Computer Solutions

Internet Service or Ball and Chain?

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is your lifeline to the Internet, and it’s likely to play as significant a role in the day-to-day life, as your phone company does. But all ISPs are not alike. If you choose wisely, you can gain a reliable partner that gives you great performance, service and support. If you make a mistake, though, you could find yourself relying on a shoddy fly-by-night operation that doesn’t deliver consistent access.

Expect a good ISP to supply service and support and access to information that a non-technical person can use. In addition, look for an ISP with a 24/7 technical support line and a local or toll-free number. Price is also a factor. You can pay less if you know you’re only going to spend a short time on the Internet; look for services that offer a low price for limited connection time. But beware: It’s easy to spend more time on the Web than you expect, and overtime charges can add up quickly.

Ask about its support for dialup or other high-speed Internet services, in case you decide to upgrade your service. An ISP that’s not committed to keeping up with the latest technology might not have the resources to stay competitive. Also call their technical support lines a few times to see how easy it is to get through — if you get busy signals or wait a long time for a service representative, the ISP might not devote enough resources to its customer service department.

Tech Toys

Web Root Window Washer 5.0 protects your privacy and improves PC performance by washing away you?re on and offline tracks to protect your privacy. This complete package bleach wipes out data for total privacy and uses auto cleaning to save time. It’s an Internet washer, system cleaner, registry cleaner and privacy protector all in one!

Your source for FREE Computer Help

Question: What is a PDF file and how do I go about opening it or reading it?

Answer: Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing documents in a manner that is independent of the original application software, hardware, and operating system used to create those documents. A PDF file can be viewed by downloading and installing the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Please send your computer questions to and we?ll publish your answer in a future column. Call Computer Solutions at 242-3404 for all your computer needs.