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Advice and More from the Nerds!

Ghosts in the Machine? Who You Gonna Call?

When your computer starts acting like it's possessed, you have four choices — Nerds on Call in Normal, Pekin, Peru, or Peoria, Illinois.  Running slow? Hard drive failure or data loss? Windows corrupted? Computer not powering up? Have printer, Internet, mouse, keyboard, speaker or any other issue?  Call R Nerds!

In a hurry?  Ask about our priority service and have your machine back even faster.  Got wireless network or signal strength issues that need on-site repair services?  We'll schedule an appointment, come to you, assess your issues and fix them.

 

Virus Removal

Viruses are among the fastest-growing and most dangerous problems in cyberspace.  Malicious pranksters and cybercriminals want to hurt you. Most viruses aren't the cyberspace versions of an H-bomb, but they are not good.  Virus removal is vital to your computer's health.

Nerds on Call will diagnose each machine individually.  We'll remove every trace of infection, so you start fresh and run as fast as possible.  We use multiple tools to perform cleanups on your computer, so we get every known virus and we help secure your PC or Apple against future attacks.  At Nerds on Call, "cybersecurity" is not our middle name, it's our mission and our passion.

Nerds on Call technicians are qualified experts with up-to-date training on the latest threats and fixes and we provide in-shop, on-site or remote virus cleanup services.

 

Apple Repair

Trust the most reliable home computer repair techs in Central Illinois to deal with your Apple issues.  Not everybody has a PC and not every shop can deal with issues specific to Apple products. For Apple/Mac repairs, virus removal and cybersecurity, Nerds on Call provides timely support and, if you need repairs on a Mac that's are no longer under warranty, trust the Nerds to resolve these issues without dissolving your retirement fund.

Get your machine back to like-new performance with the Apple experts that have been doing it right for over 25 years!

 

By the way…

If we do take your Apple or PC computer into our shop, you may need something to fill your time while it's under repair.  Consider adopting one of our pet MIPosaurs — they don't eat or need a litter box and won't try to hop in bed with you. If flying a drone is more to your recreation (or business) style, we offer the best of Parrot and Syma drones and accessories.

Whether your electronic needs be business or pleasure, Nerds on Call stands ready to fill them.

A Custom-Built Computer is Exactly What You Want

The average customer — with off-the-shelf needs — is fine with an off-the-shelf computer.  If you're not average — and you're not — you need a Nerds on Call custom PC.
 

Why Add the Trouble of Custom-built Computers?
The big players make good computers, we all know that, but we sometimes forget that they don't make computers for "you" or "me", they make computers for "everybody", meaning nobody gets exactly what they want.  Check the software list on your start-up screen, do you really need a Mixed Reality Portal? Do you even know what Mixed Reality Portal is? (Don't feel bad, neither do we!)
You're paying for all this, it's taking up space and you'll never use it.  Not cool! Spending a little extra time, effort or money on custom-built computers means your budget goes to what you need and not one cent on what you'll never use.  Depending on your specific needs, we might even bring the bill in below what you'd spend for off-the-shelf machines.
 

Getting the Right Hardware
What does that computer need to do?  Your receptionist might need just the most basic system.  Your professional teams — architects, engineers, accountants, lawyers — need interconnected systems so they can interact on projects.  Audio producers need lots of disk space. Game designers and video producers need huge amounts of disk space. Your server needs to keep an eye on all the other computers in your workspace.  So, sit down with your people, make a list of what you need then Call R Nerds.
 

Finding the Expert
Like Mr. Stanley, your opening line will be "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."  After weeks or months of wandering the techno-jungle, Nerds on Call is the end of the journey.  Drop by our Peoria, Normal, Pekin or Peru, IL, locations or give us a ring. Tell us what you need; we'll make it happen.
We use only the best components available for our custom-built machines, from suppliers like Intel, Western Digital and Kingston.  We guarantee delivery of a computer that works on your terms and every Nerds on Call custom-built computer arrives with a one-year warranty covering all parts and labor.  Plus, we honor all manufacturer warranties — even after our warranty period.
We'll throw in free antivirus to help protect your system — no extra charge — and our own remote service software, meaning help from Nerds on Call is only a click away!  One more thing: Every computer system (custom or off-the-shelf) sold by Nerds on Call includes a full data transfer from your old machines. We'll migrate pictures, documents, music, videos — everything — we'll even install software you've licensed.
Get exactly what you need and want, get custom computer systems from Nerds on Call.
 

Smart Homes are Safer Homes

Let's face it, asking the neighbors to watch your house while you're out of town is so 20th Century!  The 21st Century homeowner has taken control of his or her home security. Smart homes are safer homes because home security systems can connect to the Internet and communicate with you anywhere in the world that has WiFi!

 

So, what do you need to keep your house safe and secure in the 21st Century?

 

Start with cameras:  A doorbell camera lets you see who is approaching your home.  Outdoor lights are available with cameras to see the side yard, the back yard and all approaches to the house.  Indoor cameras are small and unobtrusive but let you see every door and window where someone might enter.

Add a video recorder:  Okay, these don't really prevent crime but, should one happen, it will be, "Hocus pocus, you're in focus, it's your unlucky day.  Smile! You're on convict camera!"

Add alarms:  Stealth and darkness are the thief's best friends.  When the lights go on and the bells start ringing — alerting both the neighbors and the local constabulary — you just might get an Olympic-level sprint performance to watch (and laugh about) over and over for years to come.

Don't forget a battery backup:  Keep your home security up and running in case of power failure, and, remember, some power failures are accidental, and some are intentional.

 

More good news:  Modern wireless technology makes installation a breeze.  In many systems, no tools are needed, you can attach your new gear in your house, condo or apartment using simple adhesive mounts and connect it all with user-friendly smartphone apps.  Of course, if you're not comfortable setting up new tech, Nerds On Call, and our sister company Facet Tech, can consult, advise and drop by your place to set it all up for you.

 

Imagine coming home from a visit with the family or that dream week on the beaches of wherever you dream of beach-combing — only to find someone has broken into your home, trashed it, stolen your TV, your computer (and all its data!) and other valuables.  No one should have their great memories ruined, especially when smart home technology is so affordable and so easy to use.

 

By the way, let's not forget business travel.  If your job includes travel, you face these same home security problems as vacationers and you face them more than two weeks a year.  Keep an eye on things; when you know you don't have to worry about the family you left behind, you can focus on getting business done and getting home to those you love!

If It's Broke, Don't Fix It — That's Why You Have Us!

Once upon a time, technology was simple and almost anybody could fix their car or washing machine or pretty much anything they owned — just read the manual and follow the instructions.  Then we redefined hardware and invented software and kissed those self-sufficient days goodbye.
 

How can you repair the [expletive deleted] computer if you can't even see the computer parts?  How can you deal with viruses, spyware, malware and ransomware if you don't even know what those terms mean?  How can you deal with Internet connectivity issues if your knowledge of clouds is limited to "Looks like rain, folks, let's take the barbecue inside!"
 

You can't, so don't try.  Firemen don't cut hair, barbers don't build boats, shipwrights don't fight fires.  Computer problems put your data at risk — your family photos, financial info, passwords and more.  You deserve PC repair people with the best technical skills and experience. The problem may be simple — it's running slow, not powering on, the printer is not printing, the mouse or keyboard or speakers are not working — or, it may be truly serious — a hard drive failure, a data loss or an operating system crash.  Nerds On Call in Normal, Pekin, Peoria and Peru, Illinois, is the last place you want to bring your tech for phone repair, Apple or PC repair, virus removal and more. The last place you want to bring your tech? Naturally, when you find what you're looking for, you stop looking!
 

Nerds On Call provides repair services at our stores or we can schedule an appointment and come to your home or office, where we can assess your issues and fix your wireless networks, increase signal strength, and improve your home/office tech experience.  When possible, we do remote computer support — not that we're unhappy to see you but, if we can solve your problem without making you rearrange your schedule to drop by, we are good with that!
 

We can sync all of your in-home tech so it works exactly the way you want it!  Give us a call. Our experienced technicians will troubleshoot and diagnose the source of the issues and work through the setup of your devices.  Then, all you have to do is enjoy the toy.
 

All four locations are open Monday through Saturday, so stop in and check out our services.  You'll see why Nerds on Call is your best choice for desktop, laptop, phone, tablet and gaming system repair.  If you're in a hurry, ask about our priority service — you'll have your machine back even faster.

Hooking Yourself Up with the Best in Custom Home Audio

Custom home audio is the ultimate in entertainment cool! You get exactly what you want, exactly where you want it, and you get parental control to be sure your children don’t' listen to what you don't want!
Few home automation markets have more options or flexibility than today's home audio systems. You can start with something simple, satellite radio service into the living room, with a couple of extension speakers into the patio or kitchen. As your budget allows, you can add more speakers, more rooms and more options.
 

Why Call in Experts?
Home audio definitely has a do-it-yourself option, but why take chances on unfamiliar systems that may not "play nice together"? Nerds on Call has already done the research. Every company we represent has been thoroughly checked out; every component we suggest will work with every other component we suggest for your smart home setup. Our is the expertise you need to optimize your tuner, satellite dish, speakers, amps (and whatever else you want) to work together seamlessly.
 

Make it Happen.
A smart home setup begins with your floor plan. Where do you want music — living room, bedrooms, family room, man-cave, patio, all of them? From a central control point, you can stream from any source to any room. Family members in separate rooms can suit their individual tastes or you can hook up a multi-room capability, so you can move anywhere in the house and never miss a beat.
Today's WiFi-powered, satellite-based music industry can bring you every genre on Earth. Modern speaker systems deliver warm, full-bodied sound that remains crystal clear at any volume. A Nerds on Call custom home audio system will fill your home and yard with the latest hits, adding new dimensions of fun to every party you host, or with classic, relaxing harmony to help everybody decompress after a long day at school, at work or chasing the little ones.
Best of all, your smart home setup will be quick to installed and easy to control — or expand, when the time comes.
 

Don't forget the Video!
After you drop by Nerds on Call's home audio page, take a peek at the video page. All this surround sound magic can tie seamlessly into your smart TV service and Blue-ray disc player and your home computer. At Nerds on Call, we believe in giving our customers the full monty — your ideal custom home audio-video system.

Three Home Automation Tactics You Could Use Right Now

What is Home automation?


Walking to the wall and flipping a switch can be replaced by pushing a button or speaking a command to our smart phone or tablet — that's home automation. But why go to the expense of adding loads of electronics, wires and stuff to your house?  Because you can control most home functions from anywhere in the house or while away from home. We'd all like more simplicity in life, so Call R Nerds and see what the smart home easy life can be.
 

Home Security


Criminals are well-known for hitting soft targets, so don't be one.
Smart homes can incorporate security measures impossible to previous generations: You can have cameras at every door, nanny-cams in the youngsters' bedrooms, electronic locks and window alarms on almost any budget, with a 24/7 connection to local law enforcement that many businesses couldn't afford a couple of decades ago. Under your watchful, WiFi-connected eye, you can keep tabs on children, pets and other valuables while at work, shopping, the gym — anywhere you find a hotspot. Homes are especially vulnerable during family vacations, but home automation means everything stays safe, even if you're half-way around the globe.
 

Home Climate


Heating and cooling is a major expense in your home budget and a system that most quickly and efficiently responds to weather changes saves you money. Automating your smart home climate allows you to monitor heat and air conditioning and program changes via electronic thermostat, based on your daily schedule. And, if you forget to turn down the heat or AC when you leave for work, you can access the system at the office via your smart phone and avoid wasting money.
 

Home Entertainment


Remember the days when we stacked the platters on a turntable and went back to the phonograph time after time to jockey new discs onto the machine during an evening with friends?  Remember stringing wires to the patio speakers for summer parties?
An automated home theater system can include broadcast and satellite radio plus MP3 files on a hard drive or CDs in a 21st Century jukebox, everything controlled from the palm of your hand. You can pre-program hours of music from any source or set up tablets in any room to let the guests jam to their favorites. If the neighbors complain, a quick word to the voice-activated surround sound speakers pulls your smart home volume below socially-acceptable limits. Meanwhile, the nanny-cams keep an eye on the kids while they sleep or watch their favorite movies — with strict parental controls so their entertainment remains age-appropriate.

5 Tips to Increase Your Cybersecurity & Safety Online

We’re in the age of information overload, coupled with cybersecurity issues as far as the eye can see. We rely on the internet for some many things, especially with the wave of IoT devices to simplify our life. Information and critical data needs to be protected, so what can you do to help?

 

1. Maintain Your Privacy Settings

Although often considered to be an annoyance, your privacy settings are in place to help keep you safe online. Hackers can get in through multiple means, including social media. The last thing you need is an employee checking their Facebook with privacy settings disabled, and costing your company its sense of security, or worse: critical and financial data.

Whitelisting websites and manually enabling certain features is definitely a pain in the rear end, but these minor roadblocks will pay off with increased cybersecurity.

 

2. Utilize Encryption

Apart from SSL certificates for your visitors, you should be using encryption across the board. Having a compiler spin your information and data into a complex algorithm makes it completely useless to hackers, even if they were somehow able to see it. It’s like hearing a foreign language you don’t understand, with no way to translate it.

 

3. Don’t Downplay Passwords

We’re going to trust that your password isn’t “password.’ Even so, having poor password strength can be a major factor in security breaches. Choose a daily revolving password cycle for your in-house employees, as well as ensuring they aren’t easy to guess, or written down digitally for a hacker to utilize.

 

4. Update Antivirus and Anti-malware Programs

Even being a day out-of-date can be a major issue. Major updates for these programs go out in order to curb new viruses or malware programs that have recently gained popularity among hackers. In short, it means that failing to update your antivirus software is extremely dangerous; it’s leaving the floodgates open.

 

5. Control Your Local Network

Never use public WI-Fi or someone else’s connection. If you’re on a mobile device or have one accessible, use data supplied by your cell phone provider. Connecting to non-secure networks is like handing over the keys to the valet. Are they going to park it nicely and be responsible, or take it for a joyride? You may never know.

For workplace solutions, controlling your local network with constricted paths to the internet, such as through VPNs, is recommended for security purposes.

 

Computer Security by The Nerds

We’re able to assess your needs and issues for cybersecurity in Peru, IL through on-site and remote means. Contact us today and learn how we can help strengthen your cybersecurity measures, and make your digital defenses bulletproof.

What Goes Into a Custom PC?

Ever dreamed of a custom PC, but you don’t really know what goes into one? You’re able to virtually change everything about it. Let’s go into some examples and customizable components you can switch-up in your custom PC.

 

Upgraded RAM and Capabilities

We have to start with the basics. Your RAM is going to dictate you ability to game, how quickly webpages are going to load (there are other factors, but RAM is a huge influencer), and in some cases, it can interfere with your ability to stream games and TV properly.So, it’s simple - just get more RAM, right?

Your PC has to be equipped to handle it. If your hardware can’t support, say, 32GB of RAM, then there’s no point in putting that much in - it’s not going to do anything. This is why a lot of folk run into issues installing more RAM in their factory-made PCs.

 

Advanced Graphics

All that extra RAM is only going to do so much good if you don’t have the graphics processor to back it up. Upgrade to the newest NVIDIA, or check out our other recommendations for graphic enhancements. Every year, new games come out with a higher tax on your CPU and hardware. Be up to the challenge, and game without limits.

 

Storage

You can load up all the files you want on removable memory, but you can’t stash all your installed games and play them at a moment’s notice. Custom PCs have a high appeal to gamers, allowing them to download an entire Steam library and countless bits and pieces of DLC. With great gaming potential comes great storage requirements.

 

Power Supply

Heading towards a better power supplier, known as a PSU, is going to help against surges and spikes, preventing your new and shiny custom PC from becoming mincemeat if there’s a lightning strike or irregularity in your home’s power. The more power you’re running, the better control you need.

 

Bells and Whistles

Want to go the extra mile? Add lights into the chassis, extra-awesome shapes and materials for the exterior, and accessories that beef up the appeal without messing with the function. If you’re ready to go all-in, there’s a world of aesthetically appealing options to tack-on at the end of your custom PC build.

 

Custom Built Computers Need The Nerds

If you’re trying to get your hands on a well-made, hand-crafted Custom PC in Normal, IL, you need The Nerds. Custom make everything about your PC so you absolutely love it, get the most out of it, and watch it outlast everything else you own.

Remember When IT Guys Were Helpful? We've Brought it Back

"I can't do what I do without my tech!"

If you haven't said it, you've thought it, and you were right. Technology is wonderful, it makes miracles, until it crashes. Computers, smart phones and other gadgets make your business possible and expand your home entertainment to infinity and beyond. When they stop working, you need computer repair and you need it right the first time — who do you call? Nerds On Call.

So, your tech is still under warranty? Great, just take it back to the store and they'll send it to a repair center far, far away and return it to you in two weeks — four, tops! Or, choose Nerds On Call, the local company with four Illinois shops staffed by fully certified technicians. Apple and PC repair, virus cleanup, lost file recovery, web connection problems, spyware removal — even if it's just an iPod battery that needs replacing — the Nerds have your herd covered.

"I have a lot more than just a computer."

Great, technology now goes far beyond laptops and phones and so do the Nerds. If you have drones, game consoles — just about any business or home automation, visit the Nerds. "On Call" means their experience is ready to go; these transformers will turn your problems into memories, and it won't cost you $6,000,000.

Speaking of business automation, do you have a plan? Smart business owners don't wait for disaster to test the strength of their network and hardware. Proactive design will take the crash-and-burn worries off your shoulders. Invite the Nerds to visit your office for a free two-hour assessment. They'll evaluate your tech infrastructure with a holistic look at your current systems and practices, so they can create a solution with the virtue of never having been tried before, because it was tailored (like a Saville Row suit) to your exact business needs and they’ll do it affordably.

"I'm just getting started, I don't know where to begin!"

Been there, done that. Nerds On Call is a locally-owned and operated business, part of the Facet family of companies. We started small, we grew, we've been where you are. You're on a budget and we're pretty good at saving you money. The training and skills updates necessary to keep up with changing tech isn't free, but we'll never use that as an excuse to overcharge you. Nerds On Call wants to be your long-term PC repair and all-around tech solution. So, trust your computer repair, your phones, games, home or business automation needs to Nerds on Call! It'll be the start of your own excellent adventure.

What Goes into the Cost of PC Repair?

Do you want it cheap or do you want it right?

Let's face it, technology has become so user-friendly, it's mind-boggling. Techno-nerds are a dime a dozen and "If you have a computer problem, call a 12-year-old" would be funny if it wasn't so true so often. But getting your DVD player to play is one thing, keeping your business or family connected to the world is a whole other animal.

The "Pros from Dover"

If you're going to crack open a chest, call Hawkeye and Trapper John. If you're going to dig into the network that keeps your business operating, dial up Nerds On Call, Illinois' computer hardware pros (https://callrnerds.com/contact-nerds-on-call) with four locations to serve you. Hardware and software get more and more user-friendly every year, but that means what you don't see gets more and more complex. Nerds On Call know what going on in the background. The Nerds are certified technicians, trained to handle Apple and all brands of PCs.

A Local Company is Almost like Family

When new software or hardware comes on the market, the Nerds get manufacturer training, not second-hand guesswork. When you get into trouble, call your neighborhood Nerds, not a foreign country. Nerds On Call is part of the Facet family, with one-stop shopping for every technology need you can imagine — and a bunch you probably haven't heard about, yet. Want to save money on your tech? Of course! So, partner with the family of companies that'll remember your name and get the job done faster because they helped you design and set up your system.

You are the Priority

Every smart business owner knows finding new customers costs more than keeping existing customers happy. Every smart consumer knows that businesses never pay for anything — the customers pay for it all. Do you want to pay for El Cheapo's latest ad campaign? No, you want your money going to a store that stocks the parts and pays the people who can solve your problem. Come in and let the Nerds certified tech experts show you what " Service is our number one priority" means. Or, not; call your Nerds On Call store and save with remote support — save time, save effort, save money.

Get it done!

One-stop-shopping means lower overhead. Whether you're looking for new & used computers, iPod or game console repairs, virus clean-up, parts & accessories, home automation, business IT and, for the young (or young at heart) loads and loads of tech toys, make Nerds On Call your first call. You won't need to make a second.

Featured Review

Janis Wetterich

Nerds on Call will take care of you! If you have computer problems, call them up! They have remotely fixed my computer many times. If I need accessories, I just call them up, and they send them directly to my home right away! I am out of state, and get my orders very quickly!

View Original Facebook Review

Store Hours

Peoria Location
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 3 pm 

Normal Location
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 3 pm 

Pekin Location
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 3 pm