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An operationalized cloud-to-cloud brute-force attack against Microsoft Office 365 users has hit high-level employees at multiple Fortune 2,000 organizations.

According to Skyhigh Networks, which remediated the attack, the perpetrators used popular cloud service platforms to conduct a persistent attack to log into corporate Office 365 accounts. The campaign had a “slow-and-low” pattern of coordinated attacks on high-value targets, including more than 100,000 failed Office 365 logins from 67 IP addresses and 12 networks. The attempts in all targeted 48 different organizations.

Skyhigh said that the duration and measured pace of the attacks suggest a determined effort and the desire to avoid detection. Within each organization, the attackers targeted a small number of senior employees across multiple departments.

The attackers tried logging in with different versions of employees’ Office 365 usernames, suggesting they may already possess some combination of employee names and passwords and were seeking valid Office 365 usernames for data access or spear phishing campaigns. Password data could have been obtained in a database breach of a service like Yahoo or a phishing attack, given that password reuse across accounts remains rampant.

Similarly, if the attackers confirmed an accurate Office 365 username with a correct reused password, they could successfully log into corporate Office 365 applications and potentially additional cloud service accounts.

“Sensitive data has already moved to cloud applications, so it is only natural sophisticated attacks are following,” said Slawomir Ligier, senior vice president of engineering at Skyhigh. “While companies traditionally have invested extensively in perimeter security, those without a dedicated cloud security solution will lack visibility and control for a growing category of attacks. Enterprise cloud providers secure their infrastructure, but the ultimate responsibility to control access to sensitive data lies with the customer.”

Cloud services are on path to become the standard for enterprise IT solutions, and Office 365, which offers cloud access to Microsoft Word, Excel and other productivity apps, has taken a dominant role with 58.4% of all sensitive corporate data in the cloud is stored in Office 365.

Keith Graham, CTO at SecureAuth, told Infosecurity that with 85 million users working on a combination of desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices and web applications, Office 365 is a primary target for attackers.

“Breaches tied to phishing e-mail scams and lack of strong identity security are accelerating, and the latest discovery of brute-force attacks against Office 365 serves as further proof of the need for organizations to prioritize their identity security,” he said.

“Typically, organizations using Office 365 have been forced to rely on traditional and inadequate username-password authentication to try to protect themselves from sophisticated attackers. Current versions of Office 365 mail clients support basic two-factor authentication while older Microsoft clients and third-party email applications do not. Because of this antiquated approach to authentication, attackers know that Office 365 is ripe to be exploited, and we anticipate attacks against Office 365 to proliferate for the foreseeable future.”

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/widespread-bruteforce-office-365/

By Tara Seals US/North America News Reporter, Infosecurity Magazine

Picture credit: www.cio.com

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

 

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

 

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

 

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

Call us now on 01483 407417

 

 

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Cisco has warned that the recent Petya/NotPetya and WannaCry campaigns could foreshadow a dangerous new breed of “destruction of service” (DeOS) attacks.

Like the ‘Petya’ campaign which seems to have been primarily aimed at crippling organizations in Ukraine, these new DeOS attacks will look to make it impossible for victims to restore affected systems once infected.

In the case of ‘Petya’, the attack was crafted to overwrite the victim machine’s Master Boot Record, with no means of recovery.

Cisco claimed, in its Midyear Cybersecurity Report, that the exact make-up of these DeOS attacks will depend on the motivations of the hackers involved “and the limits of their creativity and capabilities.”

It also argued that the IoT would play a major role:

“What we can be sure of is that the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), and its myriad devices and systems with security weaknesses ripe for exploitation, will play a central role in enabling these campaigns of escalating impact. The IoT is a bold new frontier for attackers and defenders in their arms race.”

On the positive side, the report also revealed that Cisco has reduced its time-to-threat-detection from a median of 39 hours in November 2015 to just 3.5 hours for the period November 2016 to May 2017.

Fujitsu EMEIA head of enterprise and cybersecurity, Rob Norris, argued that the typical financial and reputational impact of cyber-incidents pale in comparison to those resulting from destructive attacks.

“Engagement must start from the top: the C-suite must understand the risks, ensure their organization is well prepared and develop a comprehensive plan. Time must also be taken to actively test existing networks, spot and quickly address any blind spots in the system and educate the entire workforce on best practice,” he explained.

“As technology such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and big data becomes integral to business operations, all staff will have to remain prepared for the increasing potential of cyber-attacks. Cyber-criminals are becoming smarter and naivety is no longer an option in a world where cyber threats could potentially halt your business in its tracks.”

By Phil Muncaster UK / EMEA News Reporter , Infosecurity Magazine

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/cisco-warns-of-coming-destruction/

Picture credit: itweb.co.za

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

 

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

 

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

 

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has shed light on which global cities are best equipped to become smart – with Singapore at the top of the tree.

The research looks at 10 cities – Barcelona is analysed but not given a score as the analysis is still a work in progress – across four continents, with each area being ranked out of 10 in areas such as unmanned transport, smart healthcare, and infrastructure readiness among others.

Singapore scored 62% in total, with London (59%) and Shanghai (56%) picking up the silver and bronze models respectively. New York and Moscow (both 53%) followed, then Toronto (52%), Tokyo (50%), Hong Kong, and Sydney (both 47%).

Not surprisingly, Singapore has the most top scores, in smart housing and utilities, digital economy, and open adaptive learning, alongside London, which came out on top for transport, infrastructure, and the ‘virtual city’, which includes 3D printing of buildings and online construction monitoring in its definition.

When it came to the city’s population, Shanghai was out on its own in terms of readiness for smart cities. The most populous city in the world ranked at 76% overall, compared with 53% for Hong Kong, Barcelona at 49% and Singapore on 49% - which was also the average across all cities analysed.

Apart from London, scoring 72% overall, the performance of the other cities for unmanned transport was minimal, with Moscow achieving a consolidated total of 27% for unmanned ground and aerial vehicles. As this publication has previously noted, driverless cars are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to smart cities, with PwC sighting concepts such as high-speed trains, drone deliveries, and new areas for pedestrians and cyclists.

Writing for this publication, Mark West of ByBox discussed the importance of the supply chain in getting smart cities right. “City planners and local governments need to know that should an essential part break down, it will be not only replaced quickly – but potentially ahead of the breakdown,” West wrote.

“Most people never think about the supply chain. Many never even see it. And yet when something goes wrong, its importance becomes paramount,” West added.

You can read the full report here: http://www.pwc.ru/ru/assets/the-future-is-coming-eng.pdf

Written by James Bourne – Editor IoT Tech

https://www.iottechnews.com/news/2017/jul/10/singapore-and-london-best-track-smart-city-progress-pwc-says/

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

Call us now on 01483 407417

 

 

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Washrooms are among the highest-maintenance rooms in companies. A new Fraunhofer technology now monitors soap, cotton towel and toilet paper dispensers fully automatically, and notifies the cleaning staff when levels are running low. At the core of the "CWS Washroom Information Service" are sensors and some ingenious wireless technology.

"The cotton towels are running out in washroom 17 on the third floor, in washroom 21 on the fourth floor the soap is almost empty, and in 26 there is almost no toilet paper left. "Armed with this kind of information in advance, cleaning staff will be able to plan their rounds far more effectively in the future. No small thing, given that washrooms are among the highest-maintenance rooms in buildings. As well as having to be cleaned, their soap, hand-towels and toilet paper have to be replenished regularly. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has now designed a highly efficient solution to this problem. Together with the full-service provider CWS-boco International GmbH, Fraunhofer IIS has created the "CWS Washroom Information Service" system, which significantly reduces washroom maintenance requirements. In charge of the project is Prof. Thomas Wieland, head of the Fraunhofer Application Center for Wireless Sensor Systems in Coburg. In addition to the sensor technology, the Fraunhofer scientists also contribute a wireless system for transmitting the data. CWS-boco is responsible for the design of the various container and dispenser systems.

The basis of the "CWS Washroom Information Service" (WIS) are the sensors. They are battery powered and monitor the fill levels of soap dispensers, cotton towel rolls and toilet paper. The measurement method employed depends on the task. For instance, in the case of the soap dispenser, an optical sensor keeps an eye on the fill level, and the sensor module gathers the data from the meter in the soap dispenser that records every portion dispensed. Optical systems are also used for toilet paper, while a portion meter monitors the usage of the cotton towel dispenser.

The wireless network configures itself

The data collected by these means is then sent through a complex wireless transmission system. First, the dispenser information is transmitted to the nearest "Washroom Control Unit" (WCU) via energy-saving Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy). Each WCU is a collection point and communication node. They are distributed around the entire building and networked with each other. This is where the s-net® wireless technology developed by Fraunhofer IIS comes into play, by enabling the wireless network to configure itself. Each WCU in the network decides autonomously what device it sends the data to. "If a given module is out of order or cannot be reached for other reasons, the WCU sends its data to another module," Fraunhofer expert Wieland explains. This means the wireless network compensates automatically for a defective device or any disturbances in the transmission path. Once all the data has been collected, the final WCU in the transmission chain sends the entire data package -- again via s-net® -- to a gateway, which is generally attached to the outside of the building.

From there, the information is then forwarded via the cellular network to CWS-boco's server. A visual user interface displays the information for each individual washroom operator. The shift supervisor can then print out the washroom information as a shift plan or send it to the cleaning staff's tablets. Another option would be to have a display at the entrance to the washrooms that shows what the washroom requires.

Field trial starting 2017

With the development phase of the "CWS Washroom Information Service" now more or less completed, a progressive field trial with a pilot customer is beginning in the first quarter of 2017. CWS-boco will market the system, one of the biggest benefits of which is its flexibility. "We can integrate new devices with their own sensor systems. Pretty much any product can be fitted with sensors and integrated into the system, from soap dispensers to toilet paper holders and waste bins," says Jens Einsiedler, Head of Business Digitalisation at CWS-boco International GmbH.

And the Fraunhofer researchers aren't only thinking about washroom services. Sensor-based s-net® technology makes many applications possible. "The system is ideal for any situation where sensor data has to be gathered and transmitted," Wieland explains. Thanks to its ability to organize itself, the energy-saving s-net® is extremely reliable. But not only that, its transmission frequency of 868 MHz has excellent propagation characteristics, so it can penetrate walls with ease. That is particularly useful in complex buildings.

Wireless sensor networks featuring this or other transmission technologies are a particularly effective way for the agricultural sector to monitor crop land. In cities, sensor networks can keep track of the water quality in rivers. Sensors can keep tabs on the stability of bridges and other constructions, and even in the field of health care this technology opens up new opportunities. For instance, the sensors could be integrated into textiles to monitor a patient's movements during physiotherapy.

Further applications are also an option in the field of Industrie 4.0. Wireless sensors are ideal for supervising production plants and monitoring the status of machines or workpieces. On this basis, the system delivers all the data required to manage the process in question. Meanwhile, Wieland and his team are also currently working on a more down-to-earth but no less useful project: monitoring the fill levels of the waste bins in the pedestrian zone in the city of Reutlingen.

Story Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170315115020.htm

Materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

 

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Step by step, our personal and work lives are being transferred online and instantaneous connections, real-time cooperation, and free flowing information come at a price. Yes, cybercrime is hardly something new but the recent rise in global ransomware attacks are putting the question of online security into the spotlight and under scrutiny.

The hackers are getting more and more inventive, and it’s becoming harder for the individual as well as companies to protect themselves. What can be done? Can cloud storage save us from ransomware?

Cloud Storage vs. Ransomware

Cloud created a revolution in data storage. It’s cost-effective, easy to access and typically very well guarded. The convenience is reflected in its widespread use. A report by RightScale found that 82% of companies were already using multi-cloud storage strategies. According to a report by Intuit, 78% of small businesses will fully rely on cloud services by 2020. This mass migration of business of all sizes to cloud space rendered it an extremely attractive target.

Sadly, the NotPetya ransomware made it clear that ransomware has gone beyond local and physical storage, and can hit everywhere. Although being publicized as on one of the safest storage options, the cloud is not an exception to the threat.

Let’s Be Realistic

The best way to stay protected is to be realistic and keep informed about the capacity and power of the services on which you are relying. As such, cloud storage is not a magical bulletproof solution that will graciously save you from the ransomware.

To be able to withstand ransomware and other types of attacks, cloud and collaboration services need to start implementing or strengthening solutions that allow for real-time visibility, greater control, data loss prevention, and so forth. If hackers are getting more creative, the levels of security need to follow and surpass them.

How to Leverage Cloud Storage

Despite the cold splash of reality, not all is lost. Cloud storage can be a valuable partner in crime or - better said - your partner in preventing crime.

Scalability - Regardless of shortcomings, cloud services are still best equipped to act as a failsafe and protect you from ransomware today and in the future. Being flexible and scalable in essence, cloud services enable us to keep up with the changes and developments in the malware landscape. In other words, while the nature of the attack is unlikely to change, the delivery method will and cloud services have the agility to adjust aptly.

Security Layers - In most cases, the layers of security over cloud are considerably better than of any other private server. Typically, clouds are a sophisticated combination of elaborate access controls and encrypted technology with the capacity to expand. Plus, many of them provide protection against DDoS attacks which makes them all the more useful.

Backups - Due to reliability and resiliency, backing up your data with a cloud storage is far more efficient. When stored on local storage, frequent backups consume a lot of storage resources and negatively affect computer performance. With the cloud, backups of your information, data and documents can be frequent, and the streamlined failover process provides you with the comfortable safety of backup recovery. A recommended approach is to rely on several clouds simultaneously which provides a much more expansive protections without excessively high costs or unbearable complexity.

How do you know cloud is worth your time?

According to MarketsAndMarkets, the cloud security market will be valued at impressive $8.71 billion by 2019, so companies are ready to invest more and more to improve and strengthen the safety of the cloud environments from malicious attacks.

Cloud storage, although not the ultimate weapon against ransomware attacks, is by far one of the most efficient ways to protect your information without excessive spending or applying overly complicated scenarios. It’s also most likely to scale and thus continue withstanding cybercrime in the future. Nonetheless, it is crucial you select your cloud service carefully as not all are equal.

By Kent Raju CMO of FolderIT

The original article can be viewed at: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/cloud-storage-save-ransomware/

Picture credit: Cloudstoragebest.com

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

 

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

 

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

 

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

Posted by on in Latest Microtechs news posts

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In the ever-changing context of communication networks, all roads converge towards the promise of 5G: higher data bandwidth, greater speed and lower latency. International scientists are competing to be the first to develop technical solutions that seek to unite and balance the set of existing technologies with those yet to come, and thus bring us closer to the ideal of seamless communications. The potential economic impact associated with the digitization of European industry is so considerable that we are already talking about a Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.

One of the makers of the upcoming revolution in our communications and lifestyle, the laureate professor and scientist Dr. Ian Akyildiz of the Georgia Institute of Technology -- Georgia Tech (USA), will visit Madrid next week. Dr. Akildyz is a global authority in the field of wireless telecommunications and the author of numerous ground-breaking scientific contributions about cellular and underwater networks and, currently, a pioneer in 5G and nanoscale networks (also known as "nanonetworks").

This is a unique opportunity to come into contact with the most advanced thinking on the future of mobile communications. At a conference to be held on July 19 in Madrid, Dr. Akyildiz will present the main research challenges of the coming years in the field of wireless networks, focusing both on the different aspects of the future 5G radio interface and on the fundamentals of its radio access network (RAN). In turn he will present key technological challenges for the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), a concept that involves the digital interconnection of everyday objects to the Internet. The future of communications therefore combines the very small to the great ambition of connecting to everything, everywhere.

In particular, Dr. Akyildiz will introduce "SoftAir," a new wireless software-defined architecture with network function virtualization (NFV) solutions for 5G wireless systems. This architecture provides cellular networks with the needed flexibility to evolve and adapt according to the ever-changing network context, an essential requirement for the networks of the future.

5TONIC, an open research and innovation laboratory focused on 5G technologies and based at the Madrid research institute IMDEA Networks, is responsible for the organization of this event. Telefónica and Ericsson are the co-founders of 5TONIC.

Picture credit: 5TONIC.org

Story Source:

Materials provided by IMDEA Networks Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170713082535.htm

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

 

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

 

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

 

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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By Michael Hill Deputy Editor, Infosecurity Magazine

A new study by OneLogin has revealed that a large proportion of businesses fail to adequately protect their networks from the potential threat posed by ex-employees.

The firm surveyed more than 600 IT decision-makers in the UK and found respondents were aware that over half (58%) of former employees are still able to access corporate networks even after they’ve left a company. This is particularly concerning when you consider that OneLogin also discovered that almost a quarter (24%) of UK companies have suffered data breaches by former members of staff.

The study highlighted flaws in the security processes implemented by organizations when an employee leaves too. Almost all (92%) of those polled admitted to spending up to an hour on manually deprovisioning past workers from every corporate application. Whilst 50% were not using automated deprovisioning technology to ensure an employee’s access to corporate applications stops the moment they leave the business – this could explain why over a quarter of ex-employee’s corporate accounts remain active for a month or more.

“Our study suggests that many businesses are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to this basic, but significant, threat to valuable data, revenue and brand image,” said Alvaro Hoyos, chief information security officer at OneLogin.

“With this in mind, businesses should proactively seek to close any open doors that could provide rogue ex-employees with opportunities to access and exploit corporate data. Tools such as automated de-provisioning and SIEM will help close those doors with ease and speed, while also enabling businesses to manage and monitor all use of corporate applications.”

Speaking to Infosecurity, Steve Durbin, managing director, Information Security Forum Limited, explained that companies are becoming increasingly more aware of the issue but face challenges when it comes to handling it, as it requires an approach that combines both process and people skills with technology as a back up to effectively manage.

“Content management, identity and access management systems all have a role to play in monitoring activity but cultivating a culture of trust is likely to be the single most valuable management step in safeguarding an organization’s information assets,” he added. “How you treat your employees while they are with you will determine their mind set and approach once they have decided to leave.”

Picture credit: abovethelaw.com

Article source: https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/more-than-half-exemployees-access/

Microtechs 24/7/365 White label Technical Helpdesk

In today's world, a rock solid IT infrastructure is key to every successful business. At Microtechs we have the experience and resource to ensure your company has the support it needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We are able to provide an immediate response from our state of the art Technical Operations Centre which is based in the heart of Surrey.

 

With our rapidly expanding team, all specifically trained, working 24/7/365, we are able to provide excellent customer service and technical support. All of our services are available completely white labelled, ensuring a seamless extension to your company.

Through our services you are able to extend your hours to 24/7 or simply use us as an over flow assistant during office hours. This is all tailored to your business needs.  

 

How does Outsourcing your helpdesk benefit your business?

1.       It reduces your staffing costs. Why hire another member of staff, if you can outsource all of your calls for less? We are normally between 25-50% cheaper than an in-house option.

2.       It expands your opening hours. We have a technical operations centre which is open 24/7/365.

3.       It will improve your customer experience. Are you taking multiple calls from clients, but can’t get back to them as quick as you would like? Well now you have a team of 30 staff taking your support calls for you. Have an important meetings? No problem, your helpdesk has your back.

 

We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

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Brits will soon see the back of internet buffering and painfully slow download times, following the launch of a new fund today, which will support the rollout of cutting-edge connections across the country.

The government’s £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) will unlock over £1 billion for full fibre broadband, and kick-start better broadband connections across the country.

Ministers seek to revolutionise Britain’s digital infrastructure, making internet access more reliable for homes and businesses, and enabling more people to work remotely without disruption. The flexibility to work remotely is pivotal for driving our economy forward; reducing overheads and helping businesses to start and grow.

The government has already invested £1.7 billion to spur industry to rollout superfast broadband across the UK. This new fund will take that to the next level.

Launching the fund during a visit to Peterborough on the 3rd July, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Jones MP said:

We are investing £400 million to make sure the UK’s digital infrastructure is match-fit for the future. As technologies change and people’s habits move with them, it is crucial we play our part to ensure Britain stays at the front of the pack.

Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room. Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing.

Deputy-Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) and government Head of Project Finance, Matthew Vickerstaff said:

Full fibre digital communication networks will be a crucial part of our future infrastructure and will require substantial investment from the private sector.

The launch of the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund will help accelerate the roll out of ultra fast digital networks by increasing access to private finance for companies delivering them.

Further Information

This investment, announced at Autumn Statement 2016, will be in addition to the government’s £23 billion National Productivity Investment Fund aimed at improving productivity, which is key to raising living standards.

Traditionally in Britain, full fibre has been difficult to finance because the industry is relatively young and a lack of certainty around future demand makes investment hard to secure. This has held back alternative providers from entering the market and consumers have been left with limited choice, which in turn, has restricted their ability to benefit from this latest technology.

 

The fund, which is expected to more than double the government’s £400 million investment, and unlock over £1 billion of capital in the sector, will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, generating a commercial return for the government. It will ignite interest from private finance to invest in the sector, resulting in more alternative providers entering and expanding in the market.

Britain’s homes are mostly connected to the internet via underground copper wires to a green cabinet on the street. Full Fibre networks seek to run fibre connections straight to the doors of customers’ homes or businesses, via laser light flashes through glass or plastic tubes, making broadband stronger and more consistent. Unlike broadband run through copper wires which can be degraded by distance or the number of people accessing the internet at any one time, full fibre networks are much more resilient.

Peterborough was the winner of Smart City of the Year at the 2015 World Smart City Awards. It has a 120 km full fibre network, built by an independent network builder and operator, CityFibre, following a successful demand aggregation campaign, which saw 25% of the city’s businesses register an interest and enabled the network to be extended to all 6 of Peterborough’s business parks. Currently 300 sites of sites in Peterborough, including schools and hospitals, have been connected to the network. 4,000 businesses also have access.

With the Peterborough core network established and successful, benefiting from a motivated local authority and demand aggregation, the city is now a prime candidate for further extension of the network to residential areas, which the DIIF could help finance.

Next steps

Two leading infrastructure investment firms have been appointed to manage the fund. Amber Fund Management Limited, part of the Amber Infrastructure Group, and M&G Investments, part of Prudential PLC. M&G Investments includes Infracapital, who have partnered with Cameron Barney; and M&G’s infrastructure debt team.

The government has worked closely with industry to create this fund, which by catalysing private sector investment will become self-sufficient.

Speaking on their roles as fund managers, John Mayhew, M&G Investments, said:

We are pleased to be working with HM Treasury in order to play our part in delivering world class, high-speed broadband infrastructure in the UK. This approach ensures that Britain is ready for the future and brings benefits to families and businesses across the country who rely on fast and greater connectivity, as well as ordinary savers through the returns generated for their pension funds.

Giles Frost, Amber Infrastructure:

We are delighted to be partnering with HM Treasury and look forward to helping the community of businesses building the next generation of digital networks to scale up and accelerate the rollout of ultrafast connectivity across the UK. Amber will apply its experience in implementing core economic and social infrastructure projects alongside public sector partners to deliver this landmark initiative.

Ed Clarke, Infracapital:

High-speed broadband is an essential ingredient in driving the competitiveness of the UK. Infracapital has already made significant investments in the sector, both in the UK and Europe, and we are delighted to be working with HM Treasury on this hugely important initiative, in partnership with Cameron Barney.

Those who are interested in accessing the fund are encouraged to contact the Fund Managers directly, who will be able to advise on how the investment process will work.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-connectivity-boost-to-make-buffering-a-thing-of-the-past

HM Treasury, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, and Andrew Jones MP

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We work with over 60 IT & Telecoms Businesses who trust us to deal day to day with their clients.

 

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

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Written by Rimsha Salam

Nowadays a lot of devices and even appliance in our homes have become connected. The array of connected home products, smartphones, smart TVs, and other mobile devices is huge and it is very important to equip your home or business with one of the best wireless routers that can handle the increased demand for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Choosing a suitable wireless router is no easy task. There are many factors that you need to consider before you should set out to buying one. We are going to help you through the selection process. Here we have compiled a list of the very best wireless routers that are available in the market as well. Our collection has all types of routers from those that are suitable for low-level users to wireless routers best for uninterrupted high-level online gaming.

1) What to look for when buying a new router

2) Best Wireless Routers

3) How can you secure your wireless router?

4) How to upgrade your wireless router firmware and

5) How to Increase Your Wireless Router’s Speed and Range

Now the first thing that you need to take into account when buying a router is the coverage area. Different routers offer different ranges so it is important to make sure that the router meets your range demands. Other aspects that you need to take into account include the number of clients that will be connected and the types of devices that will connect to the router.

What to look for when buying a new router:

The more money you are willing to spend on a wireless router the more features you will get. Some of the router’s software also offer a few perks over the others. It is important to take all these capabilities into aspect when buying a router. Below are the main functionalities and features that you need to look out for when buying a new wireless router.

Single or Dual Band:

There are two basic types of routers, one that communicates over a single radio band, and the second that can communicate over two. Single-band routers are perfectly adequate for things like Web surfing and connecting to social media services like Facebook and Twitter. However, if you are going to be streaming video from a service such as Netflix, or connecting to an online gaming service such as Xbox Live, consider a dual-band router.

Tri-band routers also exist and are suitable for multi-device households that experience heavy network traffic via lots of video streaming, torrent downloading, file transfers, and online gaming.

Wireless Protocols:

Wireless networks use 802.11 protocols to send and receive data. Devices that use the older 802.11b and 802.11g standards are limited to data transfer rates of 11Mbps and 54Mbps, respectively. These only operate on the 2.4GHz band.

802.11 protocols are the most widely used WiFi protocol and it allows data rates of up to 600Mbps. This protocol operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and it utilizes Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology. The routers with 802.11ac have labels like AC1200, AC1750, AC 3200, and so on. The number designates the theoretical maximum speed achievable by the router.

Features:

Routers come with all sorts of features depending on the price tag. When buying a wireless router you need to make sure to buy one that comes with at least four 10/100/1000 (gigabit) Ethernet ports which allow you to connect to wired devices such as desktop PCs, network-attached storage (NAS) drives, and home-automation hubs.

The next feature you need to look out for is a USB port, it will make it easy to connect a printer or a USB drive and share it across the network. If you want to connect both simultaneously then look for one with multiple USB ports.

Routers also come with detachable antennas. This will offer you an easy way to extend or limit the range of your router easily. To manage you WiFi usage, look for options like Quality of Service (QoS), and a guest network.

Last and most important of all is security and all routers offer some sort of it. The more you are willing to spend the better security you can get. Routers with WPA-Enterprise security offer a higher level of security than WPA/WPA2 but require a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server to authenticate each client.

Price:

Like all devices, wireless router pricing is based on performance and features that it offers. A basic, single-band 802.11n router can cost anywhere from $25 to $100.  For a dual band router, the starting price is around $130. A tri-band wireless with high-end features will cost somewhere around $300.

WiFi Types:

The letter in the router name indicates the type of WiFi. The A,B standards are outdated. The newer ones are G and N and they are most widely adopted. They are capable of handling 54Mbps and 600Mbps of maximum bandwidth respectively at any given time.

Range:

The size of the antenna plays a huge part in the WiFi range. It sets what kind of distance or power you can achieve with any given model. The larger the antenna, the longer the signal will transmit before eventually fading out.

Media server:

If your wireless router has a USB port then you can use it to mount an external hard drive packed to the nines with downloaded shows, movies, and music. This way you can have your very own media server that you can rely on 24/7.

Best Wireless Routers:

There is a vast range of wireless routers out there and picking one appropriate to your needs and budget isn’t an easy task. But don’t worry because we are here to help you out with a complete list of the very best wireless routers.

Best Wireless Router For Home:

Asus RT-AC88U AC 3100 Wi-Fi Routers

The Asus RT is a high-end wireless router that has a lot of great perks and features. This router is one of those that is going to last a long time into the future. It is a worthy investment if you can afford the hefty price tag. The manufacturer has boosted the technology used to transmit wireless data and proclaims that the 5GHz band can go as fast as 2,100Mbps, while the 2.4GHz band can go as fast as 1,000Mbps. While this won’t improve your bandwidth, but it will help you with Wi-Fi network speeds and certain slow-down issues.

The smart connection technology in the AC88U can choose the best band for your device and location. Its range can span across 5,000 square feet thanks to the antenna design. The router includes eight Gigabit LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 port. All the LAN ports indicate that the router is ready for a business environment, but it can also be used in homes, dorms, and apartments with ease.

The AC88U also comes with AiProtection, Trend Micro software that searches for vulnerabilities, detects threats, blocks suspicious sites, and offers the level of parental control that has become a must-have for growing families. Best of all this is MU-MIMO prepared. MU-MIMO is a new type of wireless standard that allows a router to communicate with several compatible devices at the same time.

Most of the users find this router very reliable. The interface is also said to be user-friendly and the setup is easy as well. This router is also wall mountable there are two holes on the bottom with rubber plugs in them that, when removed, will allow the router to be hung on two screw heads.

Best Wireless Router For NAS Users:

Synology Router RT1900ac Wireless Router

If you are going to be hosting an external hard drive connected to its USB 3.0 port, the RT1900ac is indeed a formidable storage server. However, this router is great in both cases as either a Wi-Fi router or a NAS server. It is brilliant and is even overthrowing better more expensive competitors, such as the Asus RT-AC68U or the Netgear R7000.

This router is great however, it has its faults. The range of RT1900ac is quite short e on the 5GHz band and only average network storage data rates. But, at the price of just $150, this router is the least expensive.

That said, if you want a router that delivers excellent Wi-Fi performance and can also work as a host for Time Machine backup, file sharing, media streaming and pretty much anything else you can do with a typical NAS drive, the Synology router RT1900AC is an excellent buy. Moreover, there’s also great support for shared storage, with well-designed iOS and Android apps to access files. There’s also an SD card slot joining the single USB 3 port for shared external storage. Most of the users of the Synology RT1900AC love its range and easy setup. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router.  This router is also wall-mountable. The router is also feature reach and it is very easy to add functionality through packages that quickly install.

Most of the users love its range and easy setup. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router. This router is also wall-mountable. The router is also feature reach and it is very easy to add functionality through packages that quickly install.

Best Wireless Router For Fast Internet:

Linksys Smart WRT AC 1900Wi-Fi Router

Linksys Smart WRT is the affordable option compared to the Asus AC88U that has most of the same features. It is one of the best wireless routers and is great for both home and office. The only thing that is missing is the MU-MIMO. Aside from that, this router has many similar features as the Asus router.

The Smart WRT is a dual band router with a 600Mbps 2.4GHz band, and a 1,300Mbps 5GHz band. It also has smart technology that can focus reception on particular devices that seem to be having a tough time connecting. The processor is a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM, and it includes ports for both Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 and 3.0. The . Firmware is also flashable via OpenWRT. QoS feature cuts down the time to buffer a video.

The one aspect this router lacks in compared to Asus is the level of security. The level of control and parental security on this router isn’t as high. However, the manufacturer offers an interesting alternative which is an “open source ready” router that can be customized via a number of different applications to help improve components such as security. Users that like to tinker with their routers would love this one but it is not for those who want a simple connect and forget wireless router.

The majority of users who bought this router really love it. However, there are some users report that the 5-GHz band shuts down when there’s not enough activity.

Best WiFi Router For General Use:

TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Router

The New York Times has dubbed this router “the best router for most people” and rightfully so. TP-Link Archer C7 is very affordable, but it still manages to offer a solid set of specs for any home or small office. The 2.4GHz band has sped up to 450Mbps, and the 5GHz band offers speeds up to 1,300Mbps.

The router also has dual USB ports that give you some connectivity options for sharing or printing, and the Guest Network features lets you set up walls for security purposes. It provides Internet access via ADSL service and creates a wired sharing network. Moreover, the live parental controls allow parents or administrators to establish restricted access policies for children or staff. There are also IP QoS features for improved bandwidth control across the network.

There’s no smart beaming in this router. However, it does offer bandwidth control so you can adjust the focus of WiFi on particular devices. Just remember that you’ll have to spend some time in settings if you want it to imitate the automatic smart tech that more expensive routers usually offer.

This TP-Link wireless router is among the top rated wireless routers. However, a few users say that the TP-Link RMA service isn’t up to par. The speed, range, and web-interface are all highly praised by the users.

Best Wireless Router For Gaming Users:

D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wireless Routers

The unique space ship-like model of this router has made it quite intriguing but an attractive design isn’t the only thing this router is known for. When D-Link AC3200 Ultra was released it came with a set of cutting-edge features which are, admittedly, more common now than they used to be. But, these features are still quite exceptional. AC3200 is a tri-band gaming router with smart beam technology.

This router also has another model that sports a second 5Ghz band to push up speed numbers and handle heavy device loads, however, 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1,300MBps on 5GHz is as fast as you are likely to see. The smart beam technology of this router is also pretty solid. It gives the Asus some competition in reaching devices with poor reception.

This router is great for gaming and for connected homes that have high WiFi demands. The Router management is done via an app that you can access and monitor from anywhere. The only con is that the 1GHz processor is a little slow, and those six antennas may need a little extra room than a router typically requires. The antennas are also not detachable and the router is a little expensive but the pros of this device balance out the cons.

The majority of the tech savvy users have high praises regarding this router. The range and the performance have also been highly praised. The smart connect feature is also a great feature and doesn’t drop connections.

Best WiFi Router For Streaming & Gaming:

Netgear Nighthawk X4S Wireless Routers

This router is perfect for those who are looking for a powerful and dependable router that can handle gaming and streaming. Netgear Nighthawk X4S comes with great cutting edge features. It also has four antennas and can deliver much faster speeds than a standard 802.11ac router. It also features MU-MIMO for faster results and more reliable Wi-Fi, along with an eSATA connection for linking up an external hard drive more easily. This router comes wit a 1.7GHz processor and offers boosted speeds with an 800Mbps 2.4GHz band and a 1,733MBps 5GHz band.

Nighthawk X4S also has a VDSL 2 modem built-in. The software is pretty good too, with a simple Dynamic QOS system to make it easier to manage a home network with a massive amount of devices. However, it Lacks 1024-QAM and before buying it make sure your hardware is capable of achieving the fastest speed that this router can offer.

This Nighthawk router also comes with smart beam features. Smartbeam can lengthen the range of the router. The built-in ports include two USB 3.0 connections and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, Which will allow you to setup even the craziest, multi-device gaming setup. Pretty much everything about this router is perfect for gaming and the only slightly awkward thing is the design.

Many experienced users even claim that this is the best router currently available in the market. It is also easy to configure and the user interface is also easy to use. This router is also quite bulky and covers up a lot of space.

Best WiFi Router For Crowdy Home:

TP-Link Archer AC3200 Wi-Fi Routers

This router has a six antennas that are intended for triple wireless networks for a situation where you might have dozens of computers and other devices all needing access to wireless resources. The Archer AC3200 has two 5GHz bands support using 802.11ac, so even when a large transfer is using up all the space on one channel, you can keep other devices running at full speed on the other one.

The router also had plenty of internal processing power. It features TP-Link’s Smart Wi-Fi tech that automatically picks the most suitable frequency band to assign to your various devices based on network traffic. The router is fitted with a 1GHz Dual-core processor along with three co-processors.

The management interface of this router is also user-friendly and simple. It provides the usual basic settings page alongside advanced pages for each Wi-Fi band. There are also buttons on the router itself that allow you to initiate WPS, disable LED lights and switch Wi-Fi on and off. The bottom line is that this router uses three radio bands to help ease network congestion and offers a bunch of management options.

The user interface of this router has been highly praised for being sleek and simple. Users also indicated that it is great for streaming services and overall performance and range of the router is also sub par. However, some user found the design of the router a bit weird and gangly.  This router does not have MU-MIMO streaming technology as well. But, overall the reviews are positive and the AC3200 router also works great in crowded areas.

Best Wireless Router For Multi-Tasking:

Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 Wireless Routers

This router has the most antennas compared to any other router on this list. The 8-antennas makes this router look like a freaky spider. Linksys EA9500 is good for anything from gaming to professional work. It is equipped with a single 2.4GHz band that can reach up to 1000 Mbps. Additionally, there are also two 5GHz radios that max out at 2,167Mbps. Together, it adds up to a total of 5.3Gbps.

The AC5400 also has a bunch of interesting features s including MU-MIMO, a dual-core CPU, beamforming and eight adjustable antennas. The most useful feature is the Smart Connect. It lets you assign separate SSIDs for the two 5GHz bands, allowing you to have one network dedicated for your gaming desktop PC, and another purely for media streaming or professional work, without the two getting in the way.

Eight Gigabit LAN ports are a bit overkill. Most wireless routers max out at four. While four LAN ports are sufficient for most households, it’s always nice to have extra ports. Wired network connections are always faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi. This router isn’t for all but if you have an extremely fast broadband connection and want an all-powerful home network, the Linksys EA9500 fits the bill.

Most of the Users say that the user-interface of this router is user-friendly and the device is also easy to setup. The selling point of this router is its performance with multiple connected devices.

D-Link DIR-879 AC1900 EXO Wi-Fi Router

Nowadays even the fastest computers and devices have the maximum Wi-Fi speed limit of 1,300Mbps. There aren’t any laptops, tablets, or smartphones that are capable of more than that. So buying a top tier router like those that supports AC5400 or AC2400 speed standards, will not likely bring you any speed benefits. The D-Link EXO DIR-879 is an AC1900 router, which  that as far as real-world performance goes, it’s as fast as you can get. That is until devices with faster Wi-Fi standards become available.

The D- Link EXO has an interesting orange-and-black design with collapsible non-detachable antennas. The router features four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port on the back. It has four collapsible antennas on the sides, the DIR-879 also nails it on practicality. However, there is no USB port or SD card slot so you can’t share your hard drive or other devices on your network.

The design of the router is also slim and its price is also reasonable. t doesn’t do anything particularly clever or unique but is still proficient enough to work with the vast majority of all wireless hardware on the market at maximum capacity. The software is also minimalistic and easy to use. This is one of the best routers on the market suitable for most homes and offices.

Asus RT-AC68U Wireless Router

This is an old model but it is still pretty capable and efficient. Asus is known for making great routers with great software and the Asus RT-AC68U is the best choice if you can’t afford the RT-AC68U model. If you are looking for advanced home networking device at an affordable price then you can’t go wrong with this one.

The Asus RT-AC68U is equipped with a fast 800MHz dual-core processor and supports a new Wi-Fi chip that offers up to 1.3Gbps speed on the 5GHz frequency band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. This router also comes with a new firmware that adds a host of new features.

The cons of this router are that while it is less expensive than most advanced routers it still costs a hefty buck. Moreover, it is also not wall-mountable. The bottom line is that for advanced and professional users, the Asus RT-AC68U Dual-band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Router is worth every penny. The router has brilliant performance, solid build, and numerous useful features.

The router is not wall-mountable. But the speed, range, and interface are highly praised. There was a NAT loopback issue initially but Asus released a firmware to fix it. It is available on the Asus website.

TP-Link Archer C9 Wi-Fi Router

This router is relatively inexpensive, there’s very little lacking from its specification list. It supports 1300Mbps 802.11ac wireless speeds that will deliver maximum performance for just about all laptops currently on the market. Archer C9 is attractively designed and has great performance but the best part is that it is a good deal cheaper than its competitors.

It also has great software, powerful hardware and a bright white, inoffensive look that won’t look garish in the middle of your living room. Although the built-in modem only supports DSL, rather than VDSL 2, very little else has been left out, making this a solid value option.

At the back of the router, the selection of connections is nothing special but ticks all the crucial boxes. From left to right we’ve got the USB 2.0 port, WPS and reset button, the Ethernet socket that goes to your modem, four more gigabit Ethernet ports for the rest of your network and the power socket and switch. There is also a second USB port on the side, and this time, it’s USB 3.0. It is ideal for sharing files on your network from a USB drive. The one at the back is only USB 2.0.

Ultimately the Archer C9 is a great router at an affordable price. It offers good Wi-Fi speeds at long ranges and is easy to setup and use. Moreover, it provides rock-solid reliability and the feature set is great for the price.

The router is also very reliable. Users also say the real life tech support department actually listens to you and is very responsive. The interface is also easy to navigate.

Netgear R6220 Wireless Router

If you are looking for the best router you can possibly get for under $100 then Netgear R6220 is the one for you. This is a budget router that provides a relatively inexpensive way to bring wireless networking to your home. However, an affordable model like this one won’t offer you the same features as the Linksys EA7500. But still at $99.99 this router gives you your money’s worth.

This router comes with 802.11ac technology, a USB port, and user-friendly management setting. Its performance is great compared to other budget routers. It is slightly bigger in size than most routers and uses a glossy black enclosure with LED activity indicators on the top panel for power, Internet, Wi-Fi, wired ports, USB, and WPS.

The bottom line is that the Netgear AC1200 Smart Wi-Fi router is a great choice if you are looking for an affordable router that supports dual-band Wi-Fi networking. Even though it doesn’t have the latest MU-MIMO streaming technology it is a solid option. It’s managements settings are generous and will allow you to adjust the router according to your needs.

Most of the users find it is reliable and has great features. They like the performance and range of the Netgear R6220, especially given its price tag. Users also cite easy set-up as an added bonus.

Amped Wireless RTA 2600 Athena WiFi Router

If you are a gamer then the RTA 2600 Athena is built for you. Even the design of the router resembles something out of a space-based shooting game. The router is extremely customizable, letting you tailor its settings to maximize your online gaming. It can also handle video and music streaming on multiple devices while other computers passed data back and forth. Even in a crowded Wi-Fi environment, this router won’t suffer any stutters or freezes during your online gameplay.

RTA 2600 Athena comes with MU-MIMO streaming technology. It delivers solid performance and is especially great when multiple devices are using Wi-Fi simultaneously. It features a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, 128MB of flash storage and 512MB of DDR3 system memory. The router also supports USB 3.0 with one port on its right side, with another USB 2.0 port on the back.

The Amped Wireless Athena High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router RTA2600 is one of the few routers available in the market that supports the latest MU-MIMO technology. Tthe interface of the router is also user-friendly and responsive.  This router excels with multiple connected devices, but its competitors are faster and less expensive.

The Amped Wireless ATHENA, High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router earns kudos for its performance and range. The setup of the router is easy and it has fast connection speeds. Sometimes you get a connection from 600 feet away as well.

Netgear Nighthawk X8 WiFi Router

If you are a power user then look no further because we have just the right router for you and it is the triband Netgear Nighthawk X8. This router features six wired LAN ports for delivering gigabit traffic, and you can aggregate two of those for top-speed data transfers. You’ll find a slew of customization options, and the X8’s support for open-source DD-WRT firmware lets you add features at will.

Netgear Nighthawk X8 supports the latest Wi-Fi speed standard, AC5300. It mostly delivers fast Wi-Fi performance and has outstanding signal stability. However, it is crazy expensive and doesn’t necessarily deliver a better Wi-Fi experience than much cheaper routers. Currently, there are no clients on the market that can take advantage of the AC5300 speed standard and at launch the MU-MIMO feature is not activated. It has a tower design capped off by a LED ring at the top.

This router is also able to figure out which devices or data hogs via Dynamic QoS (Quality of Service). It allows you to create a priority list to re-apportion bandwidth. The bottom line is that only savvy power users with a high-end server in their network should consider the Netgear R8500.

Both the performance and setup is quite easier, though some customers have complained of software issues. The users also said that the router is quite large, larger than other routers.

Google TP-Link OnHub AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Router

Google entered the WiFi router market with the Google OnHub. This router is a dual-band model with a sleek design that looks nothing like a traditional router. It contains more than a dozen antennas and it uses a thoughtfully designed app to control certain network functions. The router’s tower-like design is compact enough and will blend in most homes. There are no external antennas in this router so it is a pleasing design.

The OnHub is an AC1900 router that can theoretically provide up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The OnHub had a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of eMMC flash storage, and 1GB of DDR3 memory. There are also six 2.4GHz antennas and six 5GHz antennas arranged in a circular pattern for maximum coverage in all directions, a reflector antenna that boosts signal strength, and a congestion sensing radio that continually polls wireless activity and changes channels to increase performance.

This router is best for large homes that have many connected devices. However, it is not without faults, the router has only one wired port and no PC/Web browser app. It also lacks many standard management options and some features have to be enabled. But, the Google OnHub makes it easy to bring dual-band 802.11ac networking to a large home and its discrete design is one of its greatest selling points.

Users using the Google OnHub love its range and easy setup, even if they find the price tag a little steep. Users with large homes and multiple devices especially like this router.

How can you secure your wireless router?

Like all other devices, wireless routers are also prone to interception and manipulation, which results in data leakage and privacy breaches. In fact, a hacker can launch a ‘worldwide’ attack after hacking your wireless router. Isn’t scary? Yes! it is.

However, you can arm yourself up against the possibilities of your wireless router being hacked. We’ve devised some strategic precautions down below. Adapt to these and you’ll end up with one secure-than-ever wireless router.

Close the network

One of the easiest ways anybody can hack into your router is by its lack of defenses. Do you ever need to enter a password or phrase prior to connecting to your network? If no, then your router is not secure. All it would take for anyone to be able to connect to your network is to be close enough for your SSID’s broadcast range.

You need to close your network—meaning: you need to enable a password prompt. This way, only those with whom you wish to share your password will be able to connect to your network. The rest won’t.

Change default password

A lot of hackers out there eventually break through your first and only line of defense by trial and error. Guessing a weak password is a walk in the park. Perhaps you should consider coming up with a stronger password? One that can’t be guessed in a few attempts?

For your password to be strong, you need to avoid all the password cliches, such as your name and your phone number. A strong password is considered to have a combination of alphanumeric characters, number, upper and lowercase letters. Make sure it is lengthy as well. You’ll need to memorize your password in case you accidentally dismiss your own SSID.

Opt for the right security scheme

You probably must have heard of WEP, WPA, and WPA2. These are security measures having varying strength and reliability. The Wireless Equivalent Privacy can be easily hacked because of its 24-bit initialization vector. We do not recommend its use.

The Wi-Fi Protected Access is a much better option, for it was made to address the flaws that were found in its predecessor. If you don’t have WPA2 available, you’re better off with this. But, if you can get your hands on WPA2, which has an advanced encryption and enhanced security, you should opt for it instead.

Disable remote administration

Upon enabling, remote administration grants access to anyone close enough to your router device to view or implement changes to your router’s settings. You should learn to not get too attached to remotely controlling and tweaking your router. As it can prove to be quite dangerous. Specifically if you’re not an advanced user.

However, the router settings can still be manned using any computer that is in direct connection to the router device. Which is both safer and not that much of problematic.

Change the default SSID name

It’s time to get a new name for your SSID. That ought to get a lid on your paranoia. The most common rookie error is naming your SSID after yourself or your family name. Also, after a particular thing you like. It’s very unhealthy.

Also avoid using your router’s brand name. This will aid hacker in applying hacking principles pertinent to that specific WiFi router. They do their homework and you should, too.

Come up with the most inconspicuous of SSID name that will send those hands scratching those headings if anyone wills to hack into your router. It is like going incognito, you’ll still be visible, but no one will know that it’s you.

Enable router firewall

You need to have as many layers of protection as possible. Enabling your router’s firewall—if not already enabled—does exactly that. Some routers have already activated firewalls, some don’t. What position is your router in?

Enable your router’s firewall and enjoy an additional line of defense.

Disable SSID broadcast

An obvious tell. If you’re broadcasting your SSID, meaning it can be seen by all nearby, unconnected devices searching for a network to connect to, you are more likely to be noticed and even more so of being hacked.

You need to disable your broadcast. However, this procedure is quite controversial. There is speculative debate over this measure being more a problem inducer than solver. To have an even footing where this strategy is concerned, you need to first have a little background knowledge of your router.

Turn Off Guest Networks

Abundant routers out there have this dual functionality option. It let’s you create two networks, one for yourself and another for your visitors. It is known that these oh-so welcoming and convenient guest networks aren’t secure at all. Which makes your router all the more vulnerable to attack during these networks are in use.

Consider turning off these networks. You’ll be ridding yourself from another security risk.

Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network incapacitates people to keep tabs on you by enabling private browsing. To activate a VPN, you need to subscribe yourself to one. But remember to use the secure VPN else you will face the same issues getting hacked and privacy breach.

How to upgrade your wireless router firmware

What people don’t know is that they can update their wireless router’s firmware instead of purchasing a new one. You need an update if and only if:

1. The factory version of your router came with a lot of incessant bugs that you’ve encountered during later usage.

2. If you’re in need of new features. A firmware update can appease you satisfactorily.

3. And your router itself is in need of its own updated firmware.

If you fit any of the above classifications, then climb aboard and update your firmware.

For a successful firmware update, you’re going to have to abide by the following steps:

1. Web-browse the latest firmware update for your router and the save the files on your computer.

2. Once you’ve unzipped the pack, use your browser and direct yourself to your router’s control page online or find it manually.

3. Log in with your username and your ID.

4. Look for the “tools” option and then search for the “update gateway” command. Open the downloaded firmware files on this page by searching for them and selecting them.

5. Click the “update gateway” button now and sit back and relax. After the update is complete, log out and then back in again.

6. It’s now time to use the kernel files you unzipped prior to step 2 along with the other files. Through the browse option, select these as well and hit upgrade.

7. You have successfully updated your firmware. All that needs to be done now is this: Reset your router by pressing its reset button. Use it after a minute or two.

How To Increase Your Wireless Router’s Speed and Range

Does your slow internet browsing baffle you to your core? You just can’t get your head wrapped around what could possibly be the initiator of this problem, can you? Some suggest that a possible factor is frequent internet usage and an overly accumulated browsing history. These can easily be dealt with.

What you don’t know is that if you make some adjustments to your wireless router, you might be able to speed up your browsing and your router’s range.

Here’s what we suggest:

1. Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

This one is straight from the book. You need to have the latest Wi-Fi technologies—meaning, you need to have an up-to-date hardware and firmware. Take a look at what the computer connoisseurs out there have to say about this and then adapt accordingly.

2. Look For the Perfect Spot for Your Router

No rocket science. Placing a router centrally, and high just enough for you to reach it does most of the trick. It is also advised to not keep it in close proximity to a microwave or any magnetic object. Make sure no wall is close enough to where you’re trying to access signals from. Also, try readjusting the antenna, either horizontally or exclusively vertically.

3. Determine the Right Wireless Channel

A router works on a number of wireless channels. The specifications of yours are available for perusal. Find out what channel your router is built to use and also if you can tailor it to follow some other channel.

4. Shut Out Other Appliances

You don’t need another router to intercept or interfere with the signals of yours. Cordless devices that are in close range can pull that off. Do your duty to your router and keep it someplace else, away from such devices. Or try investing in a dual band router.

5. Secure Up Your Wi-Fi

Is your Wi-Fi password protected? Make sure it is. Because if it isn’t, then you’re simply allowing God-knows-who to reap the benefits of your poor little, unprotected network. This is listed as one of the primary factors of slow internet browsing.

Password-protect your router and see the magic happen.

6. Bandwidth-Hoggers

Very much like the proverbial saying, too much of bandwidth-hogging can slow your speed down to an irritating low. If someone in your house video-chats, plays games, and watches movies online all too much, then they don’t know that they’re slowing down the speed for the others.

Reducing this frequent usage to a justified minimum will save you.

7. DIY Way

Try out some exceptionally weird but optimistically helpful DIY hacks to gain some speed. There are tons of those out there. Most of them require the use of household items and whatnot. Cut open a can and place it around your antenna like a satellite, for example. As absurd as it sounds, people have reported this little activity provided a little bit of juice, if not a whole lot, and their routers sped up a little.

8. The DD-WRT Firmware

Updating your router to the DD-WRT firmware is something you should consider looking into. This firmware is notorious—in a good way—for providing you with a multitude of enhanced features and the oh-so-exhilarating speed you’re after.

9. Set a Sleeping and Waking Up Schedule For Your Router

You can nanny your router to give you the speed you need as well. If a router is constantly working, it won’t work with as much finesse like it started after a couple of hours. The same cannot be said for all the routers out there. But this could be what your problem is. Also, excessive downloading and exploiting router usage can be the cause of your router’s turtle-pace.

Set a rebooting schedule for your router. You can open and close it manually if your router is lacking the feature. This ought to help.

The full article can be viewed here: http://mobilesiri.com/best-wireless-routers/

Microtechs Specialist White label Wi-Fi Support

Supporting some of the largest Wi-Fi providers in the UK, Microtechs prides itself with the ability to adapt between end user and staff support. Constantly monitoring staffing levels, to ensure seasonal fluctuations do not affect our service levels.

Some of our clients include major UK airports, hotel chains, holiday parks and shopping centres.

Manufacturers and distributors of Wi-Fi and other cloud based products, also use our helpdesk to provide support to a wide range of resellers.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

Having trouble getting a solid, reliable Wi-Fi signal in some parts of your home? A Wi-Fi repeater could be the solution for you.

 A Wi-Fi repeater or extender is used to extend the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network. It works by receiving your existing Wi-Fi signal, amplifying it and then transmitting the boosted signal. With a Wi-Fi repeater you can effectively double the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network - reaching far corners of your home or office, different floors, or even extend coverage to your yard.

What’s the difference between a Wi-Fi booster, repeater, or extender?

Wi-Fi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are mostly the same thing - devices to improve Wi-Fi coverage. There isn’t a clearly defined difference between devices that manufacturers describe as “repeaters” and devices described as “extenders”. However, not all Wi-Fi extenders work in the exact same way. There are several different kinds of devices available and below we aim to explain what those differences are and how they work, so that you can choose the best Wi-Fi repeater for your circumstances.

I have trouble getting Wi-Fi signal in some corners of my house. What should I try first?

There are a couple of solutions to try before opting for a Wi-Fi extender. The simplest is to try moving the location of your Wi-Fi router. It should be in the most central location possible. If that doesn’t help (or if changing location just isn’t practical) check if your router needs to be upgraded. If you’ve had an older model for many years, it could be time for an upgrade to a more powerful model.

One of the best options for a new router is the Archer C9 AC1900 Router from TP-LINK which offers 802.11ac, the next generation of Wi-Fi. It's a dual band router with ultrafast dual core processors and four gigabit Ethernet ports for use with Smart TVs or game consoles. It comes with unique Beamforming technology. This technology allows the routers to concentrate the Wi-Fi signal towards your Wi-Fi devices. By targeting the Wi-Fi signal to where it’s being used, the speed and performance of your network is greatly increased.

b2ap3_thumbnail_wireless-extender.JPG

My Wi-Fi is in the best location possible! My router is up-to-date! But my coverage is still unreliable!

Okay, a Wi-Fi extender could be the solution for you! There are a couple of different options. One of the most straightforward is a powerline Ethernet kit like this starter kit from Zyxel. The kit allows you to send your internet signal over the electrical circuit in your home or office. It comes with 2 adapters; one plugs into a power socket near your current router, and the other in the location where you need signal. Connect the first one to your router using an Ethernet cable, and connect the second to an Ethernet device (e.g. a Smart TV or games console). The second adapter could also be connected to a Wi-Fi router for a second Wi-Fi network.

The great advantage to this solution is that it is fast. Firstly, it’s fast to set up. You plug and go. You could try to recreate the kit with dozens of feet of Ethernet cables, but that involves drilling holes in the walls and running cabling throughout the house - and you won’t be able to unplug and move your setup around easily. Secondly, it’s fast in bandwidth terms. An extender that uses Wi-Fi will usually see some speed loss. Because they’re communicating with the router over Wi-Fi, there’s a big speed drop if the extender talks to your devices on the same band it’s using to talk to the router. There are ways to get around this (see below!) but the powerline Ethernet kit bypasses the whole problem. By using the existing electrical circuit in your house, you create a link from your Wi-Fi router to your device that is faster than Wi-Fi and can be set up in just a few minutes.

This is a particularly great solution if, for example, you had a games console in the basement that wasn’t getting sufficiently fast or reliable signal. The kit can plug right into the console’s Ethernet connection and connect it to the router in another part of the house.

But powerline Ethernet adapters aren’t for everybody. The distance between power outlets can have an impact on performance, and so can the kind of wiring you have in your house. If a powerline Ethernet adapter isn’t right for you, we recommend considering a Wi-Fi repeater.

How Does A Wi-Fi Repeater Work?

A Wi-Fi Repeater effectively contains two wireless routers, similar to the wireless router you already have in your home or office. One of these wireless routers picks up the existing Wi-Fi network. It then transfers the signal to the other wireless router, which transmits the boosted signal.

How Do I Install A Wi-Fi Repeater?

Wi-Fi Repeaters are very easy to install. All you have to do is place the repeater in a location that can receive your existing Wi-Fi network, and then attach the power supply. You can then log into the Wi-Fi repeater via your computer, and input the login details and password of your existing Wi-Fi network, to allow the Wi-Fi repeater to connect and extend.

Got a tricky situation like a pool house in your garden? No problem! There are weatherproof Wi-Fi repeaters like the Hawking Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Repeater that can be placed outside, boosting signal throughout your property. This kit is very flexible and can be moved easily. For example, if you are RVing and the campsite has weak Wi-Fi signal, this repeater can be fixed to the roof of your RV to boost the signal inside.

Will my laptop/mobile device switch between networks automatically?

Only if you go entirely out of range of the first network. A Wi-Fi repeater creates a second network. If your first network is not available, your device will connect to the second. But in some parts of your house, your device will be able to detect both networks at the same time. This means that if you wish to change from the original network to the boosted network you will have to disconnect and then reconnect.

Will the repeated network be secure?

Yes. Wi-Fi repeaters offer the same levels of security as traditional Wi-Fi routers (WEP, WPA, WPA2 etc).

What about that speed loss we talked about earlier?

All Wi-Fi repeaters have some speed loss, but some are much worse than others. Wi-Fi repeaters work by receiving wireless signal and rebroadcasting it, but single band repeaters have to receive, then retransmit each packet of data using the same radio on the same channel. This can cost single band repeaters 50% of their bandwidth.

Dual band repeaters get around this by connecting to the router on one band and outputting a Wi-Fi signal on the other. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi extender uses FastLane technology to improve performance using both Wi-Fi bands. A fast processor also really helps (the Nighthawk has a Dual core 1GHz processor) by enabling maximum Wi-Fi throughput.

 

One final feature that helps reduce speed loss is dual radios. If the device has dual radios, it can speak to the main router on lower channels, and then rebroadcast on higher channels. The Hawking Dual Radio Smart Repeater (HW2R1) uses two Wi-Fi radios. One Wi-Fi radio receives the signal and the other radio rebroadcasts the boosted signal. This clever design allows the boosted signal to utilize a different Wi-Fi channel, which greatly increases performance compared to single radio repeaters. The Smart Repeater Pro also has a very powerful high gain antenna that can pick up even very weak Wi-Fi signals, and it rebroadcasts that signal on two powerful 3dBi omni-directional antennas.

https://www.repeaterstore.com/pages/wifi-booster-repeater-extender-differences

Picture credit: Repeaterstore.com

Microtechs Specialist White label Wi-Fi Support

Supporting some of the largest Wi-Fi providers in the UK, Microtechs prides itself with the ability to adapt between end user and staff support. Constantly monitoring staffing levels, to ensure seasonal fluctuations do not affect our service levels.

Some of our clients include major UK airports, hotel chains, holiday parks and shopping centres.

Manufacturers and distributors of Wi-Fi and other cloud based products, also use our helpdesk to provide support to a wide range of resellers.

Feel free to call our friendly solutions team, who will be happy to discuss further and help tailor a solution to you.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

CONTACT US

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