Work From Home: Printers

Work From Home: Printers

disaster planning Hardware Windows

Many employees are bringing their office computers home to work remotely. The biggest problem we are seeing is connecting printers to these systems.  If you are having issues getting your printer to work please follow these steps:

Step 1 – Hardware

  • If your printer is connected via USB cable disconnect it from the office computer before proceeding.
  • If your printer is wireless make sure both computer and printer are on the same wireless network.

Step 2 – Software (Drivers)

Windows 10 can auto configure many printers but not all. If your printer did not auto configure or you have a multi-function scanner/printer/copier please visit the manufacturer’s web site and download the proper driver and setup package for your device.

Download the drivers, run the installation program, and follow the steps (do not plug USB printer into PC until asked to do so).

Troubleshooting

If you still cannot get the printer to work try the following steps:

  • Turn off PC, turn off printer, turn on PC (log in, wait a few minutes), turn on printer.
  • Make sure the USB cable is plugged into PC and printer
  • Make sure the computer can get on the Internet.
  • Check to make sure you downloaded the correct drivers. If you print and gibberish comes out you probably have the wrong driver installed.

If you need any further assistance please contact us at support@wireguided.com

-Tim

 

COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

Cloud disaster planning Education News

UPDATED: 3/19/2020

DISINFECTING DEVICES

What can I disinfect my computer and laptop with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used on all non-screen surfaces. Avoid sprays. Turn off power to your computer or laptop before wiping down. It is recommended to unplug laptops before disinfecting.

What can I disinfect my computer screen with?
Do not use standard cleaning sprays such as Windex. The best way is to use products made specifically to clean screens (spay on cloth first, then wipe screen). Consult your manufacture's website before using disinfecting wipes. You may also use a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water.

What can I disinfect my mobile phone with?
Unless you share your mobile phone it is probably not necessary to disinfect it. If you do want to we recommend visiting the manufacture's website. Mobile phone screens have special coating so you want to make sure you are using the recommended technique. Otherwise dedicate screen wipes may be used.

[UPDATE: New tests  show most phones / tablets can be cleaned with household disinfectant wipes with no damage to the screen coating.]

What can I disinfect my office phone with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used. Try to avoid any screens.

WORKING FROM HOME

What products / services are available to gain access to my desktop remotely?
Assuming your IT department (if you have one) does not have a standard method of accessing your work environment there are many companies that offer remote desktop access. Prices are for their business services.

My organization uses Microsoft Office 365 / G Suite / Dropbox / Sharefile / Box. Can I work from home?
If your business uses a cloud storage / email solution there is a good chance at least some of your work information can be accessed remotely.. You will need to contact your IT department for details.

How can my employees / co-workers collaborate when not in the office?
There are three top services to use to have employees work together from different locations. These services act as a type of Facebook for business with the ability to chat, video conference, share files, etc.

PREPARING YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Prepare your IT department to support personal devices
Your IT department may have to provide support for employees home machines which may increase workload and decrease the ability to provide support. We recommend the following:

  • Ensure remote workers have both a phone # and email address for contacting IT support.
  • Setting expectations for remote workers of what IT can and cannot support (e.g., will not come to your home to fix a printer).
  • If your IT provider/department has the technology to install management agents on personal computers for remote desktop access / anti-malware software this should be discussed before implementing.
    • What will it cost for the additional software agents?
    • What happens if installing the software breaks a personal computer?
    • What are the privacy concerns?

What should I do with office phones?
Many business phone systems allow you to forward extensions to mobile phones. If so, this option may be the easiest. Voicemail to email will also allow messages to be listened to outside the office. Some hosted VoIP phone may even be able to be plugged in at home and work seamlessly. Please contact your telco provider and / or IT Department. We also recommend adding employee home/cell phone numbers to internal departmental directories.

What should I do with office computers?
A few things that should be considered if you will be working from outside the office for an extended period but need access to your physical desktop. Some of these items may be managed by your IT department.

What about my Internet connection?
If a large amount of your employees will switch from office to home, and you are not using cloud services for file or desktop access, you may want to increase your bandwidth to the increased inbound connections.

  • Verizon FiOS:  800-837-4966
  • Comcast Business: 800-391-3000

Security Concerns
If the office will be closed for an extended period of time please consider the following:

  • Are cameras able to be monitored remotely?
  • Can individual offices be locked (HR, Finance, CEO/President)? Who has the keys / passcodes to the building if access is needed?
  • Are laptops locked up?
  • Are screens locked?
  • Before closing the office, a walk around should be done to make sure any passwords posted in works paces are taken down and locked away if offices cannot be locked. Make sure to look under keyboards.
  • Have the backups been tested and can they be monitored remotely?
CONTACT WIREGUIDED

If you have any questions or require IT assistance please reach out to our support team at:

PHONE: 781-679-0660

EMAIL: support@wireguided.com


Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Official Website - https://www.cdc.gov/

Thank you and stay safe.

-Tim

Remote Workforce Preparation

Remote Workforce Preparation

Cloud disaster planning Education mobile Office 365

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has started to spread throughout the country and health officials are starting to announce recommendations that in certain areas employees stay home for two weeks. Is your organization ready to have a remote workforce?

Scenario 1 –  Local File Server / Local Applications

If your business has a local file server (e.g., network drive ) or you use desktop based applications then you will need a way to access your company computer remotely. Options include services such as Teamviewer ($50/month or free for individual), Logmein ($30/month), or GoToMyPC ($35).

Your company may offer other remote access methods such as a VPN so please consult with your IT department first.

Scenario 2:  Cloud based file service + Web based Apps

If your business has its files stored in SharePoint, Google Docs, Dropbox, ShareFile, Box.com, or other cloud service AND your business applications are web based (e.g., you run everything from inside a web browser) then you are ready for a remote workforce. With Microsoft Office 365 you may access everything via a web interface at https://office.com. Other services may require a locally installed software agent.

Other Considerations

  • Does your phone system support forwarding calls outside of the office to employee home or mobile phones?
  • If your employees will be using their personal computers there are security issues to consider such as ensuring laptops are encrypted, devices are password protected, and anti-malware is installed.
  • Will your IT department be able to provide support on personal devices? If so, what are the parameters?
  • Update your website to reflect changes in hours or modifications of services.
  • Employee contact information contains home or mobile numbers (for internal use only).
  • Paperwork normally filled out onsite (e.g., intake forms, new member information, etc.) should be made available remotely.
    • Convert documents to PDF before making public. Do not share Word documents.
    • Items converted to forms on websites should be tested to make sure they are secure.
  • If using a self hosted remote access service, or utilizing VPNs, can your current Internet bandwidth support the additional inbound usage?

Conclusion

As they say. hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If you are interested in our managed remote desktop service or moving your office to the cloud please contact Wireguided at support@wireguided.com.

For more information about the Coronavirus visit the official CDC website

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Budget Savings Cloud disaster planning News

The good thing about technology is that the price of things usually drops over time. With the competition in the cloud space at an all time high our backup provider just dramatically lowered our pricing. So we did what any good IT partner would do and lowered our prices to match.

Lower Pricing and More Services

Not only did prices drop an amazing 60% but we can now offer additional services. All our plans now include at no additional charge the following:

  • Live database backups (Microsoft SQL & Microsoft Exchange)
  • Virtual Machine Backups (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • Option to backup your data locally
  • Self-Managing Portal

New Unlimited Plan

We are very excited that we can now offer an unlimited backup option. For one low rate you can back up as much data as you want. No limits mean no more worries about missing items or overage charges.

[button url=”http://wireguided.com/managed-cloud-backup/” size=”Large”]Click Here to View our New Plans & Pricing[/button]

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Storm Preparation for your Technology

Storm Preparation for your Technology

Contacting Us disaster planning News

With a huge blizzard descending upon the Northeast here are a few tips to prepare your business’s information technology infrastructure.

Turn off your computers (even better, unplug them)

During storms the loss of power is very common. When the power is eventually restored a power surge can occur damaging electronics. Make sure your employees turn off their desktops and unplug them from the wall if possible. Double check that your network gear is protected by a UPS or power strip. While you are at it, run a battery test on your UPS devices (there should be a button on them for this).

Check and protect your backups

Make sure your last few backups were successful. If you use media for your backup solution (e.g., tapes or other removable media) make sure they are in a safe place just in case disaster strikes (e.g., flooding or other physical disaster). If you have a fireproof safe that should do it. If you use a cloud provider make sure the last backup report was successful. Just a note, you really should be incorporating a cloud solution in your disaster recovery planning. Pricing are reasonable and not having to worry about getting your company up and running after a major event is worth every penny. Wireguided offers a business level cloud backup solution which will allow you to sleep well at night.

Have an updated contact list for your critical employees

Make sure you have an up-to-date list of employee home and mobile numbers if their expertise would be needed in the event of a disaster. Mobile numbers are important because even in the event of power failure (aka no Internet) you can reach the people you need to.

Remote Access

With large storms it is hard to predict when business will resume. Each day your office is closed is productivity (and money) lost. Make sure you have a remote access solution for your business to allow at least some level of work to continue even if all your employees are stuck at home, or on a beach in a much warmer climate.

If you need any assistance Wireguided is always here to help. Our emergency contact number is 781-679-0660, ext 1.

Good luck and stay safe.

-Tim