CyberHub: Hosting Made Simplehttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhubHosting Made SimpleenResponsive Website - How important is it?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/8829Web designWed, 15 Jul 2015 07:31:00 PDTEnsuring your website ranks as high as it can in Google should be your number one goal with your website.<br> More and more people are using mobile devices to view the internet, this is a fact that everyone is getting used to. Mainly this advent has come about because of Apple making the ipad and iphones and then Android making their cheaper range of mobile devices.<br> However websites are made primarily with computer screens in mind, the standard LCD computer screen is quite different in size and orientation to most mobile screens. You would of noticed this when you attempt to read a website on your mobile device that is not responsive and are forced to pinch and scroll repeatedly to be able to read it. Not a good experience for anyone.<br> So people came up with full mobile versions of their website, the website would detect that a visitor is using a mobile device and display the mobile version of the website. The annoying thing about this is that there are now two versions of your website that you need to maintain, which adds additional work to the website updating process which is already a laborious task as it is.<br> Ethan Marcotte coined the term RWD (Responsive Web Design) in May 2010 which was the start of the responsive web design revolution. What RWD means is you make a single website that automatically changes depending on the screen size of the device that you are accessing the site with. This means the end user can easily read that text on a mobile device as text and images are automatically resized to fit the screen.<br> <h2><strong>How to tell if my website is responsive?</strong></h2> You can tell if your website is responsive by changing the size of the browser window while on a website. If the website automatically adjusts itself to fit into a smaller window your website is probably responsive.<br> The other better way to check is to use <a href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/">Google Mobile Friendly test</a>.<br> You can enter the url and it will tell you if the page is mobile friendly or not.<br> <h2><strong>Why is having a responsive website important to you?</strong></h2> In 2014 mobile devices exceeded the number desktop devices worldwide. If you monitor these analytics on your website, you probably would of noticed that the amount of people coming to your website from mobile devices and tablets has increased over the last few years.<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2814" src="http://cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Mobile-Web-Usage-Growth.png" alt="Mobile-Web-Usage-Growth" width="952" height="577"><br> If your website is easy for them to access and navigate it means that they are more likely to stay on your site and potentially buy or call you. If your website is difficult to navigate they will probably just leave straight away. This is what is commonly known as a bounce.<br> <h2><strong>How does a responsive website affect Google Rankings</strong></h2> Whether your website is mobile friendly or now is now being used by Google as part of their search algorithm, so making your website mobile friendly is one of the things you can do to ensure your website ranks better in Google.<br> Ranking better in Google means that you will get more visitors and consequently more, leads and potentially more customers.<br> <h2><strong>What can you do about it</strong></h2> Getting someone to convert your website to a WordPress theme that is mobile friendly is quite a simple process. A good web designer will be able to do this for you in a few hours and the charge should be around $500 or so. This should get you a website that looks similar or the same as your current website while making it responsive.<br><br><br>Original article appeared on <a href="http://cyberhub.co.nz/responsive-website-how-important-is-it/">CyberHub </a>Email Data At Risk!https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/8816Hosted ServicesTue, 02 Jun 2015 05:52:00 PDT<div style="text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://cdn.geekzone.co.nz/imagessubs/4718c2b07b30713342f643781174617f.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="413"><br><br>There has been a few comments on the Geekzone forum lately about email issues, so I thought I would write an article about it. All the time people are playing Russian Roulette with their emails. Generally all the problems come from people using &ldquo;Free email services&rdquo;. Like pop email, imap email, xtra email, Gmail and other free email system.</div> These free systems are great until something goes wrong!<br> You may ask what could possible go wrong? Let me tell you.<br> <ol> <li>Your laptop, iPhone, pc or Mac can get stolen</li> <li>Your hard drive could crash</li> <li>Your PC can get infected by ransomware</li> <li>Your webmail account could get hacked</li> <li>Your PC or laptop is destroyed in a fire or flood or earthquake</li> </ol> It is when something like the above happens that people begin to realise the value of business quality email. Just like the person that decided insurance is a good after the accident. When the unlucky person that finds themselves in any of the above situations, generally are wishing they had a more robust email system that was backed up offsite.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>What is wrong with POP or IMAP email?</strong></span><br> Pop email was designed for dial up, you know when we first got the internet back in 1999 and you had a 56k screechy dial up modem. Your PC would connect to the internet, then you would open your email client and download your pop emails. You could then disconnect the internet and read your emails and reply. The next time you connect with your screechy modem it would send those replies. POP email was perfect for back then. Now we are always connected to the internet and things are a bit different.<br><br> One of the biggest problems amongst others, is that the only place that POP emails exists is on your one device, when you download your email.&nbsp; Like wise it is the only place it exists when you respond to an email which presents an issue if you have multiple devices.&nbsp; There is no synchronisation between all your devices. And as anyone that is in IT knows, having important data in one place is just not a good idea. <br><br>As a side note, people have their little hacks which involves leaving POP email on their POP email server for 30 days to sync between different devices and have rules to send sent messages to other email accounts but really it turns into a convoluted setup fairly quickly.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>What is wrong with Gmail?</strong></span><br> Then even with a service which I consider to be very good for being free, Gmail is pretty good. Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, if someone wants a free email account for emails that are not that important I always recommend Gmail. <strong>Edit</strong> Gmail does have support for paid customers.&nbsp; You can also sync contacts, calendar and emails with an additional Outlook plugin.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>What is wrong with IMAP?</strong></span><br> Imap is ok and is a step in the right direction as it enables emails to sync on multiple devices, however it does not sync contacts and calendar. So I personally don&rsquo;t bother with it at all.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>So which email system do you recommend for business?</strong></span><br> If anyone that had read my responses on Geekzone forums knows, I recommend Microsoft Office 365. "Why?" You might say, well many reasons which are listed below.<br> <ul> <li>It is amazingly cheap $7.30/month or $6.10/month if you purchase a year in advanced for 50GB of email</li> <li>It syncs emails, contacts and calendars between multiple devices</li> <li>You can upgrade your plan and get the latest copy of Microsoft Office if you don't have Microsoft Office</li> <li>You can share your inbox, contacts and calendars with other staff</li> <li>Microsoft Office 365 has a pretty good support system</li> <li>And most importantly your email data remains in the Microsoft Office 365 email server the whole time</li> </ul> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Office 365 Support</strong></span><br> I have had to get support for Microsoft Office 365 several times, they have a support ticket system and if you give your phone number someone will call you within a few hours. Brilliant, a real live person to discuss your issue and get it resolved, which is really amazing for a low priced product like this.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Office 365 Downsides</strong></span><br> Are there downsides to Microsoft Office 365, well sure there are a few. Your emails are hosted in Microsoft&rsquo;s datacentre in Singapore, (although I have heard rumors that Microsoft may be setting up a datacentre in Australia.) Which means there is a bit of latency which is not an issue with emails, as if it take a few seconds more to get your emails that is not a big deal.<br><br> The only time I would suggest not using Office 365 is if you have highly sensitive emails that you need to keep private, then you would need to spend thousands of dollars setting up your own Microsoft Exchange server, plus licensing, plus backup etc. Of course there is also financial break points when your organisation gets big enough it may make sense to have your own Microsoft Exchange server and that is up to each IT manager to determine for themselves as price and security are not always the major factors in any decision like this.<br><br> <span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Summary</strong></span><br> On summary, I think that most if not all businesses email contains important information that is worth protecting. Really cost should not be a factor as when something goes wrong with free email the consequences are very bad and can be very expensive to fix, if you have ever sent a hard disk for data forensics you will know. For less than the cost of two cups of coffee per month for each staff member can have high quality business email that in a lot of cases increases their productivity and enable you to sleep at night knowing it is just taken care off and is backed up off site.<br><br> <strong>Disclosure</strong><br> CyberHub was not paid for this article at all, however CyberHub is a Microsoft Partner.<br><br>This post originally appeared at <a href="http://cyberhub.co.nz/email-data-at-risk-protect-your-emails-with-office-365/">http://cyberhub.co.nz/email-data-at-risk-protect-your-emails-with-office-365/</a>When to upgrade to higher quality hosting?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/8812Hosted ServicesWed, 13 May 2015 05:16:00 PDT<div><img style="float: left;" src="http://cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/cheap-webhosting.jpg" alt="When to upgrade to higher quality hosting" width="347" height="346">This is how it all starts &ndash; your email bounces back, you try and decipher the bounce back message and it says something like &ldquo;the email server has rejected your email because of reputation.&rdquo;&nbsp; You think to your self &ldquo;What does that even mean?&rdquo;</div> <br>After several hours of trying to figure out the issue and talking to your hosting provider, you find out that your domain name and IP address has been black listed because someone on your cheap shared webhosting server is sending spam and because you share the same IP address, you get tarred with the same brush as this spammer.<br><br>Or<br><br>You are using shared webhosting and another website on your shared webserver is using up all the resources causing your website to perform poorly or even crash.&nbsp; Not good!<br>Or<br><br>You want a specific php module or need ssh access to your webserver and your webhost just won&rsquo;t give it to you.<br><br>If you have been in any of these positions it means that you have found out some of the perils of cheap shared webhosting. &nbsp;<br><br><span style="font-size: 14pt;">The problem with shared hosting</span><br><br>Here is a list of some of the issues that you may experience when on shared webhosting<br><br> <ul> <li>Other websites interfering with your website</li> <li>No ssh access</li> <li>Other websites black listing your shared IP address</li> <li>Lack of resources</li> <li>Unable to customise the webserver</li> <li>Email sending issues</li> </ul> <br>Going for the cheapest price is great when you are starting out and getting your head around webhosting and websites but when you are wanting more control and dedicated resources it is time to look at alternatives.<br><br><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Better SEO results in Google from dedicated hosting</span> <br><br>With shared webhosting, a host will put sometimes hundreds of websites on one webserver with one IP address, which eventually will cause you issues as already mentioned.&nbsp; Also, one of the ranking algorithms that Google uses to rank websites is whether the website has it&rsquo;s own IP address or whether it is shared with others.<br><br>You can check to see how many other websites are hosted on the same webserver as you by visiting, <a href="http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/">who is on your webserver</a> and entering your website url. <br><br>Another factor that Google uses to rank sites is website loading speed, if your website loads slow, your website will get down ranked.&nbsp; Which is not good for you or your potential customers. <br><br>So going with cheap webhosting may actually be costing you valuable Google rankings, website visitor, leads and sales.<br><br><span style="font-size: 14pt;">What to look for when in a website hosting provider</span><br><br>Having a range of hosting options is really important, ideally you want a host that will grow with your requirements.&nbsp; For example you can start out with cheap shared hosting, then move to a hosting account that gives you a dedicated IP address, then you can move to your own virtual private server with it&rsquo;s own IP and resources and then if you website gets really big you have the ability to move to a dedicated server with worldwide CDN to ensure you get the best worldwide speeds. <br><br>Price has been a big factor in the past but now it is cost effective to get webhosting with a dedicated IP address and the cost of a VPS with dedicated resources are now really affordable when you consider the amount of issues that you may be avoiding and better potential Google rankings.<br><br><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Conclusion</span><br><br>Cheap webhosting is certainly good to get you started but as the saying goes &ldquo;you get what you pay for&rdquo;.&nbsp; If you are starting to have issues associated with a shared hosting platform it is certainly a good time to look at moving to a more suitable hosting platform for you.<br><br>Dan Ballard <br>CyberHub &ndash; Hosting Made Simple<br><br>You can read the original <a href="http://cyberhub.co.nz/when-to-upgrade-your-webhosting/">webhosting post here</a>Avoid the Web Design Lock inhttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/8695Hosted ServicesSun, 13 Jul 2014 07:58:00 PDT<img style="float: right;" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/Man-Behind-Bars-300x200.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200">If I was to ask you who owns your website, your initial reaction to that question may be &ldquo;Well I do, I paid a design company&nbsp;thousands of dollars for it&rdquo;. This is the answer that most people may give but there are a lot of web design companies that are using proprietary systems to make websites which means that you are locked into their system whether you like it or not.<br> Tell me, what would you think if you had a friend that was going to rent some land off a certain landlord and then that friend was going to pay that same landlord a large amount of money to build them a house on that land which could not be moved. Then your friend would continue to pay a rental to that landlord.<br> <h2><br>The Webdesign Lock in</h2> If you were a good friend you should say &ldquo;wait a minute&rdquo; you are paying a landlord to build a house on land that the landlord owns and that house can&rsquo;t be moved &ndash; you would be at the mercy of that landlord, that landlord could lock out anyone from making changes that you want on the house as it is their land and after you have the house built the landlord can charge you whatever he wants and you won&rsquo;t be able to move.<br> Every single day this situation happens with people purchasing webdesign services from web designers that make websites on their proprietary systems, which mean the website can not be moved. So you can&rsquo;t get any other person to work on your website &ndash; because the web designer does not allow it and you can not move the website to another hosting provider if you see fit. These people get locked into these proprietary systems and are forced to stay.<br> The problem is these webdesign companies have slick presentations and slick sales people which sell websites and webdesign systems to people that run businesses and organisations that don&rsquo;t know any better. Don&rsquo;t get me wrong these web design companies most of the times make ok websites that do what they say that they are going to do, it is just the lock in which is deceptive and typically the business owner is not aware of any problem until one day they decide make a change to the website and get a whopping big bill for a simple edit or decide that they would like to host elsewhere and are told that they can&rsquo;t move.<br> <h2><br>How to avoid the webdesign Lock in</h2> The best way to avoid the webdesign Lock in is to make sure you get your website made on an open source CMS such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Because they are open source that means the base code is free and you can find plenty of designers that can do updates for you and you can easily move your website if you see fit.<br> When you get a website made that is based on an open source CMS you can host with any webhosting provider that you want and you can get anyone to work on the website when you want and you have the ability to update the website yourself.<br> If you are one of the unlucky ones that have been trapped in a web design lock in, never fear &ndash; any half decent open source web designer can make you a new website based on WordPress (or another open source system) that looks the same or similar to what you currently have.<br> Dan BallardFibre To The ______?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/7241BroadbandMon, 10 May 2010 07:46:00 PDTIn the not too distant future most homes and businesses in major towns and cities in New Zealand will have access to ultra-fast broadband. &nbsp;Thanks in large to the latest initial by the New Zealand government to invest 1.5 billion dollars into catching New Zealand up with the rest of the OECD nations in terms of national broadband speed.<br /><br />My business is IT so having a bigger, faster and more secure internet connections is always a good thing for me and my clients.&nbsp; However I can&rsquo;t help but be a bit sceptical about Vectors latest advertising campaign around the issue. One of their statement says &ldquo;Fibre to the door will help Auckland become a competitive global city, delivering huge leaps in business productivity, education, health and even lifestyle.&rdquo;<br /><br />Huge leaps in business productivity and even lifestyle &ndash; will it really? For a minority that come up with really innovative ways to make use of these super fast connections and can afford to pay a premium for it, they will no doubt make a killing but for the vast majority we will be able to watch that cat fall off the garbage bin in high definition on YouTube and check our emails faster.<br /><br />Vectors main push is to deliver fibre to the door of 450,000 people around Auckland in 3 years, this is a very wise move for them as Auckland has the most people therefore is the most profitable area to focus on.&nbsp; What about the rest of the country? And how many people are going to be willing to pay a premium for fibre?&nbsp; <br /><br />Only recently Telecom announced that they will be providing the newest version of DSL which is between 2 and 10 times faster than currently broadband speeds called VDSL2.&nbsp; Telecom wanted to charge an additional $20 per connection and both Orcon and Vodafone had a whinge about customers having to pay this small premium for a faster service stating &ldquo;people could not afford it in this economic climate&rdquo;.&nbsp; Fibre is going to be much more expensive than $20/month!<br /><br />Telecommuting and video conferencing are technologies that Vector is stating that fibre will bring but anyone that is only vaguely familiar with current technology knows that these technologies exist now and they are mostly transported over the humble copper wire which Vector hopes to replace.<br /><br />What really is wrong with Copper you may ask?&nbsp; Well compared with fibre it is slower to transmit data over.&nbsp; However it has a huge advantage over fibre which everyone seems to be over looking and that is the fact that it is in the ground right now connecting every single business and home together in New Zealand.<br /><br />Another key point that appears lost with people is that Telecom currently has fibre running to most suburbs in New Zealand, a quick look on the New Zealand broadband map confirms this.&nbsp; Now we all know that if Telecom becomes the monopoly on this technology the price will remain high but the other side of the argument is, is there much point in duplicating this resource?<br /><br />One of the downsides to VDSL2 is the fact that to get the full speed you must be within 1km of the exchange or cabinet, which seems to fit nicely with Telecom having fibre to most populated suburbs around the country.&nbsp; What this is called is &lsquo;fibre to the node&rsquo; or in English &lsquo;fibre to the neighbourhood&rsquo; and the last part is connecting to the consumer through copper using current ADSL technologies or VDSL2.<br /><br />So Telecom have, at their own expense built a network that is capable delivering what the government are wanting or at least closer to what they are wanting and I am prepared to lay money down on the fact that it will be much cheaper than fibre to the door.<br /><br />The last part of the puzzle is the cost of international bandwidth.&nbsp; Currently there is only two cables supplying New Zealand broadband (small satellite operators excluded) and they are both owned by the Southern Cross Cables Limited with Telecom being the majority 50% shareholder.&nbsp; The pricing is currently pegged off the Australia to US data rates but still that is higher than it would be if there were some competition in this market, like the rest of the world.<br /><br />Fortunately our friends that brought us The Warehouse, Trade Me and Xero are working on that issue with one of their latest ventures - Pacific Fibre.&nbsp; There has been talk over the last few year that Kordia was going to be building another cable and they have gone quiet on the issue.&nbsp; Now that Sir Stephen Tindall, Sam Morgan and Rod Drury have taken up the mantle I am sure there will be some action.&nbsp; These are the type of guys that make things happen, so watch this space.&nbsp; <br /><br />As soon as there is some competition in the international bandwidth arena coupled with the governments initiative and with Telecoms already built fibre to the node network, I believe this will help increase the overall speed of broadband in New Zealand and drive down the cost for the humble consumer.<br /><br />Dan Ballard is the Managing Director of <a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/">CyberHub</a> and Auckland based IT company.<br />How To Speed Up Your PChttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/7178IT Service ProviderSun, 28 Mar 2010 15:04:00 PDT<img style="float: left;" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/speedo-300x217.jpg" alt="" width="114" height="82" />Lets set the scene, your old XP machine that you have been running for the last 4-5 years has gotten old and it is now time to upgrade.&nbsp; You have saved up and now you decide to purchase brand new Windows 7 PC.&nbsp; You wisely decided to skip the whole Vista episode and you are looking forward to a speedier machine to work with. You take your brand new machine out of the box and boot it up with a smile on your face like it is Christmas and what the&hellip; What is all this?&nbsp; Your brand new PC has been filled up with software that you did not ask for slowing down that dual core processor that promised to speed your PC up.<br /> Welcome to the world of bloatware, essentially what happens is <a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/bloatware.png"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1047" style="float: right;" title="bloatware" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/bloatware-300x273.png" alt="" width="188" height="169" /></a>these third party software companies pay computer manufacturers to pre load their PC&rsquo;s with software which actually make your PC a bit cheaper than what it would be in the first place.&nbsp; So it is a blessing in disguise.&nbsp; All the manufacturers are guilty of this Acer, Compaq, HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba and Gateway and even Mac.<br /> Some of the most common bloatware programs include preloaded anti-virus programs, some have said that these anti virus programs are in fact worst than viruses as they are difficult to remove and become a burden on your system, at times slowing your PC&rsquo;s to such a painfully slow grind that the PC becomes useless to use.&nbsp; However at CyberHub we would recommend installing a lightweight anti-virus rather than running one of these preloaded anti-virus programs which seem intent on slowing your PC down.<br /> Here are three free programs you can use to remove these unwanted programs and speed your PC up.<br /> <strong><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/decrapifier.png"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1049" title="decrapifier" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/decrapifier.png" alt="" width="22" height="24" /></a>The PC Decrapifier</strong><br /> This is a great free program that automates the un-installation process.<br /> 1-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Simply download from <a onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/www.pcdecrapifier.com');" href="http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/download">http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/download</a><br /> 2-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Choose what programs to remove, if you click on the &ldquo;What it Removes&rdquo; menu item on the pcdecrapifier website, it will give you a list of bloatware that you can safely remove from your system without any adverse effects.<br /> 3-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Start the un-installation process, other than clicking confirmation requests the whole process is automated which makes it a much quicker than removing one by one.<br /> <strong><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/symantec.png"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-1050" title="symantec" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/symantec.png" alt="" width="26" height="24" /></a>Nortons Removal Tool</strong><br /> If you accidently installed Nortons the above un-installation process won&rsquo;t work for you, so you will have to download a program that is specifically designed to remove Norton anti virus.&nbsp; You can get it from the <a onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/service1.symantec.com');" href="http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039" target="_blank">Nortons website</a> although there is a list of about 8 versions of Nortons, it has been my experience that Nortons is not very good at telling you what version of Nortons you are running, so choose one that you think sounds right and download it, run it, follow the prompts and that normally does the job.&nbsp; After you have removed Nortons it is really important to find another light weight anti-virus to protect your PC, make sure you install something and don&rsquo;t leave your PC without protection.<br /> <strong>CC</strong><strong><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/959__CCv2.gif"><img class="size-full wp-image-1048 alignleft" style="float: left;" title="959__CCv2" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/959__CCv2.gif" alt="" width="24" height="24" /></a></strong><strong>leaner</strong><br /> CCleaner is a great program which does four things. 1, It cleans up most of the temporary files on your PC freeing up space 2, It enables you to uninstall programs 3, It easily enables you to stop programs from loading on your PC from start-up 4, it enables you to clean up the computers registry after uninstalling all those programs.&nbsp; You can download from the <a title="CCleaner" onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/www.filehippo.com');" href="http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner" target="_blank">CCleaner link</a><br /> Now that you have done run these two or three programs you will find that your PC has more free space and should run noticeably faster, the way it should be when you purchased it.<br /> Please Note: If you chose to run these programs you do so at your own risk and CyberHub is in no way affiliates with these programs or brands.&nbsp; I have simply used these programs and they have done a great job.&nbsp; Also you have the opportunity to donate to the creators of these free programs, so if you have gotten some value out of them you may want to consider donating $5 to the creators.<br /> Dan Ballard<br /> Managing Director<br /> CyberHub &ndash; IT Made Simple<br />Free Webinars About Hosted IT Services For Businesseshttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/7006Hosted ServicesWed, 16 Dec 2009 19:10:00 PSTCyberHub is running a series of free webinars about how Hosted IT Services or Cloud Computing can assist your organisation in reducing IT costs and infrastructure while increasing functionality, utilisation and collaboration.<br /><br /><strong>Topics Being Covered Include:</strong><br /><br /> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/services/hosted-small-business-server/" target="_blank">Hosted Small Business Server</a></li> <br /> <li><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/services/google-apps/" target="_blank">Google Apps&trade; for Business</a></li> <br /> <li><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/services/hosted-exchange-email/" target="_blank">Hosted Exchange</a></li> <br /> <li><a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/services/hosted-ocs/" target="_blank">Hosted Office Communication Server</a></li> <br /> </ul> The webinars will be aiming to be around 20-30 minutes long with question and answer time afterwards.<br /><br /><strong>To Sign Up</strong><br />- Choose which webinar you would like to attend<br />- Click on link in the list above<br />- This will take you to the CyberHub website with more information about that service <br />- Scroll to the bottom of the page to the webinar sign up form that has times and dates<br />- Simply enter your details and you will be enrolled in the webinar<br />- Once you have signed up you can invite others to the webinar by clicking on share widget link<br /><br /><br />CyberHub - IT Made Simple<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Easy Google Docshttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6821Managed ServicesThu, 24 Sep 2009 08:13:00 PDTCome and listen to a presentation about Google Docs and how your business/organisation can benefit from it.<br /><br />Easier to share documents quickly, and they are never on the wrong hard drive. <br /><br />Dan Ballard of CyberHub will talk about how to set up and realise the benefits of this aspect of cloud computing.<br /><br />Come along to see the essentials of Google Docs so you can make your own mind up.<br /><br />Call&nbsp;Holly on 4996360 to RSVP, please note that there are only 12 spaces so RSVP now to ensure your spot.<br /><br />Agenda<br /><br />12:00 Introductions and networking (15 mins)<br />12:15 Light lunch &amp; presentation (30 mins)<br />12:45 Coffee &amp; Social (15 mins)<br /><br />Menu<br /><br />A five-star new menu from Hotel Intercontinental:<br /><br />- Smoked salmon &amp; cream cheese on mini bagels<br />- Selection of finger sandwiches<br />- Assorted fruit muffins<br />- Fresh strawberry, kiwi &amp; orange fruit tartlets<br />- Organic Juice<br /><br />Date:<br /><br />Wednesday, 30 September 2009<br />Time: 12:00 - 13:00<br />Location: The 360 Training Boardroom, Level 4<br />Street: 26 Brandon Street<br />Town/City: Wellington, New Zealand<br />Phone:&nbsp; 4996360<br />Email: <a href="mailto:holly@360training.co.nz">holly@360training.co.nz</a><br /><br />How to Outsource Your Exchange Serverhttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6691Managed ServicesSun, 09 Aug 2009 08:10:00 PDTWhen considering outsourcing any of your business infrastructure the first two things to ascertain is, will the services be better than what is currently provided and do the figures stack up for such a change.<br /><br />When an exchange server is hosted locally there are a surprisingly high amount of hidden costs which are generally not considered in the initial offering.&nbsp; Some of the hidden costs of having a local exchange server include:<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;Backups &amp; Restores $5,000-$10,000 (1Hr/week either you or your staff time charged at $100/hr)<br />&bull;&nbsp;Server SLA/server maintenance $500-$2,000<br />&bull;&nbsp;Fixed IP Address $240<br />&bull;&nbsp;Power $300-$400<br />&bull;&nbsp;Spam Protection $600-$2000<br /><br />Of course the costs above are estimates so will naturally vary.&nbsp; The approximate hidden yearly cost can vary wildly from $500-$14,000 per year and this is not even factoring in server replacement costs every 3-5 years, software upgrades, hardware failure or lost productivity from hardware failure.&nbsp; So as you see the costs of having a local exchange server are not fixed and can very quickly spiral out of control.<br /><br />The two main reasons businesses and organisation are moving to a hosted exchange solutions is because of increased uptime and reducing or fixing the exchange email costs.&nbsp; You can achieve increased uptime because the hosted exchange server is in a data centre which generally has a dual high speed broadband connections and dual power connections with backup generators.&nbsp; Costs are fixed because the business pays a fixed cost for how many email addresses are required at any one time.&nbsp; Email addresses can be added and removed when required and range from $20-$25 per user/month.<br /><br />Once you have decided to move to a hosted exchange solution it is a relatively painless and simple process:<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;Provide your exchange host with your domain name details<br />&bull;&nbsp;Provide your exchange host with the list of emails and passwords required<br />&bull;&nbsp;Make a changeover date <br />&bull;&nbsp;Migrate the email data to the new exchange host<br />&bull;&nbsp;Get technicians to setup new email details for the end users<br />&bull;&nbsp;Setup your new signature in the new hosted exchange email system<br /><br />Now you can enjoy the fact that your costs are fixed and it is someone else&rsquo;s problem to make sure your emails work and are backed up.<br />&nbsp;<br />Dan Ballard <br />CyberHub<br />Can You Trust Your IT Advisor?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6660IT Service ProviderWed, 29 Jul 2009 08:49:00 PDT<img style="vertical-align: text-top;" src="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/images/coyboyhat.png" alt="Is Your IT Advisor A Cowboy" width="203" height="120" /><br />This is an important question to ask, let me relate this story to you so you understand what I mean.&nbsp; <br /><br />A couple of months ago I meet up with the owner of a small consultancy company because they experienced data loss on their laptop.&nbsp; I explained the best way to prevent this happening in the future is to go for an online automated backup solution, the cost was $49 to setup and $19 per month and the backup would happen every day as long as the laptop was connected to the internet.&nbsp; I left them with my proposal.&nbsp; <br /><br />About a month after that, I get a call from this particular customer saying that they have lost their data again and that they would like assistance to get it back.&nbsp; Upon further probing I found out that a friend of theirs that &ldquo;knew some stuff about IT&rdquo; had setup a hard drive that was meant to backup the laptops data on a regular basis.&nbsp; Needless to say they were calling us because the laptop had failed again and their free/cheap backup did not work and their data was lost again.&nbsp; After the second failure they decided to use the online automated backup solution that I suggested.&nbsp; I estimate that these data failures cost the company upwards of over $5000 in lost time, money and effort.<br /><br />The reason I relate this story to you is so I can ask you, who are you taking your IT advice from?&nbsp; <br /><br />IT in this day and age everything is done on computers, business systems, payroll, your accounting system and a large percentage of your communication with your customers through email is all part of your IT and Technology setup.&nbsp; If you don&rsquo;t have effective IT system and backups in place you are at a serious risk of losing time, data and possibly your entire business. See my article <a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/is-your-business-data-at-risk/">Is Your Business Data At Risk</a>.&nbsp; When you require advice about law you go and see a Lawyer, when you need advice about your tax and accounting you go and see an Accountant so it would make perfect sense that when you require advice about your IT and Technology, you would go and see a technology professional.<br /><br />You will notice above that I used the term professional, I used this word specifically as not all people who are in IT are professional.&nbsp; Let me give you two examples of what to&nbsp;look out for.&nbsp; <br /><br />The first one is your stereotypical IT technician, this is the sort of guy that knows a lot of stuff about really technical things and they are kind of like mechanics, they really like to tinker and try stuff out and generally wear scruffy clothes and still live at home with they are 30+.&nbsp; They came onsite to setup your email signature and for some reason they are now part way through virtualizing your server.&nbsp; These guys are interesting characters and generally have to be really well managed and quite often end up running their own one or two man break fix IT businesses.&nbsp; If you watch IT crowd, think of Moss.<br /><br />The other one is the opposite, this is your stereotypical IT sales guy, smooth with the girls and drives a sports car.&nbsp; They are going to set you up with an ultra fast quadruple speed ADSL6+ connection and run multiple virtual VPNs with VoIP and video conferencing to the moon and then they are going to build you a business system that is going to half your expenses and double your profits.&nbsp; Probably about a quarter of what these guys say is true and these type of guys prey on people and organisation that know very little about IT.<br /><br />When looking for an IT professional to give you advice on your IT and Technology for your business or organisation you want someone that is down to earth, knows the technical stuff but also knows how to translate it to English.&nbsp; They have to be up to date with the latest technologies and know how to deliver it to your business.&nbsp; Most importantly they have to be able to give you good honest advice and know how to solve your IT problems before they happen.&nbsp; When you find someone like this make sure you make them one of your trusted business advisers and involve them in every technology decision that you make.&nbsp; Generally this caliber of IT professional is worth every cent that they charge.<br /><br />Dan Ballard<br />CyberHubCan VoIP Save Your Business Money?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6644Managed ServicesSun, 19 Jul 2009 01:46:00 PDTVoIP stands for "Voice over Internet Protocol" traditionally when you pick up the phone to make a phone call, that call travels through the copper phone lines to the exchange and is routed to the phone that you dialed. VoIP enables you do make that same phone call however instead of going through the copper phone lines, the call is sent over your broadband connection.&nbsp; A consumer grade example of this that many people are familiar with is Skype.<br /><br> With VoIP&nbsp; the monthly phone line cost is much cheaper than copper lines and the calls to different destinations are cheaper and in&nbsp;most cases local business calls are free and if the call is placed to someone with the same VoIP provider the call is also free.&nbsp; Which is certainly an advantage if your business makes lots of inter office calls.&nbsp; However these cost savings have to weighed up with the potential risks!<br /><br> <strong>Risks With VoIP</strong><br />Because VoIP calls travel over your internet connection if your internet connection goes down for whatever reason, so too do your VoIP lines.&nbsp; This is a major risk for businesses as customers put up with a delay in email if your internet is down, however if they can't call you they quickly get very frustrated and this can lead to lost business.&nbsp; These risks can be mitigated in several ways;<br /><br> - Have high quality hardware to lessen the likelihood of a hardware failure<br /><br />- Have a high quality internet connection<br /><br />- You can keep one or two traditional copper lines and have them setup as backup<br /><br />- In the event of a broadband failure your VoIP lines can automatically forward to a mobile phone number<br> Another factor that businesses have to take into account when changing over to VoIP is the experience of the provider, let me explain.&nbsp; With the recent advent of number portability and numerous wholesale VoIP providers in the market, the barriers to entry for a small company or even a one man band to become a VoIP Telco provider are surprisingly low.&nbsp; The result is every little IT company rushing to supply VoIP to their customers without proper testing, training or a viable billing systems.&nbsp; So the way to avoid getting tangled up with such IT cowboys is to request a referral from your provider so you can ask another company how their VoIP experience has been and ask to see an example of the VoIP phone bill before accepting any proposals for a VoIP migration.<br /><br> Because failure of broadband is a relatively rare event and even though these risks exist many businesses believe that the cost savings (anywhere from 20%-50% off telecommunication costs) and the additional functionality are well worth changing over to an IP based phone system.<br /><br> Dan Ballard <br />CyberHub<br>Is Your Business Data At Risk?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6628Business Continuity and Disaster RecoverySun, 12 Jul 2009 05:22:00 PDT&ldquo;How important is your data?&rdquo;&nbsp; This is one of the key questions that I ask business owners when I meet with them to discuss their IT.&nbsp; If I get a wishy washy answer I then ask &ldquo;If that computer&rsquo;s hard drive failed or if you had a fire and lost all the data on that PC, how would it affect your business?&rdquo;.&nbsp; Generally this gets the answers that I am after, as the look of horror starts to spread across the business owners or IT managers face.&nbsp; Answers start to come forward like &ldquo;I would lose my job&rdquo; or &ldquo;I could go out of business&rdquo; or &ldquo;that would cost me thousands to get that data back&rdquo;.<br /><br /><br /><em>Studies have shown that 70% of business that suffer a critical data loss go out of business within 12 months. Contingency Planning, Strategic Research Corp and DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers (2004)</em><br /><br /> These days business is becoming close to, if not 100% computerised, almost all parts of the business are done on a computer now!&nbsp; Accounts, contacts with customers, advertising, systems and processors, reports and the creation of computer documents.&nbsp; If your business data gets destroyed there is a high chance it could cost you thousands of dollars to get it back or it could potentially put you out of business.<br /><br />With the advent of affordable, online automated backup there really is no reason why you can&rsquo;t protect all your business data today.<br> Dan Ballard <br />CyberHub<br>Is Your Server Ripping You Off?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6609Software As A ServiceSun, 05 Jul 2009 06:25:00 PDTIn the 80&rsquo;s if an organisation with multiple branches wanted computers available to their staff the only option available was to have dumb terminals linking to a server which ran the programs, stored data and did all the processing. &nbsp;The main reason being is that to get any decent computing power out of computers at that time they had to be huge, sometimes taking up whole floors of buildings. &nbsp;However there were other advantages to this type of setup, some of which include; data was centralized and backed up, the dumb terminals were setup so the end users could not wreck anything and there was economies of scale.<br /><br /> Then in the late 90&rsquo;s PC&rsquo;s (personal computers) begun getting more and more powerful with the XT, AT/286, 386, 486 etc.&nbsp; Not only were they getting faster but PC&rsquo;s begun getting more affordable and user friendly with the advent of Microsoft Windows.&nbsp; Point and click made computers easy for any computer novice to be able to use a computer.&nbsp;<br /><br />Because computers got powerful and affordable enough so almost any program a business required could now be run on the PC.&nbsp; Spreadsheets for Accountants, Word processors for writers, drawing programs for drafters etc almost any program for any purpose has been made.&nbsp; It then made sense for medium to large sized organisations to have local servers, so they could manage, share and backup their data.&nbsp; So the 90&rsquo;s and 00&rsquo;s became the two decades of the PC and local server.<br /><br />The world has now become hugely interconnected with high speed connections available in every country of the world, admittedly New Zealand compared to the other OECD countries is a bit behind on this one, see my article&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/broadband-in-new-zealand/" target="_blank">Broadband In New Zealand</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;However every day this is improving with faster connections available to businesses of the likes of ADSL2+, VDSL, high speed wireless and fiber connections.&nbsp; This has opened the door to the next generation of services available to businesses SaaS (Software as a Service) or hosted solutions.<br /><br />Hosted solutions is when a provider hosts the service that you require for you on their servers generally in a data center.&nbsp; The next question you or any other business owner would ask themselves now is &ldquo;Why on earth would I do that?&rdquo;&nbsp; Well the short answer is that it is easier, secure,<br />cheaper and is more flexible for you.&nbsp; See article&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/local-vs-hosted-servers/" target="_blank">Local vs Hosed Servers</a>&nbsp;to see the true cost of having a local server<br /><br />Let me give you an example.&nbsp; Hosted Terminal Services is a service where all your programs and files are available to you and your staff from any computer in the world with an internet connection.&nbsp; It is a virtual desktop which you or your staff log into and it is hosted on servers in a secure data centre and it is a hassle free solution as you and your staff do not have to worry about backups, licensing, server maintenance, hardware failure or any of the problems or cost that come with having a local server.&nbsp;<br> <br /> One of my clients is an Accountant in New Zealand and one of his staff members went to China to visit family, while she was away she was able to log into the hosted server and continue working from China.&nbsp; Giving the staff member job satisfaction and giving the business owner added productivity.<br /><br />The main point which always gets business owners attention is most of the time when all the costs are added up a hosted terminal services solution is cheaper and more flexible solution than having your own local server setup because of virtualization and economies of scale.<br> <br /> Dan Ballard <br />CyberHub<br>What Email To Use For Your Business? - Updatedhttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6587Managed ServicesTue, 23 Jun 2009 23:36:00 PDT<br />The last 10-15 years have seen major advances in technology and how we use it.&nbsp; Imaging trying explain to a teenager that you grew up without a cellphone and the internet, it is inconceivable to those who haven&rsquo;t lived without these things.&nbsp; Even for those of us who lived without these technologies struggle to remember how we did without them.&nbsp; Email has gone from a new fangled technology 15 years ago to being the preferred form of communication worldwide for consumers and businesses.<br /><br /><br /><br /><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">4&nbsp;Different Types of Email, That Most Businesses Use</strong><br />If you said to someone &ldquo;what type of email do you use&rdquo;, well most people would reply &ldquo;What? Email is email, isn&rsquo;t it?&rdquo;.&nbsp; Well the answer is yes email is email however, how the email works is what sets the different types apart.&nbsp; Here is a breakdown of the common different types of email available, there are more types of email, however I am sticking to the more common ones.<br /><br /><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Free Email Accounts </strong><br />Email is provided by massive email providers generally out of the US, some examples you would be quite familiar with Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.&nbsp; There are thousands of providers around the world that are willing to give you an email address for free, which is nice of them however you have to have their name in your email for example <a href="mailto:dan.ballard1234321@hotmail.com">dan.ballard1234321@hotmail.com</a> (this is a fake email by the way). Generally this type of email is a combination of webmail (you access your email via a webpage) and you also have a choice of using POP email, (by far the best choice of free email to use would be Gmail).&nbsp; POP email was one of the first types of email, designed when most people used dial up. One of the benefits of POP email was that once you downloaded your emails you didn&rsquo;t have to stay connected.&nbsp; Once you download your emails they only reside on your PC and if your computer crashes or you have a disaster type situation i.e. fire, flood, earthquake or theft all your emails, contacts and calendar appointments will also be lost.<br /><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><br />ISP Provided Email Accounts</strong><br />Essentially ISP provided accounts are similar to free email accounts however they are generally setup as POP accounts, so the risk of losing data if you have a problem with your PC is much higher. &nbsp;Generally ISP&rsquo;s (Internet service providers) provide anywhere up to 10 pop email addresses free, when you have a broadband account with them.&nbsp; The most common ones are @xtra.co.nz @paradise.net.nz @ihug.co.nz etc.<br /><em><br />WARNING:<br /></em>Because business is online more and more, it is very important to backup this email data.&nbsp; However all too often it is not backed up and when a data loss occurs it is the first time business owners realize the importance of ensuring this data is protected.&nbsp; Contacts and emails are at risk when using Pop email.<br /><strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><br />Exchange Email</strong><br />Exchange email is certainly the business email of choice for the following reasons:<br />- All email data is kept on the server<br />- You can have multiple devices accessing your emails at the same time and synchronizing<br />- You can access your emails via webmail if you want to, with near full functionality<br />- You can share your contacts, calendar and emails with others in your organisation<br />- You can access your emails from Smartphone devices iPhone, Nokia N95 etc<br />- Exchange email has Out of Office notifications built in<br /><br />The reason exchange email has not been adopted by more businesses and organisations, lies in the fact that in the past you had to purchase your own exchange server to get all of the above functionality is a very costly exercise costing tens of thousands of dollars.&nbsp; Even with that cost many businesses and organisations generally with 25 users or more have purchased exchange servers to get that functionality.<br /><br />Now businesses have a choice and can go for a hosted exchange setup putting exchange email into the financial reach of even small businesses. In the past where you had to purchase an exchange server, software, licensing and pay technicians an excessive amount of money to setup and maintain this server.<br /><br />When you compare the costs over a 3 year period for 25 users there really is no choice.&nbsp; To have a local server can vary wildly from $35,000-$75,000 whereby the cost of having a hosted exchange solutions for the same period will be fixed at approximately $23,812. &nbsp;&nbsp;Hosted exchange has become so cost effective that some businesses that have an onsite exchange server are opting to migrate to hosted exchange solution because it is more cost effective for them.&nbsp;<br /><br />For a more detailed break down of the figures please visits my article&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cyberhub.co.nz/local-vs-hosted-exchange-server-cost-comparison/ " target="_blank">Local vs Hosted Exchange Server - Cost Comparison</a><br /> <strong>Gmail/</strong><strong>Google Apps</strong><br> Finally the last type of email which is becoming more and more popular is <a href="http://www.geekzone.co.nz/docs.google.com/">Gmail/Google Docs</a>.&nbsp; The beauty of this setup is that you get very similar functionality to exchange email:<br> <ul> <li>Your email uses your domain name ie yourname@yourdomainname.co.nz </li> <li>All email data is kept on Google servers </li> <li>You can have multiple devices accessing your emails at the same time and synchronizing </li> <li>You can access your emails via webmail if you want to, with near full functionality </li> <li>You can share your calendar others in your organisation </li> <li>You can access your emails from Smartphone devices iPhone, Nokia N95 etc </li> <li>Has Out of Office notifications built in </li> <li>Included is Google Docs which is essentially suite of applications online that allows you to save your documents online and collaborate with others </li> <li>Google Docs is by far much cheaper than Exchange local or hosted </li> <li>You get all these services and more with Google Docs plus more. </li> </ul> There is really only one negative to Gmail and that is your data is hosted somewhere in the world on Google&rsquo;s server so there may be security issues.&nbsp; That being said New Zealand Post recently migrated to Google Docs because the cost savings and productivity boost and they obviously came to the conclusion that the productivity boosts and cost savings far outweighed any security concerns.&nbsp; You can read about it here at the <a href="http://www.nzpost.co.nz/Cultures/en-NZ/AboutUs/MediaCentre/MediaReleases/21July2009.htm">NZ Post Media Release Page.</a><br> So if you have between 5 to 50 email addresses in your organisation and are still using Pop email or ISP provided email you should seriously be looking at Google Docs or Hosted Exchange email for your business.&nbsp; If you choose to keep on using pop email you should make sure that all your data, including your email information is backed up offsite on a daily basis.<br> Dan Ballard<br />CyberHub<br>Is Tape Back Up Dead?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/6032Software As A ServiceSun, 07 Dec 2008 03:13:00 PSTTraditionally speaking tape has been the default format for the backing up of critical organisational data, and a good choice it was. The main benefits being, that tapes are relatively stable and portable so you can get the courier or a staff member to come and take those tapes offsite to a secure location, ensuring that critical organisational data is safe in the event of a disaster. However tape backups are highly labour intensive and the real cost of tape backups are rarely calculated. Often overlooked costs of tape include; technician/staff member/proprietors time to perform the backup, technician time to perform test restores to make sure that the tapes are working, technician time to do actual restores, on top of that you have the cost of the tape back up hardware and the cost of storage of the tapes.<br /><br />Very quickly the costs adds up. <br /><br />A statement that is often tossed around by backup professionals is that your backups are only as good as your last successful restore. Sadly what happens is organisations systematically do tape backups and neglect do test restores 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups; of those that do, 77% find tape back-up failures (Source: Boston Computing 2005). The result is when a major data loss occurs they go to restore and find out that the tapes did not back up the data required or that they are damaged and the data is lost. The only avenue after a situation like this is data forensics which is a costly exercise. <br /><br />Studies have shown that 70% of business that suffer a critical data loss go out of business within 12 months. Contingency Planning, Strategic Research Corp and DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers (2004) <br /><br />Small to medium business appear to be most at risk from data loss simply because they are specialists in their business not in technology let alone backing up data. The importance of backing up their data falls into the too expensive or too hard basket. Another classic that I have heard my self is a business owner saying &ldquo;it has not ever happened to me, so I will worry about it when it does&rdquo;. Unfortunately with an attitude like this when data loss does happen, it is too late.<br /><br />Just to complicate the issue, for the first time in 2005 laptops outsold desktops and have outsold desktops since, what this means is that work forces are becoming more and more mobile working on the road or from home. This presents some interesting challenges for technology providers because there is business critical data on those laptops however a lot of the time they are not in the office, so how are backups performed? <br /><br />The Future Of Back Up Is Here!<br />When I was 6 years old I remember going to a friends place and loading up a Commodore 64 with a tape to play games, it was so slow and inefficient and it would take around an hour to load a very basic game. These days we can virtually shoot someone on the other side of the planet in a game because of the internet and high speed connections. Just like gaming, I believe technology has moved on from tapes and already we are seeing a shift to online, automated, encrypted back ups that are not only secure but provide all the benefits of any Software as a Services product in the fact that backups can be performed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection with no requirement from the end user to do a thing besides initially getting the backup software setup. <br /><br />Data Insurance<br />In business your buildings, staff, intellectual property, cars and hardware are considered assets and you can purchase insurance to protect them, but what about data? If 70% of businesses go out of business after a major data loss surely it has a value and is worth taking every precaution not only to protect it but also to insure it. An interesting concept that is relatively new that is going to be huge and quite likely become compulsory in the future is data insurance. The idea is that your data is worth an amount so not only do you have it securely backed up, if that data can not be retrieved your organisation gets paid out to the predetermined rate. <br /><br />I do believe that backup tapes will eventually get relegated to the technology museum along with the Commodore 64, well there will be the occasional organisation where security is paramount and their data can&rsquo;t travel over the internet that will hang onto them for longer, however for the majority the cost savings, flexibility, certainty and security will win out and most organisations will move to a SaaS online backup solution. <br /> &nbsp;<br> <br />Dan Ballard <br />CyberHubBroadband In New Zealand &#8211; Why So Slow And Expensive?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/5737BroadbandTue, 09 Sep 2008 01:26:00 PDTThere are several reasons for slow broadband in New Zealand these range from ISP&rsquo;s (Internet Service Providers) over selling their connections to how old and how long your copper phone lines are all the way to your PC being infected with Spyware and Viruses.<br> The most popular form of broadband in New Zealand at the moment is DSL (digital subscriber line).&nbsp; DSL is a neat technology as it runs over the same copper cables as what your voice calling does, which is the same reason why it is the most popular form of broadband around, because there is no need to run additional cables.<br> To maximise profits, ISP&rsquo;s purchase a fixed amount of traffic from the Southern Cross cable (the connections that allows you and me communicate with the rest of the world via the internet) and then unfortunately tend to over subscribe that line and generally neglect to increase that traffic as the lines fill up with customers.&nbsp; The end result of that is when 3:30pm hits and all the school children get home and begin updating their Bebo and playing their favourite Youtube videos the internet slows down.&nbsp; This is the major reason why ISP&rsquo;s start out being so good but as their popularity increase their broadband speed decreases.<br> The problem is that even though only a fraction of the Southern Cross cable is being utilised the cost to ISP&rsquo;s is still rather expensive therefore that cost has to be passed onto the consumer, moteliers and business owners like yourself.&nbsp; To cover this cost ISP&rsquo;s generally tend to have a fixed amount of broadband that you purchase say 5, 10, 20 gigabytes or more and if you go over this amount you get stung with excess usage fees.&nbsp; All it takes is for someone to use your broadband to download some music or videos on a peer2peer sharing site and you will quickly get an expensive bill at the end of the month.<br> With all businesses you attempt to fix your costs as much as possible so being stung with excess usage fees or even the possibility of getting a large bill is certainly a risk that most businesses would want to avoid.<br> There are ISP&rsquo;s which are currently rolling out the next generation of DSL which is ADSL2+ and VDSL (Very High Bitrate DSL) which promises faster speeds but they still have the same two issues being the further away you get from the exchange the slower it goes and that you get excess usage fees when you go over your allotted amount.<br> When choosing a broadband plan make sure you chose one which has reasonable excess usage fees and or notifies you when you get close to your limits or even better get an unlimited data plan.<br> Dan Ballard<br />CyberHub<br>Why Is Some Broadband Providers Faster Than Others?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/5605BroadbandTue, 12 Aug 2008 08:16:00 PDT<font size="2"><font color="#666666"><font face="Georgia">It is sad but it is true, not all broadband is created equal.<span>&nbsp; </span>The reason for this can be wide and varied everything from having a slow pc to not having the correct settings.<span>&nbsp; </span>However as you know New Zealand is not renowned for it&rsquo;s fast broadband and the actual reason for that is because we don&rsquo;t have a big enough population base and the population that is here is spread out into rural areas that are not cost effective for suppliers to install faster broadband.<span>&nbsp; <br /></span></font></font></font><p><font face="Georgia" size="2" color="#666666"><br />Fibre is going to be the broadband for the future and a great example of a company bringing fibre to everyday businesses is </font><a href="http://www.citylink.co.nz/"><font face="Georgia" size="2" color="#800080">CityLink</font></a><font size="2"><font color="#666666"><font face="Georgia">.<span>&nbsp; </span>For the rest of us outside the reach of their network we have to settle for ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) until fibre is available to everyday users.<span>&nbsp; <br /></span></font></font></font></p><p><font size="2"><font color="#666666"><font face="Georgia"><br />However not all ADSL providers are the same, ISP&rsquo;s (Internet Services Provider&rsquo;s) purchase a certain amount of back haul which ADSL users like you and me connect to the internet through.<span>&nbsp; </span>The trouble is ISP&rsquo;s cram as many customers as they can onto these connections and when it gets filled up it simply goes slow, like when someone turns the hot water on in your house and your shower is cold and with both situations, it is frustrating.<span>&nbsp; <br /></span></font></font></font></p><p><font face="Georgia" size="2" color="#666666"><br />Here is a fantastic article discussing the issue more in depth.<br /></font></p><p><u><font color="#810081"><a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=93&amp;objectid=10524776">http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=93&amp;objectid=10524776</a></font></u><a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=93&amp;objectid=10524776"></a>Local vs Hosted Servershttps://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/5600IT Service ProviderMon, 11 Aug 2008 07:18:00 PDTWhen dealing with IT companies especially the smaller ones, most of them recommend getting a local server.&nbsp; Why is that?&nbsp; Well the short answer is because they make a-lot of money out of it.&nbsp; When quoting all they show is the purchase costs and maybe the setup costs.&nbsp; Left out of the pricing is hardware and software upgrades every 2-3 years, electricity, backup costs and the killer is on-going support.&nbsp; <br /><br /><strong>Cost Generally Not Included In Server Quotes<br /><br /></strong>&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Server replacement every 3 years or so<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Operating system upgrades &ndash; purchased every year or two<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical time required to update operating system service patches<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Hardware failure &ldquo;fixes&rdquo; for PCs and servers<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Antivirus software updates &ndash; purchased every year<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical time to update antivirus software <br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical time to manage the removal of viruses caught by antivirus software<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Managing changes to the setup/physical location/profiles of PCs<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical time to manage spy ware &ndash; load software, clear files<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Technical time to perform backups, remove tapes off site<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Disaster recovery plan implementation<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Air conditioning &amp; UPS to manage the server<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Data corruption repairs<br />&middot;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Electricity for onsite servers<br /><br />I am not against having a local server as at times it is the ideal solution however for&nbsp;a lot of&nbsp;small to medium enterprises a hosted solution is far more beneficial and cost effective.&nbsp; Hosted server services have the benefit of fixing your IT expenditure, back up is automated and you get additional benefits like being able to access your software and files from anywhere with a PC and a broadband connection.&nbsp; <br /><br />Also covered with a hosted server solution is disaster recovery and business continuity protecting your data from earthquake and fire to accidently deleting that file that you really need.&nbsp; <br /><br />An Information Week article states "The security company unveiled a study this past April showing that 33% of respondents said they believe a major data-loss incident involving accidental or malicious distribution of confidential data could put them out of business. The study, called Datagate, is based on a survey of more than 1,400 IT professionals at companies with at least 250 employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia." <br /><br />With a hosted solution you have tighter controls on your data, reducing the risk of theft or a malicious attack.<br /><br />The flip side of having a hosted terminal services solution is that if you have a slow internet connection there can be a delay from when clicking and something happening, which can be frustrating at times and the biggest risk is not being able to access your files and software at all if the internet connection goes down, however these risks can be mitigated with redundancies.&nbsp;&nbsp;Although these risks&nbsp;exist, a lot&nbsp;of businesses are seeing the benefits outweighing the risks and moving to hosted solutions.<br /><br />Dan Ballard <br />CyberHubHow Important Is It To Make Sure That Your Wireless Internet Is Secure?https://www.geekzone.co.nz/cyberhub/5181BroadbandThu, 05 Jun 2008 06:40:00 PDTIn a day and age where teenagers are being implicated in international computer hacking rings so serious that the FBI get involved it is very important to secure your wireless internet. Some studies suggest that up to 13% of home wireless networks and 16% of business wireless networks are unsecured, these networks are easily compromised by anyone with a laptop with a wireless network card.&nbsp; <br /><br />In most cases the greatest risk involved is people stealing your bandwidth to download movies which means you could have a broadband bill blowout.&nbsp; Overseas there have been cases of people hacking business networks and stealing customers credit card details and more insidious are the cases of pedophiles using unsecured wireless networks to upload and download child porn. Police do a trace on the persons broadband connection and find that someone has simply not enabled the security on their wireless router.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />Generally the most common reason for poor wireless security is not knowing how to set it up, this is not a great excuse and won&rsquo;t work when explaining to your broadband provider why you should not pay your $1000 broadband bill blowout or worse explaining to a judge that it was not you who was using your wireless network for criminal activity.&nbsp; An easy way to avoid any of these problems is simply enable the security on your wireless network. &nbsp;If you do not know how to setup wireless security get in touch with your IT supplier.<br /><br /><br /><br />Dan Ballard <br />CyberHub