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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.

Is Microsoft 365 an Option for Your Business

Is Microsoft 365 an Option for Your Business

Microsoft offers solutions that have a proven history of being assets when businesses adopt them - but like most any solution, what may fit well for one, may not fit well for all. Here, we’ll consider one of Microsoft offerings to help you determine if it is the right solution for your needs and requirements.

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Understanding the Different Types of Cloud

Understanding the Different Types of Cloud

Many businesses have taken the cloud into consideration as their next technology implementation… but there’s more to adopting a cloud solution than going to the cloud store and asking for one. First, you need to determine what kind of cloud solution is best suited to your needs.

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Tip of the Week: Is Virtualization Right for You?

Tip of the Week: Is Virtualization Right for You?

Virtualization has opened up a lot of doors for businesses who want to make their operations more flexible, but your business can’t simply implement it all willy-nilly. You need to have specific requirements in mind for your cloud hardware. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you make the best decisions possible regarding the adoption of virtualization for your business’ needs.

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Tip of the Week: How Small Business Goes About Utilizing Technology

Tip of the Week: How Small Business Goes About Utilizing Technology

No matter how big a business is, it has to leverage at least some IT in order to be efficient. Unfortunately, some organizations are reluctant to implement new technology if they don’t seem to need it immediately. What these businesses don’t know is that the reason they typically don’t implement new solutions--saving money--is in direct conflict with what the solutions are designed to do in the first place.

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Tip of the Week: Introducing Evernote Templates

Tip of the Week: Introducing Evernote Templates

Evernote is a neat note-taking app that many users have found works for them, as it can be used to keep notes organized in a better way than a traditional notebook. With new features that can offer you plenty of functionality, Evernote might just be the note-taking solution you’ve been looking for all these years. This week’s tip is dedicated to one of the best new features of Evernote: templates.

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Backup and Recovery of Collaborative Environments

Backup and Recovery of Collaborative Environments

As the cloud is being utilized by more individuals and organizations to meet their computing needs, more very important data is hosted outside of local computer networks. As a result, people utilize cloud storage for their backup and recovery strategies. In fact, it has become the primary use of cloud-hosted platforms, but just how does backup and recovery from these collaborative cloud-based platforms work?

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Some of the Value that Cloud Computing Offers

Some of the Value that Cloud Computing Offers

Cloud computing is a major player in the way that businesses are approaching their daily operations. This might bring into question whether or not your organization is actually using the cloud in the first place, but one thing is certain--if you haven’t implemented the cloud yet, it’s difficult to not do so, especially considering how great it can be for your company.

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We Predict This Technology Will Be Big in 2018

We Predict This Technology Will Be Big in 2018

Technology is a necessity for businesses everywhere if they are to reach their goals, which are themselves influenced by the technology that businesses have access to. If this cycle is to continue, a business needs to establish what is expected to come next in the line of IT innovation. From the looks of it, businesses are currently placing convenience in high regard.

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File Sharing Is a Great Way to Leverage the Cloud for Your Business

File Sharing Is a Great Way to Leverage the Cloud for Your Business

Technology is a big deal for the modern business. This doesn’t mean just your organization’s workstations and servers either. Today there is a big shift in the way that small-to-large businesses get the computing resources they need to succeed. As cloud-based offerings continue to offer organizations computing options they haven’t had before, one hosted solution stands out for the value it presents: file sharing.

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Why Your Business Should Be Using Virtualization

Why Your Business Should Be Using Virtualization

Virtualization can change a lot for your business. Since you can use multiple types of solutions to expand the way your operations work, virtualization is the perfect strategy to improve your business. But what is virtualization, exactly?

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Goodbye USB Drives, Hello Cloud

Goodbye USB Drives, Hello Cloud

When it comes to quick and easy document sharing, most people will reach for a USB drive without a second thought. However, you may want to reconsider and use the cloud instead. Let’s explore why.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Ways for Your Business to Take Full Advantage of the Cloud

Tip of the Week: 3 Ways for Your Business to Take Full Advantage of the Cloud

A connectivity to the cloud is a great opportunity that your organization can leverage to its advantage, but only if it’s done well. No two businesses will have the same exact configuration when it comes to cloud, as the needs and responsibilities that are accomplished through that cloud solution will change. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you discover which cloud solution is right for you.

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Moving to the Cloud? Be Wary of These Hidden Costs

Moving to the Cloud? Be Wary of These Hidden Costs

Efficient utility software deployment has been a priority for businesses for much of the past three decades, but today’s software developers are beginning to more frequently offer their titles as a service, giving end users the ability to utilize powerful software solutions from anywhere, for what is often a reasonable monthly payment. The dissemination of useful computing resources from the cloud, whether it’s a private cloud server, or a public cloud platform through a reputable cloud provider, can be of great benefit to your business.

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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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If Your Network is in the Cloud, What Do You Do with No Internet?

If Your Network is in the Cloud, What Do You Do with No Internet?

Thanks to the advancements of virtualization and cloud computing, many businesses are hosting key parts of their IT infrastructure off-site. While this move is great for mobility and productivity, it makes operations extremely dependant upon a working Internet connection. If this scenario describes your organization, what’s your plan to stay productive should your Internet connection fail?


Whether you host just some of your mission-critical data in the cloud or your entire IT infrastructure, a failed Internet connection translates to costly downtime; even those annoying Internet “hiccups” can add up over the course of the workday. Even the best ISPs can’t promise 100 percent uptime, making it very likely that you’ve experienced this pain point before.

Also, what about a worst-case scenario? Imagine for a moment Decatur getting slammed with a natural disaster that takes your ISP offline for days. This is more likely to happen than you would think. Here are three solutions to overcome this inconvenience.

Have a Backup IT Infrastructure On-Site
One solution is to have a backup of your infrastructure stored locally on your in-house network. Taking a precaution like this certainly is prudent, although, while locally backing up your infrastructure is a great move, not every business will have the ability or funds needed to enact this proactive measure.

Access a Mobile Network
Another idea to give your office Internet access when your ISP fails is to equip your staff with 4G-enabled laptops and smartphones that can act as temporary hotspots. This will provide your team with the ability to access the files they need over the 4G network, allowing operations to continue humming along. However, before you put a lot of stock into a strategy like this, you’ll first want to check the terms and conditions of your mobile data plan. Having the entire office access your carrier’s 4G network could result in some hefty fees that may or may not be offset by the profits made while working on your mobile network.

Have Your Team Work Remotely
Another approach is to simply take advantage of other working Internet connections that can be found elsewhere. This is one clear advantage to having a mobile workforce. If your office is experiencing Internet troubles, then your staff can take their mobile devices with them to the nearest coffee shop with working Wi-Fi connection, or even work from their homes. A move like this will keep operations going in an emergency situation, and depending on the likes and dislikes of your staff, you may even find such an arrangement to be more productive for your company overall.

According to ZDNet, this option may actually be the best option in terms of overcoming downtime, and it’s worth implementing as a contingency plan: “It's true that businesses are increasingly allowing for remote work and disaster planning is a good argument for it. It may even be worthwhile as an exercise. Require employees to have a plan for working off-site and schedule a day for everyone, or perhaps one department at a time, to do so. You might learn something about productivity while you're at it. 9/11 proved that it's possible your offices may be out of commission for a while. Do you really want to have to make up your plans on the spot when that happens?”

Having a plan in place to account for the loss of Internet is just one of the many potential IT problems that you’ll want to be prepared for. Whether your IT infrastructure is hosted in the cloud or it’s located in-house, there exist a plethora of downtime-causing sceneries that can strike your business at anytime (like hacking attacks, user error, and more). Working with Network Solutions Unlimited to create a bulletproof business continuity plan is the surest way to keep your company up and running, no matter what problems you’re faced with.

To make sure you’re prepared for any and all problems that can affect your technology, call us today at 217-428-6449.

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What You Need to Know About the Cloud Before Signing Up

What You Need to Know About the Cloud Before Signing Up

Essentially, virtualization takes a physical component of your IT infrastructure, like a server or workstation, and stores it in a virtual environment that can be accessed via an online interface. Users that take advantage of cloud computing are familiar with this interface and use it to access their data and applications stored in the cloud. Some popular examples include software like Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive, as well as email services like Gmail and Outlook.

Another way to understand cloud computing is to view it as keeping your data on someone else’s computer. This computer is located off-site and it is (hopefully) maintained and managed by IT professionals. More often than not, these hosted machines are powerful and can provide you with more computing resources for the money compared to purchasing the same equipment for your office.

Plus, when your cloud data is managed and maintained by professionals like a managed service provider, that’s one less thing for you to worry about so you can better focus on running your business. Alternatively, it’s entirely possible to use the virtualization process for accessing data stored on your in-house servers or workstations. While going this route will provide your company with all of the benefits and advantages of cloud computing, it also means that you’re responsible for the upkeep of your own equipment, so be sure to account for this when choosing this computing option.

When it comes to successfully implementing cloud computing for your business, the better you understand what cloud computing can do, equates to you being able to better take advantage of these benefits. What you want is a cloud service package that’s customized to meet the unique needs of your company, instead of a generic, one-size-fits-all package. To that end, Network Solutions Unlimited takes the time to understand the computing needs of your business, and then match your needs with cloud solutions that are the right fit, whether it be hosting your data in-house or having us manage your cloud data.

To get you started with cloud computing, be sure to ask yourself these questions:

  • How much control do you want over your data?
  • Are you equipped to take care of your own IT equipment?
  • Would it be better for your budget to buy your own IT equipment, or outsource your IT needs?
  • Do you have remote workers?
  • Do you handle information that’s sensitive in nature and subject to fines if handled improperly?

Finally, it might be in your best interest to go with virtualization instead of cloud computing. While virtualization is what drives cloud computing, you might be able cover your needs with virtualizing your own IT network, instead of migrating your IT infrastructure to the cloud. Of course, the best way to know for sure what your computing needs are is to have a conversation with Network Solutions Unlimited. It’s easy to do, just pick up the phone and call 217-428-6449 to schedule your IT assessment today!

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Moving to a New Office Building? Make Sure Your Technology is Good to Go!

Moving to a New Office Building? Make Sure Your Technology is Good to Go!

Moving your office is never an easy task. You have to move furniture, personal objects, and above all else, your technology infrastructure. There’s nothing simple about moving your office’s technology, but it’s still nothing to get worried about. That’s why we’re here to help, from suggesting the optimal network cabling, to the proper deployment of new and improved technology solutions.

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There’s No Good Reason Why Managing Your Email Should Be a Hassle

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_in_the_cloud_400.jpgYour business is no-doubt reliant on your email solution as a critical communications component. Without it, your organization’s operations could be significantly hampered, forcing you to improvise in order to reach out to internal and external parties. As an important part of any business’s communications, it’s crucial that your email solution is as efficient as possible, but managing an email server can be challenging for the average business owner.

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