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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Select a Modem for Your Business

Most Internet providers will ask you to rent your modem from them, but what they don’t tell you is that you often have the opportunity to purchase your own. What are the benefits of doing so, and how can you make the best decision possible while modem shopping? We’re here to give you a hand.

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Tip of the Week: Evaluating and Assessing Risk

Whenever you decide to implement something in your information technology strategy, you accept some level of risk. Understanding and managing this risk is crucial to your business’ success. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to manage your IT risks and what your options are.

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Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

A server is a necessary component of any business’ IT infrastructure, as its job is to make sure that information and policies are distributed the way they need to be across a network. Once, servers had to be on-site in order to work, there is now the option to have a cloud-hosted virtualized server. Which of these is right for your needs? Let’s do a quick comparison to find out.

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Tech Term: Network

It sure does seem that the term “network” is tossed around an awful lot. Network security, network maintenance, social networking, network switch… but what is a network, really? That is precisely what we shall dive into here.

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Tip of the Week: Changing Your Network Profile

The Windows operating system has different settings for connecting to different networks. While this may seem like a minor detail, it actually can have considerable ramifications to your cybersecurity, not to mention that of your business. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use your network profile to stay secure, based on your situation.

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A Brief Overview of Network Security

The reliance the modern business has on its IT cannot be understated. As a result, to keep their computing network and infrastructure running efficiently, companies need to have a network and cybersecurity policy in place. With the development and use of organizational computer networks with multiple endpoints, understanding the basics of network security is helpful when implementing and employing network security systems. Today, we take a look at the parts of your network, their functions, and what you need to do to protect them.

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Tech Term: Router

The more that people depend on mobile devices and portable computers to get work done, the more businesses have to consider how to manage their organization’s wireless network. The router is the piece of hardware that makes the wireless network possible. Today, we will talk a little bit about the router and how its configuration can dictate the strength, reliability, and security of your business’ wireless network.

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You Can’t Afford to Let Your Network Go Unmanaged

While maintaining any system can be a pain, your business can’t afford not to maintain your network. An MSP can help you to do so, delivering the benefits of regular network maintenance.

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The Causes of Network Crashes (and How to Avoid Them)

It should come as no surprise that a crash occurring in your computer network is a bad thing for your business. However, the real ramifications of such an event might not immediately come to mind. Fortunately, there are precautions that may be put into place that can help you to mitigate the chances of a network crash.

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How Can a Virtual Network Help Your Business?

Your network is arguably your business’s most valuable asset. It keeps your team connected to critical information and applications that are imperative to the continued success of your company. With complex cabling, however, your workstation and network infrastructure can quickly grow uncontrollable. Isn’t there an easier way to manage your network components that can help your business grow, unhindered by physical infrastructure?

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How Your Business Can Benefit From a Virtual Private Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtual_private_network_400.jpgMost of your business’ technology is a direct result of your need to quickly and securely disseminate information. While there are solutions meant to improve efficiency peppered in there, the vast majority of IT solutions are designed to create, share, or protect information. On today’s Internet there are many threats looking to corrupt or intercept that information. One way your organization can share information more securely is through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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How to Tell When Your Network is Stretched Too Thin

b2ap3_thumbnail_network_obstruction_400.jpgA network is arguably one of the most important assets that your business has. It keeps your team connected to crucial information and mission-critical applications. This is perhaps why it’s so irritating when your network acts up. You should be on the lookout for even the slightest problem with your network, as even a small change could be a sign of bad things yet to come.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Simple Ways to Stay On Top of Network Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_network_security_practices_400.jpgSecurity is a top priority in today’s business environment, especially following high-profile hacks of notable enterprises. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that these hacks could have been prevented if both the employees and employers of these organizations followed strict security best practices for their technology. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be hard to teach your team how to properly use technology.

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Reevaluate Your Network Switches Due to Increased Demand of Wireless Technology

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_network_switches_400.jpgYour computer network is only as strong as its weakest link. One of the most overlooked links is your network switch, and if your IT infrastructure is becoming more dependent upon wireless technology, then you’re going to want to perhaps upgrade your network switches.

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2 Important Networking Trends You Must Consider

b2ap3_thumbnail_your_company_network_400.jpgOne sometimes-frustrating aspect about computer networking comes from the always-changing nature of technology. For example, let’s say that you have your network perfectly set up with everything running smoothly, then comes along some newfangled IT trend or mission-critical technology workflow that requires you to change everything. You can’t prevent this from happening, but you can stay on top of the latest IT trends so that you’re not caught off guard.

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Tip of the Week: The Easiest Way to Share Files Between 2 PCs

b2ap3_thumbnail_new_home_networking_400.jpgSo you’ve got two personal computers and you need to share a file from one to the other. What’s the best way to go about this? You might be surprised to learn that doing this is as easy as dragging and dropping.

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How a Small Bottleneck Issue Can Significantly Hinder Network Performance

b2ap3_thumbnail_bottlenecking_network_400.jpgIf you shell out for brand new office equipment, you’ll naturally expect it to perform better than your older machines. Sometimes the age of your network hardware isn’t the only problem affecting your network’s performance. More often than not, network bottlenecking could be the issue at hand.

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Block People from Your Network that Have No Business Being There

b2ap3_thumbnail_network_security_400.jpgWhen a company is lax about their network security, this can lead to countless threats swarming the network and invading your systems. Yet, sometimes the most dangerous threats come from within. A common issue comes from employees accessing undisclosed files unintentionally and deleting them, which can cause more damage than you think.

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Technology Helps World’s Largest Machine Unleash Maximum Devastation Upon the Earth [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_technology_automation_400.jpgThe world’s largest terrestrial vehicle is the German-made bucket-wheel excavator known as “Bagger 293.” Used for open-pit mining, Bagger 293 hulks over the landscape at a length of 722 feet, and a height of 310 feet (twice the size of the Statue of Liberty). As a bonus, this beast-of-a-machine is made more ferocious thanks to remote technology.

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3 Desirable Network Security Factors for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_network_security_400.jpgThere are several factors at work when scoping out your current network security situation. According to a study from 1&1, 67 percent of people confirmed that someone they know has had information stolen from them while online, which means that your business could be next. In order to remain one of the few unaffected by security breaches, consider these three network security features for your business.

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Tip of the Week: How to Defend Your Network from 3 Top-Tier Disasters

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_network_400.jpgYour company’s network can be very sensitive at times, and even the slightest disruption can cause downtime. Be it an immense natural disaster or something as simple as forgetting your login credentials, it’s common problems which cause the most trouble for businesses. In order to fight against these issues, it’s best to prepare yourself for these three common (and fairly simple) scenarios.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Extend Your WiFi Signal

b2ap3_thumbnail_wifi_extention_400.jpgToday, having a strong WiFi signal is critical. You need a reliable signal for every part of your home, office, and even outside the building. Is your wireless signal strong in some areas and spotty in others? Would your life be immensely easier if your signal extended for just one or two more rooms? For this week’s tip, here’s how you can extend your WiFi signal.

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Stop Ignoring Unneeded Applications That Take Up Space on Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_trash_apps_to_improve_performance_400.jpgThere’s a value to having a neat and tidy office where everything is where it’s supposed to be. In addition to seeing a boost in productivity because you’re not having to fight clutter, you just feel good about working in a space that’s clean and orderly. These same principles of organization apply to your company’s network.

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How Will Future Technologies Change Two-Factor Authentication?

b2ap3_thumbnail_two_factor_authentication_400.jpgIn these times, passwords are losing their effectiveness. Hackers can now input millions of passwords every second to crack your code. Even now, professionals are working on new solutions which can jumpstart online security. While using a password is still an ideal choice, there are plenty of other options that are being discussed in the two-factor authentication field.

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What is a Botnet Attack and How Do You Stop It?

b2ap3_thumbnail_botnet_malware_400.jpgHackers have many different tools at their disposal to access your computer. Some of these tools can even control your machine! When a hacker controls your PC, your computer is now part of a network made up of other compromised devices that they control. This compromised network is known as a botnet, and you don't want to be part of it!

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Prevent Downtime by Planning Your Network Maintenances

b2ap3_thumbnail_total_uptime_400.jpgBecause you manage a business, we don't have to convince you of the benefits of planning ahead. For example, having an onboarding strategy in place for hiring a new employee will get them acclimated more quickly, which will help them contribute to boosting your bottom line faster. Similarly, planning your IT network maintenances will benefit your organization.

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Do More by Outsourcing the Technical Stuff to a Trusted Partner

b2ap3_thumbnail_managed_service_professional400.jpgOne of the purposes of technology is to help your business grow. The best way to achieve this goal is to be intentional with your technology. Sometimes running a business can be so hectic that keeping up with your technology becomes an afterthought. Neglecting your technology can eat into your organization's profits; therefore, it makes more sense to outsource your IT.

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3 Ways Homeownership and Your IT Infrastructure are Similar

b2ap3_thumbnail_nethouse400.jpgYour company's technology infrastructure is made up of several complex systems that all work together in order to keep your business running smoothly. Your IT infrastructure functions much in the same way as another type of infrastructure, your house. It's surprising how much you can learn about computer networking by looking at "This Old House."

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Today’s Network Security is about Controlling Information

b2ap3_thumbnail_netseccloud400.jpgThe modern IT landscape is dramatically changing from a model where an IT department controls everything, to companies outsourcing their IT services. This paradigm shift challenges older ideas about traditional network security equating ownership and control with strong security. Does your business view IT outsourcing as a security help or a hindrance?

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4 Tips to Build a Network Jigsaw Puzzle

b2ap3_thumbnail_puzman400.jpgYour IT infrastructure is a lot like a puzzle. There are many pieces of technology that connect to form one big solution. If just one piece of the puzzle is missing, then the picture is incomplete and the solution will not work properly. Good thing we're great at piecing together IT puzzles!

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How to Cut 25% Off Your IT Expenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_techy400.jpgWe've all learned in our Business 101 studies that cutting costs is an absolute priority of business operation. While there are plenty of products available that promise to save your business money, perhaps the easiest and most effective way is to downsize. Gartner Inc. reports that you can eliminate a quarter of your IT expenses by simplifying your IT network.

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Don’t Let These 3 Easy Oversights Compromise Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_lockblu400.jpgThere is a common misperception that strong anti-virus software is all you need to cover the security of your network. While anti-virus software is an important component to network security, there's more to it if you want a secure network. You need to also take into account the human factor, which can disable even the strongest software solution.

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Don’t Forfeit Your Command-and-Control Center To a Zombie Army

b2ap3_thumbnail_zomb400.jpgWith an increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks and packet flooding volume, its evident that hackers are using compromised web servers for their malicious activities. By infecting servers, these dastardly infiltrators create a Zombie command-and-control center to direct their malicious activities from.

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Are you prepared for the Zombocalypse?

b2ap3_thumbnail_zombie400.jpgAre you going to make sure your machete is handy and start boarding up your windows for the coming of George Romero's slow-moving walking dead, or will you load up on ammo and lock yourself in a bunker for the more active and feral Max Brooks-type zombies? What about your data, like your Zombie Survival Guide E-book? Is it safe?

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Organize Your Network with Active Directory

b2ap3_thumbnail_Network400.jpgThe whole purpose of having a network infrastructure is to allow different users to access and share needed files and applications. With your data centralized to a server, you will need to have a system in place that allows certain people up-to-date permissions to access needed files from every computer. This is where Active Directory comes in.

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Don't Be a Hacking Target

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hacking400.jpgWhat do hackers look for when choosing a victim? While there are hackers out there that specialize in targeting high-profile companies and executives (a hacking method call whaling), most hackers do a broad sweep of the Internet and choose the easiest targets. If your company has weak network security, then you have a target on your back.

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Save Money by Wirelessly Expanding Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_WiFiNetwork400.jpgA growing business is always in expansion mode. More revenue means that more employees will need to be hired. Every new person on-boarded will require a workstation. Adding more computers to your network will require more resources from your network, requiring you to expand your network. When you need to expand your network, you can save expansion costs by going wireless.

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How Can Terminal Services Help Your Network?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ServerTerminal400.jpgThanks to the cloud computing, there's a lot of chatter these days about doing your work remotely. The idea of accessing your data from anywhere on any device is an exciting prospect, but it is not a new one. Windows Terminal Services (renamed Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2) has had this ability for many years, and it is still a great remote service option for your network.

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