Technology Advice for Small Businesses

What can you do with an old PC?

If your PC has been struggling to perform all the tasks you have at hand, we completely understand why you would be itching for a new one. But even if it’s old, sluggish, and always crashing, your old desktop or laptop may still prove to be useful. Here are some things you can do with an old PC.

Make a NAS server

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a server for your small business network that lets you store files that need to be shared with all the computers on the network. If your old PC has at least 8 GB of RAM, you can use it as your own NAS.

Simply download FreeNAS, a software accessible on Windows, MacOS, or Linux, that enables you to create a shared backup of your computers. FreeNAS has access permissions and allows you to stream media to a mobile operating system (OS), like iOS and Android.

But if you’d rather convert your PC into a private cloud for remote access and data backup, Tonido is a great alternative. This free private cloud server turns your computer into a storage website, letting you access files from anywhere on any device. Tonido offers up to 2 GB of file syncing across computers, and there are even Tonido apps for iOS and Android.

Secure your online privacy

Install The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) on your old computer and enjoy your very own dedicated privacy PC.

TAILS routes all your internet traffic and requests through TOR Project, a software that makes it difficult for anyone to track you online. All of this Linux-based software’s integrated applications like web browsers, Office suite, and email software are preconfigured for robust security and privacy protection.

Activate kiosk mode

In Windows 10, enabling Assigned Access “kiosk mode” ensures that only one app is allowed to run in the system. To activate this mode, open Settings and go to Accounts > Family & other users, then click on the Set up assigned access option. From there, you can choose which app the system can access.

For example, if you want a dedicated audio and video conferencing system, you can choose to give assigned access to Skype or other online communication apps. This mode is also perfect for setting up a public information desk for walk-in customers or a dedicated point-of-sale system for cashiers.

Create a guest computer

When you have to accommodate for consultants and temporary staff, it may be worth setting up a bare-bones guest computer. First, reformat your PC and reinstall the latest Windows or Mac operating system. Then, install security updates and set up guest restrictions to prevent unauthorized access to critical systems. Ideally, temporary staff should only be able to use guest computers for things like email, web browsing, and standard productivity software.

Salvage PC parts

If your old computer can’t be transformed into a NAS server or service kiosk, consider reusing certain hardware components. For instance, you can reuse RAM sticks for another computer, repurpose hard disk drives as external hard drives, and set up a second display with an old monitor.

Reselling hardware components like motherboards and video cards is also a good idea if you’re saving up for a new PC. Finally, keep your cables. Many USB adaptors, ethernet cables, and AUX cords are compatible with a wide array of electronics.

We’re always on the lookout for ways to help our clients make the most out of their technology investments. Want to know more about how to utilize hardware to your business’s advantage? Give us a call.