SSD vs HDD

In our society where the technology landscape is constantly moving and shifting, people are always concerned with having the best new thing on the market.  So when people are talking about a new form of storage on your computer and replacing your hard-drive, it’s easy to be skeptical.  However, if you are interested in having a better experience using your computer, then an upgrade to an SSD (or Solid State Drive) may be for you. Computers used to rely on HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) as the main storage device, but SSDs are becoming more and more prevalent. HDD versus SSD

So what exactly are SSDs and HDDs?

A Solid State Drive is a storage device containing nonvolatile flash memory, and it is used in place of a Hard Disk Drive because of its speed. A normal SSD offers the largest jump in performance for a regular PC. Most people are familiar with a standard USB drive, so think of the SSD as a larger USB. An HDD, is the mechanism that controls the positioning, reading, and writing of the hard disk.  So while an SSD is like a large USB, an HDD is more like a larger floppy disk.

That comparison might be a little harsh, but still. An SSD can perform all of the functions as an HDD, but SSDs store their memory on flash chips that retain data even if there is no power on. As mentioned before, the SSD is nonvolatile, which means that the disk can be turned off and it won’t forget what was stored on it. By storing data in microchips, this prevents the SSD from requiring moving parts, which makes it more reliable. An HDD does have several moving parts, which causes it to be slower and also gives it a higher failure rate because moving parts are susceptible to wear and tear over time.

Solid State DriveThe main advantage of an SSD is the speed, because the flash memory chips used in SSD are much faster at reading data. When an HDD is crowded with data, sometimes it becomes fragmented across multiple sections. This will cause the HDD to take longer to read the data. Unlike the HDD, the SSD is able to read files simultaneously across multiple sections, which prevents fragmentation. If you are looking to improve the speed of your system, once again we can consider this a win for SSD.

The one advantage HDD does have is that it is cheaper and is still able to store lots of data. However, unless you need to store a large amount of data (and you’ll probably know who you are, if that is the case) a standard 240 GB is probably enough. Also, people may argue that the SSD is significantly more expensive. This is the case if someone wants a huge SSD, because an HDD with 1 TB of data will probably remain notably cheaper than an SSD of that size. However, the price of the standard SSD has declined in recent years, making the price difference not a major issue anymore for the average consumer who likely only needs between 120 and 480GB of storage. With an SSD, you are sacrificing a few bucks for a much more efficient and reliable system.

Comparing the two side by side, the HDD requires much more power and time to operate as opposed to the SSD. The failure rate is higher, and the price of the SSD is continuing to decline, making the price difference a non-factor compared to the past.  Given all these factors, we can see how the SSD is a clear improvement over the HDD. When it comes to finding a new computer that is “better, faster, stronger”, the Solid State Drive will turn your old computer into the new one you have been looking for.

iOS vs Android OS

During the age of the smartphone, users have continued to debate between Apple and Android as to which service is superior. While you may have heard several arguments as to which is better, it is time to settle the dispute once and for all. The iOS and Android OS have several differences between them. For starters, iOS encourages people to buy multiple devices and have them all connected to each other. That way, the iOS is similar on iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. In contrast, Android is more contained directly within the phone. Androids are very useful for multi-tasking on the phone, but its services aren’t as useful for multi-tasking across different devices. In terms of visual preference, both phones have supporters and detractors, but that is mostly a subjective opinion.  Instead of going back and forth on the advantages of both, let us get to the actual answer of this question, and that is that iOS is probably the superior system. Yes, Android has its advantages and it certainly has its fair share of fans, but for the majority of users, the iPhone is going to have the operating system that you want.  It’s the driving force behind the iPhone becoming so widespread over the last few years.

To start, iOS is more secure. When it comes to choosing a smartphone or other type of device, security should be a top concern – which is something people may forget about their phone. Android OS is far more susceptible to malware threats, this could be because Apple provides its users with updates at a more frequent rate. This continues to add security, which Android is falling behind in. Apple also has stricter privphone securityacy policies, preventing unwanted threats from breaking into the operating system; Android is less strict about their apps and uses, which could be seen as a positive for some users because you have a little more freedom. While the iOS is far from impenetrable, it is still superior to Android OS in terms of safety.

Another important function for users when it comes to operating systems is the applications. Whether it be social media,phone apps gaming, or travel information, people have become heavily reliant on apps. In this case, Apple is also ahead. Apple and Android both have streamlined ways for you to find apps through either the App Store or Google Play, but Apple is more likely to get certain apps faster than their Android counterparts because it is more efficient for developers to optimize for iPhones rather than all types of Androids.  Some apps will be limited to iOS, some others will be limited to Android, but the scale is in favor of Apple for now.

 

Lastly, the iOS is easier and simpler to use.  Android phones are more customized and you can tailor it to specifically what you want, but that can also be annoying to set up and whenever updates arrive, they do get somewhat reverted.  There is probably a work-around for this for very tech-savvy consumers, but in general, the iPhone interface is very easy to use and consumer-friendly.  Not only that, but iOS is also constantly updating to try to be more intuitive, clean, and iconic.  iPhones also work very well in conjunction with other iPhones – which is a big deal now that they are so popular.  iMessage is a very clear example of this, because texting iPhone to iPhone is now more reliable and faster than typical SMS messages.  If you are in a group text as the only Android user, you may get messages a little out-of-order or slower than the rest of the group which can be frustrating.

imessage

While security, applications, and user interfaces are important functions when deciding between iOS and Android OS, the most important debate is often the price. In general, Android phones can be cheaper, because they have a wider range of selections. While their most expensive phones reach prices comparable to the iPhone, Android has a wide selection of cheaper phones. However, if we’re talking about picking a phone for the next few years, it is more useful to pay the slightly extra price for the technology that fits you best. When comparing the most expensive Android systems to the iOS, the price is relatively similar, which makes the choice of choosing Apple an easier one for most consumers. The bottom line is, Android is still very popular and provides a customizable experience with a wide range of options, and Apple still continues to make fine-tuned systems that provide the user with easy, efficient operating systems that work very well with other iPhones, as well as other Apple products.

digital currency

Digital Currency and Bitcoin

One of the newer trends in the technology world that has caught everyone’s eye is digital currency. Digital currency, or “the currency of the Internet”, is a new way for people to make transactions without having to go through a central authority such as a bank. Digital currency has become very popular for a number of reasons, and not having to go through a financial regulator seems to be the main reason that people prefer to use it. The industry of digital currency is continuing to grow, and the amount of trade that occurs using digital currency is at an all-time high.

Before going in-depth on how digital currency has become so popular, it is important to first understand exactly what digital currency is. As mentioned previously, digital currency allows for instantaneous transactions without any borders. In certain instances, it can still be centralized (such as PayPal or eMoney), but those services are still separate from the control of governments or banks.

            There are two main types of Digital Currency: Virtual Currency and Cryptocurrency

Virtual currency can be explained as a type of unregulated currency that is managed by the developer, and it is often specific to a certain group of people. Virtual currency is the form of digital currency that most often utilizes centralized platforms to control the exchanges. This means that the virtual currency that is being used is only accessible for that certain group. For example, currency that you have on PayPal is not able to be used on another platform such as eMoney. Virtual currencies can also include currency used in widespread online gaming services, such as World of Warcraft. Yes, even money used in RPGs is considered virtual currency. However, these services are categorized as “closed virtual currencies”, because they do not involve the exchange of tangible assets. As you can see, there are a number of limits to the use of virtual currency. If you are someone looking for a more flexible way of utilizing digital currency, then cryptocurrency may be more reasonable.

Cryptocurrency is similar to virtual currency, but it is not as limited. It uses cryptography to make sure transactions are secure, and it also prevents people from making additional units of the currency themselves. Unlike virtual currencies, which use centralized platforms to regulate trade, cryptocurrency is decentralized. This means that without having to be regulated by a bank or another type of central authority, cryptocurrency is much less susceptible to inflation and corruption. It allows the user to basically be their “own bank”, so you are able to have much more control. This also lowers the risk of having your assets seized by the government. Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly valuable, and this is because unlike centralized banking, most of  the platforms that use cryptocurrencies have put a cap on the amount of units that will be produced. This means that the units that are currently in circulation are continuing to gain value, because there will only be a finite amount of units produced.

Now, when it comes to digital currency, there is one platform that has risen above the rest, and that is Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first ever form of cryptocurrency, and its popularity has continued to increase as digital currency is becoming more mainstream. Bitcoin was created as a way to make peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary involved. The reason it is more popular than forms of virtual currency, is that it can be used to make transactions that are not limited to a closed-group environment.

Also, Bitcoin does not require you to submit your actual information, so people prefer to use if because of the privacy it provides. Bitcoin only asks you to have a Bitcoin address, and the owners of the addresses are never identified. Of course, like anything else in the technological world, Bitcoins do have disadvantages. The size of Bitcoins are finite, so that means it can be difficult to make large transactions, and often times transactions can be delayed for long periods of time. Also, Bitcoins tend to be more volatile compared to other forms of currency. In other words, the price of Bitcoins tend to fluctuate much more frequently. Currently, the price is near an all-time high, but prices have also dropped steeply in past years before rising again.

bitcoinEven with the disadvantages that come with it, Bitcoin has continued to surge in popularity. Just recently, the price of a Bitcoin shot to an all-time high of $2,200, which is double than what it was more than two months ago. For comparison, the price of a Bitcoin was just $224 at the start of 2015.With the uncertainty that is surrounding global currencies, the demand for alternative forms of currency, such as cryptocurrency, has continued to rise. Other forms of cryptocurrency that are competing with Bitcoin, such as Ethereum are also rising in popularity. The frequency of daily trades using digital currency is also at an all-time high. Just to show how much more frequent, in 2013 Bitcoin saw an average of 40,000 trades per day, and that number has now been raised to 330,000. Large corporations are also trying to become more mainstream by incorporating Bitcoin into their transaction services. By doing this, they will gain the attention of those who prefer to use digital currency as their means of making financial transactions.

 

The popularity of digital currencies, both virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies, is currently at the highest it has ever been. If you are someone looking into potentially using digital currencies, the advantages and disadvantages listed for both types should help you in making your decision. To recap, virtual currencies can be effective, but they are more limited because they are still often controlled by a centralized figure. Cryptocurrencies allow for more control and privacy, but they do have a downside as well. The fluctuation in the price of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, has caused some people to become wary of them. At this point, the value of cryptocurrencies is very high, so it is better to capitalize on the industry while it is successful. The fluctuation in value can be off-putting, but as technology continues to create an increasingly paperless world, it also makes cryptocurrencies more intriguing as a potential investment.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7

We love our iPhones, but even the most ardent owner knows these devices are far from impervious. The latest iteration continues the tradition of impressing critics and audiences with Apple innovation but leaving end users with annoying issues.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

In fact, here are seven common problems with the iPhone 7.

  • Issues with Activation
    Before activating your new phone, make sure you have a reliable WiFi connection. You need to make sure your version of iTunes is up to date as the phone’s activation is processed through your iTunes account. USB the iPhone to your computer and turn on the phone.
  • Freezing in the Cloud
    During updates, the iCloud has been known to freeze. When this happens, reboot the phone by holding the down volume and power buttons. If the restoration still doesn’t follow through, download a backup file to your computer and upload it to the iPhone.
  • No Headphone Jack
    That there would be no jack on the iPhone 7 set the Internet on fire. Still, Apple did offer an adapter to give users options. Most owners have turned to one of the many wireless headsets.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

  • WiFi Won’t Stay Connected
    One of the most common problems with the newest iPhone is an unreliable WiFi connection. Make sure the router doesn’t need rebooting and that there’s proper range for the signal. Check the settings on your phone to ensure the connection is there. Rebooting the modem may help. If that doesn’t work, Apple has its own support page about how to deal with Wi-Fi issues.
  • Poor Quality Audio
    This is probably the result of your sound being set too low. Check Settings/Sounds to see where the volume ringer is. Turn it all the way up. Check to see if mute is on or for debris in the speaker.
  • Touchscreen is Unresponsive
    The 3D touch feature really upped the phone game, but many user were disappointed to discover the screen’s functionality could fail. When this happens, adjust the screen’s sensitivity. The feature can be found in Settings/General/Accessibility.  and scroll down to 3D touch and tap to change it from light to firm.

7 Common Problems With The IPhone 7 and sollutios from LaptopMD

  • Random Rebooting
    Many owners have reported random reboots on their iPhone 7. A good way to correct this is to restart the phone. Press the home and volume down buttons together and let the phone reboot. This is only a temporary fix, but it does work.

One more
At LaptopMD, we hope that your device will last forever without giving you problems. However, if anything ever happens to it, we’re here to help you.

The Tax Season Has Arrived

Tax season is almost here, and it’s time for you to start thinking about how you will be submitting your income tax declaration. There are several ways for you to prepare and give your documents to the IRS, from having a professional accountant do it for you to completing and submitting the documents yourself or using special software.

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

Before you choose this route, you need to consider the security status of your computer system. How do you know if it’s safe to share your private and sensitive financial information with a software program? Let us help educate you on the signs of a compromised computer.

Check your device
Firstly, before you install any tax software on your computer, you need to make sure that the computer is not infected with viruses, malware or spyware. Here is a list of behaviors that may indicate your computer is compromised with spyware:

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

  • Your computer suddenly operates very slowly when opening applications;
  •  Random pop-up messages appear while you are on the Internet. No matter what you do, the messages continue to pop-up;
  • An unknown toolbar suddenly populates your web browser;
  • The homepage on your web browser now directs you to a completely different website;
  • The search engine in your web browser has switched to a different service;
  •  Odd error messages pop-up unexpectedly and do not make any sense at all.
What to do?
How do you prevent becoming a victim of Spyware? Here are a few security tips for you to keep in mind:
  • Do not click on any suspicious links within unsolicited emails from people you do not know. If you receive an email that looks like it originated from a legit source (like your bank) but you still find suspicious; do not click the link. Instead, access the site from a bookmark or through a web address that you know is valid. Another trick is to hover your mouse pointer over the web link and if the highlighted link is different from the one within the email body, something is wrong!
  •  Do not input any information into any unexpected pop-up windows. Close these windows and move on.

Help with Tax Season from LaptopMD

  • Only download programs on the Internet from reputable sources. Sometimes ‘free’ software comes with a spyware price tag.
  • One last suggestion is to create a separate user profile on your computer that doesn’t have administrative rights to install software or make any system changes. This way, when you use this profile to visit the Internet, it’s incapable of installing malicious software in the event that it gets compromised.

And the last one
Now that you’re alert to what kind of suspicious activities can affect your laptop during tax season, let us know if you’re experiencing any of these issues. We here at LaptopMD are happy to help you safely submit your taxes this tax season.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly

The 21st century is a busy, modern age when time seems at a premium. There are few things more frustrating than having to sit and look at your laptop how it -so-slowly loads a program or webpage.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

There are numbers of reasons, however, why your laptop may be running slowly and some of them can be simple, easy or quick fixes. Here are 5 reasons why your laptop may run slowly.

Hardware
Upgrading your hardware can be a relatively inexpensive way to create an enormous boost in horsepower. Switching to a Solid State Drive (SSD) from a spinning hard drive can give your aging machine a major performance boost. As an added bonus, by changing out your hard drive you might gain extra storage in addition to the extra performance.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Another cheap and easy solution for laptop laze is to upgrade your RAM. Your laptop’s CPU accesses data faster from its RAM than its hard drive or SSD.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

The more more RAM your laptop has available, the more data it can store there for quick and easy access, which speeds up performance.

Your laptop is not designed for what you want to use it for!
Laptops in general are not the best for gaming, as they require such high CPU and GPU loads. Other laptops don’t have the performance requirements to do high load tasks like video editing. Not only will your laptop slow down while attempting to perform these tasks, but it may even overheat and shut down.

Viruses, Spyware and Malware
These days there are all kinds of viruses, spyware and other malware running amok on the internet that you can pick up almost anywhere. They also perform a wide variety of tasks, such as pushing advertising or phishing sites.

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

All of these can slow down your computer and create a number of other problems ranging from hijacking your browser to crashing your computer.

Multi-tasking
Sometimes, your performance issues have nothing to do with hardware, spyware or a lack of available RAM, but are just a matter of asking your laptop to do too much at once. Every app and every browser tab you have open decreases the functionality of your laptop. If you have a dozen or more apps running and browser tabs open, try shutting down the ones you are not currently using.

Save your precious time
Now that you have some idea of the issues that can be causing major delays on your device, we’d love to help you get it running up to speed. You can try solving an issue on your own, but why not let us give you a free estimate on the spot?

5 Common Reasons Why Your Laptop Works Slowly from LaptopMD

In addition, if you print this newsletter and bring it in with your laptop or any other devices you will get 10% off (excluding parts).

New Year And New Deal

2016 was a great year for us. We at LaptopMD hope this year will be even better, and we are going to help you get your new year off to a great start as well!

So how about we start off 2017 with a special deal? When you bring your laptop or PC in for repair between January 14th – 21st, we will give you $17 off the price(excluding parts). Additionally, you will have some of the best, professionally trained and independently certified technicians in the city working on your device.

Bring your computer in to us. We will take a look at it and give you a free estimate. If you agree with our evaluation, we will begin the repair on your computer.

How To Recover Deleted Files

We’ve all accidentally sent important files to the recycle bin. It’s an annoying problem to be sure, but you can recover these files if you just go into the recycle bin itself and restore them. But what happens if you empty your recycle bin before you restore an important file?

How to recover deleted files from LaptopMD

You might think that anything deleted from your recycle bin is lost forever, but there are still ways to recover these deleted files.

Check backups
If you find that you’ve deleted an important file, the first thing you should do is check all of your backups and sync services. You should find your lost file completely intact if it was properly backed up. If you use Dropbox, you should even find multiple versions of every file waiting to be restored should you ever need them.

How to recover deleted files from LaptopMD

Windows
If you don’t have a backup of the deleted file, there are still some options available to you. Those who use Windows 8 or higher should have access to a tool called File History that can be turned on from your Control Panel. You will need an external drive to use this tool properly, but it will come in handy if you need to recover a lost file.

How to recover deleted files from LaptopMD

Users with Windows 7 have the ability to create system restore points that include “shadow copies” of important files. You normally cannot access them directly, but if you right click on the desired shadow file copy and select Properties, you should be able to get to the file’s previous versions.

Mac
Mac users have a similar tool called Time Machine at their disposal. Like the tools available to PC users, Time Machine keeps backups of important files on an external drive so they can be restored if necessary. Time Machine needs to be enabled before the necessary file is lost, however; it cannot be used after the fact.

Recovery Tools
If you have a solid-state drive and the above recovery strategies don’t work, you’re out of luck. The files you need are lost, and there’s nothing you can do to get them back. On the other hand, you might still have a chance if you have a regular magnetic platter hard drive. With these standard drives, a file isn’t actually lost until the space where it was found has been overwritten by other data. You will need some special software to recover lost data from a hard drive, but the good news is that there is plenty of programs available such as Recuva or Undelete Plus.

How to recover deleted files from LaptopMD

If you are truly at a loss when it comes to recovering your data, we at LaptopMD will be happy to help in any way we can.

6 Greatest Causes of Data Loss

The data we so meticulously save to our devices is always at risk. Here at LaptopMD, we want everyone to save themselves the devastation of losing that data.

Tips from LaptopMD

In that regard, here are the six most common causes of data loss we encounter.

Hardware Damage
Hardware is not meant to last forever and rarely lets you know when it’s about to die. The worst part is when hardware dies, you lose your data. This is why it’s advised you update or change hardware every few years.

Computer Theft or Loss
Someone breaks into your home or car and snatches up your computer, laptop or tablet.

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You leave it in a cab or coffee shop and all your efforts to recover it fail. For many of us, loss of data means a lot more to us than the hardware.

Damaging Software
The biggest thrill for a hacker is finding a way to crack what’s supposed to be the latest firewall or antivirus platform. Someone somewhere is virtually attacked every day. While it is advantageous to be connected via your devices, it means opening yourself up to numerous risks.

Tips from LaptopMD

From stealing data and slamming you with spam to making you think something’swrong with your computer so that you can pay hackers to “fix” it, these hazards can be hard to avoid.

Power Failures
The latest operating systems are capable of performing auto-saves to memory before a computer loses power. But that shouldn’t be relied on for protecting data. A shutdown can also disrupt reboot operations and make accessing data difficult later.

Damage as a Result of Mishap
We drop our computers. We spill liquids on the keyboard and watch in horror as our machines die.

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Replacing a computer is a hard pill to swallow, but losing your pictures, files, music and other data hurts. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely anyone will design a waterproof computer any time soon.

Accidental File Deletion
Probably the number one issue brought to us is losing whole files or parts of files. The major reason data is lost is due to the fact there are not appropriate workflow procedures and backup strategies in place.

Tips from LaptopMD

These would save a lot of time.

Now you are unprepared!
Even in today’s sophisticated world of technology and knowledge of the risks, more users than not still operate without regular backups. Backup daily, install the latest anti-virus solutions and be ready to reinstall your OS should you have to. If you’re regularly backing up,

Tips from LaptopMD

your files will not be in danger if you encounter any of the above issues. In the worst case scenario, you can contact LaptopMD. We use the latest tech to review and save data where possible.

Happy Thanksgiving To Our Amazing Customers

The team at LaptopMD has a tremendous amount to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. At the top of our list we include our great customers. We thank you for the trust and confidence you have in us when it comes to your all-important device. We know you depend on you portable device for so many things and we are committed to ensuring it functions in tip-top condition for you.

Happy Thanksgiving from LaptopMD

In thanks to you for a great year, LaptopMD has a special offer for you during Thanksgiving week. We will provide laptop repair services for you for $20 off(excluding parts). This special deal will start November 25, 2016, and run through December 2, 2016.

Once again, we are grateful to our wonderful customers this Thanksgiving. We stand ready and able to serve you, even during the holiday season.