The January Roadmap: Happy New Year!
Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully you’re off to a good start. TOAST.net is kicking off January with a few focuses:
Wireless: It’s Out, and It’s Awesome!
We spent most of December 2011 rolling out our new Wireless Internet to pilot users, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive: people are LOVING this product. We’re getting the most feedback from travelers and “snow-birds” — being able to use the Internet in any location and not having to worry about constantly switching service providers is turning out to be a big plus for them. TOAST.net’s Wireless is a bit different than other providers as it comes bundled with our Web Accelerator software. This software, unique to TOAST.net, increases website browsing speeds and decreases data usage via advanced compression technology.
I’m pleased to announce that Wireless is now officially available to all! Visit http://www.toast.net/services/wireless/ for details on pricing and service plans.
Build a New Website EASY!
Web Presence Builder is our new tool that allows anyone create a sharp and professional website in minutes. It’s amazing how much website construction has progressed. Ten years ago, you needed a degree in Computer Science to put something on the web. Now, you just log into a tool like Web Presence Builder, drag and drop some content in place, and the world can see your creation instantly. A lot of small business owners are flocking to this because it gives them exactly what they need: a presence on the Internet that can be updated and maintained in-house. Consumers use the web more than any other method to find products and services they need, so at bare minimum a website with your business hours, location, contact info, and a description of services is essential. After that, you can spice things up with coupon offers, online scheduling, and photo galleries. All of this can new be achieved in less than an hour with Web Presence Builder. I put together a quick video overview showing off its great features and ease of use:
Web Presence Builder is included with all of our new Web Hosting plans. If you have any questions about creating a website, let me know. I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Resolution For 2012: Internet Security
TOAST.net wants to focus on Internet Security for Small Business this month. We’re receiving more and more calls from offices where people want to know if their computer can be fixed after they’ve received a nasty malware infection. Cleaning an infection after-the-fact is tricky and often requires specialized tools and services. Prevention is the key. Antivirus software is designed to block viruses from coming in, not as something you install to an already infected computer. Sadly, virus protection isn’t something most people think about until it becomes a problem. The 2 most common phrases I hear are:
- “I just got the computer a few months ago, and it came with Antivirus software.”
- “I get Antivirus software from my Internet Service.”
These two phrases may be accurate, but they’re missing a “, but…” at the end of the statement. New computers usually do come with some type of Antivirus software, but it is usually a trial version. This means the software will be fully functional and receive daily updates for 60 days or so, and then you have to purchase it. If you don’t fork over the cash, the software will no longer receive updates and will only protect you against old infections. As for service providers, they do often supply Antivirus protection, but only for email. Email gets scanned before it reaches your inbox, so the chances of receiving an infected email or reduced, but there is no way a service provider can protect you against malicious websites. These two “gotchas” give a false sense of security and put your data at risk.
Home users should make sure they have a current subscription to their Antivirus software. If it’s not current, you’re probably seeing pop-up balloons giving subscription warnings. TOAST.net recommends Microsoft Security Essentials (available for free on our Software Page) for home use. It works very well, and it’s friendly for people on slow connections (especially dial-up users).
Business users have another problem — there are usually multiple PC’s to keep track of. It’s difficult and time-consuming to make sure everyone has the latest update and everything is functioning correctly in an office environment. For this situation, TOAST.net has designed Managed Antivirus. This subscription based security service allows you to pay a low fee every month and TOAST.net keeps an eye on your protection. We’ll make sure everyone has software installed, is receiving updates, and daily report is sent to let you know how everyone is doing. Starting at just $3/month, it’s also less expensive than most “off the shelf” software and gives more comprehensive coverage. We want all businesses to have the best protection available, so hit me up for a free 30 day trial and see everything Managed Antivirus has to offer. No obligation, I just want you to see what it can do!
Video conferencing, streaming, file sharing, VPN’s…they’re all a part of today’s business environment, and they all demand the fastest Internet connection possible. TOAST.net’s Metro Ethernet provides a fiber optic based connection allowing your office to reach speeds up to 100 Mbps! Many businesses think they are limited to slow upload speeds from DSL or cable connections — not so! Put your business in the fast-lane with Metro Ethernet. Get a hold of one of our account specialists to see if your area qualifies.