What’s better, Gmail or Outlook? These are the two leading platforms when it comes to business email. Both are great options and come with good features and security. They also cost about the same. The one you choose will be based on your business’s specific needs.
While Outlook has about 7 years on Gmail, the email platform offers some great features for business. The apps that are included with a Google Workspaces subscription allow your team to work on projects at the same time. You don’t have to download and send the document. You can share the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides within the apps. You also don’t have to worry about making sure you’re working on the latest version.
Outlook’s interface is a little bit more confusing than Gmail’s but the program offers advanced management features and allows you to manage other users’ inboxes and calendars. There is also the ability to set more advanced rules. It may be a better choice if your company is sending a large number of emails.
When comparing costs, both programs are very similar. Both have a free version that comes with 15GB of storage. Note that the free versions would not have your domain connected and would not be the best option for businesses.
Starter Plans – Gmail and Outlook both have a starter plan that cost $6 per month per user. Google’s plan comes with 30GB of storage and the ability to work offline. Outlook’s plan comes with 1TB of storage but includes only web and mobile apps.
Standard Plans – The standard Gmail plan is $12 a month per user. It includes 2TB of storage. The Outlook standard plan is $12.50 a month per user and comes with 1TB of storage. It also includes the downloadable desktop apps that are not included with the starter plan.
While both email platforms offer top security which is included in all plans. Outlook has more security features in its highest tier and allows users to encrypt emails. This would be a good option for hospitals or businesses that needed to send medical information or other confidential messages. Gmail’s security is also good and offers excellent malware and malicious software detection.
Both Gmail and Outlook are good options for business and offer great features. If you have any questions about setting up your business email or switching platforms, contact us today!
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If you are starting a business or need to update your server, you might be wondering if you should go with local or cloud-based servers. There are benefits and drawbacks to both.
A cloud server is a virtual hosted storage place for your business’ data. It is stored with other companies’ data. There is security in place that ensures that other people with the same cloud server do not have access to your data. Cloud servers are easy and quick to implement. If your company is growing and you need more space in the future, it is easy to scale. With a cloud server, you only pay for what you use. You also save money on maintenance and labor costs because it is the vendor’s responsibility to manage the server and is often included in your plan. The cloud service provider will handle updates and security. Backing up your data on a cloud server can also be done with ease. This is a valuable feature of cloud servers because your data can be recovered with a proper backup plan in place. Cloud servers are a good option for most businesses.
An On-Site Server is physical hardware either on your property or housed at an outsourced IT provider’s facility. On-site servers often require a larger upfront investment because you have to purchase the hardware for the system. Security and maintenance also require more time and cost because the server will be managed by you. These can be outsourced but this does allow you more control over the server. While cloud-based servers are always innovating and updating their systems, upgrades to a local server fall to you. Setting up the server will also take more effort on your part than a cloud server. With an on-site server, you do have more control over features and customization. Cloud servers limit you to what the vendor provides but local servers are fully customizable only limited by your cost and time investments.
Cost – If your company has a large amount of data, the upfront cost of an on-site server may be worth the investment. With a cloud server and the pay-for-what-you-use model, this can be a cost-effective option for most businesses.
Security – With a physical server, the responsibility of security falls to you or the third-party company you chose to house your server. Cloud-based server providers are often constantly updating their security measures as a perk to gain more customers and are often very secure. That said, both systems can be very secure and keep your data safe with proper management and maintenance.
Overall: What’s better for your business?
The answer to this question is, it depends on your needs. Every company is different and has different needs when it comes to a server. Large businesses with medical information might benefit from investing in an on-site server and may be required to do so for security purposes. Other companies that plan on growing would benefit from the ability to scale with a cloud-based server.
If you need help with server management and maintenance or want to understand what server type would best suit your needs, contact us today. One of our team members can go over options and help you decide which would be the best fit for your business.
To share information, important files, and connect throughout the day, your company will need an effective computer network. This will connect all of your computers through a configured network. If you already have a network set up, but struggling throughout the day to access the correct files because your current network is glitching or having loading issues, we can help. Our team can help with network installation and maintenance.
When you have a network that isn’t up to par or just not upgraded enough to serve your company efficiently, you and your employees are the ones that suffer. A slow, glitchy network not only hinders a person’s ability to get a task done but also lowers morale among your staff.
Our team can help you decide which network options are best for you and your company. To see where your network stands, we offer free computer network health check audits. We come to your business and test your network and security and see if we could improve your network. We’ll provide you with a report of our findings at the end of the check.
Reasons for Installing
Installing a company computer network allows your employees to work and communicate seamlessly with each other. If it is not up to date, it could mean that your employee’s workflow isn’t as efficient as it could be. Having a failing network could also mean security risks. Spyware, loss of data, and failing drives could all be possible on a network that does not have the right security measures in place.
A key component to a company network is maintenance. Updates for the network will need to be done regularly to keep the network operating as efficiently as possible. This will help make sure all security measures are up to date, the network is operating at maximum speed, and your company is able to be productive without network downtime.
A company’s computer network is one of the most important aspects of modern businesses. Without an adequate network, your company and employees could be suffering and work could be hindered.
Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that takes your files, data or computer hostage until you pay money. When a ransomware attack happens, your computer or browser may lock up and you may see a ransomware note or your files will be encrypted, leaving you not being able to access them.
How does your computer get it?
There are a few ways ransomware and other types of malware can infect your computer.
Opening links on emails from unknown sources
If you get an email from an unknown email address with a link attached, it’s better not to open it. It could be disguised as a coworker or trusted company. If something about the email seems off, check to see if there are typos in the name or email address. This can be an indicator that the email is fake. These types of emails are called phishing.
Opening links or websites from social media messages
Like the messages that come to your email with a malware virus in them, these are often sent by people you don’t recognize or fake accounts. If a link looks suspicious, do not open it, even if it is from a family member or friend. Their accounts could have been hacked. It is better to check with them to make sure the file is safe.
Using unsecure sites
Sites have their own protection on them. If this has been breached or it is a site set up for malicious purposes, it could put your data and computer at risk. Your browser will usually give you a warning before entering the site. If this happens, it is best to back out of the site.
Steps to protecting your computer against ransomware
– Making sure your computer and software is up to date
– Check emails addresses and look for signs that a website could be fake before downloading anything
– Backup your files and data
The number one way to make sure your data is secure and protected is by having a good backup system in place. If a ransomware attack does happen, you don’t want to pay the money to get your files back, because there is no guarantee that you will get the data back. When you have a good backup system in place, you know that even if something does happen, your data is secure and can be redownloaded onto your computer.
If you need help setting up a backup system for your company, contact us and one of our WesTec reps can go over the options and help you decide what is best for your company. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!
Think of how much of your company’s work is done on a computer and all of the programs, files and information that is stored. If your company does not have a data backup system, you’re at risk of losing it all. That could be detrimental to your business.
So what could cause your systems to go down and experience data loss? There are a few different scenarios where your company could be at risk.
Hardware, Software or System Malfunctions
If you work on a computer, you know they’re not always perfect. Sometimes systems fail or malfunction. If this happens and your data is not backed up, you lose all of your files. If you had a data backup system in place, you could simply load up the backup and restore your information that was lost.
We’ve all made the mistake of accidentally deleting something we weren’t supposed to. It could be that an employee thought the file was something else or accidentally clicked the delete button. Without data backup, those files would be lost forever and the work would have to be redone. With backups, you’ll be able to restore the file and continue the workday.
Malware or Ransomware
Malicious Software, malware for short, is what people refer to as computer viruses. There are different types of malware, with some having the ability to delete everything on your computer system. Ransomware is a type of virus that holds your data captive unless you pay a dollar amount. If you have a good backup system in place, you won’t have to pay the ransom and you will still have access to your data.
In Houston, there are many things that could happen, in particular, flooding. If your computer and hard drive were to be destroyed in a flood or fire, you could lose your data.
While many things could happen, the risk associated with losing your data and files can be mitigated by properly backing up your data. There are different types of backups and data protection. If you would like to start protecting your company’s data, contact us and one of our WesTec reps can go over the options and help you decide what is best for your company. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!
If you own a business, protecting it is probably on the top of your priority list. Surveillance systems and cameras can help you do just that. When making the decisions about CCTV or IP cameras, there are a few different factors to consider before mounting them.
The first thing you want to identify when deciding on the location(s) of your security cameras is, what are you trying to protect? Is it one building? All the doors to the office? Outdoor equipment? Employee workspaces? Thinking about these questions will help you narrow down exactly where you need cameras and what type. The whole purpose of a security camera is to protect your business from numerous different threats. Making sure you are capturing the correct areas is the first step.
Cameras need a power source to operate. Is there access to a power connection or can new wiring be installed in the areas you are wanting to place the cameras, or do you want to go with a battery powered or solar panel option.
Thinking about the places you are installing the cameras and the material that the surveillance cameras will be mounted to. There are many different brackets and methods for mounting security cameras. Our professionals can help you decide what would work best for your needs.
There are many all-weather or weather resistant cameras. Thinking about what kind of environment your security system will need to operate in will help you decide the location and what type of camera you will need.
Are there lights in the area you want to cover? Is it natural or artificial lights? At night is the space well lit or will you need a camera with night vision?
There are many factors that go into deciding the location of your security cameras and the type of system that would be best for your business. Surveillance cameras help protect your company from a range of hazards from theft and crime to workplace accidents. WesTec Services can help make sure you are getting the most out of your surveillance system and assist with answering those questions about camera placement.
Contact us today if you have any questions about adding a surveillance system to your business or learn more about installing a WesTec Guardian CCTV/ Video Surveillance System here.
When you think of surveillance systems, do you think of the fuzzy CCTV shots from old true crime documentaries? Video systems have come a long way since then. Past are the days of not being able to identify individuals from recordings. So how can a surveillance system add a level of security to your business and help you mitigate risk?
Protection from Theft and Crime
Security cameras can help stop crimes before they even occur. Setting up exposed cameras lets trespassers know that they are being recorded and the likelihood of them being caught just went up. A surveillance system proactively protects your business, and can reduce insurance costs.
If a crime does occur, you’ll have a place for the investigation to start and be able to provide evidence. You can choose cameras that continually record or are triggered by an event, such as someone walking by. All-weather cameras allow you to continue capturing activity in extreme conditions. With the climate in the Houston area, you never know what circumstances your surveillance system will need to be working under.
Reducing Workplace Hazards
CCTV and IP camera systems are not just for the outside of your building, installing cameras in work areas can help reduce work-related accidents. By monitoring work spaces, you can mitigate risk such as verifying machinery is functioning properly, confirm safety procedures are being followed and eliminate hazards that could cause injury. More employee accidents results in higher workers’ compensation rates. A surveillance system allows you to document exactly what occurred.
The decision to add surveillance cameras comes down to keeping your business and employees safe and reducing costs associated with thief, employee accidents and workers’ compensation and insurance.
If you would like to learn more about leveling up your security and adding a surveillance system, contact us today. Learn more about installing a WesTec Guardian CCTV/ Video Surveillance System to your business here.
WesTec offers a full line of Houston cabling services including Voice, Data, Fiber, and Coaxial cabling. In this article, we will take you through the specifications of each one, and what makes each of them different.
Voice and Data Cabling
Voice and data cabling are used for just that – voice and data. They are inclusive but not limited to phone system cabling, data network cabling, server room cabling, surveillance cameras, video cabling, and more. Distinctly, data cabling is inclusive to two different types of cables – copper and fiber. The type of cables used define the standards of the method used. Furthermore, these types of cabling make up offices or campus networks, which are able to adapt with new and upcoming technologies; in the long run, allowing businesses to expand.
Fiber cables are able to connect multiple cabinets together and often include a center glass core surrounded by layers of protective materials. This type of cabling avoids electrical obstruction by transmitting light, making them the perfect method for environments with vast amounts of electrical interference. Fiber cabling is now the standard for connective networks across buildings due to their resistance of moisture and lightning.
Coaxial cables are probably one of the most complex types of cabling to install due to their complex infrastructure. These cables have a single copper conductor at the center, a braided metal shield, and a plastic layer in the center which provides insulation. The metal shield is used to block outside interference from motors, fluorescent lights, and other computers. Additionally, coaxial cabling is resistant to obstruction and can handle larger cable lengths between network devices.
Cabling services differ according to your needs, and many beyond just these four exist. WesTec Services is ready to assist you with your cabling needs. For additional information, questions, or comments, contact us or read here.
For a business or home to run successfully, strong network connection in computers is essential. WesTec offers computer Network Health Checks, but what does that entail?
If your computer(s) are running slower than usual, your network is glitching, or there have been security breaches, you might be due for a Network Health Check.
What Are Network Health Checks?
Network Health Check can be defined as a way to test the critical components of a network for performance, reliability, and other security issues. These checks provide security which ensure that your network is sustained to best practices and maximize availability. Because networks can be at risk of security breaches, and malfunction, checking your network health should be done at least once a quarter; some even request that checks are done with more frequency to prevent data loss, poor performance, and others.
Where We Come In
At WesTec, we come to you, on site, and complete a Health Check Audit and check for maximum speed, security, and performance. During the audit, we would also check for any problems such as spyware, failing hard drives, or out-of-date security patches. In addition, we check your computer’s network security, backups, and other issues which could lead to expensive repair bills. At the end of the audit, a report will be provided to you with all information regarding the vulnerability of your network as well as what can be done to fix it.
Now that you have a detailed definition and explanation of a Network Health Check, you might find yourself in need of one. We work diligently to make sure that your network is safe, strong, and reliable. Network Health Audits are only one of the many services we offer. Click here for our services or for any additional questions or requests, contact us. We are more than happy to help!
Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.
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2916 West TC Jester Blvd.,
Houston, TX 77018