7 04, 2020

Essentials for Empowering Remote Work

2020-03-28T14:12:20-05:00April 7th, 2020|Work From Home|0 Comments

Essentials for Empowering Remote Work

Essentials for Empowering Remote Work

COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to embrace remote work. The technology needed to enable people to work from home has existed for years, but working from home may be new for you and your employees. Here are some essentials you need to address to empower your remote workers.

What technology do you have or need? Your people may have business laptops and phones, or perhaps you already allowed employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) to work. So, remote work isn’t going to be as much of a change. Your people already have the tools they need.

However, a business that wasn’t doing any of this before might need new hardware. You can’t expect your employees to lug heavy desktop computers home.

You may need to ask employees to use their own personal computers and phones. That’s going to require some ground rules. For one, no Windows 7: that operating system is out of date and no longer supported by Microsoft, which means employees could be putting corporate data at risk of cyber-attack.

  • Establish strict policies for securing devices accessing business networks.
  • Communicate reporting procedures for the loss/theft of a device.
  • Enable mobile monitoring management of all devices that give IT access.
  • Encourage regular backup of mobile devices.
  • Educate employees to regularly update firewall and anti-virus software.
  • Prohibit third-party apps.
  • Set devices to make users aware that they may be connecting to unsafe networks.

Challenges of the Remote Work Environment

In the office environment, there is business technology consistency. Now, you’re supporting various hardware and networking solutions of different quality. This can be a headache to get up and running, yet you need to support your remote employees. What kind of IT desk help will you offer? People are now working wherever they are, whenever they want.

The “wherever they are” part can raise some issues. Employees could log in from public parks, coffee shops (if any are open), or while at home with the kids. This means fresh threats. Laptops can get stolen. People out in the world could look over your employee’s shoulder and read what’s on the screen. Kids can spill juice in a split second! Install remote management software to enable a complete wipe of lost or stolen laptops. Also, implement encryption, data backup, and screen-locking features to help keep data secure.

Saying people can work “whenever they want” also has its challenges. With everyone stuck at home, a 9-5 schedule for office productivity may be impossible. Toddlers don’t really understand that “Mommy’s working,” do they?

It’s a good idea to establish clear expectations from the outset:

  • How will progress be demonstrated?
  • How can employees check-in with managers?
  • What are the expectations for team collaboration?
  • What software will be used for group chat, video, or conference calling?
  • What is acceptable business-hour flexibility?

If you’re going to allow people to set their own hours, IT support needs to be flexible, too.

Supporting Remote Work

The good news is that remote work can be productive, too. In fact, a Stanford University study found remote employees did an extra day’s work per person per week. We can help you set up your technology to support your remote staff. We’ll make sure your hardware is up to scratch, secure those mobile devices, and be your remote IT help desk.

Contact us today at 319-227-7000!

5 04, 2020

Add Rules to a Shared Mailbox in Office 365

2020-04-05T17:39:24-05:00April 5th, 2020|Office 365|0 Comments

Add Rules to a Shared Mailbox in Office 365

Here is how to add rules to a shared mailbox in Office 365Add Rules to a Shared Mailbox in Office 365 - Account Settings

  1. In Outlook go to File-> Account Settings
  2. On the Email tab select New
    1. In the Your Name field, enter a name for the account ie: the email address or whatever you would like.
    2. In the Email Address field, enter the email address for the shared account.
    3. In the Password field, enter the password for your email account (your full mailbox) since the shared mailbox doesn’t have a password.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click Sign in with another account.
  5. Enter your email address here, again use an account that is a full mailbox, not a shared mailbox.
  6. Click Finish. You may need to restart Outlook for the changes to take effect.

The mailbox will appear in Outlook exactly the same as it did before, but now you can apply rules to it.

 

 

 

To create a rule for the shared mailbox do the following:Add Rules to a Shared Mailbox in Office 365

  1. Go to File-> Manage Rules and Alerts or on the ribbon click Rules, then Manage Rules & Alerts.
  2. On the Email Rules tab, select the shared mailbox from the drop down menu labeled: Apply changes to this folder.
  3. Click New Rule and proceed to create your rule.

If you would like us to help with adding rules to a shared mailbox in Office 365 contact us here.

31 03, 2020

How to Stay Focused Working from Home

2020-03-27T15:34:53-05:00March 31st, 2020|Productivity|0 Comments

How to Stay Focused Working from Home

working from home

Working from home is not for everyone – we’ve all heard that said before – but many of us worldwide are now being forced to work from home. It can be challenging, especially when you have to adapt in the midst of all the other uncertainties COVID-19 has brought. These strategies can help you stay focused when working remotely.

Reserve your office space

Set up a temporary home office. Pick a space, if you can, that is away from distractions and has a door that you can close. Try to organize this space so that you feel more as if you’re going into the office. Clear those personal bills and photo albums waiting for assembly from your desk.

Creating a distinct space can help with the mental association that you are going to work. You’ll also find it easier to focus if you dress as you would for work. Shower, and put on makeup if you normally do. Getting out of your pajamas and putting on your “game face” puts you more in work mode.

Stick with your routines

Keeping a similar schedule can help, too. If you go to the office at a certain time every day, that’s when you should show up at your home workstation. If you took breaks at consistent times when on-site, do the same at home. This helps tell your brain it’s business as usual, even when you’re working in the laundry room on a folding card table!

You may not be able to go out and grab a coffee or eat lunch out with colleagues, but you can still go have a cup in the kitchen or order lunch from a local business that’s delivering – help them to stay in business too!

If you used to write emails first thing, do that still. If your team had a weekly conference call Wednesdays at 11, try to keep that, too. You can use voice or video conferencing to stay in touch while remaining at a safe distance.

Avoid distractions

This is going to mean different things for people. Working from home with children is tough, especially as you’re now supposed to be supervising their online learning. Giving them a dedicated space for schoolwork can help to keep them motivated and away from you. You might tell younger children to expect your attention at breaks (e.g. “I’ll play three rounds of Candyland when the big hand reaches 12 and the little hand reaches 3”).

The news and social media are other traps for those working from home. No one is watching over your shoulder, and it’s easy to think, “I’ll just check…” That’s how you lose 30 minutes of productivity watching pandas wrestle on a zoo-cam.

Still struggling? You could consider setting up one operating system account for work and another for personal use creating different browser profiles. And if you’re still getting distracted, you could install a browser plug-in that forces you to stay on track.

Keep deadlines

Setting deadlines can help you stay motivated. The longer you have to get something done, the slower you’ll work – it’s inevitable. So, maintain some pressure by setting tight, but realistic targets.

Share your deadlines with other colleagues using an online task management tool. This can help with accountability.

Be patient

This is a stressful time, and you’re being asked to deal with many changes. So, you need to be patient. Working in sprints could help your motivation and attention span. You might set a timer and focus completely on work until the bell chimes. One theory is that the most productive people take a 17-minute break every 52 minutes, but you’ll want to see what works for you.

Another approach is to say you’ll do 30 minutes of good work on that thing you’re avoiding. Worst case: you get only 30 minutes of it done. At least you’re further ahead. But you might find it only takes 30 minutes to complete or that you’re so close to finishing that you keep going and get the job done.

Have the right tech

Make sure you have the right tools to do your job. Working from home is challenging enough, so make it easier with reliable internet and Wi-Fi connections, and access to the required files.Need help with working from home? We can’t actually be there to cheer you on and keep you motivated, but our tech experts can get you set up with the most efficient home office solutions.

Contact us at 319-227-7000 today!

28 03, 2020

Steer Clear of Coronavirus Scams

2020-03-28T15:02:39-05:00March 28th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Steer Clear of Coronavirus Scams

Steer Clear of Coronavirus Scams

With the world grappling with a health pandemic, scams are shocking. Regrettably, bad actors are everywhere, always looking for opportunities, and they’re seeing one in the coronavirus. This article outlines what you need to watch out for and how to stay cyber safe.

The last thing you want to read right now is that there’s another threat out there – sorry, but it’s true. Cyber-criminals take advantage of fear. They take timely concerns and use them to target victims. Using the anxiety and upheaval around coronavirus is their mission.

So far, several coronavirus-related attempts to cyber-scam people have been reported. There are examples of:

  • emails that appear to come from government health departments;
  • offering a tax refund to get people to click on malicious links;
  • memos to staff that appear to come from large employers;
  • COVID-19 test offerings from private companies;
  • fake websites promising to sell face masks or hand sanitizer;
  • soliciting donations to help fund a vaccine.

What to Watch Out For

Another concern is the number of bogus websites registered with names relating to COVID-19. The site can look legit but is set up to steal information or infect the victim’s computer with malware.

You may get an email promising the attached information offers coronavirus safety measures, or information shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) if you click on the link, or a similar email pretending to be from a reputable news source, such as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In another example, an email impersonating a healthcare company’s IT team asked people to register for a seminar “about this deadly virus.” Anyone who didn’t question why IT was organizing the meeting clicked to register. By filling out the form, they gave their details to hackers.

What to Do

Be cautious. It’s understandable that you’re anxious, but don’t let that stop you from taking cyber precautions. You should still:

  • be wary of anything that tries to play on your emotions and urges immediate action;
  • question where emails are coming from – remain vigilant even if the communication appears to come from a reliable source;
  • hover over links before clicking them to see where they will take you – for example, in the WSJ example, the Web address was for the “worldstreetjournal”;
  • avoid downloading anything you didn’t ask for;
  • doubt any deals that sound too good to be true (“a mask that stops the virus 99.7% of the time!”);
  • ignore any communications requesting your personal information;
  • don’t be suckered by fraudulent pleas for charity.

Global health organizations generally do not send out emails with advice. Instead, navigate directly to that reputable health institution for real news.

If you’re still not sure about the validity of the communication, check it out. Do so by calling or using another medium to get in touch with the “source” of the received message.

While there is not yet a vaccine for COVID-19, you can put anti-virus protection on your computer. Also, make sure that you’ve applied all available security updates to keep your software safe.

We hope you’ll take care and stay healthy both physically and online in these tough times.

Need help installing security software and keeping your technology safe? Our cyber-security experts can give your home a tech immunization.

Contact us today at 319-227-7000!

5 03, 2020

Is Your Businesses IT Ready for the Coronavirus?

2020-03-05T07:04:38-06:00March 5th, 2020|Productivity|0 Comments

Is Your Businesses IT Ready for the Coronavirus?Is Your Businesses IT Ready for the Coronavirus?

Is Your Businesses IT Ready for the Coronavirus? The Coronavirus is spreading as fast as feared. Businesses must be ready for the worst. One priority? Protecting the health of employees. Preparing for remote working is one top recommendation.

News of the virus, which the WHO is now calling COVID-19, has prompted urgent interest in remote work. Business collaboration software, virtual desktops, and private networks can all help. This tech helps business continue as usual, even with quarantined employees.

It’s difficult to imagine you aren’t aware of the looming health pandemic. Trying to limit the contagion, we’ve already seen big business take major measures. These include:

  • Nike temporarily closed its European headquarters when an employee was diagnosed with the virus. After the first death in Washington state in the U.S., the company also closed its world headquarters for a deep clean of its campus.
  • Twitter told its roughly 4,900 employees to stay home to work.

Other businesses are weighing up the options. Furloughs? Changes to sick leave? Or encouraging work from home. The last option appeals, but how do employees work remotely? How can they continue collaborating with people they used to sit beside, meet in the office, or travel to see? Technological solutions.

The Right Technology for Remote Work

Remote workers want a centralized platform with a simplified (yet secure) login process. Business collaboration software is a great enabler of mobile, flexible work. Replace in-person meetings with voice or video conferencing. Streamline chat, voice, and video in one software platform. Tools such as Microsoft Teams, or Slack, allow businesses to create team channels.

Business collaboration tools also simplify access to email, calendars, documents, and file sharing. Employees can use a single sign-on to access business tools and data. This supports improved efficiency and increased transparency.

Providing a virtual desktop can provide access to important business applications, as well. Virtual desktops in the cloud allow users to work separately from their personal computers. The software virtualizes the user’s unique desktop environment at any workstation. All the data and applications are stored on a central server. Users access apps, folders, and toolbars from anywhere, with a consistent, secure experience.

Using a cloud-based solution also provides peace of mind. While remote workers access the corporate network, the sensitive data isn’t stored locally. So, the business needn’t worry about the loss or theft of sensitive data. Plus, cloud-based virtual desktops are easy to rapidly install outside a quarantined area.

Worried about securing those remote connections? Another option is a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN connects computers, smartphones, or tablets to a shared or public network as if connecting to a private network. These encrypted connections to the internet secure data and protect employees’ mobile activities.

Mobile Work Helps Every Day

You can hope that your employees stay healthy and your business remains unaffected, but why take that risk? Empowering remote work benefits business, even without the threat of a fatal flu.

Remote teams enjoy greater work-life balance. The workers spend less time commuting and are more productive. Empowered, they also feel trusted and more engaged.

Meanwhile, business can save money on physical space and hardware investments. Additionally, the hiring pool of qualified personnel expands with remote work, and the business can offer its services more globally and flexibly. All that’s true whether the Coronavirus becomes an issue for your business or not.

Enabling a remote workforce takes technology. Need help installing and connecting your employees? We can help. Contact us today at 319-227-7000.

3 03, 2020

Need a Second Opinion? IT Support for Your Home

2020-02-28T15:41:08-06:00March 3rd, 2020|Computer Repair|0 Comments

Need a Second Opinion? IT Support for Your HomeIT Support for Your Home

The majority of homes today have at least one computer, and that’s unlikely to be the full extent of the technology. Everyone has a smartphone, and there may be streaming devices, modems, routers, or printers, and – we’re guessing here – lots and lots of power cords! When something goes awry with any of this tech, homeowners can feel stuck. In an office setting, there’s the IT support desk, but at home, you could be relying on Google search, YouTube videos, and the efforts of a digital-native teen. Talking with IT experts well versed in residential technology issues can help.

As with doctors, it can be worthwhile to get a second opinion. Having an IT expert for your home can save you money and prevent disasters. With an IT guru on speed dial, you can make smart decisions for buying, repairing, and upgrading tech.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous computer businesses out there. They will take advantage of a buyer’s lack of knowledge about all things tech. Doing your own research is great, but it can get overwhelming. A search for a Wi-Fi-enabled, Mac-compatible printer nets hundreds of options, rankings, and reviews.

You try to evaluate a laptop or printer on function, quality, and price, but all these other elements get mentioned. You don’t even know what they mean! How can you ask the right questions? An IT expert can narrow the field and make recommendations based on your needs. You don’t have to wonder what that salesperson is not telling you.

Maybe you usually go to a big-box store to buy your technology. Yes, they can have good deals, but often there’s a reason that laptop is so cheap or that printer is such a great deal. These temptingly priced technologies can be just too slow to do the job, or they’ll break down sooner. Or that astounding deal on a color printer is going to backfire on you down the road because the cost of the ink is crazy!

With an IT partner providing a second opinion, you can avoid being bamboozled. Your IT support team will take the time to get to know the issues you’re facing and how you plan to use the product. They can steer you towards tech that is good value and makes sense for the problem you’re trying to fix. You don’t go home with something that duplicates or doesn’t work well with your other tech.

The best technology is going to be a combination of the right product at the right quality at the right price.

Beyond Buying – IT Support for You

When it comes to replacing or repairing technology, it helps also to get a second opinion. You wouldn’t want to get surgery when a week with a splint would do the trick, right? Well, you don’t want to buy a new computer to solve a problem that could be fixed by taking off under-performing but processing-power sucking applications. Or pay to repair a device when you could pay the same amount for a new one that works even better in the way you need.

IT support isn’t only for enterprise-sized businesses. Tech experts can help a homeowner:

  • evaluate tech options;
  • identify good deals;
  • make smart upgrades;
  • diagnose computer problems;
  • install security measures;
  • backup data;
  • connect devices.

Get the help you need to keep your computers and technology in top shape at home. Contact us today at 319-227-7000.

18 02, 2020

You Don’t Have Permission to Shut Down and Restart This Computer

2020-02-18T08:47:54-06:00February 18th, 2020|Computer Repair|0 Comments

You Don’t Have Permission to Shut Down and Restart This ComputerYou don’t have permission to shut down this computer

Some Windows 7 and Windows 10 users have come across an error message stating “You don’t have permission to shut down and restart this computer”.  This appears to be linked to a recent Adobe CC update, specifically related to the Adobe Genuine Monitor Service, Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service and the Adobe Update Service. The Windows 7 Adobe update has been rolled back, however the Windows 10 Adobe update is still an issue and has not been recognized by Adobe at this time.

To temporarily fix this issue you can disable the affected Adobe services by clicking the Start button and typing services.msc and pressing enter or click the “Services App” option at the top of the start menu.

services.msc

Once you have the services panel open find the following services: “Adobe Genuine Monitor Service”, “Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service”, and “Adobe Update”. Double click each of them one at a time to open them then click Stop then select Startup Type – Disabled.

Adobe Services

Once you have stopped and disabled the services you can try to shutdown the computer. If you are still getting the error “You Don’t Have Permission to Shut Down and Restart This Computer” you may have to perform a hard shutdown (hold the power button for at least 10 seconds) once then turn the computer back on. Going forward you should be able to shutdown/restart as normal.

 

If you need any assistance with this process open a ticket or call us at 319-227-7000 and we would be happy to assist. Disabling the wrong services could cause further problems with your computer.

11 02, 2020

Are Your HIPAA Compliance Efforts Healthy?

2020-02-03T14:45:28-06:00February 11th, 2020|Compliance|0 Comments

Are Your HIPAA Compliance Efforts Healthy?

HIPAA ComplianceLet’s address the (ahem …) hippo in the room. HIPAA compliance continues to be a real challenge for small and mid-sized businesses.

HIPAA is an acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which has very specific rules and regulations around a patient’s health information.

Larger healthcare organizations – hospitals and insurance companies – have in-house information technology teams, but smaller businesses don’t have the same depth of IT help on hand. Yet they must abide by the same rules.

Risking a HIPAA violation can be costly. Fines reach up to $50,000 US dollars per occurrence.

Common violations include:

  • Keeping records unsecured. WellPoint didn’t secure an online health database and paid $1.7 million
  • Not encrypting data. The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary failed to encrypt physicians’ laptops, which led to a $1.5 million fine.
  • Loss or theft of devices containing personal health information (PHI). A pediatric practice in Massachusetts lost a flash drive and settled for a $150,000 fine.
  • Failing to train employees in HIPAA compliance. A Walgreens in Indiana breached a single patient’s privacy and paid her $1.44 million.
  • Disposing of records improperly. Affinity Health Plan paid $1.2 million after failing to erase the photocopier drives before returning them to the leasing company.
  • Releasing information without authorization. Phoenix Cardiac Surgery posted a patient’s appointment on an online calendar and paid $100,000.
  • Disclosing PHI to third parties who do not have access rights. A medical practice in Phoenix sent patient data over insecure email and was fined $100,000.

Tips for HIPAA Compliance

Be aware of HIPAA requirements. Smaller businesses can have a tougher time remaining up to date on technology and guidelines. But that doesn’t make them any less accountable for understanding HIPAA compliance. It’s important to do the research and get educated, or partner with an IT provider with the expertise to prevent possible violations.

Embrace encryption. If your business deals with any confidential information, encryption and firewalls are necessary. Prevent outside traffic from accessing your systems. Ensure data can’t be read if there is unauthorized access. If there is a breach, or a lost or stolen device, the HIPAA penalties are reduced if encryption is used.

Protect all your endpoints. Any mobile devices that have access to patient data need to be secured. With mobile device management, for instance, you can lock down and wipe lost or stolen devices.

Err on the side of caution. Employees gossiping over coffee in a dentist’s office could share patient information, or someone might be sending an email with unencrypted data, or a health announcement with recipient names visible. All these are HIPAA violations. Humans will make mistakes, yes, but it’s less likely if you educate about regulations and the importance of being careful.

Get a HIPAA Check-Up

HIPAA has been around since 1996. In 2005, regulators got more serious about electronic versions of PHI. Yet there are still some businesses out there with only a vague idea of what it means to be compliant.

Heavy hitters in healthcare already take HIPAA seriously. You should, too. So, you haven’t been audited yet, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be. A $50,000 HIPAA fine could make the difference in your business staying afloat another year.

HIPAA compliance is critical for many organizations. Set policies and procedures. Put in place security awareness training. Start using encryption, and assess for risks.

Be proactive with your IT management. By working with IT experts, you can stay on top of HIPAA and remain complaint. A managed services provider can assess risk, identify improvement areas, and propose new tech.

Call us at 319-227-7000 to get your IT and access management policies in healthy shape.

4 02, 2020

The Advantages of Ad Blocking

2020-02-03T14:31:21-06:00February 4th, 2020|Security|0 Comments

The Advantages of Ad Blocking

Ad BlockingThe Advantages of Ad Blocking. Unless you’re in the advertising business, you probably try to avoid ads. You pay extra to stream ad-free content online. You leave the room if you are actually watching live TV shows with ads. You filter spam out of your inbox. You immediately click out of ads on the Web pages you visit. But are you actively blocking online ads? You should be. They are more than an annoyance. They could be a security risk.

Cyber-criminals are smart and savvy crooks. They don’t advertise what they are doing, and it’s not that easy to spot, but they do buy legitimate ad space to lure users to malicious sites.

Malvertising uses legitimate online advertising networks to target you with malicious code. Sites you know and trust that use legitimate ad networks can end up serving up the malicious ads. Cyber-criminals have run ads on the New York Times, Spotify, and the London Stock Exchange redirecting to malicious websites.

Adware is another risk. Packaged with legitimate software, adware runs on your computer without your knowledge. It displays unwanted advertising, redirects search requests to ad websites, and mines your data.

The cyber-criminal wants to steal your ID, or your financial and contact data, or to encrypt your information, spy on, or hijack your computer.

They can do this with exciting ads ($9 iPads?!) or alerts (often warning about infections) to get your click. But they can also take a drive-by download approach. In these cases, you don’t even need to click on anything. You load the Web page hosting the ad (or malicious pop-up window). You’re directed to a page that finds browser or software security vulnerabilities to access your machine.

Protecting Against Malvertising

Keep your software up to date, and run antivirus checks to protect against downloads and malicious code. Avoiding Flash and Java helps too, as they are commonly exploited by malvertisers.

Cyber-criminals mostly target Windows users, because the huge user base gives them the best return on investment. But Macs are just as vulnerable to malvertising attacks. – MalwareBytes

Installing an ad blocker plugin prevents the ad loading in the first place. These take away the annoyance of ads and help you avoid falling victim to a malicious attack hidden in an ad.

At the same time, you will enjoy cleaner Web browsing, and you won’t have to worry about distracting ads flashing at you while you read.

Your pages will also load faster. The ads often run a lot of code on top of the website code your computer needs to read and load. The images or video, for instance, can make a difference to data usage. So, the less you have to load, the faster you’ll get to the content you wanted. This can also help to preserve the battery life of your mobile devices!

There are some other considerations, though. For one, not all adblocker plugins can be trusted. Some will mine your data and sell it to advertisers, which is exactly what you don’t want happening.

Also, some websites won’t load correctly without the ad code. You can turn off ads on a site-by-site basis. After all, some free sites that you frequent might rely on ad revenue, so there may be sites you trust that you want to support by turning off your ad blocker just for those sites.

Always think before you click. Updating browsers and plugins and installing ad blockers can also help.

For the peace of mind that comes with ad blocking and keeping your computer security current, give us a call at 319-227-7000. We can help set you up to enjoy a safer online experience.

28 01, 2020

Is Your Printer an Ink-Sucking Monster?

2020-01-07T09:31:55-06:00January 28th, 2020|Hardware, Printers|0 Comments

Is Your Printer an Ink-Sucking Monster?

printerHow long have you had your home printer? Maybe you have a printer that came as a package deal with your desktop or free with your laptop purchase. Look in many home offices and you’ll probably see a less-expensive inkjet printer sitting beside even the swankiest monitor. Here’s why it’s time for an upgrade.

You should know that printers are often sold at cost or even as a loss leader (below cost to get your business). After all, once you get that cheap/free inkjet printer, you’ll pay for ink cartridges for the life of the printer. To make sure they get your money, manufacturers often sell new printers with half-empty ink cartridges from the start!

You’ve heard “you get what you paid for,” right? Well, that’s definitely true for low-cost printers. Manufacturers are cutting production costs to keep the price down. These printers are not built with longevity in mind. Printer owners encounter all kinds of problems:

  • multiple sheets pulled from the paper tray at once;
  • paper jams;
  • slow printer response;
  • drop off in print quality;
  • ink smearing.

Frustrated customers soon discover they’ll pay more to fix their printer than they would to buy a new one.

Upgrading to an office-grade printer

Our solution? High-performance commercial printers. Office-grade printers are designed as work horses. These robust printers are built to withstand heavy use with speed and reliably. Yes, they cost more, but they are also less prone to problems and more likely to be a long-term valuable addition to your home office.

You’ll have many printer profiles to choose from. You might select a printer based on its pages-per-minute printing speed. Or maybe you want a larger paper tray capacity and bigger ink cartridges. Depending on your needs, you might want a printer that allows for simultaneous operation. That would let one person print while another is able to scan or copy. Built-in Wi-Fi could also be useful in small home offices if you’re tired of tripping over so many unsightly cords.

While you’re in the market for a new printer, know that we recommend laser printers over inkjet. Laser printers use a dry toner rather than wet ink. The toner cartridges are more expensive, but they print more sheets per cartridge than inkjets, plus, toner doesn’t dry up like ink. And you don’t have to worry about the printer heads getting blocked.

Lasers print faster, and you’ll have fewer problems, which means these printers are typically less expensive to operate long-term.

Inkjet printers typically have a minimum life span of three years, whereas you can expect a laser printer to last five years, although this will depend on frequency of use, of course.

When looking at laser printers, give serious thought to whether you need a color printer. How many times do you actually use color? Does it merit the added expense of that option? People who are printing photos at home only occasionally could probably get their images printed professionally for less overall cost.

Prioritize your printer

Even in our increasingly digital world, there are still times when we want to print. Whether it’s a family photo, school report, resume, or slide deck, you want to count on your printer for high quality and reliable performance.

There are many, many office-grade printers to choose from, and it can become overwhelming. What and how much you print should factor into your decision.

Find the printer for your budget that will last long term with help from our experts. Call 319-227-7000.