Blog

April 21st, 2015

There are two main types of firewalls. One is hardware and the other is software. Both protect your computer and network from hackers and from some malevolent software.

Without any firewall anybody with internet access could get into your company network and computer data with only their internet connection and a little knowledge.

What is the Function of a Firewall?

A firewall is a filter. It blocks access to anybody or any software who is not authorized. Routers have a firewall built into their hardware. Settings can be adjusted for additional protection. There are also firewall software programs that add protection in addition to the routers. Because larger networks have multiple routers in place, computer traffic is checked repeatedly for redundant safety.

Another Firewall Feature

Firewalls can also be used to control outgoing internet traffic. That use of firewalls is less widespread. It can prevent access to certain websites or groups of websites that are considered non-business related.

What Do Firewalls Check?

What specifically is checked? Internet service providers have huge lists of unsafe website addresses and domains that are used to block known sources of hacking and malware. The list is always in flux. In addition, there are traits of packets of data that are characteristic to hackers and hacking. Those are found and blocked. They include specific words and combinations of words, port numbers and protocols.

Why Out-Sourcing Your Network Tasks Saves You Money and Gives You Peace of Mind

Computer and network security is a constant battle between cyber criminals and the rest of us. Anti-malware software – antivirus, anti-spyware, etc. – is always being updated as new threats are found and identified. In addition, routers sometimes have upgrades available.

Myers Network Solutions specializes in keeping your network running smoothly and safely. We stay updated on the latest threats and keep all hardware and software current so you are protected. You should be able to wear one less hat – the IT hat, or hire one less person – and spend more time running your business. Myers helps you do that.

April 18th, 2015

Your server is the control center of your computer network. It is important to not only have have regular backup of your server to another computer, but, better, to have automated continual backup.

When you have automated, continual server backup, you are in a much better position to know your data is safe. Even if your server fails for whatever reason, your backup is completely up to date. It is an up-to-the-minute backup.

Where Should Your Automated Backup Be Located?

Whether your backup is on-site, or off-site, having a current, up-to-the-minute backup is the most important part of your network configuration. The second thing to consider is where the backup hardware is located.

Having off-site – in the cloud – backup has some advantages. First, in the case of a physical disaster – anything that destroys your office, whether earthquake, fire, natural or plumbing flood, etc., an off-site location ensures your data will be safe. While the likelihood of that kind of disaster is low, it can happen.

Some of the reasons off-site “in the cloud” data backup is better:

  • If you have multiple locations, backup in the cloud is much more efficient. Every location can backup data to the same server located elsewhere. It is also less expensive.

  • Whether you have one location or many, having the backup off-site gives direct physical access to the people you depend on to keep your network running properly. You don’t need on-site IT staff at your location. Your personnel costs stay lower.

  • Your network service experts have direct access to the backup hardware for easy upgrades of software and hardware.

  • Hardware reliability, hours in use, etc. is tracked and older hardware is retired while still functioning properly.

  • Your network experts, Myers Network Solutions, specialize in backup and other networking skills. They are more reliable and dependable than in house IT staff who are usually less specialized.

  • Some backup solutions used in-house by businesses outlive their usefulness. Data is lost due to unreliable backup media. The backups fail.

  • Myers is already setup for your off-site backup. You don’t have to “re-invent the wheel.”

  • You don’t have to buy additional hardware.

  • It is simpler for you.

With Myers provided your backup solutions, your protect your data, you protect your budget, and you protect your business.

April 17th, 2015

Do you offer your customers online video training or online conferences? Do you want your customers using mobile devices to have access to your website? If so, it is important to make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Google will be updating their search algorithms on April 21st.

Google has a way for you to immediately check your website for mobile device compatibility “friendliness.” It is here: Google Mobile-Friendliness

If your business website is mobile-friendly, Google’s change will not be an issue. You will probably rank higher in search results.

If not, your website will be ranked lower in searches on Google. This is so mobile device users don’t click on found links and find a website that can’t be read on their mobile device.

A lower ranking on searches by potential customers is bad even if you don’t offer your customers online video training or online conferences. Your website traffic will drop. 61 percent of cell phones are smart phones that can search the internet. 25 percent of adults use only mobile devices to access the internet.

When you have a large non mobile-friendly site, re-writing the entire site can be prohibitive. Another option is searching “mobile website redirect code” for a way to insert a redirect link into your existing site to let mobile users go to different version of your site that is more mobile accessible.

What Are the Possible Reasons Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly?

  • A design that doesn’t adjust to the screen size of a mobile device – requires horizontal scrolling or zooming out
  • Links that are not spaced so they display properly
  • Text that is not easily readable on a mobile device
  • A site that loads slowly
  • Use of Flash
  • difficult navigation
  • too many images, or images that are too big
  • phone numbers that have to be entered instead of clicked

If your website is built with WordPress, mobile-friendliness is likely. Most of the WordPress themes display properly on mobile devices.

Myers Network Solutions does not perform website upgrades, but will be glad to refer you to someone who does. We also can equip you to offer online video training or online conferences. One solution is Mondopad. It is discussed here:

Mondopad: Interactive Video Conferencing and Collaboration

and

The Latest Hot Item in Conferencing: Interactive Videoconferencing through Mondopad.

We are having a free seminar entitled How To Take Advantage Of Mobile And Cloud Computing To Boost Productivity WITHOUT Exposing Your Company To Security Breaches, Damaging Litigation And Rogue (Or Careless) Employees.

We are filling up quickly so don’t delay signing up.

April 17th, 2015

In this blog we have a number of articles on the advantages of using the cloud for your data. It is subject that is being discussed a lot online.

A quick listing of some of the benefits of using the cloud are:

  • the ability to work from a remote location
  • lower hardware costs – backup hardware is owned and maintained by Myers
  • lower software costs with server based programs – no need to buy software for every computer
  • lower personnel costs – no need to hire an IT expert when Myers is part of your team
  • easier, reliable, automated data backup – no need to depend on manual processes
  • keeps all data up to date – up to the minute
  • provides multiple backup versions to protect against hardware, software, or human error

What About Data Security?

How Myers keeps your data safe:

  • Myers is an expert cloud service provider with a history of network security strength
  • multiple backup copies protect against human error, hardware failure, and software glitches
  • Myers makes sure your network is secure at your location as well as theirs
  • your password policy is reviewed to ensure maximum security. Multiple passwords allow access to only appropriate data for each employee
  • Myers specializes in networks, security, and the cloud and does regular security reviews of your setup to keep your data safe
  • all backup and other software is kept current
  • the best and most up to date anti-malware software protects your data from external threats

Contact the Myers Network Solutions team for a discussion of how we can help your business.

April 17th, 2015

If your data disappears, you are essentially out of business. Without data on your operations, on your customers, on your orders, etc., you have no business. Nearly half of all businesses who have severe data loss don’t survive. That is why data backup is critical.

The Other Cause of Data Loss – Human Error

When the topic of business data loss comes up, most of us think of hardware or software glitches. There is another major source of business data loss that doesn’t immediately come to mind. It is human error.

Any networking company who provides backup will have more than one version of your backup to avoid this kind of data loss. Because human error does not immediately trigger an alert to you, as management, nor to the company providing your backup services, keeping multiple versions of backups is critical.

Accidentally erasing data will show up on the most current version of your backup. In other words, the data will be erased on your most current backup version as well. But that erasure will not show up on older backup versions. The accidentally erased or written-over data will still be on the previous backup versions, saving you a lot of grief.

What Are Some of the Causes and Consequences of Data Loss?

Numerous studies show that over half of all businesses with serious data loss do not survive a year. That is whether the loss is due to human error, hardware or software failure, or physical disaster – fire, earthquake, plumbing flood, etc., or another reason.

Well over 9 of 10 computer business workstations are not backed up. Setting up your network to backup to your server automatically avoids this human error.

If you have tape backups, you are courting disaster. Studies show about half of all tape backups fail.

Human error is a big factor in data loss. Other causes includes software corruption or error, viruses and other malware, hardware failure, and theft. Hardware failure is the most common followed by human error.

Human error can be any of the following:

  • Ignoring hardware or software failure
  • Ignoring malware (viruses, etc.)
  • Assuming all employees will regularly follow backup procedures
  • Assuming all employees are honest
  • Playing the odds (gambling it won’t happen to you)
  • Taking your current backup procedures for granted
Topic Backup
April 16th, 2015

Your computer network has some capabilities you may not be using to your maximum advantage. You can communicate with employees and with customers via video. You can also conduct video conferences with customers and potential customers.

As you can imagine, video conferencing greatly increases your communication ability. With customers and potential customers it can increase your credibility and sales potential as well.

This increased communication ability works in both directions. Customers can get their questions answered after showing you what they want or need via video from their location. Your field staff can aid customers in presenting their needs or problems in a manner you can solve easily.

You can offer online video training sessions for customers. Potential customers can also watch to see the advantages of doing business with you. Online training can get them up to speed in a hurry. Their up front costs to learn and use your product or service are minimized.

Myers Network Solutions is available to:

  • Suggest video conferencing software to best meets your needs
  • Offer online and/or on-site training to your marketing department to make your upgrade to video quick and easy.
  • Show you how to use visual communications sent in email for new employees and/or customers.
  • Make suggestions on ways to increase efficiency of your operations – for example, archiving video training sessions gives employees and customers access to your expertise without using your time.
  • Work with your internet service provider to match their service to your needs.

Myers can make upgrading to video capability simple, giving you an advantage.

April 16th, 2015

You have a network of computers and sometimes other devices you and your employees use to operate your business. Your network allows a large number of tasks:

  • You communicate with employees
  • You communicate with customers
  • You share documents with your organization
  • You track scheduling of projects
  • You keep track of orders
  • You keep track of customers and their needs
  • You either conduct online conferences or are investigating using them
  • and numerous other tasks

Your Network is the Backbone of Your Business

What are the key actions and key characteristics of your system necessary for all these tasks?

If your network is not being used for any of the above tasks, do you have somebody in your business who is spear-heading their adoption? Do you need guidance in implementing them? Myers Network Solutions are experts in equipping, training, and maintaining your system and your personnel.

The efficiency of your business can be enhanced. Problems can be prevented and avoided. With a properly setup network, unavoidable problems will have minimal, if any, impact on your day-to-day operations. You aren’t side-tracked into trying to keep up with IT innovations. Myers will keep you ahead of your competition.

Myers Network Solutions is available to:

  • Conduct a network assessment for network efficiency, capacity, speed, and data security.
  • Discover where you system can be improved.
  • Make suggestions on ways to increase efficiency of operations – data sharing, server based programs, automatic and continual backup, etc.
  • Discover ways that also reduce costs to keep your IT budget in check.
  • Train your employees in new methods to more efficiently use your network.
  • Work with your internet service provider to match their service to your needs.
April 13th, 2015

Mondopad is a giant touch tablet. But it is more than just a tablet. It may be the ultimate solution for current needs in videoconferencing.

You can have a multi-tier level of communications in your conference room with the Mondopad. In giving presentations, you may now annotate and collaborate using visuals, sound, images, and have a screen that is available to the touch that is both a whiteboard and videoconferencing.

The advantages are many. You can now digitally and virtually meet the participants of the meeting who are around the world through Mondopad. It has all the qualities and functions to visually present, share ideas, and capture the essence or the message of meetings and conferences just at your fingertips. The hi-tech screen is now the ultimate digital device that integrates all the functions with just a swipe or a touch.

It has the following:

  1. Flexible Windows PC
  2. Multi-touch high definition display
  3. Digital interactive whiteboard
  4. Document annotation
  5. Video conferencing
  6. Full version of MS Office

You can share, view, and/or control from your notebook, tablet or smartphone.

Now the best ideas can be displayed and presented with the device that does the ideas and participants and presenters justice with its hi-tech and innovative best functions of a tool and solution for collaboration digitally.

It is the next best thing to actually being there in person. You have the world at the tip of your fingers.

For more infoprmation on Mondopad, click here.

April 11th, 2015

You depend on your computer network to keep your business running smoothly. Are you doing everything you can to keep it running at maximum efficiency? Unless you have full time IT staff, the likelihood is you are not.

Continual technological changes make keeping up with every way to advance your system is almost impossible. Even with IT staff, it is difficult. They have to do everything related to your IT functions, not just networking and backup efficiency. Keeping up on industry developments is almost a second job.

What are some the areas where most businesses fall behind?

Keeping Your Bandwidth Up to a Speed and Capacity Your Business Will Shortly Grow Into

As your business continues to use your network, demands on your server, cabling, networking software, mail server, etc. can all grow. Staying ahead of your needs avoids problems. You can use your computers and other devices without handicap.

Keeping On Top of Aging Equipment To Avoid Downtime

Computer technology is amazing, but even the best components can eventually wear out and fail. Automated software monitoring can identify components likely to fail. They can be replaced before they cause a problem.

Consumer Grade vs. Business Grade Components

Your network has to run continually without errors day-in and day-out. Using components that can take the extra load can avoid expensive repairs and possible interruptions. Business grade components typically last longer.

Having Real Time Backup and Switch-Over If Your Server Fails

Your data is the most valuable part of your computer network and systems. It is the most valuable part of your business. If you lost it, you business would come to a halt. That is easily avoidable with several safeguards.

First, an automatic, real-time backup keeps your data safe. It can be set up so, if your server fails, your system can immediately and automatically switch over to the backup server. You hardly miss a beat.

Second, with sufficient bandwidth, having an off-site automatic backup prevents even a major disaster – building fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake damage, etc. – from interrupting service. Those with external access to your system don’t see an interruption in service even if your office is closed.

Monitoring Day-to-Day Network Activity and Taking Action If It Slows Down

For a variety of reasons, there can be network and internet slow-downs. Real time software monitoring of your system can prevent any caused by your system. If any are found, they can be quickly addressed and taken care of.

Myers Network Solutions offers these services so you can concentrate on your business. You don’t have to become a computer expert to keep your business running smoothly.

April 9th, 2015

See Some Advantages of Networking Your Computer Systems for an introduction to this topic. See The Advantages of Connectivity by Networking Your Computer Systems for more.

We have already discussed the networking advantages of Security, Updates, and Connectivity. More advantages include easier maintenance, backup, and better performance. We also mention better WiFi security below.

All of these make your network run better so you can run your business. Myers Network Solutions specializes in configuring you network for maximum security, performance, and usefulness.

Maintenance

Most of the tasks already described fall under maintenance, whether hardware of software. With a well-configured network, maintenance becomes much easier. Myers can set up you network so you can opt to do it, or they can keep your systems running smoothly from a remote location. Your security software and scans, business software updates, hardware monitoring, and backups are all done for you.

Backup

While it is rare for a well maintained network to go down, there can be unexpected hardware or software failures. With automatic backups, on-site and/or off-site, your system immediately switches to the backup and keeps running. You don’t see any interruption at your desk. There is great peace of mind knowing the functioning of your system won’t disappear suddenly without warning.

Performance

Keeping all software up to date, all hardware settings correct, and monitoring hardware functions lead to top performance. They keep your computers and network running at maximum speed and efficiency. There are no slowdowns that reduce your business efficiency.

Wireless Networking Security Tips

WiFi settings are another area where security is critical. You don’t want your system vulnerable to unauthorized logins. You also want it to work every time it is needed. Myers can keep the appropriate settings and software updated.

Conclusion

Contact Myers to increase the efficiency of your computer network.