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Network Solutions Unlimited Blog

Network Solutions Unlimited has been serving the Decatur area since 2013, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Fourth, Data Services

What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Fourth, Data Services

Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.

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Best Practices for Setting Up Your Backups and Your Disaster Recovery

Best Practices for Setting Up Your Backups and Your Disaster Recovery

When we discuss backup and disaster recovery (BDR), it may seem as though we’re talking about a single process - after all, there’s just one acronym for it. However, the reality is that - while these two processes are related to one another - backup and disaster recovery each require a different preparation process, with different considerations made for each.

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Why You Need to Maintain a Data Backup

Why You Need to Maintain a Data Backup

With World Backup Day coming and going approximately one month ago, it hasn’t been long since we should all have been reminded of the importance of data backup. Regardless, there is never a bad time to discuss the harsh realities of business data loss, and how businesses can avoid it.

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How to Build a Better Backup Strategy for Your Business

How to Build a Better Backup Strategy for Your Business

Business disasters come in all shapes and sizes, which makes it all the more important that you take the time to prepare for those that your business may be susceptible to. This strategy needs to contain numerous considerations, based on the scenario at hand. After all, there is no shortage of events that can lead to disaster in the business world.

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Are You Prepared to Weather Any Disaster?

Are You Prepared to Weather Any Disaster?

Hurricane season can be a scary time for business owners, as those in at-risk climates can never feel safe from these kinds of unpredictable and devastating storms. In particular, those who aren’t prepared to face this destruction are in considerable danger of having their organizations ended for good following a disaster event like a hurricane. We’ll help you make sure your business doesn’t suffer this same fate the next time it stares down a disaster.

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Backups Are Essential For The Businesses Of Today

Backups Are Essential For The Businesses Of Today

Today most companies utilize computers in the dissemination of their services. Whether you run an office that deploys dozens of computers and multiple servers, a busy restaurant with a full-scale point of sale system, or a contractor that only needs one computer with invoicing software, you depend on your data. Since most businesses also provide goods and services for many people that indirectly depend on it, having a plan to protect the business from potential devastation is important.

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Tip of the Week: Backup Your Personal Files With Google Drive Backup

Tip of the Week: Backup Your Personal Files With Google Drive Backup

Consumers can now take full advantage of a data backup system that’s both affordable and convenient, allowing them to keep their data as safe as can be in the event of a disaster. While it might not be ideal for business purposes, the average PC user can surely benefit from Google Drive’s new backup system, which takes advantage of the Backup and Sync application.

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Would You Be “Happy” to Lose 24 Hours’ Worth of Data?

Would You Be “Happy” to Lose 24 Hours’ Worth of Data?

When we talk about best practices, we are typically referring to the practices used by successful companies to garner the best results. A new study by Disaster Recovery has shown that, as backup and recovery solutions go, enterprises are providing some pretty disappointing results as many fail to continuously back up their data and it results in additional inherent risk.

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This World Backup Day, Don’t Get Caught Without a Plan

This World Backup Day, Don’t Get Caught Without a Plan

Having access to your company’s data is absolutely crucial to your success. After all, in today’s day and age, it is an extraordinarily important aspect of your business’ sustainability. Everything you do is influenced in some way by the data you have generated and/or collected--so what would you do if it was suddenly gone?

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Why a Business that Doesn’t Back Up its Data is on Borrowed Time

Why a Business that Doesn’t Back Up its Data is on Borrowed Time

“It won’t happen to me.” This is a common excuse amongst business owners who refuse to equip their network with a comprehensive data backup and recovery solution. They may feel like they’re careful enough to avoid a major data loss-causing disaster. Yet, the inconvenient fact remains that a disaster can happen to any business, no matter how prepared they may be.


Simply put, there are some disasters that are just beyond your control. Take for example these four common disasters that can unexpectedly strike and destroy your data.

Natural Disasters
While it’s true that some geographical locations are safer than others, the fact remains that no place on Earth is immune to a natural disaster that’s capable of disrupting your IT infrastructure and wiping out your data. Severe wind and thunderstorms can happen almost anywhere, and no spot on this planet is 100 percent earthquake proof. Then there are more region-specific natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados, etc. that you need to account for.

While backing up your data won’t prevent a natural disaster from happening (nothing can), it will ensure that your data will survive--even if your IT infrastructure does not. However, simply backing up your data isn’t enough. In order to make sure that operations can resume as quickly as possible, your business continuity plan must include a reliable data recovery option.

Man-Made Disasters
Whether the disaster is natural or man-made, the fact remains that it’s impossible to dodge a major disaster. Man-made disasters like warfare, terrorism, and fires can do some serious damage, while even minor man-made disasters can negatively affect operations, like a power outage. The trick to coming out on top of any disaster is to have a data backup solution in place that creates redundant copies of your data and stores your files offsite, like in the cloud. A BDR solution from Network Solutions Unlimited provides this kind of protection for your business.

Hardware Failure
Every hard drive comes with a chance of failing and crashing. To think otherwise is to kid yourself. Therefore, you need a data backup solution in place that can protect and recover your digital assets, should your hard drive crash on your watch. This is one reason why a BDR solution from Network Solutions Unlimited utilizes redundant copies of your backed up data by storing them on different drives in the cloud, should a hardware failure ever strike the backed up copies. For companies that are serious about protecting their data, it takes this level of redundancy to ensure that your data will be available for when you need it the most.

User Error
People make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes result in the deletion of data. In fact, user error is the number one cause of data loss, so you never want to become overly confident that your well-trained team can never make a mistake. However, with a reliable backup and disaster recovery solution in place, you can be confident that, should a major “whoops” ever happen, you’ll be able to easily revert back to a previous copy of your data and keep operations humming along.

Natural and man-made disasters, hardware failure, and user error, all of these culprits can derail the productivity of a business, or worse, cause a company to go out of business within a year if there’s no data backup solution in place. While you can’t erase the reality of disasters from putting your business at risk, you can do something about it by implementing BDR. Call Network Solutions Unlimited today at 217-428-6449 to learn more.

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3 Myths of Data Backup That Need to Be Busted

3 Myths of Data Backup That Need to Be Busted

Data backup is foundational to every business continuity plan. Despite this, many businesses don’t realize that data backup and disaster recovery are two very different solutions. This oversight could leave a company high and dry in the face of a disaster causing data loss.


To help clear things up, let’s dispel three myths that many have about data backup and disaster recovery.

Myth #1: Having Multiple Copies Guarantees Successful Backups
While it’s true that it’s a best practice to store multiple copies of your data throughout your IT infrastructure, this practice doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your backups will work properly when you need them. Typically, organizations will store one backup in-house, while another copy is sent to a secure, off-site location, typically in the cloud. The idea here is to have at least one backup completely separate from your in-house network, should anything disastrous happen to it. However, in addition to taking multiple backups, you need to routinely check to see if these backups actually work, seeing as they could still be susceptible to user error or data corruption. Therefore, make it a habit to test your backups, or have an outsourced provider do it for you.

Myth #2: Data that’s Frequently Backed Up Can Be Restored From its Original
If your data is only partially wiped out, then it usually can’t be restored from the original. Plus, rebuilding data from scratch is too time-consuming and expensive to be considered as a viable option. For example, think about how long it would take to reaccumulate all of the data stored on your company’s IT infrastructure--an impossibility for most organizations. Instead, having complete backups on hand ensures that you’ll overcome any disaster.

Myth #3: Data Backup and Disaster Recovery are One and the Same
At the core of this problem is the fact that many people don’t understand the differences between data backup and disaster recovery. Rather, they’re two equally critical parts of the same concept: business continuity; i.e., you can’t have one without the other. To be clear:

Data backup is the process of taking the backup itself, while disaster recovery is when these backups are recovered.

To further explain these differences: data backup represents a figure called the recovery point objective (RPO), which is how much data needs to be recovered in order to keep operations moving forward. Whereas disaster recovery makes use of RTO, (recovery time objective), which factors in how long this process takes.

To be clear, your business continuity plan must include both RPO and RTO. The best way to go about this for your business is to implement a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution. A BDR from Network Solutions Unlimited can help your organization get the most out of data backup by providing you with an enterprise-level solution designed to optimize uptime and efficiency.

BDR takes backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes, making it exceptional for keeping your data up-to-date and functional. These backups are taken automatically and are sent to both the cloud and a secure, compliant off-site data center for storage. This gives you the option to restore your data remotely, directly to the BDR device, in the event of a disaster. Plus, the BDR can take the place of your server while you work to resolve the disaster.

If you’d like more information concerning BDR and business continuity, our trusted experts would be happy to consult you. To learn more, reach out to us at 217-428-6449.

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3 Features Every Business Needs From Their Data Recovery Solution

3 Features Every Business Needs From Their Data Recovery Solution

As well-prepared as you might believe your business may be against disasters, the reality is that this is not always the case. In truth, you have no idea when you could fall victim to a data loss incident. As a business owner, you need to understand that it’s not a question of if you’ll experience a data breach, but when, and you need to be prepared for anything.


There are plenty of situations that won’t be under your control:

  • You aren't going to be able to shield your business’s technology from a flood that sweeps through your location and takes half of your infrastructure with it.
  • You aren’t going to stop your old technology from unexpectedly failing when you need it most.
  • An earthquake could knock the ground out from under your business’s footing, and with it, your data systems out of commission.
  • User error, despite your best efforts to ingrain proper data security practices into your staff, will persist, and could eventually lead to lost data or compromised security.

What can you do to preserve your organization’s data?

Data backup and disaster recovery are essential, but the concept is much more refined than it was in the past. Traditional backup solutions used unreliable practices in order to ensure that data was stored and accessible in the event of a disaster. Tape was, and still is, commonly used as a backup measure, in which data is stored on magnetic tape reels that could be deployed when needed. Now, however, there are much more efficient and less time-consuming ways to take advantage of data backup and disaster recovery, and it’s all thanks to the cloud.

Where tape backups are resource-heavy, user-intensive, and time consuming, cloud-based BDR is the opposite. Unlike tape backup that must be performed after-hours, and set by an employee who may or may not forget to do it, BDR is automatic and can be performed throughout the day, all to get past the possibility of an unexpected disaster destroying your data. If you want to guarantee maximum uptime and data retention, you should look for the following features for your disaster recovery solution:

Frequent Backups
Tape backups can usually only be performed once a day, and it’s often the case that they have to be done after closing time. Your business needs a solution that can back up your data multiple times a day. Modern BDR solutions can take backups as often as every 15 minutes, so you’ll always experience minimal data loss and fewer technical hiccups throughout the workday.

Off-Site Backup Storage
Storing your data backups in-house is usually a bad idea, for the specific reason that it could fall victim to the same disaster that strikes the rest of your infrastructure. If your office is destroyed, or your entire system is infected with ransomware, you won’t be able to access your data backups. It makes sense to store your data off-site and in the cloud, so that you can immediately restore your data as it’s needed.

Fast Recovery Time
You don’t want to be left waiting while your data is being restored, as this is time that your organization is wasting. You need a solution that can rapidly deploy your data as quickly as possible. With BDR, you can be back almost instantly, as the BDR can act as a temporary server in the event that yours no longer works properly.

Does your business want to leverage a truly modern data backup tool? You should ask Network Solutions Unlimited about our BDR solution. We can offer a reliable and efficient data backup and disaster recovery solution that’s capable of minimizing data loss and maximizing uptime, even in the worst of scenarios.

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Alert: Smartphones Getting Bombarded By Ransomware

Alert: Smartphones Getting Bombarded By Ransomware

Ransomware is as unpleasant a malware as they come, and can ruin your day by encrypting your files until a ransom is paid. Unfortunately, the threat is getting worse, seeing as it’s now capable of infecting smartphones, too.


Mobile-based ransomware has been on the rise this year, so much that its presence has nearly quadrupled. Software security group Kaspersky Lab claims that their customers in Germany were victimized by mobile ransomware at the highest rate worldwide. Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States followed closely. Kaspersky cited that it protected 35,412 mobile users from ransomware between April 2014 and March of 2015. The next year, this total blew up to 136,532 users. These figures include those who were targeted and protected from ransomware hacks, not those that were actually infected with ransomware. That total is likely much, much higher.

Mobile ransomware works in much the same way as it does on desktops and laptops. It infects the victim’s phone; however, rather than encrypt files that are stored locally on it (most users have these files backed up anyway), the ransomware will target apps, blocking access to them until the ransom has been paid.

These mobile ransomwares tend to play rough. One example is a ransomware originating in Ukraine that locks the keys and replaces the home screen with a warning from the FBI. The fraudulent warning claims that the user has broken the law by visiting illegal adult-themed websites, and it includes screenshots that incriminate the user. The ransomware demands a $500 fine, paid for with a MoneyPak voucher.

These attacks don’t seem to care who they target, either. All you need to do to download it is click the wrong link. In 2014, a 12-year-old girl accidentally installed malware on her device that locked the phone, downloaded repulsive videos, and threatened legal action if she didn’t pay the $500 fine.

How can you defend yourself against such a dangerous threat?

Update Your Phone’s Software
Malware might constantly be upgrading itself, but so are software updates. This neverending race seems to be in an attempt to thwart the other, and without the most recent versions of each software on your phone, it won’t be able to stand up to the most advanced malware on the market. If updated regularly, your device may be able to prevent potential threats from infecting it altogether.

Use Cloud-Based Backup
This is a best practice that should be implemented regardless of whether or not you’ve been struck with ransomware. In the worst-case scenario, and you have to wipe your device in order to get rid of the ransomware, your files will be safely stored in the cloud, ready to be restored.

Avoid Questionable Downloads
If you can’t identify the source of a download, or you simply don’t trust it, don’t download it. Period. It’s as easy as that. Otherwise, you’re exposing your device to a potentially malicious entity that could have easily been avoided.

Contact the Authorities
It might seem like a bad thing to do if you suddenly find illegal content on your device, but you need to contact the authorities if you suspect you’ve been the target of a ransomware plant. In the aforementioned incident with the 12-year-old girl, the authorities were contacted, and they could tell that it was a plant. Even if there is illegal material on your phone, law enforcement members will be able to tell that it’s a plant from ransomware.

For more information about how to beat ransomware on any device, reach out to us today.

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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Go Hand in Hand

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Go Hand in Hand

Businesses are volatile entities that can change drastically at any given moment. All it takes to eliminate data and cause disaster is an unexpected natural disaster, like a flood or fire, or a hardware failure that wipes out mission-critical data. The fact remains that your organization could face significant downtime from data loss, and the future of your business could hang precariously in the mix.


Why Backup and Disaster Recovery is Necessary
If your business doesn’t have a reliable way of recovering from a data loss incident, you need to implement one as soon as possible. It’s been proven time and again that businesses that fail to recover their data within seven days of the incident, will likely go out of business within one year. Here are some of the most common reasons why data loss disaster is so prevalent in the business world.

  • Natural disasters: Floods, fires, electrical storms, tornadoes, hailstorms, and more, all have the potential to wipe out your physical infrastructure, and in turn, your digital assets. Therefore, you need to take steps to implement backup and disaster recovery tools, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to weather hazards.
  • Cyber attacks: Data breaches are known to cause data loss, either due to the destruction of data, or the theft of it. Furthermore, due to the unpredictability of what a virus or malware can do to your infrastructure, it’s recommended that you try to avoid cyber attacks as often as possible. In particular, ransomware can lock your data away and force you to pay a ransom. More often than not, having a data backup solution is the only way to get your data back without shelling out the big bucks.
  • User error: One of the most common causes of data loss is user error. People make mistakes, and even those who have access to data for the purpose of fulfilling their day-to-day duties could accidentally delete a file or move it somewhere it’s not supposed to be. Also of note, users may accidentally hand over credentials to hackers performing phishing scams, which can be a major problem.
  • Hardware failure: It’s inevitable that your technology will grow old and be rendered obsolete. It’s your responsibility to notice the warning signs and to replace your technology before it fails. If a critical server component were to go down, you would experience not just downtime, but massive data loss.

What You Need to Look For
Depending on your business’s specific needs, you’ll require a data backup and disaster recovery solution that’s designed to take regular backups and rapidly recover data, among other things. Here are three topics to consider when determining which kind of BDR solution that you want for your business.

  • Cloud and off-site backup: You don’t want to store your data backups on in-house tapes. Rather, you want them secure in an off-site location, like the cloud or a data center. This way, you can know that your data is stored in a compliant location that can’t be damaged by natural disasters.
  • Quick recovery time: You want to be able to rapidly deploy your business’s data to your infrastructure in order to minimize downtime. Tape backup can make this part of the recovery process long-winded and wasteful, but BDR can automatically deploy your data through the cloud, making recovery practically instantaneous.
  • Comprehensive backup: Furthermore, you want to make sure that your data is as recent as possible. Tape backup is inefficient for this purpose, while BDR can take backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes - maybe even more often.

For more information about BDR, business continuity, and more, contact Network Solutions Unlimited at 217-428-6449.

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Find Out What REALLY Happens When You Delete Your Data

Find Out What REALLY Happens When You Delete Your Data

You understand that the Recycle Bin is the place where deleted files go, and you know that emptying the Recycle Bin is how you dispose of files that you no longer need. What you might not know is that emptying your Recycle Bin does not guarantee that your files are gone at all, and that they’re probably still available on your PC.

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Without a Doubt, BDR is the Best Way to Back Up Your Company's Files

Without a Doubt, BDR is the Best Way to Back Up Your Company's Files

We get asked all the time, “What’s the best way to back up my company’s files?” For businesses, we give the same answer every time: a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution. BDR is far superior to any other data backup solution on the market, as evidenced by these three awesome features.

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What’s the Best Way to Store Your Company’s Data? Find Out!

What’s the Best Way to Store Your Company’s Data? Find Out!

March 31st is World Backup Day! This occasion begs the question, “How much thought have you put into where your data is stored?” If you haven’t thought through your data storage options, then your files may be located in several different places. This could make accessing your data difficult, as well as jeopardize your network’s security. To get you started, let’s take a look at these four data storage options.

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Can Your Business Survive One of These Catastrophic Data Loss Disasters?

b2ap3_thumbnail_continuity_strategy_planning_400.jpgYour business relies on constant access to its data and information systems in order to maintain operations. Businesses that become victims of data loss disasters and are unable to recover their data, will more likely than not go out of business within one year of the incident, making it more important than ever to ensure that you have a plan in the event of the worst-case scenario. Would your business be able to get back on its feet following a data loss disaster?

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