Is A Slow Network Getting in The Way of Your Business?

Is A Slow Network Getting in The Way of Your Business?slow network

Very few things in life are as intensely frustrating as slow network speeds. Whether accessing a shared database, sharing files between computers, or sending a file to print; waiting for transfers can seem to take an eternity. Worse still, these business breaks can keep both clients and staff waiting and get in the way of the productive business day.

Every time you save or retrieve files from another computer or network storage device, file transfers have to be made over the network. Depending on your IT setup files can pour over the network with the ferocity of a fire hose, or trickle between machines as if dripping through a drinking straw. Poor network speeds are often a critical bottleneck that slows down the entire IT system. If a slow, frustrating, and unreliable network sounds like your office setup then there are many available solutions we can use to help.

Often, offices maintain networking hardware that is as old as the premises they are in or the businesses themselves. Components can be left in place long after their suggested expiration date. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it commonly rules as long as some working connection, however slow, still remains.

Yet, outdated hardware in key areas can often slow the entire system down. Even when the rest of the network is capable of ultra-high speeds, a single bad component can bring the entire network to a crawl. Sometimes if it isn’t broke, it still might not be working to its full potential. Even peripheral devices throughout the network can cause traffic to slow. A badly installed device may become lost from the network or send out an overwhelming number of messages that spoils network traffic. Defense against errors and vulnerabilities is more simple than many think. Often just one or two small upgrades is all that is needed to unlock the full speed potential of the network.

For some businesses adding a dedicated server is an ideal solution that can balance the IT workload. Access to centrally shared resources often benefits the entire organization by eliminating redundancy. A network server is built with efficiency and reliability in mind to keep your business running at full capacity. By pooling resources for everyone to use, work is evenly shared and centrally available to prevent bottlenecks in the system. Reduced network loads, improved efficiency, and faster transfer speeds mean that higher productivity becomes the new normal.

Moving resources outside of the office can work for many businesses too. Where high speed, low-cost internet services are available, moving your work into the cloud can be a highly cost-effective solution. Software packages such as Quickbooks offer finance and accounting packages for operating in the cloud. Similar Suites such as Microsoft Office offers services for creating and sharing documents with cloud resources. Both packages eliminate the need for many of the network operations that we use every day.

For many applications such as Quickbooks huge databases sometimes gigabytes in size are required. It is these types of applications where the advantage of the cloud becomes clear. To use this locally, huge database transfers keep the application up-to-date daily.

These transfers across a local network are time-consuming and clog up vital resources for the firm. Yet, the same application in the cloud requires only a simple web page for each user. Instantly, looking up finances and editing documents becomes as simple as checking your email. With services moved to the cloud purchase cost and maintenance of expensive network hardware are reduced too.

A complete network solution that works to make the most out of all the available resources is unique to every business. Only a tailored solution to address your network needs will increase your productivity.

If your IT is starting to get in the way of your business and your network is running too slow, give us call at 319-227-7000 and we’ll see what we can do.

2018-10-06T21:54:13-05:00September 5th, 2018|Managed Services, Networking|0 Comments

Is Your Business Ready for Business-Grade Wi-Fi?

Is Your Business Ready for Business-Grade Wi-Fi?Business-Grade Wi-Fi

In today’s business world, having great Wi-Fi isn’t a luxury -it’s a necessity. Businesses, with their varying needs, have personal requirements for what constitutes great Wi-Fi. For some small businesses, consumer-grade Wi-Fi may be sufficient, but many find that business-grade Wi-Fi is more appropriate. As companies grow, there becomes a tipping point where business-grade is necessary. So how do you know if your business is ready for business-grade Wi-Fi? Ask yourself the following questions to find out.

How many devices use your Wi-Fi?

It used to be that only laptop computers connected to your Wi-Fi, but that is no longer the case. With the rise of portable devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, each person may be using your Wi-Fi from several devices. Consumer-grade hardware is designed for just a few people (like the amount that live in a single household) but can’t manage larger amounts of users and all of their devices. This is especially true for sustained usage. Remember that your employees aren’t the only people who expect to be able to connect to your Wi-Fi. One of the first things visitors typically do is look for a Wi-Fi network to connect their smartphones to.

What is the size and shape of your workspace?

The number of access points you will need for your Wi-Fi is dependent on the amount of physical space that needs to be covered, the shape of the area, wall material, and the number of users/devices. In smaller spaces, consumer-grade Wi-Fi is good enough. Larger, oddly shaped spaces benefit from business-grade. If your building’s walls are made of brick, cinder blocks, or cement, you likely need more access points than buildings made of other materials. Make sure you have a strong connection from all locations. It’s annoying to only be connected to Wi-Fi in certain areas of a building and find yourself in a dead-zone a few steps later.

Access points for business-grade Wi-Fi tend to be more powerful and flexible. For example, some business Wi-Fi systems can transfer Wi-Fi devices from a crowded access point to one that is less busy. By doing this, everybody’s fast speed remains. If you foresee your range needing to increase, such as renting out more space, it’s easier to add more access points to business-grade Wi-Fi than consumer-grade. Businesses that anticipate scaling up soon are better off with business-grade Wi-Fi.

Do you want guests to have the same quality Wi-Fi as workers?

In households, where consumer-grade Wi-Fi is prevalent, all users share the Wi-Fi equally. In a home environment, if children are slowing down the internet with Netflix or video games, it’s not a big problem. However, a choked business Wi-Fi can cause a lot of problems. Business-grade Wi-Fi allows you network management. You can assign a designated amount of bandwidth to different users so they’re unable to clog the entire connection. You can allow visitors internet access without giving them unlimited access to the network.

How much does the internet affect your employees’ productivity?

For some companies, workers only use Wi-Fi for a few quick tasks. With these types of businesses, if the internet is slow, it won’t have a big impact on how much work your employees get done. Consumer-grade Wi-Fi might be a good choice. For other companies, there isn’t much people can accomplish if the Wi-Fi isn’t working well. The slower your employees work, the less money you make. Wi-Fi troubles can also lead to frustrated, unhappy workers. If fast internet is essential for people to complete their daily tasks, business-grade Wi-Fi is important.

Strong Wi-Fi is a necessity for all businesses. This is especially true for larger businesses that connect a lot of devices (from both employees and visitors) and have a big work area. Also for those where employee productivity depends on a strong connection. The goal is to keep your business-critical technology running smoothly. Consider carefully whether consumer-grade Wi-Fi or business-grade Wi-Fi is the best choice for your business. When you ask yourself the questions above, the answer should become clear.

Is your business’s Wi-Fi struggling? Give us a call at 319-227-7000 to discuss a solution.

2018-10-06T22:02:57-05:00September 4th, 2018|Networking, Wi-FI|0 Comments

Is Your Home Wi-Fi Keeping Up?

Is Your Home Wi-Fi Keeping Up?Is Your Home Wi-Fi Keeping Up?

Wi-Fi has forever changed the way we live, work and play.  We can surf the internet on the couch or by the pool, look up a recipe in an instant, and even connect our lights to voice control. It’s no wonder it was accepted with open arms, but is your Wi-Fi as good as it needs to be?

10 years after Wi-Fi first made its way into homes with those mysterious rabbit-eared boxes, it’s evolved into a juggernaut of speed and accessibility that we can’t do without. Think about how many wireless devices your home has – the average home has at least 10 devices connected wirelessly to the internet, many have more.

While older devices are typically happy with a slice of slow internet, your newer devices like 4kTVs and media streaming simply can’t function without fast internet. Add in a game console, tablet, a few smartphones and a laptop or two, and your Wi-Fi is suddenly stretched beyond full capacity and struggling to keep up. Yet, most people don’t know how fast their Wi-Fi is, or if it’s working right– they only know how many bars they’ve got. Unfortunately, counting bars can add up to one big headache.

Here’s why relying on your Wi-Fi bar count might be ruining your internet experience:

Bars measure the wrong thing: While it’s great to know you’ve got a ‘strong’ signal, it would be even better if you could have a ‘fast and available’ signal. The internet could actually be down and you’d still have full bars because it’s really only measuring how close to the Wi-Fi router you are. That proximity measure doesn’t take into account how many devices are fighting for the same bandwidth or whether there’s any left for you. We can ensure your Wi-Fi isn’t just available, it’s up to the task.

Wi-Fi goes sideways: While next-door’s Wi-Fi can reach the back of their property, it can also go a similar distance sideways into your house. This extra ‘noise’ can disrupt and slow down your own Wi-Fi. In dense areas, your Wi-Fi is basically getting lost in a swirling field of signals, all using the same channel and frequency. It’s a digital crowd which can seriously slow your speeds. We can fix this by changing your Wi-Fi channel to one with less cross-talk.

Everyone uses the default settings: Most home Wi-Fi uses a 2.4ghz frequency by default. While it makes a plug & play router easy to set up, it does mean you’re not getting the speeds you could be. Switching to the 5ghz frequency means your Wi-Fi is separated from the neighborhood cross-talk. 5ghz is also considerably faster, which is a bonus. We can help you upgrade to a 5Ghz-capable router or switch your existing frequency.

Priority isn’t set: While not Wi-Fi specific, we can also set up “Quality of Service” if your router supports it or supply you with one that does. This allows things like Netflix and Skype calls to always take priority and remain uninterrupted over less important tasks like downloads. You’ll be able to watch movies without those awful buffering jumps and video chat without freezing.

Is your home Wi-Fi keeping up? Give us a call at 319-227-7000 and we can improve your internet experience.

2018-10-07T12:47:36-05:00December 26th, 2017|Networking, Wi-FI|0 Comments

Why Your Firewall Will Never Be Enough

Why Your Firewall Will Never Be EnoughWhy Your Firewall Will Never Be Enough

Firewalls are a well-known security essential, and we’re certainly big fans, but did you know a firewall alone is not enough to keep your business safe? It’s true. It’s like building a fence around your house to keep the burglars out: You feel safe, private and secure… but the reality is, anyone with a ladder, enough motivation or ninja skills poses a real threat. That’s why despite every networked business having a firewall in place, security breaches are increasing at an alarming rate – further protections are still needed.

Without these additional protections, once the firewall is beaten or bypassed it’s like a fox in a hen house. The bad guys are free to view and download files, make changes, and even take over your systems completely. That’s why computer security works best when it’s multi-layered. When one protection fails, the next layer kicks in to keep your business safe. And then the next, and the next…but that doesn’t mean you need CIA level security that gets in your way.

A few strategic, well-planned measures can provide all the protection your business needs to keep operating without costly downtime. While it’s cool to imagine a system so secure you’ll be opening doors with retinal scanners, using synchronized keys to activate the server and dodging pressure-triggered plates around the storage drives, the reality is infinitely more usable and affordable. In fact, we’ll help you choose the perfect measures that blend invisibly into your existing processes, boosting security without affecting productivity. Take a look at some of our managed service inclusions:

Proper firewall configuration

While not enough by itself, your firewall is still your first line of defense. However, there’s a huge difference between the generic firewall that comes standard with your Windows installation, and one specifically chosen for your business and set up properly. Our technicians will work with you to identify which traffic should be allowed, eg remote employee access, and which should be automatically blocked.

Access restrictions

We’ll help you give employees access to only the files they need to do their job. It’s not a matter of trust, but rather one of security. If they were the one to accidentally let the attackers through the firewall, perhaps by clicking an email link, you’re then able to limit the damage. Without this added layer of protection, it’s relatively easy to access any and all files.

Encrypt confidential files

More secure than simply password locking a file, this uses a secret ‘key’ to scramble the files and their contents, so that when anyone else tries to view them all they see is incomprehensible nonsense. Our technicians can setup an encryption system for you so that approved users can use them normally while all files remain secure.

We offer managed services to make sure all our clients are protected and all their security products are operating at 100% efficiency. Threat analysis, prevention, management and response are all included so your focus can remain on growing your business, we’ll take care of the bad guys.

Give us a call at 319-227-7000 about multi-layered protections for your business.

2018-10-07T13:46:50-05:00December 18th, 2017|Networking, Security|0 Comments

Hotel WiFi Systems Setup in Cedar Rapids, IA

Hotel WiFi Systems Setup in Cedar Rapids, IA

If you are looking for hotel wifi systems setup in Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding communities of Waterloo, Iowa City, Marion and Hiawatha consider IT Professionals of Iowa, LLC your best choice. Affordable Computer Repair Service. Networking, server and workstation support.

Hotel WiFi Systems Setup in Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

2018-10-07T13:52:09-05:00November 19th, 2017|Networking|0 Comments

Server Rack Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

Server Rack Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

If you are looking for server rack cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding communities of Waterloo, Iowa City, Marion and Hiawatha consider IT Professionals of Iowa, LLC your best choice. Affordable Computer Repair Service. Networking, server and workstation support.

Server Rack Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

2017-11-18T21:28:56-05:00November 18th, 2017|Networking|0 Comments

Server Room Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

Server Room Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

If you are looking for server room cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding communities of Waterloo, Iowa City, Marion and Hiawatha consider IT Professionals of Iowa, LLC your best choice. Affordable Computer Repair Service. Networking, server and workstation support.

Server Room Cabling in Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

2017-11-18T21:27:04-05:00November 18th, 2017|Networking|0 Comments

Network Cabling Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Network Cabling Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

If you are looking for network cabling installation in Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding communities of Waterloo, Iowa City, Marion and Hiawatha consider IT Professionals of Iowa, LLC your best choice. Affordable Computer Repair Service. Networking, server and workstation support.

Network Cabling Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

2017-11-18T21:25:02-05:00November 18th, 2017|Networking|0 Comments

Network Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Network Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

If you are looking for network installation in Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding communities of Waterloo, Iowa City, Marion and Hiawatha consider IT Professionals of Iowa, LLC your best choice. Affordable Computer Repair Service. Networking, server and workstation support.

Network Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

2017-11-18T21:22:37-05:00November 18th, 2017|Networking|0 Comments