Our Services

Below are just a few of the services we offer to businesses and residential clients in and around Penobscot County

Virus Removal

Onsite virus removal services - in most instances

Repairs/Upgrades

Onsite PC upgrades, updates and service, free estimates, fast turn around

Windows 10 Upgrades

Onsite or offsite upgrades from Microsoft Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10

Antivirus Software and Virus Removal

While Central Maine TekWerx offers paid services thru Avast! and Bitdefender for business antivirus protection, for home use there are several options for FREE protection for your PC and mobile devices.

Bitdefender

Since 2001, Bitdefender innovation has consistently delivered award-winning security products and threat intelligence for people, homes, businesses and their devices, networks and cloud services.

Today, Bitdefender is also the provider-of-choice, used in over 38% of the world’s security solutions. 

Recognized by industry, respected by vendors and evangelized by our customers, Bitdefender is the cybersecurity company you can trust and rely on. You can visit the FREE DOWNLOAD PAGE HERE.

For Bitdefender for business use, please see our page for business using the button below.

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Avast Antivirus & CloudCare

Avast! antivirus is FREE for home use. While the company has a full featured, paid Internet securities package available that is intended for home use, they also provide anitvirus software free of charge. It's available for PC, Mac, Linux and most mobile platforms, and has been a continually highly rated antivirus option for years. You can access a FREE DOWNLOAD HERE.

If you're interested in the Avast! CloudCare managed service, including web content filter, real-time monitoring and other features for business, please click the button below for our page on those services.

CloudCare

About Computer Viruses

In human biology, a virus can be as benign as the common cold, or debilitating, as we've recently found out. When discussing computers and data, there are benign viruses, and ones just as pervasive as some that affect the human body.

Central Maine TekWerx can usually remove a virus and clean a PC onsite. Sometimes, however, this is not possible and must be done in our lab using special offline removal tools. In the case of ransomware, it's quite likely you've already experienced a total data loss, depending on how far along the virus has progressed to locking access to your files. 

In the right column, there's a brief explanation of some of the most common types of viruses. Each type has a unique method of operation, and equally unique method of proper removal. It must be stressed that, in some instances, total data loss is possible, especially where ransomware is concerned. This is why education on the various types, and a basic operation of how malware can get installed in the first place, in order to prevent a problem for individuals who do lots of online banking or purchasing. Equally important to a business, your staff should have at least a basic understanding of phishing scams and be wary of social engineering schemes (hello recent 'Twitter' hack).

When it comes to computer virus issues, much like a country having a strong military, the best defense is a good offense - stopping a potential problem before it happens is always preferred, which is why I listed the free antivirus packages above. Central Maine TekWerx would much rather you NOT NEED to pay to have a virus removed, as there's no way anyone can guarantee there will be no data loss during the recovery process. If you do need virus removal services, we are ready with the skill and experience to help you. The removal fees vary depending on the type and severity of infection, and start at $65.

In addition to a good antivirus, several other software tools I highly recommend to help protect against malware are:

Malwarebytes: Malwarebytes gives you peace of mind by wrapping your devices and your Internet connections in innovative protection technology. Now you can socialize, shop, and play without worry.

Superantispyware: SUPERAntiSpyware specializes in unique and hard-to-find malware, identifying and removing instances of malicious threats. 

Spyware Blaster: Spyware Blaster is a very lightweight and effective tool you can install to help prevent the background installation of malicious code onto your computer.

These products offer free and paid versions. The free versions are for HOME USE ONLY, and are not licensed to be used in any type of commercial, government or non-profit environment. All three are excellent at what they do, and work well in tandem with other antivirus software.

When it comes to protecting your personal and business data, and keeping your online privacy safe and intact, these recommendations are a good start. There are other options that include VPN (virtual private network) services that will also help. However, a good antivirus platform, and malware blockers as mentioned above are an excellent place to start, and with a basic understanding of the different types of malware will go a long way to keeping your data safe.

 

Types of Malware & Viruses

1. Virus : The obvious number one in this discussion is the grand-daddy, the computer virus. Thankfully, most malware programs aren't viruses. Computer viruses will modify other legitimate host files (or the pointers/shortcuts) so that when a victim's file is executed, the virus is also executed.

Conventional computer viruses are nowhere near as common these days, comprising less than 10 percent of all malware present on the internet today. Viruses are the only type of malware that "infects" other files, which makes them difficult to find and clean up, since the malware must be executed from the legitimate, infected program. 

2. Worms: Worms have been around forever, and yes, even longer than the original computer viruses. Their origins are tracked all the way back to the days of the building sized mainframe computers. The advent of electronic mail, aka: email  brought them into the forefront just prior to 2000. Malicious worms sent via an email attachment could bring an infection to an entire companies network in a very short period of time, causing lost data and work for many employees; except the IT staff.

Just by opening an email, a worm can move thru a network replicating itself on every workstation and server in the organization, unobstructed. 

You can read more about some of the more famous worms in history here.

3. Trojans: While worms and viruses work and propagate in a similar manner, Trojans work very differently. Trojans are very destructive programs that look like genuine applications. When executed, they can also open up a back door path into your computer giving hackers access to ALL of your data. In fact, something like CryptoLocker can completely lock you out of your computer altogether, requiring an operating system reinstall. 

If you would like to read some more in depth examples, WikiPedia has a decent article.

4. Ransomware: Ransomware is malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer or its data, until a ransom is paid. Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting infected websites. Once activated, the malicious software begins to encrypt all of the files on your hard drive, denying you access unless you pay a ransom to the hacker. The vast majority of the time, even after paying the 'ransom', you'll still not have access to your files. No, there's no honor among thieves. Can you save the data? It's mathematically impossible to recover encrypted data without the cypher used to encrypt it. 

Ransomware is basically a nightmare. CryptoLocker, TeslaLocker and WannaCry are just a few examples of Ransomware. More in depth information here.

5. Spyware: Spyware is software used to gather information about a person or organization, sometimes without their knowledge. This information is then sent to another entity without the victims knowledge or consent. Further, spyware has the ability to control a device, or enable remote viewing of the activities on that device, without the victim's knowledge or consent.

Used most often for stealing information and activity tracking, Spyware is usually used for malicious purposes, its presence is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Some spyware, such as keyloggers, may be installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer intentionally in order to monitor users.

You can read more on the Norton page on spyware and how to remove it.

 

Computer Repairs and Upgrades

If your computer is letting you down, Central Maine TekWerx is here to help! We have more than 30 years of experience working with, working on, and building computers. From the old TRS-80 computers, to the DOS personal computers by IBM and their clones, to high end workstations for CAD and gaming, to multi-core CPU'd servers running virtualization applications.

Our experieince includes small form factor highly integrated desktop PC's, 'box' style desktop case PC's with plently of expansion room inside and everything in between, and rack mounted high density servers. We may not have 'done it all' as they say, but we've certainly done a LOT! Below are some of our offered services.

 


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Windows Upgrades

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 in January of this year. Businesses have the option, if they meet certain criteria, to pay Microsoft a fee for continued support - and it is expensive. This fee is cost prohibitive for most small to medium sized businesses, and the support option is NOT available for individuals.

Central Maine TekWerx charges a flat fee of $50 per computer for updating Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10. That is our services fee. There will be an additional fee associated with the license for Windows 10, and it varies depending on with version of Windows you are currently running. In most cases, the Windows upgrade can be completed on-site, depending on your internet speed. Or, we can take your computer back to our lab to complete the procedure.

There is no direct upgrade path from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 10

 Contact us for more information and a free estimate.

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Mac OS Based PC's

MacOS based computers are essientially Intel based computers, with a very similar architecture to their Windows cousins. MacOS is the operating system being run, and it's current evolution hit the market in 2006. Previous versions were based on PowerPC from 1994 thru 2006, and before that were based on the Motorola 68k series. MacOS is based on BSD Linux, and makes for a very nice user experience.

Like a Windows based PC, upgrade paths are dependent upon the required hardware requirements. Further, a lot of the software on older MacOS systems, Adobe CS4 for example, will not run more recent versions. There's a similar situation with web browsers, and virtually any software you would use on a daily basis. While a computer running the Snow Leopard version of MacOS is still quite a capable machine, your update path may be limited. The most common upgrades for a Mac computer, and this is very dependent on the form factor (all-in-one, small form factor, laptop, etc...) are hard drives, RAM, video cards, etc...

Like a Wondows computer, driver support is also important when adding newer hardware to older computers. There are usually upgrade options available, however, they sometimes require research before hand. If you're having problems with your Mac, give us a call! 

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