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10 Apps you should install on your Mac | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Want to save time and effort on your new Mac? Network World shares 10 great apps that do just that.

  1. LaunchBar indexes and links to bookmarks, music, contacts, search history, and more.
  2. Default Folder navigates your drives, files, and folders for you.
  3. TextExpander gives you keyboard shortcuts for commonly typed text.
  4. 1Password is a handy password generator with browser plug-ins and storage
  5. Dropbox stores and shares multiple files in the cloud.
  6. Skype makes person-to-person and group audio and video calls.
  7. CrashPlan backs up and archives your files.
  8. AirFoil routes audio to any AirPlay-compatible receiver.
  9. VLC plays Internet streaming video, reads discs, and converts audio formats.
  10. GraphicConverter, similar to PhotoShop, opens, imports, and uploads different image formats.

5 Undiscovered Google Drive tricks | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

To be extra productive in Google Drive, try these helpful hints.

 

  1. Work offline. Go into Settings in the Chrome browser to activate the offline feature. Changes will save once you’re back online.
  2. Look for links from within a document. Highlight text, select Insert>Link, and enter your search term into the link dialog box.
  3. Keep track of your revision history by clicking File>See Revision History. See names, edits, and further details.
  4. Use the web clipboard to copy and paste data across documents, sheets and slides.
  5. Publish directly to the web. Send the link to a wide audience, and update automatically with any changes.

9 Tips to speed up your business Wi-Fi | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

In today’s world, you need fast Wi-Fi. Network World gives nine tips to keep Wi-Fi running full speed.

 

  1. Minimize interference. Double-check channel selections to eliminate co-channel interference. Consider a map-based surveying solution.
  2. Use 5GHz and band steering. The 5GHz band offers more channels.
  3. Make sure to use only WPA2 security with AES encryption.
  4. Reduce SSIDs. Each SSID consumes airtime.
  5. Don’t hide SSIDs; instead, use the enterprise mode of WPA2 for security.
  6. Disable lower data rates and standards to connect to better access points.
  7. Configure channel widths appropriately according to band size.
  8. Shorten packet sizes and transmission times; together, you’ll notice the difference.
  9. Upgrade older standards to 802.11n or 802.11ac.

Microsoft Surface 3 | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Interested in the Microsoft Surface 3? See how the new tablet stacks up.

 

Design

The Surface 3 is a light 1.4 pounds. The screen boasts a 10.8 inch display and full HD quality, with a 3:2 aspect ratio. A Surface Pen and built-in digitizer enable writing and drawing. Front-facing speakers offer quality sound.

 

Features

The tablet has a new MicroUSB charging port and a bulky plug end for cable. Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 supply wireless connectivity. A 128GB solid state drive provides less storage than comparable models. The Surface 3 comes with Windows 8.1.

 

Accessories

Both keyboard cover and pen are sold separately. You can use the small touchpad and touch screen. A desktop docking station connects you to desktop setup.

 

Performance

With almost ten hours of battery life, the Surface 3 outlasts its competitors. It’s powered by Atom x7 CPU, a low-powered chip.

 

How to access shared folders, network printers and VPN’s on a Chromebook | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Chromebooks may not easily connect to Windows networks, but How-To Geek helps you get started.

 

Access Network File Shares

Use any software that lets you create a web interface accessible over standard HTTP and HTTPS. For instance, the ownCloud server software provides file access. Standard HTTP servers like Apache make files available for download. Or drop files into Google Drive to access them in Chromebook’s Files app.

 

Add Network Printers

Google Cloud Print is your best bet. Configure any new Wi-Fi printer normally and make it available to your Google account.

 

Connect to a VPN

Open Settings screen, click Add Connection and click Add Private Network. Enter the VPN’s details. Install certificate files on another page if necessary.

 

The Developer Mode Option

This option takes more time. Install a desktop Linux system to connect to other types of VPNs and browse Windows file shares.

Apple Watch | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

What does the Apple Watch offer? PC Mag gives a rundown. The watch works with iPhone 5 or later (not with iPad).

 

Models – Apple Watch Sport starts at $349, Apple Watch starts at $549, and Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000.

Design – A Digital Crown button navigates the watch interface. A Side Button pulls up contacts.

Space, Sensors and Battery Life – The watch offers a heart sensor, GPS, accelerometer, 48 hours of battery life as a timepiece, and 6.5 hours with audio playback.

Setup and Range – The watch connects to an iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0.

Interface – The interface is customizable and intuitive, though icons are small.

Notifications – Customers can opt for audible alerts or vibrations.

Messaging – The watch can receive messages but not send them. Phone calls allow mobility.

Apple Watch App – The iPhone app has four menus: My Watch (control center), Explore (instructions), Featured (Apple Watch app store), and Search.

Third Party Apps – Multiple apps include Seamless, Uber, Pandora, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Windows 10: 10 coolest features to check out | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

In looks and usefulness, Windows 10 outdoes Windows 8.1. Network World points out 10 favorite features.

  1. The Start menu shows Live Tiles of apps next to shortcuts, with options to expand to full screen, or unpin apps and resize.
  2. Metro apps open in desktop windows rather than in full screen.
  3. Action center notification pop-ups provide helpful info.
  4. Digital assistant Cortana, from Windows Phone 8.1, intelligently controls search functions.
  5. New browser Project Spartan lets you access Microsoft’s Edge rendering engine, digital inking tools, and Reading View.
  6. New Mail and Calendar apps offer POP email and Google Calendar support.
  7. Virtual desktops organize apps the way you like them.
  8. Xbox app streams Xbox One games to PC or tablet.
  9. “Continuum” feature switches the interface between desktop and tablet mode.
  10. One Settings menu, rather than two, streamlines use.

Microsoft Edge | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

As most people have heard, Microsoft is coming out with a new browser called Project Spartan. Well, that name will be long gone. The new name for this Project Spartan will now be called Microsoft Edge. Microsoft has said that the name is being on the edge of productivity and consumption.

Edge will be the default browser in Windows 10 and Internet Explorer will be a legacy option for compatibility reasons. With Edge it will be faster than Internet Explorer and have a built-in notation tool, a distraction-free reading mode, and website information from Cortana.

Microsoft has tried to convince people that Internet explorer isn’t all bad. But in the end, Microsoft wants to make a clean cut and has decided that Edge will be a major feature in Windows 10.

Cisco protects its SDN | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

For users with sensitive data, Cisco is beefing up security. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) security offers malware protection and intrusion prevention for data center and cloud applications. The new program will be available in June.

Cisco’s ACI automatic policy feedback combines with FirePOWER threat protection services. FirePOWER augments existing ACI features such as policy segmentation and security service insertion.

Updating policies across the network is essential for cloud computing. To protect cloud data, the ACI program deploys application-specific security policies across multiple vendors’ security devices. Cisco emphasized that perimeter solutions are inadequate on their own, and that shared, multi-tenant clouds especially need data center security.

Best VPN services for 2015 | BVA INC. emPowering Your IT –

Want to protect your identity and privacy online? You’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, which allows a secure connection to the Internet. VPNs let you change your IP address, prevent eavesdropping, and avoid being targeted by online advertisers.

When selecting a service, consider reputation, performance, type of encryption used, ease of use, transparency, support, and extra features. For instance, you want a clear privacy policy and access to troubleshooting support.

PC Mag rates several VPN options, and gives top honors to Private Internet Access and NordVPN. Also recommended are TorGuard and Hotspot Shield Elite, among others.