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TAB Computers launch new cloud backup service

Posted on by Robert Collar

After 18 months of development and testing TAB Computers have launched a new cloud backup service branded Polaris Backup which can back up not only your every day data files such as Word docs, spread sheets and accounts, but also your constantly in use files including Microsoft Exchange,  SQL databases, Oracle and System State backups.

The cloud backup service, which works on all platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux, was developed in response to frequent customer requests and is now becoming a popular alternative to tape backup and backing up to hard drives, as there is no remembering to rotate the drives and no remembering to take them offsite each day.

The main concern that customers had was the security aspect of handing their data over to someone else, but in fact the data is far safer stored offsite in an encrypted and unreadable format on a data centre server, than stored loose in your own premises where it can be stolen along with the server that created it.

Additionally, by uploading the backup away from the premises, it is safely out of harms way if the building were to burn down overnight, destroying the server and the backup drive together.

 Don’t be fooled by its simple interface. Under the hood it is among the most powerful cloud backup software’s on the market today, with features not found in many other softwares.

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Benefits of cloud backup include:

Security– Your files are encrypted during transmission and stored on the data centre servers in an encrypted format, ensuring that no unauthorised users can access your critical business information.

Recovery - Your files are easily retrievable in the event of catastrophic hard drive failure, fire or theft

Location – Stored away from the premises providing protection in the event of hard drive failure, fire or theft

Cost – Low Total Cost of Ownership: Zero capital expense for external hard drives, tapes or software. No costs for the time taken to manually maintain backups, rotate drives and take off site

Ease of use - Easy to set up. Fully automated. Zero maintenance

Multi-platform -Backup from multiple devices including Servers, PCs, Mac’s and laptops

Reporting- Confirmation email as standard. Free Android and iPhone  app available so the status of the last backup is always available to a variety of devices

If you are interested in discussing our new cloud backup service with a member of the team, we are currently offering a 14 day trial free of charge and also a money back guarantee if you try it for a month and decide that it’s not for you.

Give us a call on 0333 011 5109 or send us an email to support@tabcomputers.co.uk and a member of our team will help you set it up on your system, choose the type of encryption and frequency of backup and answer any other questions you may have

Posted in General, Latest news

Windows XP support finishing April 2014

Posted on by admin

After April 8th 2014, Microsoft will no longer be providing support for Windows XP. Whilst it will continue to work, it will become increasingly vulnerable, as hackers find more and more ways of gaining entry through weaknesses in the code.

Previously, Microsoft would have released a security patch to close any discovered weaknesses, but after April 8th no further patches will be released. As a business, you can’t accept this vulnerability, as it puts your whole business data at risk.

We are emailing all our business customers over the next 3 months to advise that Windows XP is no longer viable as a business operating system and that you will need to change any old XP based PCs over to Windows 7 or 8, ideally before the 8th of April.

Unfortunately there is no upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8. The only option is to carry out a clean install and then to copy back any saved data from the old XP machine to the new Windows 7 / 8. This is fairly labour intensive, so we are rolling out the upgrades in stages over the next 3 months so that we can migrate all our customers before the April deadline.

To recap, there is no compulsion to migrate to Windows 7 or 8, the Windows XP software will not stop working after the 8th April, but the vulnerability to attack will increase each day as hackers seek to exploit weakness in the code, so it will only be a matter of time before any unpatched machines will be hacked after this date.

TAB Computers can provide a new business class PC with Windows 7 Professional Operating System and all data copied from the old Windows XP machine to the new Windows 7 machine at a cost of £470-00 + VAT installed. Or if you wish to keep your existing PC and just upgrade the Operating System software, then a retail edition of Windows 7 can be purchased and installed at a cost of £279 + VAT.

We are informed by Microsoft that Windows 7 (which would be our recommended Operating System based on current customer feedback of Windows 8) is supported until at least 2020, but if you are already a Windows 8 user and prefer to change from XP to Windows 8, then we can provide business class machines with Windows 8 at the same cost of £490-00 + VAT installed.

Please fill in our contact form or call us on local rate 0333 011 5109 if you would like to discuss the issues regarding Windows XP vulnerability or if you wish go ahead and replace your Windows XP machines

Posted in General, Latest news

TAB launch cloud storage service with free 5GB account

Posted on by Ryan Collar

After being asked by a number of customers whether an online backup and cloud storage service was something that we could offer, TAB have been busy for the past few months setting up, configuring and testing with some of the leading suppliers in the industry including Rackspace in the UK and Amazon in the EU.

As the majority of our customers use Microsoft Exchange for their email and an SQL database in some form or another, we needed the capability of backing up and restoring these “permanently in use” files, which the majority of backup solutions can’t do, and we are now happy to report that we have achieved this goal.

We can now deliver a very stable enterprise level cloud backup and recovery service at very low costs compared to other suppliers and to give companies the opportunity to try it for themselves without commitment, we have allocated a 5GB account for all businesses free of charge to help with their business continuity planning.

This is not a time limited trial, but a permanent free backup account to complement the existing methods of in-house backup.  We will install the backup software and configure it for you, help you choose which files to back and show you how to retrieve them again.

Your files will be secured  with 256-bit AES encryption before being stored, so they are perfectly safe and you can keep the 5GB free account forever, increase the storage capacity, or delete it altogether if you don’t feel that it’s right for you.

To set up your free 5GB account, give us a call or fill in our contact form and one of our staff would be very happy to help

Posted in General, Latest news

TAB Computers launches FREE IT Support trial

Posted on by Ryan Collar

TAB Computers are now offering new customers the chance to have a free trial of our fantastic IT Support service.
There are no hidden charges, no commitments and there is no obligation to stay with us after your trial expires.

As an added bonus, if you wish to continue using our services at the end of the free period, then we guarantee to beat your current IT Support costs by a minimum of 10%.

Included in the trial:

• Unlimited remote IT Support during normal working hours (Mon – Fri, 9 – 5)
• On-site visits where remote support cannot fix the issue* (historically, 99.7% of our calls are fixed remotely)
• IT advice from our highly qualified support engineers

 

*a discretionary call-out fee may apply for visits further than 15 miles from our offices

If you would like more information, or to arrange your free trial, please call us on 0800 321 3427 and we’d be happy to discuss things further.

 

Posted in General, Latest news

How many spyware items are infecting your computer?

Posted on by Ryan Collar

What is Spyware?

The term ‘spyware’ is broadly defined as any program that gets into your computer without permission and hides in the background while it makes unwanted changes to your user experience.

Spyware is generally not designed to damage your computer. The damage it does is more a by-product of its main mission, which is to serve you targeted advertisements or make your browser display certain sites or search results.

At present, most spyware only targets the Windows operating system.

Spyware can be harmless, for example tracking cookies don’t do much. Whilst such things infringe on your privacy, they don’t really harm anything. Others, however, are extremely dangerous.

So what do you do about it?

No spyware program seems to do everything, but there are a lot of good solutions out there that can help. Here is a list of some of the top free spyware tools to look at:

1) Spyware Doctor by PC Tools

2) Malwarebytes

3) SUPERAntiSpyware

4) Ad-Aware by Lavasoft

5) Spybot – Search & Destroy by Safer-Networking Ltd.

One thing is for certain: you do need to take spyware seriously. For some reason, too many people out there think that an anti-virus program is the end-all solution. It is not.

And, when all else fails?

Finally, as drastic as it seems, if your computer has been infected with a large number of spyware programs, the only solution you may have is backing up your data, and performing a complete reinstall of the operating system.

 

Posted in General, Latest news

3 common password mistakes to avoid

Posted on by Ryan Collar

As we all know, account security is crucial for any business, and indeed for any home user looking to ward off prying eyes, which is why it shocks me that so many people take a light-hearted approach when it comes to protecting their data and personal information. If an unwelcome guest gained access to all of your business information, the results are potentially catastrophic.

In this article I will list 3 common mistakes that people make when creating a password, and will give tips on how to avoid each one.

Mistake #1: Using a simple password.

Here is a list of the top 10 most commonly used passwords.

1. 123456
2. 12345
3. 123456789
4. Password
5. iloveyou
6. princess
7. rockyou
8. 1234567
9. 12345678
10. abc123

Hard to believe, isn’t it? The idea of a password is to protect your data using a unique combination of characters that only the owner of the account knows. One way to create a very strong password is to use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. The aim here is to make the password almost impossible to guess, so for example, ‘rockyou’ could become ‘R0ckYou08*’.

Mistake #2: Using the same password for all of your accounts

This one speaks for itself – if somebody gains access to one of your accounts, the last thing you want is to grant them access to ALL of your accounts. Use a different password for each of your accounts to minimise the risk of opening the floodgates to any would-be hackers.

Mistake #3: Using birthdays/children’s names

In order to beat a hacker, you have to think like a hacker. If somebody is trying to access your accounts, the first thing they’re going to try is a group of words that are personal to you, such as your birthday or your child’s name. A better alternative is to use words completely unconnected to you – after all, nobody would ever randomly guess a password such as ‘TissueBox914*’.

Now that you know the 3 most common password mistakes, next time you are setting up a password, just take a moment to think about how secure it really is, and consider revising your existing passwords to something a little more secure.

 

Posted in General, Latest news

New member of the TAB Computers team

Posted on by Ryan Collar

TAB Computers are delighted to welcome our newest member of staff Jamie Thompson to the team.

Jamie brings a wealth of experience, including systems enhancement consulting, infrastructure optimisation, design and diagnostics/repair services; Installing, configuring and migrating, Microsoft Server and Small Business Server; Delivering help desk support, on-site hardware repairs and network configuration, Microsoft Exchange and virtualisation solutions.

Jamie is looking forward to working with all of our existing clients and helping the business to continue with its current growth.

 

Posted in General, Latest news

5 cost-effective ways to improve business efficiency

Posted on by Richard

In this article we’ll take a quick look at some cost effective changes that can be made to any business network to improve the speed and efficiency and so get the job done quicker.

None of the changes are expensive and all can pay for themselves through improved business productivity

1) Add Extra RAM

Modern programs such as Microsoft Office have so many more features than a few years ago and are therefore much more resource hungry. What may have once have been a healthy amount of RAM in a PC can now fall way short of what’s needed to run modern programs smoothly.

A PC running modern applications should be looking at a minimum of 2GB of RAM but ideally 4GB. A quick test will determine the maximum amount of RAM that the PC’s motherboard can support, together with the specific type and the cost of upgrading.

RAM costs are currently very low and this is one of the most effective upgrades to speed up your PC. Give us a call to arrange an online RAM test and we can quickly tell you the maximum that the PC can take and the cost of upgrading.

2) Change to Gigabit networking

Transferring files around the network at up to 10 times the speed allows the job to be done much quicker. Where a file may once have taken 20 minutes to transfer from one computer to another, with an upgraded Gigabit network it would take around 2 minutes.

The existing Cat5e cable that holds the network together is capable of transferring data at Gigabit speeds, so there is very little disruption involved in upgrading the network and as the cost of Gigabit network cards and switches have fallen to affordable levels within the past couple of years, this small outlay can be quickly recouped through an increase in production levels.

3) Add a secondary “extended” monitor

Having the ability to switch between programs without minimising can hugely improve production as there is no need to continuously toggle between one program and another. With dual monitors it’s possible to have email open on one screen whilst simultaneously working on a spread sheet on another without having to continuously switch between the two.

Setting up a secondary monitor is very easy, but does entail the extra cost of another monitor and possibly a dual output graphics card. In most cases however this extra cost can be quickly recouped through the enhanced productivity that having a dual screen brings.

4) Change wireless network to 802.11n

802.11n gives wireless networks more speed and range than the original 802.11b and 802.11g standards, allowing files to flow around the network more quickly and the coverage to be extended much further. Typically 802.11n allows for transfer rates of up to 300Mbps compared with the earlier 54Mbps and a typical range of double the earlier standards.

Along with greater coverage comes an increased risk of unwanted intrusion, so a wireless network should be secured with WPA/PSK encryption as a minimum. The older standard WEP security can be cracked in as little as 5 seconds with the right tools, so if you need help with beefing up your wireless security give us a call and we’d be glad to help.

5) Upgrade to a Solid State Drive

With no moving parts, a solid state drive is more akin to a large memory stick than a hard drive. It has much quicker read and write times and is completely silent. The cost of SSD’s has significantly reduced in recent years, to the extent that they can now be used as replacements for the more traditional mechanical hard drives for large capacity data storage.

Solid State Drives are perfect for use as boot drives, as the start-up time for the Windows operating system is typically 400% quicker in benchmark tests than a standard hard drive and SSDs doesn’t suffer from fragmentation in the same way that conventional hard drives do, so the performance of a SSD does not degrade over time.

For any help or advice on improving your business productivity, give us a call on 01332 929421 or email us on support@tabcomputers.co.uk and our team of experienced technicians would be only too happy to help.

Posted in General, Latest news

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IT Services testimonial – Wollaton Park Dental

Posted on by Richard

TAB computers have over the past 5 years provided Wollaton Park Dental Practice with a very high standard of IT support. TAB computers are efficient, professional and very helpful at all times in their approach to offering support of all our IT needs and resolve problems promptly and effectively. We would have no hesitation in recommending TAB computers to others.

 

http://www.wollatonparkdentalpractice.co.uk/

 

Posted in Testimonials

Happy New Year

Posted on by Robert Collar

Happy New year to everyone from the team at TAB Computers. Early signs are that 2013 is going to be a busy year for our IT support team, with enquiries for our IT services steadily increasing in the Alfreton, Ripley and Mansfield areas.

One of our clients has already deleted their Sage accounts since coming back from the Christmas break, but as part of our IT support services, a robust backup system meant that recovering it from the previous night’s backup took less than 5 minutes and they were back up and running again with no fuss at all. The consequences of leaving issues like data backups to chance could be catastrophic for a business and that’s where TAB Computers can help.

We offer very good value for money IT support services for both one off IT problems and regular monthly IT maintenance – including email configuration, backup checks, printer problems, server support, data cabling, network issues, Wi-Fi security, data recovery and much more.

Feel free to download our latest brochure from here, or have a browse around the website to see what’s new and don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need any help or advice.

Hoping the New Year is a good one for you all

Bob Collar
TAB Computers

Posted in General, Latest news

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