Frequently Asked Questions (Part 14)

Q) How often should I back up my system?

A) The short answer is every day!  Most backup software is configured to process a backup every evening.  This keeps the backup process from interfering with normal use of the computer (the computer slows down while doing a backup, and that would be pretty inconvenient right in the middle of the work day!)  We recommend using either the built-in Windows backup software, or Veeam Endpoint Protection (which is a free download- connect with us if you’d like a safe link to it.)  Both of which will take full, image-based (meaning the whole computer can be restored, not just individual files), backups of your computer every day.

Q) Why is my cooling fan always running?

A) It’s actually fairly normal for at least one fan to be running all the time on both desktop and laptop computers.  What isn’t normal, however, is one that’s running at really high speed and making a lot of noise.  If that’s what’s happening, there’s a good chance that your machine is overheating for some reason.  If the computer is older (5 years or more) there is a chance that the paste that used to adhere the fan to the main CPU needs to be replaced.  It tends to crystalize over the years and become less efficient, which makes the CPU run hotter, which in turn makes the fan run faster to compensate.  If your computer has a loud fan all the time, we would suggest you take it to a local It professional to have it serviced before something inside the PC gets damaged by overheating.

Q) Modems, Routers, switches, hubs. OK I’m confused

A) All these different pieces of equipment are used to connect multiple computers together in what’s called a network.  A modem or router allows the network of devices in your home or workplace to connect to all the other computers out on the Internet.  Hubs are devices that allow multiple computers in close proximity (like in the same building) to communicate with each other using Ethernet cables, but are a much older product that has since been replaced by switches, which do the exact same thing, but much more efficiently.  Switches allow more devices to talk to each other at much higher speeds.  The only place you are likely to see a hub anymore is for sale at a second-hand store (don’t buy them, by the way)!  A lot of times, the modem you get from your Internet provider will actually have a switch built into it, so the one device will do the job of both a modem/router and a switch at the same time.  Any time you get a modem with multiple network ports on the back of it, that is why.

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