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To be USB 2.0 or USB 3.0… That is the Question

What may be one of the most frustrating things when connecting new “Plug-n-Play” equipment with USB cables, is the difficulties faced upon connecting them… and they neither Plug… nor play (Insert primal scream here). Frustration tends to mount while moving a file from one drive to another and it is doing so, seemingly at a snail’s pace.

We at Sandra Network would like to help with this BEFORE you are forwarded from phone extension to phone extension, continent to continent, waiting on hold for the answer that may be right there in the clear blue! (You will see what I did there… in a moment, and laugh… just wait)

One common issue is the age of the equipment, be it a keyboard/mouse/ flash drive, external drive or printer, they all may cause the same frustrations. It is all about speed, and the simple way to tell (if you no longer have the box with the description, or the “Read me” file) is the color of the connector or the icon next to the connector on the computer.

USB 3.0 is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. USB 3.0 is usually distinguishable from USB 2.0 by blue color-coding of the ports and plugs, and by the initials “SS”.

USB 2.0 and 3.0 Ports

USB 2.0

USB 3.0

480 Mbps (Megabits per second) 4.8 Gbps (Giga bits per second)
Can either send or receive data, i.e. copy or paste Can simultaneously send and receive data, i.e. copy and paste


  • If you want seamless speed as an option in transferring data,
  • If something you plugged in as a new device is not properly connecting or is giving USB errors
  • If there is the option of USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 on the computer.
  • check to see what color the port is, that choice can make all of the difference in speed or connectivity

If you are still unsure PLEASE give Sandra Network a call at 978-535-0202 or email [email protected] and we will help you out!

It’s A Trap, A Scam!

Recently, a great many people have asked what to do if they receive calls where someone asks to connect to their computer to resolve some issue. the quick answer is: It is a Scam!

  • Did you already sign a contract with this company?
  • How do they know you signed onto your computer?
  • Have you recently seen any suspicious activity on your computer?

If these questions create a long list of additional questions, please DO NOT allow them access to your computer, it is a scam. Please contact us first!

This is how it tends to happen:

You are sitting around, your computer is on, but not being used and the phone rings.

“Hello this is Peggy from Microsoft, I noticed that your computer has been sending error messages. There are problems with the internet connection or phone line and this has affected your computer’s recent performance. On top of that, the broadband connection has been hacked. May I have remote access to the computer to find out what the problem is?”

Your first thoughts should be… I don’t know anyone named Peggy. WHY are they monitoring my system, I didn’t hire them and if I didn’t, who did?

These are all valid and you are correct in being suspicious of this call. This is not a technical support service,  already hired (such as Sandra Network) then the scamming call should be ended immediately.

What is the best way to protect yourself?

  • Never give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer. This is ALWAYS a scam!
  • Never give your personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source; otherwise, this is a scam!
  • Receiving a phone call out of the blue about your computer and remote access is requested – hang up – even if they mention a well-known company such as Microsoft.

If you have questions or think you may have been hacked, or have given out pertinent and private information:

  • Please call your financial institutions and have your accounts monitored or closed.
  • Change your passwords for your email, login.
  • Call us at Sandra Network and with your permission, clean out the machine of any suspicious activity.

Why do I need more than one backup?

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“My IT Company is crazy! They want me to have multiple backups… I use my flash drive nightly, and am ok.”

“I know I have backups, someone set it up years ago and it runs automatically… I think.”

“What, you should test your backups?”

Yes, backing up can be a pain, but unless you are willing to use all your hard work, or memories, it might be worth it. If your home or office burns down, what will you be able to retrieve if you don’t have multiple backups.

Types of data to backup:

System State:

This is a copy of the configuration of your machine. In the event of failure, sometimes the COST of rebuilding the machine and the programs is the most expensive element.


This is your documents, pictures, music libraries and company data. One should always create multiple backups for such data.

Application based backup:

Many applications have their own backup, and for restoration purposes, need the backup in their proprietary format in order to restore the data. If this is the case with the applications, you should run the application-specific backup, and then backup the data file set it produces on another medium.

Types of backups (Media)

USB Drive:

Great for second copies of data and system state and data. Do realize that after the USB Devices fall from the top of the cabinet once, they can mechanically stop working and become DOA. Not a good place for your only backup, and definitely not a good place for original files and music libraries!

Tape Drives

These have been in service for years, and still work. Unfortunately, they do rely on complicated restores of data, and offsite storage. Nothing says failure when your backup tapes are on top of the server you are backing up. Very expensive fire | storm | water victim when the tapes are ruined with the server they are backing up. Can be very expensive for both tapes and tape drives.