Did Santa (or Hanu-claus) bring you a new PC? Wow, you must have been good this year!
Of course, with a new computer comes new questions--and maybe even new problems. This is especially true for users who aren't particularly tech-savvy (sorry, Mom and Dad, but I'm looking at you).
What these folks need is a helper, someone who can help install software, set up printers, remove viruses, and help with everyday computing issues. And not just for new computers, but for existing ones as well.
I'm flattered that you thought of me first, but I was actually thinking of Comodo's GeekBuddy, a remote tech-support service that can connect to your PC for all your help and troubleshooting needs. (If this sounds a bit familiar, it's because I first wrote about it a little over a year ago.)
GeekBuddy provides live, real-time help from a remote support tech, and does so 24/7.
Among the services offererd: virus diagnosis and removal, PC tune-ups, software and printer setup, printer and PC troubleshooting, ID-theft protection, and even help setting up e-mail accounts.
All support sessions are chat-based, which I think is highly preferable to getting on the phone with someone who might be hard to understand (or hard of understanding). Chat may be slower overall, but ultimately I find it more productive.
The only wrinkle, of course, is if you're having a problem with your Internet connection, or the virus/malware you need to have eradicated somehow blocks the chat session. Both would prevent your "buddy" from establishing contact. In that instance, there's toll-free support available by phone.
Overall, GeekBuddy sounds like a winning proposition to me, especially for those users who don't have a friend or family member they can call on for help. The service costs $49.95 per year, which to my thinking is very reasonable. You can also subscribe for $4.95 per month, and there are price breaks for 2- and 3-year subscriptions.
Unfortunately (and perhaps understandably), the company no longer offers a 60-day free trial--or, in fact, any trial at all. I'd start with a one-month subscription, then decide if you think it's worth re-upping for a year or more.
If you've had any experience with GeekBuddy, hit the comments and tell me about it!
Contributing Editor Rick Broidawrites about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at email@example.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.Sign up to have theHassle-Free PC newslettere-mailed to you each week.