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Central Illinois' IT Experts


We work hard behind the scenes so annoying technology issues don't slow your business down.

Our mission is to help businesses like yours increase productivity and get more out of the technology you invest in.
We specialize in solutions that safeguard and protect your data and keep operations running smoothly.

Premium IT Services

Intelligent remote monitoring, proactive maintenance, and behind-the-scenes remote support.

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Network Security

Protect your business from threats like malware, viruses, phishing attacks, hackers and other threads.

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Backup & Disaster Recovery

Ensure peace-of-mind in any situation with the most complete data backup solution available.

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Cloud Hosting Solutions

Reduce infrastructure costs, collaborate, and get more done with our unique cloud solutions.

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When you just want IT to work!

There are a lot of computer shops out there that you can call up to fix an issue or install a piece of equipment. They might be able to get you out of crisis mode, but they aren’t looking at the full picture.

At Decatur Computers Inc., we understand business. We consult. We provide solutions to solve everyday challenges. We just happen to fix computers as well.

We believe (and have proven) that if you proactively manage technology, run maintenance religiously, and monitor a business network, everyday issues and downtime will be greatly reduced.

This is what makes us different than your typical tech support company. Sure, we can fix computer issues when you have them, but our specialty is preventing them in the first place.

Are you looking for a partner you can trust your IT with? Sign up for a FREE IT Assessment to get started today.

IT Questions?

If you have questions about whether or not our IT services platform is right for your business, simply complete and submit this form and one of our trusted IT professionals will promptly respond to your query!

What Our Clients Say

  • Saved my WEDDING!
    Residential Client

    This past year I have been planning my wedding, and I have a ton of spreadsheets and documents on my computer pertaining to the “big day”.  I saved everything on an external hard drive just in case. One day I went to get one of the documents off of the hard drive and of course there were no documents in the file. My computer is very old so I have worried about it crashing. I have no clue where to take it to find out what went wrong. I was telling my cousin Steve Turner about it and he suggested Decatur Computers. I took it in, I was only there for about 10 minutes, they had great customer service, said that they would call me in a few days to let me know what they were able to do. I got a call that week, they not only retrieved everything on the hard drive but they also increased the speed of my computer so we were able to wait a bit longer to buy a new one. I would definitely recommend anyone to Decatur computers.

  • These guys do a great job!
    Residential Client

    "These guys do a great job! I took my computer in to be updated and they not only did that but they got rid of all the bugs and viruses and it runs much faster. Then when I got home with the upgrade my printer wouldn’t connect. I called them up and they connected to my computer from their location and within half hour they had me back in service!  It was also kind of funny watching them move the mouse and different things going on the screen while I was sitting here not moving a thing. :)"

  • Excellent service 
    Residential Client

    Decatur Computers has given us excellent service in our computer needs. The staff provides professional, immediate service. A telephone call to them gets immediate help with any of the needs we have had with our current system. We are most happy to have them available, and the prices have been right!

  • Prompt, efficient and affordable computer service
    General Fence

    “Decatur Computers has always provided prompt, efficient and affordable computer service at our home as well as at our place of business. We have also purchased several new computer systems from them and have been very pleased with the products they recommended for purchase. The technicians are always courteous. Any technical issues or problems we have had, they have addressed quickly to ensure that we had minimal down time if any at all. I would highly recommend Decatur Computers to anyone whether it be for residential or business services.”

  • The staff is very professional.
    Owner/Operator, Starship Billiards and Buffalo Agency Inc.

    “I run two small companies and have relied on Decatur Computers for over 7 years. The staff is very professional. One business runs a POS system the other data management . They are fantastic with both. There has never been a problem they cannot fix, even though both systems are very different. I would strongly recommend them to anyone for whatever they need.”

  • Great service and fair pricing!
    CEO,  EHC Admin Service

    “I have worked with Decatur Computers for over 10 years. I have always had great service and fair pricing. Now that I have my own home based business I am looking forward to the continued relationship. The staff is always courteous whether it is on the phone, in shop or off site. I know that I can count on them to fix my problem or answer my question.”

  • I would highly recommend Decatur Computers Inc.
    Plant Director/Operator, Jacobs Field Service

    With today’s technology advancing so fast it is nice to know there is a one stop shop for all technology problems.  I personally have gained a lot of knowledge and had the best assistance with all my computer and software issues I have encountered.  I would highly recommend Decatur Computers for anyone’s personal and business needs.  As I always say ‘Why try to fix your own computer when that is what Decatur Computers does'”

  • Go Above and Beyond

    Decatur computer and their staff go above and beyond to serve their customers. Mathew was very friendly and informative through the repair process. I received emails through the entire process updating me on the progress of my repair. I would highly recommend Decatur computer to anyone i know for repairs or upgrades. Thanks again to Mathew his great customer service and hard work.

Latest Blogs

Technology Basics: Bits and Bytes

When you go to buy a computer, some of the first information you’ll see are the size of the hard drive and the measure of random access memory (RAM). You’ll see numbers like 500GB or 2TB, and if you don’t know about computers, or more specifically, data, you would have trouble really understanding what those numbers mean.

The easiest way to begin to understand the measurements of data is to start with the bit; and the best way to think about the bit is as the smallest increment of data on a computer. Computers use binary (or base two) math which presents every would-be digit as a bit. Every bit can have a value of 0 or of 1, that’s it. Today’s computers generate bits through fluctuations of electric current that run through a computer’s components. These fluctuations in voltage into the ones and zeros that are used to transmit bits, process calculations, and relay data across your network.

The methods used of network message encoding include:

  • Wi-Fi carries bits using radio signals
  • Ethernet connections carry bits using electric signals of varying voltages
  • Fiber connections use pulses of light to carry bits

(Hopefully these bits are encrypted so others can’t interpret them without permission.)

The byte, then, is just simply a fixed-length sequence of bits. Today’s technology organizes data into bytes to improve speed and efficiency of data processing. Since bits are such a small data figure, a byte (being eight times larger) is often thought of as the base measure for data.

Furthermore, since the rate at which data travels through a computer network connection is typically measured in time, the units that are used are bits per second (bps). Today’s computing networks are capable of transmitting millions (or billions) of bits per second (called megabits{Mbps}/gigabits{Gbps}, respectively), and the speed in which data is transferred, from machine to machine, keeps growing as both file sizes, and computing components rely on and can handle more data.

This is why you’ve probably heard of gigabit network switches and other devices. If a device supports 1 Gbps, it can transfer a single gigabit per second. Depending on your network requirements, your business might need more for traffic to flow smoothly across the network. Everything else on your network from the cables to the routers and access points, to the PCs themselves could also play a role in the maximum speed of your overall network.

By the Numbers
Every byte is made up of eight bits. A kilobyte, then, would be 1,000 bytes, right? Not so fast. Since computers are based on the binary system, it means that hard drives, memory, and bandwidth are measured in powers of two; and, 2 ^ 10 equals 1,024, not 1,000.

For most people, looking at the numbers in this way can be mightily confusing.

The best way is to give examples of where bits and bytes come into play in day-to-day computing. One example is that of an IP address. IP addresses in Internet Protocol (IP) consist of 32 bits (or four bytes). The IP address 192.168.1.1 has values of 192, 168, 1, and 1 for each of its bytes. The encoding of that IP address in bits looks like this:

11000000 10101000 00000001 000000001

This means that:

  • 192 = 1100000
  • 168 = 1010100
  • 1 = 00000001

Convert Bits to Bytes (and Beyond)
If you (for some reason) need to convert bit and byte, here is the conversion table:

  • 8 bits = 1 byte
  • 1,024 bytes = kilobyte
  • 1,024 kilobytes = megabyte
  • 1,024 megabytes = gigabyte
  • 1,024 gigabytes = terabyte

If you were to convert 4 kilobytes into bits, you’d have to convert kilobytes to bytes (4 x 1,024) and then use that total (4,096) to convert to bits (8 x 4,096 = 32,768).

So for consumers, when you purchase a hard drive that has 1 terabyte of data, it actually has about 8 trillion bits. Why do we use the term “about?” Hard drive manufacturers are assuming a rounded 1000 megabytes per gigabyte, while most computers use the 1,024 number. This means when you purchase a 1 terabyte hard drive, you’ll immediately notice about 35 gigs aren’t available. Plus, your operating system will require a small amount of space for the disk.

Computing isn’t magic, as it must sometimes seem to the layman. It is a structured system with very static rules. If you would like to learn more about computers, technology, and how it is deployed for business and personal use, look around our blog. We produce a lot of useful and interesting technology-based content that can help you understand the often-confusing technology world.

To talk to one of our technology professionals, call us at 217-475-0226.

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Technology Addiction is a Problem in Children and Adults

This is one of the symptoms of technology addiction, also commonly known as Internet addiction disorder (IAD). Even though the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) hasn’t necessarily labeled IAD as a problem yet, health professionals have been drawn to it since the early 1990s saw an increase in technology use--particularly in regards to the Internet and gaming.

Why is IAD a Problem?
Some of the most dangerous traits of today’s applications, such as autoplay, in-app purchases, and notifications, are ways to make it seem like the device is actively taking away the user’s self-control. Basically, these concepts are meant to give the illusion of choice, when in reality they are far too tempting to not take advantage of, whether for fear of inconvenience or missing out on something great.

There is a big difference between needing to use technology for work purposes and being addicted to devices on a personal level. Either way, it’s clear that this is an issue that transcends the age barrier, affecting both children and grown adults. A poll showcased that 66 percent of parents felt that their teens have been investing too much time on their mobile device--a believable statistic to say the least. However, this same poll measured that 54 percent of children believe that their own parents are checking their devices too often.

Symptoms of IAD
There are few warning signs indicating that IAD has begun to manifest in victims, with most of them being rooted in behavioral or mood changes. Users might check for incoming text messages or updates subconsciously without even realizing it, or they may check social media too often, so be sure to keep an eye out for these warning signs.

Those who suffer from IAD also tend to feel a sense of relief and euphoria from the use of technology. When they aren’t using it, they may feel restless or anxious. IAD victims also tend to suffer from social withdrawal or find no joy in social activities. Other times, they may find themselves simply bored with tasks that are unrelated to the device. Some schools have technology fasts that keep students from using their devices for extended periods of time. Some students even display physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking and sweating.

How to Cut Back on Addictive Tasks
Devices and applications these days tend to nurture dependence, even if they seem like they are being a huge help. However, you can take steps to make sure that your devices aren’t creating a problem through your habits. You can start by deactivating certain non-essential applications and notifications. If the information you’re receiving isn’t terribly important, you can turn them off so that your attention isn’t always being grabbed. If it’s a mobile game, you can bet that you don’t need it reminding you to take certain actions. Just mute them so that you can focus on what’s really important.

Many of these apps that spam you with notifications are the same ones that will constantly target users to make in-app purchases for something that they don’t want or need. This is particularly the case for free versions of apps, so if you want to use one, it’s more economical in the long run to simply pay for the application up-front.

Would (or could) you go for a week without your technology? Let us know in the comments.

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A Close Examination of Cyberterrorism

FBI Definition
The accepted FBI definition of cyberterrorism was offered by now retired Special Agent Mark Pollitt. As a member of the Computer Analysis Response Team (CART), he was on the front lines when cyberthreats began to inundate networks, and defined cyberterrorism as “...the premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which result in violence against noncombatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents.”

The difference between cyberterrorism, and what we typically refer to as cybercrime, is based firmly on intent. For this reason, cyberterrorism has the distinction separate from other cybercrime that it causes physical harm to a person or infrastructure to advance an attacker’s socio-political agenda.

How Attacks Are Carried Out
Think of all the ways that cybercriminals can infiltrate computer networks. Every one of those is open and available to cyber terrorists. They use the most familiar types of attacks, but they aim them at places where it will produce the most chaos. Instead of focusing on direct monetary gain, a cyber terrorist will direct his/her attention to a construct that, if broken, would cause mass panic like power or traffic grids.

Groups of cyber terrorists will disrupt, or sabotage websites and other Internet-based resources owned by organizations that are in active opposition to their views. They also often make coordinated attempts to tamper with military technology and, as mentioned before, public infrastructure, with the idea to terrorize the people on the other end of the system.

Protection
Since these black hat groups tend to use the same means as would your typical hacker, the strategies to stop them are very similar. Use the defenses you have available, whether they be hardware, software solutions, or behaviors designed to mitigate your exposure to these types of risks.

Decatur Computers Inc.’s security experts can help keep unwanted entities out of your network and keep your business running productively. For more information, contact us today at 217-475-0226.

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Know someone who would benefit from Decatur Computers Inc.? Let us know!

Latest Blog

In business, everything is measured. Every minute is quantified in order to run the most profitable business possible. When measuring data the measurements you’ll most hear are in bits and bytes. Today, we’ll get into the various ways bits and bytes are used to describe the ...

Latest News

Decatur Computers Inc. is proud to announce the launch of our new website at http://www.decaturcomputers.com. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.