5 Free Sites Every IT Troubleshooter Should Bookmark
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, February 15 6:00
Anyone who has ever spent time on a computer help desk has been perplexed by some of the basic troubleshooting questions that come across. Most issues can be resolved through a simple Google search. Fortunately for IT workers, though, most users would prefer to put in a ticket to spending a few minutes finding the solution on their own. It brings continued job security.
For IT workers, the Internet is an invaluable research tool. Whatever your level of troubleshooting experience, you ll likely head to the web, at least occasionally, to look up issues your customers face. There are numerous free tools you can use to find answers to specific problems or simply learn more about a type of hardware or software. Here are a few sites you should store in your favorites list for quick reference.
If you ve conducted a search for information on a specific IT topic, chances are you ve been directed to MakeUseOf. The Ask the Experts section invites readers to submit their questions, which will then be answered by MakeUseOf s team. Many of the answers posted relate to issues shared by multiple end users, making them relevant to IT professionals in a wide variety of industries and organizations.
From researching obscure errors to buying new hardware, Tom s Hardware is a troubleshooter s best friend. In addition to content written by tech experts, the site also has a forum where users post questions and tech-savvy members provide tips from their own experience.
TechSpot gears its content toward gamers and IT professionals, offering product reviews and the latest tech news. Like Tom s Hardware, TechSpot s most valuable feature may be its forums, which are divided off by topic. The Free Tech Support & Troubleshooting forum may be of particular interest to tech support professionals, who can often find resolutions to common issues.
Beginner IT professionals may find this free forum with more than 700,000 registered users helpful. Members get access to technical support tips on a wide variety of topics, including operating system-specific support, mobile device support, and tech tips and reviews. The site has won Microsoft s Most Valuable Professional award, as well as being featured on the Today Show and BBC.
For more experienced troubleshooters, these forums from Engineering.com might be more helpful. The in-depth focus on topics like server racks, programming, and project management can help experts find the specialized information they need. The site encourages members to post by acknowledging the most helpful member each week, which increases participation. Notifications let members know when one of their posts gets a response, ensuring they never miss the solution they need.
With the right list of sites, IT technicians can continue to learn their craft with just a small time investment each day. Not only can they stay informed about the latest tech topics, but they can use the forum to ask questions and crowdsource answers to even the most complicated troubleshooting issues. End users will never realize their IT professionals have a secret online weapon helping them as they work to resolve tickets.