What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

apps for CMS Content Management System

Compute power

The goal of cloud computing is to make running a business easier and more efficient, whether it’s a small start-up or a large enterprise. Every business is unique and has different needs. To meet those needs, cloud computing providers offer a wide range of services.

You need to have a basic understanding of some of the services it provides. Let’s briefly discuss the two most common services that all cloud providers offer – compute power and storage.

Cloud computing is renting resources, like storage space or CPU cycles, on another company’s computers. You only pay for what you use. The company providing these services is referred to as a cloud provider. Some example providers are Microsoft, Amazon, and Google.

The cloud provider is responsible for the physical hardware required to execute your work, and for keeping it up-to-date. The computing services offered tend to vary by cloud provider. However, typically they include:

 

  • Compute power – such as Linux servers or web applications used for computation and processing tasks
  • Storage – such as files and databases
  • Networking – such as secure connections between the cloud provider and your company
  • Analytics – such as visualizing telemetry and performance data

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Cloud computing services

The goal of cloud computing is to make running a business easier and more efficient, whether it’s a small start-up or a large enterprise. Every business is unique and has different needs. To meet those needs, cloud computing providers offer a wide range of services.

You need to have a basic understanding of some of the services it provides. Let’s briefly discuss the two most common services that all cloud providers offer – compute power and storage.

Compute power

When you send an email, book a reservation on the Internet, pay a bill online, or even take this Microsoft Learn module you’re interacting with cloud-based servers that are processing each request and returning a response. As a consumer, we’re all dependent on the computing services provided by the various cloud providers that make up the Internet.

When you build solutions using cloud computing, you can choose how you want work to be done based on your resources and needs. For example, if you want to have more control and responsibility over maintenance, you could create a virtual machine (VM). A VM is an emulation of a computer – just like your desktop or laptop you’re using now. Each VM includes an operating system and hardware that appears to the user like a physical computer running Windows or Linux. You can then install whatever software you need to do the tasks you want to run in the cloud.

The difference is that you don’t have to buy any of the hardware or install the OS. The cloud provider runs your virtual machine on a physical server in one of their datacenters – often sharing that server with other VMs (isolated and secure). With the cloud, you can have a VM ready to go in minutes at less cost than a physical computer.

VMs aren’t the only computing choice – there are two other popular options: containers and serverless computing.

What are containers?

Containers provide a consistent, isolated execution environment for applications. They’re similar to VMs except they don’t require a guest operating system. Instead, the application and all its dependencies is packaged into a “container” and then a standard runtime environment is used to execute the app. This allows the container to start up in just a few seconds, because there’s no OS to boot and initialize. You only need the app to launch.

The open-source project, Docker, is one of the leading platforms for managing containers. Docker containers provide an efficient, lightweight approach to application deployment because they allow different components of the application to be deployed independently into different containers. Multiple containers can be run on a single machine, and containers can be moved between machines. The portability of the container makes it easy for applications to be deployed in multiple environments, either on-premises or in the cloud, often with no changes to the application.

What is serverless computing?

Serverless computing lets you run application code without creating, configuring, or maintaining a server. The core idea is that your application is broken into separate functions that run when triggered by some action. This is ideal for automated tasks – for example, you can build a serverless process that automatically sends an email confirmation after a customer makes an online purchase.

The serverless model differs from VMs and containers in that you only pay for the processing time used by each function as it executes. VMs and containers are charged while they’re running – even if the applications on them are idle. This architecture doesn’t work for every app – but when the app logic can be separated to independent units, you can test them separately, update them separately, and launch them in microseconds, making this approach the fastest option for deployment.

 

Here’s a diagram comparing the three compute approaches we’ve covered.

Storage

Most devices and applications read and/or write data. Here are some examples:

  • Buying a movie ticket online
  • Looking up the price of an online item
  • Taking a picture
  • Sending an email
  • Leaving a voicemail

In all of these cases, data is either read (looking up a price) or written (taking a picture). The type of data and how it’s stored can be different in each of these cases.

Cloud providers typically offer services that can handle all of these types of data. For example, if you wanted to store text or a movie clip, you could use a file on disk. If you had a set of relationships such as an address book, you could take a more structured approach like using a database.

The advantage to using cloud-based data storage is you can scale to meet your needs. If you find that you need more space to store your movie clips, you can pay a little more and add to your available space. In some cases, the storage can even expand and contract automatically – so you pay for exactly what you need at any given point in time.

Summary

Every business has different needs and requirements. Cloud computing is flexible and cost-efficient, which can be beneficial to every business, whether it’s a small start-up or a large enterprise.

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

What Are The Best Graphic Cards for 4K Gaming?

What Are The Best Graphic Cards for 4K Gaming?

What Are The Best Graphics Cards For 4K Gaming?

You’ll need a powerful graphics card (or two) to run cutting-edge PC games at 4K resolution. These high-end GPUs are the top performers.

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4K Gaming: High-End Cards and Dual-GPU

At the moment, to deliver smooth frame rates at high settings at 4K resolution on a PC (that’s 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, for the record) with the most-demanding games, you’ll need to opt for one of the most powerful consumer-grade graphics cards available. These days, those cards include Nvidia’s “Turing”-architecture GeForce RTX 2080 Ti , the one-step-down Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition and GeForce RTX 2080 Super, or one of the many custom-cooled and/or overclocked models based on these cards’ GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti graphics processors (GPUs).

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the card you’ll want to opt for, though, if you want butter-smooth frame rates at or above 60 frames per second (fps) in anything above high settings. Alternatively, you could pick up two GeForce RTX 2080 cards and use them in a paired NVLink arrangement, or scrape the bare minimum with a single GeForce RTX 2080 Super. In some games, that setup should deliver significantly better gaming performance than a single RTX 2080 Ti card. Note, though, that if you do go this route, multi-graphics setups can introduce side issues. Most games don’t ship on launch day with the optimizations to take advantage of multiple-card graphics, and some games never deliver multi-graphics support at all.

And then there’s Nvidia’s aptly named Titan line of cards. The pricey Nvidia Titan RTX is the beast of beasts, the crème de la crème, the absolute beefiest consumer-level graphics card you can buy today. And while technically the card is more powerful than anything that’s come before it, much of that power would be wasted on games alone.

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These cards are made for much more than gaming, deployed more often in creative fields that do a lot of 4K and 8K video editing, 3D rendering, or 3D modeling. In a price-for-performance sense, they’re way, way overkill for games, and they are often not optimized to take advantage of top titles as well as the gaming-centric GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards (and its lessers) are.

If your budget can’t quite bear laying out $600 or more for a graphics card, you can find some less-expensive cards that can handle 4K gaming at lower settings. You won’t get the absolute best visuals possible, but 4K gaming is technically attainable.

If you don’t mind running games closer to medium detail settings at 4K, but you still want to experience the pixel-dense glory of games running at 3,840 by 2,160, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, and GeForce RTX 2060 Super are all capable engines. Just remember that you won’t be able to play many games at the highest detail settings.

GeForce RTX 2060 Super
Speaking of the RTX 2070 Super, GeForce RTX 2070 Super cards start at around the $499 mark, challenging cards like the older GeForce GTX 1080 Ti on performance. The RTX 2070 Super will even beat the AMD Radeon VII, or at least tussle with it, in some games.

Overall, we can’t recommend going much lower than $400 on your card today if you’re serious about 4K gaming, though. One of the biggest concerns that any cost-conscious PC gamer should have when choosing new hardware is how “future-proof” a card is, and given that these options barely scratch the surface of pushing 60 frames per second (fps) on most current titles at middling settings, that viability will only continue to drop for new games released later this year.

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

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Saturday 9 AM – 1 PM

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Revive Your PC with an SSD Hard Drive

Revive Your PC with an SSD Hard Drive

Revive Your PC with an SSD Hard Drive

Upgrade Your LAPTOP with a fast SSD Hard Drive

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Get Your Laptop to next level with an SSD Hard Drive

What is an SSD?

A solid-state drive (SSD) is a new generation of storage device used in computers. SSDs replace traditional mechanical hard disks by using flash-based memory, which is significantly faster. Older hard-disk storage technologies run slower, which often makes your computer run slower than it should. SSDs speed up computers significantly due to their low read-access times and fast throughputs.

Why use a solid-state drive?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to opt for an SSD in place of a standard HDD.

Laptops can take a beating while they travel with you — having a storage device that isn’t disrupted by bumps is a huge boon. HDDs with their moving parts can be damaged if they’re spinning when the drop or impact happens. SSDs are far less likely to be affected by impacts.

Mobility is a huge part of laptops; SSDs are both smaller and lighter than HDDs. This saves space to include other hardware in the laptop and reduces weight and thickness. SSDs also require less power, so your laptop battery should last longer.

Most people who’ve been using Windows for years know how long boot times can be when using an HDD. Differences in speed loading apps on your PC might be minimal — you probably won’t notice if Office apps load in two seconds rather than four — but using an SSD to boot Windows 10 will significantly cut time spent twiddling your thumbs.

How much does an SSD cost?

The Solid State Drives come in different sizes, interfaces and brand. The price for an SSD can range from $60 to $700 based on your computer specifications and your needed capacity.

Here are the most popular interfaces in the market:
SATA III, PCIe, M.2 and NVMe

PC Expert Services SSD Upgrade Pakage

If you are ready to take your PC to next level, PC Expert Services offers a Package for your PC SSD upgrade.

PC Expert Services will provide:

  1. New SSD Hard Drive
  2. Installing the new SSD Hard Drive
  3. Cloning* your old HDD to the new SSD

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

Call or Visit Us

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Irvine, CA 92618

SSD Upgrade Benefits:

  • Faster Response Time
  • Better Battery Performance
  • No Mechanical Parts
  • Less Affected by Impacts
  • Requires Less Power
  • Faster Boot Time
  • Faster Read and Write Times
  • Safe from Magnetism
  • No vibration

How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

How to to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Check out these quick tips to boost your wireless signal from your router, extend and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage, and speed up your surfing.
How to to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Browsing slowing to a crawl, the inability to stream, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zones—every one of these problems is maddening in a world where getting online has become, for some, as necessary as breathing. (Well, maybe not that critical…but important.)

If you feel like your Wi-Fi has gotten sluggish, there are many tools you can use to test the speed of your internet. However, if the only way you can get decent reception is by standing next to your wireless router, these simple tips can help optimize your network.

Update Your Router Firmware
Update Your Router Firmware

Perhaps your router just needs an update. Router manufacturers are always tweaking software to eke out a bit more speed. How easy—or how hard—it is to upgrade your firmware depends entirely on your device manufacturer and model.

Most current routers have the update process built right into the administration interface, so it’s just a matter of hitting a firmware upgrade button. Other models, particularly if they’re older, still require you to go to the manufacturer’s website, download a firmware file from your router’s support page, and upload it to the administration interface. It’s tedious, but still a good thing to do since it would be such a simple fix.

In fact, even if your wireless network isn’t ailing, you should make it a point to update your firmware on a regular basis for performance improvements, better features, and security updates.

Achieve Optimal Router Placement
Achieve Optimal Router Placement
Not all rooms and spaces are created equal. The fact is, where you place the router can affect your wireless coverage. It may seem logical to have the router inside a cabinet and out of the way, or right by the window where the cable comes in, but that’s not always the case. Rather than relegating it to a far end of your home, the router should be in the center of your house, if possible, so its signal can reach as far as possible.

In addition, wireless routers need open spaces, away from walls and obstructions. So while it’s tempting to put that ugly black box in a cabinet or behind a bunch of books, you’ll get better signal if it’s surrounded by open air (which should prevent the router from overheating, too). Keep it away from heavy-duty appliances or electronics as well, since running those in close proximity can impact Wi-Fi performance.

If your router has external antennas, orient them vertically to bump up coverage. If you can, it even helps to elevate the router—mount it high on the wall or on the top shelf to get a better signal. There are plenty of tools to help you visualize your network coverage. Personally, I like Heatmapper or our Editors’ Choice inSSIDer, which shows you both the weak and strong spots in your Wi-Fi network. There are plenty of mobile apps, too, such as Netgear’s WiFi Analytics.

What’s Your Frequency?
Take a look at your network's administrator interface, and make sure you have it configured for optimum performance. If you have a dual-band router, you'll likely get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band.
Take a look at your network’s administrator interface, and make sure you have it configured for optimum performance. If you have a dual-band router, you’ll likely get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band.

Not only does 5GHz offer faster speeds, but you’ll likely encounter less interference from other wireless networks and devices, because the 5GHz frequency is not as commonly used. (It doesn’t handle obstructions and distances quite as well, though, so it won’t necessarily reach as far as a 2.4GHz signal does.)

Most modern dual-band routers should offer you the option to use the same network name, or SSID, on both bands. Check your router’s administration interface, look for the 5GHz network option, and give it the same SSID and password as your 2.4GHz network. That way, your devices will automatically choose the best signal whenever they can. (If your router doesn’t offer you the option to use the same SSID, just give it another name—like SmithHouse-5GHz—and try to connect to that one manually whenever possible.)

Change That Channel
Interference is a big issue, especially for those who live in densely populated areas. Signals from other wireless networks can impact speeds, not to mention some cordless phone systems, microwaves, and other electronic devices.

Ever play with walkie-talkies as a kid? You may remember how the units needed to be on the same “channel” in order for you to hear each other. And if you happened to be on the same channel as your neighbors, you could listen in on someone else’s conversation, even if they were using a completely different set.

In the same vein, all modern routers can switch across different channels when communicating with your devices. Most routers will choose the channel for you, but if neighboring wireless networks are also using the same channel, then you are going to encounter signal congestion. A good router set to Automatic will try to choose the least congested channel, but many cheaper routers will just choose a predefined channel, even if it isn’t the best one. That could be a problem.

Don’t Rely on Obsolete Hardware
Don't Rely on Obsolete Hardware
It’s a good idea to get the most out of your existing equipment, but if you are running old hardware you can’t expect the best performance. We have a tendency to subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality with back-end devices, especially networking gear. However, if you bought your router years ago, you might still be using the older, slower 802.11n standard (or God forbid, 802.11g).

These wireless standards cap at fairly low bandwidths. Thus, all the tweaking we’ve outlined above will only get you so far—the maximum throughput for 802.11g is 54Mbps, while 802.11n caps out at 300Mbps. The latest 802.11ac supports 1Gbps, while next-gen Wi-Fi 6 routers can theoretically hit 10Gbps, but it’s early days. Our list of the best wireless routers is a good place to start the search for a faster router.

Even if your router is new, you might have some ancient devices that are falling back to older, slower standards. If you bought a PC within the last couple of years, you likely have an 802.11ac wireless adapter, or at least 802.11n. But the older your devices, the less likely they are to have modern tech built in. (You might be able to buy a USB Wi-Fi adapter that makes things a bit better on those old machines, though.)

Remember, a higher-quality router won’t just support those faster standards—it’ll also do all the things we’ve outlined above better. It’ll perform better channel selection, band steering for 5GHz devices, and have better QoS features.

Others may have features like Multi User-Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), like the Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router. MU-MIMO routers can send and receive multiple data streams simultaneously to multiple devices without bandwidth degradation and require specialized testing with multiple clients, but the clients need to be MU-MIMO compatible.

Set Up a Wireless Range Extender
Set Up a Wireless Range Extender
Distance is one of the more obvious problems—there is a certain optimal range that the wireless signal can travel. If the network has to cover an area larger than the router is capable of transmitting to, or if there are lots of corners to go around and walls to penetrate, performance will take a hit.

If all of the above fail, it’s possible that your house is just too big for a single router to send a good signal everywhere. All routers are only capable of broadcasting reliably up to a certain distance before the signal gets weak. If you want to extend your signal beyond that, you’ll need a range extender of some sort.

Range extenders looks similar to standard routers, but work differently. For starters, they pick up the existing Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router and simply rebroadcast it. As far as your network router is concerned, the range extender is just another client with an IP address, much like a laptop.

Even though it’s not a router, you should still use the same rules for figuring out placement; the extender should be close enough to your main network router to pick up a solid signal, but close enough to the weak spot so it can do its job of, well, extending that signal.

The extended signal will almost never be as good as the original, but it’s better than nothing—though if you can connect the extender with Ethernet or Powerline instead of wirelessly, it’ll be much better.

You don’t need an extender that is the same brand or model as your existing router, though in some cases, extenders of the same brand may offer extra features (like Linksys’ MaxStream routers and their “seamless roaming”).

Above all else, make sure you pick one that can broadcast an equivalent signal: don’t buy an 802.11n extender if your router is on 802.11ac.

Upgrade to a Mesh-Based Wi-Fi System
Upgrade to a Mesh-Based Wi-Fi System
Range extenders help bring connectivity to dead zones, but wireless range extenders usually provide about half the bandwidth you’ll get from your primary router. Plus, they often require separate management from two different administration pages, and can even force you to use two different SSIDs, which is a huge pain. If you want seamless connectivity everywhere in your home, manageable from a simple smartphone app, consider upgrading your whole network a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.
Designed to cover every corner of your home, mesh Wi-Fi systems aim to replace your router rather than just extend it. You’ll connect one node directly to your modem, then place one or more satellite nodes around your house. The included app will walk you through the setup, ensuring each node is placed in the ideal spot for the best signal.

The resulting setup blankets your house with a single wireless network, which uses a single administration interface (in the form of a friendly mobile app), and often dedicates at least one wireless band to network backhaul, offering better performance than many extenders. Lots of mesh systems will even update your firmware automatically, so you always have the latest performance and security enhancements—no more downloading firmware from the manufacturer website.

The downside: mesh Wi-Fi Systems aren’t cheap, especially if you have a large home, which will require multiple nodes. But if you’re in the market for a new router anyway, they might be worth considering as an alternative.

How to Print From Your iPad

How to Print From Your iPad

How to Print From Your iPad
If you need to print from your iPad, there’s no single “best” way to do it. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s AirPrint utility, along with some alternative mobile printing solutions.
How to Print From Your iPad
5 Ways to Print From Your Tablet
As Apple iPads have become commonplace in homes, as well as essential tools for many businesses, the demand for easy ways to print from them has grown. A variety of printing methods has emerged to meet this need. They fall into five general categories, which we’ll visit here: Apple’s own AirPrint utility; print server utilities that install on a computer on your Wi-Fi network; manufacturers’ and third-party iOS printing apps; cloud printing services; and email printing. Because many of the solutions are OS-dependent, most iPad printing solutions are similar to, and in many cases identical to, the solutions for printing from iPhones.
1. AirPrint
Since late 2010, Apple’s own AirPrint utility, incorporated into iOS versions since 4.2, has been a quick and easy way to print from a Wi-Fi-connected iPad to a compatible printer on the same network. All iPad models support AirPrint. The utility has a limited selection of print options, letting you choose the number of copies, plus a few other details. The good news is that most recent wireless printers support AirPrint.

With AirPrint, you can print documents from Apple programs such as Photos, Safari, Mail, and iPhoto, as well as many third-party apps. When you open a document in an AirPrint-compatible program, you can access the Share button through an icon (usually a forward arrow) at the top or bottom of the screen. It should reveal a print option (as well as social media sharing options). Press Print, and the Printer Options screen should appear. Press Select Printer, and the app will search for AirPrint-compatible printers on your Wi-Fi network. Once you choose a printer, you’re ready to go.

2. Print Server Utilities
Close Specific Apps That Use Lots of Power
If your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, you can grab a utility that, in effect, makes it AirPrint-compatible. (The printer can even be USB-connected, as long as it’s on a Wi-Fi network.) These programs function as print servers and can be installed on a computer on your network. With Printopia, for instance, you need to install the software on a Mac. Presto (which was previously known as FingerPrint 2 at the time we reviewed it) is compatible with both Windows and Mac.

Print servers tend to add some extras to AirPrint’s functionality. Presto is also compatible with Google Cloud Print, and it allows iOS devices to discover printers via unicast Domain Name Servers (DNS), instead of the (allegedly less reliable) multicast DNS that AirPrint itself uses in discovering printers. Printopia, meanwhile, lets you “print” a copy of the file you’re printing to your Mac, to Dropbox, to Evernote, or to one of several similar cloud-based services.

3. Printing Apps
Take Heed of Airflow
Nearly all of the major printer manufacturers now offer apps that let you print from your iPad (or other iOS device) to their brand of printers that support Wi-Fi connectivity. These apps tend to offer a much wider range of features and printing options than AirPrint does. The iPhone and printer must be on the same Wi-Fi network; if the printer is compatible, the app should readily detect it.

These apps generally let you print a variety of document types, and in many cases they have their own browser (with limited features) for loading and printing web pages. Some of these apps are rather bare-bones, while others, such as Samsung Mobile Print and Epson iPrint, let you initiate scans from your iPad, and offer a variety of printing functions. Many of these apps integrate with various cloud services to allow printing from them, as well.

Third-party app makers have also gotten in on the fun. Thinxtream Technologies, for instance, offers the PrintJinni app, which lets you print from an iPad to compatible printers from a number of manufacturers.

4. Cloud Printing
Keep an Eye on Your Battery's Health
Cloud printing services such as Cortado’s ThinPrint Cloud Printer and Google Cloud Print let you send a file from your iPad to their respective cloud service, which processes it into a printable form and sends it to a printer designated by you or your company.

One advantage of cloud printing is that you can print to the cloud printer from anywhere (as long as you’re connected to the Internet). Another is that you can print to it from multiple platforms: desktops, laptops, and mobile devices running other operating systems. A drawback is that support for printing tends to be from a limited selection of apps, which are usually major productivity apps, but often not the iPad’s email client or Safari.

Google Cloud Print, for one, is predictably centered on the Google ecosystem; with an iOS device, you can print from Chrome, Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google apps, but little else. PrintCentral Pro is one of the few iOS apps that lets you print a variety of document types to Google Cloud Print.

5. Email Printing
Three of the major printer makers offer a nifty printing solution: via email. HP’s is through its ePrint feature (not to be confused with the HP ePrint Home & Biz mobile printing app); Epson’s is via Epson Connect’s Email Print; and Canon has a Print from E-mail function. When you sign up for one of these services, your printer is assigned a unique email address. When you email a document to that address (from your iPad or any other device, from anywhere in the world), the printer will automatically print them out.
As iPads have proliferated, so have the methods available to print from them. Which of these is the best solution depends on your needs.

AirPrint offers quick, easy Wi-Fi printing, but not all printers are compatible with it. Printing apps generally offer more features than the other methods, but they are supported only by specific branded printers. Email printing is a great method, but only select printers support it. Cloud printing services are best suited to offices, or to people who use the productivity apps they tend to support.

In most cases, if need be, you can combine several of these methods to increase your ability to print to multiple printers, and to print different document types. There’s no one-size-fits-all iPad printing method. But among these different methods, you should be able to find an effective subset that works for you. (Apple computer users can also check out our roundup of the best printers for Macs.)

What to Do if Windows Can’t Connect to Your Printer

What to Do if Windows Can’t Connect to Your Printer

What to Do if Windows Can’t Connect to Your Printer
Most of the time, Windows automatically sees any printer on the same network as your PC. But what if your computer can’t see the printer, or simply refuses to connect? Adding a printer on a local network is simple in theory, but the reality is that, when the process goes wrong, it can be tricky to unravel.

Running the “Add a printer or scanner” wizard or the printer troubleshooter should fix the problem, in most cases. If this doesn’t work, though, these easy troubleshooting steps can rescue the day.

What to Do if Windows Can't Connect to Your Printer
Find a Connected Printer
Find a Connected Printer
A printer can connect to a network on either an Ethernet or Wi-Fi local area network (LAN), or you can connect it directly via USB to a computer on the network. Either connection type can be shared with other users on the network by enabling print sharing on the server or on the computer to which the USB printer is connected.

Windows’ “Add a printer or scanner” wizard is accessible from the “Printers & scanners” section in the Settings Control Panel. (In Windows 7, it’s the Add Printer wizard accessible from the Devices and Printers Control Panel.) The specific details vary between Windows versions, but the procedure is pretty much the same.

However, unlike earlier versions, Windows 10 doesn’t usually require you to run a wizard in the first place. Instead, when you plug your Ethernet cable into the printer or connect the printer to your wireless network, in most cases the printer will simply show up automatically in the list of installed devices.

Find a Connected Printer
(In Windows 7 and earlier versions, when you click the Add Printer link, Windows will automatically search for printers on the network. The printer name(s) will pop up, and you can select one. Add it, and with any luck, you will be ready to print.)

If your device is not listed here, click “Add a printer or scanner.” Windows starts searching your network for connected printers and lists its findings, as shown below. Simply click the printer you want to connect to, then click “Add device.”

Click “Add a printer or scanner,” and Windows starts searching your LAN for new printers.

Windows will move the printer to the list of installed printers and scanners. From here, when you click the printer name in the list, you can manage the machine as desired.

Troubleshooting a Missing Printer
Of course, a printer doesn’t always install as it should. It may not appear at all in the list of available printers, or you might get a message that Windows can’t connect to it. The first steps would be to make sure of the basics.

That means ensuring the printer is on and connected to the same network as the PC to which you want it added. You should also check that print sharing is enabled on the computer to which it’s attached. For a home network, that would be the computer on which you installed the printer’s software.

From here, you have two options. Either click the option “The printer that I want isn’t listed,” located directly below the list of printers discovered in the connected device search, or run the troubleshooter.

One thing to know: Just because you don’t see a printer doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Some IT departments hide the names of all printers by default. Although IT likely has good reasons for doing so, hidden printers can be an impediment when there is a legitimate need for someone to connect to a particular one. There are other issues that may prevent you from seeing an accessible printer, too.

Adding an Unseen Printer
Close Specific Apps That Use Lots of Power
Close Specific Apps That Use Lots of Power
Choose the manufacturer and device type to install the correct printer driver.
In the “Find a printer by other options” dialog box, you’ll see five ways to find and connect to your printer. (Note that this dialog box has only three options in earlier versions of Windows.)

My printer is a little older. Help me find it: When you choose this option, Windows performs another search. If it finds your printer, it will display a second dialog box. Select your printer, and Windows will install the drivers. If your printer is not listed, try one of the other options in this dialog box (which will probably require another “Add a printer or scanner” search from the Printers & scanners Control Panel).

Select a printer by name: To use this option, you must know the name of the computer that the printer is connected to and the network name of the printer itself. If you’re doing this in an office for a network-attached printer, and you don’t know the printer name, you’ll have to ask another employee who uses it, or get it from your IT department. Notice the naming examples directly below this option in the image above.

Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname: Choosing this option brings up the “Type a printer hostname or IP address” dialog box. Here, again, you’ll need to obtain the hostname or IP address. Enter the address or hostname, and click Next.

On a home network, you can get the printer’s IP address from its control panel by printing a status report or from the printer’s built-in onboard web portal.

Windows will query the printer, and then display a list of compatible devices, allowing you to select your printer by manufacturer and type. After making your selections, click Next, and it should connect your PC to the printer. If not, move on to the Running the Troubleshooter section below.
Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer: With this option, you can add peer-to-peer network devices that are not actually on your LAN. (Windows does a brute search for all available protocols available to your PC.).

Add a local printer or network with manual settings: Choosing this option runs a wizard that walks you through a series of steps for manually creating a printer port and installing the printer, which requires technical expertise beyond the scope of this entry-level guide.

At any point in the process, or if any one of these methods fails, you can run the Windows troubleshooter to try connecting to the printer.