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What Is a Virtual Private Network?

Virtual Private Network (VPNs) ensure online anonymity and privacy. This is achieved by creating a private network within a public internet connection.

Whenever you use a VPN, it masks your Internet Protocol (IP) address, making your online activities virtually untraceable. What matters is the fact that VPN services create highly secure and encrypted connections that deliver unparallel privacy.

Do You Need a VPN?

Whenever you surf the web or use an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you expose your browsing habits and sensitive private information. When you do the same through a VPN, all this information is encrypted. This makes VPNs a must for anyone concerned with their online privacy and security.

Suppose you’re checking important work emails while queuing at your local coffee shop or checking your bank balance while waiting to board a plane. In that case, all this sensitive information can potentially be accessed by bad actors.

If you’re using a private Wi-Fi network that requires a password, you don’t have to worry (at least not too much). But suppose you automatically log into a public Wi-Fi hotspot. In that case, any information transmitted during a session is vulnerable to eavesdropping, even by a stranger who is two tables down (and using the same network).

In the current threat landscape, everyone is a target. The anonymity and encryption provided by VPN applications keep you safe. It’s also one of the ways of reducing the risk of identity theft. Furthermore, it’ll help block sites from collecting your data for marketing activities.

How Does It Work?

VPNs deploy a data tunnel between an exit node in another location and your local network. This means that you can appear to be browsing from thousands of miles away, even on another continent.

VPN services leverage encryption protocols to scramble data before sending it through a Wi-Fi network. As encrypted data is unreadable, no one else on the network can spy on your online activity (if they manage to intercept it).

Furthermore, your internet service provider won’t have access to your entire browsing history. This is because all web activity is directly associated with the VPN server’s IP address and not yours.

Leading VPN service providers boast servers in data centres spread across the planet. As search histories are directly tied to these locations’ IP address, VPNs protect you from tech giants like Google, who continuously collect data on everyone.

VPNs hide the following information that puts your privacy at risk:

  • Activity on mobile devices
  • Current location for streaming (which is helpful when travelling outside the country)
  • IP address and location
  • Personal browsing history
  • Web activity to ensure internet freedom

While VPNs are popular in countries plagued by authoritative regimes, it’s just as important in the free world. This is because data drives everything today, and this information demands protection while it’s in motion.

In a post-pandemic world where remote working has become the norm, it’s also essential to connect to enterprise infrastructure via VPNs. This approach helps mitigate risk in the current threat landscape.

What Should You Look for in a VPN Provider?

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to VPN providers. However, you should choose one based on your specific needs. However, the provider you select should have a reputation for robust security, speed, and consistent uptime.

If you’re a frequent traveller, you’d require a VPN that allows you to stream. If the service comes with set data limits, it’s probably not the right option for you. The best option usually provides full, unmetered bandwidth without data limits.

If the servers’ location is important, check if the provider has an active presence at that location with excellent bandwidth.

While costs are an important factor, don’t be fooled by free VPN advertisements. They don’t offer robust security protocols and fall short when it comes to uptime, speed, and support. Some are even known to sell your data to marketers, negating the whole point of using a VPN service.

If you’re thinking of securing your enterprise infrastructure by implementing VPN protocols, we can help. Schedule a commitment-free consultation.

What Are Fibre Optics Used For?

Fibre optics allow us to hop online and leverage light signals to transfer data to and from our computers. Thanks to fibre optic cables that use light signals, you don’t have to think about calling IT support. Just browse, comment, chat, shop, and stream quickly without buffering issues.

The newer technology behind fibre optic cables ensures reliability and speed that far surpass cable internet and DSL. In fact, it remains the fastest communication technology on the planet.

Even with the proliferation of 5G technology, fibre optics continue to lead the pack. At present, 5G has trouble penetrating double glazing, foliage, and walls. Without a fibre optic connection on a highly resilient network on every mobile tower and cell site, 5G will remain somewhat limited. This is especially true for those living in rural areas.

However, the emergence of 5G presents new opportunities, and the fibre optics components market is forecasted to be worth over U$D 39 billion by 2027.

Fibre Optics Defined

Fibre optic cables are filled with glass filaments. These glass filaments carry lasers and light signals that send data back and forth to your computer. Fibre optic cables carry light very well over (relatively) long distances without weakening (much) or distorting the light signal.

In contrast, cable internet and DSL rely on copper wires to transmit and receive data. The data transmitted via copper wires significantly deteriorate over distances and distort the voltage signals they send.

How Does Fibre Optics Work?

Optic fibres are essentially hair-thin, flexible strands of glass that allow light beams to travel. These strands function as waveguides or a light tunnel that carries light between two ends of the fibre.

In this scenario, the light beams repeatedly bounce off the cable walls with an internal mirror-like reflection. If the light beam hits the glass at a 42-degree angle (or less), it’ll reflect back, creating a total internal reflection. As a result, the structure helps keep the light inside the cable.

Fibre internet connections achieve speeds of one gigabit per second or a hundred times faster than copper wire connections. This makes fibre optics critical to achieving faster data transfer, shorter load times, and high-quality streaming. You also won’t be hitting the reload button several times or picking up your phone to call IT support any time soon.

What Are the Different Types of Fibre Internet?

There are several types of fibre optics used to access the internet. The leading three fibre optic connections are listed below:

  1. Fibre to the curb (FTTC): This approach ensures that the fibre internet connection goes straight to the nearest pole or utility box (and not a concrete curb). Coaxial cables then send signals from the utility box (or the curb) to your house. So FTTC combines both copper wires and fibre optic cables to connect you to the web.
  • Fibre to the home or premises (FTTH or FTTP): This approach is often described as the “holy grail” of all fibre internet connections. It brings the fibre internet connection straight into your house. If your residence isn’t equipped to receive a fibre connection, your local internet service provider will drill holes or dig nearby to make it happen.
  • Fibre to the node or neighbourhood (FTTN): This approach provides a fibre connection to hundreds of customers located within a one-mile radius of the node. The remaining connection from the node to your property is often a DSL line that leverages pre-existing telephone cables.

Things get tricky when following the FTTN model because the farther you live away from the node, the more you’ll rely on the copper wire DSL lines to reach your house. As alluded to above, the longer the line, the slower the connection.

Fibre optics already handle massive amounts of data. This means they can also power applications that don’t even exist yet. In the future, fibre optics technologies are only going to get better. Are you getting the fastest internet speeds in Australia? Find out from our team of in-house experts.

Transition to Outsourcing Business IT Support and Management

Technology is quickly and continuously evolving, transforming how companies operate. Keeping pace is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage, but not all enterprises, including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), can afford it. That’s where Business IT support comes in.

By working closely with an established managed services provider, enterprises of all sizes can quickly adapt and compete in a rapidly changing technological landscape. This approach also frees up staff to concentrate on core business outcomes.

In this post, we’ll dive into what outsourcing IT support really is and how to figure out if you need it.

What Is IT Support?

Outsourcing business IT support describes the process of hiring a third-party provider to manage your technology infrastructure, devices, users, and services, including systems administration, network support, and helpdesk services.

A professional managed IT services provider will handle all the IT protocols integral to enterprise operations and ensure seamless processes across departments and hierarchies (with little to no downtime).

While every managed support services provider offers different services, most provide the following:

  • Authentication
  • Data centre, storehouse, and warehouse management
  • Data backup and retention
  • General management and support services
  • IT security
  • Helpdesk services
  • Network management, monitoring, and security
  • Process execution and enforcement
  • Systems administration

The primary advantages of outsourcing your IT support function are immediate access to cutting-edge technology and top tech talent access. Companies also access significant cost savings, mitigate risk, and ensure uninterrupted uptime by outsourcing their IT operations.

Do you need to outsource your business IT support function? The answer to this question depends on the following:

You Need Access to the Latest Technologies

If you need access to the latest technologies but can’t afford the capital expenses that go with it, managed services enable access to cutting-edge technology cost-effectively. What’s more, you won’t have to bother with the setup, deployment, management, or maintenance (as it’ll all be outsourced).

Your support services provider will also ensure that you have the latest hardware and software. They will also help you manage the hardware end of life scenarios safely and resourcefully.

You Need Access to Top Tech Talent

If you can’t afford to compete in a highly competitive labour market, again, an IT support services provider can help fill the skills gap. This approach can help augment or extend in-house teams, or you can outsource all your IT support requirements.

This approach helps businesses plan, strategize, and scale their operations efficiently. Outsourcing models have historically helped businesses tackle existing labour constraints cost-effectively. Going forward, expect this process to become critical in a highly digitised world.

You Need Enhanced IT Security

Maintaining security and compliance is a monumental task that demands specialised skills and automation. In the current threat landscape, bad actors are relentlessly attacking enterprise systems. To stay a step ahead of threat actors, you have to identify and rectify potential vulnerabilities in real-time (with 24/7 monitoring, blocking, patching, updates, and more).

As everyone is now a live target, SMBs and corporations alike can access expert cybersecurity services through managed IT services. This approach ensures peace of mind as your outsourcing partner will work to keep your brand out of the headlines.

You Need to Increase Efficiency

Let’s face it. We can’t do it all by ourselves without the necessary resources. If you do, you’ll end up losing time, money, and (in a worst-case scenario) a data breach. Every company has heaps of stuff going on at any given moment, so managed IT services providers make it all manageable and help boost operational efficiency.

Even better, your managed services partner will accelerate the research, development, and implementation to make the transition to outsourcing business IT support painless.

To find out if your business can benefit from outsourcing IT support, schedule a commitment-free consultation.

META: Outsourcing business IT support helps Australian businesses ensure efficiency and business continuity. But do you need to make the transition? Learn more.

Can Managed Services Reduce Total IT Cost?

Enterprises of all sizes have to contend with capital and cyclical expenses. These expenses relate to accounting, business processes, business IT support, development, helpdesk services, and much more. In this scenario, managed services providers help fill the skills gaps, enhance efficiencies, and reduce costs.

What started in the manufacturing sector has grown exponentially across the technology vertical. Today, companies can take advantage of asset and resource allocation management, IT support, and even software as a service (SaaS) models specifically designed to minimise capital expenditure.

Cutting IT costs through managed services depends on the organisation and business model. Sometimes companies are equipped to handle IT operations internally, efficiently, and cost-effectively. But most often, small and medium-sized businesses find that they can’t keep up with the rapid evolution of technology.

Whenever this is the case, enterprises benefit from outsourcing some or all IT operations to a managed IT services provider.

Let’s take a quick look at how managed services help reduce total IT costs:

1. Reduce IT infrastructure Costs

Setting up your own enterprise IT infrastructure demands massive investment in both hardware and software (and let’s not forget personnel). For example, when businesses leverage managed IT services and move to the cloud, they immediately access substantial savings.

They don’t have to invest in an in-house data centre, and they don’t have to pay for prohibitive expenses like power, cooling, software, storage, security, and more. What’s more, the cloud services provider will provide network support, systems administration and will keep track of hardware and software updates.

The best part of managed infrastructure services is the fact that you’ll never have to worry about updating your hardware and software ever again. Your business IT support services provider will ensure that you’re always working with the latest technologies. Sometimes they will also offer software like Office 365 at a discounted rate.

2. Reduce Operational Costs

Deploying IT infrastructure is one thing. Maintaining it is another. The maintenance of robust enterprise infrastructure requires a dedicated team of experts to oversee it daily. Maintenance costs are also unpredictable. You never know how much time and money it’s going to cost to resolve a problem.

Managed IT services help eliminate surprises down the road and provide maintenance and security services at a fixed cost (monthly or yearly). With the help of cutting-edge tools and experienced professionals, your outsourcing partner will monitor the infrastructure 24/7, engage in regular backup and retention, and minimise the risk of downtime by resolving potential problems in real-time (saving you thousands of dollars).

3. Reduce Human Resources Costs

Software engineers and technology professionals are in high demand and don’t come cheap. This makes hiring and retaining a full-scale IT support team will be expensive.

The ongoing tech talent shortage in Australia also makes attracting IT professionals much more challenging. If you manage to hire some engineers, you also have to consider training costs, benefits, and overhead expenses (to keep them on-premises).

Often, IT departments are overwhelmed with mundane and manual work like maintenance or fixing minor issues. When managed IT support services take on this responsibility, your staff is free to focus on what’s important, your business, and your customers.

This approach goes a long way to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and boost productivity. Happy employees are also easier to retain in a highly competitive labour market.

When companies are supported effectively by business IT support services, they can invest more in core business teams. This means that you’ll be able to add more qualified personnel, allowing you to scale without resource-related bottlenecks.

Managed services help reduce total IT costs. It’s just like renting or leasing an office space for a few years rather than buying the whole building. You also don’t have to deal with expenses related to infrastructure depreciation, hiring costs, or worry about creating additional space for new employees.

Are you looking for a managed IT services provider to enhance operational efficiencies, improve productivity, and cut total IT costs? We can help, schedule a commitment-free consultation now.

What Is the Real Value of IT Managed Services?

In an age where data is just as good as gold, robust IT support is critical to enhance operational efficiencies and avert potential data breaches and disruptions. But in a highly competitive marketplace, enterprises find it both difficult and costly to manage on their own, so it makes sense that many turn to managed IT services.

Today, IT managed services are at the heart of digitally transformed businesses. When companies partner with an established managed IT services provider, they get immediate access to cutting-edge technology and professional expertise (that’s often out of reach), cost-effectively.

What Is IT Managed Services?

IT managed services describes the practice of outsourcing secondary IT functions and processes to a third-party provider. This approach helps organisations concentrate on their primary tasks while drastically improving efficiencies and cutting costs.

For example, a Systems Administrator in Canberra commands an average salary of $85,000 per year (not including the costs of benefits like healthcare, paid time off, and more). But with IT managed services, companies can refocus their capital and other resources and concentrate on their core businesses.

Based on service level agreements, companies can focus on their customers without worrying about systems administration, helpdesk services, maintenance, network support, updates, upgrades, and security.

What Are the Key Benefits of Managed Support Services?

There are several direct, and indirect benefits to signing up with a managed IT services provider. In this post, we’ll explore the top four advantages of partnering with a managed IT services provider:

1. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology

When you sign up for business IT support, you avoid expenses related to hardware and software upgrades. With enterprise infrastructure deployed in a state-of-the-art data centre, you can rest assured that your data is safe, secure, and always available.

You won’t have to hire a team to assemble technology products, pay for training, and so on.  A managed support services provider will be equipped with the right infrastructure to start the project immediately.

It’s the most effortless and cost-effective approach to staying up to date with the latest technology. IT support services also ensure that small and medium-sized businesses compete on par with corporate giants.

2. Enhanced Efficiency and Improved Proficiency

When your staff is free to focus on core business tasks, there’s an opportunity to boost productivity with lower downtimes and reduced lead times. Employees are also better placed to identify new opportunities and create new revenue streams.

With highly experienced IT professionals just a click or call away, you’ll avoid significant disruptions and ensure compliance and business continuity.

3. Lower Risks and Robust Security

Ensuring regulatory compliance, privacy, and IT security is getting more complicated by the second. In the current threat landscape, expertise and experience mean everything.

For example, your support services provider will boast significant knowledge and expertise to deploy robust security protocols and secure your infrastructure in real-time. You’ll also benefit from their wealth of experience securing similar enterprise IT infrastructure.

Your business IT support services provider will also secure your business with the latest security tools. For example, if you have a payment gateway operating on your system, they will help ensure compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI/DSS). They can also help with training exercises to mitigate the risk of human error.

4. Save Time and Money

When you partner with an established IT support services provider, you’ll have a clear idea about your IT spend (whether it’s on a monthly or yearly basis). This amount will be significantly lower than hiring an in-house support team, which comes with additional overheads like benefits, office space, training, and more.

With managed support services, you decide your contract terms and pay for only what you need. Furthermore, you avoid situations like the sudden need for capital expenditure to update and upgrade your technology infrastructure.

Your business IT support services partner will breakdown these expenses into fixed, manageable monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments and ensure seamless upgrades with little to no downtime.

As you’re always getting immediate access to the brightest minds in the business, you’ll also save time (with fewer breakdowns and troubleshooting exercises).

There are plenty more advantages to outsourcing your enterprise IT function. To learn more about IT managed services, schedule commitment-free consultation.

What Are Managed Services in the IT Industry?

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) offer a wide range of technology services following a subscription model. This approach eliminates initial capital expenses and ensures immediate access to cutting-edge technology, cost-effectively.

Originally designed to help corporations outsource some of their operations to boost efficiency and cut costs, managed services are now accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.

But before we go any further, let’s first define it.

What are Managed Services?

Managed services describe the process of outsourcing certain functions (like back-office processes) to enable efficiency and optimise costs. As it gets harder for small businesses to access the expertise they need, things like managed helpdesk services and support services are quickly becoming the norm.

Whenever enterprises adopt this approach, they get an external dedicated team of experts assigned to handle specific tasks and a team leader who is accountable for the services rendered.

When you partner with an MSP, you essentially free up your staff and resources to focus on your primary operations and what’s really important–your business.

As this industry vertical evolves, Managed IT services have grown to offer services like cloud hosting, real-time monitoring, maintenance, and more. This approach helps organisations fill the skills and technology gaps while ensuring business continuity and regulatory compliance.

In this scenario, managed services don’t just help enhance operational efficiency through technology adoption but also control expenditure and mitigate risk.

What Kind of Services Does an MSP Provide?

MSPs today offer a wide array of services. However, it’s important to note that all service providers won’t provide the same kinds of services. Some might provide all the services listed below, while others might just offer a handful of services. Some might only offer business IT support.

Managed Data Analytics

Data is the underlying force that drives digitally transformed companies forward. Managed data analytics services help companies access business intelligence technologies, data management and analytics tools, and real-time monitoring services.

Managed Cloud Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure management is widespread, especially in a post-pandemic world. Managed cloud infrastructure services providers help manage cloud computing protocols, operating systems, data storage, software, and more. Some even provide virtualisation services for apps.

Managed Communication Services

Managed communication services or managed unified communication services provide extensive communication capabilities for a monthly (or annual) fee. For example, a managed communication services provider may deploy communications infrastructure to enable instant messaging, VoIP (voice over internet protocol), and video. Some MSPs also provide third-party call centre services.

Managed Network Support

MSPs that provide managed network support usually manage the entire enterprise network. In this scenario, they’ll handle your LAN, WAPS (and other connections) and manage backup and storage options.

Managed Print Services

Managed print services blend both business and managed IT services. For example, the MSP will provide the technology, remotely assist with data and file infrastructure, and (sometimes) connect to external printing services. This type of service is suitable for companies with highly complex file management and printing needs.

Managed Cybersecurity

As data breaches become the norm, it’s now critical for companies to fortify their infrastructure. But not many boast the necessary resources and personnel to achieve it. Managed cybersecurity services help even the playing field by deploying robust security technologies that are supported by real-time monitoring, 

Managed Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

While you can directly access SaaS options from a company, for example, Office 365 from Microsoft, it’s often cheaper to subscribe to through an MSP. This is because managed IT services providers often have special agreements with tech giants that enable cost savings (that trickle down to the customer).

Managed Support Services

As alluded to above, the most common service offered by MSPs is IT support services, which usually takes the form of helpdesk services. This approach provides businesses with real-time IT support without any of the HR or overhead expenses.

If your company has been digitally transformed, you’ll benefit from support services. It can also have a positive impact on your bottom line by boosting productivity and keeping costs down.

To learn more about managed services and how it can help your business, schedule a commitment-free consultation.