Technology Articles from MPA Networks

Latest Popular Smartphones Significantly Dip in Drop Test Performance

November 22nd, 2017 by admin

iOS device with cracked and broken screen in the bottom left side

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Don't Neglect Surge Protectors in Your Workplace

November 16th, 2017 by admin

Isolated black surge protector strip with 6 outlets

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Problems with Power Loss: Tips for Workplace Computer Battery Backups

November 8th, 2017 by admin

View of the backside of a wooden desk with 2 Apple computers and an Apple laptop, all in gray

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'...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

October 17th, 2017 by admin

Stylized magnifying glass resting on three oversized fingerprints

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Wireless Charging in the Workplace: iPhone Joins Android

October 10th, 2017 by admin

Hand holding a white iPhone plugged in and charging from empty

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Flash Drives: A Productivity and Security Guide

September 26th, 2017 by admin

Wireless dongle, USB drive, micro SD chip, and 2 SD chips on a field of black

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Screen Mirroring Mini-Guide

September 19th, 2017 by admin

Conference room with dark wood table, black and silver chairs, a speaker phone, and a tv display on the far wall

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

September 12th, 2017 by admin

Stylized icons that indicate free WiFi is available

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software

3 Lessons SMBs Can Learn From Retailers On Thanksgiving Weekend

September 6th, 2017 by admin

Two monitors with arms reaching out of them, exchanging a gold credit card for purchased items

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

August 29th, 2017 by admin

Finger pressing a pale blue touchscreen of icons against a pixelated background

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

When Windows 10 Support Stops

August 22nd, 2017 by admin

Dark wood desk with a Mac desktop, a gray MacBook Pro, and a white table resting on it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Looking at USB/NFC Keys for Extra Account Security

August 1st, 2017 by admin

White security icon spotlighted on a dark field of colorized programming code

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Is Your Office Router Secure?

July 25th, 2017 by admin

Netgear ProSafe GS108T router with 4 ethernet cables plugged into it

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Avoiding Hardware Overkill: IT Consulting to the Rescue

July 18th, 2017 by admin

Close up of a circuit board

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Flaws in 2-Factor Authentication Methods Could Leave You Vulnerable

July 11th, 2017 by admin

Close up of a businessman holding a Microsoft smartphone in his hands

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Spare Computer Parts: Which Ones To Keep For Disaster Recovery

July 5th, 2017 by admin

Pile of old computer parts in a metal shipping container

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

June 20th, 2017 by admin

Graphic of six people-shaped figures with question speech bubbles above them

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The Cost of Memory: Trends to Impact Your Upgrade Cycle

June 6th, 2017 by admin

Close up view of a 16Gb G-die DDR3 SDRAM chip K4B1G0846G

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)...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

May 23rd, 2017 by admin

Relief drawing of a pocket watch with roman numerals I through XII

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Scheduling Security: Take Control of Your OS Updates

May 10th, 2017 by admin

The word 'update' written in chalk on a blackboard, with a red analog clock between the 'p' and 'd' letters

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The Three Copies Rule: Why You Need Two Backups

May 3rd, 2017 by admin

An array of storage media devices, including several USB sticks, laid out on a desk

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The Dock Returns: Anticipating Trends for Productivity Potential

April 19th, 2017 by admin

Stylized graphic of a desktop monitor, tablet, and smartphone, in black and white

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...

Read Full Story »

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

Stylized depiction of Windows 10's start menu on a desktop monitor

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Avoiding Disaster: Overheating Computers

April 5th, 2017 by admin

Shiny, red fire extinguisher with a yelling cartoon face on the side

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Mesh Networking for SMB Offices

March 28th, 2017 by admin

Stylized representation of a wireless radio antenna with radio signals eminating from it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The Benefits of Laptop Docks and At-Desk Peripherals

March 21st, 2017 by admin

Overhead view of a computer user typing on a white, detachable Mac keyboard connected to a Macbook laptop

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

March 9th, 2017 by admin

File upload icon in 5 colors: gray, green, red, blue, yellow

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

8 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Office Computers

March 1st, 2017 by admin

Stylized green bucket, with a blue squeegee and a gray dust buster vacuum

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Getting a Clean Start: Managing Windows Startup Programs

February 23rd, 2017 by admin

Stylized depiction of the Windows 8 start menu on a desktop monitor

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Breathing New Life into Middle-Aged Computers

February 8th, 2017 by admin

Stylized depiction of an old-style CRT monitor

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Using Snap and Split-Screen Modes for Increased Productivity

February 1st, 2017 by admin

Stylized sliding drawers stacked one atop the other, in blue and gray

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Virtual Reality: What does It Mean for Your Business?

January 18th, 2017 by admin

Blue and purple depiction of the concept of consciousness

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Boost Productivity and Security with Google's Cloud Applications

January 11th, 2017 by admin

Color logo of Google Drive(tm)

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Looking Forward: Cloud Services Costs and Opportunities

January 5th, 2017 by admin

Blue, green, and orange stylized cloud upload/download icons

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

December 13th, 2016 by admin

The word 'Samsung' with flames rising from it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Antivirus Software: When One Is Better Than Two

December 7th, 2016 by admin

Yellow 'Anti Virus' in yellow on a black background

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

A Primer on Common, Helpful Device Adapters

November 11th, 2016 by admin

An iPhone 7 resting on a table top

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Low Battery Life: Bringing Productivity to a Halt

October 26th, 2016 by admin

Stylized graphic of a AA battery with a green cape flying through the air

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

October 19th, 2016 by admin

Open hard drive sitting on a table with its internals exposed

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Troubleshooting Step 1: Reboot

October 12th, 2016 by admin

Stylized graphic of two power buttons side-by-side, the one on the right one lit up in blue

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Overloaded, Weak Signals: Alleviating Common Wi-Fi Bottlenecks

September 28th, 2016 by admin

Cartoon graphic of a hand holding a tablet with a wifi symbol on the screen

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

IoT Devices to Make Your Office More Efficient

September 21st, 2016 by admin

Stylized graphic of a thermometer

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

September 13th, 2016 by admin

Graphic of an iphone with an image of water droplets on the screen

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Are Chromebooks Right for YOUR Business?

September 7th, 2016 by admin

White Acer laptop sitting on a white table, with a yellow flower in a glass to the side

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Are Comatose Servers Draining Your Wallet and Leaving You Vulnerable?

August 30th, 2016 by admin

Black skull and crossbones graphic

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

How To Select a Second Monitor

August 24th, 2016 by admin

White office desktop with 2 Dell monitors and an Apple keyboard around a coffee cup

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....

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Don’t Forget About Printer Security

August 9th, 2016 by admin

Array of 6 white printer icons against backgrounds of various color

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Looking at Data Storage Longevity

August 2nd, 2016 by admin

Oblong view of a depiction of the internal workings of a mechanical hard drive

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Are “Bandwidth Hogs” Slowing Your Network?

July 26th, 2016 by admin

Dials on a modern car showing a speedometer, tachometer, and other information

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"...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

July 19th, 2016 by admin

Simple representation of a wireless signal: a circle with 3 waves emanating from it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The “Wearable Revolution”: Is Your Company Prepared?

July 7th, 2016 by admin

A man's forearm wearing a smart watch displaying numerous colorful icons

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Is It Time to Switch to Flash Storage?

June 21st, 2016 by admin

Graphic of a open, gray filing cabinet outlined in blue

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Data Sanitization: Are You Erasing Your Old PCs COMPLETELY?

June 7th, 2016 by admin

Sepia-tinted close up of an eraser on the back of a pencil

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Window Comes to an End

May 24th, 2016 by admin

Stylized depiction of the modern Windows start menu with a blue '10' overlaid

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

How To Choose a Desktop Monitor

May 17th, 2016 by admin

Graphical render of a standard desktop PC, with monitor, keyboard, mouse, and tower

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

New Threat Targets Older Android Devices

May 11th, 2016 by admin

Three smartphones with happy, neutral, and sad faces on them

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

URGENT: Uninstall QuickTime for Windows NOW

May 3rd, 2016 by admin

Red and yellow depiction of a ringing alarm clock with hands at 12:15

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Are Your Smartphones Properly “Containerized”?

April 26th, 2016 by admin

Cartoon of a brown picket fence with green grass in front and shrubs on the other side

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....

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Are Macs “Ransomware-Proof”? Not Anymore

March 23rd, 2016 by admin

Clip art of a hacker in a purple shirt using a blue computer

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. ...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

IoT Devices: Security Holes?

March 15th, 2016 by admin

Cloud of icons connecting to other icons on a blue background

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

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

March 8th, 2016 by admin

Close up of a woman with pink fingernails using an iPhone while carrying a black bag

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

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

March 2nd, 2016 by admin

Two iphones against a shiny black background, one with a red case and the other pale blue

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Internet Explorer: Upgrade Your Relationship or Break Up?

February 25th, 2016 by admin

A compass surrounded by the logos for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

February 11th, 2016 by admin

Red sign depicting in white lettering 'Do Not Enter'

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Transitioning to the Cloud? “Know Before You Go”

January 26th, 2016 by admin

Stylized cloud with an open door in the center of it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Standing Desks: Could They Improve Your Workplace?

January 12th, 2016 by admin

Woman in a red jacket using a laptop while reaching for a cup of coffee

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software

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

December 16th, 2015 by admin

Apple monitor, keyboard, mouse, and iPhone resting on a wooden desk

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Blurring the Lines: Hybrid Devices in the Workplace

December 10th, 2015 by admin

Wooden desk with a gray MacBook Pro, Apple display, iPad, and Mac peripherals sitting on it

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Busting Dust: The Overlooked Cause of Crashes

December 2nd, 2015 by admin

Close up of the ASDF home row on a black keyboard

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Mobile Security Exploits: Surviving the BYOD Environment

November 19th, 2015 by admin

Businessman using a smartphone with his right hand

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

October 27th, 2015 by admin

Windows(tm) logo in blue

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

BYOD Is Here: Where’s Your Company Policy?

September 11th, 2015 by admin

Android phone displaying an orange 'Google Play' screen, resting on a gray table next to an Apple keyboard

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

IPv6: Heard of it? You Will...

September 4th, 2015 by admin

Inside view of a round, white tunnel with black numerals 0 through 9

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?...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

August 27th, 2015 by admin

iPad on a dark wood desk showing a 2015 calendar in red, sitting next to an Apple display and keyboard

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Hidden Costs of DaaS Service? Know What to Look For

August 19th, 2015 by admin

Stylized depiction of a clipboard with a checklist on it, with 2 check marks and an 'X'

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

DaaS and the Virtual Workspace: The Next Big Thing?

July 30th, 2015 by admin

Hand holding a graphic of colorful gears and cogs, against a background of a blue sky with a single cloud

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

July 22nd, 2015 by admin

Server racks in a datacenter

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

June 24th, 2015 by admin

Graphic of the world in a circle with red and blue arrows rotating clockwise

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

The Cloud: An Eco-Friendly Alternative?

June 11th, 2015 by admin

Light green poster with a leaf on it and the words 'Earth Friendly' in white

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

June 4th, 2015 by admin

Error dialog box displaying 'Please contact support'

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software

Changes Ahead for Windows: A First Look

May 13th, 2015 by admin

Graphic of an old-style, black CRT monitor with 'Microsoft Windows XP' prominently displayed

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Apple TV for Presentations in the Workplace

May 1st, 2015 by admin

Woman's hands holding up an iPad displaying a colorful abstract image

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

March 12th, 2015 by admin

Silhouette of the heads of a man and woman set next to an image of a desktop monitor

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,...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

February 20th, 2015 by admin

Triangular sign with silhouette of a security camera on a field of yellow

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

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

February 12th, 2015 by admin

Red background with outline of a desktop monitor and mouse, screen displaying '@' sign and icon of an envelope

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Disaster Recovery: Smart Ways to Work Around a Broken System

February 4th, 2015 by admin

Cartoon of a sad-faced computer and a panicked user with '!?' over his head

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Increase Productivity with Cloud Systems

December 23rd, 2014 by admin

Blue inked drawing of various icons with arrows pointing to a cloud

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software

Stay Productive with IT Managed Services

December 12th, 2014 by admin

Isolated clock face in silver and blue with roman numerals for the numbers

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software

Handling Your Growing Network with IT Managed Services

October 31st, 2014 by admin

Eleven colorful network cables arranged like an increasing bar graph

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Solutions, Hardware and Software

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

April 8th, 2014 by admin

The words 'Microsoft Windows XP', with logo floating above them

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Cyber and Data Security, Hardware and Software

Use IT Standardization to Enhance Workplace Productivity and Limit Downtime

February 22nd, 2014 by admin

Dilbert comic strip

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...

Read Full Story »

Posted in: Hardware and Software