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Technology Roundup: Routers and Wireless

Looking to connect your business to the world? These resources can help

They’re small, often kept out of view, and rarely thought about beyond the purchase. However, without a reliable router, you can’t securely connect to the Internet. Whether wired or wireless, a router is critical to connecting your company to your world of employees, partners, and customers. A router is also your first line of defense for protecting your network resources against malicious attacks. So choosing the best routing and wireless solutions for your business are key to ensuring that you’re building the right network to support your business today and tomorrow.

In this third installment of our Technology Roundup series, we offer some resources to help you understand routers and wireless networks and make the best decision for your small business network.

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Cloud Computing vs. Virtualization: The Differences and Benefits

Both solutions can help maximize your current resources and technology dollars

Like many technologies that were once available only to large organizations, virtualization and cloud computing are being scaled down for small business use. The two technologies are often mentioned in the same breath as though they’re interchangeable—they’re not. Here’s where the two technologies overlap: Virtualization is one of the fundamental technologies that makes cloud computing work. However, virtualization is not cloud computing.

In enterprise networks, virtualization and cloud computing are often used together to build a private cloud infrastructure. For most small businesses, however, each technology will be deployed separately to gain measurable benefits. In different ways, virtualization and cloud computing can help you keep your equipment spending to a minimum and get the best possible use from the equipment you already have.

First, you need to understand what virtualization and cloud computing are. Virtualization software allows one physical server to run several individual computing environments. In practice, it’s like getting multiple servers for each physical server you buy.  This technology is fundamental to cloud computing.  Cloud providers have large data centers full of servers to power their cloud offerings, but they aren’t able to devote a single server to each customer. Thus, they virtually partition the data on the server, enabling each client to work with a separate “virtual” instance of the same software. Read More »

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5 Steps for Avoiding Data Breaches

These tips can protect your business and customers from financial loss and identity theft

So far this year, 369 data breaches have been reported to the Open Security Foundation Data Loss Database, affecting 126,749,634 records. A breach in your business data can come from loss, theft, or exposure of information, which opens you and your customers up to such risks as financial loss and identity theft. Most reported breaches involve stealing private information, like customers’ email addresses and credit card numbers.

A small business can suffer data loss through a variety of data breaches, not all of which can be pinned on a malicious hacker. Data can be lost when a mobile device goes missing, gets accidentally deleted from a server or computer, or when an employee inadvertently makes private data public or steals it outright. And sometimes data is lost not by human error or interference but by an unfortunate accident such as a natural disaster or computer failure. In some way and at some time, a data breach can—and eventually will—happen to everyone.

These five steps can help you secure your critical data against breaches and mitigate the risk of losing customers, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance.

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Set Your Mobile Employees Free with UC

A unified communications solution provides the tools to work from anywhere on any device

Whether telecommuting is a privilege for your employees or a necessity for your small business, chances are good that at least a couple people in your company work from home or while on the road. Many small companies enable telecommuting via a virtual private network (VPN), which is a good first step in giving employees remote access to business resources on your network. But for folks to be as productive away from the office as they are in the office, they need additional collaboration tools provided by unified communications (UC). If you’ve built the right network for your business—one that supports your existing needs and future applications—you can more easily add UC to further untether your mobile employees. Read More »

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Employees off-site? Stay in Touch With These 5 Tips

Clearly defined goals and the right tools help ensure communication success

In a small company, keeping the lines of communication open with your employees might seem like a no-brainer. But if some or all of your team works remotely—in a branch office, on the road, or at home—staying in touch can seem like a full-time job. It doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and attitude, remote employees can stay productive and in touch with each other and their clients.

Here are five tips to improve communications with mobile workers:

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