Latest Popular Smartphones Significantly Dip in Drop Test Performance

November 22nd, 2017 by admin

After years of improving smartphone glass durability, a shift design is bringing back the perils of dropping the device only to discover the glass has cracked on impact. The newly released iPhone 8 and iPhone X aren’t doing well in drop tests, with screens breaking relatively easily. A “drop test” measures...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Don't Neglect Surge Protectors in Your Workplace

November 16th, 2017 by admin

Businesses use surge protectors every day without thinking about them; however, they are an incredibly important piece of technology that can make the difference between a $20.00 and a $2,000.00 equipment replacement. While uncommon, a power surge can wreak havoc on computers, monitors, TV screens, smartphones,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Problems with Power Loss: Tips for Workplace Computer Battery Backups

November 8th, 2017 by admin

It's inevitable: employees working hard on a time-consuming project and then out of nowhere, the lights start to flicker and the power goes out. Suddenly, those workers express their frustration by pulling out their hair because they've just lost hours' worth of work. In addition to being portable, laptop...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Alternative Employee Device Security: Fingerprints, Facial Recognition, and Iris Scans, Oh My!

October 17th, 2017 by admin

So far, 2017 has been an eventful year for increasing access to password-alternative smartphone and laptop unlocking techniques. Notably, Samsung added Face unlocking to the Galaxy S8 line and Apple introduced Face ID on the iPhone X. Of particular note, facial recognition is a convenient alternative...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Wireless Charging in the Workplace: iPhone Joins Android

October 10th, 2017 by admin

Wireless charging in the workplace has the potential to make it easier for your employees keep their arsenal of devices running throughout the day with fewer of those pesky low battery warnings. Until recently, wireless charging hasn't been as good at increasing productivity as it could be because one...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Flash Drives: A Productivity and Security Guide

September 26th, 2017 by admin

With proper planning, your business can take advantage of USB flash drive technology to increase productivity, while eliminating most of the medium's inherent risk. The USB flash drives likely lying around your business offer excellent opportunities to increase productivity and make workflow easier,...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Screen Mirroring Mini-Guide

September 19th, 2017 by admin

Setting up your conference room for wireless screen mirroring is the answer to employees sharing in a collective groan when it's time to connect a computer or mobile device to show a presentation. While setting up the conference room television or projector doesn't have the same level of disdain as the...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The System Is Down: How To Stay Online When Your Service Provider Is Offline

September 12th, 2017 by admin

It's easy to take a functional Internet connection for granted until it's no longer working. When that Internet connection inevitably goes down, your business could be left scrambling to figure out how to keep working until service is restored. The best solution your business can utilize is to develop...

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Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software,

3 Lessons SMBs Can Learn From Retailers On Thanksgiving Weekend

September 6th, 2017 by admin

Online retailers are already working on business strategies for the Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday online shopping weekend months in advance. These three days are the busiest online shopping days for retailers, bringing in nearly $6 billion in revenue combined. An online retailer's worst...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Adobe Flash: The Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated...Until 2020

August 29th, 2017 by admin

Adobe Flash, the web content standard the Internet loves to hate, will soon meet its ultimate demise: Adobe will finish phasing out the platform in 2020. Flash, first introduced in the early 2000s, has been on a gradual decline for almost as long as it was on the rise. Fortunately for your company's...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

When Windows 10 Support Stops

August 22nd, 2017 by admin

In July of 2017, some Windows 10 users received an error message when trying to install the Creators Update, stating, "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." This first-of-its-kind problem stems from an incompatibility with a handful of Intel's Clover Trail CPUs found in some of the earliest...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Looking at USB/NFC Keys for Extra Account Security

August 1st, 2017 by admin

Hijacked accounts are an IT security nightmare, so it makes sense for your company to look at new technology for better ways to keep your digital assets safe. While security professionals are working out new ways to look at what account credentials are, sometimes with mixed results like with Samsung's...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Is Your Office Router Secure?

July 25th, 2017 by admin

In June 2017, WikiLeaks released secret documents that exposed the tools the CIA uses to infiltrate public and private networks through routers. These documents have shined a light on how easy it is for someone to hack a router. This begs the question, are your business’ IT security practices keeping...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Avoiding Hardware Overkill: IT Consulting to the Rescue

July 18th, 2017 by admin

Spending far too much money on excessively overpowered computer hardware can quickly deplete your company's IT budget, taking funding away from other important expenses. Two exciting products released in June 2017, Apple's new iMac Pro ($4,999) and Intel's Core i9 CPU family (starting at $999), are poised...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Flaws in 2-Factor Authentication Methods Could Leave You Vulnerable

July 11th, 2017 by admin

If your business is using 2-factor authentication, or 2FA, methods to secure your important accounts, you may need to investigate better ways to implement the practice. Security experts widely recommend using 2FA, a system which utilizes a second security level of authorization in addition to a password...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Spare Computer Parts: Which Ones To Keep For Disaster Recovery

July 5th, 2017 by admin

It happens in every office eventually: an employee is going about their workday and suddenly their computer or monitor won't turn on. Fortunately, there's gold in those unused desktops and laptops stuck in the storage closet. Aside from the computers having literal gold in some components, your business...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Amazon Alexa in the Workplace: What Could You Do With a Virtual Assistant?

June 20th, 2017 by admin

Amazon Alexa, the voice-based intelligent personal assistant you may have seen an early adopter friend use at home, has surprising business use potential to increase productivity in the workplace. Like Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana, Alexa is able to perform tasks for the user...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The Cost of Memory: Trends to Impact Your Upgrade Cycle

June 6th, 2017 by admin

Computer memory market trends could play a role in your business’s decision on when to upgrade or replace employee computers. According to PC World, the technology research experts at Gartner predict that prices for both RAM and Solid State Drives (SSDs) will start to decline in 2018—and then crash...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Android and IOS: Is the Device Just Old, or Is It Obsolete?

May 23rd, 2017 by admin

When trying to determine if a piece of technology is simply old or completely obsolete, keep in mind that there are different criteria for Android and iOS devices than for desktop and laptop computers. An employee stuck using an obsolete device is likely, after all, to argue that replacing it would...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Scheduling Security: Take Control of Your OS Updates

May 10th, 2017 by admin

It happens to everyone: You turn your computer back on after you intended to leave the office, or come in early to get a head start on a new project, only to be greeted by a 20-minute operating system (OS) update session. This common workplace frustration turns what should have been a four-minute job...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The Three Copies Rule: Why You Need Two Backups

May 3rd, 2017 by admin

Anyone who has ever lost years of work due to computer failure will tell you that backing up your devices can save you considerable heartache and frustration. Reliable, redundant, and regular data backups are your business's best strategy for disaster recovery—but two copies of your data may not be...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The Dock Returns: Anticipating Trends for Productivity Potential

April 19th, 2017 by admin

Samsung's March 2017 announcement that its flagship smartphone would support first-party peripheral that makes the device work like a desktop computer could mean big changes for how people look at their productivity devices. While this is not the first attempt to treat a smartphone as a computer substitute,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

This Is the End: Microsoft Takes a Hard Stance on Phasing Out Older Windows Versions

April 11th, 2017 by admin

If your business hasn't already made the switch from Windows 10's predecessors to a new operating system, it's time to make the initiative a priority. While your IT staff doesn't need to upgrade every computer in your office, it's necessary to make sure all vital software is compatible with Windows...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Avoiding Disaster: Overheating Computers

April 5th, 2017 by admin

If one of your office computers always seems to shut down or slow to a crawl at the busiest of times, you may have a case of overheating on your hands—especially if IT can't find anything wrong on the software level. Performance hiccups might seem like a mere nuisance, but overheating shortens the lifespan...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Mesh Networking for SMB Offices

March 28th, 2017 by admin

If the sounds of disgruntled employees complaining about poor Wi-Fi connectivity are all too familiar in your SMB, it's time to consider switching to a mesh network. Unlike traditional Wi-Fi networks that use a single point of origin and optional extender networks, mesh networks utilize a series...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The Benefits of Laptop Docks and At-Desk Peripherals

March 21st, 2017 by admin

With a little bit of effort, your staff can reap all the benefits of a laptop, and many of the perks of a desktop, with a little bit of planning and some additional hardware. It's a common perception that laptops lead in portability, while desktops specialize in expandability. But improvements in peripheral...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Network-Attached Storage: Data Backup and Transfer Options for Small Businesses

March 9th, 2017 by admin

Network-Attached Storage (NAS) servers are a great asset for small businesses managing data. For the uninitiated, NAS is essentially a streamlined server designed specifically for sharing files between devices. Because of their simplified nature, NAS devices are typically easier to use and...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Office Computers

March 1st, 2017 by admin

When it comes to your office computers, a little bit of spring cleaning goes a long way. Sure, cleaning office computers can seem tedious. But think of it like preventative maintenance on a vehicle: In the best-case scenario, you'll never know all the breakdowns you avoided. Keeping your office...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Getting a Clean Start: Managing Windows Startup Programs

February 23rd, 2017 by admin

It's quite common that, over time, Windows systems accumulate a laundry list of programs that load when a user signs in. While generally benign, most of these "startup" programs are unlikely to actually benefit the user—so the computer ends up doing a whole lot of work for no reason. Fortunately,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Breathing New Life into Middle-Aged Computers

February 8th, 2017 by admin

Your employees' computers may not be up to speed anymore after two or three years of use, but in many cases your staff can upgrade or tune up these devices to keep pace with work demands. Upgrades can often be purchased and installed for under $100 a system, offering an inexpensive way to extend the...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Using Snap and Split-Screen Modes for Increased Productivity

February 1st, 2017 by admin

Multi-tasking wizards have a secret: Modern operating systems offer a handy technique for managing multiple windows while maximizing available screen space, significantly increasing productivity. Depending on the OS, this feature may be referred to as "snapping" or "split-screen mode." The concept,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Virtual Reality: What does It Mean for Your Business?

January 18th, 2017 by admin

Depending on your industry, modern virtual reality (VR) devices could offer impressive options to improve productivity. The video game industry, for one, has been a major player in pushing VR technology. Despite a handful of flops like Nintendo’s 1995 release “Virtual Boy,” products like the “Oculus...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Boost Productivity and Security with Google's Cloud Applications

January 11th, 2017 by admin

For anyone unfamiliar with the Google Applications platform, Google Docs et al. are a Cloud-based spin on mainstay office suite programs that can help your staff work better together. With a zero-dollar price tag (compared with Microsoft Office's hefty annual subscription fees) and the potential...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Looking Forward: Cloud Services Costs and Opportunities

January 5th, 2017 by admin

If your small-to-medium business (SMB) isn't looking at ways to increase productivity through Cloud services, you could be missing out on exciting opportunities. But while the Cloud offers countless opportunities for business expansion, it can also taking up an ever-increasing share of your company's...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The End of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Device Explosions Trigger Full Recalls

December 13th, 2016 by admin

In a rare move, Samsung fully recalled and discontinued production on its previously well-reviewed Galaxy Note 7 model following several verified cases of the devices catching fire. This unexpected turn of events has left a vacuum in the large smartphone and phablet product space. Businesses often...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Antivirus Software: When One Is Better Than Two

December 7th, 2016 by admin

If your company’s antivirus software is letting you down, you should think twice before installing a second one on a computer: It may actually make things worse. Multiple antivirus programs working in conjunction on the same device is not a case of “the sum is greater than the parts” but rather “less...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

A Primer on Common, Helpful Device Adapters

November 11th, 2016 by admin

In September 2016, Apple announced that the iPhone 7 will not feature a 3.5mm jack—meaning anyone who wants to use standard headphones (or the credit-card scanning Square Reader) will need an adapter. Only time will tell if removing the century-old socket ends up being a step forward or a huge inconvenience....

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Low Battery Life: Bringing Productivity to a Halt

October 26th, 2016 by admin

Work-disrupting messages like “please connect charger” and “plug in or find another power source” can be a huge source of frustration—not to mention a major productivity killer—for employees on the go. Nobody wants to see their phone battery go belly-up on their commute to the office, or while waiting...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Think Manually Running Hard Drive Defragmentation Is a Big Deal? Think Again

October 19th, 2016 by admin

Good news: Your IT staff can stop running regular hard drive defragmentation on your office computers. Improvements in technology have rendered this decade-old practice largely irrelevant. One less thing to worry about, as far as we’re concerned. Hard drive defragmentation is a process in which files...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Troubleshooting Step 1: Reboot

October 12th, 2016 by admin

While modern computers are much more stable than their ancestors, trying to get work done on a slow, malfunctioning computer is still a business world rite of passage. Troubleshooting bad behavior on your work computer can, of course, be a tedious process—so wouldn’t it be nice if there was one...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Overloaded, Weak Signals: Alleviating Common Wi-Fi Bottlenecks

September 28th, 2016 by admin

If your staff is complaining about slow Internet access at your office, it’s time to consider how well the Wi-Fi network is configured. Slow Wi-Fi is best known, after all, for transforming an otherwise ideal work environment into a slow-boiling pot of aggravation. To increase productivity (and decrease...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

IoT Devices to Make Your Office More Efficient

September 21st, 2016 by admin

IoT devices have incredible potential to make your office more efficient. Previously we’ve discussed the caveats IoT devices bring to the workplace a few times, but today we’re going to focus on how these devices can increase productivity. It’s easy to fall back on the old mentality “If it ain’t...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Water-Resistant Smartphones Are Here: What You Need to Know

September 13th, 2016 by admin

Water-resistance probably isn’t on the feature checklist for your employee smartphones—but judging by how many of these devices meet an untimely end via liquid damage, it should be. It probably doesn't come as a surprise that dropping the device is the number one cause of smartphone damage at...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Are Chromebooks Right for YOUR Business?

September 7th, 2016 by admin

Google’s Chromebook platform has the potential to replace traditional laptops and increase productivity for businesses, much like it has in the consumer market at large. For the uninitiated, Chromebooks are Cloud-oriented laptops that run most operations through the Google Chrome web browser instead...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Are Comatose Servers Draining Your Wallet and Leaving You Vulnerable?

August 30th, 2016 by admin

Those old servers your business no longer uses—and keeps running anyway—are more than just a security risk: They’re hurting your firm’s bottom line. The term comatose server describes a functional server, connected to a network, that sits idle virtually all of the time. If your business is running...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

How To Select a Second Monitor

August 24th, 2016 by admin

Secondary monitors have incredible potential to increase productivity in the workplace. It might not seem like much, but minimizing, maximizing, and arranging application windows on a single computer monitor can take up a significant amount of time. Adding a secondary monitor increases the screen...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Don’t Forget About Printer Security

August 9th, 2016 by admin

There was a time when printers—in your office or home—were considered relatively "simple" office equipment: plug it in, connect it to the local network, and keep the ink fresh, and there wasn't much else to worry about. But times have changed. Today's business printers—enterprise-level equipment...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Looking at Data Storage Longevity

August 2nd, 2016 by admin

Not all storage devices were built to stand the test of time, so it’s important for every business to ensure its data is backed up on a reliable platform. If you’ve ever needed to reference financial records or court cases from a decade ago, you’ll know how much easy, reliable access to data can...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Are “Bandwidth Hogs” Slowing Your Network?

July 26th, 2016 by admin

Last time, we talked about several handy do-it-yourself online tools to measure your office broadband speed. If your online connections aren't quite as fast as you expected from your service provider, don't be afraid to show them the "hard numbers" and ask for a solution. But what if those speed...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Is Your Broadband Fast Enough? Here’s How to Check

July 19th, 2016 by admin

How fast is your company's broadband Internet speed compared to ten years ago? Chances are that while your online connection at work back then was faster than your first home Internet service (think of that annoying dial-up modem noise), if you tried using that "primitive" DSL at work today the relatively...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The “Wearable Revolution”: Is Your Company Prepared?

July 7th, 2016 by admin

It's a fair bet that one of your employees has already shown off a trendy new wearable gadget around the office. What began with Bluetooth earpieces would branch off into smartwatches, smart glasses, wrist-worn fitness trackers, and even smart clothing (including a smart bra!) Research firm Gartner...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Is It Time to Switch to Flash Storage?

June 21st, 2016 by admin

More and more businesses are switching their storage solutions from hard disk drives (HDDs) to solid state drives (SSDs) for one simple reason: the appeal of faster loading times and increased productivity. However, HDDs can still be the better choice in cases where maximum capacity is more important...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Data Sanitization: Are You Erasing Your Old PCs COMPLETELY?

June 7th, 2016 by admin

One of our pet peeves with some of our new customers is that once we come in to upgrade their IT network, they're careless about disposing their old hardware—specifically, their PC hard drives. They think that by simply deleting their existing files—email, customer records, and other sensitive or proprietary...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Window Comes to an End

May 24th, 2016 by admin

Those “Upgrade to Windows 10” notifications seem to be showing up everywhere, even in the middle of a weather forecast on Iowa television. What would’ve otherwise been an embarrassing interruption turned into a watercooler moment that anyone who used Windows 7 and 8 over the previous year can relate...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

How To Choose a Desktop Monitor

May 17th, 2016 by admin

Let’s talk about desktop monitors. In many companies, large or small, an onboarding employee gets whatever display hardware might already reside in their assigned cube—no matter how old it is. But like most computer products, the technology is always improving, while costs for newer models are dropping....

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

New Threat Targets Older Android Devices

May 11th, 2016 by admin

Smartphone users can be broken down into two camps: those who can't live without lining up to buy the latest and greatest model the day it hits the stores, and those who hold on to their tried-and-true phone until it suddenly dies one morning. There's nothing wrong with sticking with "obsolete" hardware...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

URGENT: Uninstall QuickTime for Windows NOW

May 3rd, 2016 by admin

Today we'd like to pass along a critical security advisory to all our customers: If any of your company's Windows systems still retain Apple's QuickTime for Windows software, uninstall it immediately—as soon as you finish reading this post (if not before!). QuickTime was Apple's original media viewer,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Are Your Smartphones Properly “Containerized”?

April 26th, 2016 by admin

Earlier today the cashier at the local drive-thru miskeyed the amount of cash I gave him into his register. Somewhat sheepishly, he asked if I had a smartphone so I could verify the correct amount of change. Fortunately, I never leave home without it. In fact, how well could you function today without...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Are Macs “Ransomware-Proof”? Not Anymore

March 23rd, 2016 by admin

Since Apple famously introduced the Macintosh over three decades ago, Mac users have been confident that their computers are virtually immune to ransomware and other malware threats which plague their Windows counterparts. But those days are over. On March 4, researchers at security firm Palo Alto...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

IoT Devices: Security Holes?

March 15th, 2016 by admin

Hackers can take advantage of a newer technology prevalent throughout your business to break into your network and compromise security: Internet of Things devices. Your business may have never considered that the handy new Smart Thermostats throughout the building or the Smart TV in the conference room...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

iPhone “Backdoor”? It Already Exists! Why Your Company Needs It

March 8th, 2016 by admin

February's big story in the tech world was the conflict between Apple and the FBI over the creation of a "backdoor" to retrieve encrypted data on iPhones. The government is looking for any clue as to what—or, more specifically, who—motivated Syed Farook, along with his wife, to gun down his San Bernardino...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

The Death (and Second Life) of a Replaced Business Smartphone

March 2nd, 2016 by admin

When it’s time to upgrade employee smartphones, your business needs to worry about backing up data, clearing the memory, and figuring out the best way to get rid of the old devices. According to Business Insider, the average smartphone upgrade cycle reached 22 months in 2012. This time frame could...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Internet Explorer: Upgrade Your Relationship or Break Up?

February 25th, 2016 by admin

The end is here for all versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer outside of the most recent version. If your business is still using older versions of the browser, it’s important to switch to a different browser—or upgrade to maintain the latest in security and support. According to Microsoft, support...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Upgrading to Windows 10: Why You Should (Still) Wait

February 11th, 2016 by admin

We were as optimistic as anyone about Microsoft's long-awaited release of the Windows 10 operating system. As we discussed last May, we looked forward to real improvements—chiefly a better desktop interface—over its widely unloved predecessor, Windows 8.1. At the same time, we hoped Microsoft had learned...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Transitioning to the Cloud? “Know Before You Go”

January 26th, 2016 by admin

The Cloud is here to stay—and growing before our eyes. Even the customer segment that the marketing world terms late adopters—the last people to "get on the boat" of tech trends—are finally taking a hard look at migrating at least some of their IT to Cloud-based apps. One big reason is that their...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Standing Desks: Could They Improve Your Workplace?

January 12th, 2016 by admin

It's been talked about everywhere from the New York Times to Men's Health and Women's Health: Sitting at a desk all day may be dangerously unhealthy. Medical studies conducted around the world support the same conclusion: When a human body remains seated and inactive, it quickly enters its...

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Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software,

Macs Are Here to Stay. How Well Are You Managing Them?

December 16th, 2015 by admin

Before you take your teenage kids to see the new Steve Jobs biopic, ask them what Jobs' first successful product was. Don't be surprised if they answer "the iPod"! For most of their generation, the original Macintosh is ancient history. Today's Mac computers don't command prime Apple Store floor space...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Blurring the Lines: Hybrid Devices in the Workplace

December 10th, 2015 by admin

Apple announced the iPad Pro in September of 2015. Microsoft announced the Surface Book just a month later. Both devices are blurring the lines between tablets and laptops, offering interesting new opportunities for technology use in the workplace and resolving many of the issues present in the current...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Busting Dust: The Overlooked Cause of Crashes

December 2nd, 2015 by admin

Your business can take a productivity hit and incur unnecessary expenses because of a very common, often overlooked problem: dust buildup in computers. Dust inside computers can decrease their efficiency and even their operational lifespans. These microscopic particles are everywhere—and unless...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Mobile Security Exploits: Surviving the BYOD Environment

November 19th, 2015 by admin

IT professionals are more concerned than ever about malicious software infections since smart mobile devices hit the mainstream. Many businesses have been relatively open to the idea of integrating smart devices into their workflow as a way to increase productivity. But news headlines have been...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Playing It Safe with Windows 10: Upgrading or Maintaining Your OS with Minimal Pain

October 27th, 2015 by admin

Now that the dust has settled around the release of Windows 10, your SMB may be looking to increase productivity by upgrading your OS. Still, you should proceed with caution. The latest version of the operating system offers a more secure computing environment, better disaster recovery options, and...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

BYOD Is Here: Where’s Your Company Policy?

September 11th, 2015 by admin

Once upon a time, IT administrators offered company-issued hardware to employees based upon something akin to Henry Ford's "Model T" approach: "You can have any equipment you want, as long as it's whatever we have for you." In light of the mobile/Wi-Fi revolution over the past few years,...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

IPv6: Heard of it? You Will...

September 4th, 2015 by admin

In our ever-expanding universe of high-tech acronyms, perhaps one you've recently heard is IPv6. What exactly is it? Why do some IT people embrace it as the foundation of a "new Internet," while the mere mention of it gives others an instant headache? First, think back to the "good old days" decades...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Desktop-as-a-Service: Start with the Right Roadmap

August 27th, 2015 by admin

In this third installment of our blog series on Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and Cloud-hosted virtual workspaces, we'd like to pass along a few pointers about when and how to plan a successful structured deployment within your organization. Everything starts with a plan. When is it time to...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Hidden Costs of DaaS Service? Know What to Look For

August 19th, 2015 by admin

Back in July, we talked about the emergence of Cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS). From overall cost to scalability, mobility, and security, more IT decision-makers are recognizing DaaS as simply a better alternative to traditional networks of standalone computers. As with any other...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

DaaS and the Virtual Workspace: The Next Big Thing?

July 30th, 2015 by admin

We've recently received quite a few questions regarding "virtual workspaces." Particularly in light of the imminent release of the next version of Windows (which, as we've discussed, won't come cheaply for enterprise users), will virtual workspaces be a cost-effective alternative to full computers...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Is Your Server Room Too Noisy? Take Steps to Fix It

July 22nd, 2015 by admin

When we conduct our complimentary IT assessment for a prospective customer, one question we're frequently asked is "Can we do anything to cut down on the noise in our server room?" Most older office facilities in the Bay Area simply weren't designed to accommodate heavy computer equipment operating...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Time To Think About Your Company's Next Tech Refresh?

June 24th, 2015 by admin

As the Bay Area moves into the warmest months of the year, you can enjoy the summer knowing your annual home spring cleaning is behind you—when you tackled all those chores in (literally) one clean sweep over a weekend. With that taken care of, now’s a good time to review your company's tech refresh...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

The Cloud: An Eco-Friendly Alternative?

June 11th, 2015 by admin

April 22 marked the annual worldwide observance of Earth Day. This made us think about the role small businesses play in the "Go Green" movement. Many companies have a genuine concern for preserving our planet's natural resources—even if many hotels use going green as a convenient excuse not to provide...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

It's Nice to Be Important, But It's More Important to Be Nice

June 4th, 2015 by admin

Let's face it—the humor on Saturday Night Live is pretty much hit-or-miss these days. But one classic SNL sketch from the late '90s remains our favorite: Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy. Why are Nick's condescending remarks toward his fellow employees so darned funny? Because so many of us can...

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Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software,

Changes Ahead for Windows: A First Look

May 13th, 2015 by admin

It was about a year ago that Microsoft officially ended support (most importantly, automatic security patches) for Windows XP. Particularly for business users, running a computer on XP after April 8, 2014, became about as wise as leaving keys dangling from the front door. Many XP die-hards stuck it...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Apple TV for Presentations in the Workplace

May 1st, 2015 by admin

Apple TV, typically used as a video content streaming device for Netflix, YouTube, and iTunes, is fairly common in homes across the U.S. However, this crafty little device that can fit in your palm also has some impressive applications in an office setting through its AirPlay screen mirroring features....

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Welcome to the IoT: Will Your TV Be Watching YOU?

March 12th, 2015 by admin

We've talked recently about the potential dangers of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things, or IoT. As we discussed, the IoT consists of embedded sensors collecting data from dozens of devices in your daily life—your car, your health and fitness equipment, and even your home thermostat. All that...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Do Surveillance Cameras Always Keep Your Company Safer? You'll Be Surprised

February 20th, 2015 by admin

You probably remember the 2001 blockbuster remake of Ocean's Eleven starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt. While George and Brad's grand scheme—robbing a secret multi-casino vault underneath the Las Vegas Strip—may have been pure Hollywood, a key element of the plot is actually quite realistic, if not...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Surprising New Study: Email an Essential Cross-Generational Business Asset

February 12th, 2015 by admin

What was cutting-edge in the 1990s is still relevant today — at least, when it comes to Email technology. According to a new PewResearch report, 61 percent of office workers say Email is “very important” to their work productivity. That same study placed the Internet and landline phones at 54 and 35...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Disaster Recovery: Smart Ways to Work Around a Broken System

February 4th, 2015 by admin

Computers have a knack for breaking at the most inconvenient time. Murphy’s Law is alive and well. But you don’t need to wait for IT repairs in order to get an employee back to work: smart techniques and planning can minimize your downtime so you can maintain productivity and take back otherwise lost...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Increase Productivity with Cloud Systems

December 23rd, 2014 by admin

Cloud-based applications have the potential to increase productivity for your business. By de-localizing your computing resources, your employees can benefit from ease of access, broader device compatibility, and reliance on local hardware. IT Managed Service Providers are available today to help you...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,

Stay Productive with IT Managed Services

December 12th, 2014 by admin

It doesn’t take a psychic to know that one of your business goals is improving efficiency and productivity. You can do both with an IT managed service provider. MSPs specialize in finding technical solutions to streamline your work environment and preemptively stop work interruptions. The end goal of...

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Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software,

Handling Your Growing Network with IT Managed Services

October 31st, 2014 by admin

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) computer networks are more of a living project than a one-and-done IT expense. Network-focused IT managed services guides you through the possibilities and challenges presented by changes in personnel and office environments that can squeeze your bandwidth and...

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Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software,

R.I.P. Windows XP. Current Users Now at Greater Cyber Risk

April 8th, 2014 by admin

Microsoft Corporation has just announced it will stop supporting Windows XP, one of the world's most popular and successful operating systems. Though Microsoft XP will not magically disappear from the desktops of anyone currently using it (which is a LOT of people!), Microsoft will stop supporting...

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Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software,

Use IT Standardization to Enhance Workplace Productivity and Limit Downtime

February 22nd, 2014 by admin

What is IT Standardization? Standardization refers to the general uniformity of desktops and laptops across an entire business. Ideally, all workstations and laptops should be identical (or as identical as possible), including uniform software versions and configurations. This process of standardization...

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Posted in: Hardware and Software,


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