3 Nifty Tricks to Using Webmail and Website-Based Emails

webmail tricks can do computersThis is something that most small businesses unfortunately under utilise, whereas the larger ones do tend to get it straight away. That’s making the most of emails related to the business’ website URL, and the ability to access these online through webmail accounts.

So take this website, for example our main contact email of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It's basically just the 'info' bit added to the website name with an ‘@’ sign in the middle, something we're all used to seeing of course but assuming it's only for the big-boy businesses to use.

Well the good news is that it is easier to use than you think, and many good computer or website companies should be able to advice you on this.

In short, there's 3 aspects to this to understand:

1. Set Them Up

Yep, that simple, and most website hosting services nowadays will easily have this ability. And not usually with any great cost, as it's only the creation and management of it that can take some time afterwards.

You therefore just have to work out what actual names you'd like, often taking two forms. The first is individual people's names, often the first name and surname with a dot in the middle and aimed to be personal of course to an individual.

The second is a more generic one like accounts@ or info@ which is more for a department or area of a business in question. The great thing here is that in realty they can be just sent to certain individuals or kept as a generic department mailbox, whatever suits best behind the scences.

2. Access Through Webmail

So when you have these set up, you can access these online through a particular website link. Although these can be a completely different one to your website, it's handy to set up a divert from your website so that people can easily get there, for example /Webmail straight after the main website name.

However you get there, just type in your email and password and voila, you're in. You should now see a usual email account with inbox, sent box, and whatever folders you want set up.

And to really put the icing on the cake, you can set up unique names on the account as an auto signature and 'from' display name for when people receive an email from you.

3. Divert to Your Own Email

Okay, things get really clever now by being able to divert one of these special emails straight to your own personal one, or any other for that matter.

So a fancy looking info@ email can be pinged straight to your own bog standard say gmail account, meaning that you immediately see every email that arrives without having to log in to the Webmail account every time. Great for small businesses where you can easily see on say your mobile phone on the move.

However one down side is that when you reply to any such emails it will comes straight from your personal email which won't look so great and may cause privacy issues, but hey you can always log back into the Webmail account to send these if you wish.

Making the Most of Website Emails

So make the most of your website name and get some great looking emails that look professional on adverts rather than your own personal one.

After you've chosen the right names, get these set-up with your hosting provider and start wheels in motion. You then just need to get the right balance between Webmail use and private-email use of these.

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Don't Panic - 5 Tips to Quickly Deal With Computer Repairs

computer repairs top tipsAs part of our computer repair services in the Birmingham and West Midlands region, we deal with a whole range of issues, right from emergency reactive call outs, to more planned and proactive repairs and upgrades. Unfortunately it's only when it finally packs in that you appreciate how useful your computer is, whether a laptop or table to, desktop and PC, or Mac.
 
Before the panic sets in though as you realise the potential cost and hassle or arranging your computer to now be repaired, here are a few pointers to help get things in perspective and make sure the best solution is actioned for you as soon as possible.

1. Check if You're Powered Up 

So see if you can actually crank up the computer and get it going, that it's not in sleep or other mode, and that you at least have power and a visible screen to play with.
 
If to then you might be in luck with an easy-fix like a new power lead or battery, or new socket ad connection point.

2. Don't End Up Panicking if the Computer’s Too Slow 

In today's fast and furious world it's all too easy to get flustered when the machine, it’s not just slowed down and it appears to be having a bad hair day. Often this happens over time and it's therefore easy to spot, but if not and it suddenly does then all is not lost. 
 
It may take a simple re-boot or possibly re-load of software and operating system to get it as right as rain again.

3. Kill Any Viruses 

Just as you would with a common cold, you can take action to resolve any viruses and nasty things like trojans you have on your computer, whether suddenly out of the blue or from an unknown email being mistakenly opened. 
 
There's way to quickly track things down and resolve, as well as learn from mistakes and load spyware and antivirus software to prevent things like this happening again.

4. Dissect the Computer

So just like a surgeon taking an operation, you may need to see literally see which part of the computer is playing up and then carry out some TLC surgery and maybe even ‘operation’ to then resolve. 
 
It might be a simple new mouse or keyboard, or possibly a new and better quality screen, or failing this you might need to go 'under the hood' for technical bits like the motherboard and circuits

5. Get Connected Remotely

So with the help of the internet you can soon get a connection to other people based away from your computer in order to get connected and immediately begin resolving issues. It may look strange with your computer user suddenly moving around the curser on its own, but with a trusted operator behind the wheels, once they get a connection you're well on your way to victory.
 
Therefore if you're suddenly needing a computer repair, don't panic. Even the best computers can have issues, and with the right and quickest solution to diagnose the problem you can be soon find the solution to resolve.
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Why Upgrading Your Network is a Good Idea

computer network can do computersYour network is an important aspect of your business. In some cases it may even be absolutely essential and if it “went down” your work would grind to a halt. Perhaps you have an existing network that has served you well over the years. How much thought do you ever give to upgrading it? Maybe not a lot. Or maybe you’re just looking into now, which is why you’re reading this article. 
 
There are several reasons you could be looking at a network upgrade. Here we will take a look at some of the reasons and the most effective tips you should put into practice to keep any threats to your network at bay. 

1. Performance

The most effective way to improve the performance of your network is by kitting it out with some updated architecture. Treat your network to a 100 Megabit switch, or a Gigabit Ethernet switch with Layer 3 and Virtual Local Area Network capability, and you’ll see how the transfer speed of your network will increase. Especially if your business uses some of the more advanced technologies that place greater demand upon the network capability. 
 
With the emphasis, these days, on latency and switching performance, networks are no longer as plug-and-play friendly as they once were. You need to pay attention to the switches and having a core network that can offer the necessary support items layered on the IP network. 

2. Reliability

As mentioned earlier in the article, if you think you cannot do without having your network available at all working hours and that your work would come to a stop at the slightest network outage you need to think about reliability. 
 
How reliable is your network at the moment? Perhaps it is fine right now but with changes in software and the increase in demands being made upon the network since you initially set it up can you rest easy without giving it a tune-up?
 
Make sure you have a router from a reputable and reliable manufacturer. The more advanced the router is, the more control you can have over it and tailor it to meet your exact needs. Whatever your business is, your clients deserve a top-class service. So make sure you work with a top-class network. Going for low-grade equipment may only cause problems later on. 

3. Security

Security cannot be mentioned enough when talking about your computer equipment  and I.T. networks. We know that you’re constantly being advised to change passwords etc. but it really is an important issue. So bear with us and take the following on board. 
 
Your Firewall is an essential component for your network and therefore it is essential to your business. With all the data you use being transferred through the same filter you need to make sure you have a dedicated Firewall that can protect your network from unwanted elements. 
 
Most network devices will come with their own firewall and router but it is always a good idea to have your own purpose-built firewall that works as a separate device and concentrates on its sole task: filtering the data traffic and removing any threats. 
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How To Plan Your Network

computer network can do computersSetting up a business - no matter how small - is undeniably hard work.  Making decisions about infrastructure and equipment is part of the initial planning stages of any business so it is important to get it right from the outset. 
 
In this article we’ll be focussing on setting up the best network for your business and helping you to determine what information you will need to make the decision that is right for the type of work that you do. 
 
Your Local Area Network (LAN) or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is vital to how your business will work if you intend to use the internet or share files amongst your colleagues in your network.  Your colleagues will be using your network to send one another important documents and files and they will share software. Your network will work as your business hub, allowing users to print from anywhere and collaborate on projects, so it is essential that you get the job done right. 

Know Your Business 

It is important that you know what you need for your business and the best way to get that information is by paring things down to the basics, the bare bones of what you do. Start by asking yourself the following 8 questions. 
 
1. Who will be administering the network?
 
2. Will you be using mobile devices as well as computers on the network?
 
3. What types of computers or devices be used on the network?
 
4. How many computers or devices will be part of the network?
 
5. Will you be adding further computers or devices to the network?
 
6. What type of connection will you need to use? Wired, wireless, or both?
 
7. What type of documents and files will you need to share across the network?
 
8. If you’re working with large files you might need to think about higher capacity bandwidth. How much will you need?

Know your Router 

These days most routers on the market will offer wireless (Wi-Fi) and wired functionality so this shouldn’t be an issue. If you need the full bandwidth capacity of your network you should pay serious thought to keeping it a physical Ethernet connection (wired). Good old-fashioned Ethernet will allow you the fastest file transfer speeds which will be a good thing if you need to share large files such as video or audio.

Know Your Security Options

Security will be very important for your network - especially if it will be connected to the internet. With the number of Cyberattacks on the rise this is not an issue that you can ignore. 
 
You need to guard your network against the following Enemies:
 
Adware
Botnets
Malware
Phishing
Proxies
Spam
Spyware
 
Luckily you can rely on the following Friends to help keep your network safe:
 
An active Firewall for your router. For a Wi-Fi network be sure to choose either WPA or WPA2.
Be sure to store your router in a place that is safe from prying eyes.
If accessing the network from outside be sure to enable VPN on the computer or device you are using.
If a visitor to your establishment will be using your connection be sure to set up them up as a “guest” with limited access to your files and settings. 
Keep responsibility settings, such as authorisations, available to a limited number of persons. 
Always make sure any security and antivirus software is kept up to date. 
This may sound basic but that doesn’t make it any less true: always use complex passwords to set up data-encryption for your network. 
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Desktop, Tablet, or Laptop?

laptop desktop can do computersIn this article we’re going to be giving you the best advice we can on what you should be looking at in order to select the best I.T. equipment and infrastructure for your business. 
 
One of the first things you need to do is take a good look at your daily business activities. What is it exactly that your business does? Maybe you’re the CEO of your business. Do your day to day activities require different equipment from others working for your company? These are all important questions that you need to address way before you start paying out for costly I.T. equipment that might be totally unsuitable for your work. For example, maybe the only software is for your accounting business. In that case it would be pointless to end up paying for graphics editing software because someone suggested you get business cards. 
 
Once you’ve analysed the situation and come to some conclusions about what you need in terms of I.T. equipment you can begin looking a little closer your options. 

The Desktop Option

If most of your work will take place at the same location you might want to look into desktop computers for you and your staff. With all the various tablets and phablets currently being the hip options you might think of it as going backwards, especially if you’re setting up your new business from the ground up. But there’s a lot to be said for going the desktop route. 
 
If you’re looking at running graphics hungry software a desktop computer would be your ideal option. With a significantly larger hard drive capacity, more RAM, and greater ability to handle sophisticated graphics, a good old-fashioned desktop computer will be your friend if you are running video or music editing software or 3D graphic design. 
 
If you need upgrading along the way the desktop will also allow you greater ability to add memory or change elements. 

The Laptop Option

If you need a little more portability but you still like a full, physical keyboard you should go for the laptop. You won’t be able to upgrade it as much as a desktop if you run out of memory or need beefier graphics. However, as far as connectivity goes the laptop option will provide you with everything that you already have on your desktop. USB ports for your flash drives and to connect to printers, HDMI to connect to monitors and TV screens, ethernet for high speed data transfer, amongst others. 
 
While tablets are all the rage it is difficult for a lot of people to see them as viable replacements for their trusty laptops. 

The Tablet Option

This should be your choice if you don’t need power and graphics hungry apps, or are happy to use stripped down versions of your desktop or laptop software, and need the freedom to work on-the-go. Tablets certainly are the fashionable choice and they do allow you to work and play in ways that a laptop doesn’t, however they are not always the most practical solution. For those who need all the physical ports that they enjoy on a laptop a tablet may not be the ideal option. An adaptor can help to solve some connection problems and a physical keyboard can usually be connected to a tablet if you don’t like the idea of typing on a screen. 
 
While tablets are very versatile they may not be the best option if you it to run more powerful software and might not be the best choice for your company.
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