New Tablet Instead of a laptop? Here’s What To Look For

Face it. You’ve been thinking about getting a new tablet.  You’re only using your personal computer for email, social media, and movies. Now, I’m not talking about the machine you use for work.  The one that sits on your desk is probably also used for social media and personal email. When you get home at the end of the day though, your computing needs change. You don’t need to create a database or a white paper or even a simple spreadsheet.  You’re sending photos to your brother, or writing a thank you email to your Aunt or posting an old bookcase for sale in your local Facebook group.   You can do all of that on your phone.  You would hardly ever power up your Mac or PC  if it weren’t for your eyes!

What does this mean for you?  If you’ve been thinking about replacing your older computer, start thinking about getting a tablet instead of another computer.  There are a number of good tablets out there, and you’ll save some money by choosing a tablet over a laptop or desktop.  If you are thinking about replacing your computer, please remember to back up all of your data.  Do it now!  If you’ve stopped using it regularly, you may not remember about all the precious photos you have on that machine until it is too late.

What should you look for when getting a new tablet?New tablet

Operating System:

First, which operating system are you most comfortable with?  Which apps do you like and which OS do those apps work with?  Your choices here are iOS, Windows, and Android.  If you have an iPhone, you may be most comfortable with an iPad.

Battery Life:

If there is one thing that bugs me, it is having to recharge a device after only a short period of time being used. Take a close look at how long each new tablet is expected to last on its battery.

Screen Size:

Screen size and weight go hand in hand.  Do you want something that fits easily into your backpack without being too cumbersome?  The most common screen size is around 10″.  In that size, your new tablet could weigh just under a pound, to over 1 1/2 pounds.

Storage:

If you’ll be storing a lot of photos or music on your tablet, get the biggest size you can afford.  Tablets normally run in sizes from 32gb, 64gb, 128gb, 512gb, and 1 TB. Other than screen size, this is the one thing that will really bump up the price.

Camera:

Will you be taking a lot of photos with your new tablet? Or will you continue to primarily use your phone for photos?  Most of the tablets available now have cameras with 8 to 13 megapixels on the rear camera. The choices come with the front facing camera – the one you would use for selfies.  Choices here range from 1.2mp to 8mp.

Price:

Most tablets are currently selling for $300 to $800.  Make sure you know what is important to you, what you absolutely need, and what you can live without.

What features did I forget that are important to you?  Let me know in the comments below!

 


Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $119/year ($59 for students!), but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Any links to products or services in this post may be affiliate links. If they are, we may receive a small commission when you click on it. Rest assured, your price will be the same!)  If you’d like to receive our newsletters in your email, please click here.

Router Virus aka VPNFilter Malware

The Router Virus

Have you heard in the past few weeks about the router virus that is impacting hundreds of thousands of routers? The FBI issued a report recommending that everyone reboot their routers because:

“Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide.”

Over the past week or so, we’ve been getting calls from our customers who are very concerned about the router virus they keep hearing about.  And they’re right to be concerned.  The malware has been programmed into hundreds of thousands of routers. Big deal, right?  I don’t run any programs on my router.  I don’t store any of my data on my router.  It’s just that black box that sits in the corner that brings my WiFi signal from my ISP to my tablet. Completely harmless, right?

What can go wrong?

Well, no.  This particular router virus can make your router inoperable.  Even worse it can collect any information passing through the router. So it could possibly collect your ID and password for your bank account.

How do you protect yourself?

The FBI is recommending that you reboot your device, upgrade to the latest firmware, and change the router password to a super-super secure password.

How do you reboot your router?The Router Virus aka VPNFilter Malware

Rebooting your router is just like rebooting your computer.  Unplug the router (or turn it off if the on/off switch is clearly marked), Wait 30 seconds, then plug it back in.

Will a reboot of the router always work?

Several privacy and security companies are saying that a reboot does a partial job.  Apparently, a router has two kinds of memory: Volatile and non-volatile memory.  Sometimes the router virus will also write data to the non-volatile memory too.  A reboot will clear volatile memory only.  In order to clear non-volatile memory, you’ll need to reset your router.

Should I reset my Router instead?

A router reset is more complicated than just turning the device off and on.  You’ll need to enter certain information and follow certain steps. ESET (the company we like for antivirus software) has provided instructions for performing the reset.  You can find them in this article.

Which routers have this virus?

ESET has published a list of routers known to be infected with the router virus.  There are probably many others and the best thing would be for you to reboot your router regardless of which model you have.  Here is the list from ESET:

  • “Asus: RT-AC66U, RT-N10, RT-N10E, RT-N10U, RT-N56U, RT-N66U
  • D-Link: DES-1210-08P, DIR-300, DIR-300A, DSR-250N, DSR-500N, DSR-1000, DSR-1000N
  • Huawei: HG8245
  • Linksys: E1200,  E2500, E3000, E3200, E4200, RV082,  WRVS4400N
  • Mikrotik: CCR1009,  CCR1016,  CCR1036,  CCR1072, CRS109, CRS112, CRS125, RB411, RB450, RB750, RB911, RB921, RB941, RB951, RB952, RB960, RB962, RB1100, RB1200, RB2011, RB3011, RB Groove, RB Omnitik, STX5
  • Netgear: DG834, DGN1000,  DGN2200, DGN3500, FVS318N, MBRN3000,  R6400,  R7000,  R8000,  WNR1000,  WNR2000, WNR2200, WNR4000, WNDR3700, WNDR4000, WNDR4300, WNDR4300-TN, UTM50
  • QNAP: TS251, TS439 Pro, Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link: R600VPN, TL-WR741ND, TL-WR841N
  • Ubiquiti: NSM2, PBE M5
  • Upvel: according to Talos, malware targeting Upvel as a vendor has been discovered, but researchers have not yet determined which devices are targeted.”

Will you reboot your router or re-set it?

If you decide you want to “re-set” your router rather than “reboot” it, let us know if you need help.


Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $119/year ($59 for students!), but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Any links to products or services in this post may be affiliate links. If they are, we may receive a small commission when you click on it. Rest assured, your price will be the same!)  If you’d like to receive our newsletters in your email, please click here.