Alternatives to Subscription TV

Something I see more and more of late is ads offering me the chance to free myself from TV subscription bills like Sky but how do these systems work and what are they really offering? These are the questions most people are asking me and although I try to stay away from this whole area since as you’ll read later it’s a very murky subject legally speaking.

***** UPDATE 17th May 2017 *****

Over the last few months there has been a crack down on all these types of boxes and services. Laws across Europe have been amended and updated to a point where all these boxes can be considered illegal. Along side this Sky have started to shut down the card sharing services by blocking channels. If you buy any of these boxes be aware that they are illegal and as for the satellite boxes will probably loose all subscription channels over the next few months.

***** Original Article *****

To start with there is a way of getting rid of your TV bills if all you want is the Irish channels and the basic UK channels. This option just requires what is generally called a combo box. These boxes take a signal from your roof aerial and satellite dish, combine them together into one complete menu of Irish and UK channels all of which are free and always will be.

On the other hand if you still want the sport and movie channels you’ll need to go with one of the options you see advertised everywhere these days. These ads mostly advertise one of two types of device, either a satellite box or an android TV box.

Before getting into the details of these devices I want to point out that a lot of these are been sold under the name “Dreambox” which none actually are. Dream Multimedia is a company that make satellite boxes and only their boxes can be branded Dreambox. The Dreambox boxes were once the top box available and so the name is currently being used to describe other boxes that offer the same service to try and cash in on the good brand name but these other boxes are very different and are certainly not the same quality.

Tip No. 1: If someone is offering what they’re calling a “Dreambox” but it isn’t an actual branded Dreambox be careful as if they don’t know what they’re selling you could be in trouble.

Satellite Box

The satellite box offers the most straight forward of switches from a subscription TV package in that you simple swap your current Sky box with the new satellite box and you’re up and running.

The satellite boxes work on a system called Card Sharing. When you want to watch a subscription channel like sports or movies the box connects to a server online gets the code for the channel and unlocks it. Depending on the speed of your internet and the speed of the server online this can lead to freezing of the picture from time to time. The worse the connection or the server is the worse the freezing can become to the point of it being unwatchable. Anyone offering this service will normally state that their server have no freezing or very little but you won’t really know until you try it.

Tip No. 2: Card Sharing is illegal and in breach of Sky TV’s terms and conditions because of this anyone offering this service is breaking the law and so may disappear at some point. Sky continuously work to try to stop these people so be warned if you signup for this then be prepared that at some point in the future it will stop and may not come back.

The boxes themselves come in two variations. The first and cheaper boxes are normally named Sky Box or Openbox both will be given some version number like F5S or V8 but really they’re both the same. Although I hate these boxes they do get the job done and if you’re willing to put up with the menu and channel updates they’ll work fine just don’t pay too much for it. One of these boxes alone should only cost around €60 so a box plus subscription should come in around €100.

The second type of box is a more powerful and all round better running box. These boxes run a system called Enigma2 which gives the boxes more options and more closely resembles a Sky box. Enigma2 boxes have full 7 day program guide, auto channel updates, recording like Sky+, full streaming capabilities and can be updated and added to over time. The problem with these boxes is that the people advertising them tend to offer the cheaper ones, like iCloud Box and Zgemma, that really should be avoided. Those types of boxes are not supported by the software groups and so can’t be updated easily and many of them go on to have hardware problems over time. The brands to look out for when buying an Enigma2 box are Edision, Gigablue, Golden Interstar, Mut@nt, Technomate, VU+ or Xtrend. A standard Enigma2 box with subscription should come in under €200 which is twice the price of the first boxes but with what you get for that extra money is well worth it.

Android TV Boxes

The second device that gets advertised these days is the Android TV box. This box is basically an android phone or tablet in a box that connects to the TV so anything you normally do on the phone or tablet can be done on the box and vice versa.

Let’s start with the box itself, just as there are lots of android phones and tablets there are lots of android TV boxes but essentially they all do the same thing. Most people are offering boxes that are branded MXQ, M8s or MXV which all get the job done but watch out for older models which are outdated and if you have the option I’d suggest trying to get something different.

Tip No. 3: If you’re looking to get one of these boxes try to match the following specs Android 5.1, Octa Core CPU, 2GB RAM, 8/16GB Memory. If a seller doesn’t list the specs of the box they’re selling then presume that the specs are well below those listed and the seller knows not to advertise them.

Boxes with the specs listed above are the most current and up to date. They will run everything better and be future proof for the next while. The older boxes being offered have an older version of android which will run into problems soon with some apps and the lesser RAM means that they will run slower as apps start doing more.

Once you have the box sorted they all come pre-installed with the necessary software. Different boxes come with different menu systems but that doesn’t matter. What matters is the apps and even though some apps are there and others might not be everything can be installed from the Google Play Store. The main app you will want to have is Kodi. Kodi is a media app that can play your video and music files but with the help from some addons it can do so much more. If kodi is already installed on your box it will most certainly be setup and in most cases it’s setup using either TV Addons or XBMC Fully Loaded. Both these setups add apps for streaming movies and TV shows and also for watching live TV through IPTV services. If your kodi didn’t come setup, you want to switch between setups or you want to set it up on your phone or tablet then follow the instructions on their websites. At the moment my own preference is the XBMC Fully Loaded setup as it gives a better menu setup and the live TV works better on it.

Although they will be advertised as a Sky TV replacement they are not. Yes you will get your sports channels and movies are all there to stream but you don’t get the same channel lineup as you do on Sky. Alternatively you do get channels that are not available on Sky such as the American cable, sports and movie channels so if you’re into your American sports this is a plus. Like the satellite card sharing service the live TV streaming of most channels is illegal and again can disappear from time to time but are more likely to come back even if they are shut down.

Tip No. 4: If you’re planning on getting one of the android boxes I’d see it as a supplement to something else like the combo box mentioned at the start of this post. Don’t rely on an android box as your only source of TV.

I’ve tried to explain the options available to anyone looking to get rid of their subscription service but if I’ve missed something or you want to know more just leave a comment below or send me a message on my facebook page.

joe | May 9, 2016
  • john jones July 12, 2016 at 6:38 pm
    hi I did not know that live streaming was illegal, I thought that if you did not record and only watched It it was not illegal
    • John Dwyer August 10, 2016 at 6:13 pm
      Is the dreambox lreland or the dreambox Europe any good. If not what is the best box to buy
      • Joe August 11, 2016 at 11:35 pm
        I don't know anything about either of those companies but they both seem to selling the same cheap boxes so there's probably very little difference between the service they're offering.
  • Tom B August 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm
    Probably too late here, but don't buy from Dreambox Europe. Very dodgy.
    • Joe August 22, 2016 at 10:29 pm
      Good to know, Thanks
    • JK October 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm
      Dodgy? Why? I was just about to buy one myself...
  • Paul September 12, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    Hi joe, looking for some advise not sure to get either a dreambox or android, I have been told mixed answers both seem ver similar what would be the best option with to support 4K viewing?
    • Joe September 12, 2016 at 11:47 pm
      Short answer if you want 4K you'll need to go with an android box. As far as I know no dreambox subscription offers the premium channels even in HD channels due to the encryption so the 4K option is the same. The problem with the android box will be if you're trying to stream a channel in 4K it'll depend on whether the stream is available and how reliable the connection is.
  • Phil September 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm
    I'm looking at a roku 2 xs or the android q box. I want to mostly use it for now tv and pay for sports on a day pass. Any recommendations?
    • joe September 22, 2016 at 11:06 pm
      Yeah for what you want to do it's a good option. It gives you full support for the box itself plus the apps on it.
    • joe September 23, 2016 at 6:18 pm
      Roku bringing out new boxes http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/9/22/13024614/roku-express-premiere-ultra-photos-leak
    • joe September 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm
      New Roku boxes released today https://blog.roku.com/blog/2016/09/26/new-roku-streaming-player-lineup-roku-express-roku-express-roku-premiere-roku-premiere-roku-ultra/
  • ilduce16 October 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    Hi Joe, I just bought a TP Link WiFi Booster to boost WiFi in the back room of my house. I want to put a dreambox in this room and keep one Sky box in the main room downstairs along with Sky Fibre Broadband. I have a friend that recently bought from DreamBox Europe who is quite pleased twitht he product. I am wondering what box/product you suggest I get. I have a Sky Box that I just cancelled in the room in the back of the house and am wondering do I just use the cables that used to go into that box into the new dreambox when I buy it. Any suggestions for which box to get or links would be appreciated. Also, I want to get a quality product so thats what I aming for. Thanks
    • joe October 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm
      There's a lot of things in that post and I'll try my best to answer them. First thing to check is that people say card sharing and streaming services don't all work through Sky broadband as they block anything that takes business away from them. So maybe get your friend's box and test it at your house. I'd suggest getting a box from http://www.world-of-satellite.co.uk but if you don't know how to set them up you're better going with a company like Dreambox Europe. The cables that are already in place will be fine for any box but if you plan to use WiFi then make sure the box you get has WiFi
      • ilduce16 October 16, 2016 at 5:29 pm
        OK Thanks. I will check them out. Pity about Sky blocking it. If I had known that I would have signed up elsewhere for BB.
      • ilduce16 October 25, 2016 at 2:38 pm
        Hi Joe, I tried a box solely through the wifi and it just wasnt user firendly. I am looking for a satellite box that will have the sky interface with sports but also have the capacity to search for box sets, etc. Is there something you would recommend on www.world-of-satellite.co.uk that would do the job. I can ask a TV guy I know to install it perhaps? R
        • joe October 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm
          What box was it that you tried? Any of the satellite boxes will do the job but from what's there my preference at the moment is this one http://www.world-of-satellite.co.uk/satellite-and-terrestrial/digital-receivers/edision/edision-os-mini-plus Get the box with OpenVix installed, you can setup the channels the same as the Sky listing. To get streaming on it you'll need to setup a separate plugin but I don't know of any that work that well.
  • summit2summit October 20, 2016 at 2:56 pm
    In relation to dream box Europe, avoid at all costs. They sell cheap boxes that freeze all the time. Very difficult to return or get money back.
  • Andy Berridge. November 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm
    Hi Joe. Great job your doing buy the way and I am sure we that have read it are all very grateful for your advice. Now can you please help me? I am a complete novice to all of this and have recently cancelled my SKY due to cost as they would rather throw TV's and Q boxes at new customers than do a deal with there long paying regular customers so I got one have had it with them now. I feel I have paid my dues over the years so I am entitled to a bit of free SKY viewing! Can you please advise me on what I need to set me up with as little programming and messing about as I am not "in" with all of that. I just want a decent box that I can maybe record on ( not massively important ) but want to watch SKY sports and movies plus Eurosport's for the cycling ETC. If you could point me in the right dire Ti on and if to go god monthly subscription or yearly packages etc. Look forward to your comments. Andy.
    • joe November 25, 2016 at 12:22 am
      Andy, if you want "as little programming and messing about" as possible then I suggest you find a company that supplies the whole package. As I don't deal with any company I can't recommend one but a quick search of any classifieds website and you'll find several. Check with your friends and anyone in your local area that is using a cardsharing box and find out who they got the box from. If you want very little messing then as I say in the post stay away from the cheaper boxes and get one with an Enigma2 platform installed on it. That way it updates itself and there's better support online. Hope that helps.
  • Matt November 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm
    HI Joe, What is IPTV and how is it related to all of this? I currently have a bog standard sky m3 and I have all the normal channels except for SKYS HD Channels. What are my options to get these. I assume I need a z gemma 2 but where would you recommend getting the sub? Do these use IPTV or is it still card share. Im confused as to how it works as the card share in conjunction with satellite cant decode the HD.....
    • joe November 25, 2016 at 12:31 am
      Matt, as far as I'm aware the HD channels are not and will never be available through cardsharing so upgrading your box isn't going to solve your problem. The IPTV services do offer HD channels but won't give you the full range of channels available through cardsharing, they do give the most popular so chances are you'd never miss what's not there. The only thing to watch is that IPTV streams everything over the internet so is very dependant on your connection and really should only be considered if you have unlimited download on your plan. If you already have a cardsharing sub then the person you got that from is probably offering IPTV subs as well. Now you could go for the better box and add the IPTV channels to it along with the cardsharing channels but that means 2 subs and a lot of messing around to get everything setup right.
  • david November 24, 2016 at 11:50 am
    Hi Joe I'm looking at getting an Edision os mini 1 do you know if I could card share and get kodi on this ?
    • joe November 25, 2016 at 12:41 am
      David, yes that box is capable of cardsharing but no you will not get Kodi on it. As of yet I haven't seen a good android satellite box, which is what you'd need to do both.
      • david November 25, 2016 at 1:10 am
        Thanks for your reply Joe, can you tell me if it would be a problem using a firestick along side a cardsharing box and if this might cause problems of any sort ?
        • joe November 25, 2016 at 1:15 am
          No problem at all. Both will work independent of each other and you just change the source on the TV to whichever you want to watch.
          • david November 25, 2016 at 1:28 am
            Thank you Joe you have put my old technophobe mind at ease. I've actually now got an idea what I need. Just need to find a decent card sharing site which is genuine now !
          • joe January 6, 2017 at 12:27 am
            David, just found this and it looks impressive. It'll do both card sharing and Kodi but might be a bit trickier to get used to. The WeTek Play 2 https://www.amazon.co.uk/WeTek-Hybrid-Media-Center-Android-Black/dp/B01NBBSCR8/ref=aag_m_pw_dp?ie=UTF8&m=A32FVMZZP102D8&th=1&psc=1
  • Jaycie January 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm
    Hey I bought a box from dreambox europe last year it's been working fine, but then the last couple of weeks it's started freezing loads. I can't figure out if/how to update it. And strangely the company aren't replying/seem to have disappeared. Any advice? Tia Jc
    • joe January 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm
      Firstly what box do you have?
      • Jaycie January 11, 2017 at 8:27 pm
        Hi, it's a zgemma H.2s I'm not overly technical btw, but can follow instructions.
        • joe January 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm
          The freezing is probably due to problems on their side. If you search online or on facebook you should fine other companies offering the same service. If Dreambox Europe don't come back to you then you're better off going with one of the alternative companies.
          • Jaycie January 13, 2017 at 7:47 pm
            Ok thanks for getting back to me, I appreciate. Just means paying for another box
          • joe January 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm
            You don't need a new box just the subscription
          • Jaycie January 14, 2017 at 10:11 am
            Wheres the best place to get the subscription from where I can just do it myself at home?
  • Joanne Watters January 20, 2017 at 4:10 pm
    Hi joe Could you help me. I'm looking at a box from dreambox Ireland. I want the basic sky channels. Not too bothered about movies or sports. I've a 15mb Vodafone wifi connection and a satellite dish i use for an ariva box. I've never had sky. Will my internet be sufficient for this. Joanne.
    • joe January 20, 2017 at 5:48 pm
      Joanne, yes your internet should be fine for any box you get.
  • Niall January 23, 2017 at 2:23 pm
    HI Joe i'm looking for a new nline for my openbox and have been told keep away from ebay - so i found the techkings forum and have found some nline providers there - rates vary from €20 to €40. I asked one of the providers how many subscribers they have on their servers and they replied ca 2000 across 4 servers !! Should i be worried about contention rates with this levels or would servers typically handle this with just the odd glitch now and again
    • joe January 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm
      Niall, this is a difficult one to answer it's like asking how many people can fit in a car (depends on the size of the car). If they have good servers with good internet connection then it wouldn't be a problem. I'd look at it another way, if they have 2000 customers then they must be doing something right and there's a better chance that they wont disappear overnight. To pay a bit more to someone that knows what they're doing is always a better bet than trying to save on an unknown option.
  • Niall January 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm
    cheers yes - thought so - actually pricing was £25 for 12 months (satellite) which i thought was reasonable for a provider with their own servers
    • Oisin Carpenter February 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm
      Hi Niall, Can you tell me who you went with from techkings and would you recommend them? i was going to go with a company i saw on FB but might be more reliable doing it myself. Thanks
  • William Mc Sweeney January 27, 2017 at 10:19 am
    Hi Joe, great blog by the way. Very helpful. I got a Mutant HD15 box from Dreambox Ireland yesterday, €170 for the box and €100 for the yearly subscription. I tested it last night. While it has great functionality with all channels on sky, new movies, tv series etc to choose from it does not give HD functionality, only SD but you cant rewind live tv. You can pause but not rewind. Both of which are a bit of a let down for me. It was really easy to set up and the menu works well. Basically 2 cables from the sky dish and the home plugs for the B/B wired signal. The record function is a bit tricky but works ok. I think i am going to send this back though due to no HD and also because you cant rewind live tv. Do you know of any box that gives these functions by any chance? Thanks in advance.
    • joe January 27, 2017 at 11:40 am
      William, the live rewind should be available on that box but depending on what version of software it's running it will either need to be turned on or installed. What you're looking for is the permanent timeshift option. As far as I'm aware no card sharing service can give the HD option for the subscription channels. The only way to get the HD channels is by going the IPTV route. It is possible to add the IPTV channels to that box you have but I don't know if that's something they'll do for you.
  • Colin Widger January 31, 2017 at 2:07 pm
    Hi. I just got virgin media installed(2 boxes and broadband) in a house I'm renting. I'd like to get another "box" for streaming sports. No satellite dish is available. Can you recommend something please
    • joe February 1, 2017 at 4:06 pm
      Colin, what you're looking for is one of the Android boxes. All come installed with apps like Kodi for streaming whatever you want but from what I hear to get the best results you'll need an IPTV subscription from someone.
  • John January 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    Hi Joe Does the Edison OS Mini box on the world of satellite site come with the subscription for the card sharing or do I need to buy that separate John
    • joe February 1, 2017 at 4:07 pm
      John, no that website only sells boxes you'll need to find someone else to get a subscription from.
  • David February 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm
    Hi Joe, I was recommended to go for one of these boxes - www.jarvisbox.com Have you had any experience of these? I understand this is not an android box? Would be looking to watch bt sport for motorbikes mainly, currently have Sky but the costs have gotten too much after the initial years subscription!
    • joe February 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm
      David, I've seen these boxes online but have yet to see one to test. There are 2 flavours of this box, a pure linux version and an Android version. No matter which you get it's going to come with Kodi installed and so offer everything that Kodi does. What you get will depend on what they're offering. If the box comes with Kodi and the standard addons then you'll see the same issues everyone has with poor stream quality and not being able to find what you want but if they offer an IPTV service along with the box then you'll get what you're looking for.
  • Sharon Cummins February 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm
    Hi Joe, I'm getting rid of sky. Which is the more user friendly and similar to sky android or card-sharing?
    • joe February 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm
      Sharon, sorry for the late reply. The most similar to Sky are the card-sharing boxes. There are IPTV options out there that they say work through your smart TV without the need for another box but I've no experience of that so I can't say how well it works.
  • Sharon February 19, 2017 at 3:08 pm
    I also have a smart tv. Can I stream through this instead of getting any box?
  • Callum March 2, 2017 at 9:39 am
    Have an android box but interested in getting freesat aswell. Will it work with my existing sky dish or do I have to get a whole new setup? Cheers
  • derek moffat August 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    if sky and bt stopped ripping customers off at £150 a month plus and gave tv and broadband at a descent price to stop paying footballers a million pound a month people would not look for other options.lets face it no one does it better but its just way to expensive
  • Laurence August 23, 2017 at 11:04 am
    Hi Joe, Completely new to this but looking into getting away from subscription tv so was looking at getting a combo box with kodi, and also looking for something capable of 4k viewing. Was wondering if you had any recommendations for something with a nice interface, have been doing a bit of looking and have seen Amiko A4 and Ariva 4k combo boxes, amiko looks nice enough to use but if you had any thoughts on these or other recommendations that might be better. I don't mind paying a bit more starting off if the quality is good
    • joe August 31, 2017 at 10:34 pm
      Laurence, both boxes look good. Both have similar specs but the Ariva one has better WiFi and room for an internal hard drive if that matters to you go for that one.
  • Scotty September 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm
    I had a T95m S905, Android 5.1 Quad Core 4K TV Box, 2GB+8GB, for about 9 months, which was fine. I upgraded a couple of months ago to a MECOOL BB2 PRO, Android 6.0 Octa Core 4K Smart TV Box, 3GB/16GB BT4.0. Great spec, fast and does a great job. At under £60, loaded with a good KODI build and MOBDRO you're all set and it's all free. Good for Android games too, though I don't use it much for games. I would definitely recommend it.
  • Dom October 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm
    Hi Joe, Looking to remove sky from our household due only to the cost vs how often it is watched. Most TV is watched via Netflix or shows D/L via NZB's. However my wife does use it to watch the BBC's / RTE's etc. and before I can even go near the power down switch I need to ensure that anything that replaces sky has a decent EPG, Serieslink function, and can record and watch two channels in any order. I have seen one or to Soarview boxes like this, but it doesn't look like you can record a Soarview channel and watch another Soarview channel at the same time. Essentially I need to get as close to Sky box functionality, ease of use, that I can with the monthly cost, everyones goal right!. The cost of the initial box, I am within reason not worried about as I'm thinking it would be paid back in 4-6 months anyhow. If you or any of your readers have any recommendations I would love to hear them.
    • joe October 10, 2017 at 10:07 am
      Dom, stick with Sky The box you're looking for is a Combo Satellite and Saorview box with 4 tuners (2 Satellite and 2 Saorview) that also has a hard drive, commonly called a quad tuner box. A box like that will cost at the low end around €350. As for the software on the box, nothing is as good as Sky's own EPG system but the alternative boxes can do most things well if you're willing to compromise and be prepared to work with the box yourself. Either of these should do what you want just add the tuners and hard drive https://www.world-of-satellite.co.uk/satellite-and-terrestrial/digital-receivers/gigablue/gigablue_uhd_quad_4k https://www.world-of-satellite.co.uk/satellite-and-terrestrial/digital-receivers/vu-plus/vu-plus-duo-2-duo2

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The IT Technician role involved working on all IT matters within The Cope company, which includes offices and retail premises spread over 4 locations. It also includes working in the IT sales and repair department which deals with IT repairs from the public and on-site support contracts with businesses and schools within the area. Within this role I help to manage the IT needs for several large schools and businesses by planning future IT requirements, maintaining current IT setups and supporting individuals with their IT problems.

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Some of you eagle eyed people may have noticed changes on Instagram lately especially when viewing profiles. A new “Contact” button has appeared on some profiles that when clicked can give you the options to Call, Email or Get Directions. But where did this button come from and how do you get it for your profile?.

Alternatives to Subscription TV

Something I see more and more of late is ads offering me the chance to free myself from TV subscription bills like Sky but how do these systems work and what are they really offering? These are the questions most people are asking me and although I try to stay away from this whole area since as you’ll read later it’s a very murky subject legally speaking.

Get Facebook working for your business

Most businesses these days agree they have to be on Facebook. The problem is most can’t agree to what level they have to be seen on it. The following are a few tips and points I’ve picked up that will help your Facebook page gain exposure and increase it’s marketing value.

Solving Your WiFi Woes

A problem a lot of homes and businesses have these days is poor WiFi. This can be caused by several factors but there are a few things that can be done to fix it.

How to do a basic PC clean up

This is something I get asked to do frequently and the conversion usually begins with something like “my laptop is running very slow” or “there’s strange windows with ads appearing on my screen”. Both these scenarios happen to everyone at some stage from the novice to the experienced user. The difference being the experienced user knows the few simple things to do to get their computer running right again.

Joe’s Christmas 2015 Buying Guide for Tablets

Over the past number of years tablets have become a gift on most home’s Christmas list and this year will be no different. Here I’ve put together a guide on how to choose your tablet, what to look for and I’ve given my recommendations on what to buy.

Playstation 4 or Xbox One?

This is a decision that many households are going to be making over the next few weeks. The Playstation 4 has the slightly better specs and has become the more popular console but Xbox One sales have been growing and will catch up. Really no matter which you end up getting you will be happy but here a few points to consider that might sway you one way or the other.

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Main Street, Glenties, Co. Donegal

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My ServicesMy Services

WHAT I CAN DO

IT Consultancy

Need help with your business or personal IT requirements, contact me and let me help you make the right decisions.

I can offer my full skillset in helping whatever your IT problem is from simply buying the right PC/laptop for your home or office to selecting the correct process and equipment for your business project.

Web Services

Looking for a complete website design and built or someone to maintain your site and social media I can help.

Packages for all sizes of websites can be put together from small single business sites to large complex ecommerce sites. Or if you would like to just chat about the possibilities for your business then contact me.

Having trouble with your social media? Don’t have the time? or you want to build your business profile? Contact me and see what I can offer. I will take you through the options for maintaining your social media or help you put together the strategy needed to achieve your goals.

Equipment Repair

PC or laptop giving trouble? Need data recovered? or need a screen repaired on your phone? All can be fixed

Your tech will give you problems from time to time but most of it can be fixed so if you are having issues with something then contact me.

About MeAbout Me

Who is Joe

I’ve worked in the IT industry in the North West of Ireland for over 15 years and within that time I have worked in and helped all sizes and types of businesses. My roles have spanned a wide and varied list of tasks including dealing with the public, organising demos of products, training staff, helping schools and businesses plan and maintain their IT offerings. If this sounds like someone that can help you then feel free to contact me.

Mar 13 - Aug 152013 - 2015

Ecommerce Manager

The Ecommerce Manager role involved the daily running and maintenance of The Cope’s online shop (www.thecope.ie), which was designed and built by myself based on an open source platform. The day to day tasks include monitoring the website’s health and security, analysing data produced by website traffic and sales, matching product offering with the analysed data and supporting the customers with any sales.

Apr 2012 - Aug 20152012 - 2015

IT Technician

The IT Technician role involved working on all IT matters within The Cope company, which includes offices and retail premises spread over 4 locations. It also includes working in the IT sales and repair department which deals with IT repairs from the public and on-site support contracts with businesses and schools within the area. Within this role I help to manage the IT needs for several large schools and businesses by planning future IT requirements, maintaining current IT setups and supporting individuals with their IT problems.

Jul 2010 - Apr 20122010 - 2012

Web Developer

Development of online reservation software for the accommodation industry. Along with building and maintaining the products, training was done with the clients to help them improve their business and get the most from their new IT solution. Technologies used include vs2010, ASP.Net, SQL Server, XML, Web Services, JavaScript, Cloud Servers both Windows and Linux based.

Sept 2009 - May 20102009 - 2010

NUI Galway

Post Graduate Diploma in Education

Oct 2008 - Spet 20092008 - 2009

Web Developer

Developing websites for event and entertainment companies to sell tickets online.

Mar 2008 - May 20082008

Tutor

Web Authoring Tutor. A 10 week (50 hours) course for people in employment. Course covered the basics of creating a web site and putting it online to fulfil the individual needs of each student.

Oct 2005 - Dec 20072005 - 2007

Web Developer

Developing database driven websites using Asp.Net. Key roles were building custom controls for use on various sites, integrating CSS and front-end pages with the database backend, support for an online booking engine product and creating mobile versions of the projects. I have taken team lead roles on several projects seeing them through from initial planning to final release

Sept 2004 - Sept 20052004 - 2005

University of Ulster

Computing and Intelligent Systems – Masters

Sept 1999 - May 20031999 - 2003

University of Limerick

Computer Systems

BlogBlog

My Latest News
Tech Tip #1 – Be careful what you agree to

Many of us will see the window below when we do an update of the Java software after being prompted for the 100th time but do you look at it close enough to see what’s going on or do you just click “Next” until it’s done?

Is your marketing plan ready for 2017?

As we all settle down again and look forward to the coming year it’s time to plan. You did plan your marketing for 2017 right? Like last weekend the Golden Globes were on and you had all your content ready to go out on Sunday and Monday and you were able to ride the hashtags with all the aftermath from the speeches… right? OK, so you missed that one… but you’re ready for the next big trending day? That’s it Friday 13th this week #Friday13th will be trending from Thursday to Saturday. What?… You didn’t think it had anything to do with your business?

Have you created your Instagram Business Profile?

Some of you eagle eyed people may have noticed changes on Instagram lately especially when viewing profiles. A new “Contact” button has appeared on some profiles that when clicked can give you the options to Call, Email or Get Directions. But where did this button come from and how do you get it for your profile?.

Alternatives to Subscription TV

Something I see more and more of late is ads offering me the chance to free myself from TV subscription bills like Sky but how do these systems work and what are they really offering? These are the questions most people are asking me and although I try to stay away from this whole area since as you’ll read later it’s a very murky subject legally speaking.

Get Facebook working for your business

Most businesses these days agree they have to be on Facebook. The problem is most can’t agree to what level they have to be seen on it. The following are a few tips and points I’ve picked up that will help your Facebook page gain exposure and increase it’s marketing value.

Solving Your WiFi Woes

A problem a lot of homes and businesses have these days is poor WiFi. This can be caused by several factors but there are a few things that can be done to fix it.

How to do a basic PC clean up

This is something I get asked to do frequently and the conversion usually begins with something like “my laptop is running very slow” or “there’s strange windows with ads appearing on my screen”. Both these scenarios happen to everyone at some stage from the novice to the experienced user. The difference being the experienced user knows the few simple things to do to get their computer running right again.

Joe’s Christmas 2015 Buying Guide for Tablets

Over the past number of years tablets have become a gift on most home’s Christmas list and this year will be no different. Here I’ve put together a guide on how to choose your tablet, what to look for and I’ve given my recommendations on what to buy.

Playstation 4 or Xbox One?

This is a decision that many households are going to be making over the next few weeks. The Playstation 4 has the slightly better specs and has become the more popular console but Xbox One sales have been growing and will catch up. Really no matter which you end up getting you will be happy but here a few points to consider that might sway you one way or the other.