What has the humble biscuit tin got to do with IT support?

You will just have to read on to find out!

(Clue – it is not to make sure you have a stock of treats for when your friendly IT technician visits, although these are certainly welcome.)

In a post-pandemic world, it has become clear that a great deal can be achieved on the IT front without being physically present.  Businesses who were previously reluctant to allow staff to work from home have adapted to new working patterns without loss of productivity albeit with some team communication and motivation challenges.

As an IT service provider, it is preferable to establish a good working relationship with our customers in person, but it is surprising what can be handled successfully remotely – as long as you have a working internet connection!  Examples include:

  • Setting up new computers
  • Adjusting emails
  • Installing new software including cloud solutions
  • Onboarding users and leaver management
  • Investigating hacking attacks

The technician may not even need to establish a remote connection.  The time-honoured solution of have you tried turning it off and on again is surprisingly effective!  You can even be talked through checking that cables have not been disconnected with the help of a facetime session.

What about if the computer is refusing to start, or you would like your IT kit to be wiped for recycling?

If you are not within visiting distance, your equipment can be packaged up and delivered to Computer Troubleshooters for some TLC.

There are of course tasks which can only be undertaken in person:  setting up a new server or installing cabling in a new office spring immediately to mind.

An onsite visit can be beneficial as issues can come to light which the customer forgot to mention.  Extra work will often materialize as the customer shares problems which it did not seem worth bringing up specifically – the while you’re here effect if you will.

Sometimes, just sometimes, no amount of remote investigation will reveal the source of the fault.  Enter the humble biscuit tin!

We received reports of severely poor WiFi reception despite UniFi access points having been recently installed.  There didn’t appear to be any technical reason for this issue.  A site visit was duly scheduled and the problem was soon identified: metal biscuit tins had been stacked directly in front of the UniFi device, effectively blocking the WiFi signal!  Clearing the area in front of the access point allowed normal service to be resumed.

Lesson learnt – metal is a very good signal blocker, including RSJs used in building extensions.  Other materials such as granite splashbacks are very effective too.  It is just not possible to see these obstacles remotely.

From the IT troubleshooting perspective: sometimes you just had to be there!

If your IT setup is in need of some friendly support (both remote and onsite), remember to call Computer Troubleshooters on 01732 300064