Launched in the UK in March, the Geek Squad provide either a home visiting or a remote diagnostics service to solve your computer issues. Currently operating within the M25 for home visits, but looking to expand nationally in the future as more "agents" are recruited, the Geek squad will come out to your house to solve computer or network issues, including new PC set up, Broadband/wireless set up and hardware or software installation/upgrades, etc.

The geek squad have been around for 12 years in the US and have over 15,000 agents operating there. In the UK, where the company is half owned by the carphone warehouse, things are on a much smaller scale currently with just over 20 agents.

We booked a test call for them to come and install a wireless router to replace the aging Thomson device that we were currently using. Booking is via a freephone number and our agent, Savvas, arrived 5 minutes early in a black Smart car, which was due to be branded up soon with Geek Squad logos.

Computer degree qualified, he soon had the new router installed and up and running, with both hard wired and wireless machines set up and tested, including laptop and palmtop devices. WEP encryption is enabled as a standard service by them and all work is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee (in fact they will not guarantee wireless networks if the user insists that no encryption is enabled). Also, if they cannot fix the problem, there is no charge.

A call out such as this would normally cost £99.99, but the company are currently running a promotion where they will come out to you and provide you with a free wireless router for £79.99. Considering that the router would normally cost you around £40, this isn't a bad price for those that are not technically minded and are looking to install a wireless network in their house.

If you have virus or other machine issues, they can also offer a remote diagnostics facility if you still have your internet connection functioning. Here, they will remotely take control of your machine and can upgrade software, remove viruses or optimise performance of machines that may have been clogged down with spyware, etc. This service is normally £49.99. Because they don't need to travel, this is offered on a national basis.

Price when reviewed:
Depends on work done, but standard home visit is £99.99. Remote diagnostics usually from £49.99.

In conclusion, the Geek Squad offer a useful service to non technical home computer users. Many tasks, although relatively simple for more experienced users, seem daunting for those not of a technically minded disposition and their service will allow people to solve many of the issues that computers and networks now face on a regular basis.