Like many people, the holidays were good to them. Not only did they get a new pair of socks or a sweater but they also got a new tech device or gadget. This could be a new smartphone or a new tablet, laptop or even a desktop. There were a lot of “WAHOOs” heard during the holiday time as the eye candy was held in their hands and their inner geek came out.

Unfortunately, reality quickly set in for many people and their thoughts quickly changed from “This is so Cool!” to “OMG, now what do I do with this?”. It’s all fun and games until you actually have to make it work.

Here are the key steps to getting started with your new device:

1.  Connect to the internet or mobile service

The first thing that everyone has to do with any new device is connect it to the internet or mobile service. For some, this was an easy task but for others…well…not so much. Fortunately, many of these devices make it pretty easy to get connected.   The is usually a button or application that will auto connect with the internet.

2.  Connect to your printer

Once you are connected to your network either wirelessly or wired, make sure to setup your connection to your printer. Its no fun to create something and then have no way to print is out.

3.  Download and install you applications

Now you need to get your applications installed and working. This can be everything from Microsoft Office to your favorite game. On your iPhone/iPad/idevice you will get your apps from iTunes. If you have an Android device, you will get your apps from Google Play, this used to be Google Store but they just changed the name. For your laptop or desktop, you can purchase your applications from your favorite location like Amazon or BestBuy. I find that getting it from an online source is a lot cheaper!

One of the first applications, if not THE first, should be an antivirus program like AVG or Microsoft Security Essentials. Keeping your system safe and clean should always be on the top of your list.

There are also a ton a great free apps that you can download right from the internet like Skype, Firefox or Google Chrome. Also, don’t forget about those little apps that help make your system work better like Adobe Reader, 7zip, or Dropbox. There are a bunch so choose the ones that you like.

4.  Update your device for security patches and software updates

This is an important step for all devices. On your smartphones and tablets, this should happen automatically so you don’t have to worry about it. On your laptop or desktop, I always recommend running Windows update when you first set things up. After that, it will run automatically in the background for you.

I hope that you enjoy you new devices!