Why Upgrade to the Latest Technology

Convincing the financial decision makers (i.e. Owners, CFO, etc.) for either Small or Medium Businesses from your organization to invest on upgrading your outdated network infrastructure into a cutting-edge technology can be challenging. If your company is running a few outdated hardware and software, it is time to make a decision to improve and secure your current network setup. The beginning of the entire process can be costly, frustrating and wearing but it will all play well at the end with a favorable outcome. Planning a strategic and operational concept will be a good start. Reviewing your current IT approach, and recommending new technology opportunities are also important. Educating employees on the latest technology is significant for businesses for its success.

Why upgrade

  • Modern equipment and latest software

Try not to wait too long on the upgrades, you will be missing out on a lot of hardware and software upgrades, some get decommissioned and replaced with better features so that you can get the most of it. It can be a financially burden for your company but less nuisance at the end of each day.

  • Dependability

Obsolete products may cut off technical support, updates and features; therefore outdated hardware and software that will require support will be in jeopardy and there might be a possible downtime in case of a hardware or software issue/failure which will cost some loss for your business. It is important that your computers are running 24/7 with a limited downtime.

  • Modern network infrastructure

Review your current network infrastructure if it has assurance to protect critical information and systems. Learn about best practices for eliminating application downtime and data loss with the newer technology applied in your organization. Outdated hardware will slow-down your work, modern technology will give more stability.

  • Time-sensitive projects

Converting old file format (using a 3rd party utility converter) to a new file format can be time-consuming. If a project is time-sensitive, every single minute counts and that your work will be done on time.

  • Smarter Users/Employees

Moving from an older to newer technology will be difficult to a few employees that are not technically savvy as they’ll have a hard time adapting to the new change. Make them aware that lack of modern technology knowledge is not a good representation for the company that they work for. I have personally dealt with these type of Users and guiding them to understand/learn about the new technology was very difficult for me. I’ve given them plenty of time to learn and at the same time a lot of patience involved while educating them on the current technology.

  • Secured network

If you have outdated software and hardware that provides security protection, your network can be vulnerable to unauthorized activities that can access your network. Security Vendors (Hardware and Software) can cut-off support on outdated technology as well as updates and patches. There might be a significant potential for compromising corporate data and loss may occur. This can be prevented by implementing the highest encryption which the newer technology has and it’s worth every penny that will protect your investments. Cleaning out infected computers may take hours or days and may results to downtime.

  • Enhanced backup system

Worry about your backup system? If you have an old backup system, consider replacing or upgrading this as well. There are a lot of reasonable cloud solutions or hardware devices that are available nowadays in case of any hardware failure caused by any disasters.

A few concerns and suggestions that I have compiled and might be worrisome to some businesses, as I have dealt with different IT projects for Small and Medium Businesses on upgrading the company’s technology devices/hardware and software.

  • Do you have an IT budget?

IT budget is one of the primary concerns for businesses as to why they have to keep on delaying upgrading to the modern technology. The technology implementor will have to come up with a great sales pitch to convince the financial decision maker on a possible technology upgrade. Start off with compiling statistics of the number of employees that are in urgent needs for the upgrades. Find out how many employees that are not the priority for now, this will help your company set aside a fair amount of IT budget. Present a simple IT Proposal to the Owners/Management and make it precise. Inform them that there are a variety of financing options available from different Vendors on new software, hardware and affordable payments – just what you need.

  • Would you need a complete upgrade – hardware/software?

Try not to wait too long on the upgrades, you will be missing out on a lot of hardware and software upgrades, some get decommissioned and replaced with better features so that you can get the most of it. It can be financially burden for your company but it will save a lot of headaches at the end of each day.

  • Worry about the incompatibility issues?

Gathering the data on obsolete products – i.e. hardware and software can be time-consuming. Plan ahead the preparations that will include training and setting up your test lab if needed. If you run into any software compatibility issues, give yourself plenty of time to come up with a resolution.

  • How to deal with non-tech savvy Users?

Make the transition easier for the conservative Users. It will be hard for them to adapt to the new changes. Show them how the new technology will benefit them and the business – from a very time-consuming to a user-friendly day-to-day work routine.

My final thoughts

Consider at least every three years to make the most out of your money spent on technology upgrades. Within three years there will be substantial improvements and you’ll have plenty of time to set up new goals, IT budgets and that Users will be ready for something new to learn and be knowledgeable with the modern technology. As time flies, the benefits of the upgrade will be worthwhile, this will reduce the complexity and simplify your business operations. Modernized technology will make your business successful.

 

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Basic Troubleshooting Tips for Wired and Wireless Connection Issues

Troubleshooting sometimes can be such an agony, but there are guidelines that we have to follow in order to resolve some issues. Although it can be tedious at times to troubleshoot, you’ll be surprised that other things can be resolved quickly and some will take a little while and you need to be very patient. I have compiled some quick, easy and basic troubleshooting tips that might save you some time going through a very long process of fiddling with settings from your broadband devices (modem/router) and computers.

If you are having an intermittent internet disconnection on all of your wired and wireless devices please see the following suggestions:

A simple Power Cycle will often correct the problem to refresh the network electronic devices and reinitialize their configuration and also help to recover from a hang or crash state.

Run the Network Troubleshooter tool from your Windows 7 computer.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Using-the-Network-troubleshooter-in-Windows-7

Run the Diagnose and Repair tool from your Windows Vista computer.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Troubleshoot-network-connection-problems

Disable/Re-enable the network adapter from Device Manager.
Update the network adapter’s driver from Device Manager
http://jeuelsdomeblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/how-to-use-windows-device-manager/

If you are having an intermittent internet disconnection on all  of your wireless devices please see the following suggestions:

Interference can cause wireless disconnection issues, this is due to having electronics and small appliances nearby. Neighbors that are using the same wireless channel similar to yours may also cause some conflicts.

Changing the Wireless Channel to 1, 6 or 11 might help. This will require an access to your router setting so you must have your router’s logon credentials.

Before changing the wireless channel, you may install and run Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector to see the opposing wireless channels.

Any third wireless utility software may conflict with the Windows native wireless utility called WLAN AutoConfig, you must only use one to avoid wireless disconnection issue.

Security or Firewall Software such as Norton, McAfee, Webroot etc. might be intervening, disabling it my help. If it didn’t correct the issue, remove the software by using the proper method of uninstalling it – some do have a removal tool that you may download online, reinstall the software back if the issue has been resolved.

In some circumstances updating the router’s firmware to the latest often resolves this issue if all your wired and wireless network devices are acting up.

If you have a Workgroup or HomeGroup setup in your home network and all or some computers are having intermittent issue accessing the shared files/folders, your Security or Firewall Software might be intervening. Allowing  ports or files/printer sharing in the safe zone or disabling the firewall feature might help.

What’s The Best Router?

Selecting the right router and what’s best suited for your network can be difficult. Depending on what type of Broadband connection you have, one can behave differently than others.
I hear this all the time and I have been asked the same question – ‘What’s the Best Router for me’?

I just purchased and setup a new D-Link N Router that replaced our old Linksys G Router because it was acting up. It took me a little while to buy because of researching. I have Charter Communications (Internet Service Provider) and I found out that Charter Customers have luck using either Linksys or D-Link. I went to different Forums and Blogs to find out what other Consumers have to say regarding the Pros and Cons of a variety of routers, so this is one thing that you may consider doing. My new D-Link router is performing great and so far so good.
How complex is your wireless network environment? One thing that you need to know before buying – find out how many wireless devices do you have. These devices will vary from a Laptop, IPod, Tablets, Smart phones, Xbox, PS3, etc. If a family member will be doing any HD video streaming, you might consider a Dual Band N Router, this can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz radio bands simultaneously, and double the available wireless bandwidth. A router that has this option provides load balancing. For instance, you could set up your network to handle video streaming on one radio band, and use the other band for simultaneous other web activities (Instant messaging, Surfing, data uploading/downloading) avoiding any interference or collisions.

Routers have different types of Standards known as Standard 11n (N) that supports 5GHz band or Standard 11b and g (B/G) that supports 5GHz band technology? B/G is an older technology and nowadays N technology would be more doable, they are backwards compatible to B/G and will communicate to any B/G wireless devices. In order to make use of the highest router mode (N), your wireless devices will have to be an N technology as well. However, your B/G wireless devices will only communicate at the lowest Mode of your router which is the B/G. The higher the Standards you use, the performance is more acceptable and reliable.

How large is your home and how many rooms do you have? You might want to consider an Access Point (AP), a router with Bridging or Repeating functionality. Make sure to read the technical details of the router to ensure that the router that you will be buying has this option. The AP, Bridge or Repeater Router is designed for users looking to create a wireless network or to connect multiple wired devices to an existing wireless network. Expand your wireless network endlessly to cover large areas and improve performance.

Don’t forget the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6) compatibility – most of the newer routers should have this feature ready so that each IPV6 device in your network will comply with your router when it becomes effective. Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4) will be obsolete, so any IPV4 devices won’t be able to communicate with your router.
The wireless security feature of the router is also significant and plays a big role in your wireless network. Make sure that it supports WPA2 which is the highest network encryption, WEP and WPA security have both been hacked and not too secured.

Other things to consider:
Will you need gigabit ports? Some routers have gigabit ethernet ports for faster transfer rate, your wired network devices must have gigabit network adapters to make use of the gigabit ports.

A Cloud feature will be great to have – Netgear has a ‘Ready Share Cloud‘ or ReadySHARE(R) USB Storage Access for file sharing. You’re not just getting a wireless router but a Cloud solution as well, all in one great package. You may also make use of the USB Port to share any USB devices from your network.
Parental Control – to restrict browsing on illegal sites for minor ages of the family members.

FTP – to upload, download and share network files.

Hotspot – to set up your network as Hotspot, most commonly use for Cafe.

Guest Zone – you may create a separate SSID (wireless network name) for your Guests.
These are just a few great features that you might consider before buying your next router. Now, you decide and find out what’s the best router for you.