How to Choose the Perfect USB Hub Model for Your Devices

Compared to the complexity of buying a new graphics card or switching out your motherboard, a USB hub definitely makes for a simpler purchase.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should simply grab the first one you see off the shelf at the electronics store. There is a vast range of features, build quality, and safety between each all of the different models. Here we’ll cover what you need to get the best possible results and find the right hub that meets your needs.

What is a USB Hub and Why Should I Get One?

While desktop computers come with USB ports—sometimes up to 6 of them—many people require even more for their USB-based devices.

It’s common for a home user today to have a USB-connected mouse, keyboard, scanner, printer, and memory card readers, along with syncing and charging cables for a variety of devices such as iPhones and other smartphones, ebook readers, and other portable devices.

blue flash drive

Even if you reuse the same USB cables for a few devices, you may end up without an available USB port. The location of your computer can also make USB ports inconvenient to reach, particularly if it’s beneath a desk. Laptops, on the other hand, typically don’t come with more than one or two USB ports.

There are many different features available to choose from when shopping for the perfect USB hub.

Safety Features

One of the most important features that end users don’t often consider is safety and internal construction.

Make sure you get a custom USB thumb drive from a reliable brand, as cheap knock-offs are often poorly wired, protected, and insulated, potentially leading to fried USB devices as a result of their poor design.

In extreme cases they can even result in catastrophic failure that leads to serious injury or even death, which is why it’s important to make sure you get a high-quality hub from a trusted brand.

Buy the Most Up-to-Date Standard

It’s been a long time since people have regularly used USB 1.0 hubs, and USB 2.0 devices, while common, are also outdated. USB 3.0 is currently the highest standard, with 4.0 presumably on the way pretty soon. It’s worth purchasing the most current standard to help avoid incompatibility issues down the road.

Keep USB Hub Ports in Mind for Future Use

While you may consider simply purchasing a 4-port USB hub when you only need 4 ports at the moment, this could be inconvenient in the future. Consider the many future devices you may want to connect to the device, and purchase accordingly.

Read Fine Print Regarding Smaller Features

Once you’ve considered the many basic features, including solid and safe construction, powering option, and number of ports, it’s time to take a look at the smaller less appreciated features.

For instance, some have LED numbers beside each data-port on the strip, indicating when devices are connected to a host computer. Such a feature may seem small, but visual feedback can be helpful when trying to configure a device.

With these features in mind, you can effectively locate the ideal USB hub to meet your needs.

Best Practices for B2B Public Relations

Compared to just a couple of years ago, the world of B2B public relations has changed significantly. An ever increasing number of decision makers, such as business owners and operations managers don’t even bother to take sales calls anymore.

They prefer to do their own research ahead of time, then get in touch with the companies that they’re interested in doing business with on their own terms.

When they first get in touch with a rep, this is when they begin the negotiation process. While you may think that those who don’t take sales calls are rare, this just isn’t the truth anymore. Close to 60 percent of businesses choose B2B vendors by using this process.

public relations

This means that if you’re in the B2B sector, you will need to make a few changes to your PR strategy if you want to experience continued success. Here are some of the most important best practices to keep in mind:

Segment Your Audience

B2B sales isn’t like selling to the masses. You will need to carefully tailor your message to your audience, so that they find it relevant and easy to understand. Find out exactly who they are, so that you can craft a message that will resonate with them and that keeps in mind what they consider when making a purchasing decision.

Depending on your industry and company size, you may send custom messages to each prospect or segment them into categories you find relevant, like by industry or size of business.

Measure More Than Numbers

Many marketers use a variety of metrics, such as automatic tracking of how many of their messages are opened, which links are clicked, at what time, how long the user spends on the page and so on. Even though such metrics do have their uses, they aren’t the only thing to keep in mind when it comes to B2B marketing and public relations.

Be sure to follow up with your recipients to obtain data that can’t always be reduced to numbers. Ask them questions like “was this information helpful?” or “is there something that still isn’t clear about our products after you read it?”.

This will provide you with valuable guidance on what you can do to improve your messages in the future.

Ensure Your Online Presence Has Useful Content

Now that over 60 percent of owners and managers do their own research rather than waiting on sales calls, you need to ensure that your main website, product-specific minisites, social media pages, online press releases or any other type of content you put our has something useful to offer them.

What this should be specifically depends on your industry. In general, it should show exactly what your product or service does, how it works, how it can be beneficial to users, whether it’s aimed at a specific type of business and how it’s different from competitors. If applicable, you can include technical specifications and pricing or billing information.

Don’t forget to make your contact information prominent. If your content is just a vague overview of what you offer, while your competitors put out captivating presentations of their company’s product line, there’s a high chance that you will lose clients.

Managed IT Services For Small Businesses

If you consider how a small business will generate a profit, it’s about capturing an economy of scale and delivering value to its customer base. This is just the basic premise behind every business.

That being said, a small business owner is also essentially very keen on saving money by performing essential business activities with in-house talent, whenever possible.

The Skinny

A business owner might think something like this: “If I have a small IT staff, I can rely on them to do all technical tasks, from developing new software applications to manning the employee helpdesk.”

When the truth is that the small business, like larger companies, should be focusing on its core competencies, or the business activities that it does best.

it services

Be Sensible

Small businesses have a big failure rate. They have to be really smart about how they use their resources. Business owners should look at what activities they should outsource and then have employees focus on their core competencies. We like to think that small businesses will be more efficient if they do this and leave the IT operations to our friendly staff!

Get to Know the Meaning of Managed IT Services

The range of IT services that a versatile tech firm can provide to a small business are many. On the one hand, there’s a need for people who can work remotely to perform routine maintenance and service tasks.

This includes everything from running a helpdesk during a company’s hours of operations to installing software updates on all servers and employee computers. It may also include advising on different security measures so that business systems are protected from hackers and other threats.

Small businesses rely on their IT systems to keep their operations going for all customers. Any interruptions to the IT systems of a small business could result in revenue losses.

Get Smart

Small businesses have another proposition to consider before they consider what level of IT outsourcing they can afford. They may think that in-house tech staff can handle a variety of duties, but those people may not be the right kind of technology experts for each job or duty.

For example, a person may be great at running a helpdesk and may have developed applications for past business needs. In the future, when the company needs an app, the firm with the most relevant experience in the market will be the one that the small business should hire to develop it.

This, of course, depends on the small business finding the firm that will charge a reasonable price and be able to deliver the app within the deadline specified.

We want small business owners to streamline all of their business operations so that they can truly focus on their core competencies. We are in the position to come in, either by visiting the physical location of a small company or using its remote servers, to take over many IT activities.

We can scale our services up or down based on the small company’s budget throughout the year. It’s easy to add more staff to special projects and to beef up support services during peak seasons. We’re here to find the right mix of managed IT services for each organization that we serve.

Please comment below and let us know what you think.

Top Human Resource Software Product Comparison

Here is a handful of my favorite HR software solutions. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions to add.

BambooHR

bamboo

BambooHR is an online HR programming administration for little and medium-sized organizations. As the value/execution pioneer, BambooHR makes it simple and reasonable for little and developing organizations to move from spreadsheets to a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that adjusts to their evolving needs. Clients make more time for meaningful work by using BambooHR’s HRIS.

Starting price: $6.00/month/user

Website: http://www.bamboohr.com

Zenefits

zenefits logo

Zenefits gives you, your administrators, and your representatives a solitary spot to deal with all your HR finance, advantages, consistence, and all the more all on the web, in one excellent dashboard. Flawlessly associate your organization’s finance, medical coverage, paid time off, and other HR frameworks with Zenefits in only a few moments without changing sellers, arranges, or estimating.

Starting price: Free

Website: https://www.zenefits.com

Jazz

jazz

Jazz, previously known as The Resumator, is a performance recruiting software platform established in 2009. Jazz is set for enrolling and employing simple, successful, and versatile tasks regardless of what development looks like to your organization. To do that, Jazz offers three stage choices and made a radical new thing: Performance Recruiting. Trusted by more than 3,000 organizations over all businesses, Jazz offers organizations to influence big-data bits of knowledge from long-term worker execution to educate future hiring choices.

Starting price: Free Trial

Website: https://jazz.co

EPAY Systems

epay-logo

EPAY Systems provides a seamless human capital management software platform offering candidate tracking and enlisting, onboarding, human resources administration, advantages organization, time and participation, and finance and expense organization. EPAY’s adaptable and reasonable arrangement offers you to drive workforce efficiencies, some assistance with reducing wage and authoritative expenses and enhance work consistence.

Starting price: Free Demo

Website: http://www.epaysystems.com

Sentric Workforce

Sentric Workforce

Sentric Workforce is an all-in-one HR software thats sufficiently capable of addressing the issues of a bustling association, yet sufficiently instinctive to get utilized each day. Our online product incorporates usefulness like center HR, ESS/MSS, execution, preparing, time and work administration, finance, enlisting, organization, intense work processes and reporting so you can get the instruments to help you be successful today, and the knowledge expected to develop your workers tomorrow.

Starting price: Free Demo

Website: http://sentrichr.com

Workable

Workable logo

Workable is a reasonably priced, useable hiring program. It replaces email and spreadsheets with a candidate following framework that your group will appreciate utilizing. From composing incredible sets of expectations and building a branded careers page, to presenting on various employment sheets, Workable makes it basic. You can peruse rich profiles of applicants and work adequately with your hiring group on a stage that keeps your notes, correspondence, plan and examination in one spot.

Starting price: $19.00/month

Website: https://www.workable.com

Check Back for Updates

As I try out other HR software options, I will update this page with any that are worth noting.

How to Properly Maintain a Server Room

open server room

There are several steps to maintaining server rooms, including temperature control and safety measures. Servers are almost like children in that you need to take care of them in order to keep them functioning. While you don’t need to feed them or make sure they get 8 hours of sleep every night, you do have to make sure that servers don’t overheat or crash. Server room shutdowns can cause great frustration and expensive downtime, so it’s important to keep servers cool and safe from potential hazards.

1. Use Temperature-Controlling Equipment

In order to function properly, servers should maintain a server room temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with the lowest temperature allowed being 50, and the highest being 82. Cooling equipment such as data center curtains and ventilation should maintain this temperature and keep it separate from the rest of your facility. If overheating is a concern, opening windows or exposing the servers to any outside temperature can do more harm than good. What you need to do is tweak the cooling equipment itself or purchase new equipment entirely.

2. Make Sure There’s Sufficient Power

Apart from overheating, power surges are another factor that can result in crashed servers. In the event of a storm or heavy use of servers, a power outage can occur, which will result in downtime until power is restored. You can prevent this by using a backup generator and avoiding the overuse of servers or other electrical components in the facility. You should also evenly distribute wiring so ports aren’t overloaded and don’t risk surging.

3. Use Server Racks

In server rooms, there is no reason not to utilize a server rack for a set of servers. Racks keep server rooms organized and cooler, and they provide physical security in addition to power distribution capabilities. With the use of these racks, you will be able to better maintain each server in the room.

4. Secure Your Facility with Proper Security Measures

You should always use locks for server room doors or rack enclosures, preventing unauthorized access when the server room is locked up. Security cameras can both capture and deter criminal activity, preventing people from tampering with servers or inadvertently causing damage. Security cameras can capture each angle of the server room, letting nothing slip through.

5. Keep Server Rooms Sufficiently Lit

Lighting in your server rooms should be enough to allow for full visibility while inside, while also not contributing to overheating. Headlamps are ideal for providing hands-free visibility, and security cameras will also have a clear view this way. With the right lighting, nothing will be out of view when attempting to configure or repair a server.

By following these steps, you can prevent any avoidable crashes in your server room.

Wireless vs. Wired Surveillance Camera Systems

Security cameras continue to be recognized as important security measures to protect businesses and residences from burglaries and other crimes, but there are many different technologies to choose from. One of the main options to consider is wireless vs. wired cameras. Both have differences that may determine which is the best to purchase.

three security cameras

Power Supplies

One difference you’ll find between wired and wireless cameras is the way they’re powered. Wired cameras use electricity as a power source and need to be near an electrical source. Wireless cameras are battery-operated and will need to have the batteries replaced several times a year to optimize functionality.

Camera System Installation

Wired security camera systems use sensors that are installed on doors and windows, and each sensor is connected to the main camera system panel through wiring. Any unsightly wires can be hidden behind walls or beneath carpeting. Wireless cameras, on the other hand, require little wiring, although the sensors work the same way. Rather than having the sensors connected through wiring, wireless cameras connect to them via a wireless transmitter.

Security Camera Cost

Wired cameras cost less than wireless ones, but installation is a bit more complex because of all of the wiring. Vice versa, wireless cameras cost more while the installation is much simpler.

Security Concerns

The biggest concern surrounding wired camera systems is the tampering of exposed wires. Criminals can damage them or weather elements can wear them out over time.

On the other hand, wireless cameras also have their susceptibilities. Signal loss and weather conditions can affect these cameras, causing them to cease functioning altogether. Wireless cameras that are connected to the Internet also risk being hacked into and compromised, which constitutes a breach in privacy.

These are the main differences between wired and wireless camera systems, and depending on your budget and the specific needs for your facility’s security, this little guide will hopefully help you determine which kind of camera system is the best for your business or residence.

What Claims Management Software Should I Use?

There are many types of claims management software available online, but choosing one that you trust can handle your organization’s data isn’t always easy to do. There are ways to determine what claims management software will work best for you.

software vendor

Tips for Choosing Claims Management Software

If you’re looking for the right claims management system (not HCM software), you’ll want to start by considering exactly what you want in your software, and that includes what vendor provides it. Here are some aspects of claims management software that you should consider prior to purchasing:

  1. Find out how long the vendor has been in business before making a purchase. Many software developers are just starting out, so learn about the experience that a company has and determine if they’re reputable enough to trust their services.
  2. Make sure the software has all of the features needed for your business. Along with the ability to collect and organize vast amounts of data as your organization continues to expand, you should make sure that the software could accommodate your needs if you decide to branch off into another line of business as well. Claims management software vendors such as provide the information you want about each type of software they offer as well as different applications depending on the type of data storage you need.
  3. Determine if a vendor is servicing clients in the same type of business. For instance, if you are a worldwide insurance broker, you’ll want to veer away from a vendor that typically sells software intended mainly for regional insurers.
  4. Make sure your vendor’s turnover time is sufficient. The last thing you’ll want to experience is frustration when a software vendor fails to respond quickly to requests for additional data storage or other urgent needs. A slow-responding vendor could spell disaster if you’re overwhelmed.
  5. Don’t compromise security for lowered costs. You should do what you can to figure out how secure your data is when working with a vendor. Look for additional steps that supplement passwords and basic encryption to keep your data properly secured. Oftentimes, low costs may entice buyers into purchasing software that they believe will still provide sufficient security measures, but find out what they are before finalizing a purchase.
  6. Estimate the final cost of the software. This end price may include many different aspects such as annual use, “per-user”, data storage, custom reporting and first-year costs, so it’s best to make a rough estimate before risking going over your available budget.

You should always make sure that you take the necessary steps to obtain ideal claims software, preventing expenses that you’ll regret and allowing your business to function optimally.

Top Apps Your Small Business Needs

Running a small business requires a lot of hard work, but technology can make life a little easier for you. If you’re working hard to keep your small business growing, consider using apps to improve your small business success. Here are some of the top apps that may improve productivity and success for your small business.

App #1 – Square

If you require a way to easily accept payments via credit card, Square offers exactly what you need. This app allows anyone to accept credit cards via a tablet or smartphone. You don’t have to worry about monthly fees or signup fees. A flat 2.75% of each transaction is taken by the app. It’s a cost effective, easy way to start accepting payments anywhere.

top-apps

App #2 – Evernote

Every small business owner needs to keep track of ideas, and Evernote is an app that makes it easy to record and remember those ideas. With this app, you can store, share and organize your voice notes, photos and text. With this app, you can record your business inspiration, no matter where you are in the world.

App#3 – ABBYY Business Card Reader

Keeping track of contacts as a small business owner is important, but it’s easy to lose that stack of business cards. Instead of turning to the old rolodex to organize business contacts, consider the ABBYY Business Card Reader. This app simply takes a picture of the business card and scans the information, saving it to your customer relationship or contact database, easily keeping track of contacts for you.

App #4 – Expensify

It’s often difficult to keep track of expenses for your small business, but Expensify makes it easy to track your mileage and other business expenses. You can easily use the app to scan and upload your receipts. With the app you can organize expenses by trip and even create and submit expense reports. This app proves especially helpful for small business owners that travel frequently.

App #5 – LocalVox

For small business owners that have a local brick and mortar business, LocalVox is a marketing app that makes it easier for businesses to build an online brand. With just a couple clicks, it’s easy to publish new deals, news, events and more to local directories, social media sites, websites and other online channels. If you’re working to boost your small business’ online presence, this tool will prove invaluable.

How Big Data Visualization Will Help Your Business

There’s no denying that big data can allow business executives to understand more of how their business is doing based on raw data, which in turn allows them to make business decisions based on this in lieu of perceived intuition and other less reliable sources of motivation.

laptop image

The beauty of a lot of big data software is that they produce visuals that present big data in a way that allows business managers to look at it from different angles. There is no solitary mass of numbers that simply appears in a formal report or spreadsheet with data visualization, and this allows for a much better look at what is happening in the data.

But what is the main reason that data visualization is needed in any business?

Eliminating Uncertainty

Rather than keeping data in a single format that not everybody in the company will be able to understand, big data visualization will display information in a variety of ways to help all departments understand the data, regardless of their expertise. Data scientists, leads and executives all speak different business languages, which is why it’s important that they each see data in a way that they can understand.

By doing this, business personnel will be able to make decisions that more accurately and efficiently cover what needs to be covered. The language barrier and confusion between employees is effectively eliminated with data visualization that big data software provides. Businesses will see more opportunities to find untapped markets, improve service and product offerings, and take other steps to improve business that might otherwise go overlooked because of misinterpretation of big data.

It’s important to find big data management software that takes full advantage of data visualization in order to get the most out of your gathering of big data.