What to consider before you buy a new PC

Purchasing a new computer can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with its components. You’ll want to make sure you make the right choice so you don’t end up buying one that becomes obsolete within just a few years. How much money should you spend? Which model is the best for you? What about the specifications? While there is no fixed formula when it comes to buying a new computer, these guidelines will help you make an informed decision.

Desktop or Laptop?

This depends on your working style and environment. The rule is quite simple: if you rarely work out of the office, get a desktop PC. If you need to work at home, on the go, or at client meetings, then go for a laptop. It’s worth noting that desktops are generally cheaper than laptops at similar specifications, have a longer usage life, and make for easier changing or upgrading of components. Laptops, on the other hand, are very portable due to their compact size, they consume less energy, and they offer a more flexible user experience.

Processor

If you want a computer that loads programs in a flash, completes tasks almost instantly, and runs smoothly at all times, then we recommend you invest in the strongest processors available. The performance of a processor is determined by its number of cores and speed, so the bigger the number, the better. These days, most users go for the latest octa-core processors, specifically if your tasks involve rendering high-definition images, animations, graphics, and analysis. For optimum results, get a processor with the higher number of cores.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) allows your computer to perform multiple tasks at once without a hitch. Just like processors, the amount of RAM your computer has will determine how fast it will run when you work on several programs simultaneously. Nowadays, standard computers come with at least of 4GB of RAM, with 8GB being ideal for most users — to navigate smoothly between tasks such as email browsing, Internet surfing, and working on word processing documents and spreadsheets.

Hard Drive

The bigger the hard drive, the more space you have to store files. If you plan on using your computer with no peripherals, you’ll want to choose a computer that offers the biggest hard drive. But remember that you can always purchase an external hard drive to transfer or store files if your current hard drive is running out of space. Another thing to consider in a hard drive is its spin speed. The average speed for a desktop hard drive is 7200rpm. The faster your hard drive disk spins, the quicker the transfer of data to and from it. And one of the fastest these days are solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs), which combines solid-state drives and HDDs for seamless data access.

Operating Systems

Picking an operating system is a big decision when it comes to choosing a new computer. You’ll probably want to stick with an operating system you’re already familiar with, since it can take some time to adapt yourself to a new OS. Here are some of the popular options available on the market:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • Ubuntu

Most people will just go for either Windows or Mac OS, because the complexity of Linux and Ubuntu mean they are are not popular among everyday users.

Want more hardware tips and tricks? Get in touch with our technology experts today.

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5 tips for buying a new computer

There are so many different types of computers out there, each with varying specifications and capabilities – how do you find the best one for your needs? Whether you’re purchasing a computer for yourself or for your family, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you make the right decision.

Desktop or Laptop?

This depends on your working style and environment. The rule is quite simple: if you rarely work out of the office, get a desktop PC. If you need to work at home, on the go, or at client meetings, then go for a laptop. It’s worth noting that desktops are generally cheaper than laptops at similar specifications, have a longer usage life, and make for easier changing or upgrading of components. Laptops, on the other hand, are very portable due to their compact size, they consume less energy, and they offer a more flexible user experience.

Processor

If you want a computer that loads programs in a flash, completes tasks almost instantly, and runs smoothly at all times, then we recommend you invest in the strongest processors available. The performance of a processor is determined by its number of cores and speed, so the bigger the number, the better. These days, most users go for the latest octa-core processors, specifically if your tasks involve rendering high-definition images, animations, graphics, and analysis. For optimum results, get a processor with the higher number of cores.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) allows your computer to perform multiple tasks at once without a hitch. Just like processors, the amount of RAM your computer has will determine how fast it will run when you work on several programs simultaneously. Nowadays, standard computers come with at least of 4GB of RAM, with 8GB being ideal for most users — to navigate smoothly between tasks such as email browsing, Internet surfing, and working on word processing documents and spreadsheets.

Hard Drive

The bigger the hard drive, the more space you have to store files. If you plan on using your computer with no peripherals, you’ll want to choose a computer that offers the biggest hard drive. But remember that you can always purchase an external hard drive to transfer or store files if your current hard drive is running out of space. Another thing to consider in a hard drive is its spin speed. The average speed for a desktop hard drive is 7200rpm. The faster your hard drive disk spins, the quicker the transfer of data to and from it. And one of the fastest these days are solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs), which combines solid-state drives and HDDs for seamless data access.

Operating Systems

Picking an operating system is a big decision when it comes to choosing a new computer. You’ll probably want to stick with an operating system you’re already familiar with, since it can take some time to adapt yourself to a new OS. Here are some of the popular options available on the market:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • Ubuntu

Most people will just go for either Windows or Mac OS, because the complexity of Linux and Ubuntu mean they are are not popular among everyday users.

Want more hardware tips and tricks? Get in touch with our technology experts today.

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Things to consider when buying a new computer

Tech items like computers are likely to be among the most popular gifts for your loved ones. But there are so many different computers out there that finding the perfect one can be difficult. We’ve outlined some tips that will help you understand more about computer parts and how to make the right choice.

Desktop or Laptop?

This depends on your working style and environment. The rule is quite simple: if you rarely work out of the office, get a desktop PC. If you need to work at home, on the go, or at client meetings, then go for a laptop. It’s worth noting that desktops are generally cheaper than laptops at similar specifications, have a longer usage life, and make for easier changing or upgrading of components. Laptops, on the other hand, are very portable due to their compact size, they consume less energy, and they offer a more flexible user experience.

Processor

If you want a computer that loads programs in a flash, completes tasks almost instantly, and runs smoothly at all times, then we recommend you invest in the strongest processors available. The performance of a processor is determined by its number of cores and speed, so the bigger the number, the better. These days, most users go for the latest octa-core processors, specifically if your tasks involve rendering high-definition images, animations, graphics, and analysis. For optimum results, get a processor with the higher number of cores.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) allows your computer to perform multiple tasks at once without a hitch. Just like processors, the amount of RAM your computer has will determine how fast it will run when you work on several programs simultaneously. Nowadays, standard computers come with at least of 4GB of RAM, with 8GB being ideal for most users — to navigate smoothly between tasks such as email browsing, Internet surfing, and working on word processing documents and spreadsheets.

Hard Drive

The bigger the hard drive, the more space you have to store files. If you plan on using your computer with no peripherals, you’ll want to choose a computer that offers the biggest hard drive. But remember that you can always purchase an external hard drive to transfer or store files if your current hard drive is running out of space. Another thing to consider in a hard drive is its spin speed. The average speed for a desktop hard drive is 7200rpm. The faster your hard drive disk spins, the quicker the transfer of data to and from it. And one of the fastest these days are solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs), which combines solid-state drives and HDDs for seamless data access.

Operating Systems

Picking an operating system is a big decision when it comes to choosing a new computer. You’ll probably want to stick with an operating system you’re already familiar with, since it can take some time to adapt yourself to a new OS. Here are some of the popular options available on the market:

  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X
  • Linux
  • Ubuntu

Most people will just go for either Windows or Mac OS, because the complexity of Linux and Ubuntu mean they are are not popular among everyday users.

Want more hardware tips and tricks? Get in touch with our technology experts today.

 

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4 misconceptions about the Cloud

Cloud computing has proven to be a cost-effective necessity for small businesses. However, there are still many owners who remain misinformed about the intricacies of cloud solutions. Here are some common misconceptions you should stop believing about the cloud.

#1. Cloud infrastructures are unsecure

Information security is a necessity for every business. And the most prevalent misconception about the cloud is the idea that cloud services lack appropriate security measures to keep data safe from intruders. Most users also think that the data stored in the cloud can be easily accessed by anyone, from anywhere, and at any time.

But the truth is it’s actually more secure for small businesses to use cloud services. Small companies usually can’t afford to hire an IT department let alone train them to deal with online security threats. Cloud providers, on the other hand, offer services such as multi-layered security systems and antivirus protection that not only specialize in keeping infrastructures safe from hackers but are available at a price that is much lower than you would pay for in-house IT staff.

Additionally, large cloud-based services such as G Suite and Office 365 are supported by an infrastructure that constantly installs updates and patches, which helps manage security breaches. This frees you from the burden of installing the updates yourself and managing the overall security of your system.

Users should understand that no company is completely safe from security threats regardless of their IT infrastructure. But data is likely to be more secure in the hands of cloud providers as they are the most prepared and qualified to protect your digital property.

#2. The cloud lacks proper encryption

Most people misunderstand how encryption is implemented to keep your data safe. For example, encryption is generally used for data in transition, where data is protected from anyone seeing it as it travels from one internet address to another. But encryption can also be applied to data at rest, where data is encrypted on a storage drive.

With this in mind, you should understand what types of encryption your business and its data require. When it comes to choosing the right cloud service, it is best to inform yourself about the security measures that a cloud infrastructure implements and look at how it can protect your company’s digital property.

#3. With the cloud you are no longer responsible for data security

While cloud security is important, protecting data ultimately rests on the users who have access to it. Misplacing unlocked mobile devices can leave your data vulnerable and compromise your entire cloud infrastructure. This is why we recommend strong verification mechanisms in place for devices that are used to access the cloud.

#4. The cloud is never faulty

Like many IT services, cloud-based services are not immune to technical difficulties. For example, some cloud businesses have suffered outages and server failures which corrupted files and may have lost data in the process.

Hacking is another reason why some cloud services fail. Using a less than optimal cloud service that is vulnerable to attacks can lead to stolen or deleted data, which would be near impossible to recover if you did not have any offline backups.

Before signing up for any type of cloud service, clarify with its provider what is guaranteed. Most cloud providers make promises about a service’s uptime or its safety from provider-related breaches.

Security is truly one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of cloud computing in a small business. But as cloud services expand and encryption technologies advance, cloud adoption is increasingly becoming the most cost-effective solution to meet the small business owner’s IT demands. Contact us today to learn how your business can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

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4 must-know facts about the Cloud

Cloud computing has given companies affordable and flexible solutions to deal with rapidly advancing technological demands. However, for the small business owner, there are still many common misunderstandings about using cloud services. Here are a few things some businesses owners misunderstand about the cloud.

#1. Cloud infrastructures are unsecure

Information security is a necessity for every business. And the most prevalent misconception about the cloud is the idea that cloud services lack appropriate security measures to keep data safe from intruders. Most users also think that the data stored in the cloud can be easily accessed by anyone, from anywhere, and at any time.

But the truth is it’s actually more secure for small businesses to use cloud services. Small companies usually can’t afford to hire an IT department let alone train them to deal with online security threats. Cloud providers, on the other hand, offer services such as multi-layered security systems and antivirus protection that not only specialize in keeping infrastructures safe from hackers but are available at a price that is much lower than you would pay for in-house IT staff.

Additionally, large cloud-based services such as G Suite and Office 365 are supported by an infrastructure that constantly installs updates and patches, which helps manage security breaches. This frees you from the burden of installing the updates yourself and managing the overall security of your system.

Users should understand that no company is completely safe from security threats regardless of their IT infrastructure. But data is likely to be more secure in the hands of cloud providers as they are the most prepared and qualified to protect your digital property.

#2. The cloud lacks proper encryption

Most people misunderstand how encryption is implemented to keep your data safe. For example, encryption is generally used for data in transition, where data is protected from anyone seeing it as it travels from one internet address to another. But encryption can also be applied to data at rest, where data is encrypted on a storage drive.

With this in mind, you should understand what types of encryption your business and its data require. When it comes to choosing the right cloud service, it is best to inform yourself about the security measures that a cloud infrastructure implements and look at how it can protect your company’s digital property.

#3. With the cloud you are no longer responsible for data security

While cloud security is important, protecting data ultimately rests on the users who have access to it. Misplacing unlocked mobile devices can leave your data vulnerable and compromise your entire cloud infrastructure. This is why we recommend strong verification mechanisms in place for devices that are used to access the cloud.

#4. The cloud is never faulty

Like many IT services, cloud-based services are not immune to technical difficulties. For example, some cloud businesses have suffered outages and server failures which corrupted files and may have lost data in the process.

Hacking is another reason why some cloud services fail. Using a less than optimal cloud service that is vulnerable to attacks can lead to stolen or deleted data, which would be near impossible to recover if you did not have any offline backups.

Before signing up for any type of cloud service, clarify with its provider what is guaranteed. Most cloud providers make promises about a service’s uptime or its safety from provider-related breaches.

Security is truly one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of cloud computing in a small business. But as cloud services expand and encryption technologies advance, cloud adoption is increasingly becoming the most cost-effective solution to meet the small business owner’s IT demands. Contact us today to learn how your business can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

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Cloud: 4 common myths debunked

Overhyped reports of cloud hacks and server failures can lead some small business owners to be wary of a service that has so much to offer. So what are these common misconceptions about cloud computing? Here are a few myths people believe about the cloud.

#1. Cloud infrastructures are unsecure

Information security is a necessity for every business. And the most prevalent misconception about the cloud is the idea that cloud services lack appropriate security measures to keep data safe from intruders. Most users also think that the data stored in the cloud can be easily accessed by anyone, from anywhere, and at any time.

But the truth is it’s actually more secure for small businesses to use cloud services. Small companies usually can’t afford to hire an IT department let alone train them to deal with online security threats. Cloud providers, on the other hand, offer services such as multi-layered security systems and antivirus protection that not only specialize in keeping infrastructures safe from hackers but are available at a price that is much lower than you would pay for in-house IT staff.

Additionally, large cloud-based services such as G Suite and Office 365 are supported by an infrastructure that constantly installs updates and patches, which helps manage security breaches. This frees you from the burden of installing the updates yourself and managing the overall security of your system.

Users should understand that no company is completely safe from security threats regardless of their IT infrastructure. But data is likely to be more secure in the hands of cloud providers as they are the most prepared and qualified to protect your digital property.

#2. The cloud lacks proper encryption

Most people misunderstand how encryption is implemented to keep your data safe. For example, encryption is generally used for data in transition, where data is protected from anyone seeing it as it travels from one internet address to another. But encryption can also be applied to data at rest, where data is encrypted on a storage drive.

With this in mind, you should understand what types of encryption your business and its data require. When it comes to choosing the right cloud service, it is best to inform yourself about the security measures that a cloud infrastructure implements and look at how it can protect your company’s digital property.

#3. With the cloud you are no longer responsible for data security

While cloud security is important, protecting data ultimately rests on the users who have access to it. Misplacing unlocked mobile devices can leave your data vulnerable and compromise your entire cloud infrastructure. This is why we recommend strong verification mechanisms in place for devices that are used to access the cloud.

#4. The cloud is never faulty

Like many IT services, cloud-based services are not immune to technical difficulties. For example, some cloud businesses have suffered outages and server failures which corrupted files and may have lost data in the process.

Hacking is another reason why some cloud services fail. Using a less than optimal cloud service that is vulnerable to attacks can lead to stolen or deleted data, which would be near impossible to recover if you did not have any offline backups.

Before signing up for any type of cloud service, clarify with its provider what is guaranteed. Most cloud providers make promises about a service’s uptime or its safety from provider-related breaches.

Security is truly one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of cloud computing in a small business. But as cloud services expand and encryption technologies advance, cloud adoption is increasingly becoming the most cost-effective solution to meet the small business owner’s IT demands. Contact us today to learn how your business can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

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How to get the most from your business data

It’s one thing to collect your business’s data, but turning that information into insights that propel your organization toward growth is quite another. Analyzing your data can be daunting, but it shouldn’t get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. Here are a few tricks you can use to make better forecasts.
Many businesses shy away from data analytics due to the perceived costs and resources required to get anything of value. However, even the most humble mom-and-pop stores and home-based entrepreneurs have access to a broad range of worthwhile information.

It doesn’t make sense to spend half your week mired in spreadsheets and charts if you’re not extracting information that helps increase revenue. Basic data analytics solutions from companies like Microsoft and Google offer solutions to streamline the collection and examination of company information. But with an array of different tools to choose from, what should you consider before investing in one?

How easy is it to use? There’s no point investing in a dashboard solution if you don’t understand the way the insights are presented. Analysis functions must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Are the results actionable? Great insights are worthless if applying them requires another staff member that you can’t afford. Test drive an analytics solution before investing to ensure that its insights are easy to understand and apply.

Does it save you time? If you’re already relying on data analysis for growth, your first priority should be boosting productivity. Look for solutions that will enable you to complete your current analytics tasks in less time.

Is it compatible with other apps? You need a solution that cuts down on manual data entry and doesn’t add steps to any existing processes. Make sure any analytics software you’re considering can integrate with your existing solutions before signing on the dotted line.

Whether your aim is to attract new customers, retain existing clients, expand your services, or decide on a new location, your data is an indispensable asset. It’s there in good times and bad times, just waiting for you to take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn more about adding value to your business with data analysis, or want to explore data analysis software options, get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to recommend options based on your needs and requirements.

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Tips on adding value to your business data

Data is incredibly valuable. The more of it your business generates, the easier it is to predict market and customer behaviors. Analytics solutions aren’t always the right fit for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean their data isn’t valuable. Here are some ways to add real value to your business by harnessing the power of data.

Many businesses shy away from data analytics due to the perceived costs and resources required to get anything of value. However, even the most humble mom-and-pop stores and home-based entrepreneurs have access to a broad range of worthwhile information.

It doesn’t make sense to spend half your week mired in spreadsheets and charts if you’re not extracting information that helps increase revenue. Basic data analytics solutions from companies like Microsoft and Google offer solutions to streamline the collection and examination of company information. But with an array of different tools to choose from, what should you consider before investing in one?

How easy is it to use? There’s no point investing in a dashboard solution if you don’t understand the way the insights are presented. Analysis functions must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Are the results actionable? Great insights are worthless if applying them requires another staff member that you can’t afford. Test drive an analytics solution before investing to ensure that its insights are easy to understand and apply.

Does it save you time? If you’re already relying on data analysis for growth, your first priority should be boosting productivity. Look for solutions that will enable you to complete your current analytics tasks in less time.

Is it compatible with other apps? You need a solution that cuts down on manual data entry and doesn’t add steps to any existing processes. Make sure any analytics software you’re considering can integrate with your existing solutions before signing on the dotted line.

Whether your aim is to attract new customers, retain existing clients, expand your services, or decide on a new location, your data is an indispensable asset. It’s there in good times and bad times, just waiting for you to take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn more about adding value to your business with data analysis, or want to explore data analysis software options, get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to recommend options based on your needs and requirements.

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Improve the value of your business data

Are you making the most of your business’s greatest assets? The data your employees and customers generate is an unsung hero, just waiting to take your business to the next level. Obviously, enough information can help any company make better decisions, but how can a small or medium-sized organization use data analysis to increase revenue?

Many businesses shy away from data analytics due to the perceived costs and resources required to get anything of value. However, even the most humble mom-and-pop stores and home-based entrepreneurs have access to a broad range of worthwhile information.

It doesn’t make sense to spend half your week mired in spreadsheets and charts if you’re not extracting information that helps increase revenue. Basic data analytics solutions from companies like Microsoft and Google offer solutions to streamline the collection and examination of company information. But with an array of different tools to choose from, what should you consider before investing in one?

How easy is it to use? There’s no point investing in a dashboard solution if you don’t understand the way the insights are presented. Analysis functions must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Are the results actionable? Great insights are worthless if applying them requires another staff member that you can’t afford. Test drive an analytics solution before investing to ensure that its insights are easy to understand and apply.

Does it save you time? If you’re already relying on data analysis for growth, your first priority should be boosting productivity. Look for solutions that will enable you to complete your current analytics tasks in less time.

Is it compatible with other apps? You need a solution that cuts down on manual data entry and doesn’t add steps to any existing processes. Make sure any analytics software you’re considering can integrate with your existing solutions before signing on the dotted line.

Whether your aim is to attract new customers, retain existing clients, expand your services, or decide on a new location, your data is an indispensable asset. It’s there in good times and bad times, just waiting for you to take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn more about adding value to your business with data analysis, or want to explore data analysis software options, get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to recommend options based on your needs and requirements.

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Google Drive’s productivity secrets

Do you know how to get the most out of Google Drive? As with a lot of technology, most people don’t know all the ins and outs. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of five helpful tips that some Drive users may be unaware of. Here’s how you can use them to your maximum benefit.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful:

  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document

For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the toolbar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

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