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Office Networking Services Advantages

office networking image

Office networking is crucial to any business that holds their information on documents or on their computer systems. So, in short, nearly every business!

What does it mean to have an office networking setup? Well, computers on the same network have the ability to share files directly.

Hence, it is possible for multiple computers in the same office to be on the same network. This makes working a LOT easier with different people! 

Instead of losing the information in transit or dealing with hundreds of emails, you can connect in directly.

In this blog, learn more about how office networking can benefit your workflow.

Office Networking Allows for Communication and Data Sharing

Office networking provides amazing advantages in terms of communication and data sharing. When computers in an office are connected through a network, they can utilize the LAN (local area network) for email or other uses.

This means that the data transfer is MUCH safer than if you were doing them online or over the internet. However, this isn’t even one of the most important reasons for office networking.

In our opinion, one of the best reasons for office networking is because it allows for the sharing of files and data. Before networking, exchanging files could be a real hassle.

Realistically, the one option would be to put the document on a hard drive or other physical device for transport. After, the device would be delivered, downloaded, adjusted, then re-downloaded and re-delivered.

Hence, having this network makes sharing files instant and super easy!

You Can Share Larger Devices

On a local network, employees in the same office have the capability to use devices together. For example, it could be extremely costly for a company to buy multiple printers or copiers for each person.

However, with a network connecting all of the computers in the office, they’re able to all utilize the same hardware, which can save a lot of money! 

This can span a variety of devices, and it is likely that some of the most common workplace technologies can benefit from the installation of an office networking setup. 

Security and Performance

Not sold on office networking yet? Well, here you go. For our final pitch, it is extremely important to have office networking due to the fact that it is a lot more secure.

Over the internet, data and files are at risk of being stolen or corrupted. Over a local area network, that is not the case (or, it’d be much, much more difficult)

When everyone in the office is connected to a physical network, the speed and efficiency of each employee can actually increase. Connected to servers, files, and directly to the internet can be a huge time saver.

Although there are advantages and disadvantages to a wired connection, it is almost always beneficial to some degree to have a connection. When everyone in the office can be on the same network, speed increases, security is better, and data can be shared quicker.

If you’re interested in learning more about office networking, connect with the team at IT Edge today!

3 Ways an IT Consultation Can Benefit Your Business

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Is an IT Consultation in the cards for you or your business? Over the last 30 years, technology surrounding computers and IT technology has improved exponentially. 

Further, it hasn’t stopped getting better!

Typically, an IT Consultation is the first step towards an improved work experience. 

Ultimately, without the proper training or advising, you are at risk to make a big mistake with your next purchase. 

As we all know, tech isn’t always cheap.

Therefore, it is important to make the right choice! 

Read this blog to learn 3 ways an IT Consultation can benefit your next business decision.

#1: An IT Consultation Can Lead to Improved Work Efficiency

Can an IT Consultation really lead to a better work experience? Well, let’s explore that.

When it comes to a new computer or new tech, it can definitely change the way you work.

Fundamentally, it can change the time it takes you to complete a given task, or entirely change your outlook. You may not even know what’s out there!

Today, many business owners are interested in increasing efficiency, which ultimately helps the bottom line in saving time. 

A proper IT Consultation can point you in the right direction with the best computer, monitor, or other hardware for your business.

#2: Elevated Levels of Security Online

An IT Consultation could very likely be the missing link to the safety of your business. Over the last few years, cases of cybersecurity intrusions have skyrocketed. 

Are you doing all that you can to protect your business assets online or in your own systems? A conversation with an IT consultant can help you to figure that out.

Of course, there are a lot of different options to consider when it comes to computer security. With the plethora of options, it can again become easy to make the wrong choice.

Additionally, installing a bunch of different software applications can actually start to do more harm than good to your computer or other hardware.

Hence, an IT Consultation will help you to understand the best way forward to achieve the level of online safety you desire.

#3: Your Technology Needs to be Reliable

While an IT Consultation can introduce new technology to your business, you need to be sure that it is reliable.

That new computer or new server that you’ve been eyeing up may be pretty, but is it the most effective?

Further, is that the piece of equipment that you really need to invest in? Or, perhaps, should you be looking elsewhere to achieve the desired results? Get the answers to your questions with a chat with an IT Consultant.

It’s important to know that you have technology that will benefit you for years to come. Nobody wants to make an investment in a new piece of hardware and then have it break the next year.

Because of this, an IT Consultation can be invaluable to a business owner. Few purchases and a streamlined system can make all the difference.

We hope that you have learned a thing or two about the benefits of an IT Consultation! If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call or visit our page at itedge.com/contact for more information!

3 Things to Look For in a Website Design Company

by Braedon Swindler

 

 

Website Design Company logo

When searching for a website design company, there are a lot of options out there. With all of the choices, we hope that we can help you make an educated choice.

Ultimately, it depends on the specific needs of your company. Yet, there are some common themes that every website design company should have in common.

With a proper website design company, your new website can drive traffic, but also, give your business a sense of professionalism. Typically, “pretty graphics” aren’t enough. However, at the same time, a simple “computer geek” may not be able to get the job done without an eye for design.

Are you ready to learn three things to look for in your next website design company? Let’s get started. 

#1: A Website Design Company Should Be Versatile | West Chester, PA

A website design company is going to be your partner in business for the next period of time (as long as you want them!). Hence, it is important that you can be sure that this team can handle different aspects of website design.

As we briefly mentioned, you can’t simply refer to a company that is ‘super techy’ or ‘super artistic’. Fundamentally, the company must be both of these things. That way, you’ll get a site that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Many times, web designers will create a website and then leave it behind. Yet, a top-of-the-line website design company will take the extra time to make the special touches. In terms of versatility, the best website design companies will combine a graphic designer, web developer, SEO specialist, and project manager all-in-one. 

We hope this one helps. Now, with all these roles that the website design company has to play, this takes us to our second point.

#2: You Need Not Just a ‘Website’ Company, but a ‘Project Management’ Company | West Chester, PA

A website design company needs to stay organized! Typically, you’ll be able to understand a company’s organization right off the bat. As I’m sure you’re well aware, the first phone call, email, and follow-up calls often tell all you’d need to know. 

So, what does this mean for you and your business? Well, check in to what CRM or project management software the business uses. If it is a cheaper, bottom-of-the-barrel product, you can make a bet that the company’s project management will match.

Of course, they’ll be managing your photos, content, and more importantly, your online presence. With your brand at risk, take the time to investigate how your new partner approaches their project management. 

How can you be sure that their project management skills are top tier? Well, that takes us to our third and final point. 

#3: A Proven Track Record with a Team You Can Trust | West Chester, PA

If a website design company is the new kid on the block, they might be a great company. It is very possible that this company is disruptive, innovative, and “on fire”. However, it’s best to turn to a company with a proven track record in website development and online brand management.

As an industry that really only took off in the last 10 years, it can seem like a difficult task to find a proven company. However, there are great ways to find companies that you can trust. Of course, the most obvious would be word-of-mouth. Yet, there are other great ways to figure this out.

Check the reviews! On a businesses Google page, you can see how their clients have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) working with a certain company. There might also be reviews on their social media pages, or other review pages. Take a look before you get on board!

If a company has only been around for a few years, chances are they’re still working out the kinks; either, in their business model, finances, management, or more. If the company has been around for longer than 10-15 years, that means they provide, typically, a quality service for their clients.

We hope that you have been able to learn more about what makes a great website design company. Are you interested in learning more? As a website design company in West Chester, PA, we’d love to chat and share our experiences. Contact our team today!

Microsoft Teams: What You Need to Know

by Nick Volpe

Microsoft Teams image blueMicrosoft Teams: The New Communications & Collaboration Hub Inside Microsoft 365

Our clients ask about Microsoft Teams on a consistent basis. This is not surprising since Microsoft is pushing this newer service to be the hub of Microsoft 365 online services. You can use it as a SharePoint access utility, conferencing solution, Slack alternative, calendar viewer, and more. Microsoft is constantly adding features. More and more small businesses are moving to Microsoft 365 services. More often than not, licenses are including the service at no additional cost. There is even a free version (with a smaller feature list) for non-Microsoft 365 clients.

This makes it a cost-effective and interesting alternative to some of the other communications platforms like Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet, and others. At the most basic level, you can use it as an internal instant messaging platform. However, with the vast number of features, capabilities are endless. In the past, when companies needed a stop-gap between emails and phone calls, companies would have to invest in expensive or complicated on premise solutions or the not-so-great integrated capabilities of Skype for Business or the Lync message before it. So, if you use Microsoft 365 at the center of your business, and could benefit from instant messaging or conferencing, Microsoft Teams is definitely worth a look.

Visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software for more information. Contact us if you’d like to integrate Microsoft Teams into your business workflow or just get off the ground.

Dell Support Options: What You Need To Know

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When it comes to Dell support options, there is quite a variety. Because of the difference in potential users, Dell made a point to give users the freedom of choice.

Depending on your unique situation, there are different Dell support options which best fit you. Hence, you have the opportunity to make a great business decision.

Fundamentally, Dell support is important to every business. Read more to learn if you’re making the best choice for your company or personal PC use.

Understanding Dell Support Options: Dell Basic Support

This is their entry level support and when you call in, you will get a tech that reads from a script.  They require remote diagnostics be run, but If needed, they will dispatch a technician onsite next business day.  Support is available Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm.

Dell ProSupport

With ProSupport you are getting technicians that are based in the US.  Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They are quicker to dispatch a tech onsite next business day.
>Dell ProSupport Plus

With ProSupport Plus you are getting the same benefits as ProSupport and it includes accidental damage to your equipment.  This is particularly beneficial for laptops.  Also, if you have a failed hard drive, you can keep it versus having to return the drive.  This will ensure your data is not going into an unknown environment.

Dell Support Options for Immediate Assistance: Dell ProSupport and 4 Hour Mission Critical Response

This applies to servers only and instead of having to wait until the next business day, you will see a technician within 4 hours.  This is a pricey option but needed for some environments.

Interested in learning more about the dell support options available to you? Connect with our team today to chat.

Business Email Compromise – What You Need to Know

by Braedon Swindler

Business Email Compromise Logo Blue Mail with Shield

Business Email Compromise – Important Things to Know to Protect Your Business Assets

Business email compromise is a common, popular scam that takes place online. Ultimately, this can occur anywhere in the world – all you need is an internet connection and a pre-exisiting email setup. Hence, scammers can often use this method in a variety of harmful ways.

Typically, a business email compromise (BEC) scam is a scammer playing the role of a company executive or another business role. Often, the business doesn’t exist, and the domain is purchased for the sole purpose of scamming businesses and individuals. The scammer will then ask for money or private information under the guise of this falsified company or role.

How Does a Business Email Compromise Scam Work?

Business email compromise scams can start in a number of ways. Typically, an individual will inadvertently download some type of malware onto a host computer. This is often done through a malicious email link or a spam/phishing email sent to the user. Unfortunately, these emails can be to spot.

Sometimes, the email can look official. This makes it even harder to figure out if the email is malware – but it is extremely important to differentiate. If not approached carefully, malware can give the scammer access to passwords, emails, documents, or other assets.

In some cases, a scammer can actually monitor the activity of a business for a period of time. Then, they figure out patterns in the way that a business operates or the type of language/jargon often used. Afterwords, the scammer will send an email which is made specifically for your business in your business’s language.

To learn more about the risks, warning signs, and targets of Business Email Compromise (BEC scams), check out the official FBI page. 

Is There Anything You Can Do To Stop The Scammers?

Sadly, internet scammers and phishers have gotten extremely advanced. Yet, there is still a fighting chance for businesses. One way to fight back is to ensure secondary verification of any payments or requests for information. This helps to confirm that you’re not sending your assets to unknown places.

Additionally, it is strongly recommended to use commercial Antivirus and Antispyware products on your computer. As an IT Consulting company in West Chester, PA, we know some of the best options. Hence, let us or another local IT Company help you make the choice on a trusted program.

Finally, it is important to create complex passwords for your programs. Ultimately, these passwords will help you to stay safe online or in your offline programs. Plus, be sure to change your passwords regularly. Further, try to use different passwords for different accounts. That way, if one program gets infiltrated, the rest of your assets remain unharmed.

Still have questions about your business security? Contact our team to learn more. 

Understanding Warranties & Lifespan on Dell Hardware

by Walt Ball

Dell-Hardware-Dell-Computers-Support

 

Exploring Dell Hardware As Your Newest Business Asset

 

Dell hardware has become a part of our day-to-day routine here at IT Edge. Ultimately, a large part of our computer networking consulting and setup for small to medium sized businesses is making informed recommendations. 

Realistically, this allows businesses to choose the best hardware for their business situations.  In thiblog, you’ll get a sneak peek into our most recent guidelines and a few recommendations from our team.

 

Exploring Dell Hardware & Warranties: Business Servers

 

Dell hardware and servers work together to achieve amazing results in efficiency for your business. Typically, the base warranty for servers is good for 3 years.  

For a typical $5,000 server, it will cost approximately $250 to extend to a five (5) year warranty.  Ultimately, that is what we recommend – the $250 is, in our experience, a decent price for the peace of mind and support.  

Yet, due to the importance of the server’s role in the business, it’s best to be proactive and replace a server after five years. With the constant increase in potential efficiency and new tech, it’s usually about time for an upgrade after five years. 

 

What About Desktops?

 

Dell hardware isn’t often known for their servers in the public eye. Yet, they are universally recognizedfor their desktops and other computers. Dell’s primary business series desktop is the Optiplex. These desktops come standard with a three (3) year warranty.  

Importantly, as the end of the warranty approaches, Dell will email you to extend the warranty by 1 to 2 years.  

Yet, here comes the pro tip:

We have found that most desktops do not have failures in the 4th and 5th years. Hence, that means that, in our experience, not purchasing the extended warranty is the way to go.

 

What’s New in the World of Dell Laptops?

 

Dell hardware has become increasingly popular in the recent digital age. However, with the rise in employees Working From Home or a hybrid, laptops are elevating in popularity. 

For laptops, Dell’s primary business series is the Latitude. These laptops come standard with a one (1) year warranty.  However, we recommend spending the extra $100 to go with a (3) year warranty. 

When it comes to laptops, which usually last fewer years than desktops, the warranty in the earlier years is often much more applicable.  

As the end of the warranty approaches, Dell will email you to extend the warranty by 1 to 2 years.  We have found that if a laptop fails in the 4th or 5th year, it’s probably better to get a new laptop.

Fundamentally, this is because laptops simply don’t last as long as desktops. Plus, with the increasing technological capabilities of laptops, a 4-or-5 year jump can mean much more for a laptop than for a desktop. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the best Dell hardware choices for your business, connect with our team today. Our experienced IT support technicians will walk you through the best options for your unique situation.

Dell-Hardware-Dell-Computers-Dell-Logo

Three Simple Ways Cloud Services Can Benefit Your Business | IT Edge, West Chester, PA

by Braedon Swindler

cloud services imageCloud services, the new buzzword of the industry. Sadly, a lot of people can be turned away as soon as they hear the name, or any mention of this mysterious “cloud”. Yet, what if it’s not as mysterious as people think?

Sure, it’s easier to look at a computer and say, “this has my storage, and I can see it – so it’s safer”. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Even physical storage can be corrupted or damaged.

Plus, what if you’re out of the office and need to access some files? What if you’re tired of buying more and more physical storage on your computers? Look to the cloud.

 

Cloud Services Allow You to Access Files Almost Anywhere

 

Cloud services bring a lot of benefits to the table, but this might be our favorite one. Especially while many of us are working from home, the true benefits of the Cloud start to show themselves.

Ultimately, all that you need is a reliable internet connection. Got that? Well then, you’re ready to go. Nearly all your data and files can be stored on the cloud – or, online – so you can access them anywhere.

If you have one home computer and one work computer, as many of us do, you’re set. Otherwise, you’ll be lugging around storage devices which can get lost or damaged in transit. Plus, quite frankly, it’s a just a pain to take extra steps.

 

Cloud Services Provide Top-Tier Email, File, Data Backup

 

Understandably, cloud services strike some business owners as less secure than physical drives. When you can’t see your data, it can sometimes be harder to trust.

However, storing your data, files, or emails on the cloud can actually be safer than storing them in a physical location. Ideally, you’d have both set up together – if one fails, the other will be the failsafe.

Many companies don’t even want to think about what would happen if their emails, data, or files were to suddenly ‘disappear’. That’s why, often, cloud services are a great way to give peace of mind for your business.

 

Lower the Cost of Hardware and Maintenance

 

So you have safety and convenience – sounds pretty good so far. Yet, there is another crucial benefit to cloud services, and business owners love it. Saving money!

Typically, a business could invest in renting server hardware or software to store all of their data. However, over time, this can get really taxing on the checkbook.

Cloud services present the ideal opportunity for small businesses to redirect all of their resources towards growth. We all want our security and backups to be effective, accessible, and, ultimately, affordable.

We’re on the same page!

 

Are You Properly Leveraging the Cloud?

 

Cloud services are beneficial to a company whether a small start-up or an established multinational. To keep all of your data and files safe and secure online, accessible from home, is key.

Hopefully, we were able to cut through some of the false complexities of cloud computing through this blog. Put your data and your files online, where you can access them whenever you’d like.

These services give a business the unique opportunity to save money on your hardware costs while feeling more secure about your information. We know it can feel intimidating, but that’s why IT consulting companies are here to help.

IT Edge has been supporting companies in navigating Cloud Services as long as they’ve been around. Click here to learn more about our Cloud Services. Give us a call if you have any questions!

Is Your Computer Backup Working Properly?

by Nick Volpe

 

Computer Backup Tips and Tricks

Computer backup should be discussed all the time. In fact, as a trusted IT provider and MSP in West Chester, PA, helping our clients with their backup systems is a major part of what we do. Our team specializes in everything from setting up and replacing in-house backup systems to troubleshooting cloud backup issues. Hence, when it’s all said and done, backup is worth the extra attention. Without a proper backup solution, your data is exposed and can prevent you from getting your data back when you critically need it.

Computer Backup Tip #1 – Notifications

First, a key element of a good backup strategy is backup notifications. These will give an alert to make you aware of any issues so that they can be addressed right away. Most backup software/services allow you to set this up to one or more email addresses, so the right people are notified right away.

Computer Backup Tip #2 – Test Restores

Additionally, another critical element is a test restore. This is when you restore a file from a previous backup and open the file to verify that the backup is working. Of course, a successful backup status is nice, but a backup is only good if you can restore from it. There are various reasons why a backup would complete successfully but have a restore fail. We recommend doing this procedure once per month. This is a service that IT Edge provides to its Managed Plan customers as an added benefit.

Safety Tip #3 – 3-2-1 Backups

Finally, another critical element is to have a robust backup system. The best system can withstand any type of challenge or disaster like fire, theft, user error, malware attack, or ransomware. The best way to do this is to follow this specific formula: have multiple backup copies (3 to be precise) in 2 different locations (ideally 1 offsite and 1 onsite for quick access when possible) for 1 really good backup solution. This increases the chances that you have a good backup when you really need it. Hence, the 3-2-1 backup system can leave you with peace of mind.

 

It’s a good idea to review your backup solution on a regular basis to make sure it is backing up the proper items to the proper places and the proper times. IT Edge, your local IT provider, can assist. Learn more about our backup services here.

Office Move Tips and Tricks for Your IT Infrastructure

by Walt Ball

Office move

Office Move on the Horizon?

As an Outsourced IT Provider, IT Edge handles office moves on a regular basis for their clients.  The key to a successful move is proper planning.  Our computer and network consulting services will help you cover the details of your office move.  The first thing to do is to determine which ISP options you have. Then, ensure that fast internet is available.  Afterwards, contact your current vendor (which is usually Verizon or Comcast) and get the specifics on how service will be transferred and exact timing details.

The next step is to come on-site to your current location so we can review your current setup. Then, we can head to your new space.  We’ll walk through and identify the location of the server and networking closet.  After this, we will identify network printers and wireless access pints.  We can then provide a quote and handle the wiring for voice and data.  Lastly, we’ll coordinate with the other IT vendors that will be involved.  Those are typically your phone, copier, and security vendors to ensure a smooth experience.

What’s the Best Way to be Prepared?

On the day of the move, the norm is for us to be at your location early to pick up the server and networking equipment.  Users will have moved over their furniture and equipment.  We will then head to the new space to setup the server and networking equipment and make sure everyone has proper connectivity to the server and the Internet.

With proper planning and communication, we’ll have your office equipment up and running by 9am in it’s new home! Connect with our team today to learn more.