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How to Choose the Best Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Choosing the best internet service provider (ISP) can be a daunting task, as there are so many options available and each one offers different plans, speeds, and features. However, by considering a few key factors, you can narrow down your choices and find the ISP that best meets your needs.

  1. Speed: The first thing to consider when choosing an ISP is the speed of their internet service. The faster the internet speed, the better the performance will be for activities such as streaming, gaming, and video conferencing. Look for ISPs that offer high-speed plans, such as fiber-optic or cable internet.
  2. Availability: Not all ISPs are available in all areas, so it’s important to check if the ISPs you are considering are available in your area. You can use the ISPs’ websites or check with them directly to see if they provide service in your area.
  3. Data limits: Some ISPs have data caps, which means they limit the amount of data you can use each month. If you’re someone who likes to stream a lot of videos, play online games, or download large files, you’ll want to look for an ISP that doesn’t have data limits or has a high data cap.
  4. Price: Of course, you’ll want to consider the cost of the internet service when choosing an ISP. Compare the prices of different plans and look for any hidden fees or charges. Also, consider the length of the contract and whether there are any early termination fees if you decide to cancel.
  5. Customer service: Not all ISPs have the same level of customer service. Some have 24/7 customer support, while others have limited hours. It’s worth considering the level of customer service you need when choosing an ISP, as you’ll want to have someone to turn to if you have any issues.
  6. Bundle options: Some ISPs also offer bundle options, which allow you to bundle your internet service with other services like television or phone service. If you’re interested in bundling services, you’ll want to look for an ISP that offers bundle options.

Overall, choosing the best internet service provider involves evaluating your individual needs and preferences. Take the time to research the different options available in your area and make a decision based on the factors that are most important to you.

What is Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based delivery model that provides virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) over the internet. This allows users to access their desktop and applications from any device, anywhere, at any time.

DaaS is a cost-effective and flexible solution that can be used by organizations of all sizes. It eliminates the need for expensive hardware and software, and reduces the cost of IT support and maintenance. Additionally, DaaS provides users with a consistent and secure desktop experience, regardless of the device they are using.

DaaS is typically delivered through a subscription model, where users pay a monthly or annual fee to access their virtual desktop. The service is managed by a DaaS provider, who is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, providing technical support, and ensuring that the virtual desktop is always up-to-date.

One of the key benefits of DaaS is that it allows for remote work and collaboration. With DaaS, employees can access their virtual desktop from anywhere, which enables them to work from home, on the road, or from any other location. This can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower overhead costs for the organization.

Another benefit of DaaS is that it allows organizations to quickly and easily scale their IT infrastructure. As the number of employees or users changes, organizations can easily add or remove virtual desktops to meet their needs. This eliminates the need for expensive hardware purchases, and makes it easy to respond to changes in business conditions.

In addition to these benefits, DaaS also provides organizations with a high level of security and compliance. Virtual desktops are stored in secure data centers, and can be configured to meet specific security and compliance requirements. This helps organizations to protect their data and comply with industry regulations.

Overall, DaaS is a cost-effective, flexible and secure solution for organizations looking to provide their employees with remote access to their desktop and applications. This can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lower overhead costs. Additionally, DaaS can help organizations to respond quickly to changes in business conditions and can help them to meet specific security and compliance requirements.

Cybersecurity Basics

Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of modern life. With more and more of our personal and professional lives taking place online, it’s important to understand the basics of cybersecurity and how to protect yourself from potential threats.

At its core, cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computers, networks, and data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. This can include a wide range of activities, from installing antivirus software on your personal computer to implementing complex security protocols for a large corporation.

One of the key concepts in cybersecurity is the idea of “layers of defense.” This refers to the idea that the best way to protect against cyber threats is to use multiple, overlapping methods to defend against them. This might include things like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption, among others.

Another important aspect of cybersecurity is the practice of “risk management.” This involves identifying potential threats, assessing the likelihood of them occurring, and implementing measures to mitigate or prevent those risks. This might include things like regular backups of important data, training employees on security best practices, and conducting regular security audits.

One of the biggest challenges in cybersecurity is the constantly evolving nature of the threats. As technology continues to advance, so too do the methods that hackers and other malicious actors use to try and gain access to sensitive information. That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest security developments and to regularly review and update your own security measures.

In conclusion, the basics of cybersecurity involve protecting computers, networks, and data from unauthorized access, using multiple layers of defense, and practicing good risk management. By understanding these concepts and implementing effective security measures, individuals and organizations can protect themselves from potential threats and keep their information safe.

Basics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a term that refers to the delivery of computing services, such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence, over the internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.

In other words, cloud computing allows users to access and use shared pools of configurable computing resources, such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services, without the need for building, maintaining, and managing their own infrastructure.

There are four main types of cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

IaaS is the most basic type of cloud computing, providing users with access to virtualized computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networking, that can be easily scaled up or down as needed. This allows users to quickly and easily provision and use computing resources without the need for upfront investment in hardware or infrastructure.

PaaS builds on top of IaaS, providing users with a platform for developing, testing, and deploying their own applications. This includes not only the underlying infrastructure, but also the development tools and runtime environments necessary to create and run applications.

SaaS is the most advanced type of cloud computing, providing users with access to pre-built, ready-to-use applications and services. This allows users to quickly and easily use and benefit from sophisticated software without the need for installation, maintenance, or support.

DaaS allows users to remotely access and use virtualized desktop environments, providing them with the ability to work from anywhere, on any device, as long as they have an internet connection. With DaaS, users can access their full desktop environment and applications, including those that may not be available on their local device, without the need for investing in, maintaining, or upgrading their own hardware. DaaS is often used by organizations to provide remote work capabilities for their employees or for businesses to offer scalable and flexible desktops for their customers. By using DaaS, businesses can significantly cut down IT costs and also provide secure access to their data and applications from anywhere. DaaS is a growing trend and becoming an essential part of many organizations IT strategy.

Overall, cloud computing offers many benefits, including increased efficiency, agility, and scalability, as well as reduced costs and risks. It has become an essential part of modern computing, with many businesses and organizations relying on it to support their operations and drive their success.

SaaS Software 101

SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a type of software delivery model that allows users to access and use applications over the internet, typically through a web browser. SaaS software is typically subscription-based, with users paying a recurring fee to access and use the software on a monthly or annual basis.

One of the key benefits of SaaS software is that it is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it an ideal solution for businesses with remote teams or employees who need to access software while on the go. Additionally, because SaaS software is delivered over the internet, it is typically easier and less expensive to maintain and update than traditional software that is installed on individual computers.

Another advantage of SaaS software is that it is often scalable, allowing businesses to easily add or remove users and adjust their subscription plans as their needs change. This can help businesses save money by only paying for the software and services they need, and can also make it easier to adapt to changes in their business or industry.

In addition to the cost and accessibility benefits of SaaS software, it also offers a number of other advantages. For example, because SaaS software is delivered over the internet, it is typically more secure than traditional software, with data and user information stored in the cloud and accessed through secure connections. This can provide businesses with peace of mind, knowing that their data is safe and secure.

Overall, SaaS software is a convenient, cost-effective, and secure solution for businesses of all sizes. With its scalable and flexible nature, SaaS software can help businesses save time and money, and can provide them with the tools they need to grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

How to Choose the Best VoIP Service Provider

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows users to make voice calls over the internet. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as a cost-effective alternative to traditional phone systems. If you’re looking to switch to a VoIP service provider, there are a few things you should consider before making a decision.

First, it’s important to understand your needs. Do you need a basic phone system for a small business, or do you require more advanced features like call forwarding and virtual receptionists? Different VoIP providers offer different plans and features, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your specific needs.

Next, you’ll want to consider the quality of the service. VoIP calls are only as good as the internet connection they’re made over, so it’s important to choose a provider with a strong, reliable network. You can ask potential providers about their network infrastructure and ask for references from other customers to get a sense of the quality of their service.

It’s also a good idea to compare prices and plans from multiple providers. VoIP services can vary in cost, depending on the features and number of users you need. Don’t just choose the cheapest option – make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Finally, make sure to read customer reviews and do your research before committing to a provider. This can give you a sense of the level of customer service you can expect and help you avoid potential pitfalls.

In conclusion, choosing the best VoIP service provider for your needs involves considering your specific requirements, the quality of the service, the cost and value, and customer reviews. By taking the time to carefully evaluate your options, you can ensure that you select a provider that will meet your needs and provide reliable, high-quality service.

5 Ways Your Company Can Get Green

It seems like everyone wants to “go green” these days, if not for the environment itself, then at least to improve the company’s public image. No one wants to be called out for not being green enough, like Toshiba’s copier division was in 2012, but it’s often difficult for technology companies to be more environmentally conscious.

The technology industry isn’t often associated with “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” what with consumers clamoring to buy the latest and greatest gadget only to discard yesterday’s still-working model.  What’s worse, many technologies need to be responsibly discarded because they contain significant quantities of hazardous materials including lead, cadmium and arsenic that can poison air, water, and land when deposited in landfills.

An industry with such destructive components may not seem to be able to join the green movement, but that’s not the case at smplsolutions.  We are doing our part to minimize our carbon footprint and preserve our environment.  The good news is that there are many SMPL® things every office can do to make a difference.  Here are some of our favorites:

Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

An easy thing to do – and a good first step on the road to going green – is asking your cleaning crew to use only eco-friendly cleaning solutions.  There may be times when they need to use harsh chemicals like bleach, but for everyday use, it’s completely fine to switch to cleaning products that don’t hurt the environment.

Go Paperless

Paperless billing and faxing is becoming more and more popular as the technology behind the service evolves.  At smplsolutions we no longer have hard copies of faxes or invoices; everything is done electronically unless a client requests that we mail a hard copy.  Going paperless has allowed us to cut our paper consumption by more than half—good for the Earth and for our budget!

Tint Office Windows

Approximately one-third of a structure’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors.  Knowing this, one of the first modifications President & CEO David Case made to our building was to put energy-efficient tinting on its windows.  The tint helps to insulate the office, which reduces our need to run the heating and air conditioning.  If tinting isn’t an option for your office, make sure to efficiently use window coverings to regulate the temperature.

Reduce & Improve Business Travel

Obviously one of our greatest impact points is technicians traveling to client locations.  Luckily, technology is helping minimize the need for onsite visits, and The Tech Team uses software, like Team Viewer, to remotely handle glitches and changes to client networks as often as possible. Still, there are times when it’s impossible to complete the job remotely, like during a system installation or cabling project.

On-site telecom projects often require a ladder, tool box and other equipment that doesn’t fit well into a sedan.  For that reason, many companies use pickup trucks or full-size vans as their corporate vehicles.  Not smplsolutions.  When rolling a tech is unavoidable, we have a fleet of fuel-efficient smplsolutions Scion xBs outfitted with roof racks to get The Tech Team on the road and to the rescue.

Start a Recycling Program

Finally, smplsolutions provides a free technology recycling service to clients.  Our technicians pick up old batteries, computers, monitors, servers, printers and other items from clients. We destroy any hard drives to ensure client privacy, and store everything on a pallet in our warehouse.  When we have collected a pallet worth of items we have a hardware recycling company come to our office to responsibly dispose of everything.  The last time they made a pickup we had more than 3,000 lbs. of batteries!

It’s never too late to implement a company recycling program or ask your cleaning crew to switch to eco-friendly products.  Even in an industry where waste is prevalent (what did you do with your last iPhone after you upgraded?) there are ways to minimize the corporate carbon footprint and make a difference.

Several Different Types of VoIP Calling Solutions

How does this help?

What are the specific advantages that VoIP offers?

VoIP helps you to use your existing Internet connection to make or receive calls and you do not need to rely on the traditional telephone lines. The primary benefit is that you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a month because you will not need the traditional telephone lines and you can completely bypass your phone company while making the calls.

VoIP is the latest technology that has given a paradigm shift to the way we communicate with our phone systems – both at our office as well as at home. There are several VoIP providers in the market that are providing their services at a fraction of prices than your telephone company. The time is not far when the traditional telephone systems will book their places in the pages of history as they are going to be slowly replaced by VoIP phone systems.

The most interesting VoIP feature is that you will be able to place calls in different ways and it will depend on your choice. Let us take a look at the different types of VoIP calling:

Phone to Phone (Analog Telephone Adapter or ATA)

This is the simplest as well as the most popular way of making or receiving calls. You will need an analog telephone adapter or ATA that helps you to connect your standard phone to the computer network and use VoIP. This is a standard that converts analog signals into digital signals.

Phone to computer (IP phone)

These are the phones that have been specifically designed to work with VoIP service. It looks similar to the usual digital phones and you will need a RJ45 connector for connecting it to the network. These phones can be directly connected to the router and it has all the necessary hardware as well as software to manage IP calls. There are even Wi-Fi enabled IP phones where you can connect to the Wi-Fi network and make calls.

Computer-to-computer

This is probably the most popular and easiest of all VoIP calling as you will be able to make calls between two computers that are on the same network. Also, you won’t need to pay for the long distance calls because they use the Internet, and you already pay a bill for that. There are no additional charges on the calls that you make from a computer because the calls are absolutely free. There are several VoIP service providers who provide the software for making the calls so you will need to arrange for the speakers and microphones to make the calls.

Computer-to-Telephone:

You can place calls from your computer to any phone around the world and charges are very low.

Mobile-to-other devices:

This is a recent phenomenon. With an app that you can download for Android or iOS, you cellular phone becomes an end device. You can make and receive VoIP calls the same way as if you are sitting at your desk.

VoIP has numerous advantages and you will be able to even integrate the same with your mobile phone. Thus, you need not even be at your desk to make calls or receive calls. Several advanced telephony features can be accessed by using VoIP. You will love to be a part of a telecom revolution because there are many things that you can actually gain by implementing VoIP at your office or home. Businesses can make their communication systems robust and competitive by opting for the latest Voice over Internet (VoIP) telephony.

About smplsolutions

smplsolutions offers products and services for telephone, cloud, computer networking, video conferencing, video surveillance, data management, and cabling necessities. Our highly trained technicians, The Tech Team™ are your team of networking and communications experts.

Call us today on 800.943.7675 for all your communication, networking and surveillance requirements.

Top 10 Cloud Services for Small Businesses

The Cloud is not only about telephone or VoIP systems as its services extend to storage and computing, too. Cloud storage is the latest trend among small business owners because it gives them a new and powerful way to access, share and secure their organizational data. Small businesses often lack the infrastructure or investment capacity to maintain the latest storage equipment and this usually leads to problems like data loss, redundancy and data theft. However with the advent of cloud storage, they have been able to securely store their organizational data, access and even share them with others.

In this article, we are going to take a look at 10 cloud storage services that are making life easier for the small business owners.

  1. Dropbox for Small businesses
    Many of us have always used Dropbox for free to store, sync and even share our personal files on the cloud and mobile devices/PCs. Now Dropbox for Business is the latest service that offers 1 TB cloud storage space along with centralized monitoring with greater security features. Users will also be able to track and recover older files with ease.
  2. Box
    Box is a unique cloud based service that helps you to maintain business data for centralized collaboration on the cloud. Some unique features that come with Box are screencast and screenshot sharing from your PC and the ability to carry out context-based searches in the files while integrating a great range of other services.
  3. Microsoft SkyDrive
    Microsoft’s SkyDrive gives small businesses an opportunity to store their business data for free and even integrate the same with the Windows Operating systems.
  4. Google Drive
    Google made its foray into cloud-storage services a few years back and it offers small businesses the opportunity to store, sync and share their files and folders with others via your web-browser. You will be able to even view files that require programs not installed on your computer.
  5. Carbonite Business
    Carbonite Business is quite similar to MozyPro as it helps you to back up the data (in the form of files and folders) on any windows or Mac server. This is by far the cheapest service as it charges less than a dollar per year for every GB of space you use.
  6. SpiderOak
    The majority of cloud-storage service providers encrypt the data that you store on their servers. However, they also store your password, which makes the sensitive data accessible to anyone who cracks your password.
    On the other hand, SpiderOak helps you to store your sensitive data on your computer where you can give your own password – they do not store your password in an encrypted form. Thus, no one other than you can actually access the data when needed.
  7. MozyPro
    MozyPro helps you to automatically back up the data stored on your PC, laptop and even servers. The software program is compatible with different OS like Mac and Windows. The charges of this service are based on the amount of storage you use and not the number of computers or servers you wish to create backups for.
  8. Acronis Backup and Recovery Online
    This cloud-storage service helps you to back up the data of an entire PC or server and not just help you to store specific files or folders – a great tool to recover data when the PC or server completely crashes.
  9. CrashPlan Pro
    CrashPlan Pro offers its backup support to Solaris and Linux systems as well as the obvious Mac and Windows-based systems. You have the unique option of choosing between unlimited storage for one computer and a specified amount of data for an unlimited number of systems.
  10. SugarSync for Business
    SugarSync for Business offers the unique service of syncing and sharing files from any computer around the world. Irrespective of whether you are using Android, Mac or iOS, you will be able to store, sync and even share your files and folders. You will also be able to send links of the shared files in email, so you do not even need to attach the files to each email.

About SMPLsolutions

smplsolutions offers products and services for telephone, cloud, computer networking, video conferencing, video surveillance, data management, security and cabling needs. Our highly trained technicians, The Tech Team, are your team of networking and communications experts.

Call us today on 800.943.7675 for all your communication, networking and surveillance requirements.