The performance of a Wi-Fi home network greatly depends on signal strength of the wireless router or wireless access point. To position your wireless equipment for optimal network performance, follow these guidelines. Read more.
Without us knowing, we may visit websites that aren’t exactly healthy for our systems – inviting malware, phishing, and all types of potentially unsavory viruses that can damage our systems. The solution is simple: Clear Cloud It’s a simple, straightforward approach to getting better security for your computer: download software, install it, and have it check whether every single website you go to is safe or not. That, in a nutshell, is what Clear Cloud does. This nifty little program is designed to help you filter out and block potentially harmful websites that many people unwittingly stumble into time and again. It’s the perfect solution for anti-phishing and helping keep your system free of malware – at least from stray clicking. While not a replacement for up-to-date anti-virus and other security software, it is an additional tool at your disposal. And yes, Clear Cloud checks every single website you visit. How? Since Clear Cloud belongs to the DNS network, it has access to every website in the world. This enables Clear Cloud to check every website you access or try to access. If the website is clean, Clear Cloud allows you to access the website. On the other hand, if the website proves to be suspicious, then Clear Cloud blocks the website. And if you’re concerned that this may take a toll on your bandwidth, think again – Clear Cloud operates and finishes each task in literally the blink of an eye. If you want to know how you can use Clear Cloud or other tools to keep your systems safe, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to discuss a custom security policy with you.
Microsoft recommends transferring to Windows 7 as Microsoft XP ceased sales on October 22, 2010, with support available only until April 2014. If you’ve been using Microsoft XP for a long time – with good reason, XP being one of the most stable operating systems in the Windows line – it might be time to finally migrate over to the new Windows 7. Microsoft has recently ceased sales for the popular OS – the last day to purchase XP was October 22, 2010. The software giant is now dedicating most of its resources and efforts to its latest OS, Windows 7. While XP support will continue until April 2014, that’s less than four years from now, and Microsoft is recommending users switch to Windows 7. As for compatibility issues, Microsoft assures users that most programs that work with XP also work on Windows 7. “Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with the most popular hardware and software products you use every day. Thousands of these will work just fine,” reads a FAQ entry on their website. There is also the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, where you can check programs to ensure they will work on the new Microsoft OS. If you are thinking of switching to Windows 7, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss a customized plan for your business’s smooth transition to Microsoft’s latest OS.
Since MS Word and Adobe Reader are widely used applications, hackers and malware designers have come up with ways to exploit these programs and the documents associated with them in order to infect as many people possible. It might be common knowledge that Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader are probably the most used document editing /viewing applications out there, but here’s something you might not know: documents and PDF files can be used to introduce viruses and malware into your system. Unfortunately for MS Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader, security experts aren’t too happy about how (not) secure these programs really are. Since they’re so widely used, hackers and malware designers have come up with ways to exploit these programs and the documents associated with them in order to hit as many people possible. As a security measure, consider opening document and PDF files in alternative programs, such as Open Office for MS Office documents, and Foxit Reader or PDF Studio for PDF files. Even if you feel uncomfortable using these programs to create and edit your everyday documents, at least consider using them to open suspicious documents. As for attachments that come with emails, try opening a suspicious file with Gmail. Send suspicious documents to a Gmail account and open it from there – Google Mail runs a virus check on it, and if it passes, open it on Google Docs to see what’s inside. You can also submit suspicious files to an online virus checker such as Virustotal, which will run it through a series of antivirus scanners to see if any red flags pop up. It’s a bit of extra effort, true, but it beats having to deal with a full-fledged virus attack on your system. If you want to make sure that you have all the options available to secure your system, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and discuss security policies that fit your needs.
If you’re worried about how much outsourcing costs, think about how much you’ll spend hiring a consultant or pulling someone away from their normal job every time you have a computer breakdown or outage – and how much money your business loses during that downtime. These days businesses are increasingly dependent on IT, making it essential to have experts to handle the regular maintenance of your IT infrastructure. However, most small and medium businesses cannot afford to hire a qualified, full-time IT administrator. Managed Services is the best solution, since it allows you to concentrate on what you do best – managing the core competencies of your business. When you choose Managed Services, all of your IT operations are handled by a highly qualified and knowledgeable provider who assumes ongoing responsibility for monitoring, troubleshooting, and managing selected IT systems and functions on your behalf. The Managed Services Provider is in charge of network equipment and applications located on your premises, as specified in the terms of a service-level agreement (SLA) established to meet your company’s specific business needs. Why is Managed Services important for your business? 1. Managed Services is cost effective. If you’re not an IT expert, you’ll need to hire consultants for basic IT maintenance – and this is usually too costly for small and medium-sized businesses. The downtime during breakdowns of computers or outages will cost your business more money in the long run than outsourcing costs. 2. It’s easier to predict how much you need to spend. Managed Services offer a choice of service levels which may be priced on a per-month or per-device basis. This subscription model gives you more predictability in expenses as opposed to the as-needed time and billing models used by consultants. 3. Managed Services Providers take full responsibility, but business owners have full control. Although Managed Services are outsourced, you do not surrender complete control of your IT infrastructure. You decide which aspects of your network the service provider will take care of and what you want to handle. You are also informed of everything that happens in the process and management of your systems. 4. Managed Services involves 24/7 IT support. With Managed Services, you get support whenever you need it. You don’t have to wait in line for whatever system problems you need resolved. 5. Knowing your IT is in good hands gives you peace of mind. Knowing that your IT system is in the hands of experts, you are assured that somebody is there to do proper maintenance of all your computer hardware and software. You can also be confident that if you encounter any problems with your IT, there are experts who will help you fix them immediately.
Using your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone as a modem for Internet access on your laptop is great in a pinch when there’s no Wi-Fi service available or your regular Internet service goes down. Read more.
Foursquare encourages users to check in at different venues around the world by offering discounts and promotions. With 1.8 million users to date, the potential traffic for your business is too significant to ignore. If you thought you’ve seen it all in the social networking world – Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other wildly popular social networking websites – take a look at Foursquare. Foursquare is a new social networking application that brings networking closer to home – literally. Foursquare encourages people to explore locations and businesses in exchange for points that can be used to earn ‘badges’ that mark achievements of the user. Users can check in at different venues, and the person with the most check-ins for a particular time period becomes the ‘Mayor’ of that particular venue. Think of it as something like Twitter + GPS. What does this do for your business? In a nutshell, Foursquare allows you to get involved in the game by offering discounts and promotions that are specific to your business, which further encourage Foursquare enthusiasts to visit your business. And with 1.8 million users and growing as of mid-August, the potential traffic for your business is too significant to ignore. Since Foursquare is location based, businesses are bound to attract local (and potentially long-term) clients. Here are some basic steps to help you get started on Foursquare: Take it easy at the beginning. Start by creating a free basic account and see how things go from there. After a week or two, you can start thinking of strategies for using Foursquare to tap into your target market. Be a part of the community . Don’t be passive. Post updates that are related to your business and are also helpful to users as well. Also, be attentive to feedback from other people. Listen to what the market wants, and deliver it. Link your Foursquare account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can post updates simultaneously. While Foursquare is technically a game for consumer, dismissing it because of that fact is a big mistake. The potential for this location-based social networking service is vast.
SD cards can be tricky little gadgets. They sit in our cameras and cell phones, just waiting for us to take the picture of a lifetime. . .at which time, of course, they stop responding. While nothing can predict when or where an SD card will die, proper formatting can both lengthen the life of the card and provide the most available space possible. Read more.
The main selling point of ink refilling services is the significantly lower price tag – however, they might actually cost more in the long run. Throughout recent months, we’ve seen more and more outfits offering services such as ink refilling, re-manufactured toners, and the like. The main selling point of such services is the significantly reduced price compared to buying new ink cartridges, and naturally, many businesses are attracted to these services in order to save on operating costs. However, when you look on a deeper level, using refilled ink cartridges, re-manufactured toners, generic printer cartridges, and other similar products actually costs more in the long run. Here’s why: Generic and refilled cartridges produce lower quality prints, and in many businesses mediocre output is unacceptable. Many times you’ll have to reprint pages, wasting both ink and paper (not to mention time). Generic and refilled cartridges frequently cause alignment problems with your printer, and some may even leak. This type of damage to your printer can result in unexpected repair costs or even the need to completely replace the printer. Studies show that 40% of refilled/generic cartridges or toners result in some sort of problem with the printer. Some say that using refilled/generic cartridges is safer for the environment. This is NOT the case. Reprinting costs you wasted energy, productivity, and materials such as paper. On top of that, many brand-name manufacturers have a recycling program, as opposed to generic cartridges which end up in landfills. On the surface, going for these “cheaper” alternatives might seem to be a great idea to cut costs, but over time it’s much more trouble and expense than what it’s worth. So it’s best to stick with using genuine ink cartridges and toners – you’ll enjoy better quality prints and less trouble in the long run.
Follow these tips to find out how tools that track your location can benefit your business GPS has lately become a near ubiquitous feature in many mobile devices such as car accessories and smart phones. GPS, which stands for Global Positioning Systems, is primarily a navigation system enabled by satellites in orbit around Earth that transmit positional information to devices with a GPS receiver. The system was originally set up by the US government for military or government purposes, but now has been opened up for private use as well. Because GPS is so pervasive and inexpensive to use, there have been a host of applications providing innovative ways to use the system. Today, GPS is instrumental in activities such as navigation, tracking, mapping, surveying, communications, and recreation – as well as many other activities for business and commerce. For many businesses, including small establishments, GPS can be used to boost the bottom line in a number of ways. Here are some of them: Track key assets in the field. Businesses can use GPS to track the location of people and items in the field such as delivery trucks, important packages, field stations, personnel, and more. This allows businesses to more easily monitor movement – and to better control cost and security (such as routes taken and stops along the way) as well as provide key information in real time that may be of value to partners and customers (such as the location of their shipment). Improve speed. By knowing where your people and assets are at any time, you can potentially improve the speed of decision making and response time – especially in areas such as product delivery or resource redeployment. Increase efficiency and optimize resources. Businesses in industries such as logistics and distribution can use GPS to make sure that trucks and personnel are following the proper and best possible routes – optimizing fuel expenses, minimizing maintenance and repair costs, and eliminating idle time. Businesses can also use GPS to eliminate costs associated with maintaining paper logs and the back-and-forth communication expenses associated with them. GPS has the potential to increase the productivity of your business in a big way by providing real-time, dynamic updates on the location and status of your key investments at any time. Contact us for ideas and help in implementing GPS in your operations today.