Thursday, 30 April 2020

Tech in the Time of Corona

How exactly will the coronavirus be stopped? Can it be stopped in the first place? According to developing news, the vaccine for it will not be available until a year from now. The effectiveness of people being quarantined and told to stay at home can only do so much, as people positive for the virus may not be fully known until all persons under investigation or monitoring cannot be tested for it. As it is now, there is a worldwide shortage of test kits that determine who has the virus. So, it seems that it may realty take a while before this virus becomes less of a problem for the entire world.

Thank god for science and technology, though as they may have some fixes to help with the current efforts. They may not yet be perfect solutions that will eliminate the problem in one clear swoop, but they can at least make what is being done now more effectively.

Can tracking apps prove useful?  

Tracking apps may as well be an effective tool to contain the coronavirus outbreak, as it aids an approach called contact tracing. The idea of contract tracing is that all people with the app are tracked, so when someone tests positive for the virus, it would be easier to identify everyone else who he or she has been in close contact with, so those people can be tested for the virus as well. Tracking apps have been reported to be successful in Singapore and the government has now made the code open source so that other countries may use it. Of course, apps can also be a one-stop-shop in terms of its being a source of information about the virus. In fact, app developers have been working overtime to make their expertise usable in solving this pandemic.

Three researchers at the University of Oxford want to build an app to serve as a control center for coping with the coronavirus. The app could do everything from sharing information about the coronavirus to tracking contact with other people to testing and even food delivery.



 The potential of social media

Another tech advancement that may already be in use to track people with COVID19 is social media. Research groups in Italy, which has now eclipsed China in new cases of COVID19 in the past days, are looking into tracking social media posts to find out people who have been in contact with COVID19 positive patients and who have violated stringent lockdown policies in the country.

Your posts on social media have been harvested for advertising. They've been taken to build up a massive facial recognition database. Now that same data could be used by companies and governments to help maintain quarantines during the coronavirus outbreak.



How about the kids?

One of the first things governments do in outbreaks such as this would be to close schools, as they are filled with kids who can easily transmit diseases. So, now that most, if not all schools are closed, what can they possibly do at home. Enter technology with a plethora of e-learning platforms parents may use so that they can still study in the comforts of their homes. Several companies have also made their platforms available, much to the delight of parents. For example, Amazon’s programming for kids, which used to be only available for a fee, can now be accessed for free for all Amazon account holders.

Amazon has lifted its Prime Video paywall for a select group of kids' TV shows available on its streaming platform, with both original and acquired series now free for all users with or without a Prime subscription. (A free account is still required for viewing.) Titles include Amazon's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Pete the Cat, and Costume Quest, and PBS Kids shows such as Arthur and Caillou.



WiFi is Everyone’s Best Friend

And now that everyone’s working from home, Wi-Fi is suddenly everyone’s most prized possession.  The importance of Wi-Fi is has skyrocketed so much that even governments are dispensing advice on how to keep internet speeds in top shape. On March 27, Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms watchdog provided the British public invaluable advice on how to make the most of their connections.

New guidance on wifi has been published as millions live and work in lockdown at home because of the coronavirus outbreak.



But if you’ve been hit by a technological curse like losing soft copies of your important documents, don’t despair as we might be able to help you. Continue reading to see how our expertise can solve your problems:

The blog post Tech in the Time of Corona is courtesy of HDRG Blog


Saturday, 25 April 2020

More Ways of Speeding Up Your Internet

By now, you may already be staying home so that you and your family can be spared from getting sick of the COVID19 virus. With staying at home during this lockdown period, that means you would need to work from home and do everything indoors, so you need to make sure your house is lockdown ready.

Do you have your groceries to last you at least an entire month? Do you have your first aid kit ready? Are all your previous bills settled already? Do you have copies of all your important work documents? Have you installed all the programs and apps needed for you to successfully telecommute? Most importantly, is your internet speed reliable?

Internet speed would prove to be the most important thing aside from food in this lockdown not only because will people try to work from home, which will require a stable internet connection, but also because they will be reliant on the world wide web for the most updated news about what’s happening outside their homes and for their sources of entertainment. From streaming video to online games, from remote working to videoconferencing, a lot of your success and sanity in this lockdown period will largely depend on how stable your internet connection will be. So, without risking it, here are some ways you can be assured that your internet speeds are always A-OK.

You DNS may need some flushing

If you visit websites, you will have a DNS (domain name system) record. This keeps tabs of all the website addresses you have visited so that if you visit the same websites in the future, your experience will most likely improve. However, DNS records are reliant on the website and you (the website visitor) to both stays on your respective servers. It so happens that a lot of websites change servers during their existence, and this will affect your connection speed because your system would still need to recognize and verify the new server the website you’re visiting is now in. Thus, “flushing” your DNS may be a good idea to improve your connection speeds.

You might be familiar with the idea of clearing your cache when using a web browser. The likes of Google Chrome and Safari automatically store information about all the websites you visit, including host sites, IP addresses and any resources you access.

However, operating systems do the same, in files known as the Domain Name System (DNS) cache. If you don’t regularly clear this, there is likely to be corrupt or outdated files which present a security risk.



Does your browser of choice affect anything?

To answer the question in the heading, browsers don’t affect your internet speeds per se, but browsing speeds get affected by your browser though. So, if your slowdown happens because you’re opening too many tabs, then it may be best to switch to a more minimalistic browser like Opera or Brave (for Mac). That or you may have to discipline yourself with opening only three tabs at one time.

You may find that with different browsers, your online capabilities vary. Whether you choose Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or another browser, your Internet speed will not be affected. However, your browsing speed can vary when you choose one browser over another.

Your download and upload speed is determined by your Internet service provider. When you order a plan with a specific Internet speed, it should not vary too much from that number.



Manage your cache

Same with choosing your web browser, your cache may not really affect your internet speeds, but managing it will definitely make your browsing speeds faster. Your browser cache contains copies of the website content you have visited before so that they would reload easier and faster. Full caches, together with history, cookies, and the like, can decrease online performance, so if you feel that you’re bogged down by this, it’s best to empty your cache.  Better yet, there are clear cache extensions that you can download and improve your clearing actions because you can customize how regular these operations would be.

When you browse through the internet and visit different sites, your browser saves several contents and data in temporary storage. This temporary storage is called "cache". To get rid of the fluff you should clear the cache from time to time. In the following step by step guides we will show you how to achieve that in the different browsers on your pc.



Is a VPN for you?

There’s actually a lot of conflicting information on whether a VPN (virtual private network) increases or decreases your internet speeds. Some ISPs throttle bandwidth and impose data caps for some sites like YouTube and a VPN can help you speed things up by hiding these activities. On the other hand, because of encryption and hopping among various servers, VPNs can also slow down your connection. Most VPNs have free trial versions, though, so you can try their services and weigh their pros and cons.

Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a trade-off between all the positives of a VPN, such as online security and the ability to access geo-restricted content, and seriously compromising internet speed. Issues with VPN connection speeds are commonplace.



Making sure you are ready for quarantine may be difficult, but so is having to deal with hard drive problems. You don’t have to deal with it all by yourself. Read this to see how we can help you Our experts are ready to chase your hard drive worries away.

More Ways of Speeding Up Your Internet was originally published on


Friday, 24 April 2020

Another Three Suggestions on What to Do While in a Lockdown

By now, unless you’re on a YOLO mindset, you should already be staying at home. You wouldn’t want to catch the COVID19 virus, would you? Even if you’re the altruistic, other-before-self kind of person, you shouldn’t really be outdoors because if you bring the virus with you home, your family and those who get in contact with you might be the ones to get sick. So really, stay home.

So, now that you’re being a good person and staying home, doing your part to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus, you can’t really say that you’re bored and left with nothing to do. You’re in the comforts of your home (or wherever it is you’ve chosen to camp during this lockdown period). True, you can’t do any and all outdoor activities, but there are still so any things you can do at home. Think about it: There are so many things we have put in the backburner, activities we have postponed; and now is the time to bring them back to the forefront. Need a bit of inspiration? Here are some ideas:

Get back to being a bookworm

Remember your childhood, when huge thunderstorms would visit your hometown and power’s out – what would you and your family do? Build a blanket fort, gather all your flashlights, and read books. Well, this lockdown may be a bit longer than those of our cozy childhood memories, but then, wouldn’t it be a great time to revive or start good reading habits? You don’t have excuses – you won’t have your commute, working from home won’t be that strenuous, and you now have the option of eBooks. Even if text isn’t your cup of tea, you also have the option of listening to audiobooks. Let this coronavirus lockdown be the start of your becoming a full-fledged bibliophile.

With film and television productions shutting down, concerts and other major events being cancelled, and venues from amusement parks to select movie theatres closing their doors temporarily amid coronavirus concerns, there is one tried and true place to which to turn for entertainment and escapism: books.



Catch up on podcasts

Podcasts have become a very popular form of entertainment in the past few years and now’s a good time to join the podcast bandwagon, if you haven’t yet. What’s great about podcasts is that most of them are free and they strike a great balance between being strait-laced informative and entertaining. Also, there’s everything for everyone, depending on what topic interests you. So, whether you’re into tech, Korean drama series, politics, or true crime, there’s surely a podcast for you to listen to for the entire lockdown duration.

As coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to spread and disrupt the daily lives of people across the globe, forcing many to self-quarantine, we are compiling the best online offerings from artists, museums and galleries. Here, we look at some of the best podcasts.




Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t give a hand to people in need. You can volunteer for different causes without having to leave your house.  Various organizations need social media specialists, graphic artists, writers, et cetera, so you can sign up in various e-volunteer platforms and utilize your skills for a greater cause.

While the world braces for cases of the COVID-19 disease to swell and for the economic and social impacts to fully make themselves known, read on for ways you can act -- from donating personal protective equipment to hospitals to remote volunteering or sending a letter to a stranger just to let them know you're there.




Cooking is one activity that will keep you preoccupied and nourish you at the same time. After all, you can’t be serious with only eating microwavable food the entire lockdown period, can you? Cooking can be an intimidating activity, so make sure to keep your recipes simple and your ingredients minimal so you won’t need to keep on going to the grocery store and break your quarantine.

Cooking while self-quarantining may feel daunting. After all, you can only eat pasta and marinara sauce so many times in a row.

To pull you out of that impending food rut, celebrity chefs are weighing on Twitter and Instagram with their simple, healthy and isolation-friendly recipes, as well as cooking hacks and recommended shopping lists.



On the other hand, if in this work from home period you accidentally deleted some important files from your laptop, we can help.  Read here to see what services we have to offer:

Another Three Suggestions on What to Do While in a Lockdown was originally seen on The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Thursday, 23 April 2020

Laptop Data Recovery Expert Publishes Useful Tips On Speeding Up Old Devices

Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group recently published an informative blog post on speeding up a not-so-new laptop. In the article, the company explains that, like any other electronic device, laptops are prone to showing signs of wear and tear as years go by. These issues can manifest as longer boot-up times, for instance, and eventually reach a point where an upgrade may be needed. However, the company recognizes that not all individuals have the means to replace their laptops immediately. They hope that their new blog post will help readers learn how to gain better performance out of their current laptops.

To begin with, the company suggests upgrading the laptop’s individual hardware components. They recommend adding a Solid-State Drive (SSD) instead of relying on the built-in hard drive. By adding an SSD, the laptop would gain extra storage that delivers more reliable read and write speeds. The company also recommends a Random Access Memory (RAM) upgrade. The built-in RAM of laptops are generally sufficient for tasks such as word processing and internet browsing but intense tasks such as video editing take up more RAM, which typically slows down the laptop.

Additionally, Maureen Davies from Hard Drive Recovery Group emphasizes the importance of cleaning the laptop itself. Over time, she says, laptops accumulate dust that may compromise the performance of the graphics card and the processor. Furthermore, she states that dust may also build up in the device’s fans, causing it to overheat. Getting rid of the dust may help older laptops perform better.

When it comes to the laptop’s software, the company recommends either reinstalling Windows or replacing an older version with Windows 10. “The older your laptop gets, the more likely that it is already full of bloatware and unnecessary files. A clean reinstall of Windows might improve a laptop's performance,” says Davies. Alternatively, laptop owners with older versions of Windows may simply opt to upgrade their software to Windows 10. By doing so, she explains that their laptops would get the latest software updates (that aim to fix a number of bugs and performance issues).

On the other hand, Davies states that most laptops owners may not have the capability to take it upon themselves to optimize their laptops. Fortunately, companies such as Hard Drive Recovery Group are ready to do the job for their customers. “At Hard Drive Recovery Group, we pride ourselves in having a team of technicians who listen and communicate with our clients. We acknowledge the fact that not all individuals are computer-savvy, so we are here to help them,” says Davis. She asserts that this understanding serves to play to their advantage because it enables them to look at problems from the perspective of their clients, in turn allowing them to better cater to their needs.

Kirsten’s 5-Star Yelp review of the company, for instance, shares that, "I don't know much about computers, so when my computer started acting up, I was dumbfounded. My granddaughter, on the other hand, lives, sleeps and breathes computers, so I had her tell me what was wrong with it. She insisted that it was the hard drive, so I called this company for more information on recovering it. I explained my situation, and they were very understanding and professional. I scheduled a time to come in and have them repair my laptop hard drive. I dropped it off to be repaired and, when I came to pick it up, it was good as new. Fully functional PC again. Thank God for Hard Drive Recovery Group."

Another glowing review from Yelp shows how the company can turn a bad situation around. Gretchen shares, "Absolutely amazing. My husband, who is a professional photographer, had an external hard drive crash right after transferring thousands of images from his latest job. He had wiped them off of the rented equipment they were stored on so the bad hard drive was the only place the photos were located. We were both devastated at the thought of having to tell the couple their images were gone, but thankfully Lou and his team were able to recover all of the images. I highly recommend them and am forever grateful.”

Those who wish to learn how they can prolong the lifespan of their laptops are encouraged to visit the company's website and check out the other articles they have published there. Interested parties may also connect with the company through their preferred social media platforms in order to get all the latest updates and announcements.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Keep Busy While Staying at Home  

Aren’t we living in ironic times?

Just when we’ve been feeling so drained and complaining about being overworked, spending 14 hours in the office just to bring home the bacon, not having time to pursue our passions (from crocheting to finally taking the weekend off for a paragliding adventure) because we just don’t have the time, the COVID19 pandemic hits the entire world. So, now we have all the time in the world, but we can’t do a lot outdoors because most of us are in lockdown. We can’t go out, we can’t have drinks with friends in our preferred club, and there goes your dream paragliding adventure.

So, how do we actually keep busy and not lose our sanity for the entire lockdown period? Before cabin fever sets in, here are some recommended activities we hope you’d consider.

Keep fit indoors

Just because you’re cooped up inside your house doesn’t mean you have to live a sedentary lifestyle and forget fitness. Everybody’s stuck up on their houses precisely because of this disease and reliable sources say the mortality rate of COVID19 is not high, so catching it if you have a strong immune system and you’re in good health should exempt you from being one of its fatalities. Thus, staying indoors and engaging in physical activity to keep healthy is a great idea.   Choose a time of the day and enroll in some online classes where you can follow an exercise routine or a yoga session. That way, you can develop active and energetic throughout the lockdown period.

But if it does, avoiding gym germs doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your gains. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment to get a full body workout and yes, even some cardio.



Upskill, uspskill, upskill!

Speaking of online classes, there are so many online platforms that should allow you not just to keep healthy, but also to improve on some of your other skills. During this coronavirus lockdown, you can add to your skill portfolio or upgrade on your already existing skills. Is it about time you learn how to cook? What about finally starting to learn how to code? By the time the lockdown is through, you might already be an expert on something!

Take this opportunity to pick up new skills, learn that new programming language you kept postponing for different reasons or simply expand your knowledge from the comfort of your home. Whether for a career switch or simply to boost your job prospects or grow your current business, learning new skills online to achieve your professional goals is without a doubt a constructive way to cope with the current self-isolation.



Clean everything

The world is in a lockdown because of a virus that has spread in rapid fashion. Thus, it makes sense that you should clean the place you’re going to be cooped up for a time – your house! General cleaning of your house will take time and will surely make you safer from the disease. Of course, you’ll be handling a lot of your gadgets while at home, whether because you’ll be using them while telecommuting or because you’ll most probably be living a social media-heavy existence while on lockdown.  So, don’t forget to give your smartphone, laptop, and other gadgets and gizmos a thorough and deep cleaning.

Whether you want to protect against COVID-19 or just give all your gadgets a deep-clean while you’re stuck at home, now’s the ideal time! Here’s how you can safely clean your tech gadgets, without damaging anything.



While on the topic of cleaning, have you done a digital cleaning of your laptop and did a bit too much, erasing even important files? Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you with recovering your files.


The article Keep Busy While Staying at Home   Find more on: HDRG Blog


Be Assured of Your Internet Speed This Lockdown

Because of the COVID19 scare, a lot of people have been working from home. The problem is, many have discovered that their internet is working at a speed that is not to their expectations. Moreover, those who are staying at home and sourcing their entertainment from games and streaming entertainment their internet speeds aren’t up to par with what they were used to. So, in this period of people telecommuting and staying at home, what are the best ways to improve your internet speeds?

A quick note, though: If you are not sure of how exactly your internet is performing, try to run an internet speed test at various times throughout the day. Not only will you get exact numbers, but you will also get to check if there’s actually a fluctuation of your internet speeds, if it’s consistently slow throughout the day, or if there are only particular times of the day when it’s not as fast as the rest of the day.

Reset or reboot? 

If you have an average home network, you can enjoy a lot of advantages of you reset your router. With resetting, you can avoid attempts at hacking, you can free up the limited memory of your router that should help increase its speed, and you can even apply important router updates.

However, take note that you don’t need to do a factory reset. Doing a factory reset of your router will only erase all the settings you’ve put into it, so you will need to start from scratch. Instead of using the on-router reset buttons and pinholes, you only need to unplug it from all the devices you’ve connected to it. Then, unplug it from its power sources to shit it down fully.  Everything should be completely off in less than a minute, after which you can plug the router back its power source, then to its modem, and then plug your devices back to it.

There is a difference between resetting a router and rebooting a router. When you reboot your router that means you cycle the power to it. Resetting your router involves changing it back to its factory settings.

Perhaps you have forgotten the password to your router and now you want to reset the password. First you need to reset the router back to its factory settings then you can use the default password to access your router.


Your Wi-Fi channels may need managing

Do you know if your router is dual-band or tri-band? Having a dual-band router means that it has connections over the 2.5Ghz and 5GHz frequency, while a tri-band router has one 2.5Ghz and two 5GHz bands, allowing connections to be spread out further. These different channels are present because if the demand for a single channel may be too much, the other “free” channel(s) can share in the demand.

The 5Ghz band is faster although has a shorter range, so it is more suited for devices that are not too far from your router. The 2.5GHz band is a bit slower but has a longer range, so it would be better for devices that you carry around the different areas of your house or those in other rooms.

Not a lot of routers can automatically allocate your devices to different channels based on a change in location and other circumstances. So, you may need to manually go to your router settings, check the networks are properly set up with all the channels and connect your device to the best channel for them, one by one.

Are you spending money for high-speed Internet and not getting what you expected? Was your WiFi network working fine and now you're suddenly stuck with slow WiFi data rates? Selecting the proper WiFi channel can significantly improve your WiFi coverage and performance.



The devices on your network may need managing

Although home routers, in theory, can handle more or less 250 devices connected to it, this will be a stretch in actuality. The more devices are connected to your network, the more stretch the bandwidth will be, and it won’t be a surprise if your internet slows down. You may manage your network in a number of ways, from kicking out unnecessary devices connected, choosing to slow down particular connections, and restricting the length of time some devices can connect to your network.

Do you know who’s connected to your router’s Wi-Fi network? Take a look at the list devices connected to your Wi-Fi network from your router or computer to find out.

Bear in mind that many devices connect to your Wi-Fi these days. The list will contain laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles, Wi-Fi printers, and more.



Aside from slow internet speeds, are lost files also giving you a headache? If you’re looking into recovering lost files, read here: We will help you get rid of that headache by recovering your data.

Be Assured of Your Internet Speed This Lockdown Read more on:


Thursday, 16 April 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shows Computer Users How To Speed Up An Aging Laptop

Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) has published an article on their blog that helps laptop owners speed up their aging devices. The need for speed, as well as the necessity of running essential software, means many people are wondering whether they should splash out on new equipment or soup up the kit they already own. HDRG hopes that their new blog post can settle the issue once and for all.

Maureen Davies, speaking on behalf of Hard Drive Recovery Group, says, “Whether you are saving your cash during the COVID-19 outbreak, waiting for the next generation of models to come out or like many across the world, find it hard to let go of your aging laptop, you can take advantage of our tips to help get it up to speed. With so many working or studying from home, even making it quicker before donating it to someone less fortunate makes sense. With the tips from our blog post, just about any laptop can run faster and have its life extended without its owner having to spend a fortune. Should you decide it is time to lay it to rest, however, please make sure you use our blog tips in other articles to remove your data and recycle it properly.”

The company often publishes a wide range of informative posts through their blogs that help users all over the world learn from their technicians’ vast experience. Though based in Irvine, Hard Drive Recovery Group helps individuals and companies across America and around the globe recover their data.

Ramiro Ames, a customer who recently gave the company top marks on the Google platform, says in their review, “Lou and his team really went out of their way to help me, which was great as I had already been to other data recovery services nearby and all of them had said there was nothing they could do. HDRG restored all the data on my hard drive and had it back to me by the end of the week. No nonsense, high quality data recovery!”

Regardless of the user’s preferred model of laptop, Hard Drive Recovery Group recommends adding a Solid-State Drive (SSD) instead of relying on the built-in mechanical hard drives, which will help speed it up. Choosing an external SSD provides both additional storage and a backup which can later be attached to other laptops if necessary. An external SSD also provides reliable plug-and-play storage along with quick read/write speeds. On many older models (which have DVD or CD drives), it may be possible to swap the internal hard drive out and replace it with an internal SSD.

Next, the blog advises readers to ensure that there is enough Random Access Memory (RAM) to cope with the demands of the software they intend to run. Most new laptops come with a minimum of 4GB of RAM, but the choice of how much to spend on adding more really depends on what needs to be run on it. In addition to RAM, many users often find that a good, deep clean of the machine (to remove dust that may have compromised the performance of their processor and graphics card) can help speed it up.

Hard Drive Recovery Group’s final recommendation is to run a clean installation of Windows, whether by making the leap to Windows 10 or a previously tested configuration that includes the specific third-party software and drivers they require. Most older machines have junk, forgotten programs and bloatware tacked on in addition to problems caused by third-party software, configuration errors and, of course, malware and temporary files. Doing a clean install after making a backup of essential information is a good way to reduce any risk while also speeding up almost every laptop.

HDRG’s recent news, covering the bugs in Windows10’s latest update, was featured on USA Today, Street Insider and several other online news sites around the globe. The company pointed out that users around the globe have been upset by a string of broken updates that fix known issues but come with fresh bugs and new problems. These problems include hiccups with connectivity and sound. Unfortunately, uninstalling the update is the only way to fix the issue for some users. To handle unnecessary bloatware installed with the updates, Hard Drive Recovery Group recommends using computer cleaner software, such as CCleaner and PC Decrapifier, which do a decent job of cleaning a computer.

In the article, Davies states, “Being able to work remotely can be the difference between being able to pay rent—and starving. That’s why taking care of our computers is more important than ever. In severe cases such as data loss, data recovery services like HDRG can get you back on your feet to do business as usual.”

The company has also been in the news warning about malware oriented around COVID-19. This can also be read through their blog on their main site. Unfortunately, hackers are capitalizing on the general public’s fears as well as their thirst for information on the virus by creating and spreading malware through email campaigns. These emails mask themselves as informational guides that can help protect the user from COVID-19. They often contain risky downloads, known as ‘Emotet,’ which harvest new targets via email. To combat this, and many other issues, Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluations for free to all who have been hit in this latest attack.

Hard Drive Recovery Group has been providing a clean room data recovery service for any type of hard drive for over 20 years, including RAID recovery with a 24 hour turnaround service. Their overall recovery rate is 95%, including drives that have experienced damage from fires, floods and other adverse effects.

Those interested in learning more about HDRG’s services will find everything they need on the company’s website. Customers may also find them at their premises or get in touch online via their website and other online resources. Social media users are welcome to connect with Hard Drive Recovery Group on their preferred platforms to stay up to date with important news, announcements and their latest blog posts.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Don’t Lose Your Mind (Or Your Files) During This Lockdown

Unless you’ve been living a monastic existence or have been literally living under a rock, you may know that most parts of the world are already under quarantine. Some may call it self-isolation, while some may call it community lockdown, yet others simply call it stay-at-home orders – it’s all the same. From far north as Iceland to the people living Down Under, everyone has been observing various degrees of what has become popularly known as social distancing – giving you and the person closest to you physical distance, in an effort to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the COVI19 virus, which has reached pandemic proportions.

So, in this time of extreme uncertainty, when entire states are already telling citizens to stay home and not go out, what else can you do but follow orders and stay put at home? Chances are, your company has already allowed people to work from home, if no one has yet been forced to do so. And when you’re already home, there’s also a huge chance that after a day or two, you’re already thinking of the great outdoors, where you can do anything with family and friends. But the reality of the COVID19 lockdown strikes, and you’ll have to make your self-isolation as bearable as possible. Here are a few ideas to you keep you entertained and lessen thoughts of boredom and pangs of wanting to leave home and expose yourself to a healing world.

Play a video game

Perhaps one of the most time-consuming activities you can do while keeping yourself entertained in this time of the coronavirus is playing video games. And we’re not talking about games that you play on your smartphones that you get tired of after playing for a day or two. We’re looking at games that you play with a console and take forever to finish because of the countless levels and seemingly insurmountable challenges you will have to undergo. If you have been eyeing a game that you wish to play but couldn’t because it takes a lot of time to play, well it looks like this lockdown’s the best time to give it a go.

Longevity – following the news, you’ve probably seen we’re going to be doing this for a while, so you need a game that can stand up to the test of time, whether that’s through a deep 40+ hour story or a seriously addictive multiplayer mode.

Value – some of us are incredibly lucky enough to be able to work from home and still get the full pay, whereas others (shout-out to the local pub for keeping team Stuff well fed and watered) are set to be living on not that much until the end of April when the Government’s scheme comes into effect. Price is critical.



Movie marathon, anyone?

You may already be on a k-drama or Netflix and chill binge-watching spree even during “regular” times a.k.a. before this pandemic has held everyone hostage in their homes, so we really won’t recommend that. What we’re thinking of is for you to binge-watch on movies, or better yet movie series.  Surely, you’re very familiar with movie franchises, and now that you have a lot of time, why don’t you go ahead and watch them? You can have a marathon of them in order, or perhaps in a random sequence – it’s really your choice. And the options are endless – Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, MCU, LOTR – that should already last you at least two weeks!  Better yet, you can go on a themed marathon – movies where Kiera Knightley is not in a corset week, underrated ‘90s gems, foreign crime thrillers. Before you know it, the lockdown may already be over!

Cheapness and laziness are, let’s face it, paramount: Is it easy to access, and is it free with your subscription? There are countless hidden gems in the overwhelmingly long rows of titles in your major streaming services, so allow me to suggest gems tailored to a wide range of tastes. (Fun drinking game: Take a shot every time a now-disgraced celeb appears.)



Videoconferencing – not just for WFH

Now that you’re telecommuting or as it is popularly known these days, working from home (WFH), you may already be so used to using videoconferencing apps and programs like the ubiquitous Skype and Zoom. But come to think of it, why should these programs be confined to “business use” when you can also put it to use in what you usually do during the weekends pre-lockdown – hang out with friends? Get your crew online and get everybody with their drinks as you have an online catch-up! At least, when someone has too much to drink, the restroom is quite close by.

All you need to sign up for Zoom is a valid email address. Download the mobile or desktop app, agree to the privacy policy and the terms and conditions and you’re good to go. Like other video conferencing software, Zoom provides 256-bit encryption on any transmission which means you can be confident your meeting – and any documents shared within it – stays safe. Thankfully, setting up and making a Zoom call couldn’t be easier. If you’re planning to start the meeting, you’ll be the dedicated host of the call and the one with a few extra privileges.



Now, if your idea of a good time this lockdown period is recovering all the files you think you may have lost, read on: . We can be of immense help so, don’t hesitate to find out more about us here.

Don’t Lose Your Mind (Or Your Files) During This Lockdown is available on The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Make Your Wi-Fi Work for You

As one American state after another has started to tell all their citizens to stay at home and be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are depending on their home Wi-Fi for just about everything – from telecommuting to entertainment. After all, the priority now is to contain the COVID 19 situation; so as not to let it affect more people, people should not let themselves be exposed to the virus.

And it is in this light that reliable internet speeds will be of utmost importance so that people can still work from home, be updated with the latest information, and continue to be connected with family and friends. It will be no surprise that internet service providers will be overwhelmed in the coming days, if not weeks. But is there anything you can do to keep your Wi-Fi fast from your end? True, not all of us are tech experts, but the tech experts themselves say that we can do some slight tweaks to make sure that our Wi-Fi experience is maximized.

Lamps and other gadgets - stay away from the router!

Moving your electrical appliances and your lights away from your Wi-Fi router can actually improve your Wi-Fi speeds. This has to do with the radiation (don’t worry, these radiation waves are harmless) that brings Wi-Fi to all the areas of your house. In order for you to be connected to the internet, your router sends electromagnetic signals that are received by your devices. However, your other gadgets, and even your lights and lamps, also give off electromagnetic waves; thus, your router’s signals may get muddled. Appliances such as your TV, speakers, washing machine, kettle, dishwashers, toasters, Christmas lights should be away from your router.

Also, try to limit the number of devices or gadgets connected to your Wi-Fi. Your tablet or smartphone may be automatically connected to your Wi-FI once you’re home, and obviously, the more devices you have connected to your Wi-Fi, the slower it will be.

Firstly, disconnect all the devices which have been connected to your Wi-Fi router. These devices unnecessarily slow down the internet speed.



Your microwave can be a culprit

Is your Wi-Fi speed fluctuating? Your microwave may be one of the biggest causes of your diminishing web speeds. Microwaves give off electromagnetic radiation (more than most appliances we named earlier) that may interfere with the signals given off by your router. Thus, if you are doing something important that would need a strong Wi-Fi signal, like attending a video conference, or watching HD videos, don’t operate your microwave at the same time.

As Wi-Fi connections and microwaves operate on the same wave frequency, radiation from microwaves can leak and interfere with internet connections, preventing pages from loading properly.



Remember the landline? Use it!

With so much of the population staying at home, mobile networks may already be overwhelmed, and using your mobile to make calls would just add to the demand of these networks. If you really need to make a call, why not use a landline instead? Otherwise, you may also use wi-fi calling or internet apps like Skype to make calls.

Ofcom advises using your landline or wifi calls when possible.

It explained: “If you do need to use your mobile, try using your settings to turn on ‘wifi calling’.



Take your router to a better location

One thing to remember about Wi-Fi signals is that routers send them out in an arc, much like a halo or the light from a lightbulb. Thus, if you put your router on the floor, most of the signals go straight to the ground. Elevate your router from around five to seven feet, putting it on top of a shelf or table. Avoid placing it in areas with too many walls and surfaces that may block the signal. Also, if you are living in an apartment complex or a condominium unit, moving your router await away from your neighbor’s routers as the signals may cancel each other unless you have very thick walls.

If you're able to work in close proximity to your router, then a wired Ethernet connection to your computer is the best way to ensure that you're getting the fastest speeds. But if that's not an option, you might have to work in a room where the Wi-Fi signal isn't as strong as you need. That happens when you're too far from the router, or because there are too many walls or obstructions separating you from it.



Your fish tank may be the other culprit

If you have a fish tank or aquarium at home, your router's signal may also be weakened. If you’re wondering whether this is a joke or not, rest assured this isn’t one. Water absorbs radiation routers send out, which the area around your tank a "black hole" or an area without a Wi-Fi signal. So, try moving your tank and your router away from each other. Also, don’t forget to be away from a fish tank when in a conference call.

She also advised to “keep your router positioned away from metal objects, mirrors, walls made of sheet metal and even fish tanks — these objects weaken the wireless signal.”



On the other hand, if you’re faced with hard drive problems, stay calm and let us help you. Read more about our services here:


Make Your Wi-Fi Work for You is available on Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Thursday, 9 April 2020

Software for Data Recovery DIY

It’s a nightmare everyone using a computer has: files accidentally getting deleted, important documents mysteriously disappearing, things you badly need in your laptop that you can’t find anymore. When this happens and you’ve verified that indeed, you may have lost that file in that particular laptop, you can explore two options. The first option is for you to take advantage of a professional who does a data recovery service for you. But then, you may also opt to take things in your own hands and recover that precious missing file with the help of data recovery software.

If user reviews are to be believed, data recovery software has improved in their performance in leaps and bounds since they were first used. While other software has lousy free trial versions, those who have tried free data recovery tools to salvage lost files have posted glowing reviews as well, comparable to paid versions. So, let’s see which of these programs come most recommended among users on the Internet.


Recuva is a paid data recovery service that gets full marks on how affordable it is. It has also been lauded by users for its fast scan times, although Mac users may not enjoy these benefits as the program is Windows-only. Moreover, some users have remarked that Recuva doesn’t have as many features as the rest of the competition.

Like many of the free file recovery software out there, Recuva is not a one-stop solution that users sometimes mistakenly treat it to be.


MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Many users who have tried MiniTool are impressed at how straightforward the software us. Moreover, it can try to recover data not just on hard drives, but also on SD cards and CDs/DVDs. That said, people are also quick to comment that the program is a tad slow when working with large drives.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery gives you a solution that erases all your worries when it comes to lost, deleted and irretrievable data. Whether you’re dealing with a damaged partition, corrupted hard drive, or files and folders that you accidentally deleted, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is created to handle them all and get your data back to your hands without you shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars.


Disk Drill   

Disk Drill banks on its simplicity to get more users under its fold. Options and steps to undertake in recovering your data are easy to understand. However, what sets Disk Drill apart from similar software is that it can scan removable media and memory cards at the same level that it does for hard drives.

Disk Drill is one of the oldest data recovery software options in the game, having been around in some form or another since 2010. But just because an application has been around a long time doesn’t always mean it’s doing a better job than the rest of the competition, so how does Disk Drill stack up in the rankings?


Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery

RecoverIt scores a lot of points among its users for its various recovery modes. So, whether you lost data by accidentally deleting your file, last finding it in your computer’s Recycle Bin, or due to a malware attack, the software might just do the trick and help you.

Losing important files is quite a scary scenario in today’s digital world. There are certain reasons behind the loss of data such as corrupt hard drive, virus attack, accidental deletion, etc. Nowadays, it is must to have data recovery software such as Wondershare Recoverit to easily recover the lost files.


EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

If you are looking for a data recovery software that’s user-friendly, EaseUS can be a great option. Users have also complimented the program on its good recovery features. However, the limitation on configuration options hinders it from being highly recommended by more people.

The EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is available in both free and premium versions. If you only need to recover a few files, download the free version and it should be more than enough.



Of course, these options are available to you should you prefer to DIY your data recovery efforts. For dependable assistance on recovering your data, we can most definitely help you here. Read further to know more of our professional offerings here:

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Monday, 6 April 2020

Data Recovery Service Discusses The Future Of Cable

Irvine, CA based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) has published a new blog post that explores whether the advent and growing popularity of streaming services will mean the end of cable television. Given the size of the industries involved, the company hopes that their insight will help their readers understand what their options will look like in the future, whether they prefer newer streaming services or their traditional cable networks.

“The proliferation of streaming services has been on the upswing with the introduction of apps and devices that allow people to watch television programs, movies and even live events in real-time, wherever they are, and even without a TV!” says the post. It continues, “But this surge in streaming’s popularity has adversely affected the cable TV industry. With subscribers suddenly presented with the option that markets itself as having more advantages over having your TV corded, droves have switched loyalties, spelling a slow death to cable TV providers. Or are we counting out cable too soon? Let’s look at some factors and determine who the ultimate victor is in the showdown between cable TV and streaming services.”

Through the post, HDRG takes note of the fact that merely having more choice does not necessarily incentivise audiences to check out every new channel they have at their disposal on a streaming service. For instance, many still prefer the comfort of the familiar, which inevitably tends to mean that they will select local channels more often than not. This includes the latest news, weather forecasts, event calendars and so on that simply cannot be covered by other sources since they are not native to the viewer’s region. However, the post also observes the fact that, “there are cable TV channels that cannot transition into providing streaming services primarily because of cost considerations.”

Furthermore, the sheer age of the cable companies that are currently in existence has given them time to formulate exclusivity agreements that prevent them from being ported over to new channels, even online ones. Certain sports networks, for example, can only be broadcast via predetermined channels, and new types of broadcast via streaming services are likely to be negotiated such that these emerging services are also supported by the same companies.

On the other hand, cable companies can still boast much higher quality broadcast capabilities, due in part to their existing infrastructure. Despite the fact that several streaming services are taking measures to compete with this quality, albeit with mixed results, the tried-and-tested nature of cable may mean that audiences will continue to associate the platform with greater fidelity for the near future. HDRG does note in their post that this may not last long, given that streaming services are attempting to take advantage of existing as well as emerging home theater solutions. Only time will tell how successful this enterprise will be.

“When it comes to price, cable, with its necessity for physical devices like boxes, dongles, cables (obviously) and other implements, is at a disadvantage,” the post continues, “which may prompt the marketing departments of these companies to offer packages at seemingly low prices, if you don’t look at them closely. But upon closer inspection, you will realize that cable is really more expensive because, aside from having to pay for the packages (that, as mentioned above, cannot be separated from expensive channels, even those that are advertised as “basic packages”), you have to pay rent of all those devices mentioned above (the cable TV box, for example). If you go streaming, you may have to pay a subscription fee or a one-time purchase of a device like the Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Once you have the device, it pretty much employs the plug and play mechanism, and you won’t have to pay for it again!”

This attractive pricing scheme may be what draws customers the most about streaming services, especially since they have long thought that cable was their only option. HDRG believes that the hassle of interpreting and budgeting the charges that arrive with cable bills may also lead audiences to switch to a more simplified format in the form of a streaming service.

More blog entries of this nature can be found on HDRG’s website, and this particular article, titled ‘Will Streaming Kill Cable?’ can be found there as well. The company, which specializes in hard drive recovery, welcomes all inquiries regarding their posts as well as their services. Maureen Davies of Hard Drive Recovery Group may be reached for further details, and the company can also be reached via their social media platforms.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Which Streaming Device Should You Have?

It’s the era of media streaming. The days of having to be a slave to cable TV with limited choices of packages with so many unexplainable charges and fees. Cord cutters, rejoice! Future joiners of the cord-cutting bandwagon, feel free to explore your choices! This is because a streaming device that allows you to watch shows and movies and listen to music has become a hot ticket. For those with older models of smart TVs, or anyone who would want a reliable method of streaming can get a streaming device that will provide them exactly that.

But then, you may ask, “Isn’t streaming already available on computers and mobile devices through Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.?” What do you need a streaming device for?” The advantage of having a streaming device is that you have a gadget that is dedicated only to giving you content, nothing else. Let’s see which of these devices are the most user-friendly, doesn’t lag that much, can play video from the most services, and is easily updated when new services become available.

Amazon Fire TV

Coming in the forms of a cube and a stick, this device is highly recommended, of course, to Amazon fans who also consider Alexa to be their best friend. With Alexa’s integration, you can now use voice commands to look for anything you want to watch. Since Amazon is also a massive content provider, having its massive library bundled with your device gives you great value for your money.

The Fire TV Cube is Amazon’s attempt to combine a smart TV streaming box with an Alexa-powered smart speaker, producing a small black box that doubles as an Echo device.


Roku Premier / Express

With lots of great free content available coupled with its very reasonable price, the Roku line of streaming devices is a great choice for budget-conscious streamers. The design of Roku Premier may have some reviewers dismiss it, though.

If you go down the apps-per-pound route, the Roku Premiere will appear high on your list of prospective purchases, not least because it gives you access to Apple’s unparalleled library of 4K HDR films.


Google Chomecast

For Android fans, the Chromecast is simply the way to go. While it doesn’t have remote, you can use your phone or the Google Assistant to control it.

If you've got a 1080p TV kicking around in your kitchen or guest room, and the set doesn't have smart features built-in, the Chromecast is still one of the best Google Home compatible devices for inexpensively watching Netflix, Hulu, et al. on a big screen.


Nvidia Shield TV

For the solid gamer and streaming enthusiast, nothing comes close to the Nvidia Shield TV. It may be more expensive than most of its rivals, but Shield TV’s extensive library of games can make any insatiable consumer of entertainment gladly pay the price.

Nvidia’s Shield TV is a high-end 4K media streamer with some gaming chops. Now the company has refreshed the Shield TV unit with a cylindrical shape, faster processor, AI upscaling, Dolby Vision support, redesigned remote, and lower price. While the odd, cigar-like shape of the Shield TV itself and the strangely triangular remote control will get your attention, the biggest change to the Shield TV is its newfound ability to harness AI to convincingly upscale HD video to 4K.


Apple TV

The fact that Apple has also been producing its own content is making the decision to buy an Apple TV a good one. As with other Apple gadgets, it boasts of the signature sleek design. With voice control features, its compatibility with Dolby Vision HDR, and user-friendly interface, Apple TV can appeal even to those who aren’t Apple diehards.

Signs of a new Apple TV with an A12 bionic chip were uncovered in the iOS 13.4 beta in January, suggesting Apple is working on a refreshed model that could debut sometime in 2020. Apple often unveils new products in March, so there's a possibility we could see a new Apple TV early in the year.



With these options for consideration, you can choose the one best suited to your preferences. If you’ve accidentally deleted some of your favorite movies and TV shows, we can help!  Read more on how we can get you those precious video files back here:

Which Streaming Device Should You Have? is republished from


Data Recovery Expert: How To Celebrate A Holiday In Lockdown

Irvine, CA-based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is encouraging their community to avoid being disheartened by the fact that they have had ...