Common Uses for Computer Servers

DatacentreMost people outside of the IT industry do not understand what servers are used for. This even applies to most business owners; most never bother finding out about what a server is or what it does. That is, until their company suddenly needs to conduct a major migration or the like.

Here is a short guide on some of the common uses for computer servers:

What a Server Actually Does

First off, let’s look at what a server is. Yes, it is an important piece of computer equipment, but for a lot of people that’s the full extent of their knowledge.

A server doesn’t need to be a scary and mysterious piece of equipment nor does it need to be confusing. Its purpose is in fact very simple: it is a computer that connects to other computers in the “network”, providing much needed resources and services.

It’s that central computer to which all other computers connect to in order to access stored information and shared programs. What exactly it shares and stores is determined when you first set it up.

Types of Servers

There are database servers, print servers, web servers, mail servers, gaming servers, file servers, dedicated servers, shared servers and many more. Servers range widely in price, size and processing power according to the tasks they are designed to perform.

Servers at Home

If you have an old computer at home that you’re thinking of getting rid of, you should consider turning it into a home server. You could use this home server to store your music and videos so that they may be accessed all around the home on any computer on the network, or even as a media computer in your games room or living room.

You can also use a home server to send and receive email messages and store files that can be accessed throughout the home. You could even load your server security onto the server so that all of your computers are protected.

Servers at Work

If you’re running a business, severs will perform similar tasks but on a much larger scale. With a business you are likely dealing with large amounts of data that needs to be stored, so the server acts as a central secure storage location so that employees don’t need to back up their work every day.

Emails and other important information are stored on the server instead of on individual computers, which allows you to purchase equipment with smaller hard drives. Furthermore, it allows all employees to access the information through file sharing. As the business grows, each new computer that is purchased can be easily set up by accessing the information on the network server.

Servers are the unsung heroes of the workplace. Most people would be surprised to find out that servers perform such a wide range of critical tasks, from data storage to hosting websites. It is even more surprising to find out how useful a server can be to your small business, or even in your home. To fully utilise your service, seek the advice of an IT Consulting firm.

How to Speed Up the Performance of Your Xbox 360

xboxThe Xbox 360 is the ultimate in gaming devices. It was launched by Microsoft a few months ago, with additional features that outdo its predecessor. Apart from acquiring the opportunity to play games of a superior quality, it also lets one watch movies, play music, access the Internet, or even lose weight with their refined exercise routines.

However, one of its more exceptional features is the Xbox Live. Here, one can compete with other gamers online, so you needn’t have to play solo anymore.

As vast as its list of advantages are, the Xbox does have its share of glitches. One of its core problems is its tendency to slow down, over time. This leads to:

  • Abrupt disconnections
  • Inability to view certain features
  • Long loading durations
  • Gaming experience ruined due to slow transmissions
  • Long pauses between actions

If you are indeed experiencing one, or many of these problems, then the following solutions, may be of help.

Wired, over Wireless

As convenient as connecting to a ‘Wireless Network’ may be, in order to speed up the performance of your Xbox, a ‘Wired Network’ would be advisable. The strength of a ‘Wireless Network’ is greatly hampered by the distance between the router and device, and also from other electronic interferences. You could also try placing the router closer to your console. If it’s still slow, try turning off the router, and also your Xbox. Restart them after about 30 seconds.

Internet Service Providers (ISP)

As certain services have set limitations on one’s data usability they sometimes reduce the speed of the Internet when one crosses it. So, it would be advisable to first ensure that you haven’t exceeded yours. If you enjoy playing games online it’s worth investing in a higher data usage internet plan to avoid this happening.

Downloads in Progress

Always ensure that no other electronic device around has a download in progress, or is connected to a torrent software. As these actions require intensive bandwidth, it will automatically slow your Xbox down.

Manage Traffic

QoS is a feature on routers that allows one to customize their traffic priorities. So, simply by placing your Xbox higher up on the list you will be able to derive a faster connection, whilst slowing down alternate Internet activities on other devices.

The ‘Port Forwarding’ setting on a router, directs all the Xbox traffic that it receives directly to yours. This enables for the smoother functioning of your ‘Xbox Live’ activities.

Clear Your Hard Drive

By clearing out your hard drive of unused games, or ‘old, saved’ ones, one can instantly witness a change in performance.

Reduce Players

If you have a vast number of players in your Xbox Live games, it may hinder the speed of your game’s functionality. Simply by reducing the number of players who can join your game, one can hasten its performance.

Change in Time

If you’re experiencing a slow performance, try playing at a different time, as traffic strength varies in accordance. The higher the traffic, the slower the game.

By employing one, or any of these suggestions, one may notice a transformation in due time. Just remember, to keep performing them, time and again.

Happy Playing!

Who Can You Trust When Buying Online?

2879955156_221541a8ae_mThough the internet brings with it a number of wonderful advantages, it can sometimes serve as a breeding ground for deceitful users and fraud. Online shoppers have to be increasingly tech-savvy in order to ensure that they are getting a good deal that’s also from a trustworthy source. But how does one go about acquiring such wisdom, you might ask. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can ensure that you don’t get conned by a false salesperson online. Here are some great tips to keep you in the know.

– Don’t send bank or card details via email. A legitimate exchange online is made via secure payment methods such as PayPal, BPay or by credit card. Any sellers asking for an email with these details is likely to have malicious intent. It’s also important that you avoid money transfers and direct debit payments, as these methods can potentially be abused.

– Know the seller. Any website should provide enough information about the merchant that you can give them a call or even visit them in person, so if you come across a seller that provides none of this information, it’s worth checking why first over email. Find out about their policies regarding returns, and check user reviews of their services, if there are any.

– Check if the site is secure. Online merchants with a legitimate reputation will use encryption technology when handling your financial information. The most common type that you will come across is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Any sites using this software will be trustworthy, so if in doubt, turn to these secure sites, even if a less reliable source is offering a better deal. Always seek advice from an IT consult if in doubt.

– Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true. The sad truth about these kind of deals is that if they seem impossible, they probably are. Malicious merchants will reel in other users with a deal so blindingly good that they eagerly give away compromising information. If a deal on a shopping site is simply irresistible, contact the seller via phone or email to discuss the possibility of paying in cash. That way, you can prevent any fraudulent sellers from abusing your financial information.

– Print off records of transactions. In the event of any transaction going horribly wrong, it’s good to have files on who-what-when to help any law enforcement that might get involved in the matter further down the line.

– Keep strong passwords. A user that can deceive you online is also likely to be able to infiltrate insecure accounts to their advantage. Though it might seem like a fairly simple step, a strong password can be one of the most effective barriers against hackers. You can never be too careful.
Ultimately, the more you shop online, the more experienced you’ll become at spotting potentially misleading merchants, so shopping safely online can become in itself quite rewarding. Despite the scares around internet security, online shopping is actually more reliable than things like mail order, especially when one is well-versed in the ways of the web-based market. Go forth and purchase!

How to Install Ubuntu 12.04

ubuntu12Ubuntu 12.04 is one of the most eagerly awaited Operating Systems and it is finally out now.

An advantage using this OS is that it comes absolutely free and you can download it from the Internet. However, the problem arises only when you don’t know how to install it. Installing is not really hard and it requires just a few steps. Installing the 12.04 version is not really different from the previous versions of Ubuntu as only the interface of the GUI has been changed.

If you wish to install the Operating System, you need to have a minimum space of 10 GB. The installation process I am about to give is only to dual boot the 12.04 and on a Windows 7 system. To dual boot or change your Windows Operating System, you have to empty all the drivers in your computer to make a minimum of 10 GB space after which you have to format your device to keep it clear. The OS can be dual booted with three of Windows’ versions including Vista, XP and 7. Here are the steps to install Ubuntu:

Firstly, you have to boot it using a bootable USB or through a CD or preferably, a DVD. A screen stating ‘Preparing To Install Ubuntu’ will appear. Uncheck the third party installation software as it is not mandatory and you can install it any time you want. After you uncheck, click ‘Continue’.

You’ll be taken to the next window, which is ‘Installation Type’. You can either choose ‘Erase Disk to Install Ubuntu’ to clear your device and to start installing the OS or you can choose ‘Something Else’ to start the process. When the process is underway, you have to choose the kind of disk drive through which you are planning to install the Operating System. The page also prompts you to choose a drive with free space, and once you choose the drive, click ‘Change’. You have to then select the Master hard drive of your system and click ‘Change’ again.

In the new partition page, choose the type of partition you require, the new partition size (preferably 8 GB or more), location for the new partition, mount point (/) and click OK. Ensure you have all the options you have chosen in the selected Drive and click ‘Install Now’.

You will be prompted next to choose a Time Zone and the desired layout for the keyboard of your system. In the final window, you can enter the username and password you wish to give your system. After giving the necessary details, click ‘Next’.

You have installed the Operating System. All you have to do now is re-boot your system. Now, you will get a prompt when you open your device which will ask to choose an Operating System. According to the nature of your work, you can choose the Operating System you wish to boot. If you have any problems with the above steps, try installing all over again, otherwise, get professional help from an IT consultant.