How to Get Computer Help for Less
Do you need computer help? Everyday thousands of people run into computer problems that they can’t fix on their own. Considering how complex computer systems are nowadays, this isn’t surprising. Another hurtle for everyday computer users is the fact that technology is continuously advancing and changing. As soon as you figure out one computer system it’s already been updated with new features and functions.
Fortunately, there are many people, both professionals and novices, who are skilled with computers and are eager to help. The price for computer help can range from completely free to hundreds of dollars. Read on to find out more about where to find computer help and what it could potentially cost.
Online Computer Help
If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person and have pretty good knowledge of how your computer works you can utilize online resources to fix the problem on your own. Just make sure you follow instructions exactly. As with any DIY job, matters could be made worse if you don’t fully understand what you’re doing.
Forums – Forums have an advantage over other options because you’ll be getting feedback from a number of people, most of whom have probably experienced the same computer problems. You can either search and find a ‘thread’ in which someone has already asked for the help you also need, or if one doesn’t exist you can start a thread of your own.
The downsides are you may get a plethora of solutions that confuse the matter even more and the people in the forum probably won’t be professionals. They are just speaking from their own experience.
Q&A sites – Q&A sites are usually sub-domains of another site, for example, answers.yahoo.com and askville.amazon.com . Unlike forums, these sites are strictly for allowing users to ask questions and answer them. Some sites go a step further and rank the answers so that the best one is the first answer you see. Again, these answers are likely coming from everyday people not professionals.
Computer help websites – There are also a number of websites online that are meant to help people figure out and fix their computer problems. In addition to information and advice, they also sometimes provide free software downloads, tutorials, terminology guides and more.
Professional Computer Help
If your computer problem stems from a hardware issue (physical piece of the computer) or is complex it’s probably best that you seek out professional computer help rather than trying to resolve the issue on your own. Getting a professional assistance may cost you money but it will also give you peace of mind and probably get the problem fixed much quicker.
Remote/Virtual computer help – Sometimes getting written instructions online just isn’t enough. Remote computer technicians can talk you through the process of handing a problem much quicker than the time it would take you to scour the internet for solutions. If you have a serious issue like a virus that can compromise your security it pays to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.
Professional computer help companies can also provide you with software to download which will enable the tech to remotely access your computer. They can use your computer as you would to get in and fix the problem. Just uninstall the remote access software once they’re done.
In-person computer help – No matter how advanced the internet becomes there are still some issues that just have to be handled offline. If something is physically wrong with your computer then a computer technician will need to either repair it or fix the malfunctioning piece of hardware.
Cost of Computer Help
The cost of professional computer help will depend on the severity of the problem and the method that’s used. Typically, remote/virtual computer help will cost less. Computer techs can charge either a flat fee or by the hour. Most of the time they will also charge a small fee to analyze your computer system to identify the problem.
You can expect the analysis fee to be around $20, and the hourly charges to be at least $15 or more. If you can, try to get the repair done for a flat fee. Hourly charges are usually an estimate and can cost a lot more than expected if the problem is a difficult one to fix.