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Virtualization What is it?

 

Robert Vander Meiden

Robert Vander Meiden

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 00:00

Definition: GDRP

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GDPR definition

GDPR : [gee-dee-pee-arr] noun.

GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a set of rules designed to protect the privacy and personal data of European Union residents. The implications of GDPR are far reaching, as it impacts all organizations worldwide that collect personal information about EU residents. Non-compliance with GDPR can carry serious financial consequences, with some proposals calling for damages of up to 4% of a company's annual revenue or 20 million Euros — whichever is higher . The regulation was approved in 2016 and is set to become effective on May 25, 2018.

In a nutshell, the regulations affect how companies must handle personal user data commonly tracked online. This includes IP addresses, geographic locations, names, home or work addresses, gender, and a wide range of more sensitive information such as health status, political affiliation, religion, and ethnicity, among other things. 

Friday, 15 December 2017 00:00

Net Neutrality In Everyday Life

We’ve all heard the words “net neutrality” bouncing around for the past few months. Many of us have no idea what this term means, even though we benefit from them every day. Here is what you need to know about this important topic.

Net Neutrality

When you go on the internet you are first brought to your home page of your chosen search engine. For some people this home page is Bing, for others, Yahoo, for still others it is Google. From this starting point, you can go anywhere. If you are looking for a particular site, all you must do is type the address in and away you go. If you are looking for certain information, but don’t know exactly where to find it, all you must do is type in what you want to know more about and your search engine will bring you all results about that topic. Your internet service provider can’t decide which results to give you, so you end up being able to see all results available on the web. With the ending of net neutrality, this internet as we know it may come to an end.

What is Net Neutrality?

The phrase “net neutrality” basically means that all websites on the internet are treated the same by your internet service provider. They can’t discriminate against sites based on popularity, type, or any other factor. Meaning if you have CenturyLink as a provider, they are not allowed to block any sites from you or allowed to slow down services to certain sites. All websites get the same treatment across the board, regardless of their content or popularity.

For example, my internet service provider loads YouTube at the same speed that it loads Netflix. It doesn’t discriminate on the site in any way.

How does this affect me?

Weighing the pros and cons of software subscription and perpetual license models

Software Licensing Debate

With a big name, traditionally boxed products like Microsoft Office 365 being offered via new subscription licensing models and online subscription platforms like G Suite we, as IT pros, have decided to consider the subscription model and determine if and when it is right for businesses. Many of our clients rely on software platforms to get work done and have been asking us questions about subscription vs. purchase options.

In some cases, like with Microsoft Office, businesses have the choice to buy boxed products, volume license deals, or subscription licenses. This is very flexible and allows us a variety of alternative options. G Suite, however, doesn’t offer the physical purchase version – online subscription licensing is the only option. As the business environment continues to evolve, subscription models of all kinds will be a growing trend –  something that the tech industry must face and understand.

Why Subscribe? The Top Reasons Software Subscription Licensing is Becoming More Popular

Thursday, 14 December 2017 00:00

The Ins and Outs of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is something many of us are not entirely familiar with. It seems like something we do not need to worry about unless we work in the tech industry, because who ever heard of an individual being targeted on the web? As seemingly unlikely as it may seem there are cyber-attacks issued on individuals every day. This means that not only do large industries such as the banking and healthcare industry need to worry about cyber-attacks, but everyone including the average Joe should be aware of this potential threat. The sad truth is that if you are using the internet you have the potential to be targeted by hackers.

Cybersecurity

Why Cybersecurity Matters

Cybersecurity is essential in ensuring that private or sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the number of harmful material- such as malware- that is being launched daily has risen to nearly 230,000 samples. It can be difficult for people to determine what is safe and what is not safe on the internet these days with the rising number of hacking attempts. Already cybersecurity crimes are costing $100 billion dollars a year globally. This number is only expected to increase, and an estimated $1 trillion will be spent on cybersecurity between 2017 and 2021.

When hackers and cyber terrorists are making these attempts, there are usually sinister motives behind them. This is usually an attempt to steal information so that they may be able to commit fraud, harassment, or identity theft. If they are successful in their attempts hackers can do more than ruin your day, it could have lasting effects on you and your company.

Who is Affected by Cyber Crimes

Monday, 18 December 2017 00:00

Tech Gifts 2017: Samsung Q7F 4K TV

We like tech, it’s what we do. As the holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive, we are bringing you 12 of the most requested, most wanted tech gifts for 2017. Check back each business day between now and December 19th for another must-have tech item and why you should check it out.

Samsung Q7F 4K TV

You’ve purchased the new Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro, and now you can’t wait to get gaming. Or maybe the console purchase was for a spouse and/or child. Sure, your run-of-the-mill HDMI capable TV that adorns your living room will connect. But you didn’t get all that new and great 4K power just to force it onto a standard high definition television, did you?

Of course not. You have 4K now, so that demands a great 4K experience. The folks over at Samsung hear you and have just the screen in mind. The Samsung Q7F is the perfect TV for your 4K movies or games. It’s great for media consumption, with four HDMI ports and three USB ports. These can be used individually, or you can connect all your devices to the Samsung One Connect Box, which acts as a hub for HDMI connections and feeds into the TV via a single cable. Super convenient when you have multiple systems.

Recommended by the folks over at Xbox, this premium screen will run you minimum $2,800 for the 55” model and as high as $6,000 for the 75” version. Available at most retailers, the best deals are usually hiding on the store’s website.

Happy Holidays and good luck on the tech hunt from all of us here at ComTech Computer Services, Inc.!

Friday, 15 December 2017 00:00

Tech Gifts 2017: Google Home Mini

We like tech, it’s what we do. As the holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive, we are bringing you 12 of the most requested, most wanted tech gifts for 2017. Check back each business day between now and December 19th for another must-have tech item and why you should check it out.

Google Home Mini

Google has been hitting the market over the past year with their own devices to rival their competition in the tech market. One of these innovations is the Google Home Mini. The Mini is considerably smaller than their standard Google Home device ($129) and sports a smaller price tag accordingly. The Mini is built with families in mind and works in conjunction with Chromecast to control your TV, stream movies, and send music to your speakers. You can also have the Google Mini play from the device itself.

It recognizes your voice, so multiple users can access their own playlists, calendars, and more with just their voice. It also features hands-free calling for those times when too busy to hold a phone to your ear. The mini can control your lights, thermostat, and more with a voice command, but those require external devices and/or apps.

Overall, for only $49 it does a solid job of bringing your entertainment into the next generation without depleting your rainy-day fund.

Happy Holidays and good luck on the tech hunt from all of us here at ComTech Computer Services, Inc.!

Thursday, 14 December 2017 00:00

Tech Gifts 2017: Sony Alpha 6000

Digital photography is becoming easier to do with your smartphone, some phone cameras even rivaling some of the lower end cameras. But for those purists out there, it’s tough to beat the value you get with the Sony Alpha 6000. The camera is a mirrorless design with interchangeable lenses and takes photos at 24 megapixels, that’s double what the iPhone X offers.

Sony Digital Camera

The body design is the perfect size for the average human, not too small nor too large. It fits just right in your hand. It offers fast, continuous shooting (up to 11 frames per second) all while maintaining autofocus and auto exposure, and is sports a quicker autofocus than the leading DSLR camera. The A6000 also shoots video in 1080p and comes equipped with HDMI output.

A great camera for the price, you can snag one with a 16-50mm lens for around $550. More lenses are available but will quickly run up the price.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 00:00

Tech Gifts of 2017: Microsoft Xbox One X

XBOXWe like tech, it’s what we do. As the holiday shopping season kicks into overdrive, we are bringing you 12 of the most requested, most wanted tech gifts for 2017. Check back each business day between now and December 19th for another must-have tech item and why you should check it out.

If you’re a gamer, especially a console gamer, you’ve no doubt heard of or are watching the Xbox One X. Microsoft has taken its flagship console, the Xbox One, and turned it up a few notches. Sporting 40% more power than any other console on the market and a 6 teraflop GPU (that’s crazy fast), it’s able to produce true 4K visuals.

The new Xbox comes equipped with a 4K Blu-ray disc drive (only console that has this), 4K DVR and 4K streaming, fastest load times of any console on the market, and is compatible with all of your Xbox One games and accessories. The Xbox One X comes with a 1TB hard drive and retails for $499.99 and is in stock at most retailers but you might want to check availability before driving down to your local retailer.

The Xbox One X is an impressive piece of hardware that brings 4K visuals to stunning life. Now you just need that beautiful new 4K TV. (check back next week for more on 4K TVs)

Happy Holidays and good luck on the tech hunt from all of us here at ComTech Computer Services, Inc.!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 00:00

What you need to know about VPNs

 With stories of large-scale data breaches and internet service providers tracking internet habits, online privacy is becoming a rare commodity. Incognito mode and private browsing features may be able to cover up your browsing history, but they don’t completely protect your online activities. You need a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

What is VPN?

Simply put, a VPN is a group of servers you connect to via the internet. Once you’ve established a connection, your computer acts as if it’s on the same local connection as the VPN, making it seem like you moved to a different location.

When you surf the web through a VPN, all the data transmitted and received is also encrypted, preventing anyone — from hackers to government agencies — from monitoring your online activities.

Why should you have one?

When business owners regale the virtues of Office 365, others listen and say, “Well, maybe one day we’ll look into it.” The problem with this kind of thinking is that it puts O365 in a box only reserved for larger companies, and that’s not how the platform is designed to work. Many of the features Microsoft has recently added are beneficial for small businesses that want to grow.

Small Business Office 365

An Upgrade from Traditional Licensing

New, small businesses tend to take a casual approach to licensing, buying individual licenses for their personal/work computers as needed. That’s fine, but only for a while. Eventually purchasing one-at-a-time licenses for the Office Suite or other important software becomes expensive and complex to manage from an administrator’s perspective.

O365 is designed for businesses that have grown beyond a few people, into a staff of employees with multiple desktop computers and mobile devices. When you purchase a package, you’re purchasing services based on the number of users, instead of trying to manage individual licenses, or one-time purchases. This makes it easy to plan for upcoming hires while creating a system that you can manage easily. It also helps you close the door on significant security vulnerabilities.

Collaboration Through the Cloud

Cloud tools are everyway these days, and O365 does a particularly good job of encouraging cloud collaboration. No matter what documents you’re working on, they are connected across Office 365 via platforms like SharePoint, so that you team can see them, share and work on them at the same time. Cloud collaboration is built in from the ground level for Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and other core Microsoft apps.

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