsoft offers integrated backup with Windows 10. Plug in your hard drive, and find your File History setting. Select the folders you want backed up, and how often you want Windows to do it. You will need to keep your hard drive plugged in for the backup function.

Mac OS X  (Time Machine)

Mac offers a unique tool called Time Machine. Just plug in your hard drive and open Time Machine for configuration as your backup drive. The software will handle the backing up of your files automatically, at scheduled intervals. If you need to reset your Mac, or you buy a new one, OS X will prompt you to enable Time Machine backup to restore your files from.


Local backup is important, but it’s vulnerable. Like hard drives and other hardware, local backup is subject to destruction, theft, or loss. For complete protection, then, consider cloud storage. For individual files, the simplest means of cloud backup is with online systems such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive. All enable scanning of local folders and simple uploading of them to the cloud. Then, even if your computer is destroyed, you can log into your account and open your files from anywhere.

If you need even more protection, you might consider a subscription service such as Backblaze. It costs $5.00 per month or $50.00 per year. It’s not as convenient for casual use as Dropbox or Google Drive, but it is highly secure full-service cloud storage.


With a few simple precautions, backing up your files and preventing critical data loss will be easy.


(For the internet service that works best for you, talk to us. We can help.)


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We all need speed. For this reason, HughesNet has worked for forty years to advance satellite technology.  Its Gen4 satellite internet service is one example of the company’s commitment to innovation.

Gen4 is available anywhere in the U.S., as long as your dish has a direct line of sight to the southern sky. It is much faster than competing rural internet services, and it won’t need a phone connection. Several plans are available, with download speeds from 5 megabits per second (5 MB.S) to 15 MB/S.

The data allotments are much more generous than previous generations of satellite internet offered. The basic tier, Prime Plus, allows 10 gigabytes (GB) per month. The premium tier, Ultra, allows a full 50 GB per month. With all Gen4 plans, an additional 50 GB per month is available during off-peak hours: 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. If you’re about to bump against your data cap, you can buy an additional allotment, $10.00 for each additional GB.

With Prime Plus, you can open up to five e-mail accounts. With the other three plans, you can open as many as ten.

With each of the plans, you get free standard installation and live technical support.

All HughesNet plans are compatible with Windows or Mac operating systems. Windows users will need Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8. HughesNet will also work with Windows 10 soon. Mac users will need OS 10.7 (Lion), OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion), or OS 10.9 (Mavericks).

Your computer will need ethernet network capability. If you wish to get your HughesNet service on a mobile device, you will need a wireless router.

In most cases, you can expect your HughesNet Gen4 internet service to be in operation within two weeks after you place your order. A certified HughesNet technician will call you to confirm your installation date and time.

(Do you still have questions about HughesNet? Do you want to upgrade your internet service? Talk to us. We can help.)

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Sling TV’s Multiple-Stream TV Service

Dish Network launched Sling TV, its dedicated streaming video platform, early last year. It was a revolutionary idea for the often-complacent pay TV industry. A satellite system operator was offering a semi-independent internet video streaming service. The customer would not need the customary contract, would not have to sign a long-term commitment, and would not have to schedule an installation. The customer would not need a satellite dish or a dedicated TV set-top box.

Sling TV could be streamed to a wide variety of devices. These include Mac and PC computers, iOS and Android tablets and phones, almost every dedicated video streamer, and several gaming consoles. There are very electronic devices Sling TV will not support.

In other respects, Sling TV would resemble a conventional cable or satellite TV service. It would carry multiple channels in its core package, including major commercial broadcast stations. The basic channel package would be much smaller than the typical pay TV package, though, and would cost much less.

If there was any major drawback with Sling TV, it’s that it was limited to one stream per household. On Wednesday, April 13, Dish addressed the matter with a new ‘multi-stream’ service (now in beta tests).  The customer will be able to stream it to up to three devices at a time. At its launch, the multi-stream selection in the basic package was limited to a few FOX networks: Fox Sports, FX, and National Geographic. Optional premium channels available in multiple streams include A&E, AMC, EPIX, HBO, Scripps, Turner, and Univision.

The channel selection available for multiple streams is likely to expand over time. Dish Network is negotiating with content providers, and expects to offer a far more channel options within a few months.

The basic twenty-three channel Sling TV package sells for just $20.00 per month. Several optional ‘Extra’ programming packages are available for $5.00 per month each.

One average, TV bills for Sling TV customers are about half the size of cable bills.

(For any internet video streaming service, you need a good broadband connection. Talk to us. We can help.)