Friday, 30 March 2018

Remote Support and the Future of Laptop Repair

Taking your laptop down to a local laptop repair shop is becoming a thing of the past. Think about it... why unplug all the wires, hop in your car, spend the time and gas to drive down to a local shop, wait a few days until the repairs are made, and go back down to pick up the laptop? Why not just have a technician connect to your computer remotely right away?

With the Internet able to connect us to anywhere in the world at ever increasing speeds, getting your laptop repaired by a technician hundreds or even thousands of miles away, is becoming more and more ideal. Not only can the service be done immediately, but also at a much lower price. Take a look at traditional storefront businesses in more detail and you'll quickly see why this is the case.

A typical storefront business must pay rent, electricity, heating, tax, and other general expenses necessary for operating a storefront. This increased overhead is reflected in the cost of their services. Also, these businesses can't afford to hire the best and brightest technicians, so they must settle for younger employees with little experience or education, willing to work for not much more than minimum wage.

A business offering remote support however has very few expenses. All a technician needs is a computer and an internet connection. Where a typical storefront business might charge $100.00 - $150.00 per hour for service, a remote support business may be able to do the same job for significantly less money. Because overhead is considerably lower, they are also able to hire better trained and educated technicians while still maintaining a high profit margin. Lower prices, better technicians, more companies to choose from, immediate service... what's there not to like?

There is one problem with remote support however; physical repairs can't be done. Need a motherboard replaced? Unfortunately you can't do that over the internet. Need your LCD screen replaced? You can't do that over the phone either. However, these types of repairs are also becoming a thing of the past. The price of laptops has gone down tremendously over the past few years. All laptops these days tend to come with a 1-3 year warranty. If anything happens in that time the manufacturer will cover all repairs and expenses. Because the price of a new laptop is so low, once the warranty expires, repairing your old laptop is often not worth the time or the money.

Almost all components of a laptop are built into the motherboard. Problem with the video? You have to replace the whole motherboard. Problem with the sound? You have to replace the whole motherboard. Problem with the USB? You have to... you get the picture. When you factor in the cost of parts and labor to fix an old laptop, you're more often than not better off buying a newer and faster laptop that comes with another 1-3 year warranty.

All that is left to consider is the data. Buying a new laptop isn't going to come installed with your treasured family photos and videos or any other important files that were stored on your old broken laptop. Preventing this problem however is quite simple. First, you should always have a backup of your important files and documents. All hard drive fail eventually. It's not a matter of "if" but "when." Data recovery can be fairly expensive, from a few hundred dollars to restore deleted files to a few thousand dollars to fix a physically broken hard drive. Backing up files to a USB key or cheap external hard drive can be done automatically and cost you almost nothing.

Also, with internet speeds becoming faster than hard drive operating speeds, it's becoming more and more ideal to simply store your important files on the internet. Think about your email. More than likely it's stored on Yahoo's, Hotmail's or Gmail's servers and is accessible from any computer with an internet connection. Services such as DropBox also allow you to quickly and securely store important files remotely. If your laptop needs to be replaced, simply log back into DropBox and voila! All your files are safe and sound and you're back up and running in no time.

So remember, the next time you're looking for laptop repair, take a look at some remote support companies. They may be able to do the same work as a local computer repair shop for a much lower price and perform the work right away.

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