The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions by our customers.

Ways To Avoid Costly Data Recovery

Regular backups of your Files cab help avoid costly data Recovery or permanent data loss. Each year, many individuals and businesses lose important files as a result of hard drive failure, viruses etc.

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Virus, Malware, Ransomware Attacks Do's & Don'ts

The best antivirus software may not be enough to protect you from the latest attacks. When your device does get attacked, these are the things you should and should not do.

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Common Phone Scams Meant to Steal Your Data

So, you received a call from "Microsoft", "Norton" or some other company telling you that your device is infected with a virus and that they need to remote connect to your device to remove it. What should you do?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Although Gateway Computers offers on-site repair, we normally do this only for quick, basic repairs and network/internet issues at a higher hourly rate. Services that require more time and specialized equipment such as virus and malware removal, screen replacement, Operating System issues, hardware diagnostics and upgrades and also need to be done using highly technical procedures in controlled environments, as well as the backup and protection of your devices data. Therefore, most in-shop repairs are performed at a lower hourly rate or a flat rate cost, making the repairs more affordable for the customer and allowing us to perform a much more complete and thorough service. When working on-site, we have to charge you for the time we are there which often includes waiting long periods for diagnostics, scans and updates. When working in-shop, we only charge you when actually working on your device and not while waiting for scans and diagnostics to finish running. This greatly reduces the number of hours charged for the repair compared to on-site repairs.
Most computer repairs take 1-3 days to complete. If parts are not in stock and have to be ordered, it may take longer. When replacing cracked/broken laptop screens, screens have to be special ordered using overnight air delivery due to the extremely delicate part. So extra shipping costs and insurance are expected. This type of repair usually takes 2 days, depending on shipping times. Phone and tablet repairs take 1-2 days if parts are in stock. If parts need to be ordered, how long the repair takes depends on the availability of those parts and shipping times. Gateway Computers only uses high quality, original equipment replacement parts. These parts are not always readily available and may take extra time to find, order and receive. But you will end up with a much more reliable, longer lasting repair.
At Gateway Computers, the protection of our customers data is always our first priority and the most important part of any repair. Before working on your device, we make sure we do a full backup of all data and then we make a second off-site backup for extra safety. For Apple devices like iPhones, iPads etc., it is important that you do regular iCloud backups as well as a complete backup of your data to the iCloud service before bringing the device in for repair. Backing up you Apple product data to the iCloud is the only way to ensure that all your data can be moved back onto your device after repair. All other data backup options only backup a small portion of your data. If a proper iCloud backup has not been performed, a huge portion of your data will not be backed up and thus unrecoverable as the majority of your data can only be backed up via iCloud. It is therefore vitally important to do weekly or even daily iCloud backups, even if that requires paying for extra iCloud storage. In cases of severe damage where a recent iCloud backup has not been performed, we will do what we can to recover as much data as possible but some or all of the data may be lost if a proper iCloud backup has not or cannot be made. With any other brand of device, data recovery is less complicated and a full backup is usually possible, again, depending on how severe the damage is. Some email programs such as the Windows 10 Mail App have no built-in import/export or backup/restore function and it is recommended that this app be avoided unless your ISP is using an IMAP Email server and is setup by you to save your contacts, calendar and emails on the server permanently. Otherwise, if using this app, backup of emails may not be possible. The only way to save your emails in this app is to open them one at a time and save them to an external drive as a PDF file. Any email attachments have to be saved separately. If you have hundreds or even thousand of emails, this could take hours to days to perform. We therefore recommend Mozilla Thunderbird for email if you don’t want to pay for Outlook or if you cannot setup your email account as an IMAP account where all data is saved on the email server. Thunderbird is a free open-source email client that is easier to backup when necessary. See our Useful Links page for a download link of this and other useful, free software.
The cost for services can be complicated as it depends on multiple factors. General repairs done in our Home Office/Repair Shop are done at a rate of $60.00/hour. Onsite work which is limited to specific services is done at a rate of $90.00/hour. As stated in the question above “Why do I have to bring you my computer/device, we normally do this only for quick, basic repairs and network/internet issues. Since we have to be in your home for the entire repair, even when performing updates and scans, this can get very costly so In-Shop service is always recommended for longer, more complex repairs and to be able to ensure a complete backup of your data and the use of special tools and a controlled environment. This is usually far less expensive than onsite repair. These rates do not include costs for parts or licensed software you ask to have installed. However, we do offer discounts for Seniors and Students with a valid photo student card as well as free estimates. We also have flat fees for certain types of repairs. We often give discounted service for older devices when possible, excluding parts so that the cost of repair is reasonable and does not exceed the value of the device. See our Prices page for further details on service costs.
Since Gateway Computers offers free consultations and estimates, we can take a look at your device to determine the best options for you that will meet your financial and technical needs. Sometimes, buying a newer model of your device is the best option. Other times, repairing the device or upgrading components is the most cost-effective option to meet your needs. Keeping your current device also creates less E-waste which is better for the environment as E-waste is quickly becoming a large issue. Gateway Computers will work with you to help you make the decision that is best for you.
Some people go to their local electronics franchise, check out the low/mid budget computers they see on the shelf or, in some cases, expensive Apple computers and after playing on it for a few minutes, they think it’s good enough for their current needs. In many cases, however, once the person gets the system home, load all of their apps and programs and start using the system, it’s pretty much inevitable that they will not be as happy with the systems performance or overall experience after only a few weeks or months. Often times, when you go to look at systems running on a store shelf, many of the background services that will be running when you purchase that system are turned off and there are almost no programs installed on the system, often not even an antivirus program. This can give you a very false idea of the systems potential as all maintenance services, background programs and protections are nonexistent, making the system to appear to run better than it actually will under normal loads with all necessary services running and programs installed. In other cases, off the shelf systems can be cluttered with bloatware and other unnecessary programs and apps that greatly reduce the performance of the system. This bloatware is installed by the manufacturer as they are paid by the program/app owners to do so. At Gateway Computers, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your current and future needs and help you pick out a system that will work to your satisfaction. We can also build custom systems if you so desire. If you do buy an off the shelf system, we can optimize it for you by removing all of the bloatware that may come with the system and turn off unnecessary background programs that slow down system performance.
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