Protect your Business and Family with OpenDNS

opendns_logoOpenDNS offers a suite of Internet filtering and security features targeted at levels from the home environment to corporates.  The service works by replacing the Internet’s standard address book system (DNS) with a custom service which then allows you to limit, track, and manage access to the Internet and to help protect your staff and family from malware, phishing, and inappropriate content.  Read more

USB goes Full Circle with USB-C

USB-CUniversal Serial Bus (USB) was developed in the late 90s to replace a mess of slow PC connections with a high speed, one size fits all plug and data transfer protocol.  All newish devices had the plug, it was good, and there was no real decision or gotchas to look out for when buying new devices.

A decade or two later, things are again a mess.  Incremental changes to USB have offered progressive technical improvements, but at the cost of modified plugs and sometimes questionable backwards compatibility.  Read more

Guide to Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS)

Eaton_1500VA_smallThe UPS is a misunderstood beast, so we have written this guide to clear up misconceptions and provide information to help you work out if you need one.

At its core, a UPS is a battery that sits between the mains power supply and your equipment.  When the power drops out, the battery is there to keep your gear running long enough to save your work and shut it down normally. Read more

How to Choose Surge Protection

Lightning2Every year, as Christmas approaches, we see an influx of PCs, modems, and other equipment killed by power surges.  It is that time of year again, so to head off some of the issues, I thought a timely reminder in order.

When a burst of energy is dumped into the grid, a surge results and the voltage at your power point will jump up above the normal 240V.  When the voltage moves above the level that your equipment is designed to handle, damage results.  Read more

MSI Dominator GT72 6th Gen Notebook Review

MSI GT72 DominatorMSI are out of the gate with their Sixth Generation gaming notebooks, the GT72 Gen 6 Dominator range.  This review examines the features and performance of the new GT72 and compares against a premium gaming notebook from ASUS.

MSI built their reputation as a manufacturer of system components, such as mainboards and video cards.  In recent years they have expanded with a range of consumer focused products, and have found particular success with their gaming notebooks, consistently winning design and innovation awards over the past few years.  Read more

Microsoft Rolls Out Office 2016

MS Office 2016

Microsoft released the 17th major version of Office today, Office 2016.  It is 25 years since Office came from nowhere to dominate against the incomparable Wordperfect 5.1 and Lotus 1-2-3.  Office adoption was rapid and near universal, exploding alongside Windows and becoming so strongly associated with Windows that many believed they were part of the same product.

Over those 25 years, each new version of office included major improvements and new features.  Each release was a big deal, though on average less so as Office matured.  Office 2016 again offers significant improvements over 2013, though with evolutionary improvements rather than a radical overhaul.
Read more

Guide to Personal and Small Business Backups – Conceptual Framework

ScreamToo often I see our techs consoling a despondent customer, in tears, having irretrievably lost precious files.  Family photos.  Business records.  Blog articles (!). All gone.  Yet some of those people have been “Backing up”.

A simple definition of “Backing Up” is a process that makes a copy of data onto a second device that can be used to restore that data if your primary copy is deleted or damaged.  A broader definition is any process that reduces your risk of losing data (files) or your system state (windows, settings).  I prefer to use a more global term, Backup System, a collection of backup processes or other elements working together to reduce risk of data loss and related harm. Read more

When your Digital Life is Held to Ransom

crim_with_gunRansomware is a type of malware that will lock you out of your files, device, or other resources, and demand a payment to regain access.  Even if you choose to pay up, most often the payment will not result in gaining back access, and your files are permanently lost.

The threat posed by ransomware is serious, with recent infections more devastating than any malware or virus we have seen in years.  The infection rate increased throughout 2015 with a range of new variants attacking customers across PC and other platforms. Read more

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