Why you should consider going for hosted Exchange services

Microsoft Exchange is proving to be a reliable and cost-effective email server service, but for many small businesses, the hardware costs that come with it are daunting. But fear not, as there’s a good way to still enjoy the benefits of Exchange without heavy server investments — and that’s hosted Exchange services.

​​What is Microsoft Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange is a messaging system that offers businesses a number of services, including email, calendaring, task management, and address lists. By integrating Exchange into your business, you can access all of these services from any location and on almost every device.

Many companies that purchase Exchange install it on their on-premises servers, which can be a bit expensive, especially for small businesses. Moreover, the server required to host it can take up space that a business may not have. This is why many companies prefer to operate on cloud-based systems.

What is hosted Exchange?

To make Exchange available to more businesses, many IT companies like Microsoft now offer hosted Exchange. In this setup, your IT provider allots a space on their servers where they install Microsoft Exchange and make it accessible only to your company over an internet connection. They are in charge of ensuring that the data stored is secure and accessible to you at all times. Many hosted Exchange providers will also offer extra features like improved security, full-time management, and data backup.

In other words, hosted Exchange is the cloud-based version of Microsoft Exchange managed by a host company or provider. You and your employees will still be able to access Exchange as if it were hosted in your office.

Benefits of hosted Exchange

Companies looking to integrate hosted Exchange into their business can enjoy the following benefits:

1. Predictable and lower costs

Like many other hosted services, the majority of hosted Exchange services are offered on a monthly, per-user basis, inclusive of maintenance and hosting. This makes costs predictable, as you’ll be paying a fixed fee every month.

Hosted Exchange also lowers overall costs. If a business were to calculate the cost of purchasing Microsoft Exchange and the infrastructure required to use it, plus maintenance fees, the total and per-user cost will likely add up quickly. For many small businesses, paying a monthly fee will be far less expensive than hosting a Microsoft Exchange solution in house. What’s more, you save money on maintenance overhead and future expenses.

2. Easier implementation

Implementing Microsoft Exchange in your office would require you to find space for the server. Once you install Exchange on this server, you’ll have to manage it and add new accounts and users. In case the service goes offline, you’ll have to fix it yourself. But with a hosted Exchange solution, your IT partner will take care of hosting, installation, and management, so you can focus on running your business.

3. Flexible solutions

Growing businesses may find it tough to scale up or down on an in-house Microsoft Exchange solution because of the server’s limited capacity. With hosted Exchange, scaling up or down is as easy as contacting your provider, who can ensure that space and resources are available. They can also help scale your solutions in case you move offices.

Looking to learn more about hosted Exchange and how your business can benefit from it? Chat with us today!

This post was originally published on this site

Why you should consider going for hosted Exchange services

Microsoft Exchange is proving to be a reliable and cost-effective email server service, but for many small businesses, the hardware costs that come with it are daunting. But fear not, as there’s a good way to still enjoy the benefits of Exchange without heavy server investments — and that’s hosted Exchange services.

​​What is Microsoft Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange is a messaging system that offers businesses a number of services, including email, calendaring, task management, and address lists. By integrating Exchange into your business, you can access all of these services from any location and on almost every device.

Many companies that purchase Exchange install it on their on-premises servers, which can be a bit expensive, especially for small businesses. Moreover, the server required to host it can take up space that a business may not have. This is why many companies prefer to operate on cloud-based systems.

What is hosted Exchange?

To make Exchange available to more businesses, many IT companies like Microsoft now offer hosted Exchange. In this setup, your IT provider allots a space on their servers where they install Microsoft Exchange and make it accessible only to your company over an internet connection. They are in charge of ensuring that the data stored is secure and accessible to you at all times. Many hosted Exchange providers will also offer extra features like improved security, full-time management, and data backup.

In other words, hosted Exchange is the cloud-based version of Microsoft Exchange managed by a host company or provider. You and your employees will still be able to access Exchange as if it were hosted in your office.

Benefits of hosted Exchange

Companies looking to integrate hosted Exchange into their business can enjoy the following benefits:

1. Predictable and lower costs

Like many other hosted services, the majority of hosted Exchange services are offered on a monthly, per-user basis, inclusive of maintenance and hosting. This makes costs predictable, as you’ll be paying a fixed fee every month.

Hosted Exchange also lowers overall costs. If a business were to calculate the cost of purchasing Microsoft Exchange and the infrastructure required to use it, plus maintenance fees, the total and per-user cost will likely add up quickly. For many small businesses, paying a monthly fee will be far less expensive than hosting a Microsoft Exchange solution in house. What’s more, you save money on maintenance overhead and future expenses.

2. Easier implementation

Implementing Microsoft Exchange in your office would require you to find space for the server. Once you install Exchange on this server, you’ll have to manage it and add new accounts and users. In case the service goes offline, you’ll have to fix it yourself. But with a hosted Exchange solution, your IT partner will take care of hosting, installation, and management, so you can focus on running your business.

3. Flexible solutions

Growing businesses may find it tough to scale up or down on an in-house Microsoft Exchange solution because of the server’s limited capacity. With hosted Exchange, scaling up or down is as easy as contacting your provider, who can ensure that space and resources are available. They can also help scale your solutions in case you move offices.

Looking to learn more about hosted Exchange and how your business can benefit from it? Chat with us today!

This post was originally published on this site

Moving files from Android to PC or Mac

Maybe you ran out of phone memory so you need to transfer files from your mobile to your computer’s storage drive. Or maybe you need a bigger screen to work on something and your computer provides that. Whatever brought you to this page, here’s how to transfer files from your Android device to your computer.

To start, you’ll need the following:

  • Your Android phone
  • A computer with a USB Type A or C port
  • A USB cable

On Windows

  1. Unlock your phone.
  2. Plug it into your computer’s USB port using a cable.
  3. Your Android phone will display a “Charging this device via USB” notification. Tap on it.
  4. Tapping on the notification will display other options. Select File Transfer under “Use USB for.”
  5. Your computer will show a file transfer window. Drag and drop files from this window to your preferred location on your computer.
  6. Once you’re done, unplug your USB cable from the computer.

On Mac

Transferring files from an Android device to a Mac is pretty much the same process as that for Android to Windows file transfers, but with a few additional steps:

  1. Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer. Take note that this app only works on Macs running on macOS 10.7 or later.
  2. Open the Android File Transfer app. You need to open it the first time you use it, but the next time you plug in your device, it will automatically open.
  3. Unlock your Android app and connect it to your Mac using your USB cable.
  4. On your phone, tap on the notification that says “Charging this device via USB.”
  5. Your phone will then display other USB options for your device. Under “Use USB for,” choose File Transfer. This will prompt your computer to display an Android File Transfer window.
  6. Drag and drop files from this window to your preferred location on your computer.
  7. After backing up your data, eject your USB by right-clicking the icon for the external device on your desktop and selecting “Eject [volume name].” Alternatively, you can drag the external volume icon into the trash can in the Dock.
  8. Unplug your USB cable.

Transferring files from one device to another is easy, isn’t it? But data backup is more than just copying and moving files. If you want to learn more about making your business devices and computers disaster-proof, our dedicated IT experts can help you perform routine backups that go beyond drag-and-drop. With their knowledge in security, data recovery, and business continuity, you never have to worry about losing your data again. Call us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Moving files from Android to PC or Mac

Maybe you ran out of phone memory so you need to transfer files from your mobile to your computer’s storage drive. Or maybe you need a bigger screen to work on something and your computer provides that. Whatever brought you to this page, here’s how to transfer files from your Android device to your computer.

To start, you’ll need the following:

  • Your Android phone
  • A computer with a USB Type A or C port
  • A USB cable

On Windows

  1. Unlock your phone.
  2. Plug it into your computer’s USB port using a cable.
  3. Your Android phone will display a “Charging this device via USB” notification. Tap on it.
  4. Tapping on the notification will display other options. Select File Transfer under “Use USB for.”
  5. Your computer will show a file transfer window. Drag and drop files from this window to your preferred location on your computer.
  6. Once you’re done, unplug your USB cable from the computer.

On Mac

Transferring files from an Android device to a Mac is pretty much the same process as that for Android to Windows file transfers, but with a few additional steps:

  1. Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer. Take note that this app only works on Macs running on macOS 10.7 or later.
  2. Open the Android File Transfer app. You need to open it the first time you use it, but the next time you plug in your device, it will automatically open.
  3. Unlock your Android app and connect it to your Mac using your USB cable.
  4. On your phone, tap on the notification that says “Charging this device via USB.”
  5. Your phone will then display other USB options for your device. Under “Use USB for,” choose File Transfer. This will prompt your computer to display an Android File Transfer window.
  6. Drag and drop files from this window to your preferred location on your computer.
  7. After backing up your data, eject your USB by right-clicking the icon for the external device on your desktop and selecting “Eject [volume name].” Alternatively, you can drag the external volume icon into the trash can in the Dock.
  8. Unplug your USB cable.

Transferring files from one device to another is easy, isn’t it? But data backup is more than just copying and moving files. If you want to learn more about making your business devices and computers disaster-proof, our dedicated IT experts can help you perform routine backups that go beyond drag-and-drop. With their knowledge in security, data recovery, and business continuity, you never have to worry about losing your data again. Call us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Easy steps to remove bloatware from your Windows 10 computer

Laptop buyers are always seeking the most efficient and most user-friendly devices. So it came as a bit of a shock when the highly acclaimed Windows 10 operating system was found to be riddled with bloatware — unwanted pre-installed software that takes up space and computer memory.

New PCs and laptops are always fun to unpack, especially since Microsoft continuously optimizes its software’s user experience to make it engaging right from the start. But so many users are dismayed to find out that after the great time they had setting up their computers, they’ll tend to have a not-so-fun experience of dealing with bloatware.

The term “bloatware” refers to software and apps that are preloaded into computers even if the user doesn’t want them. These apps tend to take up storage space, consume processing power, and be quite a headache to remove.

Bloatware has long been a scourge of mobile devices, particularly those that run on Android operating systems. But these days, even laptops are no longer exempt from such nuisances — software giant Microsoft has packaged its Windows 10 operating system to come with preinstalled apps that most users won’t even give a second glance to. Some of the worst offenders are as follows:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Candy Crush
  • Cooking Fever
  • Disney Magic Kingdoms
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

While many of these programs are pleasant add-ons for those who find value in them, many users prefer to start with a leaner operating system due to storage space and processing power concerns. If they want a particular software program, they prefer to download it themselves. This gives them greater control over their machines and their hardware and software experience.

What’s worse is that bloatware can also cause critical vulnerabilities. The most ironic example of this was a pre-installed version of Keeper Password Manager. Instead of keeping passwords safe, it allowed malicious people behind any website to steal passwords. While Windows 10 users needed to enable Keeper to store their passwords for them to become vulnerable, it makes you wonder why such a flawed password manager app is there in the first place.

How to rid your device of bloatware

Removing inclusions you did not ask for is a hassle in and of itself, but thankfully, the process is not too tedious.

  1. Click the Start menu, then the gear icon.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & Security.
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery.
  4. Select Reset this PC.
  5. Click Get Started.
  6. Select Keep my files and then choose where you wish to store them.
  7. Lastly, set “Restore preinstalled apps?” to “No.”

Bloatware not only clutters your laptops and PCs, but it can render your business vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches as well. Save yourself from tons of headaches down the line; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware. Call our team of IT experts today!

This post was originally published on this site

Easy steps to remove bloatware from your Windows 10 computer

Laptop buyers are always seeking the most efficient and most user-friendly devices. So it came as a bit of a shock when the highly acclaimed Windows 10 operating system was found to be riddled with bloatware — unwanted pre-installed software that takes up space and computer memory.

New PCs and laptops are always fun to unpack, especially since Microsoft continuously optimizes its software’s user experience to make it engaging right from the start. But so many users are dismayed to find out that after the great time they had setting up their computers, they’ll tend to have a not-so-fun experience of dealing with bloatware.

The term “bloatware” refers to software and apps that are preloaded into computers even if the user doesn’t want them. These apps tend to take up storage space, consume processing power, and be quite a headache to remove.

Bloatware has long been a scourge of mobile devices, particularly those that run on Android operating systems. But these days, even laptops are no longer exempt from such nuisances — software giant Microsoft has packaged its Windows 10 operating system to come with preinstalled apps that most users won’t even give a second glance to. Some of the worst offenders are as follows:

  • 3D Viewer (previously called Mixed Reality Viewer)
  • Candy Crush
  • Cooking Fever
  • Disney Magic Kingdoms
  • Groove Music
  • Movies & TV
  • Paint 3D
  • Snip & Sketch
  • Sticky Notes
  • Voice Recorder

While many of these programs are pleasant add-ons for those who find value in them, many users prefer to start with a leaner operating system due to storage space and processing power concerns. If they want a particular software program, they prefer to download it themselves. This gives them greater control over their machines and their hardware and software experience.

What’s worse is that bloatware can also cause critical vulnerabilities. The most ironic example of this was a pre-installed version of Keeper Password Manager. Instead of keeping passwords safe, it allowed malicious people behind any website to steal passwords. While Windows 10 users needed to enable Keeper to store their passwords for them to become vulnerable, it makes you wonder why such a flawed password manager app is there in the first place.

How to rid your device of bloatware

Removing inclusions you did not ask for is a hassle in and of itself, but thankfully, the process is not too tedious.

  1. Click the Start menu, then the gear icon.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & Security.
  3. On the left-hand side, click Recovery.
  4. Select Reset this PC.
  5. Click Get Started.
  6. Select Keep my files and then choose where you wish to store them.
  7. Lastly, set “Restore preinstalled apps?” to “No.”

Bloatware not only clutters your laptops and PCs, but it can render your business vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches as well. Save yourself from tons of headaches down the line; learn more about protecting your computers from bloatware. Call our team of IT experts today!

This post was originally published on this site

How to Manually Force Azure AD Connect to Sync

Using just a few PowerShell commands you can force Azure AD Connect to run a full or delta (most common) sync.

5 Steps total

Step 1: Start PowerShell

Using any of these methods, or any other you may know of:

  • WinKey + R (Run Dialog): powershell.exe
  • Start Menu -> type ‘Powershell’, click it
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\V1.0\powershell.exe

Step 2: (optional/dependent) Connect to the AD Sync Server

If you’re running PowerShell on the Server where AD Connect is running, skip this step.

In the command window run the following command, replacing [SERVERNAME] with the name of the server you need to connect to (you may not be able to do this is PSRemoting is not enabled on the remote server):

Enter-PSSession -ComputerName [SERVERNAME]

Step 3: Import the ADSync Module

Run the following command:

Import-Module ADSync

Step 4: Run the Sync Command

Run the following Command(s):

  • For a Delta Sync (most common, and used for most situations):
    • Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta
  • For a Full Sync (only necessary in some situations):
    • Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Initial

Step 5: (Optional/Dependent) Exit PSSession

If you used the Enter-PSSession command, you must exit the session or it will remain open even after terminating the PS Host. You can do so by simply using the command:

Exit

Alternatively, you can achieve this with the GUI, see reference below.

File Explorer without ads: A quick guide

You will see notifications and ads on Windows, regardless of the version you’re using. Some users don’t mind them, but others do. Even on File Explorer, you will see ads. You’ve probably wondered if there’s any way to remove them. We’ve got some good news for you: there is.

Why are users getting these ads?

Ads are being displayed in different parts of Windows 10 and not just on File Explorer — the Start menu, on the lock screen, from the taskbar, and in other Microsoft apps. Microsoft has been displaying ads that promote Office 365 and OneDrive since the Creators Update. Overwhelming negative reactions to this practice have been popping up online as a result.

However, the company doesn’t consider them ads but “suggestions.” These suggestions promote Microsoft products and services and third-party apps in the Windows Store. The tech giant may be doing users a favor by reminding them they can easily grab apps in the store that can benefit them. But to many, ads are more of a nuisance than a favor.

How do I turn off ads?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to turn ads off. You could disable them right now by doing the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  3. Click Options on the far right-hand side.
  4. From the drop down arrow below Options, select Change folder and search options.
  5. Once in the Folder options window, go to the View tab.
  6. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect “Show sync provider notifications”.
  7. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft suggests. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for easily and securely working and collaborating from any device in any location — but we understand that some don’t want to see these ads when they’re hunting down sales records.

If you’re looking for Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

This post was originally published on this site

File Explorer without ads: A quick guide

You will see notifications and ads on Windows, regardless of the version you’re using. Some users don’t mind them, but others do. Even on File Explorer, you will see ads. You’ve probably wondered if there’s any way to remove them. We’ve got some good news for you: there is.

Why are users getting these ads?

Ads are being displayed in different parts of Windows 10 and not just on File Explorer — the Start menu, on the lock screen, from the taskbar, and in other Microsoft apps. Microsoft has been displaying ads that promote Office 365 and OneDrive since the Creators Update. Overwhelming negative reactions to this practice have been popping up online as a result.

However, the company doesn’t consider them ads but “suggestions.” These suggestions promote Microsoft products and services and third-party apps in the Windows Store. The tech giant may be doing users a favor by reminding them they can easily grab apps in the store that can benefit them. But to many, ads are more of a nuisance than a favor.

How do I turn off ads?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to turn ads off. You could disable them right now by doing the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  3. Click Options on the far right-hand side.
  4. From the drop down arrow below Options, select Change folder and search options.
  5. Once in the Folder options window, go to the View tab.
  6. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect “Show sync provider notifications”.
  7. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft suggests. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for easily and securely working and collaborating from any device in any location — but we understand that some don’t want to see these ads when they’re hunting down sales records.

If you’re looking for Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

This post was originally published on this site

Handy tips to declutter your Windows 10 PC

If your computer is cluttered with unused apps, error logs, and bloatware, it’s not going to run optimally. This, in turn, could slow you down at work and bring down your productivity. Fortunately, decluttering your computer is easy — just follow these tips.

5 Types of PC clutter

There are five types of clutter that may be causing your Windows 10 computer to run more slowly than it should.

  • Windows updates – This includes failed update downloads. While Windows will delete some of these corrupted and unusable files, others will hang around your computer forever if you don’t look for and delete them.
  • Registry bloat – This type of PC clutter includes files and applications you’ve deleted as well as every action performed in Windows, which is recorded in your computer’s registry.
  • Error logs – These are log files kept by Windows whenever software in your system crashes or encounters errors in processing. Just like registry bloat, error logs accumulate in your computer over time, slowing it down considerably.
  • User bloat – This refers to large numbers of your files, especially if they’re unorganized.
  • Bloatware – This refers to unwanted preinstalled software such as trial versions of antivirus programs, games, and the like. Bloatware takes up plenty of space in your computer’s central processing unit, random access memory, and storage. What’s more, it poses a raft of security risks; for instance, it can introduce apps designed to exploit personal information stored in computers.

How to remove PC clutter

To remove these five types of clutter and optimize your PC’s performance, try these methods:

Run Disk Cleanup
Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup that removes hidden junk files. To run this tool, type “disk cleanup” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Disk Cleanup from the results. Pick the drive you want to clean, then click OK. Under “Files to delete,” select the file types you want to get rid of, then click OK.

Delete programs you don’t use or need
Free up memory and storage space by removing unused and redundant programs that you rarely use or don’t need. To do this, type “add or remove programs” in the search box on the taskbar, and select Add or remove programs from the results. Click on the files you’d like to remove, then click Uninstall.

If necessary: Refresh Windows 10
You can start fresh with a clean and up-to-date Windows 10 installation to get rid of clutter. This option will remove most installed apps (e.g., Microsoft Office, antivirus software, etc.) but it will keep your personal files and some Windows settings. However, it’s still best to back up your files before installing a fresh version of Windows 10.

To do this, type “recovery” in the search box on the taskbar and select Recovery Options. Under “More recovery options,” click Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows. Click Yes in the pop-up window that says, “Did you mean to switch apps? Settings is trying to open Windows Security.” This will launch the Windows Security app where you can click Get started to begin the Windows refresh process.

These are just some of the ways you can enhance your Windows 10 PC’s performance and get the most out of it. For more useful Windows tips, give our experts a call today.

This post was originally published on this site