Routers and Basic Connectivity

routers

Majority of companies utilize some sort of wireless internet connectivity, also known as Wi-Fi, during their daily business operations. When discussing the different speeds of routers and the data they can transfer, many do not fully understand what this all means. Continue reading to learn more about dual band routers and how your organization can benefit from this information.

What is a Dual Band Router and How Does it Work?

To begin with, a dual band router connects to your modem and can transmit two different speeds of wireless connections simultaneously, a 2.4 GHz and a 5.0 GHz. Obviously, one connection, 5.0 GHz, is faster than the other, making it optimal for specific tasks. Although it varies, typically a 2.4 GHz connection can support speeds up to 600 Mbps while a 5.0 GHz connection is capable of supporting speeds up to 1300 Mbps. These speeds are considered the maximum. The speed you actually get will all depend on the technology you are using and the specific transfer protocols that it utilizes. 

As previously mentioned, these speeds are ideal conditions and may never be fully achieved. Therefore, we recommended that you use both types of networks simultaneously, in order to help you get the most out of your wireless technology. 

What should run on the 2.4 GHz connection?

The 2.4 GHz connection can be beneficial as its range is larger and it can go through walls and solid objects much easier. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it can be used by so many devices, the connection ends up being poor, making it not the best choice when it comes to connectivity.

What should run on the 5.0 GHz connection?

Clearly, the 5.0 GHz connection is much more ideal in comparison as it has higher wireless speeds and reliability. On the other hand, this type of connection uses short range signals that are not able to penetrate through walls and objects. To make up for this, some people use signal boosters to improve the range of their connection. If you can invest in this technology, it is worth it to have enhanced reliability and stability of the internet connection.

What is the Best Connection for You?

In the majority of situations, a 5.0 GHz connection will be better than a 2.4 GHz. Although it is important to keep in mind that some devices do not give much of a choice with which connection should be utilized. Some devices are simply not compatible with others, forcing you to choose one over the other. A dual band router is commonly used in both the consumer and business environment to help alleviate this issue since some devices require the reliable connection of a 5.0 GHz, while others can thrive on the slower, 2.4 GHz connection. It can be helpful to keep some devices off the 5.0 GHz network to help improve the quality and speed of the overall connection.

If you notice that some devices are losing their connections more frequently than you would want, you can always make adjustments, provided that the device is compatible with both networks. A wired connection is typically preferred for situations where reliability is an absolute must.

If your business needs wireless internet connectivity installed or if you want to learn more information, you know you can contact us at 4 Corner IT for all of your needs. Call us today at 954.474.2204.

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Haunted Office – A Phone Story

haunted office

The following story and events are true, however, to protect the families of the innocent, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, is purely coincidental.

This is a transcript of a police interview with Stephen Corey. Taken by Det. Giles Gerald at 11:05 a.m. this morning. 

Det. Gerald – Please state your name and title. 

Mr. Corey – I’m the founder and CEO for North Shore Software Inc. 

Det. Gerald – Tell me what happened. 

Mr. Corey – We’ve been at the 1692 Osborne Ave location since May 10th. It was rainy, but it was actually pretty warm that morning, if you recall? I got to the office at 6:30; which is an hour and a half early as I like to have some time to myself before the staff arrives. I found it strange that there were several cars in the parking lot, but it’s not really unheard of to have cars in the lot from people that get a ride from the bar just across the street on Sundays this time of year. 

I didn’t think much of it as I gathered my things and went up to the office, but the first real curious thing was that the door to the office was already unlocked. This is Monday, mind you, ya’know, and there have been maybe one or two instances in the thirteen years I’ve owned this company that someone has beaten me to the office on Monday. I’m always the first one there; especially on Monday. So, I suddenly got a very cold feeling and was extremely worried that we’d had a break in. So instead of just barging in and potentially putting myself in a bad situation, I decided to go back to my car and call the office to make sure that I was just being paranoid and that there was, ya’know, people there who were, um, ya’know, were supposed to be there.

The phone rang twice and then Sarah answered. “Thank you for calling North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” 

Det. Gerald – This is Sarah Glanvill? 

Mr. Corey – Yes, she’s our receptionist.

Det. Gerald – Continue

Mr. Corey – I was immediately, ya’know, put at ease when I heard her voice, so I hung up without saying anything and headed into the office. Mind you, this was a very brief stretch of time; less than a minute or two. I got back to the door and went to open it and it was locked. Obviously, this was alarming, but I thought that, ya’know, it being Halloween and all that, someone was trying to mess with me a bit. So my first thought was to pound on the door. At this point, I wasn’t so much scared or annoyed, but was trying to be a good sport. I thought that Sarah, who is one of my longest-tenured employees, was just having a little fun with me. After a few seconds, there was an identical pounding on the other side of the door. 

I remember saying something like, “Okay, okay, this is fun,” as I went to unlock the door with my key. Mind you, the plan is to move over to electronic locks pretty soon, but right now we still have the wood door that came on the place with your typical locks, ya’know. Well I put my key in and it won’t turn. Now I’m starting to get annoyed, because all I want to do is start the day and I’m thinking this prank is going a little too far. I pound on the door again, and again the knocks are returned. You’ll see all this on the CCTV, but I tried to unlock the door a couple other times with no luck.  I then call to end the charade and have Sarah, who at that time I’m completely convinced is doing all this to mess with me, unlock the door.

So, as I went around the back to get in the building, I’m annoyed. I call up and she answers “Thank you for calling North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” I’m like Sarah, “This isn’t funny anymore. Let me in the building!” I get nothing, but “North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” At this point, I’m at the back door. I hang up, not finding the humor in this whole thing, and I go to unlock the back door. I unlock the door and I get halfway in and the door slams and locks. 

At this point I’m just standing there angry and dumbfounded. I try the lock and the key won’t turn. It’s as if the locks were magically changed. I start pounding on the door yelling and swearing. Just then I see headlights shining down the alley on the south side of the building. They are coming from the parking lot. I walk toward the parking lot and the lights go off and as I get to the front of the building. I hear: “Good morning, Mr. Corey. Happy Halloween.” It was Sarah. Even though I just saw her pull up, my blood is up, so I start yelling at her, asking her why she would keep the prank going so long? She has no idea what I am talking about. 

I start barraging her with questions, and accusations, really. She starts to plead and cry, not only because she is being accused, but because she must have thought I was losing my damn mind. By now it’s 7 (a.m) or just after and I’m in a frenzy. I put my phone on speakerphone and Sarah, who is standing right in front of me, on the verge of tears, answers “North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?”

I’m not so sure I’ve ever felt more insane and more sorry. She was as surprised as I was to hear her voice. I knew then that I was dealing with something I didn’t understand. I don’t believe in ghosts, but at that moment I thought for sure there was something paranormal going on, ya’know. I was, um, well, scared. Other employees began to pull up and I didn’t know what else to do so I called you guys and told them to go on home and work remotely until I knew what was going on.

Det. Gerald – What happened when the responding officers got there?

Mr. Corey – Obviously, I’m upset. At this point I was convinced there is someone in my place of business who isn’t supposed to be in there…or ya’know, something…There weren’t any lights on that I could see, but someone is actively trying to keep me out of the building. Officers Mather and Cotton came pretty fast and asked Sarah and I a bunch of questions about what was going on. I told them what I told you and they said if I let them in the building they would go in and see what is going on. I told them that the door was unlocked when I got there and then was locked and that someone slammed the back door on me after that. 

We went up to the door and the door unlocked fine. They went in and it was quickly pretty evident that no one broke in. They returned in minutes to say that there was nobody there and the place was clear. By then more officers had showed up and Sarah helped me by sending workers away as I looked around to see if I could figure out who the hell was there. The officers said the back door was not locked. Obviously, this surprised me. 

Det. Gerald – So who do you think was there?

Mr. Corey – That’s the thing, nothing is missing. I looked through the CCTV footage and I didn’t see anyone entering or leaving. The only thing I saw on those tapes was me struggling with the doors. Someone broke in; I’m sure of it, but I can’t tell you for certain who it was. 

Det. Gerald – Maybe you imagined it. Have you been dealing with more stress than usual?

(Just as Det. Gerald asked the question, an unknown number called Mr. Corey’s phone).

Mr. Corey – No. 

(Mr. Corey ignored the call)

No. I can’t really explain any of it, but I…

(Phone rings again)

Can I take this?

Det. Gerald – Yeah.

Mr. Corey – (into the phone) Hello? (inaudible; Mr. Corey then presses the speaker button on his phone) 

Phone – “…this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?” 

Mr. Corey – Who is this? Who is this??! (hangs up).

Det. Gerald – What was that?

Mr. Corey – That was Sarah the receptionist, but it obviously wasn’t. 

(Just then the phone rang again: Unknown number)

Det. Gerard – Give me the phone. 

(Mr. Corey handed the phone to the officer and he answers it and puts it on speaker)

This is Detective…

Phone – “…North Shore Software, this is Sarah, how can I direct your call?”

At 4 Corner IT, we can assist you and your company’s technological needs. You will have the peace of mind that you will get the end-to-end telephone customer service your business needs without the chance of being haunted by a human or specter. Contact us today at 954.474.2204 for more information. 

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Artificial Intelligence in Wearable Health Devices and IT

wearable devices

Creators of wearable health devices are researching ways to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) technology to monitor users’ health. Prior to the incorporation of AI technology, wearables were used to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature. Through the use of artificial intelligence, wearable health devices will be able to accurately predict the user’s movements even if the wearable is removed from the person.

Health Monitors as Adhesive Patches

Assistant Professor Sihong Wang from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago is currently leading a team who is developing a chip that will collect data from biosensors. This chip will utilize machine learning to draw conclusions about the wearers’ health by sticking to the skin. 

If Professor Sihong Wang and his team’s development becomes a success, wearable biosensors can assist with the management of users’ health, as well as keeping track of various vitals such as blood sugar and oxygen levels, movement, detecting stress levels, and tracking heart rhythm. The advanced technology the team is using can even track electrocardiogram information.

Machine learning algorithms are already found in wearable heart monitors and various smartphone applications, allowing doctors to monitor heart conditions closely.

But, of course, as with any medical data like this, it can open up a whole other can of worms where privacy and security are of concern when integrated with various technology solutions.

Artificial intelligence will more than likely play a crucial role in the healthcare systems over the next few years due to its unique ability to process large amounts of data in a productive and efficient manner.

Artificial Intelligence is Helpful in IT Too

Although the kind of chip that was described earlier may have limited functionality in an office environment, it serves as an example of how advanced AI technology has become, by having the ability to automate tasks and data collection, as well as assist in workflow automation. With the use of proactive technological solutions, your systems can be automatically monitored for signs of security discrepancies or decline in the systems. Besides assisting in healthcare settings, artificial intelligence can also help businesses address any issues or complications with technology.

AI can be divided into five different technology parts: machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, image processing, and speech recognition. A central role in the IT industry includes machine learning and deep learning.

Machine learning focuses on how a computer program is able to examine data using specific algorithms. In other words, a computer is trained to analyze large amounts of data at one time and then learn how to perform those particular tasks. Deep learning is a subcategory of machine learning and is similar. In deep learning, a computer system is trained to perform specific tasks from sounds, texts, or images.

Artificial intelligence can also be used in service management. AI can be utilized with service automation, allowing companies to be more productive and effective, resulting in faster, cost-effective delivery services.

To learn more about what we at 4 Corner IT can do to help your business grow, please contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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What Happens When You Delete Data?

data

At some point, you have probably looked through old files and deleted some of that data to organize your computer. You would be surprised to know that the deletion of those files doesn’t really delete them, at least not completely. Continue reading to learn how to delete your documents for good in a secure manner if you replace your computer or upgrade your technology systems. 

How Does Data Get Deleted?

The answer to this question is complicated. In reality, it depends on the hardware one has. There are two types of storage media: hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs). HDDs are mechanical devices that utilize a spinning platter that allows a mechanical arm to write and overwrite data. SSDs save data through flash memory to chips that can be read quickly, while also eliminating the need for any moving parts. The type of storage media utilized will play a role in how data is eliminated. In regards to the SSD drive, the process is not that simple.

The Deletion of Data Works in Different Ways

HDDs are easier

Data deletion is simple and straightforward with a hard disk drive. The mechanical arm is placed over the disk to rewrite the data that was originally stored on it, making the process easy and efficient.

SSDs are somewhat more complicated 

SSDs utilize flash data that cannot easily be overwritten. The original information must be removed before any additional information can be added, making it a lengthy process that can potentially slow down the solid state drive.

SATA-capable SSDs can use TRIM

TRIM is a command that can assist your SSD to know which information can be erased. It is imperative to ensure the durability of the solid state drive is maintained and the processes are run as efficiently as possible. SSDs utilize an internal operation known as “garbage collection” which moves the important data from a block that needs to be deleted. TRIM ensures that the deleted data cannot be copied. Because this is a background process, you can work while the data is in the process of being deleted. In Windows, TRIM is automatically enabled as it replaces Disk Defragmenter.

Is Your Data Really Gone?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not that simple. SSDs deceive the operating system in regards to the amount of data blocks available. In other words, a process known as wear leveling is utilized to maintain the longevity of the SSD. Some data blocks may not be trimmed as expected as TRIM also incorporates buffer space that may continue to keep recent data on it as well.

The Answer is Yes… But No at the Same Time

Yes, the documents will be removed. Unfortunately, the security of those deleted files might not be deleted. Therefore, it is important to carefully dispose of old devices, especially if you are planning to donate or resell them. 

Ask Us About the Hardware Refresh Process

It is understandable that people always want to upgrade to the most recent and reliable technology. Therefore, it is important to be careful when getting rid of older devices. If you have a drive or device that needs to be wiped completely, 4 Corner IT can help you through this process so it may be completed in an efficient, timely, and safe manner without putting your information at risk. To learn more, please contact us at 954.474.2204.

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How the Technology Industry is (or is not) Affected by Inflation

inflation

Many economic analysts report that inflation is currently on the rise in the United States. Inflation is the rate of increases in prices over a certain period of time. Inflation is normally a broadened term, like the overall increase in the cost of living in a country, but it can also be calculated more specifically, such as the increase in goods and services. With inflation, the value of the dollar also decreases. 

Unfortunately, inflation continues to negatively impact businesses across all industries. Consumers are spending less money in order to save more, resulting in companies adapting to diminished sales and resources. Many companies have turned to incorporate various strategies that allow them to receive the most out of their investments. There are several ways to maintain a decent IT budget without spending too much. Continue reading to learn more.

Investments in Technology Can Overturn Inflation

Investment management and financial services company, Morgan Stanley, recently issued a list of deflation enablers. Deflation enablers are companies that assist organizations in reducing costs, improving productivity, and optimizing overall performance. Automation platforms, such as Appian, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and UiPath, allow companies to be more efficient by saving time and labor costs. Creating manual processes ultimately eliminates the need for people to perform them. Supply chain efficiency software, such as C3.ai, Palantir, and Snowflake, utilizes cloud-based data warehousing allowing its clients to consolidate all of their data which employees can access.

Working Together to Combat this Economic Issue

Incorporating the necessary resources effectively can help withstand inflation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have adopted the strategies of remote operations and downsizing of the company. Due to a large amount of money being spent on real estate, organizations consider reinvesting that money elsewhere within the company, such as in IT solutions and sales. 

As mentioned previously, many IT providers are mentioned in Morgan Stanley’s list of deflation enablers. This is because automation and cloud-based platforms reduce costs and relieve employees of menial tasks, allowing them to focus on other opportunities that improve the productivity of the company.

4 Corner IT can assist you and your company with all things automation-related. We also can assist you in getting the most out of your technology solutions in other ways. Our managed IT services will give you and your business the support needed to succeed in a competitive and fast-paced business environment. To learn more, please contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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