How to configure your new Windows 10 laptop

By EDITOR 

Got a new laptop? Windows 10 includes some wonderful features along with a revamped interface for Microsoft’s operating system. No matter how experienced you are with Windows, you still may need help getting used to this, so let’s get you started.

#1 Check for updates

Your new laptop should check for updates automatically, but you can also check manually. Just click the gear icon above the Start button to go to the Settings, choose Update & Security > Windows Update and then click the Check for updates button. (Or, just type “updates” into the search box and click Check for updates.)

#2 System restore

If something goes wrong with your laptop, you can save a lot of time and hassle if you have a “restore point,” which is like a backup of your entire operating system.To set up a restore point, search for “restore” from the taskbar and click Create a restore point. You’ll be taken to the System Protection tab of the System Properties window.

From there you can choose what you want to be included in the back and then click the Configure button. Select the radio dial to Turn on system protection if it’s not already on. And then you can choose how much disk space to reserve, usually no more than 2 or 3 percent.

#3 Power plan

If you want to prolong your laptop’s battery life, one of the best things you can do is switch the Power Saver, High Performance, and Balanced power plans based on your needs. To choose a plan, right click the battery icon in the lower-right corner of your screen and click Power settings. Next, click Additional power settings to select a power plan.

#4 App installation tolerance level

To restrict which apps can be installed on your laptop, you can disallow anything that isn’t in the Windows Store. Go to Settings Apps Apps & features and you can choose whether to permit installations from only the Windows Store, any app installations (with a warning), or unrestricted app installations.

#5 Remove bloatware

Vendors package new laptops with lots of trial apps, which are mostly unnecessary and unwanted software called bloatware.

Windows 10 offers an easy way to see which apps are installed on your new laptop and a quick way to uninstall those you don’t want. Head to Settings Apps Apps & features and peruse the list. If you don’t want an app and are 100% certain your computer doesn’t need it, click the Uninstall button.

#6 Anti-ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (or malware) that makes all your data inaccessible until you pay a fee to hackers.

To combat it, type ‘Windows Defender Security Center’ into the search bar at the bottom of your screen, click it and go to Virus & threat protection > Virus & threat protection settings. Here, you’ll be able to enable a new option called Controlled folder access, which protects you against ransomware attacks. By default, the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos folders are protected, but you can add others too.

Do you know what settings to change and update to optimize your laptop? This article barely scratches the surface of Window 10’s security and efficiency settings. Call Lanlogic today for a quick chat with one of our Microsoft Gold experts about taking yours to the next level.

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How long should business phone systems last?

By EDITOR 

The phone remains one of the first points of contact businesses have with their customers. That’s why so many companies are upgrading to affordable and hi-tech “VoIP” systems. Voice over IP solutions are a smart investment given their longevity and more.

Different phone systems
Phones have come a long way, from analog landlines to digital handhelds. Today’s businesses need a phone system that can service their numerous needs, and in most cases, VoIP phones are the answer.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a system of hardware and software that uses the internet instead of wired circuits to transmit data. VoIP does more than just transmit audio; it can also send a variety of data (video, multimedia, SMS, etc.) and perform other tasks as well.

A VoIP system’s hardware (phone units, cables, CPUs, etc.) and software (one or more applications that run the system) can be either on-premises or hosted.

  • On-Premises — Their hardware and software are physically housed within the premises of the company.
  • Hosted — Some of the hardware, like phone units and other equipment, can be found within the premises. But most, if not all, of the software are hosted online. Service providers look after hosted systems for their clients.

Lifecycles: On-premises vs. hosted
With hardware, it doesn’t matter whether it’s on-premises or hosted. Hardware is affected by the wear-and-tear of daily usage. Barring any accidents or physical damage, VoIP hardware should last as long as analog handsets, usually several years.

It’s another matter with software, which needs constant updating. It’s faster and cheaper to update software that’s hosted in the cloud versus one that’s on-premises. The differences in longevity between the two should be negligible; both can last upwards of 10 years, depending on your IT support.

Technology today vs. before
Cloud technology has fundamentally changed the way IT solutions are produced. In the past, hardware and software were built to last. Today, they’re built to adapt and change.

The effect of this shift on hardware and software is dramatic.

  • Most hardware components are very similar, with replacements and upgrades coming every 5-8 years on average.
  • Cloud software is faster, easier, and costs less to upgrade. Critical updates can be released almost constantly, with complete overhauls taking no longer than 2-3 years.

As your business grows, your phone system should be able to adapt to rapid growth, the need for more speed, and integration with the other systems in your business, like email or management software.

Be a step ahead
Your business cannot afford dropped or missed calls. Imagine what one day of phone downtime would do to your company. The time to replace your phone system is not after it fails. The best time is before that, when you can plan and budget properly.

Nowadays, it’s not longevity that’s important; it’s staying ahead of the curve. Call our experts at Lanlogic today so you can always be a step ahead.

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Highlights from Google I/O 2018

By EDITOR 

The Google I/O event brings major executives, engineers, and platform developers together to talk about the latest features and developments. This year’s conference just ended, and it looks like consumers have plenty to look forward to.

What happened at Google I/O 2018?

While the primary focus of the Google I/O conference was on the developers, every tech enthusiast in the audience had the opportunity to see what the future holds for their favorite Google products and the upcoming Android P. This year’s developer conference focused on software and new mobile technologies that will be released later in the year.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

The keynote was kicked off by CEO Sundar Pichai, who talked about Google’s mission and how it is linked to AI. He stated that AI will help industries like healthcare predict certain events.

Pichai also stated that machine learning will play a major role in enhancing closed captioning’s ability to figure out who is talking when there are multiple people speaking on-screen.

However, tech enthusiasts were extremely excited when the Google CEO announced the following features and upgrades:

  • Google Assistant will soon get 6 new voices, including one from singer and songwriter John Legend. Users will only need to say “Hey Google” to start a conversation with the product, instead of each time it is addressed. Google Assistant can now process more than one request at a time, and it can make phone calls to book reservations and appointments for the user with a feature called ‘Duplex.’
  • Google Maps can now suggest restaurants and other noteworthy locations for the user, differentiate between car and motorbike routes, and add businesses to the map by combining satellite images and AI. Augmented reality will be integrated into Street View so that users can easily track the direction they are facing or heading toward.
  • Google News will display its top five stories as soon as the app opens. Advanced AI will push stories that it thinks are relevant to the user.
  • Google Photos will have the Suggested Actions feature which offers to add color to images that are black and white, convert documents to PDF, tweak the brightness on underexposed photos, and instantly share images with the people who are in the picture.
  • Gmail will get the Smart Compose feature that will utilize machine learning to suggest phrases when writing an email.

Public beta of Android P

The test version of Android P is currently available on Oppo, Sony, Mi, OnePlus, Essential Phone and Google Pixel handsets. The search engine giant announced that they will release the first retail version around summer this year.

Beta testers enjoyed the refreshing look of Android P, where most interactions such as switching between apps were done by gestures. A new Dashboard feature shows how long the user has been on the device, including the number of notifications received, how many times the phone was unlocked, and the time spent in a particular app. Users will also be able to set a time limit if they want to stop themselves from habitually staring at their phones.

Availability of Google Lens

In last year’s event, Google announced AI-powered technology called Google Lens which uses a mix of machine learning and the smartphone’s camera to detect a specific object, know what the object is, and provide results based on what it knows about the object.

At the time, this feature was available only in Google Pixel phones, but the search engine giant announced that more smartphones will soon have this feature built in.

Google continues to innovate and improve on its products, and Lanlogic is here to help you make sense of all the tech so you can adapt it to your lifestyle. Get in touch with us today so we can discuss this tech and how you can benefit from it.

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Simple Tricks to Create More Windows 10 Space

By EDITOR 

More room for documents and files on your desktop means more time and freedom to enjoy your Windows 10 device. Unfortunately, as total file size gets larger, keeping your hard drive clean remains a never-ending battle. Use these simple techniques to free up more space on your Windows 10 computer.

Delete junk on Files

Windows 10 includes a feature to help you create more space by erasing unnecessary files. In some cases, this feature can find and remove several gigabytes of unnecessary system files. To use the feature:

  1. Open SETTINGS and click SYSTEM.
  2. Click STORAGE
  3. Scroll down and select CHANGE HOW WE FREE UP SPACE
  4. Under TEMPORARY FILES, select the files to be deleted including temporary files, downloaded files, and items in the recycle bin.
  5. Under the FREE UP SPACE NOW, there is an option that lets you delete an older Windows 10 version.
  6. Click the CLEAN NOW button to free up space.

Use Disk Cleanup

This is a similar but slightly different tool for sniffing out unnecessary files that are taking up too much space. To give it a try:

  1. Open any desktop folder.
  2. Right-click on THIS PC in the pane on the left, then select PROPERTIES.
  3. Click the DISK CLEANUP button, then CLEAN SYSTEM FILES.
  4. The Disk Cleanup tool gives you a number of options, many of which you should consult with us before deleting. They include: Windows Update Cleanup, Downloaded Program Files,
  5. Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin, and Temporary files, among others.
  6. Click OK, then click DELETE FILES.

Delete applications and games

Consider uninstalling apps that are rarely or never even used. These include bloatware or pre-installed programs. You may not even realize certain games or applications are taking up hard drive space. To remove them:

  1. Open SETTINGS, then click APPS.
  2. Click APPS & FEATURES.
  3. Select the apps and games you feel comfortable removing, then click UNINSTALL.

Use “OneDrive Files” On-Demand feature

A new Windows 10 tool, OneDrive allows access to files in the cloud using File Explorer. This means your files will be stored in the OneDrive cloud and won’t take up hard drive space unless you need to download them for offline editing.

  1. Open the OneDrive application.
  2. Right-click the OneDrive icon in your task bar, select SETTINGS, and click the SETTINGS TAB.
  3. Under FILES ON-DEMAND, check SAVE SPACE AND DOWNLOADED FILES AS YOU USE THEM.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Copy and paste your documents to the OneDrive folder (located in the left-hand pane of the File Explorer), select all of them, right-click the selection, and select FREE UP SPACE.

Lastly, move apps, games, and other files to an external hard disk so the computer can create more internal space if there is an extra need for more storage on the Windows 10 device. All these tips are user-friendly, but if you need to give your Windows 10 machines a serious overhaul, give Lanlogic a call now.

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Managed services for cyber security

By EDITOR 

Ransomware, Trojan horses, spyware and malware are things small businesses like yours don’t ever want to come across. While the term cyber security was once thrown around to scare businesses into purchasing security software, today’s sophisticated threats can leave immense impact, something that antivirus solution alone can’t handle. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up top cyber attack statistics that prove you need managed services in order to remain safe and operational.

The numbers

Small businesses are not at risk of being attacked, but worse, they’ve already fallen victim to cyber threats. According to Small Business Trends, 55 percent of survey respondents say their companies have experienced cyber attack sometime between 2015 and 2016. Not only that, 50 percent reported they have experienced data breaches with customer and employee information during that time, too. The aftermath of these incidents? These companies spent an average of $879,582 to fix the damages done to their IT assets and recover their data. To make matters worse, disruption to their daily operations cost an average of $955,429.

The attacks

So what types of attack did these businesses experience? The order from most to least common are as follows: Web-based attacks, phishing, general malware, SQL injection, stolen devices, denial of services, advanced malware, malicious insider, cross-site scripting, ransomware and others.

Why managed services?

Managed services is the most effective prevention and protection from these malicious threats. They include a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security such as around the clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection and more.

Not only that, but because managed services are designed to identify weak spots in your IT infrastructure and fix them, you’ll enjoy other benefits including faster network performance, business continuity and disaster recovery as well as minimal downtime. One of the best things about managed services is the fact that you get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist with any technology problems you might have. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having an in-house personnel handling all your IT issues.

Being proactive when it comes to cyber security is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to built. If you’d like to know more about how Lanlogic’s managed services can benefit your business, just give us a call, we’re sure we can help.

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Is your data safe from the Facebook data breach?

By EDITOR 

Businesses have made lots of money using social media to engage with current and potential customers for years now. But after a recent breach, some users are reevaluating Facebook’s reputation. Read on to know how this concerns you and if you must do something about it.

Last month, news broke that a firm known as Cambridge Analytica collected private data from over 50 million Facebook users. The British company supposedly used this information in 2016 to influence voter behavior during the US presidential election and UK’s Brexit campaign.

How did they harvest the data?
In 2015, a Facebook personality quiz app called “This is Your Digital Life” was created by Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan. Around 270,000 Facebook users signed up and gave information about themselves in exchange for humorous results.

What users didn’t know was that Kogan’s firm, Global Science Research, struck a deal with Cambridge Analytica to share the information that was gathered. Aside from collecting information about the Facebook users, the app also mined some data about the users’ friends.

Information collected was based on:

  • Data from other platforms that are also owned by Facebook, including Instagram and WhatsApp
  • Advertisers and other third-party partners
  • Apps and websites which use Facebook services
  • Your location
  • The devices you use for Facebook access
  • Payments handled by Facebook
  • Your Facebook connections and networks
  • Messages, photos and other content that other users send to you
  • The information you disclose to Facebook
  • Your activities on Facebook

What happened to the sourced information?
Cambridge Analytica analyzed the collected data to create psychological profiles and invent better political drives to influence whom people would vote for. Although there is still a huge debate about how effective this plans were, there’s no doubt that tens of thousands of users were manipulated into signing away their data without knowing it.

What can I do to keep my information safe?
Remove third-party apps that use your Facebook account. Visit your “Settings” menu and go to “Apps”. You should see the list of all the services that are using information about your Facebook profile. Check on each app, and if you don’t need it or use it anymore, delete it to revoke its access.

Our team works with our clients everyday on strategies that define critical data, secure it and ensure its availability. Contact us so that we can work together to protect your data.

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OneNote removed from Office 2019 and Office 365

By EDITOR 

People who use OneNote for Windows are in for a surprise. The desktop version of the app will be phased out in favor of the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app included with Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2019.

Microsoft’s OneNote desktop application is nearing the end of its journey, as the software giant will stop developing the product line past the 2016 edition. But don’t panic just yet, OneNote 2016 will share the same lifecycle as Microsoft Office 2016. The desktop app will receive security patches and updates until October 14, 2025.

Developers are directing their efforts to the Windows 10 OneNote app, where the switchover will be formal once Microsoft releases Office 2019. The current plan is to have Office 2019 in store shelves by the second half of 2018, and most of the features in OneNote 2016 have been added to the Windows 10 version.

What requested features will eventually make it to OneNote for Windows 10?

  • All of the features that can be used in OneNote 2016 add-ons will be built into the Windows 10 app to make an improved Class Notebook.
  • Edit and view files which allow users to collaborate on attached documents together. OneNote for Windows 10 will allow users to look at live previews of Microsoft Office files, and cloud files will help save space in the notebooks.
  • “Search and insert tags” which lets users search for, create and insert custom tags. The tags created in OneNote for Windows 10 will also be synced across other OneNote devices, and tags that other users made can be accessed in a shared notebook so you don’t have to make them again.

Users who are new to Microsoft Office 2019 or Office 365 can still install the OneNote 2016 application. The Windows 10 version and the 2016 version are still compatible until further notice.

Don’t hesitate to call Lanlogic today for more information on how to keep your software up to date while securing your private data at the same time!

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How Managed Services boost productivity

By EDITOR 

Have you heard of Managed Services, but are still unsure of how they can help your business? Do you often hear IT providers trying to sell them with words and phrases like “productivity” and “more profits”? If you’re looking for a clearer description of just how Managed Services can increase your productivity, today is your day. Here’s the truth about how this common IT service can take your productivity levels to heights you’ve never seen.

Managed Services essentially amounts to preventative IT maintenance. What this means for your business is that little IT problems are nipped in the bud as soon as they bubble up, and before they have a chance to compound into much bigger, more costly ones. But before we delve deeper into how this increases your business’s productivity levels, it makes sense to look at the history of this service and the role of “preventative maintenance” in our culture.

Why preventative maintenance matters

Managed Services have been around for decades. But despite this, many businesses have been slow to catch on. And really, is it all that surprising? Preventative maintenance is not exactly a priority in mass culture. Whether you hire a mechanic to replace a catalytic converter, a plumber to repair a leaky pipe or doctor to correct your coronary heart disease, many of these oftentimes preventable problems have been culturally accepted as commonplace. Yet people are so used to the mindset of thinking “everything is okay until it’s not”, which is really where the true problem lies.

Additionally, when preventable problems are ignored long enough to the point they explode into emergency repairs, your wallet almost always suffers. This is just as true for a network crash to your business’s IT infrastructure as it is for a trip to the emergency room for a neglected health problem.

Because Managed Services prevent catastrophic IT repairs that surprise you out of nowhere, your bottom line will enjoy long-term savings. Along with this, you’ll also get a significant bump in your productivity levels.

How does Managed Services boost productivity?

To answer this question, it makes sense to look at a fundamental principle of productivity – focus. Imagine if you’re trying to complete a new marketing strategy for the next quarter. You’re doing some research, compiling a list upcoming networking events and trade shows to attend, when suddenly you’re disrupted by an urgent phone call. After you’re off the phone, you return to your research, and then your secretary bursts in with an handful of vendor invoices you need to sign off on. As these disruptions continue to pile up, what happens if your IT breaks down and you’re unable to use your computer? Basically, you don’t get anything done during the day. You become stuck.

When it comes to IT, Managed Services take preventative measures to ensure your IT is always running at its optimal level, so that you don’t suffer technology breakdowns or distractions that blow your focus – preventing you and your staff from getting any work done. Smooth running IT won’t resolve all your productivity problems, such as your staff focusing more on Facebook or their phone rather than their work, but it will resolve all of those that relate directly to technology. No longer will your business be held down by daily computer disruptions and associated repairs, and instead you and your staff can move forward and focus on growing your business. That is the beauty of Managed Services. More productivity, focus and growth for your entire organization.

Whether you need just a bit of support, management and strategic direction Lanlogic can support you. Give us a call today. We’re happy to provide you the information you need.

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Addressable Networks, Inc. Acquires Lanlogic, Inc.

April 16, 2018 06:00 ET

SOURCE:  Addressable Networks, Inc.

Addressable Networks, Inc. Acquires Lanlogic, Inc.

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwire – April 16, 2018) – Addressable Networks, Inc., a leading solutions integrator, announced today the acquisition of Lanlogic, Inc., a leading IT solutions consulting company.  Lanlogic, Inc. will continue its long history of designing and delivering best-of-breed solutions for its customers and doing business as Lanlogic. Effective immediately, Dan Ferguson will assume the role of President & CEO of Lanlogic, previously held by Art Closson, founder of Lanlogic.

“Dan has years of experience running a high-tech solutions provider in the voice and data industry here in Silicon Valley.  His focus has always been placing customer needs as his number one priority,” said Mr. Closson.  “Dan is a great match with our company’s customer-centric culture and I am excited to have him take over my role here at Lanlogic.”  Mr. Closson will continue his employment at Lanlogic for the foreseeable future as a technical consultant.

“Lanlogic has an excellent reputation in the market of treating its customers, employees and suppliers the right way,” said Ferguson. “I am very excited Mr. Closson has handed me the stewardship of maintaining the core values of the company he founded in 1996.”

Ferguson brings over 29 years of sales, finance and overall industry experience to his new role at Lanlogic.  He grew up in Sunnyvale, CA and graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Finance in 1987.

About Addressable Networks, Inc.

Addressable Networks is a solutions integrator based in Santa Clara, CA focused on designing, implementing and maintaining powerful converged communication networks for customers worldwide.  Dan Ferguson founded Addressable Networks in 2016 and then incorporated the company in March 2018.

About Lanlogic, Inc.

Lanlogic is an IT services, support and consulting company located in Livermore, CA, celebrating over 21 years of experience.  The company is the trusted advisor for a vast number of small, mid-market and enterprise companies, local government agencies, and educational organizations.  Its network management and support services provide peace of mind to organizations that are looking for a comprehensive approach to IT service management. Lanlogic offers corporate-level support with an unmatched passion for service.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Press Contact:
Lyle Fullmer
Sales and Marketing Admin
925-273-2313

 

 

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Office 365: Tools and tips for business

By EDITOR 

Office 365 is the office productivity tool of choice because it has everything business users could possibly need. That said, most of them aren’t maximizing their Office 365 investment. That’s why we’re recommending some of the lesser-known and underused tools to help you work more efficiently.

SharePoint

SharePoint is the “communication sites” platform for building an intranet where you can upload and manage content. It’s customizable, feature-rich, and ideal for organizations that need an online library of information.

It’s a relatively new feature that allows you to add vibrant templates and visually appealing layouts to your company’s intranet, turning it into a highly dynamic and interactive page that staff will enjoy accessing for company announcements, to share updates, and more.

Teams

Microsoft Teams is an interactive workspace that lets users chat about specific projects. It’s a collaboration tool integrated with Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so it’s an ideal alternative to SharePoint for employees who don’t need the latter’s more robust capabilities.

Yammer

Yammer is an easy-to-use social networking platform for companies where users can post status updates, create polls, and make announcements.

It’s also useful for sharing and co-authoring documents and discussing content from SharePoint and Skype for Business. Much like Facebook, it allows users to join interest groups where they can interact with members similar to how Facebook Groups works.

Planner

Planner is Office 365’s work management application that lets you create, organize, and assign tasks, share files, and chat about ongoing projects. While its functions seem similar to Teams’, Planner’s main purpose is to organize tasks and provide users with a visible and transparent platform for coordinating work. It’s primarily a business tool whereas Teams is more of a communication tool.

PowerApps

PowerApps lets you build custom applications with a minimum amount of coding involved. Although there are similar app-building tools on the market, PowerApps is especially useful for Office 365 users because it seamlessly integrates with O365 apps, including SharePoint, for easy access to your data already stored in the Office environment.

Flow

Flow is an intuitive tool that has built-in templates you can use to automate various tasks. Things like tracking hours worked, saving files from one SharePoint account to another, and creating calendar events are streamlined by Flow. And like all the aforementioned apps, Flow allows you to create workflows using files from OneDrive or SharePoint.

Whether you’re a new or a long-time Office 365 user, these programs and features are hiding in plain sight, and Lanlogic is here to help you explore and maximize them for your business. Call Lanlogic today if you need expert recommendations for office productivity.

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