Changes in Windows 10 update process


Windows 10 users receive regular security and feature updates for the operating system. But when such patches coincide with driver updates from Microsoft’s hardware partners, Windows 10 experiences compatibility problems. Here’s how Microsoft is addressing the issue.

First, let’s distinguish between driver updates and operating system (OS) updates:

Driver updates – A driver is software that allows your computer’s OS to communicate with various hardware devices connected to your computer. Without a driver, the devices you use — display, keyboard, mouse, modem, motherboard, etc. — will not work properly. Hardware manufacturers update their drivers similarly to any standard computer program. Updates are often enhancements to accommodate new software; for example, a new video game with state-of-the-art graphics will require driver updates for your display screen.

OS updates – Windows 10 receives two kinds of regular updates:

  • Security updates (every month) consist mostly of security fixes that are quickly installed.
  • Feature updates (every six months) consist of upgrades to the latest Windows version with enhanced features, often requiring multiple reboots to install.

Problems occur when Windows 10 updates are incompatible with a current driver, or when driver updates are released around the same time as Windows 10 updates. In both cases, compatibility issues result in automatic non-installation of updates and startup failures.

To address this issue and improve user experience, Microsoft has changed the way it updates.

#1 Microsoft now allows its hardware partners to request upgrade blocks

Before, Microsoft put up an upgrade block when there were compatibility issues with certain drivers. But now the Redmond-based company is allowing their hardware partners like Intel, RealTek, and others, to request for upgrade blocks if they know their driver is not yet validated. This temporary Windows Update block period is between 30 and 60 days. Once the driver has been updated, then the Windows Update block will be removed.

#2 Microsoft bans new driver releases during holidays and weekends

To further improve driver update experiences, Microsoft has banned new driver releases during US public holidays and weekends. This is because Microsoft employees are not available to address compatibility issues that crop up after an update. And Microsoft aims to make driver release dates more predictable in the future.

Do you encounter problems with your Windows 10 updates? If you constantly find it difficult to accomplish the updates for Windows 10 or for your drivers, then you should talk to our Windows experts at Lanlogic — they’ll be more than happy to assist you. Call or email us right now.

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The right way to set up guest Wi-Fi


Customers, partners, and vendors expect Wi-Fi access when they’re visiting your office. This is why having guest Wi-Fi access is common for most companies. But setting it up the wrong way can create a frustrating experience for people looking to connect to the internet. In some cases, it can even leave your company exposed to cyberattacks. Here’s how to do it right.

Never give guests access to your primary Wi-Fi

Giving your guests access to your company’s main Wi-Fi connection might seem like a good idea, but you should avoid this at all costs.

Anyone with a little technical know-how can potentially access everything on your company network, including confidential data. In addition, if any of your visitors’ mobile devices have been compromised, it’s possible that they can transmit malware to your entire network.

Ways to create secondary Wi-Fi for guests

If your router comes with built-in guest Wi-Fi support (you can check this feature through a quick web search), you can use it to create a separate “virtual” network. This means guests will have access to the internet without directly connecting to your company’s primary network.

If your router doesn’t support multiple Wi-Fi networks, you can implement a separate wireless access point that bypasses the rest of your network and connects directly to the internet, thus preventing any outsider from accessing your company’s private data.

Keep in mind that guest Wi-Fi still uses your ISP connection, so you should limit bandwidth usage on your guest network. Visitors streaming videos can slow down your internet connection, which can affect the productivity of your employees. With that in mind, you can even have your employees use the guest Wi-Fi on their mobile devices to minimize the chance of them hogging company bandwidth for personal use.

Remember, your guest Wi-Fi should only provide outsiders with internet access, nothing more. While the proper setup isn’t rocket science, it can be a tedious process. Having said that, if you need a team of experts to take care of it, or if you simply have questions about how else to leverage your hardware for better efficiency and security, just give Lanlogic a call.

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Defend against this new Office 365 threat


Some hackers have become so skilled that they don’t even need you to give up your credentials to hack into your account. One recent cyberthreat is targeted towards users of Microsoft Office 365. You don’t want to be the next victim, so read up.

A phishing scam that harvests users’ credentials

The latest cyberattack on Microsoft Office 365 involves harvesting users’ credentials. Scammers use this previously unseen tactic by launching a phishing message to users, asking them to click on an embedded link. What makes this scam more insidious than traditional phishing scams is that the URL within the message links to a real Microsoft login page.

How does it work?

The phishing message resembles a legitimate SharePoint and OneDrive file-share that prompts users to click on it. Once they do, they are taken to an Office 365 login page where they will be asked to log in if they haven’t already.

After they’ve logged in, they’ll be prompted to grant permission to an app called “0365 Access.” Users who grant permission effectively give the app — and the hackers behind it — complete access to their Office 365 files, contacts, and inbox.

This technique can easily trick lots of users since the app that requests access is integrated with the Office 365 Add-ins feature. That means that Microsoft essentially generates the request for permission. No, Microsoft is not aiding hackers to breach systems. Rather, the scam is made possible by a feature that allows users to install apps that are not from the official Office Store.

Ways to protect your Office 365 account — and your business

Given their fairly advanced approach, these scammers could effortlessly prey on careless employees. There are ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  • Always check the email’s sender account before clicking on any link or granting apps access.
  • Implement a policy that prevents staff from downloading and installing apps that are not from the Office Store.
  • Regularly conduct security awareness training that covers essential cybersecurity topics. Educate employees on how to spot phishing scam red flags (e.g., unknown senders, grammatical and typographical errors, suspicious requests, and the like). Increase their knowledge about more sophisticated attacks and keep everyone informed about current and future cybersecurity risks.

Successful attacks could result in an unimaginable catastrophe to your company. For tips on how to spot this and other nefarious scams and how to plan thorough security practices, contact our Lanlogic experts today.

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Resolving call quality issues of internet phones


Poor call quality is not only frustrating but also detrimental to your business operations. So when deploying your Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, take a proactive approach and learn about possible call quality issues you might experience. This way, you will be able to easily diagnose and troubleshoot these problems.

Choppy voice

The main factor in disjointed, start-stop sounding messages in a VoIP environment is packet loss, which occurs if individual data “packets” are lost in transmission. When this occurs, the gateway at the receiving end of the call tries to predict what’s been lost; but when it can’t, the gap in data remains empty, resulting in choppy audio.

Insufficient bandwidth is often to blame for this issue, so make sure to check your bandwidth usage. Limit the use of bandwidth-heavy applications (e.g., video streaming apps) and tweak your router settings to prioritize VoIP traffic. Also run a test for malware or spyware, which may be hogging the bandwidth.


Many VoIP systems use an analog telephone adapter (ATA) to convert analog voice signals to digital signals. This sometimes produces static during calls, with the culprits usually being incompatible power supplies or feedback from the phones plugged into the ATA.

Easy fixes include unplugging/replugging the ATA and/or the devices connected to it, or switching to IP Phones, which require no analog/digital conversions.

Voice echo

It’s fun to hear your voice repeating throughout the high-walled canyon you’re hiking, but not so great when you’re talking on the phone.

There are a few things you can do to reduce it, such as adjusting volume and microphone/amplifier gain settings, upgrading your USB headsets, or implementing VoIP echo cancellation software.


Jitter happens when data packets arrive at the receiver in the wrong order, creating a garbled voice.

You can minimize this issue by using a jitter buffer — an area where data packets are temporarily collected, stored, and sent out in a regular, orderly fashion. This way, packets are delivered perfectly every time.

Want to ensure a smooth experience with VoIP? Let Lanlogic handle all of your VoIP concerns. We can help you manage everything, from planning to installation to optimization. Contact us today for more information.

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3 Excel tips that make life easier


Microsoft Excel is now better than ever, thanks to its extremely user-friendly features. Pull yourself up skillswise by following our three tips below.

Take advantage of Ideas in Excel

If you’re not sure which type of chart best tells a particular story out of a table of data, don’t worry — Excel’s artificial intelligence (AI) has got your back. Just click any cell in a data range, then go to the Home tab and click the Ideas button. A task pane will appear, showing recommendations for what data visualization you can use. Here’s a quick reference for what some of the most popular charts are for:

  • Column/Bar chart – compares categories with one another by depicting their numerical standing in terms of column height (or bar length, in the case of bar charts) side by side (think of lining children up and looking at how tall they are)
  • Line chart – shows how data changes over time or other variable that continuously increases at a regular rate (think of someone tracking their weight weekly during the entirety of their three-month diet)
  • Pie chart – sets items as being parts of the same whole to depict and compare how much each contributes to or partakes of that whole (think of a statistician showing a town’s composition by race)
  • Scatter diagram – sets two variables as axes on a Cartesian plane and plots data as points on that plane to show whether a relationship exists between the two variables, and if so, what kind of relationship they have with one another (think of recording the temperature at noon every day and noting sales of bottled water to see if increasing temperatures lead to increasing sales)


Thanks to natural language processing (NLP), users will soon be able to ask a specific question or make a visualization request to Ideas, and Ideas will respond by providing a chart that answers that question or fulfills that request. For instance, if you have sales data for shirts, sweaters, boxers, briefs, jeans, and socks, and you ask for “total sales for boxers, briefs, and socks,” Ideas will show you a pie chart showing how much those three items contributed to their total sales. You can thereafter revise the label of that chart into “Total sales for underwear.”

Save time by using dynamic array formulas

For the longest time, Excel users had to enter one formula in a cell to have something returned in that particular cell only. If, for instance, you opted to use formulas (instead of the Remove duplicates command) to obtain unique values from a list containing repeating names, you’d have had to nest all sorts of functions that only increase in complexity for every succeeding cell that you use. This is no longer the case, thanks to dynamic array formulas.

Simply put, dynamic array formulas let users obtain multiple results that “spill” over multiple cells by just executing a single formula. That’s the array part, but why is it called “dynamic?” Well, just like how a single-cell formula result changes when that formula’s source reference changes, the results of the entire array also stay in sync with the changes in the source reference.

To illustrate, let’s say that you use the Unique function to obtain a list of non-repeating names from a list that mentioned “Eric” a lot. The resulting array will be a list that mentions “Eric” only once, but if all instances of “Eric” were deleted from the source list, then “Eric” will be taken out of the results array.

Besides Unique, these are some of the other functions that showcase the dynamic array feature:

  • Filter – extracts all records that match the criteria you set (e.g., a list of names of people with green eyes)
  • Randarray – generates a table full of random whole numbers or decimals between two values that are provided by the user
  • Sequence – creates a table full of numbers that begin at a specified value and increase by an increment set by the user
  • Sort – extracts unique values from an array and rearranges them into a new array according to the ascending or descending order of a chosen column index (e.g., a list of billionaires and their respective net worth, sorted from lowest to highest net worth)

Make data extraction easier with XLOOKUP

Let’s say you have a table that records the meals that Mark, Martha, and Marion ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on July 4, 2019. People’s names are in Column A, while meal names for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are in Columns B, C, and D respectively.

JULY 4, 2019
NAME Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mark Scrambled eggs, bacon, and home fries Pork chop and mashed sweet potatoes Shrimp and vegetable tempura with rice
Martha Avocado toast Aglio olio Salad Nicoise
Marion Pancakes and sausages Fried chicken and cheese grits Roast beef with baked potato

Finding out what Mark ate for lunch is easy enough to do manually, but now imagine his name among 20,000 other people, in a list that’s randomly ordered, in a table spanning the entire year of 2019. Instead of driving yourself crazy, do it programmatically via Excel’s XLOOKUP function.

Extracting data that corresponds to other pieces of data is what lookup functions are for. The very first was Vertical Lookup or VLOOKUP, a function that goes row by row to look from left to right to retrieve your desired information. Next came Horizontal Lookup or HLOOKUP, which did the same thing, except it went column by column to look from top to bottom.

The latest and best iteration of the lookup function is XLOOKUP. It combines both VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP and improves them by being able to go right to left and bottom to top as well.

Let’s go back to our 2019 meals table example above. With XLOOKUP, you can find out who ate roast beef with baked potato on April 1. However, if many people ate that meal that day, you’ll only be able to retrieve either the first or last match in the table depending on whether you specify that the search be done from first to last or in reverse order. Returning multiple matches is possible, but only by integrating other functions with XLOOKUP.

Despite XLOOKUP’s inability to return multiple matches on its own, it can, however, return multiple values from a single match (a la dynamic array). To illustrate, let’s limit our example table to just one day, and we want to extract what Marion ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you choose to use the older VLOOKUP function, you have to perform it three times — once for every meal. With XLOOKUP, you only have to do it once. This is such a huge time-saver, especially if you want to extract entire rows or columns of data from your source table.

Excel is now more user-friendly than ever before. To take full advantage of the best features Excel has to offer your business, contact Lanlogic today.

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Make the most of your cybersecurity investment


As cybersecurity incidents become more sophisticated, frequent, and intelligent, experts predict that the global market for cybersecurity products in 2020 will exceed that of last year. In fact, your company might be one of the thousands of businesses looking to purchase cybersecurity software. To maximize your company’s cybersecurity investment, follow these steps.

Uncover threats and vulnerabilities

Every business should run a risk assessment to evaluate its current cybersecurity infrastructure. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to identify, correct, and prevent security breaches. After discovering potential issues that cyberterrorists could exploit, rate them based on probability of occurrence and potential impacts on your business.
Keep in mind that risk assessments are specific to every business, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach for technology that will work for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Variables like your line of business and operating environment will account for differences in needs and risks. For instance, manufacturing companies and insurance groups have totally different applications to secure.
After tagging and ranking potential threats, identify which vulnerabilities need immediate attention and which ones can be addressed further down the line. For instance, a web server running an unpatched operating system will take precedence over a front desk computer that’s running a little slower than normal.

Tailor controls to risks

Instead of spending time and money evenly on all systems, focus solutions on areas with high risks. Address these areas’ issues immediately after an assessment, but also put plans in place to evaluate their risk profiles more often. This approach is particularly useful to businesses that don’t have deep IT budgets but don’t want to make security sacrifices.

Assess existing cybersecurity products

Chances are, your organization has already spent a great deal of money on purchasing and maintaining various security products. By conducting risk assessments more often, you can improve the strategies you already have in place and uncover wasteful spending. You may discover that one outdated system doesn’t really need to be upgraded, or that another legacy technology needs to be ditched. Remember that your existing products were purchased to meet specific needs, and these needs may have immensely changed or disappeared altogether.

Overcoming cybersecurity obstacles becomes easier if you regularly evaluate your IT infrastructure. Contact our Lanlogic experts for help conducting a comprehensive assessment today.

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Windows Hello simplifies logging in


You can now log in faster and more securely to your laptop, tablet, websites, or apps with Microsoft’s Windows Hello. You only have to use your camera to recognize your face or a fingerprint reader.

Say hello to fingerprint, iris, and facial scans

Windows Hello is an advanced biometric identity and access control feature in Windows 10. It allows you to log in to your computer without the need to enter a password. All you need is a fingerprint, iris, or facial scan.

If you’re worried about your privacy, rest assured that your biometric data is only saved to your device, never on Microsoft’s servers. It’s still best to handle this technology with caution, but Microsoft assures users that third parties cannot access your biometric data.

How to set up Windows Hello

A laptop or desktop with Windows 10 and a compatible webcam are all you need to set up Windows Hello. There is a full list of supported hardware here.

To get started with Hello, click the magnifying glass on your Start bar and open the Settings window. From there, choose Account, followed by Sign-in options. You should see setup options for face, iris, or fingerprint scans. Select which method you want to set up and follow the prompts to create a login profile.

You can even save your biometric data or scan more than once to boost accuracy. The system collects more data every time you scan, so it’s better to complete a few scans before enabling the login feature.

After setting up your account, you can start adding family members who share the same device. Each of them can set up their own biometric profile in a separate account. Passwords are still an option when using Windows Hello in case your camera isn’t working.

There are several Windows features that can make your life easier. Our IT experts can help you get more out of your Windows devices. Contact Lanlogic today!

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Office 365 add-ons that boost productivity


Microsoft’s Office 365 has made everyday business operations more efficient with programs like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook. As if that’s not enough, it also offers these add-ons that streamline users’ workflow.

#1. Teams

Teams is ideal for organizations that collaborate frequently. It’s an instant messaging and document-sharing platform which seamlessly integrates with Office 365 programs and services. Users can create channels to work on projects, discuss topics, hold meetings, and more. And like similar programs such as Slack and Google Hangouts, Teams is customizable and accessible across mobile devices.

#2. Office Tabs

Office Tabs allows you to open multiple files in one window, which saves you from having to go through each opened document until you find the right one. It also lets you save or close the list of tabs in a single click, with an additional option to close everything except the active document. You can also directly rename files by clicking Rename, instead of going through the tedious process of clicking Save As and then changing the file name of each file.

#3. Grammarly

The last thing you want to send your clients is a confusing, poorly written email or document. Grammarly solves this by performing rigorous grammar, spelling, and plagiarism checks. It then provides vocabulary suggestions and recommends writing style changes to polish your writing further. This add-on is available in Word and Outlook, and its Premium counterpart is priced at $11.66 per month (annual plan).

#4. Pexels

Professional documents and presentations require high-resolution, blemish-free images, and Pexels helps you get them easily. Its free stock images are under a Creative Commons Zero license, meaning you can search high-quality images and use them in all your documents for any purpose with no legal repercussions.

#5. DocuSign

DocuSign for Outlook and Word lets you or a recipient securely sign a document electronically and send it through email, save it in the app, or store it in your company’s server. DocuSign complies with eSignature legal standards and is secured with end-to-end Digital Transaction Management, ensuring your files will never be leaked or breached.

#6. FindTime

Setting up a meeting time is tedious and difficult, especially if your employees have different schedules. FindTime scours every attendee’s schedule to locate open slots, and creates meeting time options for everyone to vote on. A meeting will then be scheduled according to whichever slot gets the highest vote within a specified amount of time.

#7. Translator

Businesses that deal with foreign companies will find communication much easier with Translator. This add-on recognizes and translates more than 50 different languages, including English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Not only will you spend less time deciphering foreign-language documents, but you’ll also be able to work with clients from various parts of the world.

Start improving work productivity and make the most out of your Office 365 with Microsoft productivity add-ons. To get started or to learn more about Office 365, Microsoft add-ons, or anything Microsoft Office related, contact Lanlogic today.

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Choosing an office Wi-Fi router


Selecting a Wi-Fi router, much like selecting any other piece of equipment for your business, can be a complicated task. There are a variety of models available that it can be a chore to work out the best option. However, if you know what features to look for, it’s much easier to make the right decision.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different networks available. The four most commonly found are 802.1b, 802.1g, 802.1n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest of these four. Those who want to connect multiple devices via Wi-Fi or cable may do better with 802.11ac router.


This is closely associated with the router’s network type, and is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps. This indicates the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100Mbps internet connection, but a router that is only, say, 80 Mbps, then the total speed will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be a good idea to get a router with a higher throughput to accommodate faster connections.


This is particularly important for users who will be connecting via Wi-Fi as they will likely not be sitting right beside the router. The farther you are from your router, the slower and weaker your connection will be. Typically, 802.11ac will offer the strongest connections and greatest range.


On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual-band router will have both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz radios which allow devices to connect to different bands so as not to overload a connection. Those who connect to a 5Ghz band will generally have better performance, but the broadcast range will be much shorter than the 2.4Ghz radio.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS is a newer feature that allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.


Beamforming is a recent feature that’s becoming a standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in dead areas of a business. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connection is weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if antennas are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best set up for your business.

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Security audits are more crucial than they seem


Security audits are an excellent way to set the benchmark for your company’s data integrity. It is also a reliable way of identifying gaps in your system before they can be exploited by hackers.

Auditing and the security strategy

Audits are necessary to maintain system integrity and uphold quality. These system checks help identify security gaps and guarantee business stakeholders that the company is doing everything in its power to ensure that all of its information is uncompromised.

The three key procedures of an audit are assess, assign, and audit. Having a methodical way of auditing helps you avoid missing important details. It is also crucial that each stage is treated with the same level of importance to ensure thorough and comprehensive auditing.

During the assessment phase, have your IT partner look at the security system you have in place. All of your business computers and servers need to be checked, as well as every program and every user. Doing an assessment should give you an overview of how secure your business currently is, along with any weak points that need to be improved.
After the assessment, you may begin assigning solutions and solution providers. Ask your IT provider about solutions they can provide for each of your network/system gaps. And for issues that they can’t handle (perhaps because certain machines and software are highly specialized), ask your IT provider for their whitelist of partners.

Finally, you conclude your audit cycle with an “audit” — one last look-around before releasing the system back into the wild. Make sure that installations, patches, and upgrades are integrated properly and working seamlessly. For future reference, you’ll also want to take down notes just in case you need information about software and hardware improvements done during this audit cycle.

What exactly should be audited?

When conducting an audit, there are three factors you should focus on:

The state of your security – Security — especially digital security — is never at an impasse, and it is always in flux. Why? Because according to the Clark School at the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds. And that’s not even accounting for other cyberattacks such as phishing, ransomware, and malware. This means that system security has shorter and shorter expiration dates nowadays, which makes audits all the more crucial to accomplishing your security strategy.

The changes made – The key to having long-term data integrity is a continuity plan — and not just one that addresses severe business disruptions such as those caused by calamity or disaster. A true continuity plan tries to address every conceivable risk realistically, especially those that can trip up business operations, such as cyberattacks. This can only be possible if you know what kind of hardware and software comprise your system, as well as their respective updates and improvements.

Who has access to what – Data systems — even proprietary ones — should allow administrators some control over who sees what. Total accessibility is a very dangerous prospect, especially since business nowadays is increasingly hinged on internet presence. An audit will let you check on user access so that you can make necessary adjustments to protect your data.

If you are looking for help in developing a security strategy for your business, contact Lanlogic today to see how our managed solutions can help.

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