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How Cloud Services Give Your Small Business A Complete Technology Solution

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The success of your small business depends on its products, services and customer support. That is where the focus of your staff should be. But your business also relies on technology in various areas, which takes time and attention away from your staff. Cloud computing began as an easy way to share expensive applications with other companies. It has now evolved as a way to provide you with support in all of your technology needs. Here is how cloud services keeps your staff focused on those core business areas critical to your company’s success. A Three-Tiered Approach to Support Your business relies on hardware components and software to grow and stay competitive. If technology is part of your research and development, you need access to another level of the technology. Cloud services provide support in each of these areas so you don’t need to maintain your own technology infrastructure or dedicate your staff to the support of it. You can choose to have as little or as much involvement in your technology as you wish by using these three layers of cloud services. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) At this level, your company shares hardware with other companies. This includes the computer servers, network servers, and storage devices that your company needs. Access to this equipment is through high speed connections from your office so the only hardware you need to maintain are the desktop and laptop computers used by your staff. This minimizes the use of your business capital because you’ll use your expense budget for this tier of cloud services. The vendor providing the services will maintain all of the hardware components, including the repair and replacement of devices. You’ll have access to the latest hardware without the need to allocate staff or capital funds to it. Software as a Service (SaaS) This level allows you to share applications with other companies. You’ll have access to the latest software, which may be too expensive for you to use otherwise. The cloud vendor’s staff maintains the application upgrades and patches, which are time-consuming tasks. Again, your staff is free to focus on your products, services and customers and not be taken away to troubleshoot and fix software problems. Platform as a Service (PaaS) If developing software is part of your small business, then you need access to expensive technology for design, development and testing. This level of cloud services gives you shared access to hardware and software to support that part of your business. Cloud Services Support Besides these three tiers of support, your business has access to various levels of customer support available to you from the cloud vendor. These can include: daily monitoring of system and application usage for capacity management infrastructure planning services when your business is ready to grow customer service to address such items as software questions or password changes training of new staff on the applications that your business uses These services also reduce your staff’s involvement in the support of your technology so they can stay focused on those core business functions that make your company stand out from your competition. For more information, contact a company like New York IT Service...

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Things You Need To Consider Before Purchasing A Home Intercom System

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Installing a home intercom system makes talking to family members in other areas of the house easy, and it’s a great way to increase your home’s security. However, with so many different models available, it isn’t easy to decide what type of intercom system your family needs. So, before you start shopping for a home intercom system, you need to take these things into consideration. How Many Stations Do You Need? Every intercom system needs at least one master station. This station is used to control and communicate with all of the other stations in the home. Many people have door stations that run to the master station so they can communicate with visitors. If you have a door station that has a camera, your master station will have a monitor. You also need to determine how many substations you want to include. Substations typically have one speaker and one microphone that are controlled using a simple switch that toggles between talk and listen. Substations are often installed in bedrooms or home offices — rooms that many people consider to be their own private space. You can choose to install substations in specific rooms or in every room in your house. Keep in mind, if you’re having an intercom system installed in every room, you should make sure you’re purchasing a system that allows substations to communicate with other substations — some systems only allow the subsystem to communicate with the master system. Do You Want a Wired or Wireless System? If you’re building a new home, you may want to consider purchasing a wired system. However, if you’re looking for an intercom system for your current house, wireless is probably a better choice. When you choose a wireless system, you don’t have to worry about running wires between the walls, floors, and ceiling of your home. However, if you’re purchasing a wireless intercom system, you need to make sure the subsystems you install are within a specific distance from the substation. Most home intercom systems have a range between 1,000 and 1,500 feet. Purchasing an intercom system for your home is a great way to monitor your home’s exterior and communicate with family members who are in different rooms without having to raise your voice. As long as you take the time to review the differences between the various systems that are available and know how many rooms need intercoms, it’s easy to narrow down your options and make an informed decision. For intercom systems, contact a company such as Alpine Electronics and...

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Interested In Online Gaming? Here’s What Your Computer Needs

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The world of gaming has transformed explosively since the days of arcade cabinets and a few consoles. Computer gaming itself is almost unrecognizable, booming into a huge selection of amazing graphics, reflex-challenging wonder, fast-paced action, addictive convenience or even relaxation. To get the most out of the gaming world, many people turn to computers for their versatility and productivity when it’s time to work instead. Take a look at what it means to be a online computer gamer and a few things to help you wade through a lot of the hype-filled terminology. A Gaming Computer Is Just A Specialization Many computer manufacturers stick labels on their computers simply to add value to an existing, sometimes barely changed product. A business computer is a standard computer with a bit of software that you could get anywhere and a business service contract. A media center computer simply has better video and more audio hookups for a better movie and music experience than the standard computer. Gaming computers have one major difference from standard computers: a video card. When discussing gaming in terms of computer power, people aren’t talking about basic browser games like Peggle or Farmville. Gaming computers need dedicated video cards to power not only amazing graphics, but the hundreds or thousands of different entities, reactions and complexities in games such as Skyrim, raids in World of Warcraft or the interstellar battles of Star Citizen.  Video cards have almost an entire computer’s setup on a smaller card but are dedicated only to graphics. That means there’s a processor [a graphics processor unit (GPU), as opposed to the central processing unit (CPU)], memory and often a powerful fan to keep everything running smoothly. The general computer performance needs to be beefed up, but for entry level and medium gaming machines that can tackle games at near maximum or maximum quality settings, it’s not too expensive to just add a video card, a bit more memory (at least 8 gigabytes) and, in most extreme cases, a new processor (at least quad core, 3.0 gigahertz). In most cases, a modern desktop computer as of 2016 simply needs a video card slid into place.  Getting The Online Part Right Online gaming needs a consistent internet connection. You may be able to get away with wireless internet or a sloppy Internet Service Provider (ISP) at beginning areas of gameplay or if you strictly play as a casual amateur, but if you ever plan on being competitive or reaching as far as you can in an online game, consistent internet is a basic need. To play online games, you’re installing a program that talks to the game company’s servers. In essence, the game software that you install is both a display of what’s going on at the server and a controller for your character. Every gunshot, laser, spell, purchase and chat message is sent to the server as a request and sent back to you as a confirmation, and your game software is simply giving you a view of how it works. If your internet connection is shoddy, you’ll either run into delays with your actions or run in place doing nothing. This is called lag, and can stop you from getting things done as fast as other players when time is of the essence. If you’re unsure of which parts of your...

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How Near-Field Technology Gives New Meaning To The Phrase, “Reach Out And Touch Someone”

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A popular tagline from a major telephone service company was “reach out and touch someone.” It used to be a metaphor for making contact with friends and family via telephone services, but has of late come to mean something more literal. With near-field communication technology, you can literally reach out and touch someone else’s phone with your own to transfer data, money or pictures. If you are considering purchasing a new cellphone, then you may want to buy a smartphone that has near-field communication (or NFC). Here is how this technology is changing the way people communicate and how it gives new meaning to the old tagline, “reach out and touch someone.” Transferring Photos If you are on vacation and the other adult family member is running out of space on his or her phone, you can receive a stack of the photos that he or she took. This frees up some space on his/her phone while occupying free space on yours and keeping family photos and memories so that they do not have to be deleted to make room for more photos. In addition to this feature, the two of you only need to use your NFC features on your phone to transfer the stack of pictures. Before NFC came into existence, you would have had to send a ton of emails with photos attached to move all of the pics from one phone to the other, and there was no guarantee that all of them would be successfully transmitted. The NFC technology is instantaneous, and confirmation of receipt is immediate. Paying for Everything, Including IOUs If you owe someone some money for last night’s drink tab or you need to pay for your portion of lunch today, you can use NFC technology to do this too. Digital wallets are a part of the NFC technology, allowing you to store your credit, debit and banking information in your phone’s digital wallet. When you want to pay, you access the app, tap your phone to the credit card reader in the shop, restaurant or bar, and then the money is instantly transferred. When you need to pay your friend, family member or co-worker, you simply touch the backs of your phones together and the transaction is complete. Transferring Work Files with a Touch of the Phones Perhaps the most useful of all of the NFC features is the ability to transfer your work files. Just about anything you can stash in programs like Dropbox or iCloud can be transferred to someone else’s phone, and all you have to do is reach out and touch their phone to yours (after you select the files, of course). This is a very nice feature if you are working on a team project and cannot meet to make a connection to transfer files in one of the “old-fashioned” ways. It is even possible to transfer files while passing a co-worker on the street. For more information, contact Dalton Utilities or a similar...

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Fun Ideas For An Adult Game Room

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Game rooms are often considered something for children, but there are many ways to turn it into an adult space. Here are some fun and easy ways to turn a spare room or basement into an adult-oriented game room. Add Theater Seating If you have a larger game room that allows others to watch you play games or watch a movie in the room, consider adding some theater seating. Many furniture stores sell theater seating that works for smaller spaces. You don’t need a large space just to have different levels of seating. They typically involve multiple seats attached to each other as opposed to a traditional couch. Each sit likely reclines to make it more comfortable and includes a cup or snack holder in the armrest. You may be able to add multiple rows, depending on the size of the game room. Include Retro Games Aside from your modern video game consoles and television, add some retro games to the game room. There are many retro gaming machines that make it fun for children and adults. For example, you can purchase full-size arcade games like Pac-Man and Centipede. There are some standing or sit-down arcade machines that have multiple games in one machine. There are also full-size slot machines and pinball machines you can add to the room. Also look at a variety of other games, such as a dart board, pool table, and foosball. Have a Bar Area Since this game room is primarily for adults, you might want to add a bar area to the room. For a larger room, such as if you are converting a basement, you can add a full wet bar with stools and the works. There are many bars that can be built on your own or that you can purchase from specialty stores. If you are simply using a small guest room or den in your home, you don’t need a full-size wet bar. Instead, consider adding a long accent table that has room for different types of liquors and glasses. You can include a small refrigerator and storage unit in the room against one wall where you can keep wine and beer cold, have mixers, and store limes to cut up for different drinks. Don’t Forget the Media Finally, add the media to the room. You will of course want a television, preferably a big-screen for watching movies or playing games with your friends. It is also a good idea to add a stereo system o the game room, along with surround sound that works with the stereo and television. You may also want a karaoke machine for weekend nights with your family or friends. You can work with a company like A Tech Security to put in a home theater system you can be proud of.  Including these ideas in your game room can help you create the perfect place to relax or host...

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Better Alternatives To Traditional Computer Power Management Solutions

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As your company searches for ways to lower energy costs, you may think that there is no way to lower the cost of the energy consumed by your computers. However, you may not be aware of ways in which your computers are consuming energy unnecessarily. Rather than simply rely on the settings that come with your computer, you might need to purchase a power manager software program that can control your energy usage for you. Don’t Rely On Traditional Forms Of Power Management Do not use a screen saver as a form of power management. Sometimes, a screen saver might even use more power than simply leaving the computer on. Also, do not rely on the low power setting to reduce the energy consumption of your computers, especially if the computer is being run in a networked environment that will cause processes to prevent the low power setting from being triggered. Look For Rebates You may be able to obtain a power management software program for free from your utilities company. These usually function as rebates that will offset the cost of purchasing the power management software. Implement Smart, Dynamic Features One of the reasons why power management software is so useful is that built-in methods of power management do not factor in the natural work flow of a business. Power management software can predict when an employee is most likely to be using a company asset and can then turn the asset on preemptively to help avoid any slowdown in the work flow. The brightness of a display is a major source off power consumption. However, an insufficient level of light can contribute to eye strain, affecting worker productivity. Power management software can detect ambient light and can raise or lower the display to ensure that there is only the minimum amount of light necessary. Control All Workstations From One Location When employees leave the building, it is helpful to have a single workstation that can shut down all work stations in a specific department. This not only saves energy, but can also increase productivity and reduce the risk that staff members will forget to turn off their workstations. Track Your Power Usage Power management software also tracks power consumption so you can assess how well your company is reducing power consumption. Simply input your cost per kilowatt hour and you will be able to track exactly how much your power usage is costing you....

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Getting The Most From Your Cable Package

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’re like most cable customers, you get more from your provider than just television service, and there’s a reason these companies offer those additional services. Keep in mind as well that additional features are added to individual services on a regular basis, so you may be getting more for your money than you’re even aware. Knowing how to get the best value at the best price will help you to cut down the number of bills you’re paying, and may also lower your household expenses. Multiple Services Discounts There are few cable companies in the U.S. that don’t offer some kind of discount to customers with more than one service. Since most offer data, video and digital phone service, any combination of two or more services will result in a lower individual service cost. Cable companies often refer to this as bundling, but it’s no different than the way insurance companies offer discounts if you insure both your vehicle and your home with one provider. It’s important to note that these discounts are often only made available if you’re newly adding a service to your existing account, so customers who already have all three lines of service offered may not be able to take advantage. Also be aware that these discounts have an expiration date, so the savings aren’t a fixed part of your service. That said, many cable companies are motivated to retain customers, so it’s worth your time to make a call if you’re closing in on that end date. Finding Your Features Even if you’re not interested in adding internet service or a phone line to your account, you can still get far more for your money simply by expanding your existing video service. Cable companies have come a long way, and many now include video on demand services in the price of your television service. This feature offers you access to a library of content from your existing channel line-up, including primetime programming you may have missed that week or movies playing on premium channels you already pay for. While basic cable tiers lack functionality to access on demand services, you can upgrade to any level of service requiring an advanced set-top box and gain full access. The channels you’ll be able to utilize will normally be limited to your regular channel line-up, so the more channels you pay for, the more on demand content you’ll be able to utilize. Depending on your provider and your set-top box functions, on demand content can be controlled like a DVD, allowing you to pause, rewind and fast-forward, even if you don’t pay for DVR service. Cable services have come a long way since the first coaxial cable was connected to a television. While the price has steadily climbed, the value provided has surged up to match it. If you’re not taking full advantage of all the services included in your package, you owe it to yourself to try them out, and contact your provider to get help understanding how they work. Contact a business like Valley TeleCom Group for more...

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HVAC Field Service Company? Use Internet Of Things To Keep Customers Happy

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you own an HVAC business, your main goal is likely serving your customers in a quick and efficient manner. This can be difficult to do in certain parts of the year, such as when the temperatures drop below zero, and you have a lot of customers calling you due to their HVAC system not heating. Fortunately, there are things you and your field service technicians can do to ensure these customers are taken care of quickly to keep your business running smoothly. Internet of Things When using Interent of Things (IoT), a sensor is placed on your customer’s HVAC system, which can send information about the unit to your company’s computer network. For example, one of your customer’s HVAC unit may be running low on coolant due to a leak. If so, the sensor on the unit would alert you through your computer, tablet, or smartphone of this leak. This allows you to contact the customer, and fix the problem before it becomes much worse. Your field service technicians can carry a tablet or smartphone with them. When information comes in alerting you of a problem, it will immediately display on their tablet or smartphone while they are out on the field servicing other customers. Once they receive the information, they can call that customer alerting them of the problem, and come to their house to repair it. This looks very good on your company, as your customer may not realize they have a problem if it just started. Service History The IoT system can also display other information on their laptop or smartphone screen. For example, it will show the technicians the service history of the equipment, the date when it was installed, and the most recent repairs done to the equipment. If they see the equipment is very old, and has had a lot of repairs in the past, already knowing this information can help them speak to the customer about it much quicker, as they will not have to take time to inspect the system first. An IoT system also allows you to print out reports in your office to allow you to see information. For example, you may want to see the most common repairs the field technicians have to make to the HVAC units. Setting up a system like this can be very difficult to do if you have not done it before. For this reason, find a company that has the experience doing this. They can also help you learn how all of this...

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Easy Ways To Cut Cost On Internet Service

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Are you shopping for a new internet service but are on a pretty tight budget? If so then you may have concerns about what to do in order to buy reliable and quality internet speeds for a reasonable expense. Well, rather than stress about the monthly cost of your service, you will find it fairly easy to save on your monthly internet expenses, as there are ways to save, such as: Providing Your Own Equipment: Equipment rental can cost a good amount of money, which won’t only increase the cost of your internet service but will force you to pay for equipment that you don’t even own. Providing your own equipment will cost more upfront, but it will likely pay for itself in the first year, as you won’t have to pay for any equipment rental fees. Also, after you are ready to upgrade, you can sell your equipment and pocket the cash, which can really benefit you. So, before you assume that renting your equipment is best, consider taking advantage of owning your modem and router, as they can pay for themselves over time. Knowing What Speeds You Need: Paying too much for internet speeds that you don’t really need can easily happen. This is why it is important to understand what type of speeds you will need. If you are only going to be using social media or checking emails then try to avoid paying for the higher speed package. This will save you money and ensure you are getting the best value for your buck. Adding Other Services in With Your Internet: Chances are you will want other services in your home. If you have plans to get cable TV then consider a provider that offers both cable and internet service. Having multiple services from one internet service provider can make your overall cost for services cheaper, which won’t only save you money on your internet plan, but your cable as well, which is a big and great way to save money. So, rather than buying services from multiple providers, be sure to obtain multiple services from one provider. With these tips and options, you will find that your internet service is more affordable, which will make buying your new service much easier to do. So, rather than assume your internet is going to cost too much, be sure to take advantage of some of these tips as they can help keep money in your...

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Why Is Your ISP Using Reclaimed Ipv4 Addresses Instead Of Switching To Ipv6?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Internet Protocol addresses allow computers, mobile devices, smart appliances and more to connect to the Internet. IP addresses also identify websites. Each server or device has its own four-part numerical address assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which gets a block of available addresses from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). The problem with this four-part number system is that, as of July 2015, there are no more unused IPv4 addresses that ARIN can assign. Because IPv4 uses 32-bit addressing, there are 4.3 billion possible combinations — and those are now all in use or have been purchased by ISPs for use. Purchasing or Leasing IPv4 Addresses Because there are some organizations that have excess addresses that are not yet in use, a market has emerged for people to buy and sell these IP addresses. If an ISP is interested in getting more IPv4 addresses, there are three main options: Get on ARIN’s wait list for available IPv4 addresses that come available as ISPs give them up (rare) or go out of business.  Purchase IPv4 addresses from a company that is not using them and does not plan to. Lease IPv4 addresses from a company that is not using them currently but wishes to retain ownership in case they are needed in the future. Some IP addresses have greater value than others. For example, a block of addresses that was used by a reputable email service and then made available for sale would be more valuable than addresses that had been used to send spam messages. When you use new IP addresses from your ISP, it may be useful to find out where the addresses have come from and what they were previously used for. Many ISPs are using ARIN IP brokers to buy, sell and lease unused blocks of IP addresses. These brokers can help connect buyers and sellers and get the required approval of ARIN for the transfer of ownership of these address blocks. Implementing the New IPv6 Protocol The other option for ISPs that need more IP addresses is to switch to a new naming protocol known as IPv6. Instead of 32-bit addressing, these use 128-bit addressing, which provides enough addresses for every atom on the planet — roughly 340 trillion trillion trillion options. It seems unlikely that we could ever run out of IPv6 addresses. The problem with IPv6 addressing is that it is not being adopted quickly. Current technologies that ISPs use to name their servers and other devices, known as Network Address Translation (NAT), allow one IP address to be used for several machines and are fine with the IPv4 system. But it will take time and money for new equipment to implement IPv6, and many ISPs don’t want to make the investment. It may be months or, more likely, years before IPv6 is more widespread. Right now, most ISPs are finding that it makes the most sense and is most cost effective to purchase unused IPv4 addresses from IP brokers who specialize in this...

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3 Great Benefits Of Managed IT Services

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you want to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your business, there are a lot of steps that you’ll need to keep in mind. For instance, when you subscribe to managed IT services, you will be able to have a dedicated team of professionals who can look after all of your communication duties. Read on to learn about the great benefits of subscribing to managed IT services, and reach out to a company in your area who can help you out. #1: You Will Cut Down On Your Labor Budget When you use internal information technology services, you may find that your budget easily gets out of whack. The reason for this is that certain projects can involve plenty of hours, including overtime. However, when you lean on the outsourced service of managed IT professionals, you will be able to pay flat rates, regardless of the work that is to be done. With this money that you are saving, you’ll have more money to provide salaries and expenses to other departments throughout your company, which help with overall operating costs.  #2: You Enjoy A Great Reduction In Downtime In this day and age, the longer your sites, apps and servers are down, the more rapidly you’ll miss out on critical amounts of money. For that reason, you would do well to turn to managed IT services companies. These professionals will be able to help you keep your site up and running, and can get your servers back up quickly if something goes wrong. Since these professionals are typically dedicated and available to you around the clock, you’ll have an easier time organizing these efforts and using them to your advantage.   #3: Your IT Systems Will Always Be On The Cutting Edge Since your managed IT service professionals typically serve other companies, you’ll know that they have an obligation to stay up to date with technology and practices. Outsourcing your IT work guarantees that your growth and development in this area will not remain stagnant, and you’ll always be using the latest software and techniques. Most companies will consistently provide you with upgrades without providing any additional costs, which will also save you plenty of money throughout the years while staying abreast with these changes.  Consider these benefits and use them by reaching out to managed IT services professionals who can take your company to the next...

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