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Network installation
Small Business IT Support
Network installation
Small Business IT Support

Author: Matt Baughan

Cyber Security

You will have seen in the news recently about how ransomware is effecting small/medium businesses, yet most businesses don’t have an advanced solution to protect themselves against these hackers. Stand-alone antivirus is no longer enough.

Heimdal Security, is a product developed in 2011 by the 19th and 20th Team Defcon CTF World Champions in ethical hacking. Heimdal is now used to protect organisations across Europe against advanced and persistent cyber-criminal attacks and their insidious tools.

“Heimdal Security Corporate provides a 90-94% enhancement on top of existing AV and firewalls against the lethal Locky ransomware.”

If you are concerned about your cyber security, please get in touch for a free consultation

The End of Windows Server 2003

As of July 14th 2015, Microsoft will officially stop supporting Windows Server 2003.


Whilst most of us have moved away from Windows XP, which had its “End of Life” in April 2014, still more than 30% of small to medium-sized businesses are using Windows Server 2003.


End of life means that Microsoft will stop updating and developing software patches for Windows Server 2003. This will include:


  • Security flaw patches
  • Software patches for programs designed by Microsoft for windows server 2003
  • Accurate antivirus compatibility
  • New software compatibility
  • Hardware drivers

You will also find that developers will stop developing software for Windows Server 2003 and in turn may find that any accounting or business software that is used is no longer compatible with your infrastructure.


Of course you still have the option to stay with Windows Server 2003 but it’s not recommended.


Out of date software brings with it security flaws, without updates from Microsoft your system could be open to attacks from hackers and viruses.


New vulnerabilities arise all the time and you’re essentially putting your data and business at risk by not upgrading.


Could you afford to lose all your businesses data to someone else or have it completely wiped out by a virus?


Please be aware: If you’re in the medical industry, you’re technically not HIPAA compliant if you’re using an unsupported software.


There are many options available to upgrade, from upgrading your hardware and operating system, Refreshing old hardware with an up to date version of windows server to using the cloud or a hybrid consisting of a local server with cloud features like office 365.


Whatever you decide to do we can help. Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding the end of Windows Server 2003.

Solid State Drives

HDD (Hard Disk Drive) & SSD (Solid State Drive) Explained

An SSD is a storage device which uses microchips to hold the information, rather than the more traditional mechanical hard drive, which uses spinning metal platters with a magnetic coating.  Your data, whether it be weather reports, high definition movies or word documents are all stored on this metal coating. A read/write head on an arm accesses the data while the platters are spinning.

The SSD does much the same job, but instead of storing on a magnetic coating, data is stored in interconnected flash chips.

Inside a hard drive and ssd

What improvements are seen with a SSD


A PC equipped with a SSD will boot in a matter of seconds; certainly less than 1 minute


SSD’s dont care where the data is stored on the physical chips because there is no read head


A SSD does not have any moving parts, which makes it less prone to physical damage.


The video below demonstrates the performance gained by using a SSD.

Remote Monitoring

Our remote monitoring solution sits hand in hand with our support offerings. We get instant notifications and real time trend data for all components of our customers network; from servers and switches to applications and services, allowing us to maintain system uptime and immediately respond to critical failures.

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As soon as a service or component of our customers system is unresponsive, or resource levels such as hard drive space reach a pre-determined threshold, our monitoring system automatically notifies our engineers and service desk.

Our remote monitoring software allows us to –

  • Spot problems before they occur
  • Share availability data with stakeholders
  • Detect security breaches
  • Plan and budget for IT upgrades
  • Reduce downtime and business losses

Network Redesign

Optionbox Networks were approached by a business centre in Harrogate to organise and redesign their internal network.

Current Problems

  • 3 ADSL lines were being shared across 24 rooms
  • There was no way of guaranteeing bandwidth to each room
  • Each room had no dedicated external IP address (tenants unable to set up VPN, remote access etc)
  • Untidy cabling
  • Faulty network points

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  • Installation of a 100mb fibre lease line
  • Test and repair all network points
  • Recable the cabinet
  • Mount ADSL sockets to the wall
  • Installation of a server to allocate bandwidth to each room
  • Put each room on their own network, separating them from other tenants and giving each room their own external IP address

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