News & Vacancies

Welcome to the Microtechs information portal. Here you can see the latest news and read through our current vacancies.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

b2ap3_thumbnail_vpn_20171128-090247_1.jpg

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_data-theft.jpg

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.

 

Call us now on 01483 407417

b2ap3_thumbnail_browsers.JPG

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_Upgrade-Your-Locks.jpg

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

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_milestone-for-ultra-fast.JPG

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.

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet-under-attack.JPG

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_slow-internet-image.JPG

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_wifi.gif

Energy-saving Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) could help meet demand for wireless communications without affecting the quality of light or environmental benefits they deliver, new research funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has shown.

A University of Edinburgh team has found that transmitting digital data via LEDs at the same time as using them to generate light does not make the light dimmer or change its colour. Nor does it make the LED more energy-hungry. Dr Wasiu Popoola of the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, says these concerns have held back the more widespread adoption of Light Fidelity, or LiFi, which uses household LEDs to enable data transfer.

But these findings help eliminate key hurdles to using LEDs to help satisfy the increasing global thirst for wireless communications. Preserving the quality of lighting is, in particular, a vital consideration as it can have a major effect on the physical and mental wellbeing of people in both their homes and their workplaces. LEDs have secured a huge increase in their share of the worldwide lighting market in recent years, as well as being used extensively in TV and other displays.

Although it has long been known that LEDs can be 'piggy-backed' to transmit data to and from mobiles, tablets, sensors and other devices, questions have surrounded the ability to do this without affecting LEDs' core capabilities or the money-saving and 'green' benefits that make them so popular.

Focusing on LEDs producing 'warm white' and 'cool white' light, the Edinburgh team looked at two different data transmission techniques: on-off keying, where the LED works like Morse code, switching on and off extremely rapidly and imperceptibly to human eyes; and continuous signalling, where imperceptible changes in light intensity are used to achieve the same goal.

Neither technique was found to significantly reduce the lightbulbs' brightness or their life expectancy, or to cause any significant change in the colour of the light. Both techniques also produced only a negligible change in the heat generated by the LEDs -- a key consideration as any temperature increase would indicate the LED using more electricity to produce light, making it less energy-efficient and less carbon-friendly.

Dr Popoola adds: "Our ever more connected world will need more bandwidth than the overcrowded Radio Frequency part of the spectrum can provide. Plugging a key knowledge gap, our results are very encouraging for the future of light-based communications that could help realise the full economic and social potential of a wireless future. It's vital that LED manufacturers know what impact the incorporation of data transmission capabilities would have on their products. Our researc shows that there's no dark side to using LED lights to supplement WiFi."

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). "No dark side to using LED lights to supplement WiFi." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171011120650.htm>.

Image credit: Buzzfeed.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

b2ap3_thumbnail_highspeed-internet.png

A major new international research program is responding to the overwhelming demand of internet traffic to develop ubiquitous wireless data coverage with unprecedented speed at millimetre waves.

For the first time in the Internet's history, the data used by tablets and smartphones now exceeds that of desktops. Emerging technologies and entertainment such as telemedicine, Internet of Things (IoT), 4K video streaming, cloud gaming, social networks, driverless cars, augmented reality and many other unpredictable applications will need zettabyte (1,000 billions of billions) of wireless data.

Smartphones will continue to work at microwave frequencies for many years because of microwaves' ability to pass through barriers. Though due to limitations to the amount of data that can be transmitted by microwaves, the only way to provide data with very fast download speeds is through covering urban areas with dense grids of micro, nano and pico 'cells', at microwave frequencies to serve a small number of users per cell.

However, manufacturers and operators have not yet solved how to feed a huge amount of data to a new maze of cells. Fibre is too expensive and difficult, if not impossible, to deploy in many urban areas, due city council permits or disruption.

A desirable solution is a wireless layer that can provide data at the level of tens of gigabit per second per kilometre square. It also needs to be flexible and come at a low cost.

Only the millimetre wave frequencies, 30-300 GHz, with their multi GHz bandwidths, could support tens of gigabit per second of wireless data rate. Unfortunately, rain can weaken or block data transmission and other technological limits have so far prevented the full exploitation of this portion of the spectrum.

The €2.9million European Union's Horizon 2020 ULTRAWAVE project, led by engineers at Lancaster University, aims, for the first time, to build technologies able to exploit the whole millimetre wave spectrum beyond 100 GHz.

The ULTRAWAVE concept is to create an ultra-capacity layer, aiming to achieve the 100 gigabit of data per second threshold, which is also flexible and easy to deploy. This layer will be able to feed data to hundreds of small and pico cells, regardless of the density of mobile devices in each cell. This would open scenarios for new network paradigms and architectures towards fully implementing 5G.

The ULTRAWAVE ultra capacity layer requires significant transmission power to cover wide areas overcoming the high attenuation at millimetre waves. This will be achieved by the convergence of three main technologies, vacuum electronics, solid-state electronics and photonics, in a unique wireless system, enabled by transmission power at multi Watt level. These power levels can only be generated through novel millimetre wave traveling wave tubes.

Professor Claudio Paoloni, Head of Engineering Department at Lancaster University and Coordinator of ULTRAWAVE, said: "When speeds of wireless networks equal fibre, billions of new rapid connections will help 5G become a reality. It is exciting to think that the EU Horizon 2020 ULTRAWAVE project could be a major milestone towards solving one of the main obstacles to future 5G networks, which is the ubiquitous wireless distribution of fibre-level high data rates.

"The huge growth in mobile devices and wireless data usage is putting an incredible strain on our existing wireless communication networks. Imagine crowded areas, such as London's Oxford Street, with tens of thousands of smartphone users per kilometre that wish to create, and receive content, with unlimited speed. To meet this demand, ULTRAWAVE will create European state of the art technologies for the new generation of wireless networks."

The ULTRAWAVE project started on the 1st September 2017 and will be presented to the public by the Kickoff Workshop at Lancaster University on the 14th September 2017.

Story Source:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170926135219.htm

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

Picture credit: clubtroppo.com.au

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

b2ap3_thumbnail_blog1.jpg

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a system that can simultaneously deliver watts of power and transmit data at rates high enough to stream video over the same wireless connection. By integrating power and high-speed data, a true single "wireless" connection can be achieved.

"Recently wireless power as re-emerged as a technology to free us from the power cord," says David Ricketts, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper on the work. "One of the most popular applications is in wireless cell phone charging pads. As many know, these unfortunately often require almost physical contact with the pad, limiting the usefulness of a truly 'wireless' power source. Recent work by several researchers have extended wireless power to 'mid-range' which can supply power at inches to feet of separation. While encouraging, most of the wireless power systems have only focused on the power problem -- not the data that needs to accompany any of our smart devices today. Addressing those data needs is what sets our work apart here."

Wireless power transfer technologies use magnetic fields to transmit power through the air. To minimize the power lost in generating these magnetic fields, you need to use antennas that operate in a narrow bandwidth -- particularly if the transmitter and receiver are inches or feet apart from each other.

Because using a narrow bandwidth antenna limits data transfer, devices incorporating wireless power transfer have normally also incorporated separate radios for data transmission. And having separate systems for data and power transmission increases the cost, weight and complexity of the relevant device.

The NC State team realized that while high-efficiency power transfer, especially at longer distances, does require very narrow band antennas, the system bandwidth can actually be much wider.

"People thought that efficient wireless power transfer requires the use of narrow bandwidth transmitters and receivers, and that this therefore limited data transfer," Ricketts says. "We've shown that you can configure a wide-bandwidth system with narrow-bandwidth components, giving you the best of both worlds."

With this wider bandwidth, the NC State team then envisioned the wireless power transfer link as a communication link, adapting data-rate enhancement techniques, such as channel equalization, to further improve data rate and data signal quality.

The researchers tested their system with and without data transfer. They found that when transferring almost 3 watts of power -- more than enough to power your tablet during video playback -- the system was only 2.3 percent less efficient when also transmitting 3.39 megabytes of data per second. At 2 watts of power, the difference in efficiency was only 1.3 percent. The tests were conducted with the transmitter and receiver 16 centimeters, or 6.3 inches, apart, demonstrating the ability of their system to operate in longer-distance wireless power links.

"Our system is comparable in power transfer efficiency to similar wireless power transfer devices, and shows that you can design a wireless power link system that retains almost all of its efficiency while streaming a movie on Netflix," Ricketts says.

Story Source:

Materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Original article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170918111817.htm

Picture credit: www.softlac.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 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

CONTACT US

Our business truly is 24/7, We operate entirely out of this office using our own staff.

Microtechs Head Office

Microtechs Ltd
Sussex House
11 The Pines
Broad Street
Guildford
GU3 3BH  

T: +44 (0) 1483 407400
Einfo@microtechs.co.uk

Alternatively, please use our Contact Us Form

 

WE'RE TWEETING