Netgear Launches GearHead Home Network Support Service, Has Geek Squad and Firedog in Their Crosshairs

Netgear is launching their new GearHead service, which provides support and assistance in setting up any of your home networking gear—whether it's made by Netgear or not. The brand independent service is a service in the same vein as Best Buy's Geek Squad, except it's focused soley on home networking (and they probably won't steal your porn). It's available 24/7, and comes in two different pricing plans: An annual subscription that offer's unlimited support, or a one-off, pay-per-incident service. For either $66 or $90, you can receive unlimited GearHead support for six months or twelve months, respectively. This service includes help with hooking up and/or troubleshooting most devices that interface with your in-home broadband, such as routers, computers, printers, scanners and VoIP devices, not to mention support for the Windows platform, MS Office, and Adobe Acrobat. GearHead also provides a desktop client that will let their technicians go in and remotely control your desktop. The pay-per-incident works a little different. There's the Internet Access service which, for roughly $37 will provide you 30 minutes of remote assistance in getting your internet connected properly. For about $50 you can buy the PC Tune Up service, where a technician will go in and remove useless files and programs, bugs from your registry and adware. While, most you techies have no problem keeping their home networks running in tip top shape, I'm sure you have parents, grandparents and siblings who can't help but constantly keep their computers in a state of disarray. When you get tired of playing computer repair man, you can now just point them over to GearHead and wipe your hands clean of the whole ordeal. More information on GearHead can be found over at [Netgear].

NETGEAR® GearHead Services Provide Affordable, 24x7 Technical Support Service to Help Consumers Resolve PC-Related Problems New One-Stop Technical Support Service Provides Remote Support for Computers, Peripherals, Software, and Other Computer-Related Products SANTA CLARA, Calif. — November 18, 2008 — NETGEAR, Inc. (NASDAQGM: NTGR), a worldwide provider of technologically innovative, branded networking solutions, today announced the launch of NETGEAR GearHead Services, a comprehensive, affordable 24x7 remote technical support service that provides consumers with a one-stop resource for troubleshooting and resolving many of the most common computer-related problems in the home. One of the first of such comprehensive services from a consumer electronics vendor, the GearHead program is designed to ensure the best possible home networking experience for consumers that want to make the Internet their primary communications and entertainment platform for the Digital Home. NETGEAR’s GearHead Services provide 24x7 PC and network support on both a subscription and pay-per-incident basis. SupportPak 6 and SupportPak 12 provide six or twelve months of unlimited 24x7 phone-based technical support to help consumers resolve a variety of issues related to computer hardware, home networking, Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office applications, and antivirus and antispyware programs. NETGEAR also offers two pay-per-incident services including the Internet Access Service, which helps consumers to troubleshoot and correct hardware- or software-based Internet access problems, and the PC Tune Up Service, which steps consumers through the process of eliminating unnecessary files, adware and unused programs to optimize performance of the PC. Interested parties can find out more here. “While NETGEAR has always been dedicated to delivering the best possible end-user experience across our broad line of wired and wireless networking products and networked devices, getting all of the hardware and software components of a computer system to communicate and work together can be complicated and frustrating,” stated Winston Sze, Senior Service Product Manager at NETGEAR. “Consumers don’t care whether their computer problem is hardware or software related – they simply want the problem resolved as quickly as possible. Our new GearHead Services eliminate the frustrating exercise of having to speak with the tech support groups for a variety of different vendors by providing consumers with 24x7 access to an affordable one-stop technical support hotline that will help them troubleshoot and repair almost any computer-related issue.” One of the most important aspects of the GearHead program is its vendor neutrality and focus on solving problems unrelated to NETGEAR products. The GearHead SupportPaks provide hardware support for desktop and notebook PCs, wired and wireless routers, modems, printers, scanners, fax machines, USB PC devices, home networking devices, and sound cards. In addition, technical support is provided for software-related issues with Windows operating systems (2000, XP or higher), Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat, in addition to anti-virus and anti-spyware software from McAfee, Norton, AVG, eTrust, and BitDefender. The GearHead SupportPak 6 and SupportPak 12 provide six or 12 months of unlimited technical support for only $65.95 USD and $89.95 USD, respectively. The pay-per-incident services provided by NETGEAR GearHead includes the Internet Access Service, which provides up to 30 minutes of remote technical support for customers experiencing problems with accessing the Internet. The GearHead PC Tune Up Service helps customers eliminate unnecessary files, adware and unused programs to improve their PC’s performance. The Internet Access and PC Tune Up Services are priced at $36.50 per incident, and $49.50, respectively.


Friends & Family: "Can you come over and fix my computer?"

Me*: "What's wrong with it?"

F&F: "It's just so slow all the time...oh, and I get a message popup sometimes that says 'error' "

Me: hmmm, 'error' eh? Is that all it says?"

F&F: "Yep, that's pretty much it."

Me: "Nothing else? No error codes? No messages hinting at some possibility of what could conceivably be causing this 'error'?"

F&F: "I don't remember anything else, I think it just said "error'. "

Me: "You sure? Because I've been working on computers for X number of years, and I've never seen a message that said JUST 'error'."

Me: "Anyway...I'll come over. About how long have you had the computer?"

F&F: "I think about 12 years"

Me: *sputtering coffee out my nose*; "And it still runs?"

F&F: "Well, like I said, it has been a bit slow lately"

Me: *mumbling; "just lately, I'll bet". "Say, I hear Circuit City might be having a sale. Might be about time to upgrade? Gotta stay on the cutting edge ya know."

*Me, as in all of us who get stuck cleaning up after friends and family.