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Describing the 5G vision to be more prolific than initially realised, Lindsay Notwell, VP 5G Strategy at Cradlepoint, clarifies why both network and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie.

Article and image via http://networkcommunicationsnews.co.uk/2017/12/5g-sparks-new-possibilities/

BY JESSICA FOREMAN

There is certainly huge hype around 5G. Billed by Qualcomm as a next generation network with the potential to be as transformative as electricity itself, both network operators and technology companies are excited to get a slice of the 5G pie.

It is the vision for this new 5G world – a combination of various technologies that will create the next generation wide area network (WAN) needed to support the world’s growing connectivity needs. The GSMA, which tracks the number of mobile devices worldwide, estimates that there are more than 5 billion mobile devices being used by people around the world. This represents 93% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since mobile phones were introduced in the early 1980s.  By the end of 2017, Gartner predicts the number of connected ‘things’ globally will reach 8.4 billion, projecting 21 billion by the year 2020.

The next generation WAN will have all the features of 4G, plus capacity for massive mobile data. It will offer the voice, video and mobile data features of 3G. It will include Wi-Fi spectrum, and offer 2G-like for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and long battery life. With virtually zero latency and gigabit throughput, these features will together form the next generation 5G WAN.

Work in progress

As this vision becomes clearer, so does the realisation that it will be some time before this technology becomes a full reality.  We are still in a pre-standards phase for 5G.  But whilst an agreed specification is not expected until 2019, network operators are already conducting 5G trials today using pre-standard architecture – in the hopes of driving the full standard, and being first to market.

One new technology being used is ‘millimetre wave’ spectrum, a very high frequency spectrum ranging from 6 to 100GHz – which is most effective for point-to-point wireless communication. The spectrum effectively carries data, but is inadequate in its quest to penetrate solid objects. Once specification is set, operators are being able to combine millimetre wave spectrum with sub-6GHz spectrum, which is what all Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) and Wi-Fi are deployed in today.  Whilst this carries less data, it is much better for penetrating buildings and provides standards for cell-site handoff.

Operators now test pre- specification; however, this is only a temporary solution with a few restrictions. The current 5G trials include no interoperability between carriers and no mobility – so it’s good for Fixed Wireless Access, but widespread 5G device adoption is still a long way off.  The potential benefits of 5G technology, nevertheless, are huge: less latency with more throughput, connection density, spectrum efficiency, traffic capacity, and network efficiency — all of which is achievable within the next couple of years.

Bigger, better, faster

The ultra-low latency requirements of 5G will cause operators to re-architect current networks, distributing their centralised routing engines to the network edge.  In addition, the IoT industry, which primarily occupies the low bitrate range, is expecting new standards such as NB-IoT, CAT-M1 and CAT1, enabling lower cost devices with longer battery life and further reach.

To manage the next generation network, companies will need to consider the value of hardware combined with software-defined networking (SDN) technology. Enabling this on the next generation 5G WAN will be a fundamental framework that securely connects all of the people and IoT devices around the world, while providing the capacity to process the huge volumes of data being generated.

Many organisations are already deploying SDN to increase bandwidth and lower costs in their corporate networks. This fundamentally changes not just how networks are built and managed, but how they evolve. It makes networks more agile and efficient, enabling new functionality to be deployed on a much more agile basis, rather than on a hardware-constrained timeline.

This will be crucial in delivering the vision of 5G, which has the potential to make a real impact in life-saving areas and applications. The reduced latency will transform areas such as remote surgery, where remote controlled robotics can be controlled wirelessly in real-time. These applications are currently limited to a wired environment; 5G will extend high-performance connectivity to a wide array of devices. 5G will be more than just higher speeds and lower latency; it will offer the higher connection density central to IoT maturity.

For IoT to reach its fullest potential, intelligence, processing power and communication capabilities need to travel quickly and effortless across networks, mobile devices and connected sensors. But new, software-based networks will be needed to handle 5G’s throughput capabilities and massive scalability.

The information superhighway

The amount of data being generated by IoT devices is already growing significantly faster than the ability of the network to process it.  5G will only make this problem exponentially worse.

The cloud is a vital part of the IoT ecosystem for its ability to store, process and analyse data at a massive scale, but the substantial increase in data generation from IoT poses both infrastructure and economic problems. Rather than trying to move all this data to the cloud, we need to find ways of moving data processing intelligence to the source of the data – before it hits the cloud. Edge Computing – otherwise known as Fog Computing – will pay a key role here.  This brings some of the processing to where the data is generated, rather than moving all of the data to the cloud to be processed.

Bringing computing power to the Edge of the network helps address the challenge of data build-up, mostly in closed IoT systems. The ultimate goal is to minimise cost and latency, and to control network bandwidth. A major benefit is the reduction of data needing to be stored in the cloud. It costs around £3,000 per petabyte for long-term cloud storage and around 10 times that for real-time access storage. Being able to use a technology to reduce these costs is a real benefit for businesses.

This also reduces the lag that can occur between data transmission, processing, and the action required at the end. For example, since cloud data centres can be hundreds – if not thousands – of miles away from a connected device, this round-trip latency can be tens to hundreds of milliseconds. For IoT use cases like robotic control, autonomous vehicles and precision manufacturing, increased latency at these levels can be a relative lifetime. Bringing computing power to the Edge of the network can reduce the cycle to just a few milliseconds.

A wide reach

For IoT to reach its full potential, intelligence, processing power and communication capabilities need to travel quickly and effortless across networks, mobile devices and connected sensors.

 

While there are many components, 5G will be a central part of this solution. It could be the light at the end of the tunnel for unlimited wireless network bandwidth and performance. While the specification is yet to come, the vision for 5G is set, and it will likely be more prolific than anything we’ve seen before.

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One third (32%) of IT professionals in a new survey plan to find a new employer in 2018.

According to Spiceworks’ 2018 IT Career Outlook, 75% of those planning to switch jobs are seeking a better salary, 70% are looking to advance their skills and 39% want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.

In terms of the tech skills necessary to be successful next year, 81% of respondents said it’s critical to have cybersecurity expertise. At least 75% of IT professionals also said it’s critical to have expertise in networking, infrastructure hardware, end-user devices, and storage and backup.

However, when asked to rate their expertise in each area, only 19% of IT pros reported having advanced cybersecurity knowledge. When comparing generations, the results show 15% of millennials reported having advanced cybersecurity skills compared to 22% of Gen X and 26% of baby boomers.

The results also show that 7% of IT professionals plan to start working as a consultant, 5% plan to leave the IT industry altogether and 2% plan to retire in 2018. Additionally, 51% of respondents expect a raise from their current employer next year, while one-fifth (21%) also expect a promotion.

About a quarter (24%) of IT professionals aren’t expecting any career changes or a raise next year.

When examining the data by generation, the results show 36% of millennial IT professionals plan to search for or take a new job next year, compared to 32% of Gen X and 23% of baby boomers. In comparison to older generations, the survey shows that millennial IT professionals are more likely to leave their current employer to find a better salary, advance their skills, work for a more talented team and receive better employee perks. Conversely, Gen X IT professionals are more likely to seek a better work-life balance, while baby boomers are more likely to leave their employer due to burnout.

Interestingly, the survey shows 70% of IT professionals are satisfied with their current jobs, but 63% believe they’re underpaid. This rate is even higher among millennials. About 68% of millennial IT professionals feel underpaid, compared to 60% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers.

Despite feeling underpaid, IT professionals have a positive outlook on the job market next year, leading many to search for new opportunities. In fact, 36% of IT professionals believe the IT job market will improve in 2018, while 51% believe it will stay the same and only 13% believe it will get worse.

In terms of how much IT professionals are paid, the results show millennials are paid a median income of $50,000 per year, while Gen X IT professionals are paid $65,000 and baby boomers are paid $70,000. However, millennial IT professionals have an average of seven years of experience compared to 17 years among Gen X and 25 years among baby boomers.

“Although the majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs, many also believe they should be making more money, and will take the initiative to find an employer who is willing to pay them what they’re worth in 2018,” said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. “Many IT professionals are also motivated to change jobs to advance their skills, particularly in cybersecurity. As data breaches and ransomware outbreaks continue to haunt businesses, IT professionals recognize there is high demand for skilled security professionals now, and in the years to come.”

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

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/onethird-of-it-pros-plan-to-switch/

Picture credit – Getty Images

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With increasing UK cities providing free gigabit Wi-Fi, can hotels still justify charging guests for substandard Wi-Fi Services?

Research has found that many UK hotels are buckling under the pressure to cope with the number of devices connecting to a singular network. Produced by Zyxel, wireless communication experts, research found 9 out of 10 UK hotels believe that delivering Wi-Fi services to guests should still be chargeable, regardless of how fast the service.

With the inherent demand for instant connection and constant accessibility being an ever-prevalent attitude amongst society, it may come as a surprise that 18% of UK hotels (the highest figure in Europe) are still limiting and or charging for Wi-Fi access. On that statistic alone a question of whether European guests (particularly those that travel for business) are at risk of being disappointed by the UK hotel industry.

The study consisted of 405 hoteliers in 10 European markets, showing that a quarter of UK hotels installed Wi-Fi to make themselves more attractive to international guests, more than any other region surveyed. In spite of this, 41% of UK hotels admit they still struggle to cope with the number of connected devices, second only to Italy at 65%.

These figures come from Zyxel’s Connected Hospitality Report: Europe, which investigates how the hospitality sector in Western Europe is using Wi-Fi to support guests’ increasingly connected lifestyles.

UK hotels in particular had a high proportion of hotel guests staying over for business purposes, with 75% of hotels saying this group made up at least half of their customer base. Notably, business customers often need Wi-Fi for critical use cases and extended periods, meaning poor connections or usage caps are bound to cause frustration.

Jannik Hargaard, president of Europe at Zyxel, comments, “In a world where hotel bookings are directly related to scores on TripAdvisor, small frustrations can have a significant impact on revenue over time. Almost all guests now expect free Wi-Fi for everything from uploading holiday snaps to sending emails, making these services essential. In an attempt to squeeze out extra revenue through charging for connectivity, hotels could be shooting themselves in the foot as competitors provide a better service.”

Of all the regions surveyed, the UK has the highest proportion of hoteliers that are using Wi-Fi as an additional revenue source, or considering to do so at 38% – well above the European average of 23%. The UK also has the highest rate of hotels looking to provide free Wi-Fi in the future (27%), a personalised mobile app (20%), or an upgrade to their website (36%).

Jannik continues, “When looking to monetise Wi-Fi networks, it’s important that hotels think about the bigger picture before charging for usage. Free Wi-Fi allows hotels to communicate deals with their guests, opens up the market to business customers and allows up-selling of media services and travel packages. Importantly, providing personalised services and a great experience drives guest loyalty.”

The underlying reasons for many Wi-Fi issues are made apparent by the fact almost half (49%) of the hoteliers questioned either did not have, or did not know if they had, a site survey prior to installation. Figures also highlighted that 15%of installations were completed by the hotel manager or another member of staff, rather than an IT professional.

“Every hotel is different and each presents particular challenges to the deployment of an effective Wi-Fi network, “says Jannik. “Common problems include distance from access points, the thickness of walls and so on. Hoteliers are clearly not installing Wi-Fi that fits the needs of their building environment, or their guests, which is why they’re struggling with demand.”

BY JESSICA FOREMAN

http://networkcommunicationsnews.co.uk/2017/11/struggling-substandard-wi-fi-services/

picture credit: thebudgettraveller.org

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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

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Fully remove a VPN and clean up afterwards on your Windows PC

Most VPN providers make big claims about their ‘no logging’ policy, and how they don't maintain the slightest trace of anything you do online.

What these companies don't always explain is that VPNs (including free VPNs) can keep detailed logs on your PC, often including account details, session connect and disconnect times, and the names of any servers you've accessed.

Often there's no automated way to remove this information. Even uninstalling the VPN will usually leave at least some traces behind, and there are plenty more clues to your activities in Windows' various network histories. Most could remain on your system for years.

Whether this is any kind of privacy risk depends on your situation. If others have access to your PC, or maybe you're running a VPN on a work computer, maybe; if it's your own system, probably not.

Whatever your circumstances, it's interesting to see what a PC might hold regarding your VPN history. Deleting ancient network remnants brings benefits of its own, too, freeing up resources, simplifying your network settings and maybe reducing the chance of problems occurring with other networking software.

Bear in mind that there are risks involved with this kind of low-level clean-up. Accidentally deleting something important could cripple your PC. Be very careful, and don't wipe anything unless your system is fully backed up, and you've got the tools and experience to recover the computer if anything goes wrong.

So, let’s look in detail at how to go about uninstalling your VPN software and subsequently cleaning up after that process. Note that you don’t have to follow all these steps, at least beyond the first and primary uninstallation process. You can be as thorough – or not – as you like.

And if you’re not confident with some of the more involved elements – like editing the Registry – then it’s probably best to skip these steps. Furthermore, some of the latter steps will only really apply to those who are extremely privacy-conscious, as you’ll see when you read through.

Uninstall VPN clients

The first step in removing a VPN is to clear away its client.

Start by finding where the program files are stored on your hard drive. Open a client window, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch Task Manager, right-click the app name and select Open File Location. Make a note of the folder name – you'll need it later.

Close the client completely (don't just minimize it), then try to uninstall it from the regular Control Panel applet (Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall a Program).

The installed programs list might also include a TAP driver (a virtual network adapter) for your VPN provider. If the list is sorted alphabetically, scroll to the T's and look for items beginning 'TAP-' (our test system included TAP-NordVPN and TAP-ProtonVPN). Remove these by right-clicking and selecting Uninstall.

If you don't find anything, search your system for the VPN name and look for an Uninstall shortcut.

Once you've run the regular uninstaller and removed any associated TAP files, reboot your PC to make sure Windows is able to delete locked program files.

Remove local logs

Uninstalling a VPN won't necessarily remove all of its files. There are often plenty of leftovers, ranging from stray DLLs to detailed logs of all your recent VPN connections.

Open the client folder you noted in the previous step, if it still exists, and search your system for folders with similar names. Investigate these to see what's left, and whether the folders can safely be deleted.

You could also manually browse for files in the most likely locations: \Program Files, \Program Files (x86), \ProgramData, \Users\<username>\AppData\Local, \Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming.

If you don't see the ProgramData or AppData folders, launch Control Panel, go to File Explorer Options and make sure 'Show hidden files, folders and drives' is selected.

Depending on your setup, you might have a separate installation of OpenVPN, the open source client used by many pieces of VPN software to manage their connections.  Look for a \Users\[Username]\OpenVPN\Log folder and delete any log files you don't need. Which can be all of them, if you like – the files are just for troubleshooting, and it's safe to remove them.

Registry references

Windows VPN clients often store at least some of their settings in the Windows Registry. At least some of these may survive the uninstaller, and they can sometimes give away details of your account or connection history.

Another quick warning here: always be very careful when editing the Registry.

To begin, launch REGEDIT and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE. Scroll through each set of keys, looking for anything relating to VPNs that you have uninstalled.

Typically you won't find very much. Our test system had leftover keys relating to ExpressVPN, IPVanish, IVPN, ProtonVPN, SecureVPN and VyprVPN (Golden Frog), but these were all either empty or contained nothing of interest.

Others may be more significant. NordVPN had some IP addresses, Windscribe left all our settings and the last external IP address, and FrootVPN and Anonine left data including our usernames and encrypted password.

Whatever you find, if you're sure it's no longer necessary then you can remove it by right-clicking the key in the left-hand pane and selecting Delete. As we already mentioned, when editing the Registry, be cautious – accidentally deleting the wrong item could cause all kinds of problems.

Network adapters

Windows VPN clients work by setting up virtual network adapters for your other applications to use. These are often left behind when you uninstall a VPN, unfortunately, cluttering your network settings and occasionally conflicting with other software.

Launch Device Manager (press Win+R, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter) and click the arrow to the left of 'Network adapters' to display everything installed on your system.

VPN-related adapters usually include TAP in the name (a virtual network adapter standard) and the service name, which makes them easy to spot. Our test system had 'ibVPN Tap Adapter', 'SwitchVPN Tap Adapter' and 'TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter V9', for instance.

Our system also had the more vaguely named 'VPN Client Adapter - VPN'. If you're not sure where a network adapter has come from, double-click it, choose the Driver tab and look at the Driver Provider and Digital Signer items. These typically show the name of the service and the company behind it.

As a cross-check, select the Events tab and scroll to the bottom of the list. If the last event was a long time ago this might indicate that the adapter is no longer used, although this isn't guaranteed.

If you're confident an adapter is no longer necessary, and you're also happy you know how to fix the problem if you're wrong (reinstall it, use a system restore point, or something else), right-click it, select Uninstall Device and check the box to 'Delete the driver software for this device.'

Event logs

The Windows event logs typically record a vast amount of detail on your PC activities, and these can include basic details of a VPN session: connect and disconnect times, and the VPN server you accessed.

This only applies to native Windows VPN protocols – IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP – and the OpenVPN connections used by most VPN clients won't be covered.  Anything that is logged will be overwritten after a few days, too, as new Windows events overwrite the old ones. Still, if you're looking to maintain maximum privacy it might be worth checking what's being recorded on your system.

Launch Event Viewer (press Win+R, type eventvwr.msc and press Enter) to begin.

In Windows 10, click Action > Create Custom View. Expand the Event Logs list, then Windows Logs, and check the Application and System boxes.

Expand the Event Sources list and check the RasClient, Rasman and RasSstp boxes.

Click OK, give the filter a name of Connection Events and click OK.

Event Viewer should now add your Connection Events view to the Custom Views section in the left-hand pane, and display all events from the RasMan, RasClient and RasSstp sources.

Now scroll down the list and look at the details of each event.

There aren't any details? Click View and make sure the Preview Pane option is selected.

In some cases you will see RasMan events recording connect and disconnect times for named VPNs over the past few days. RasClient events may go further, including the name of the VPN server you're accessing.

Does this matter? If you're using your own computer, and no-one else has access to it, probably not. But if you're looking for maximum privacy, you can delete this history by right-clicking the Application and System logs and selecting Clear Log.

Event logs

The Windows event logs typically record a vast amount of detail on your PC activities, and these can include basic details of a VPN session: connect and disconnect times, and the VPN server you accessed.

This only applies to native Windows VPN protocols – IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP – and the OpenVPN connections used by most VPN clients won't be covered.  Anything that is logged will be overwritten after a few days, too, as new Windows events overwrite the old ones. Still, if you're looking to maintain maximum privacy it might be worth checking what's being recorded on your system.

Launch Event Viewer (press Win+R, type eventvwr.msc and press Enter) to begin.

In Windows 10, click Action > Create Custom View. Expand the Event Logs list, then Windows Logs, and check the Application and System boxes.

Expand the Event Sources list and check the RasClient, Rasman and RasSstp boxes.

Click OK, give the filter a name of Connection Events and click OK.

Event Viewer should now add your Connection Events view to the Custom Views section in the left-hand pane, and display all events from the RasMan, RasClient and RasSstp sources.

Now scroll down the list and look at the details of each event.

There aren't any details? Click View and make sure the Preview Pane option is selected.

In some cases you will see RasMan events recording connect and disconnect times for named VPNs over the past few days. RasClient events may go further, including the name of the VPN server you're accessing.

Does this matter? If you're using your own computer, and no-one else has access to it, probably not. But if you're looking for maximum privacy, you can delete this history by right-clicking the Application and System logs and selecting Clear Log.

Windows network profiles

Windows maintains profiles of some of the networks you access, optionally including your logon details, making it easier to reconnect later.

The privacy impact of this is small, but it could allow snoopers to see which VPNs you've used and when, months or even years after any client was uninstalled.

On Windows 10, press Win+I to open the Settings dialog and click 'Network & Internet'. (If you're on an earlier version of Windows, you can also view your network profiles from the Control Panel 'Internet Options' applet.)

Click VPN in the left-hand pane to view any VPN profiles. These only list basic L2TP and PPTP connections, and as most VPNs use OpenVPN there's a chance you'll see nothing at all.

Most profiles will be easy to recognize. Our test system listed 'IPVanish VPN (L2TP)' and 'IPVanish VPN (PPTP)', for instance, clearly left over from a previous IPVanish installation.

If you're unsure how a profile is used, select it and click Advanced Options. This displays properties including the server name, and optionally the username and password, which may give you some clues.

If you've found a profile which you'd like to delete, click it and select Remove.

This article is about cleaning up VPN records, but you can apply the same principle to remove stored wireless network profiles. If you're interested, click Wi-Fi in the left-hand pane (on Windows 10) and click Manage Known Networks to view and delete stored profiles.

System drivers

Set up a VPN on a PC and it will often install one or more system drivers. Uninstalling the VPN won't necessarily remove the drivers, though, so it could be worth checking out your computer for any leftovers.

Launch the System Information applet (press Win+R, type msinfo32.exe, press Enter), expand Software Environment and click System Drivers to see the installed drivers on your system. Scroll down the driver descriptions, looking for anything that relates to a VPN you've tried before but subsequently uninstalled.

Examples of leftovers on our test system included 'Astrill SSL VPN Adapter' and 'Phantom TAP-Windows Adapter V9'.

If you find anything, check its values in the Started and State columns. If these show the driver has started and is in the running state, that suggests the VPN has an installed device and perhaps other software. Check our earlier instructions to make sure you have removed any clients and virtual network adapters.

If the table tells you the driver is in the 'Stopped' state, and hasn't started, then that indicates it's not being used right now. The safest option is still to leave it alone, but you can try to remove a driver if you're sure it won't be needed again.

First, open an elevated command line (search for Command, right-click Command Prompt, select Run as Administrator).

Type PNPUTIL -e and press Enter to display all the third-party drivers installed on your system.

Browse the list looking for package providers which match the drivers you noticed earlier, then look for their 'published name'. On our test system, the package provider 'Phanton TAP-Windows Provider V9' had a published name of oem103.inf.

To remove a driver, use the pnputil command with its delete-driver option and the published name. For our example, that meant typing:

pnputil /delete-driver oem103.inf /uninstall

Replace oem103.inf with the published name of your driver, then reboot and check the results.

Network history

Windows records some basic details on every network you access, even if it's via a VPN. There's not much recorded – a name, the first and most recent connection dates – and having this information around won't cause you any technical issues. Still, it could tell others a lot about how the system has been used, and if you're really concerned about privacy you might want to clear it away.

Launch REGEDIT, browse to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles and scroll through the subkeys in the left-hand pane.

Look at the Description value to identify each item. On our test system, some of these represented system network adapters ('Local Area Connection'), others were hotspots we had had accessed ('Premier Inn Ultimate Wi-Fi'), but others clearly belonged to VPNs ('GooseVPN', 'PureVPN', 'IPVanish VPN').

If you see a profile representing a VPN or network you're sure you'll never use again, you can remove it by right-clicking the profile in the left-hand pane and selecting Delete.

A related list at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\Unmanaged provides more details on the same networks. Scroll it to see everything you've accessed, check the descriptions, and delete any keys you no longer need.

A final Connections key at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Connections records basic connection settings for your regular network adapters and any virtual adapters (VPNs) you might have installed.

It's safe to delete keys for VPNs you no longer use, but be sure to leave the system connections alone. On our test system, these included DefaultConnectionSettings, LAN Connection and SavedLegacySettings, but you may have others, and it's very important they remain untouched.

Check out the best VPN services of 2017 and visit thebestvpnfor.me to get the best VPN deals on the market

http://www.techradar.com/how-to/how-to-uninstall-a-vpn-the-correct-way

Written by Mike Williams

Picture credit: webopedia.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 help desk 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 help desk 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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The number of High Court cases in which sensitive corporate data has been stolen by employees has increased by 25% in a year, according to a London law firm.

EMW senior solicitor, Felix Dodd, claimed that an increase in staff turnover could be the cause of the rise, from 40 cases in 2015 to 50 last year.

In other words, malicious insiders are deliberately taking customer databases, sensitive financial information and the like with them to help with their new roles.

He added that the ubiquity of smartphones and cloud storage platforms has made the process far simpler without raising suspicion.

In the financial services sector, firms need to guard their proprietary algorithms with care, while recruiters and estate agents are more likely to be affected by the loss of client databases, said Dodd.

“Theft of confidential data has become such a widespread concern for firms in the City that many of them ban their employees from sending work emails to their personal accounts, and some now even disable some functions on their employees’ smartphones,” he explained.

“Bigger businesses should have the systems in place to be able to monitor activity like this effectively, but a lot of smaller businesses might not have the budget or skills to track what their employees are doing with sensitive data.”

This year a former employee of aviation cleaning company, OCS Group UK, was jailed after sending confidential information to his personal email address, breaking the terms of a court order. Meanwhile, investment management firm, Marathon Asset Management, won a case against two former employees who breached their contracts by copying and retaining key files.

Head of employment at Lennons, Leah Waller, argued that the increase in High Court cases could be down to the fact that firms can now apply for compensation by way of damages rather than being forced to bring a criminal action for theft.

“With technology advancing at an incredible speed, and the majority of information now being stored electronically with easy access, the instances of employees, especially those that leave on bad terms, taking confidential information is likely to continue to increase and as such the number of claims in the High Court will continue to rise,” she added.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, argued that the insider threat is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses.

“Employees rank at the very top of the list of threats to data and systems,” he added.

“Their motivations are often hard to predict and anticipate, ranging from a desire for financial gain to disaffection, coercion and simple carelessness. When insider-assisted attacks do occur, the impact of such attacks can be devastating as they provide a direct route to the most valuable information – customer data.”

To mitigate the threat, Emm recommended a combination of staff education, threat intelligence services, restricted access to key systems and regular security audits.

Written by Phil Muncaster UK / EMEA News Reporter , Infosecurity Magazine

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/insider-data-theft-court-cases/

Picture credit: http://www.channeltimes.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 meeting? No problem, your help desk 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.

 

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Modern website browsers provide an incredibly broad range of features, with more and more capabilities being added every day.

New research by computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified numerous browser functionalities rarely used or needed by websites, but which pose substantial security and privacy risks to web surfers. Blocking website access to unnecessary browser functionality would help reduce these risks.

Peter Snyder, a graduate student of computer science at UIC, and his colleagues looked at the costs and benefits associated with websites having access to 74 different types of functionality (collectively called web application programming interface, or API). They measured how frequently each of these features was used on websites, and how likely each was to pose a risk to security or privacy. Features with a low benefit to users, but a high security risk, were flagged as those that could be blocked to improve security, Snyder explained.

"For example, browsers allow websites to perform low-level graphics calculations," said Snyder. "We found that this functionality is rarely used on honest websites, but that malicious sites can use it to harm users' privacy and security." Allowing all websites to access this feature is "a bad cost-benefit trade-off," Snyder explained.

Other examples of high-risk, low-benefit functionality the researchers uncovered included code that lets browsers detect light levels in a room, perform fine-grained timing operations and perform advanced audio synthesis operations.

Snyder and his colleagues will present their findings at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Dallas on October 31.

In their analysis, the researchers used Firefox as their test browser, since it is the most popular, fully open-source browser. Findings from the Firefox browser should generalize to other browsers, Snyder explained, because it has access to an almost identical suite of capabilities as other common browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer.

"Ultimately we saw that about 25 percent of web API posed high risks to security and privacy and could be blocked without breaking websites," Snyder said. He explained that by blocking risky functionality, the amount of code a website accesses is also reduced. "The less code you have available through the web API, the safer websites you'll have."

Based on their findings, Snyder's team developed a browser extension that allows users to selectively block browser functionality to improve safety when it comes to surfing the web.

Brave, a company focused on providing safer web browsing and founded by the inventor of JavaScript and the co-founder of Mozilla, plans on incorporating parts of the research into its open-source web browser, Brave Browser.

Cynthia Taylor and Chris Kanich, assistant professors of computer science at UIC, are co-authors on the paper.

Story Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171023181510.htm

Materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Picture Credit: PCMag.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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Over two-thirds of organisations are running unsupported versions of Microsoft Office, exposing them to cyber-threats, according to a new study from Spiceworks.

The IT professional network polled over 1,100 IT pros in the US, Canada and UK to better understand the usage of productivity suites in their organisations.

It found 68% are still running some instances of Office 2007, despite the package reaching end of support in October this year.

The bad news doesn’t end there: 46% were running Office 2003; 21% Office 2000; and 15% are still on Office XP (2002 version). Some 3% even claimed they are still running some machines on Office 97.

“Although they might not grab as many headlines as end-of-support OSes, Office suites that are past their prime are susceptible to danger, similar to their OS cousins,” explained Spiceworks senior technology analyst, Peter Tsai.

“Just like any software or system in use, productivity suites need to be patched for security reasons. Once an OS no longer receives updates, it's a security liability. Over the years, there have been hundreds of vulnerabilities identified in Microsoft Office.”

If organizations need reminding of the damage that can result from an unpatched vulnerability, they just need to look at the chaos inflicted by WannaCry and NotPetya, two worm-like ransomware threats that caused mass service outages across the globe in May and June.

Global shipper Maersk has already admitted NotPetya may end up costing it $300m, while FedEx arrived at a similar figure.

It’s not all bad news, however, with Spiceworks revealing that over half (53%) of responding organizations are using Office365, the online productivity suite which is always up-to-date. A further 17% plan to migrate over the next two years.

In addition, 17% are currently using Google’s G Suite.

The report claimed mid-sized firms (100-1,000 employees) are most likely to run Office 2007, with larger organizations usually having more funds to keep up-to-date with the latest software and smaller counterparts having migrated more readily to Office 365.

Written by Phil Muncaster UK / EMEA News Reporter , Infosecurity Magazine

https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/most-organizations-run-outofdate/

Picture credit: http://www.floridalocksmith.org

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 mineral discovered in Russia in the 1830s known as a perovskite holds a key to the next step in ultra-high-speed communications and computing.

Researchers from the University of Utah's departments of electrical and computer engineering and physics and astronomy have discovered that a special kind of perovskite, a combination of an organic and inorganic compound that has the same structure as the original mineral, can be layered on a silicon wafer to create a vital component for the communications system of the future. That system would use the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that uses light instead of electricity to shuttle data, allowing cellphone and internet users to transfer information a thousand times faster than today.

The new research, led by University of Utah electrical and computer engineering professor Ajay Nahata and physics and astronomy Distinguished Professor Valy Vardeny, was published Monday, Nov. 6 in the latest edition of Nature Communications.

The terahertz range is a band between infrared light and radio waves and utilizes frequencies that cover the range from 100 gigahertz to 10,000 gigahertz (a typical cellphone operates at just 2.4 gigahertz). Scientists are studying how to use these light frequencies to transmit data because of its tremendous potential for boosting the speeds of devices such as internet modems or cell phones.

Nahata and Vardeny uncovered an important piece of that puzzle: By depositing a special form of multilayer perovskite onto a silicon wafer, they can modulate terahertz waves passing through it using a simple halogen lamp. Modulating the amplitude of terahertz radiation is important because it is how data in such a communications system would be transmitted.

Previous attempts to do this have usually required the use of an expensive, high-power laser. What makes this demonstration different is that it is not only the lamp power that allows for this modulation but also the specific color of the light. Consequently, they can put different perovskites on the same silicon substrate, where each region could be controlled by different colors from the lamp. This is not easily possible when using conventional semiconductors like silicon.

"Think of it as the difference between something that is binary versus something that has 10 steps," Nahata explains about what this new structure can do. "Silicon responds only to the power in the optical beam but not to the color. It gives you more capabilities to actually do something, say for information processing or whatever the case may be."

Not only does this open the door to turning terahertz technologies into a reality -- resulting in next-generation communications systems and computing that is a thousand times faster -- but the process of layering perovskites on silicon is simple and inexpensive by using a method called "spin casting," in which the material is deposited on the silicon wafer by spinning the wafer and allowing centrifugal force to spread the perovskite evenly.

Vardeny says what's unique about the type of perovskite they are using is that it is both an inorganic material like rock but also organic like a plastic, making it easy to deposit on silicon while also having the optical properties necessary to make this process possible.

"It's a mismatch," he said. "What we call a 'hybrid.'"

Nahata says it's probably at least another 10 years before terahertz technology for communications and computing is used in commercial products, but this new research is a significant milestone to getting there.

"This basic capability is an important step towards getting a full-fledged communications system," Nahata says. "If you want to go from what you're doing today using a modem and standard wireless communications, and then go to a thousand times faster, you're going to have to change the technology dramatically."

Story Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171106085952.htm

Materials provided by University of Utah. 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.

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Millions of network addresses subjected to denial-of-service attacks over two-year period

For the first time, researchers have carried out a large-scale analysis of victims of internet denial-of-service (DoS) attacks worldwide. And what they found is, in a phrase from their study, "an eye-opening statistic."

Spanning two years, from March 2015 to February 2017, the researchers found that about one-third of the IPv4 address space was subject to some kind of DoS attacks, where a perpetrator maliciously disrupts services of a host connected to the internet. IPv4 is the fourth version of an Internet Protocol (IP) address, a numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network.

"We're talking about millions of attacks," said Alberto Dainotti, a research scientist at CAIDA (Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis), based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego and the report's principal investigator. "The results of this study are gigantic compared to what the big companies have been reporting to the public."

Added the study's first author, Mattijs Jonker, a researcher with the University of Twente in The Netherlands and former CAIDA intern: "These results caught us by surprise in the sense that it wasn't something we expected to find. This is something we just didn't see coming."

The study -- presented November 1, 2017 at the Internet Measurement Conference in London and published in the Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery (IMC '17) -- sheds light on most of the DoS attacks on the internet, its victims, and even the adoption of commercial services to combat these attacks.

Two predominant types of DoS attacks, intended to overwhelm a service by a sheer mass of requests, are highlighted:

•"Direct" attacks, which involve traffic sent directly to the target from some infrastructure controlled by the attackers (e.g. their own machines, a set of servers, or even a botnet under their command.) These attacks often involve "random spoofing," characterized by faking the source IP address in the attack traffic.

•"Reflection" attacks, during which third-party servers are involuntarily used to reflect attack traffic toward its victim. Many protocols that allow for reflection also add amplification, causing the amount of reflected traffic sent toward the victim to be many times greater than that sent toward the reflector initially.

To detect attacks, the researchers -- a collaborative effort from UC San Diego, University of Twente, and Saarland University in Germany -- employed two raw data sources that complement each other: the UCSD Network Telescope, which captures evidence of DoS attacks that involve randomly and uniformly spoofed addresses; and the AmpPot DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) honeypots, which witness reflection and amplification of DoS attacks.

Their data revealed more than 20 million DoS attacks that targeted about 2.2 million "slash 24 or /24" internet addresses (part of a routing number that denotes bit-length of the prefix), which is about one-third of the 6.5 million /24 blocks estimated to be alive on the internet. A /24 is a block of 256 IP addresses, usually assigned to a single organization. If a single IP address in a /24 block is targeted by a sheer mass of requests or volumetric attack, it's likely that the network infrastructure of the entire /24 block is affected.

"Put another way, during this recent two-year period under study, the internet was targeted by nearly 30,000 attacks per day," said Dainotti. "These absolute numbers are staggering, a thousand times bigger than other reports have shown."

That said, one of the researchers added she's worried these statistics are likely "an under-estimation of reality."

"Although our study employs state-of-the-art monitoring techniques, we already know we do not see some types of DoS attacks," said Anna Sperotto, an assistant professor in the Design and Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS) department at the University of Twente. "In the future, we will need an even more thorough characterization of the DoS ecosystem to address this point."

As might be expected, more than a quarter of the targeted addresses in the study came in the United States, the nation with the most internet addresses in the world. Japan, with the third most internet addresses, ranks anywhere from 14th to 25th for the number of DoS attacks, indicating a relatively safe nation for DoS attacks, while Russia is a prime example of a country that ranks higher than estimates for internet space usage, suggesting a relatively dangerous country for these attacks.

Several third-party organizations that offer website hosting were also identified as major targets; the three most frequently attacked "larger parties" over the two year-period were: GoDaddy, Google Cloud, and Wix. Others included Squarespace, Gandi, and OVH.

"Most of the times, it's the customer who is being attacked," explained Dainotti. "So if you have a larger number of customers, you're likely to have more attacks. If you're hosting millions of websites, of course, you're going to see more attacks."

Aside from quantifying the number of DoS attacks on the internet, the researchers also wanted to see if the attacks spurred website owners to purchase DoS protection services. Their study noted that people were more inclined to outsource protection to third parties following a strong attack. Depending on the intensity of the attack, the migration to a third-party service might take place even within 24 hours of an attack.

"One of the things we show is if a website is attacked, this creates an urgency for people to start outsourcing to protection services," said Jonker.

Although the study does not address the causes for the well-recognized rise in DoS attacks in recent years, in an interview the researchers noted several strong possibilities including: cyber-extortion, cyber-crime, cyber-warfare, political protest aimed at governments, censorship from authoritative regimes, attacks relating to on-line gaming (e.g. to gain a competitive advantage), school kids who may attack to avoid taking an exam, and disgruntled former employees.

"Even non-technical people can launch significant attacks through DDoS-as-a-Service providers (i.e. Booters)," said Jonker. "People can pay others with a subscription in exchange for just a few dollars."

As for future studies, the researchers said they wanted to assess the impact of the attacks, to see if they managed to take down the targeted network; they're also studying political attacks similar to those witnessed in Egypt and Libya that were subject to a 2012 study led by CAIDA researchers.

Under a grant for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the CAIDA team also plans to continuously monitor the DoS ecosystem to provide data for analysis to agencies and other researchers in a timely fashion.

Also participating in the study were: Alistair King, a CAIDA researcher; and Johannes Krupp and Christian Rossow, both from CISPA, Saarland University.

Support for the study came from the DHS; the Air Force Research Directory; the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research; and OpenINTEL, a joint project of the University of Twente, SURFnet, and SIDN.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of California San Diego. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171101130507.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 meeting? 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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Slow internet speeds and the Internet 'rush hour' -- the peak time when data speeds drop by up to 30% -- could be history with new hardware designed and demonstrated by UCL researchers that provides consistently high-speed broadband connectivity.

The new receiver technology enables dedicated data rates at more than 10,000 megabits-per-second (Mb/s) for a truly super-fast, yet low-cost, broadband connection to every UK home.

"UK broadband speeds are woefully slow compared to many other countries, but this is not a technical limitation. Although 300 Mb/s may be available to some, average UK speeds are currently 36 Mb/s. By 2025, average speeds over 100 times faster will be required to meet increased demands for bandwidth-hungry applications such as ultra-high definition video, online gaming, and the Internet of Things," explained lead researcher Dr Sezer Erkılınç (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering).

"The future growth in the number of mobile devices, coupled with the promise of 5G to enable new services via smart devices, means we are likely to experience bandwidth restrictions; our new optical receiver technology will help combat this problem."

For the study, published today in Nature Communications and funded by the EPSRC UNLOC Programme and Huawei Technologies, scientists from the UCL Optical Networks Group and the University of Cambridge developed a new, simplified receiver to be used in optical access networks: the links connecting internet subscribers to their service providers.

"To maximise the capacity of optical fibre links, data is transmitted using different wavelengths, or colours, of light. Ideally, we'd dedicate a wavelength to each subscriber to avoid the bandwidth sharing between the users. Although this is already possible using highly sensitive hardware known as coherent receivers, they are costly and only financially viable in core networks that link countries and cities. "Their cost and complexity has so far prevented their introduction into the access networks and limits the support of multi Gb/s (1 Gb/s=1000 Mb/s) broadband rates available to subscribers," said co-author and Head of the Optical Networks Group, Professor Polina Bayvel (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering).

The new, simplified receiver retains many of the advantages of coherent receivers, but is simpler, cheaper, and smaller, requiring just a quarter of the detectors used in conventional receivers.

Simplification was achieved by adopting a coding technique to fibre access networks that was originally designed to prevent signal fading in wireless communications.. This approach has the additional cost-saving benefit of using the same optical fibre for both upstream and downstream data.

"This simple receiver offers users a dedicated wavelength, so user speeds stay constant no matter how many users are online at once. It can co-exist with the current network infrastructure, potentially quadrupling the number of users that can be supported and doubling the network's transmission distance/coverage," added Dr Erk?l?nç.

The receiver was tested on a dark fibre network installed between Telehouse (east London), UCL (central London) and Powergate (west London). The team successfully sent data over 37.6 km and 108 km to eight users who were able to download/upload at a speed of at least 10 Gb/s. This is more than 30 times faster than the fastest broadband available in the UK, today.

 

"BT Openreach recently announced that fibre access is a key focus and must improve. With high-capacity broadband a priority for the UK government, we will be working to reduce the electrical power requirements of this technique to make this commercially viable in the nearest future. We believe that it has real potential to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to every home, which will support the growing digitally enabled economy in the years to come," concluded Professor Bayvel.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University College London. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171019101002.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 can 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 can 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 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 meeting? 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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