Category : Information Technology

Entertainment Communication Setup for Your Ontario Cottage

Setting Up Your Remote Ontario Cottage For
Communications and Entertainment


The following is a possible setup of entertainment and communication devices for a remote Ontario Cottage. Understand that this is just some possible scenarios and that there are a great variety of options that could be considered. If you have any insights or experience, please share. Very importantly, we would always recommend purchasing your device and testing it within the return period to ensure it serves your needs.

Radio / Music

At the cottage there might be some radio stations depending on the possible stations in the area. However, if you want a crystal clear reception and a wide variety of news and music, we would recommend the Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

The recommended listening system is the Starmate 8 Sound System Bundle Model#: ST8-BX3C. It allows for use in the car and any other location with the Boombox. Another system that would also work would be Stratus 7 Boombox Bundle Model#: SV7-BX2C. Both of these systems also have an Aux In to play an iPod/iPhone for a mp3 tie in.

You could also have these Sirius export out of the Headphone jack to another stereo system. Ideally any equipment should be good quality but a bit smaller devices, so they can be put away to deal with theft concerns and at end of season.

TV

Similar to the Radio, it might be possible to receive some digital TV stations with the right Antenna. However, for great clarity and variety of TV channels, the best TV reception is going to be acquired using a Satellite Dish.

Shaw Direct (Used to be Starchoice), Bell and Telus MIGHT have seasonal packages with a special deal when you have a separate system for your cottage in addition to a home Satellite system.

If you want to get a “greater” special deal, you could purchase a second satellite dish and then order an “extra receiver” for you home and just set it up at your cottage.

Once again, like the stereo system the TV should consider the optimum size for viewing and for removing the TV during long absences or over the winter season. There are some essential external connection inputs to consider such as HDMI, Composite and RCA jacks.

Internet

In rural areas, the choices for Internet are very limited and somewhat expensive if there is a high data use (web surfing a lot of pages). In addition, all options are fairly slow.

Three choices are as follows:
1) Portable Internet Stick
2) Tethered to a Cell Smart Phone with Data
3) Satellite

Looking at these three options, the one that we would recommend is the Portable Internet Stick. However, we will review the Internet options below.

For the Portable Internet Stick, the three major careers of Rogers, Bell and Telus all have plans. With download speeds in the best zones up to 42 Mbps. The plans and coverage is outlined on this Site.

The biggest issue here is ensuring the reception for the Mobile Internet Stick. The internet stick requires a signal from a cell tower. There might be a need to amplify or raise up the stick into the air if there is limited reception. Here are a few of companies that offer signal boosters, Wilson Amplifiers, Alternative Wireless and Cell Antenna.

A device we have used that will increase reception to a cottage for a Mobile Internet Stick and Cell Phone is Wilson 841263 DB Pro™ +65dB Home Signal Booster Kit w/Yagi Antenna, Multi-User Wireless (for signals as weak as “greater than -84 dB”). There are many options to choose from, this is just one choice. In setting it up you want the antenna as high as possible and pointing to the tower (can be found via testing) or by locating a tower relative to your location. This website is one of the sites that shows the tower locations in Canada.

NOTE: It is possible to locate the signal strength and location of a tower using your cell phone. Here is a method using a Blackberry Bold click Here.

Another option comparable to the Mobile Internet Stick is Tethering a computer from a Mobile Smartphone with a data plan (and a review of your roaming fees if applicable). However, the reception issues would still be same as the only Mobile Internet Stick option. So it would need a booster if necessary.

For Satellite service, the best choice is Xplornet, however the speed is only 1.0 Mbps download speed and 128 Kbps upload speed, with a monthly cost of $64.99 and at least a $300.00 setup fee. The cost and very slow speed of this option (take a look at the chart below) makes it viable only if there is no cell or mobile internet signal.

It is without question that you would not want to have a computer located at the cottage. You would want to use a Laptop (or possible Playbook for Blackberry) that you would bring back and forth from the city. The primary reason is that in the city you would be able to perform the major updates that would be too slow and expensive to perform at the cottage. Important to remember to turn off any automatic updating on your laptop so it does not engage data heavy internet access without you being aware.

Internet Speeds Comparison ChartInternet Speeds Comparison Chart

Telephone / Cell Phone

A cell phone is the obvious choice for a remote cabin. If no reception is available a signal booster could be tested, but the success would depend on the towers location. This website is one of the sites that shows the tower locations in Canada.

NOTE: It is possible to locate the signal strength and location of a tower using your cell phone. Here is a method using a Blackberry Bold click Here.

As mentioned above, a device we have used that will increase reception to a cottage for a Mobile Internet Stick and Cell Phone is Wilson 841263 DB Pro™ +65dB Home Signal Booster Kit w/Yagi Antenna, Multi-User Wireless (for signals as weak as “greater than -84 dB”). This is just one of many options.

eosFirst.com located in Oakville, Ontario. Garrett Hall and his team have set up communication and entertainment systems for cottages across Canada. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to get your home away from home technologically up to speed.

Computer Backup

Computer Backup

Home Computer Back Up ServicePlease Do This Now! It Can Save You A Lot of Possible Hardship Later On.

A computer backup makes your computer almost (depending on how your backup) invincible to any threat to your files and information.

Okay, just one more nudge to get your to backup. You cannot imagine the disappointment we find when servicing customers who have lost important files. Things such as family pictures and essential legal or work documents. Do not be a computer victim! Backup and protect yourself from computer mishap.

With the proper backup you can rest easy, knowing your are protected from computer hard drive failure, Malware (viruses or spyware), or even computer theft or harm.

One Of Our Saddest Tech Support Calls

We went on a service call to an older customer whose computer hard drive had failed. We brought the hard-drive in for data-recovery. Upon reviewing the hard-drive we found that it had a significant head-crash. It was not possible to extract information from the drive. She had over years of memories destroyed and was heart-broken; please learn right now from her mistake. Backup today.

The Important Elements of Backup

Over the last 30 years the principles of backup have not changed, just the size and speed of the medium to use.

Contact Us Today, We Can Have You Backing Up In Under 30 Minutes For $19.99 Plus the $59 per year Online Service

With an online backup system, you can survive anything. Do not lose your photos, music, documents and more. Starting at $59.00 per year, you get unlimited automatic online backup backs. Your files are encrypted security and privacy. You can even access your files from any PC computer or smartphone with a free application.

Backup Often

The more often you backup (with rotating destination) the better.

Move Your Backup To Another Location

In case of an event like a theft or fire, you want the rotating Backup to moved to a different location.

Check Your Backup

Often verify your Backup to see that it is still working and backing up what it should. Even test retrieving from Backup.

Multiple Devices

Different files should be backed up at different times to different devices. Also, your entire computer drive should be cloned.

Need Help Selecting Backup Devices and Setting Them Up?

Over the years we have tried a vast assortment of devices and methods of Backing up your computer. The primary issues we have found is that a lot of supposedly reputable devices do NOT do what they say they will. Let us guide you in this process.

We will assist you in getting the necessary hardware & software and then get your computer backing up the necessary files.

There Are A Few Service Options For You To Consider

Remote Support – We offer remote support that can be provided over the phone. However, we require your computer or equipment to be working with Internet access to do this successfully. Service costs start at $19.99 for up to the first 30 minutes.

We Pick Up / Drop Off Machine From Your Home – We pick up your machine and we drop it off after we fix it – there is a set travel fee of $19.99 and service costs.

We Come To Your Home – We will be happy to come to your home to assist you. There is a set travel fee of $39.99 and service time cost.

Our Pricing Is Affordable

Home computer tasks are guaranteed to not exceed 1.5 hours of time.

Our support is designed for your needs. We clearly outline to you the problem and estimated time cost with a guaranteed maximum of 1.5 hours. Sometimes the computer may be at the end of its life, if so we will let you know if it is worth fixing at all.

For Detailed Pricing Click Here

We Don’t Mind, If You Computer Backup – We Will Find Someting Else To Do!

Okay, just one more nudge to get your to backup. You cannot imagine the disappointment we find when servicing customers who have lost important files. Things such as family pictures and essential legal or work documents. Do not be a computer victim! Backup and protect yourself from computer mishap.

Step One – Where It Starts

You might even have the most essential backup device in your home right now. Do you have a USB key or a portable hard-drive? Just take it and copy over your important files. Usually these files are no more than 1GB or so. And these days most of these simple devices come with a fairly large memory. If you don’t have one you can pick one up at any computer or office store. We also sell one as well. ***Click here to Buy.***

Step Two – Backup All The Files On Your Computer

This step is a bit harder than Step One and you might want us to help you. This step involves looking around your computer and finding all the important files to backup. Unfortunately for so strange reason, programs decide to place files in various different places that often don’t make sense. We can find all these spots. Unaware to you, there may be important files that can be lost for ever.

Step Three – Backup / Clone Your Entire Computer Drive

This one you probably should not try on your own, unless you are looking for a second career in computer tech. This is the bullet proof backup system, that gives your computer super powers. What is done is cloning the entire hard drive (with daily automatic backups). So if you computer every fails, all that is needed to be done is switching the hard drive and “voila” your computer is ready to go.

We Will Strongly Advise You To Do All Three! Be Prepared, One Day All Computers Get A Virus or Failure.

Computer Support – The Importance Of Backing Up Your Computer

The Importance Of Backing Up Your Computer

Importance of Backing Up Your Computer A computer backup makes your computer almost (depending on how your backup) invincible to any threat to your files and information.

A computer backup will help ensure you are protecting things such as priceless memorable pictures and essential legal or information documents.

With the proper backup you can rest easy, knowing your are protected from computer hard drive failure, Malware (viruses or spyware), computer harm from a fire or another disaster or from computer theft.

The Important Elements of Backup

1. Do A Simple Backup Now!

Do you have a USB key or a portable hard-drive? Simply, just take it and copy over your important files (ie excel, word, image files, etc). Usually these files are no more than 1GB or so. And these days most of these simple devices come with a fairly large memory. If you don’t have one you can pick one up at any computer or office store.

Also unfortunately for a strange reason, programs decide to place files in various places that often don’t make sense. Take a look around your computer and find these additional files if you can.

2. Do A Full Computer Backup

Every computer should have this bullet proof backup system, this gives your computer super powers. What is done is cloning the entire hard drive (with daily automatic backups). So if you computer every fails, all that is needed to be done is switching the hard drive and “voila” your computer is ready to go.

3. Backup Often

It is very important to automate the backup process. The more often you backup (with rotating destination) the better.

4. Move Your Backup To Another Location

In case of an event like a theft or fire, you want the rotating Backup to moved to a different location. This is an essential step.

Different files should be backed up at different times to different devices. Also, your entire computer drive should be cloned on two device.

5. Don’t Forget To Check Your Backup

Often verify your Backup to see that it is still working and backing up what it should. Even test retrieving from Backup.

Looking for assistance with your backup needs

Click Here

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Home Office Setup

Let Us Help You to Set Up a Great Home Office

Do You Need Help Setting up a Home Office?
Let us guide you through the entire process.

Home Office Set Up SupportWith our assistance, you will be up and going in no time.

A well thought out, feature rich, affordable home office, can be invaluable for a home business. A home office is ideal for many people as a primary or secondary source of income:

– starting a new business venture from home
– stay at home mom starting her own side business (or hobby turned business)
– retired person wanting to pursue a new line of work or simply an online hobby job
– secondary income from a home project
– recently out of work or laid off, and wanting to pursue another income avenue
– maternity leave but ambitious
– online business venture
– working remotely from home for a larger company

Setting up a home office isn’t as easy as the comfort of working in one. If you’re used to having your company tech guy being nearby, it can be a bit daunting having to fix small quirks that easily occur with electronic equipment and computers. Rest assured, we are merely a phone call away and can set up up in a way that feels comfortable efficient and productive. If you run into any technical problems, we will be happy to help you out.

At first glance a home office can seem a bit overwhelming to coordinate especially setting up the right equipment and machines to “talk to each other” in a seamless productive way. Once we better understand what your home business needs are about, we can recommend what functions would best be served with your computer programs and the right secondary equipment.

Here are some options below:

Computers:. Desktop, laptop and smartphone/cellphone. This choice of computer(s) depends on your business. If you are required to leave your office and what you need to do when away. In addition, an integration of machines is essential. If you are away from your home office, but want to stay connected to your business updates, a data serviced smart phone can be indispensable.

Internet Connection, Network and Plan:. Service plan and devices that require internet. For a home office you will likely want wired and wireless connections, and since internet service will be used mostly throughout the home, your bandwidth should be considered. Like your selections of computers above, you need to consider what type of work and information you need while away from the office.

Peripherals: Other office devices such as monitors, back up devices, high quality scanner, universal port replicator (dock laptop), camera, keyboard/mouse, talking headset, skype (video calling) and online file storage of documents are just a few things that might assist you depending on your work requirements.

Printer: Print quality, ongoing printer costs, wireless option for wider home use and a stand-alone printer versus multifunction device (combination fax, scanner, and printer) are some options to also consider.

Phone: Your choice of landline versus cellular versus VOIP (voice over IP) will depend on call volume, saving on long distance charges, portability and messaging needs for your business. You don’t need to rack up long distance charges using your home phone. There are cost effective options that many businesses now use to make unlimited calls without the extra costs.

Fax: You have a choice of online versus landline. Recently, there have been new developments that have made it much easier to move away from a landline fax to a more cost effective online fax. The online fax method replaces the manual fax machine and transports your online documents via fax using a paperless system. Incoming faxes can also be received via your computer.

Networking & Security: We often find there is a good combination of wired and wireless connections. We would make sure that your network is secure from outside threats.

Office Environment and Furniture: We can help you with some office furnishings as suggestions but you probably have an idea of the theme or colour scheme you want your office to have as well as the furniture. Your most important piece will likely be your chair. It should be comfortable adjustable and make you feel ready to make money. Do make sure your home office is also covered in your home insurance policy. Many people forget to include this onto their policies.

The Most Important Part of Your Home Office Will Be Your Computer Hardware and Software

Your computer is the most important piece of your home office. Your computer can be your email and voice communications center. Your computer can be your data file and information cabinet in the office, and while you’re on the road. It is your financial, numbers and writing tool. It can be your selling device online, producing materials for offline and more.

Essentially, you want your home office environment to thrive successfully and cost effectively as it would in a corporate environment. You are the main personnel in a home office, so it is important to select the best options to maximize your time and energy. We can provide any outside tech support you need in setting up and maintaining your equipment and software.

We can guide you in your computer hardware upgrade or purchase decision. We will sit down with you and get an overview of your inside and outside the office technology needs. Take the time to think it over thoroughly and you will save money and gain productivity.

Your software choices are vast and surprisingly quite affordable (free!) for many programs. Let us help you access your needs and find the right software programs for your home office tasks.

Do Not Forget The Importance of Doing Back Ups!

Whatever you do in your home office, take care of this function first. A computer hard drive usually goes RIGHT AWAY or after some time.

We’ve seen people lose days even weeks worth of data or file updates because while being consumed in their work, they forgot to do daily backups. Suddenly their computer crashes and with that, all their recent work to date is gone. This can be prevented by setting up weekly or even daily “back up” programs that keep your files always current and up-to-date. We can set an automatic backup to take place at 3am for example, so while you sleep, your machine backs everything to date.