Monthly Archives: December 2016

How to Maintain Your Business Phone System

Business phone system is a critical component of business communications and a faulty telephone system can seriously impair all aspects of business functioning. Several extraordinary advancements have taken place in the field of telephone communications and today you have VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone systems, hosted PBXs, online fax services etc.

Most companies are able to stay and survive and thrive in business because of the Internet and today’s advanced telephone features and facilities. It is only natural that every business, regardless of its size and scale of operations, want to avail the latest business phone system with all its attendant features.

Small and mid-size business enterprises are obviously not in a position to employ technicians to maintain the telephone systems in their office and strictly speaking, there is no need to permanently hire such personnel. Today there are a host of VoIP service providers, online fax service providers, toll-free number service providers, hosted PBX providers etc. In fact, you are not even required to buy any costly hardware – much less maintain them.

Besides, most telephone systems are scalable and it is not required that you overbuy all the telephone features and facilities right now in one go. You can arrange with your service company to provide only such telephone features and telephone facilities you need now and gradually upgrade them as your business expands.

Most telephone service providers are sensitive to your business communication needs and will offer you only the features and facilities you now require and be willing to expand the scope of their services as your business grows. Besides, as there are telephone service providers galore, they will offer you effective support and competitive rates.

Certain basic telephone features and facilities are very important and not dispensable by even small businesses. The main facilities required by the phone services are the facility to put the caller on hold and the facility to transfer the call to another system if required by the caller. Most businesses will also need Internet fax facilities and from a marketing angle even toll-free numbers.

The loss that your business can suffer if your business phone system malfunctions or goes dead even for few hours is unimaginable. This apart, your customers and business associates will feel terribly annoyed if they are not able to access your phones and may as well turn to your competitors. It is said construction is difficult but reconstruction is doubly difficult. You will be hard put to regain your customers once you lose them to your competitors.

It is therefore of paramount importance that you tie up with the right telephone service provider who is reputed and reliable and offers you 24 x 7 uninterrupted back-up support and competitive rates. You will have to verify the track record and thoroughly satisfy yourself about the phone service provider. Most phone service providers are aware of their critical roles and will wholly support you to avoid the business loss.

DSL Internet Providers

One of the most valuable technologies that people enjoy today is the Internet. Many enjoy the great pleasure of connecting with people without the geographical barrier. Communication is more efficient with the use of the Internet with benefits not only to personal needs and use but for many commercial purposes as well. In order to maximize the features and benefits from using the Internet technology it is essential to choose only the services from reliable Internet providers.

Many Internet providers are available to choose from. They offer the same promising features of a high speed connection that people are willing to pay for. The beneficial use of Internet technology extends to the flourishing ecommerce industry. The speed of Internet connection can also affect businesses therefore the need for reliable Internet connection is always emphasized. With a second rate Internet service provider, there is a danger of losing sales and failure to maintain an uninterrupted online business. A stable connection is needed in order to ensure that an online entrepreneur remains consistent in communicating with their clients and customers while being efficient in maintaining reliable services to cater to their needs. Thus, a good Internet service provider should be one that can provide Internet connection without technical interruptions to the user.

Balance should be made when assessing the DSL Internet providers by considering the price for their services and quality of the connection they can provide. You may find low cost Internet providers however they offer a limited bandwidth. Higher priced DSL Internet providers on the other hand can offer better bandwidth and less technical problems to their consumers. The bandwidth that an Internet provider offers is an important consideration to the user since it is the maximum constant rate for downloading data and files. Bigger bandwidth allows faster connection speed.

Ideally, what you want for your Internet is a maximum bandwidth for high speed Internet connection. DSL Internet providers usually offer flexible packages of various bandwidth rate. The higher the bandwidth however the higher the cost. But the fact that even the lowest bandwidth level offered by DSL Internet providers remains to be better than dial up connection gives it a better option. Maximum latency is important also to make loading of pages faster. But latency usually varies on an hourly and daily basis. So it is not distinguishable unlike bandwidth which h

Connecting Your Computer To The Internet

Unfortunately you do need to take certain precautions when going online with your computer to stay safe and protect your information. So how do you connect and how can you stay safe online?

The most common way to connect to the World Wide Web (WWW) is via a device called a Modem. The word Modem is an abbreviation for Modulator/De-Modulator which just means signal conversion device in straight talk. The Modem takes the signals from your PC and converts them to be sent over the phone line or cable. It then converts the signals it gets back so your computer can make sense of it.

To connect your PC to the Modem use an Ethernet cable that plugs one end into the Modem socket marked Ethernet and the other end of the cable to the same type of socket on your PC. If you are using a laptop this socket is usually found at the rear or sides of your machine. The socket is at the back of your computer if using a Tower type machine. Just follow the power cord from the wall socket to locate the general area.

It may be that you have a built-in wireless facility on your laptop to send and receive data. To use this method of connection you will need to have a modem with a wireless feature that your computer can communicate with. It is possible to fit a special circuit board into most Tower type PC’s which will give it a wireless communication facility as well.

These are the two ways of connecting to the Internet. There are other devices that you can use in between to perform various other functions. One such a device is a Router, which can connect a number of computers together to share the Internet connection.

The important thing is to have updated, reliable software running on your machine that catches and prevents others from accessing your data. Your Modem usually has some sort of protection against unauthorized intrusion but you can not rely just on this to stop problems. A good anti-virus and anti-spy ware software package from a well-known, and reputable organization is a must to have on your computer.

Keep in mind that the companies that make and update their anti-virus software do so as a response to a threat. That is, the threat has to be identified first as existing before they create a way to block it. This means that we are never 100% protected. But by keeping all software updated regularly we can try to keep ourselves safe online.

Secure Your Internet Connection

If you have, or are considering, high-speed Internet access, you need some basic knowledge to keep your personal information safe online.

With dial-up access, simply maintaining some form of decent anti-virus software and having a spyware utility kept you pretty safe. The fact is, you were simply not a desirable target (very slow connection with limited bandwidth) for someone to come after and therefore, use of a firewall was optional. But since broadband — high-speed — access with a dynamic IP address is a cut above a dial-up connection, you are much more likely to be targeted.

In addition to anti-virus and spyware utilities, a software firewall can’t hurt. If you do not leave the connection up when you’re not using the computer, the firewall isn’t particularly necessary. However, if you do leave the connection up, with the computer on, for long periods of time, a software firewall is desirable. Your IP address will not typically change unless your connection has been dropped. The longer you maintain the same IP address, the more vulnerable you become.

Broadband access with a static IP address should employ all three forms of protection. Use of a properly configured software firewall will prevent an attacker from gaining unauthorized access and turning your computer into a zombie – a computer attached to the Internet that has been compromised by a hacker, a computer virus.

If you have a home network, make sure there is a router or hardware firewall in place as well. These days, the difference between the two has blurred somewhat and is more important for the business owner than the home network user. Therefore, if this is for home use, a decent router (Linksys, Netgear, DLink, Belkin, etc.) will do the trick as many of them have a form of firewall built in. Additionally, once the hardware firewall exists, the software firewall on individual computers is not necessary. But anti-virus and spyware utilities are still a must. And again, I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping those utilities up to date as well as using them to do scans on a regular basis.

Businesses, regardless of IP addressing scheme or multiple vs. a single computer, should employ the use of a hardware firewall that offers Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) and Denial of Service (DOS) attack protection. Businesses are more attractive targets for the nefarious than the residential user.

If you live in a city/town area with a fairly dense population need to consider heavier security than those that live in rural areas with residents that are spread out. Why? Fewer people means less chance of someone attempting to use your network. Base your security on your geographical area and the risk of someone else attempting to use your network.

Where the dangers lie
Email is the No. 1 largest method by which machines will become infected by a virus/trojan. It’s also the major medium for you to be reached with phishing scams. If you receive an email with an attachment from someone you don’t know, regard it with caution. When you receive a link in email, is it pointing to a named host, or an IP address? If it points to an IP address, there’s a fair chance that you might be walking into something. If an institution sends you an email requesting private information OR they provide a link for you to update private information, is it valid? Again, be suspicious. It never hurts to go to the Web site of such an institution, look for valid contact information there, and ask if they sent you the email. Use of such caution will go a long way to keeping you and your computer safe.

The downloading of freeware and shareware programs from the Internet is likely the No. 1 source of spyware/malware that finds its way onto systems. Vendors often cut costs by agreeing to package a third party’s software with theirs that will be installed on your computer (often without your knowledge) when you install the main package. To guard against this, read available information to see what’s included. When installing, read the End User License Agreement (EULA). After installing, run your favorite spyware scanner with its newly updated definitions.

Do you use your Internet Service to do some online shopping? A lot of people do. Such shopping usually requires the use of a credit card. When doing this, there are two major things that you should do in the interests of keeping your identity and credit card safe from unauthorized use by others. First, make sure the site you’re about to use is employing some form of secure encryption for your transaction. Most sites will tell you if they are; look for “https” before the Web site URL. Second, use only one credit card for such transactions. It is much easier for you to keep track of your online transactions on one credit card than it is to monitor two or more.