NBN ready router for small business

Rosh-Tech IT’s recommendation for an NBN ready router is a DrayTek 2860n. This router will handle different kinds of NBN connections: FTTN, FTTP, HFC and most others.

 

The 2860n costs $500 and is aimed at businesses, not home users. You are able to connect via VPN and it has a powerful firewall to keep your environment safe.

 

It takes a 3G/4G dongle that you can use as a failover for when your primary internet link goes down.

 

See this post for more information on the dongle options.

Make your fax work over the NBN

Do you need to send and receive faxes?

One of the biggest challenges of moving to the NBN is making your analogue devices (like faxes) work. There is a lot of confusion about whether fax machines will work over the NBN. Read the below guide on how to make your fax work over the NBN.

 

The simple answer is that fax machines will work over the NBN.

*There are very few cases where a fax machine won’t work over the NBN.

Make your fax work over the NBN

How: a fax machine is an analogue device designed to work over an analogue network (ie: PSTN). The NBN network is a digital network that needs to talk to IP devices.

steps To make a fax machine work…

  1. Give it an IP address
    1. We do this by installing a phone adaptor, like a Cisco SPA112.
    2. The SPA112 costs approx $60
    3. The instructions to configure the SPA112 are below.
    4. This will effectively make your fax machine a network device
  2. Link it to a SIP/VoIP account
    1. You need a SIP/VoIP account with a provider
    2. eg: Rosh-Tech IT, Integrated Technology Solutions
    3. They will provide you with
      1. SIP/VoIP host address
      2. user account
      3. password
    4. Your fax number
      1. you can port your existing fax number to the SIP/VoIP provider
      2. alternatively you can get a new fax number
    5. The fax number that you are using from the above Item 4 needs to be linked on your SIP/VoIP account with your provider

 

Configure the Cisco SPA112

  1. Plug the SPA112 into the network
  2. Scan the network to find the SPA112 IP address
  3. Open a browser and type in the IP address
  4. Log in to the SPA112 with username/password admin /admin
  5. Open the Voice page Line 1
  6. Enter the proxy as the address of your SIP/VoIP provider
    1. normally something like sip.provider.com.au
  7. Display name: any label that suits
    1. eg:Reception
  8. User ID: This is the user account of your SIP/VoIP account
  9. Password: This is the password of your SIP/VoIP account
  10. Submit
  11. The SPA112 will then reboot and register and you are good to go
  12. Check that your fax can send and receive

 

This post is intended to be a bare-bones guide to make your fax work over the NBN network. There are dozens of other settings available in the SPA112 and your individual fax machine that can be tweaked.

 

If you need assistance with this issue or any other IT issue feel free to call the Helpdesk on 1300666040.

Small business digital grants

Small business digital grants

 

The small business digital grants Program provides small businesses with access to digital technologies and services to enable them to work smarter, engage with the global economy, and make the most of online business opportunities arising from digital disruption

 

Matched funding of up to $10 000 (excluding GST) may be provided to eligible businesses for the purchase of hardware, software and services – such as digital coaching.

 

Rosh-Tech IT is able to work with local businesses that meet the following key criteria to deliver projects that fall under this program…

  • have fewer than 20 employees
  • have a turnover of $2 million or less
Who should apply?

All Queensland-based small businesses can apply. The business must show that the digital technology or service purchased will enhance the digital capabilities of the business and help them to be more competitive.

 

This is an opportunity to look at those projects that your organisation needs but have been held up due to funding. The dollar for dollar funding from the state government will take the pressure off local businesses to come up with the full amount for technology projects.

An example of digital technology that can be utilised by local businesses to their advantage is SharePoint. A new SharePoint intranet can increase efficiencies and competitiveness for  small businesses by giving them an enterprise-grade document storage solution and keeping all their staff connected to their work.

Applications close on 24 October 2017 and the solution needs to be delivered within 3 months after approval.

 

If you have any questions regarding this program please contact Rosh-Tech IT for more information.

Cloud Fax for SMBs after NBN cuts off your fax line

How will you fax after the NBN?

The NBN is coming and the removal of landlines means that your fax machine will stop working.

There is a real need for a Cloud Fax for SMBs after NBN cuts off your fax line.

 

Q: What is your best option?

 

A: The simplest solution is to move your faxing into the cloud. Rosh-Tech IT recommends GFI Faxmaker Online.

 

GFI’s Cloud Fax for SMBs service allows you to send and receive faxes from your desktop computer rather than having to use a fax machine. This means you can pickup and send your faxes from your mobile phone.

 

GFI Faxmaker online
GFI Faxmaker online

 

Setup of Cloud Fax for SMBs

Setup is simple and is done via a web based portal. You can specify which users can send faxes and which users will receive incoming faxes. Usage reports are also emailed to a company contact regularly so you can see how many faxes are being sent and received.

You must start the process by starting a Faxmaker online trial. Then if you decide to subscribe to the service then you will receive an activation code which will turn the trial into production. Porting your existing fax number is only possible after you have subscribed.

Sending

Sending a fax is as simple as sending an email.

You simply send an email to the recipient using their fax number in the To: email address. Lets say their phone number is 0752225222. In this example it is as easy as sending an email to +61752225222@gfifax.com.

 

Furthermore, you can write a fax message in the email body. In addition, documents, PDFs and other attachments that need to be faxed as well can be attached in the email. Attachments that you can fax include .DOC, DOCX, .XLS, XLSX, .PPT, PPTX, .TIF/TIFF, .TXT, .HTML,  .RTF, .PDF,  .JPG, .VSD,  .GIF.

Inbound faxes are sent to you via email. You can nominate one or many staff members to receive and distribute faxes. The one company can even have multiple fax numbers inbound faxes can be distributed to different staff members. Say you have multiple locations then you can keep your existing fax numbers and have consequently have those faxes automatically distributed to the appropriate staff.

 

Most of all, existing fax numbers can be ported to the GFI Faxmaker online service to ensure continuity of faxing.

 

You can order GFI Faxmaker online directly from Rosh-Tech IT. Below are the Faxmaker charges.

Faxmaker Online fees …

Faxmaker online account    $148.50

1800 fax pages inbound or outbound LOCAL in one year    $206.55

Number porting    $195.00

 

 

Q: What next?

A: If you would like to arrange for a trial of Cloud Fax for SMBs then contact Rosh-Tech IT and we will send a technician to set you up with Faxmaker online to use for free for 30 days.

 

Ask Rosh-Tech IT for a quote for the setup fee which will be dependant on the size of the company, number of fax lines, numbers to be ported etc.

 

 

*All prices are Ex GST.

 

 

Rosh-Tech IT service FAQs

Rosh-Tech IT service FAQs

Below is a list of some Rosh-Tech IT service FAQs.

 

Q: What is the helpdesk number?

A: 1300 666 040 option 1

 

Q Can I email a support request?

A: Yes and you will receive a receipt straight back.

Email: help@roshtech.com.au.

For this to work your name needs to be entered into our system as a contact so please call us if you want to check.

 

Q: What does the helpdesk do?

A: The helpdesk provides call logging, remote support and escalation to your primary technician when required. The helpdesk also coordinates all our technicians’ schedules.

 

Q: What are your working hours?

A: Our technicians’ normal working hours are Mon-Fri between 8am and 6pm. Also our office and helpdesk lines are manned Mon-Fri between 8:30am to 5pm

 

Q: Do you charge extra for work outside of normal hours?

A: we charge double time for work outside of the above normal working hours.

 

Q: I have a 7 day business that works late. Can I get support?

A: Yes. Please let us know so that we can make arrangements for you to have access to our 24×7 support. You will receive a PIN number so you can access our 24×7 support line.

 

Q: What’s the arrangement for parking?

A: Rosh-Tech IT will always attempt to use free parking as close as possible to your premises. If free parking is not available we will ask you for the least cost/preferred method of paid parking close by. Any parking expenses will be added to the customer’s bill.

 

Q: How do your block hours work?

A: A block of hours (20 or 50) is kept in your account and the hours never expire. The hours are used when required for regular proactive maintenance, onsite support, helpdesk support or projects. Every month you will receive an hours-only statement which details hours purchased, used during the month and how many remain in your plan. When your block of hours runs low, we automatically put another one of equal value in place to avoid any labour being charged out at our higher ad-hoc rates.

 

Q: Do you support Apple?

A: these days iPhones and iPads are everywhere so our technicans are used to integrating them into our customers’ networks. When it comes to Macbooks and Apple computers, we don’t always have skillsets inhouse deep enough but we have IT partners that we engage to get you an awesome result.

Bank payment fraud

Organisations are at risk of falling prey to a very clever bank payment fraud scam that takes advantage of a compromised email system.

 The fraudster will get control of one of your suppliers’ computers and monitor the email traffic for some time. Once they have established a pattern, they can send you an email advising you to transfer future payments to a new bank account. This is a key elemnt of the bank payment fraud. They are able to get control of the computer by a number of means: malware, phishing or even insider information.

 

You would naturally change the bank account payment details and process future payments, not realizing that the money i

s being transferred to the fraudster’s account. The bank is normally in Hong Kong. From there the money is usually quickly transferred to another bank in another country. Retrieving the funds is very difficult as you need to deal with courts and banks in foreign countries. Timing is critical.

 

What to do?

       Call every supplier that requests a change to their banking details and confirm

       Install business grade antivirus and antimalware software on every computer

       Alert all accounts staff to these kinds of frauds so they are aware of the risks. Read this example.

Internet link failover with 4G

Does your business have mission critical internet links? If so, what is your plan if there is an outage?

Rosh-Tech IT provides an Internet link failover using 4G option for all customers starting from $15 per month!

The primary link can be any type…

–       EFM

–       ADSL

–       NBN

–       Fixed wireless

 

The secondary (failover) link will be a 4G dongle configured in an active-passive state.

If the primary link goes down then the secondary link comes online quickly. With typical 4G link speeds of 40/10mbps the performance of the failover link is excellent.

 

The two main options for the 4G dongle are listed below…

Optus

  • $15 per month for 2GB data
  • $10 per 1GB top-ups
  • month to month
  • Can upgrade and downgrade as required
  • eg: $50 for 25GB
  • Good coverage most areas
  • Huawei E3372 4G modem $19 once off

Telstra

  • $15 per month for 1GB data
  • $10 per 1GB top-ups
  • 2 year contract
  • Good coverage most areas
  • Huawei E8372 4G modem included

 

Note: if/when the 4G failover link is required, the data caps and charges may become an issue. The 1GB or 2GB caps above are acceptable for small outages. Both Optus and Telstra charge $10 per 1GB for excess data. That means that if you function on failover for a few days and chew through 50GB of data then the excess data charge would be 50 x $10 = $500.

 

The Telstra deal is a 2 year contract so there is no flexibility with the arrangement. The Optus deal is month to month so if a sustained outage is occurring you can upgrade to a high value plan and keep your costs down. In the above scenario, Optus has a 50GB plan for $70….significantly less than $500.

 

The above scenario is unlikely but it is worth considering the options with respect to excess data.

Internet link failover using 4G options

If you have any questions about your Internet link failover using 4G options or if you can implement failover please contact us.

Exchange Server 2007 is going end of life

On 11th April 11 2017, Exchange Server 2007 will reach End of Life.

 

What does End of Life mean?

 

Exchange Server, like almost all Microsoft products, has a support lifecycle (10 years) during which new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on are provided.

 

From 11th April 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:

 

  • Technical support for problems that may occur;
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server;
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches;
  • Time zone updates.

 

Exchange 2007 will continue to run after this date. However, because of the changes listed above, we strongly recommend that you migrate from Exchange 2007 as soon as possible.

Website backups

Is your website backed up?

 

What would happen tomorrow if your website was hacked, deleted or your web host was no longer in business?

 

These three scenarios are real, and can result in disaster if there is no backup.

 

Not many businesses consider this question but it is relevant and applies to a critical part of your business: your website.

 

Q: Why backup your website?

A: You have invested a lot of money in setting up your website and most likely, the only copy of it is sitting on the web server. If you are adding blogs and posts and keeping it up to date then there is also your time invested in the site.

 

Backing the website up is simple and should be set to occur automatically every week to an offsite storage location. The recovery process should also be tested twice a year.

 

The three options for a backup and recovery solution for your website include:

       Contact your web support provider and ask them to initiate an offsite backup/recovery solution

       Contact your web hosting provider and ask them to initiate an offsite backup/recovery solution

       Contact Rosh-Tech IT

How can I improve my backup?

How can I improve my backup?

The best single improvement you can make to your organisation’s business continuity plan is to perform regular recovery testing. The answer to the question “How can I improve my backup” comes from a common sense approach to testing and then improving the recovery procedure.

 

The only way to know for sure how reliable your backup is, is to do a full test of the recovery procedure.

 

This will provide answers to these three critical questions…

 

(i)             Was the recovery of the systems successful?

(ii)            How long did it take to recover?

(iii)           Did the systems come back with full data integrity?

 

The above procedure is not difficult and is a simple planned exercise recommended to all small businesses. This procedure should be run on all systems, regardless of where they are hosted.

 

Talk to a Rosh-Tech IT representative for more information on recovery testing.