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16 Mar

Remote Working: Your Response To Covid-19. Tips and tricks

Author: GTI Computers
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Your Response To Covid-19: remote working. Tips and tricks

One of the solutions for businesses to cope with the COVID-19 (a.k.a. Coronavirus) is to start a practice of remote working. If your company already has this capability, you may find some useful points below. If there’s no such capability, you may have to think and act to be prepared for changes at any moment.
GTI Computers can help you with this, and we are ready to work remotely.

For a company of any size and industry, it’s vital to set up effective communications, a way to participate in meetings, access to necessary tools and data, and provide training in how to use it.

First of all, remote employees need a lot more than a laptop or a home computer connected to the internet. They need secure remote access to the company network on-premise or in the cloud. The access should be organised over a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure remote working is secure. The VPN gateway, if you already have it, must now support a greater number of connections, which means that the capacity of the gateway must be increased. You may need more licenses so that the VPN can be used.

Some companies are still not adopting cloud networking even partially, and remote working for them is quite a challenge. It might be a good reason to rethink and give the cloud solutions a try.

Communication. If you don’t have a phone system in your office (or in the cloud), it could be a nightmare to handle customer and partner calls. It’s quite quick, easy and inexpensive to get your cloud-based phone system nowadays. Otherwise, make sure you’ve planned what settings you need to change in your phone system to make call flow smooth as if everyone is in the office as usual.

Generally, all the processes should be virtualised as much as possible. You definitely need to pick a good collaboration tool. There are plenty of freemium services online, not only paid, so you can find the best one which suits your company size and needs.

On top of the above, if there are no company laptops and you expect your employees to work remotely using their home computers, you may need to start using Office 365 or G Suite to make sure employees have all the tools they require to do their tasks.

The critical and sometimes overlooked topic – cybersecurity. Significantly increase security protection measures of your network and users devices. Be prepared that end-user support will be in high demand.

You can always rely on support from the GTI Computers team. We are ready to start work remotely at any moment and can help you to achieve this vital capability.

Drop us a line or let’s have a chat over the phone.

To summarise, here is a brief checklist for your attention and changes for consideration which will make remote working less stressful.

1. Secure connection (VPN)
2. Cloud solutions
3. Phone system settings, or an alternative way to communicate (e.g. WhatsApp)
4. Collaboration tools (like Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, Cisco Webex Meetings to name a few)
5. End-user equipment protection (antivirus, 2FA)
6. File sharing (e.g. G Suite)
7. Project management tools (e.g. Trello)
8. Note-taking/task-list tools, such (e.g. Evernote)
9. Collaborative whiteboard/visualisation software (e.g. Miro)

Stay safe and healthy!

GTI Computers (Portsmouth) team
t: 02393 790 001

02 May

GDPR and Your IT: You Can Cope With the Challenge

Author: GTI Computers
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The closer to the day X when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force – 25th of May – the more hype we all spectate around.
As we receive many questions from our customers and the next door companies, we have conducted a short networking meeting with local Portsmouth businesses to share and discuss our ideas of how they can prepare for the big challenge.

“Better to do something than nothing,” stated David Grenfell, managing director of GTI Computers at the beginning of his presentation. The speech has covered a single, but very complex and vital aspect of GDPR – personal (and any other) data protection and cybersecurity. There is a ton of changes every company should design, prepare and implement.

Devid Grenfell, MD of GTI Computers

There are three main points of attention regarding data protection:

>> access to data;
>> data security;
>> data on the move (portable devices).

What IT tools and methods any business should have in their hands?

Here is the list of basic, yet must-have, IT tools. They are widely available for and affordable by micro, small and medium businesses.

Windows Security
This tool restricts access to particular information and resources to whom it necessary within a company. As a result, security risk caused by a human factor could be reduced substantially.

Anti Virus
Remember, that viruses could not only corrupt data and systems; viruses can steal data or lock it (by ransomware). Anti-malware products keep this potential headake away from users (ESET / Malware Bytes).

Email SPAM filtering
Email is one of the most common security threats channels. Anti-SPAM not only reduces the amount of junk in your inbox (means save your time) but also checks emails for viruses and other malicious software. Hosted services are economical and the likelihood of being compromised.

Two (of Multi-) Factor Authentication aka 2FA or (MFA)
A method of confirming a user has claimed identity by utilising a combination of two (or more) different factors:

  1. something they know;
  2. something they have; or
  3. something they are.

The method is widely in use nowadays as it showing the high level of access protection. Plenty solutions on the market that won’t break the bank.  MFA/2FA applications are available from many security vendors, for instance, ESET.

Encryption is a process of encoding a message or information (data) in such a way that only authorised parties can access it. When you move data – on a laptop/tablet/smart-phone/USB storage device – it is wise to encrypt it as it is at risk during transportation. In the unfortunate case of losing the device, you will be happy to know that the precious data on it will not come to unwanted hands.

Since Vista time Windows includes BitLocker, yet other products widely available.

Virtual Private Network aka VPN
A network constructed by using public lines (the Internet) to connect remote computers and servers uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorised users can access the network and the data it holds. If you make use of an external data resource – a head office or a central server – consider the implementation of VPN.

Network Attached Storage devices aka NAS
Many micro and small companies have a significant amount of data spread over a number of machines which makes control difficult. Data stored in centralised location (not on someone’s PC) make it possible to manage access restrictions and secure it.

Adding NAS device to a local network put a company data and information under control and in order which is one of the GDPR requirements.

Summing up:

>> GDPR concerns every organisation (whatever size or turnover);
>> Every company should define how to deal with personal data (and create tones of GDPR related processes and documentation. On the Information Commissioner’s Office website you can find a lot of information about);
>> And not forgetting to implement changes (remember about IT tools too).

Devid Grenfell, MD of GTI Computers

13 Oct

Superfast Britain Voucher Scheme ends

Author: GTI Computers
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Irish times

The Superfast Britain Voucher scheme, as we predicted last week, was suspended on October 12. GTI Computers, as a registered voucher supplier, can look back with pride at the businesses we helped get connected through the voucher scheme and thank our colleagues at our subsidiary, Wi-Fibre, for the help they gave and continue to give us. Visit and check out the new deal they’re offering.



09 Oct

Last chance

Author: GTI Computers
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last cahnce pop ip

14 Jul

Windows Server 2003 End of Support-Time to migrate!

Author: GTI Computers
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Windows Server 2003 Facts

•Released May 28, 2003 (Over 11 years old)

•22 million servers as of 2014 (Microsoft)

•31% of Windows Web Servers (W3Techs)

•Support will end on July 14, 2015

Reasons to migrate from 2003

•No technical support

•No updates

•No security patches

•No drivers

•Less Application support

•Growing risk to your environment

Migration Challenges

High risk of data loss

High risk of time loss and extra costs

Productivity loss

Extended downtime


Call GTI Computers today-023 9379 0001

06 Apr

A Computer Timeline

Author: GTI Computers
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Running to keep up – that’s how being in IT can feel sometimes.

Developments and advancements in the technology come thick and fast these days, and one of our core tasks is staying on top of what new products and services are coming along.

With all this headlong rush, it can be fascinating to take a break and instead to look back at where we’ve come from. Finding this great infographic on the Tech King blog made us smile – we’re not convinced it’s a ‘comprehensive’ history of computing, given that Charles Babbage was working on his ‘Difference Engine’, the first recognised computing machine’, in the 1820s – but as it starts with the founding of Hewlett Packard, one of our partners, we thought we’d share it with you.

We’ve come a long way – and the journey continues.

Infographic: A Comprehensive History of ComputersA Comprehensive History of Computers by Tech King

13 Oct

Protect your data – Microsoft Do Not Call you to ‘Fix your Computer’!

Author: GTI Computers
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A couple of people we know have recently received phone calls out of the blue from someone claiming to be working for Microsoft Tech Support.

The callers say that ‘problems on your computer’ have been reported to them and they are calling up to help you fix them.

No they’re not. It’s a scam.

The callers go on to ask for access details – passwords and usernames etc – which will allow them to access your computer remotely, stealing valuable data or planting malware (malicious software) on your hard drive.

The Microsoft official website advises that “Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer”, and also points out that:

  • • there is a no ‘Microsoft Lottery’, so you can’t win it!
  • • they never call you asking for credit card details to validate your copy of Windows.
  • • they don’t send out emails containing security or other upgrades as an attachment.

This is generally true of all software providers – any calls or emails you receive

What is Malware?

Malware is a broad term that describes all software written with a malicious or criminal intent, including viruses and trojans. The purpose of malware programmes can vary enormously. There are those that cause pop-up windows to appear in the hope you’ll click on them, basically unwanted advertising, and these are just annoying or mischievous. Some will allow the cybercriminals who plant it access to your email programme so that they can send out messages using your address.

Others have much darker intent: the worst type will either deliberately destroy or damage your data, or simply monitor your activity and potentially steal important passwords and access details as you key them in.

Protect yourself

This can all sound a bit scary, particularly as we become more and more used to conducting so much of our business and personal lives online.

The first line of defence is to make yourself, and your employees, highly aware of the tricks they could be subjected to. When you know what measures cybercriminals are resorting to, you are much less likely to be caught off guard and fall for their scams.

Making it clear that they are not, under any circumstances, to give usernames, passwords or any other access details to anyone other than your authorised IT representatives should help eliminate the risk that they would trustingly fall for a phone scam.

Pointing out that they should never open attachments on emails from sources they don’t know and trust is another basic that is easily forgotten.

Do you think you may have been infiltrated?

With the best will in the world, it is really difficult to be hyper-vigilant all the time.

If you suspect that you might have been attacked with malware, viruses or trojans, and you want to check it out, use the free online scanner at ESET.

This powerful little programme works through your web-browser to check for and clean up malware that has found its way onto your computer. It uses the same ThreatSense® technology as their anti-virus software and it’s always completely up-to-date.

Of course, to work the software will need to access your system in exactly the same way as the scammers were trying to do – and that’s when you need to know that you’re dealing with a tried and trusted source.

We at GTI are only too happy to recommend ESET’s solutions as we know from experience how effective they are. They are a genuine and trusted supplier to us, and we know they have your best interests at heart.

In industry tests they regularly top the ratings for reliability – we use ESET security software ourselves, and we advise our clients to as well. Why? Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say – we spend quite a lot of our time cleaning up clients’ systems after virus and other malware attacks. But we’ve never had a call from any of our clients using ESET’s NOD32 security software.

We think that speaks volumes!

23 Jun

Mobile phones need better support!

Author: GTI Computers
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Mobile phones from GTI ComputersMobile phone technology has begun to streak ahead – 3G Windows phones, BlackBerrys and other highly sophisticated handsets have turned the humble mobile into a veritable handheld computer!

There are lots of new software applications and functions that mean your mobile phone can now be a valuable business tool – an extension of your office. Of course that throws a bit of technological complication into the mix as well, these phones and business applications need supporting with something rather better than a standard contract if you want to make the most of them.

What applications are available now?

The simplest packages start by linking your email on your phone to the email on your computer. If they are not synchronised by your server then emails you send from your phone don’t appear in your base inbox – you run the risk that you’ll delete the email from your phone by mistake (which is just so easy to do) and possibly lose valuable communications – how much did you tell the client it would cost??

You can copy yourself into the email, but that messes with your ‘from’ and ‘to’ searches. How much more efficient would it be to simply have the email appear in your ‘sent’ folder in the correct format?

BlackBerry mobile phones from GTI ComputersFor sales people and managers on the road, a direct and simple link to the business CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software allows them to update customer details, results of meetings etc immediately, making the information available to anyone that needs it while you’re on your way back to the office.

Chasing orders, progressing jobs, tracking deliveries – all functions that the new breed of intelligent phone can perform.

And of course, you can always simply use it to phone home and say you’ll be back early because of all the time you saved today!

11 Jun

Monitoring broadband performance

Author: GTI Computers
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It’s one of the ‘hot topics’ surrounding broadband services – are you receiving the speed and performance you’ve paid for?

A lot of the time the advertised connection speed isn’t achieved – understandably so when you know how broadband works. It is, after all, a maximum performance speed, not a guarantee that that’s what you’re going to get.

Most broadband is channelled through copper or fibre optic connections that are grouped together along a street, with branches off to individual houses or businesses. Everyone in that area is sharing the same ‘pipe’ onto the internet; this is known as ‘contention’, and it has a huge effect on how quick your connection is.

Internet ‘traffic’ is exactly like vehicle traffic – if the roads are clear, you speed along; if everyone is out in their car you slow down, and sometimes grind to a halt altogether. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got a sports car with a top speed of 120mph – when there’s traffic on the road with you, you’re not going to be able to achieve that top speed, or anything like it.

So it is with broadband – if you’re the only person in the area who’s on line you’ll get close to the maximum performance you’ve paid for. If all your neighbours are online too – it’s rush hour in your virtual street and things are going to be slower.

A sluggish connection when you’re surfing at home is frustrating enough. When you’re at work and trying to perform time-critical functions via the internet, an under-performing broadband connection can cause a huge lack of productivity and can even stand in the way of your business.

These days pretty much every business needs their internet connection to be reliable – but for some it is crucial that their broadband is both fast and stable.

Where the investment is called for, you can have your own ‘road’ installed! Uncontended, single-user lines are available – of course it costs a good deal more than a standard connection, but if your business is reliant on speedy web access, it can be an invaluable investment.

So how can you balance performance and cost?

There are a number of ways to improve the speed and reliability of your broadband without going to major expense. For instance, installing two separate lines from different sources, and then ‘bonding’ them together through an intelligent router that measures the performance of the lines, and balances the data stream to achieve the fastest speed possible.

That also improves your ‘resilience’, as if one of the connections fails for some reason, you still have the other line available to you.

Finding the best solution to suit your needs and your budget is something GTI is very good at – we understand the many different types of system available, what they can do and what they cost.

Of course, getting the right system in place is essential, but monitoring the performance, and identifying potential problems is the ongoing part of the job. GTI can help you with that too – we currently remotely managed 157 broadband connections for our clients, and we often identify and remedy connection problems before the client has even noticed them themselves.

We do this by means of software that constantly ‘pings’ the different connections, and then displays a continually-updating graph showing the response time.

Our broadband monitoring software gives us real-time information about what your connection is like. We can identify any problems, and reveiw

Our broadband monitoring software gives us real-time information about what your connection is like. We can identify any problems, and review the performance over a period of time to ensure you're getting value for money.

A fast response shows the line is operating swiftly, a slower response means it’s busy, no response at all immediately alerts us to a problem – and we can get right on it to ensure your performance is as smooth as possible. Sometimes a problem takes a little longer to sort out, but it’s always reassuring to our clients when they call us up to report an issue, and we’re able to tell them that we’re already in touch with the provider and working on a solution.

Don’t you love it when you get a ‘can-do’ problem solver on the case? That’s what we strive to be!

04 Jan

Top 4 Energy Saving Tips for Business!

Author: GTI Computers
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Don't let your energy costs rear up and bite you!

Don’t let your energy costs rear up and bite you!

We’re very privileged to have an excellent partnership with Fujitsu, and we’re pleased indeed that they are taking the issue of rising energy costs and the impact of  excessive energy use very seriously.

Their innovative production of Zero Watt computers and monitors is an example of how hard they are working to help reduce the consumption of power by idle technology, as we showed in our last post.

However. not everybody has the funding to replace their equipment with new Zero Watt kit!

Recently Fujitsu sent us a great bulletin, containing 4 tips for saving energy with older equipment. As they said in the introduction:

“As energy prices continue to rise relentlessly around the world, other cost pressures on companies also refuse to go away. Many organizations, however, still tend to underestimate the energy related expenses caused by their hardware, particularly when it comes to the thousands of office workplaces furnished with PCs.

The less energy-efficient these devices are, the higher the costs, and they can really add up. The industry is working on technology that help companies to reduce their costs, and Fujitsu is playing a leading role. But saving energy is about much more than discussing costs. It is about helping to protect the environment. With little effort, everybody can contribute to the green attitude.”

Here are their 4 tips:

1. Switch off your PC and monitor.

Sounds so blindingly obvious, doesn’t it? Yet so many offices look like the Christmas decorations in the high street when the lights are switched off at night… sparkling little green and red LEDs show just how many devices are still drawing a trickle of power, even when in sleep mode.

To completely stop your equipment from drawing current while you’re not even there, switch them off at the plug or power bar. Standby switches can still draw a little current, and as we said in the last post, that may not seem like much until you multiply up the hours the machines stand idle, by days, weeks and months.

Simple, yet effective – switch it off, and include your printers too! At the very least, shut it all down at the weekend.

2. Adjust your power management settings.

Not everyone knows that you can set your equipment to use less power during the working day. The obvious one is setting the computer to go into hibernation after a shorter period of time when you’re not using it. Obviously this needs to fit in with your work routine, but keep an eye on your use – is your monitor still blazing away brightly when you come back from an hour’s lunch break?

Reducing the brightness on your screen can reduce the  power it uses, and most PCs will have power management or energy saving settings that you can adjust to suit your needs.

Have a look at your system settings and make some small adjustments to reduce the power your computer uses when it’s on.

Some recommended settings for lowest energy consumption are as follows:

• For you screen: set it to sleep after 10 minutes not used for a desktop PC, or 5 minutes for a laptop.

• For your hard drive: set it to sleep after 15 minutes not used, or 10 minutes for a laptop.

• Set your computer to go to standby after 20 mins not used, or 15 mins for a laptop.

• Set your PC to hibernate after an hour not used, or 30 mins for a laptop.

3. Don’t buy a much more powerful machine than you need!

A common phenomenon is the use of desktop PCs that are far more powerful than necessary to perform typical office applications. It’s like driving a Ferrari to the supermarket five minutes down the road – crazy fuel consumption for a simple task! The more powerful the processor in a computer – the more power-hungry it is.

Many applications in the office environment would benefit more from additional memory than high-performance processors. In such cases, older machines with more “frugal” processors could be upgraded and remain in service. Due to their compact housing, notebooks and laptops use diffferent technology. They generate less heat thereby using less energy. For that reason you could consider a notebook to use it as a desktop replacement where possible.

4. If you are buying a new PC – check the label!

If you are going to buy a new PC then think Green and check the labelling to see what standards it conforms to. The European Commission offers detailed information about the ENERGY STAR eco-label as well as the power consumption of modern office computers at

The website features an energy calculator for PCs, monitors and imaging equipment for companies and consumers. It enables you to make a detailed comparison of power consumption and overall costs, allowing for factors such as purchase price, depreciation periods, and everyday usage scenarios, including specifying power requirements and if an uninterruptible power supply is used. Even the air conditioning system’s effects on electricity requirements are taken into account.

So, in summary, switch it off at night, streamline performance when it’s switched on, don’t buy a monster computer for simple tasks, and be sure to buy green when you are buying – in which case have a chat with us and we’ll point you at some great machines.