8 Reasons Why You Need to have a Budget Plan and 3 Best Apps to Help You Create One

If you ever found yourself lost during your adult life because you simply can’t afford the things that you like to do, you need to stop and think. Often, people haven’t set themselves up in a way that allows them to have the money to afford what they deserve. This is the fundamental reason why people need to have a budget in their adult lives.

Preparing a budget for your daily needs is essential if you want to enjoy every bit of your money, as well as making sure that you can spend every bit of your coin in a good way.

If you feel you belong to those who have been struggling financially all their lives, here are eight reasons why you need start creating a budget plan:

Your budget gives you direction: By creating a budget plan, you can find out where every dollar is currently being spent, and this visual representation of the actual expenditures can show you a direction that can be followed. It’s like a roadmap for you to bring many treasures into your life. Moreover, you can reroute your budget plan if ever there are bumps along the way, especially when you see that you’re making mistakes. Surely, creating a budget might take up some of your time, but it can definitely be worth it especially when you constantly update it.

Budget plans reveal waste so that you can dispose or avoid them as soon as possible: The best thing about budget plans, especially detailed ones, is that they can be compared against your actual monthly expenditures to reveal any misuse of your money. When money is being spent on non-budgeted items, budget shortfalls are created. With your budget plan, it can be easily corrected. Remember, if you can identify waste, you can then make the necessary moves to either eliminate them or avoid them in the future.

It can help you control spending: Especially when you find out that you are spending way more than you wanted to, you can now control your spending by adjusting your lifestyle. Maybe it’s something as minimal as an extra espresso shot every day that could amount to 20 dollars a month. This is also applicable when outstanding debt is weighing on the monthly finances. Your budget can show areas where spending can be reduced to find the money to use in other aspects of your financial plan.

Budget plans guide you to set your priorities straight: Especially for families, discussions over the budget can reveal differences in priorities that may often cause conflict. Conversations to address the underlying priorities can also correct the problems and reduce disagreements over money.


Budgeting leads to an increase in your savings: By having a set budget (and applying the other benefits of having a budget), you can make room for more savings. Short- and long-term goals can be reached through efforts that seemed impossible just months before a budget was created. Savings become the highest priority and money can be saved ahead of paying the bills since every expense is closely monitored and compared to the budget.

It teaches you to start good habits: By building a budget and sticking to it, you can subconsciously discipline yourself in the long run. Efforts to stay within the budget build new spending habits that can be maintained over time. Working within the budget also shifts actual expenses from unnecessary categories into the most essential household items. Money will soon be available for the most important expenses, and debt reduction becomes possible.

It really helps in getting out of debt: Paying debt while still living a comfortable life becomes more possible when you have a budget. With your budget planned ahead, knowing your priorities, eliminating waste, and building habits can really help you when it comes to paying your debt. As less money is spent, excess income becomes available. This is considered your financial margin, and these funds can then be applied to other financial goals.


It makes you reach your financial goals faster: Finally, a budget plan allows you to achieve your financial goals faster simply because you become more financially efficient every day of your life. Because you eliminate waste and savings becomes a priority, you can easily move toward major goals like funding college education for your children, getting a car, or building a business. Many goals can be set and reached because the budget has been used consistently to monitor your financial activities.

Before technology brought on so many financial tools, having a budget plan was really tedious. Physically writing down expenditures and manually calculating them could have been an arduous task and would discourage anyone to start budgeting. Fortunately, the digital age has opened the doors for various tools and applications, and these can be accessed through your home computer, your tablet, your phone, or all of them at once.

Start off with 3 of the best budgeting tools available online:


BillGuard is one of the most convenient ways to track your money and expenditures. You can keep track of your spending by type, month and location. Also, you can get free access to your credit score and other identity protection tools like data breach alerts.


The application provides easy connection to credit card issuers. You won’t realize how much you actually need the convenience of easily connecting with your credit card issuers until you start using it. BillGuard can also provide details about transactions, which serves as a useful tool in your expenses tracker.

Also, BillGuard uses crowdsourcing to flag often-reported merchants. This can be helpful during decision making, especially when you don’t have a lot of time to browse through reviews for items that you want to buy.

Creditfix – IVA

When it comes to getting out of debt – be it a simple car loan, housing loan, or something bigger like business debts – a financial application like Creditfix can really help you a lot. Through its website, you can get an “online financial advisor” that can help you fill out important documents, get necessary information about your income and expenditure, and understand various details about your finances. Think about it as a website that works as a personal financial advisor.

Creditfix also provides a platform for you to find the best solution for your debt. The app can give you advice on what you can do to clear any financial obligations. It can even tell you how much you can afford to pay each month during your debt clearing. Furthermore, it can give you trust deed solutions, Individual Voluntary Arrangements, and any other means to resolve any financial challenges you may be in right now.


Formerly known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid, or EEBA, Goodbudget is a budgeting service that helps you log and allocate your finances. You can access it via your web browser or download the free app on iOS and Android devices from the App Store and Google Play store.


GoodBudget is a highly visual app. It creates an infographic presentation of your finances, using pie charts for your budget and quirky envelopes for your expenditures. It’s another budgeting tool that can help you keep track of your spending, but still provide a nice visual.

In the app, you can use the “envelopes” to allocate money toward frequent expenses like rent, groceries and entertainment. You can categorize items for saving and emergency funds, and easily customize your envelopes especially for your financial accounts like a checking account, savings account, credit card or cash.

Everything You Need To Know About Uploading Videos To Your Website

Uploading videos to your website may seem to be a simple thing to do. However, if you want to get the most out of uploading videos, there are tons of things you need to consider. In order to maximize the amount of traction that you can get out of the videos on your website, you need to know the most important elements of uploading video content and why you should understand them before anything else:

Fundamental Terms That You Need To Know

It would be very helpful for you to first understand the fundamental terms that you may encounter before hosting videos on your website. For example, when considering a video hosting website, some might have a certain limitation on resolution or frame rate. If you don’t fully understand what they’re talking about, you might be on your way to making a bad decision.

Here are some of the most common terms that you need to know:

  • Aspect Ratio: Aspect Ratio is a term used most commonly for photos, TVs, and videos. It refers to the proportional size of the image or screen in width, then length, in the form of a ratio. For example, a common aspect ratio is 16:9, where 16 units is for the width of the video or image and nine units is the length. The common wide screen monitors that you see (and are probably using right now) is 16:9, while the widely-used squareish resolution that you used maybe more than five years ago are commonly 4:3.
  • Resolution: It represents the quality of the video image and can be measured in pixels per inch (PPI) or more commonly, dots per inch (DPI). When it comes to displaying video, resolution is usually written in the form of width x height where width refers to the number of horizontal pixels displayed and height is the number of vertical pixels displayed on the screen such as 1920 x 1080. When written in short form, it looks like height p, or to use a common example, 1080p.
  • Frame Rate: This is the speed at which a sensor captures video in a second. A single frame looks like a photograph. When you string each frame together, you get a moving picture or in other words, a video.


  • Frames Per Second (FPS): This term is used to describe the number of frames used per second of a video. Common FPS include 24, 25, 29.97, 30 and 50. When you have a video that’s 30 FPS or more, it’s considered High Definition (HD).
  • Bitrate: Bitrate is really important. This indicates the amount of data that is transferred per second when a video is being uploaded, usually measured in megabits per second (mbps) or kilobits per second (kbps). If you find a video host that uploads videos with a bitrate of less than 1000 kbps, it’s best to search for another host since the upload process is too slow for most people. It also affects those who use a video downloader, so it is best if the user experience is optimal in almost all aspects of your site.
  • Encoding: This describes the process of taking an original (source) video file and converting it from one extension to another for viewing on different devices and browsers. Since different browsers and mobile devices accept different kinds of video file formats, encoding your videos can help ensure your videos are viewable to all your visitors no matter how they choose to view your video. For example, converting a video file called videofile.mov to videofile.mp4 allows the video to be uploaded and played on a WordPress site.

How to Upload and Add Video Files

Uploading files seems to be pretty straightforward most of the time, but if you’re at an intermediate level of video uploading, you might need to know more factors about uploading. For example, not all video files can be uploaded without the hassle. Most hosting websites, such as WordPress, allow for the following video encoding types to be used:


  • .MP4, .M4V (MPEG-4)
  • .AVI
  • .MPG
  • .OGV (OGG)
  • .3GP (3GPP)
  • .3G2 (3GPP2)

This means that if you’re using other video file encoding types, it’s best if you look for a video converter so that you can have the best video files.

At this point, you now need to consider which file type is the best. Of course, the different encoding types are made for various reasons: each file type has its own pros and cons, and are used for different purposes.

For example, .AVI files are on the top side of the highest resolutions possible – and they have the most detail and pixels – but the file is too heavy that you would need a ton of data and bandwidth allocation. .AVI files could be best as a raw material when editing a video, but never a good one to upload because it would be too hard to view (since the file is too big, uploading, downloading the file or streaming it would take too much data allocation).

If you’re self-hosting your videos, a general rule of thumb is to use MP4.

According to studies and personal applications, here are the best settings that you can use:

Format: MP4

Video Codec: H264 (High profile)

Frame Rate: 24, 25 or 30 (Constant)

Frame Size / Resolution: 1280 x 720 (720p)

Fields: Progressive

Bitrate: 5000 – 10000 kbps


Audio Codec: AAC-LC

Bitrate: 320 kbit/s

Sample Rate: 44.100 OR 48,000 kHz (retain original sample rate)


This is the best quality that you can get with the most efficient file size. It’s not too low in terms of file size, but it’s still quite as HD as it could get. Just keep in mind that a higher bitrate results in a larger file size. As such, if your goal is to keep things neat and tight, choose a bitrate closer to 5000 kilobits per second.

Self Hosted, or Hosted Videos?

Here lies a very important question. Should you host the videos yourself (meaning you upload them directly to your website) or should you use video hosting sites (like YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo)?


In the most basic terms, self-hosted videos mean that they’re stored on your server with your blog hosting website, such as WordPress. Hosted option means your videos are stored elsewhere and linked or embedded to your site.

There are straightforward ways on how you can make your decision. For example, self-hosting should be the easiest and probably the most secure. However, they come at a huge price.

To host videos well, you should make sure your site and server are optimized for speed. Be sure that your server has an ample amount of RAM and a fairly generous processor speed. The amount you need depends on how many videos you plan on self-hosting. Another rule of thumb: a video that’s 1GB in size should comfortably fit into a hosting plan that has two and a half gigabytes of RAM, a minimum of a dual-core processor and 1500 MB of storage space.

You should also make sure you have enough bandwidth allotted to your hosting package. If you think your site could blow up with popularity, you should consider how much bandwidth your site is allowed to use up. The more visitors you’re expecting, the more bandwidth you’re going to need. If you’re planning to display many high-quality videos with tons of visits to your site, you might want to consider hosting your site somewhere else other than your own server.

5 Ways to Land Your Dream Career

Choosing a career—whether you want to switch careers or want to figure out what you want to do for (what seems like) the rest of your life, is nowhere near an easy task. There are so many options, yet it seems like never enough. You don’t know what you’re qualified to do, or if you have the qualifications a company is looking for. Finding and landing your dream career may not be an easy task, but that’s mostly because you’re under the expectation that your dream job will appear right after college, or that you should have known about your dream job all of your life. But don’t worry if you don’t land a job opportunity right after college which exceeds all of your expectations because sometimes it takes a little bit of digging to find your career path.

  1. Experiment: If First You Don’t Succeed…

Did you know that you could end up having as many as 15 to 20 jobs in your lifetime, and this is the “new norm”? Well, lucky for you, experimentation is the best way to get  taste of a career. Now, you don’t need to jump from job to job, but when in college, you could have multiple internships each semester (if time permits) to see what interests you the most. Or, spend some time shadowing someone who works in your proposed field.

If your first job out of college bores you to tears, seek another opportunity (respectively, of course). If the week after you begin your new position, you think it’s “not for you,” try and see what it is you can do to make it better. Talk to your supervisor, ask your co-workers, and don’t give up right away. If you find after a little while of working, you can’t even fathom working in that field, then it’s time to start looking!

  1. Forget About It (The Money)

Ok, well don’t forget about it completely, but don’t have it as the main factor. Just because you aspire to work on Wall Street doesn’t mean you should take all finance classes in college. Sure, maybe you really want to live in New York and think it’s not possible unless you’re a big banker. While yes, industries such as information and financial services will likely continue to have the largest wage increases, New York State residents should feel confident that they will continue to have a diversified labor force. So, take your finance classes, but take a few other classes which may interest you as well, if not now, then down the road.

If money is your idea of happiness, think about if the job itself will lead to happiness too. Are you going to be working long hours? Weekends? Will you have any free time to spend with your family? Will you have time to start your own family? If you value your time, take that into account when searching for your career of choice. Working long hours for what seems like a nice salary won’t seem worth it in the long run if you don’t make it home until 9 at night every day.

  1. Be Honest With Yourself

They call it a “dream job” but who really dreams about going to work the next day? Not me! Well, a dream job ideally makes you feel rewarded and recognized for your hard work, passion, and skills, while also keeping you challenged, learning, and engaged. In layman’s terms, a job you look forward to come every Monday.

Consider multiple factors, aside from just the job description. What type of people do you like to work with: extroverts or introverts? What type of product or industry excites you? Is it the unstoppable technology industry? Education? All factor in the process or day-to-day qualities of the job you’re looking for. Do you cherish your downtime where you can unwind after work, or would you enjoy a job that is also a hobby?

  1. Don’t Fear the Unknown: Embrace It!

After college graduation, it may feel or seem like everyone is ready to jump right onto the track for their career. Some have jobs lined up, others are going to keep working at the jobs they held while in college, and others? Others are going to take some time off before jumping into an uncertain career path. It can definitely be easy to feel like you’re the only one left without an offer for an internship or job. But this uncertainty about what lies ahead can actually be a good thing.

Sometimes when you throw yourself into a career, it can be pretty difficult to get out and take time off. Concentrating fully on one career path can make you subconsciously blinded for other opportunities that arise. Take advantage of your uncertainty. Travel. It doesn’t have to be for a while or far away, but just get out of your comfort zone. Meet new people with intriguing backgrounds. You will come out of it with a much better understanding of yourself and the world.

  1. Realize You May Not Have a Dream of a Standard “Dream Job”

Realize that it is totally okay if you don’t have a “dream job.” As in the dating world, a perfect match during your job hunt is rare. Sometimes you stumble upon a job in which you never realized you enjoyed until you started the work. Maybe you didn’t even enjoy the work at first or were unfamiliar with the terrain and got off to a rocky start. That is a-okay!

Research suggests that people who frequently change jobs in their early career have higher incomes, as well as a greater sense of work fulfillment later in life. The key is to see your career path as a learning process.

Nobody is going to instantaneously be great at their job — no matter if it’s entry level or executive level. A new position takes time for growth, and there will always be a learning curve. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not fully settled into your new role when you first start working.

Don’t let your past career hinder your future. Think differently and try other careers or positions that could suit your skills and passion. Seize every chance that comes your way.

Functions, Features and Factors To Consider When Choosing a CMS

Content Management Systems (CMS) are vital for anyone who’s hoping to be a great website webmaster, or an ecommerce entrepreneur. Then again, people often simply jump on the most famous platforms without knowing what should be the best for them or their goals for their website.

Choosing a content management system then becomes a whole lot trickier. Without a clearly defined set of requirements, you can be seduced by fancy functionalities that you may never need, or be attracted to dozens of themes without the features that you actually want.

content management system

That being said, here are the most important factors, features and functions that you should be look for when choosing a CMS.

Functionality and Usability

Content Management is more than just creating, deleting, editing and organizing pages. Most people assume that all content management systems just do is to edit content – so much so that they would take functionality for granted. While almost all content management systems out there provide the basics of those features, they don’t guarantee that such functionality may be presented in an intuitive way.

coding screen

For example, not all blogging platforms allow the owner to manage and organize pages in a tree hierarchy. Instead, individual “posts” are automatically organized only by minimal criteria, such as date and category. In some cases, this limitation is adequate and can actually keep the interface simple and easy to understand. However, more often than not, the limitation can be frustrating.

Consider carefully the basic functionality you need. For instance, even if you do not require the ability to structure and organize pages now, you may do so in future. Be wary of any system that does not allow you to complete these core tasks.

Also, ask yourself how easy it is to complete these tasks. There are literally thousands of content management systems on the market, the majority of which offer this core functionality. They vary hugely in usability. Always test the system for usability before making a purchase.


Since you’re mostly using the CMS editor, this is another core feature that you should pay attention to. The editor is the interface through which content is added and amended. Traditionally, it has also allowed the content provider to apply basic formatting, such as font and color. However, developers have recently moved away from this type of editor to something that reflects best practice.

The majority of content management systems have a WYSIWYG editor.  A WYSIWYG (pronounced “wiz-ee-wig”) editor or program is one that allows a developer to see what the end result will look like while the interface or document is being created. (FYI, WYSIWYG is an acronym for “what you see is what you get”.)

Despite the fact that it is the most used feature within a system, there is a lot of things that people ill-conceive due to the fact that it can have too little or too much control that it can be detrimental to the overall look for the end-user.


There are dangers of traditional WYSIWYG editors. First, content providers are given too much control over the design. They are able to customize the appearance of a page so much that they undermine the consistency of the design and branding. Secondly, in order to achieve this level of design control, the CMS mixes design and content.

The new generation of editors, like WordPress, takes a different approach. Content providers use the editor to mark-up headings, lists, links and other elements, without specifying how they should appear.

Make sure that your list of requirements when choosing the CMS to use includes an editor that is designed based on this principle and that does not give content providers control over the appearance. At the very least, look for content management systems that allow the “editor” role to be replaced with a more appropriate solution. The editor should also be able to handle external assets, including images and downloadable files.

Management of Assets

Management of images and files is badly handled in some CMS providers out there. Badly designed systems can frustrate users because of their poor accessibility and usability.

Also, not all CMS can handle images as well as others. Ensure that the content management system you select forces content providers to add attributes to images such as captions or timestamps. Some CMS’s would even force you to strictly follow a dimension restriction, and this is not what you might want. You may also want a CMS that provides basic image editing tools, such as cropping, resizing and rotating. However, finding one that does this can be a challenge.

Consider also how the content management system deals with uploading and attaching PDFs, Word documents and other files. Have a closer look if their displays are pleasant to end users. It would also be good if descriptions can be attached to those files, as well as a search function to properly index every file you upload.


How content is presented in the end user should never be dictated by technology. It is simply not necessary now that we have techniques to separate design and content. Unfortunately, like some Web designers, many CMS developers have not adopted best practices and have created systems that produce horrendous code. This puts unreasonable constraints on the design and seriously impacts accessibility.

typing on keyboard

You need a content management system that allows flexibility in the way content is retrieved and presented. Ask yourself these questions and see if the CMS can answer with a yes: Can you retrieve news stories in reverse chronological order? Can you display events in a calendar? Is it possible to extract the most recent user comments and display them on the home page?

For example, if you’re already choosing between say Bigcommerce vs. Shopify, you’ll know that they almost have the same prices, same functionality, but one of them (Shopify) offers more customizability in almost all its features. While Bigcommerce can provide more themes, there’s not so much you can customize with these themes.

Roles and permissions

Having to manage roles and permissions across content providers and editors is important when choosing the CMS to use. As the number of content providers on your website increases, you may want more control over who can edit what.


For example, one group may need to be able to post job advertisements but not add content to the home page: this requires a content management system that supports permissions. Although implementation varies, permissions normally allow you to specify whether users can edit certain pages or even entire sections of the website. (This factor can also be tied up to the customizability of a CMS provider)

In many websites, the number of content providers still grows. Because of this, you may require one person to be able to review content being posted to ensure accuracy and consistency in tone. Sometimes, content may be inputted by a junior staff member who requires the approval of a more senior person before making it live.

In both cases, you would need a CMS that supports multiple roles. This can be as simple as having one “Editor” and one “Approver” role, or more complex – e.g. Higher Editor Role with editor and approver permissions) – with customized roles and different levels of permission.

Finally, enterprise-level content management systems support entire workflows in which page updates have to go through a series of checkpoints before going live. These complex scenarios require the ability to roll back pages to previous versions.

Just How Does Online Faxing Technology Work?

While many people suggest that faxing is an ancient method to communicate, this approach is still an important facet in every office and business. The fact that faxing still provides a better perspective on business documentation gives it a unique character that makes it a preferred option even up to this day. In the advent of technology, many have thought that this once heavily-leaned on communication tool will be discontinued and gone forever.

They were wrong.

fax and internet

In the midst of what seemed to be a race of survival that is the age of the internet, faxing has treaded the path of evolution. Today, online faxing is the new breed of communication. The technology behind this innovative approach to faxing is simply astounding, and users are actually reaping the rewards. Compared to conventional faxing, it is much easier to use, more efficient with regards to time and costs. Plus, it is much more engaging!

Nonetheless, to describe the technology of this new approach means to go down deep into its essentials. It is necessary to discover the building blocks of what makes this technology work, or how each member contribute to making this avant-garde tech an essential tool of today.

Block 1: The Device

For every technology to work, conventional and innovative alike, the primary requirement is the device. Say, when one makes a call, it is necessary for him to use his or her phone. Similarly, in the old faxing technique, a fax machine is required to get the job done. In the case of online faxing, the devices which can be utilized can be in a wide array of choices.

A general device used to start up online faxing is the desktop personal computer (PC). The advantage of having a PC is marked by its speed and efficiency in connecting to the internet, which is the second building block. However, before even attempting to do online faxing, a computer must first be configured.

3 devices

The easiest way to configure a desktop as a fax machine is to connect a phone line to the PC. Older computers have a phone jack port built-in, which is intended to provide wired internet access in case wireless internet is unavailable. One can also opt to use the jack to connect a phone line to the PC and use it as a fax machine.

The most simple yet most wondrous device one can use when utilizing online fax is through mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Not only does it offer convenience and on-the-go functionalities, applications in mobile devices can be small yet powerful. There is a vast field of choices of applications in mobile devices provided by online fax service providers.

In Android, Popcompanion is available on Marketplace for free. Another example is eFax which offers a “free fax app” for subscribers that require a $14-$17 per month subscription. If you need to send quite a few faxes, this may be a good option.

Opting for a more professional service, there are modern fax machines which are continually being marketed since most of these devices are built for multiple purposes such as printing, copying and scanning. HP Officejet offers these utilities in one device, not to mention its industrial-level durability. For a cheaper machine, the Epson WorkForce 3620 provides high-quality printing with inkjet technology assimilated by wireless technology.

Block 2: Email and Internet

With the devices now established, the technology now leans on its primary mode of connection- the email and internet. Before any online faxing happens, a user must have a decent internet connection as well as an email account.


A primary requirement to apply for an online fax service is to have an email account. This email account is signed in as personal identification for the users of the online service, which is the third building block.

Users will be prompted to enter their username and passwords over email service providers. Gmail is no doubt the most popular free email service on the Web right now.  Gmail started out as an invite-only service, but now, it is the preferred provider for hundreds of millions of users all around the globe.  The fact is that Gmail has proven to be an invaluable tool not only for personal purposes but also for business.

To maximize the use of one’s email account, including online faxing service, it may be necessary for one to establish his or her internet connection at home.  However, this is already mandatory for practically any office since most transactions, not only online faxing, are done mostly over the internet. To do this, a person or a company must contact a reliable internet service provider to set up their internet connection.

Block 3: The Fax Service

Online faxing is an innovative approach which makes faxing faster, reliable and more convenient to its users. It lets users send faxes as email attachments using their email fax number. When a person sends an email with an attachment to a fax number, an online fax service provider automatically converts that email into fax. The fax service is the third building block of online faxing service – a very integral one to make it all happen.

man imagining technological dreams

To access online faxing, one needs to find an online fax service. There is a good number of options of available services to choose from. Fax reviews over the web declare Ringcentral as one of the best choices around. At just $9.99 per month, Ringcentral offers a pretty robust package at an amazing price. Though it is not the only alternative out there, it can be a pretty good choice if a person wants a good balance between price and features.

Another choice can be eFax. At a base price of $16.95 per month, eFax could be located in the “expensive” group of email fax services. However, the features and security of this service make up for the difference in price.  eFax offers one of the best mobile apps out there for Gmail fax. In this regard, if a person plans on taking care of faxes on the go, then this service is a good choice.

eFax makes it very easy for people to test their service, not only they offer a free trial, but they also have an eFax free package for those who only want to receive faxes over email. It has a monthly limit of 10 faxes, so it is better suited for those who receive faxes occasionally.


Another big recommendation is by using Nextiva fax. This service is suggested especially for people who are looking for an affordable fax service with basic online fax functions.  If a person or company does not really care about the lack of advanced features, Nextiva can be a top contender of quality service for US customers. They can get well professional-grade of sending and receiving faxed documents at high speed with great clarity.

When it comes to price, Nextiva can’t be beaten.  Starting at just $4.95 per month, one can’t say making the jump to digital faxing is expensive. What’s better is that a person can start faxing for a full month free of charge.

Tips in Selecting Cloud-based Fax Providers

While the past technologies seem to start to be extinct, fax machines are still keeping their ground. For many reasons, faxing just can’t seem to die. One of which is the fact that many small businesses still need to send and receive faxes to communicate with vendors, customers, clients and partners. The ability to communicate and transfer documents via fax can boost productivity and add a level of professionalism to one’s brand of business.

black fax machine

Fortunately, technology not only improves what is current. It also bridges the gap between the past analog to the digital future. You no longer need a bulky, outdated fax machine or a dedicated landline in order to fax thanks to cloud-based faxing.

Cloud-based faxing allow you to send and receive faxes through your email account, as well as store those faxes digitally. Most services offer a low monthly subscription fee to enjoy a reliable and secure way to provide online faxing solutions.  Most online fax service offer practically similar pricing and features, but there can be significant differences between vendors.

When you’re choosing an online fax service, it’s important to note the number of outgoing and incoming faxes that are included in the monthly price, as well as any overage costs that might apply. Also, ensure that any company you select has a solid track record and a responsive, accessible customer service department.

Before anything else, you ought to know how online fax services actually work.

How online fax services work, and why people are using it often

Many of these cloud-based providers allow users to easily fax online, Google and Nextiva as the frontrunners. However, how do they actually work?

Online fax services essentially digitize a huge part of a faxing process. Also, there are a number of ways to send a fax using an online fax service: by special email address that includes the recipient’s fax number (i.e., 9876325123@gmail.com), through the vendor’s website or with a mobile application.

nurse fax machine

Once you create the documents you want to send in a word-processing program (like one of the staple desktop application Microsoft Word), they can scan and upload paper documents. When these documents are uploaded, the online fax service translates the document so that a fax machine can read it, and then sends it via a phone line. Fax machines don’t just accept documents. Email faxing services convert these documents (from any file type!) to information that is readable even by analog fax machines.

When you sign up for an online fax service, you’ll receive your own fax number, which others will use to send the documents to you. The service then converts the incoming documents into a digital format and sends them directly to your email address. For the sender, it’s as simple as dialing your chosen fax number, just as that person would do if you had a fax machine.

fax copy

Opting for online fax services nowadays is a very viable option to share documents and information for practically any purpose. Primarily, the reason a business might contract with an online fax service is to keep costs down, particularly if it’s a company that faxes infrequently. Convenience is another factor since businessmen don’t have to be in their office or near a fax machine to send and receive documents.

Managing your incoming and outgoing faxes with an online fax service is as simple as being near a computer or mobile device.

Features and options

Like most businesses, the selling points of online faxing services are the added features and extra options.

Convenient features include mobile alerts, integration with Microsoft Outlook, preset delivery times, digital signatures, customizable cover sheets, the ability to fax multiple recipients at once and the ability to forward incoming faxes to multiple email addresses.

As for its security feature, it includes SSL or PGP encryption and password protection to guard sensitive information. Most services offer these features, but it is important to check ahead of time and find out whether or not they cost more.

desktop fax

Another common option offered by providers is the use of a toll-free fax number or a local fax number. Most services also offer long-distance and international faxing as well, though it often comes with an additional per-minute fee on top of the subscription cost.

Choosing Online Fax Service

When choosing the cloud-based faxing service to tender, it all boils down to the cheapest option that will provide the best features. While most online fax services offer similar feature options and pricing models, no two are identical. Here are some tips that will help you decide:

Know your needs: Knowing the volume of faxes you’ll need to send and receive each month is first priority. This information is your key factor in determining which vendor and plan is the best fit for you. If you only need to send and receive a few faxes each month, a pay-as-you-go plan might be a good choice. If your business is much more fax-oriented than that, it’s best to pay a higher fee that includes a larger package of free faxes.

Get recommendations: It’s not enough to just take a vendor’s sales representative word and use it as the basis of your choice. Make sure you talk to other business owners who use online fax services and see which ones they recommend. While there are many competing vendors, finding recommendations from other entrepreneurs is a great way to narrow down your choices.

fax from ipad

Personally contact the providers: Using the intel you got from recommendations, it’s now time to contact the top contenders on your list to get a sense of the service you can expect. It’s always best to observe how a company handles the initial call from a prospective client. Is the call representative up-front about all the applicable fees and the included features? Is the rep willing to spend the time to explain how the service works? Is he or she overly pushy and aggressive in trying to make a sale? Is the representative friendly and attentive? These are all questions worth asking before choosing a vendor.

Understand the fee structures: It’s best to always ask for a detailed breakdown of all monthly fees and any additional costs, including setup fees, long-distance and international fees, and overage costs. Understanding the fee structures is crucial when you’re trying to estimate what your total monthly costs could be. This is mainly because some vendors may offer low rates, but then sneak in additional, hidden costs. Reputable vendors are straightforward about their fees, no matter how they are structured.

Request free demos: The top-of-the-pack fax services almost always offer a free product demonstration. Take advantage of this offer to test out the service before you sign up. A demo allows you to find out which service is the most user-friendly, because there can be vast differences between two seemingly similar services. You can easily identify between the best and the worst service providers by seeing their product demos first-hand.

Know about their customer: Much like any other service-providing business, customer service is very important. Before you have a problem, you would want to know that the vendor’s customer service department will be there for you. You would also want an immediate resolution when you do have a problem. In this regard, find out what the vendor offers in terms of customer support. As a rule of thumb, service providers should have a good customer support to be considered legitimate.

Fun Fax – What you need to know about online faxing

If there’s one business communications technology that has withstood the test of time, it is faxing. The use of fax machines is still vital form small-scale to large-scale businesses because of its reliability and security. More importantly, the sheer nature of having old and new hard copy of documents as a crucial element to have in businesses makes faxing popular among professional circles.

fax machine

This is why the trending old-becomes-new technology right now is email faxing. Faxing through email (most known as email faxing or Internet faxing) is faxing that uses IP networks to transport faxes instead of a Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN as its means of transporting information and sending a document. More specifically, Internet Fax uses e-mail as the transport medium. Internet fax services typically include e-mail to fax (fax from an existing email application), fax to email (receive faxes in your e-mail), and PC to fax (fax documents from your desktop).

So, how can someone actually email fax? There are now many rising providers of e-mail faxing. The most famous one is through Gmail fax. Easy to use, the use of Gmail fax is as easy as using your regular fax machine:

The How in Email Faxing

The entire process of Google fax is easy and very similar to sending a basic email with just a few modifications that include:

  • Entering the fax number in the “To” section (instead of entering a receiver email).
  • Documents to be faxed can be attached to the email.
  • The cover page title can be placed in the Subject section.
  • The cover page message can be placed in the content area of the email.
  • You can follow these steps without having to commit to a monthly plan by using a free trial account. These are provided at no cost to you and will allow you to explore all the features of the Gmail fax service with no strings attached.

fax to systems

Below is the step-by-step guide by Gmail fax online:

STEP 1. Create a New Message. To start, just create a new email by clicking on the Compose button.

STEP 2. Enter Receiver’s Information. The subject of the email serves as the title of the fax.

In the “To” section, you need to enter the receiver’s fax number in the area where you would usually but the recipients email. Following the fax number, place your internet fax provider’s information (which they specify in your welcome message).

STEP 3. Attach Documents to be Faxes

The beauty of online faxing is that you can attach a variety of document formats. Whether it’s a Word Document, Excel or even an image.

Check with your provider to know what document formats you can use. Most providers will accept a variety of formats, and you can also grab documents from your online storage accounts such as Google Drive, DropBox or Box.

Attaching a document to your fax is the same process as attaching a document that you email. You can also include a message for the cover page by typing it in the body of the email.

STEP 4. Include Message for Cover Page

You can place the text you would like to include on your cover page on the space where you would normally write the message for your email.

STEP 5. Final Step

Check over your fax. Make sure you’ve entered the fax number correctly, and the right documents are attached. After that, click SEND and your Gmail fax is automatically converted and delivered within minutes!

That’s how easy faxing through the internet can be with a Gmail fax service.

online faxing

After completing these steps, your fax takes a few minutes to process and deliver the message. You then get a confirmation message to inform you if your fax was sent successfully or if there was an error in the process. Most providers automatically resend a fax a few times if it fails on the first try, which makes it unlikely to receive an error message. However, if you do receive an error message, an email message is also sent to you, explaining why the fax wasn’t delivered.

The Why in Email Faxing

Gmail fax and other email faxing services have offered a more affordable, faster, and easier way to send and receive faxes that reduce the machine related problems such as the jamming of the papers and a busy line.

Gmail faxing has great impact (http://www.eproductivity.net/benefits-of-using-gmail-to-send-fax/) on a business because it greatly saves time in this critical process. Also, it is environment-friendly technology since it reduces the use of paper in the office. It is the perfect way of embracing the technological and social changes in business.

Gmail has many features that support the fax service, ensuring that it is beneficial for both business and personal correspondence. You only require an account and an email fax service that will enable you to create the connection between your email and the fax server. You are also required to have a virtual fax number that will enable you to receive your faxes via Gmail. The sending of faxes via Gmail has been considered to have numerous benefits.

close up machine

Document Clarity: As useful as they were, fax machines have not been the perfect tool in transmitting documents.  It used a scanning and copying process in black and white that didn’t always work as it used to.  When there a systematic glitch, it is due to either your machine’s fault or a faulty machine on the other end of the line. Black and white documents had an OK quality, but if you wanted to fax images and colors, you might be left without the better options.

Fortunately, digital faxing has made it possible to receive documents with perfect clarity.  You no longer need to scan a document (unless you only have a hard copy of it). All you need to do is fax directly from your computer the document you wish to send, and it is then transmitted, retaining perfect clarity, even with the presence of color images.

Automatic conversion of different files to the fax image format: The most advantageous thing about using the Gmail to send a fax is the ability to automatically convert the various types of files to the format of a fax image that makes it compatible with the different types of fax machines. This means that images that you send will not have any problems in terms of being read or received.

Moreover, the fax image format can be easily converted to the PDF format to allow easier printing or reading via desktop, laptop or your smartphone. The conversion has been considered to be an easier and a quicker process because it takes a relatively shorter time.

woman on computer

Saving money while you save the Environment: Using the internet to transmit faxes means your business also reduce the amount of paper it consumes because all documents can be received, sent and even edited through the computer.

In certain cases, implementing a new program in your business can end up costing you more money. However, that is far from the truth for businesses that begin to use an internet fax service. Many testimonials and comparison have shown that businesses have reduced expenses with the technology. This is because email faxing wastes less paper, ink and electricity. Also, you do not need an extra phone line that may add to your start-up costs or installations.

For all these reasons, email faxing is becoming increasingly popular because of its ease of use, innate importance and inherent perks. It provides benefits for the user and for the environment alike. Most importantly, it’s very easy to use, and like most online services, it doesn’t require complicated set ups because everything can be managed through the internet.

Bring out Your Inner Techie: 3 Steps to Choosing the Right Phone

In this post on Cablenet, we’re going to help you figure out which phone is best for you in 3 simple steps.

The massive development of new mobile phone technology right now makes it hard for consumers like you to adjust to choosing a new phone. Sometimes, developers release new versions of cell phones even though the latest version of their products is in the market for just six months. There is also plenty of competition when it comes to product features.

In addition, the 21st century tech battle forces developers to always improve or advance new software that can elevate their products above their competitors. Companies who create these products also have to keep in mind the buying capabilities of their target market, giving them more value for their money. Considering these two huge factors, contending technology companies now try to ensure the highest quality of their newgadgets – while also preventing consumers like you from spending too much money. This strategy encourages you and your friends to buy and update your mobile phones. This is how rapidly the mobile technology is evolving.

Because of this rapid evolution, you may find it difficult to choose the right cellphone for you. If that’s so, you’ve come to the right article! There are three steps that you can follow to make it easier for you to choose the phone that addresses your inner techie soul.

Step 1: Identify your needs

Get a pen and paper, and list down the all the things you want to find in a mobile phone. It is important to consider the features that can make your life easier in order to maximize the money you are going to spend. You can also put categories in order to make it easy to navigate once you start looking for a phone.

a woman in a white shirt writing

If you are a student, write the features than can help you in your studies. For example, a mobile phone that has high quality video processing might be a good choice. Why? This can help you get ahead with your lessons by watching educational videos during your break time. You can also always find a downloader so that you can get your phones video whenever you want.

You can opt for one that has expandable memory storage. This might be a good feature for you, giving you a handy tool to store your electronic books or other reading materials.

You can also consider a mobile phone that has a excellent internet features like 4G or LTE. This gives you the power to comfortably do your research on the basics of bookkeeping, learn more about Quickbooks Online and get an A+ on your Accounting 101 term paper.

For working people, consider features that can help you improve in your profession. The number one concern of employees is organizing everything and anything that has to do with their work. Keeping track of scheduled meetings, sharing documents whenever needed, and properly communicating tasks and responsibilities to all parties concerned.

Now, write on your paper a feature that can enable you to connect with your co-workers immediately. Finding the best phone that caters to this requirement can dramatically improve your professional life right then and there. For example, BlackBerry offers default programs like LinkedIn and BlackBerry Blends that can allow you to share messages and documents to many co-workers at the same time. If you are the type that multi-tasks a lot, take note of a phone that has a good RAM in order for you to run email, check your online statements and go over bookkeeping & business services all at the same time.

Step 2: Choose the right Operating System

Picking up the appropriate operating system is the major decision you have to make when buying a phone. Operating system serves as the brain of your phone. Moreover, the system is one of the major requirements in ensuring certain programs and features will function well. The following are the operating systems in the market right now:

iphone operating system logo

iOS is an operating system developed by Apple Incorporated. IPhone products are the only cell phones that use iOS as an operating system. Apple started using iOS for IPhone in 2007, and the company extended it to other gadgets that they offer. Through the operating system, you can enjoy programs exclusively for Iphone products like iTunes and the App Store.

Android is an operating system developed by Google. This serves as the most popular operating system in the market followed by iOS. Android is an example of open source operating system, and majority of the phones use it. The system offers programs and features by Google while Play Store serves as the program for accessing the services. Customizing the home screens and widgets is the top feature for Android.

android logo

BlackBerry is an operating system developed by Research in Motion. The operating system is exclusive to BlackBerry products. In addition, the system offers programs that are suitable for employees. For example, BlackBerry offers default programs that can aid employees in managing their documents like Docs to Go and Smart Tags.

blackberry logo

Windows Phone is an operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation. One of the objectives of this operating system is to address the problems with the former system that Windows uses – Windows Mobile. The operating system is exclusive for Windows phone products. The interface is aligned with Zune MP3, and it is the only system that observes the design. In addition, the homepage has the ability to display moving information or graphics.

windows logo

Step 3 : Educate yourself about the basic features

A phone’s basic features are the default services that can be found on the mobile phone. Sufficient knowledge about the basic features can help you filter through the phones you want to buy. This can also help you align your needs with the services of your future mobile phone.

A high-quality screen is on the top of basic features since this is where you access all the services of the mobile phones. Look for the resolutions of the screen within the specifications area of your desired phone. There are two display technologies that the market uses right now: AMOLED and LCD. 1280 x 720 pixel resolution can already give you a top experience.

A dual-core processor is also a vital basic feature. The processor enables you to use the programs smoothly, and it also allows you to use multiple programs at the same time. It is recommended not to consider mobile phones that still have a single-core processor. Moreover, a quad-core processor is obviously going to be your best option.

Sufficient wireless data access is another important feature that your phone must have. This feature can allow you to connect with the internet anytime and anywhere with good connection. If you plan on buying a phone, look for mobile phones that offer 3G or 4G LTE. This is to make sure that you can access the internet without any problems.

Battery life is another feature to prioritize. The phone battery has the tendency to quickly deplete its power faster than what the review says. Therefore, if the phone that you are planning to buy cannot provide energy for at least a day then try looking for a different model or brand. This might cause you headaches, especially if you are into playing games during your free time.

Memory size also plays a major role in ensuring your phone can keep up with your demands.  It is desirable to buy phones that have a slot for microSD. The memory card allows you to expand the memory up to 64GB. However, if you prefer phones that do not have microSD slot feature like the Iphone, then buy a version with sufficient memory. This is to ensure that you can download and store as many documents or programs that you want.

The quality of the camera is a crucial part of the mobile phone since you cannot have your DSLRs with you all the time. Always remember to look for the megapixels of the primary and secondary cameras so that you can whether see if it fits your needs.

You now know what to look for in a new phone. Now, go and find your perfect phone!

3 Reasons Why You Should Use Cloud Hosting

Business is a game where you either win or lose. It is a treacherous path of managing risks, decision-making, organizing and planning.  As the world becomes more reliant on the advantages of technology, entrepreneurship is also becoming more and more competitive by the hour.

Just imagine yourself going to war with a Model 1875 Remington Revolver. Yes, it is classy, and it emanates a certain old western soul. Then again, how do you see yourself faring when your competition holds in their hand an AK47 with GP-25 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. It is fair to say that you wouldn’t win that matchup.

That is an accurate metaphor for how you could end up in business when you don’t compete and are not well equipped – afloat, drifting and lifeless.

In today’s world, competing means you need to be technologically well-equipped.

That is why it is vital that you, a businessman or an upcoming entrepreneur, take advantage of the benefits of technology. Take note of what technologies and services can benefit your business. When you want fast and reliable accounting services, get Xero software. When you want services that cater to your increasing advertising needs, then it is important to contact SEO companies. Simply put, technology gives you the upper hand.

Business and technology crossroads

In this light, one of the most utilized technologies in the business world right now is Cloud Hosting. Cloud hosting refers to the method of configuring servers in a flexible way, providing hosting for websites on virtual servers which pull their computing resource from wide-ranging networks of physical web servers.

It is actually a more efficient alternative to hosting websites through either a dedicated or shared server. Technically speaking, cloud hosting can be considered an application of clustered hosts in which websites or services are run through multiple servers. With cloud hosting, the network of servers that are used is vast and often drawn from various data centers located in different spots across the globe.

cloud computing diagram

So what exactly is the benefit of cloud hosting for your business?

It’s Reliable

Your website is your weapon in the business arena. You can go as far as to say that when you have a website, you are now in the running for competing with others in your industry. It makes you appear dedicated and ready to provide the services and products that your potential customers need. Cloud hosting makes it easier to host your website in a manner that is more reliable than dedicated or shared hosting. Aside from the technicalities of cloud hosting, it follows a relatively simple logic.

cloud computing

In dedicated or shared hosting, computing resource is actually drawn from a single or shared server. This means that when one physical server crashes, the system will be unable to function, thus causing many issues on your website. On the other hand, in cloud hosting, the aforementioned issues are very easily managed.  Since computing resource is pulled from various virtual servers across the map, cloud hosting isolates each server’s issues so that they will not affect the rest. This method guarantees that potential concerns on one server do not automatically affect the other servers’ activity. Less hassle, more sales!

Use what you need

One of the most convenient functions of cloud hosting in the field of business is its flexibility and scalability. Basically, the computing resource of cloud computing is available in real time. Compared to shared and dedicated hosting, it is not limited to the physical restrictions or capabilities of a server. That is why you get ONLY what you want or need to use. Plus, hosting in a dedicated server can be costly.

cloud computing image

Case in point – when there is a spike of visitors in your website; you get to access computing resource almost instantly because of the high-powered networking servers. Cloud hosts can handle sudden website traffic ‘bursts’ in case there is a surge of activity on your website. On the other hand, when your website has a particularly small amount of visitors or activity, you can access just the right amount of computing resource to save on cash.

Basically, you can tap into the service as much as you need depending on the demand of your website. Thus, you only pay what you use.  Not only does that lessen your cost, it makes it much more affordable too!

It’s safe and secure

Data and content is valuable for websites, and websites, obviously, are highly valuable in business. Thus, it is safe to say that data and content is important for business. Content is what sells your products and services, and it makes your website interactive and appealing to potential customers. It can be in the form of text, which means write ups and featured articles. It can also be digital – such as photos and videos – to keep the audience hooked.

It takes an ample amount of time to assemble a website along with its content. Imagine having your website and its contents become unavailable because of an issue in the physical server. You have just broken the golden rule of business: time is money. In addition to that, you may also lose some visitors who might just be willing to utilize your services or purchase your products.

data protection key

This is where security comes in. Cloud hosting offers a new brand of security for your website and its contents. Due to the fact that server data is spread across multiple servers in different locations, information hosted in a cloud hosting server is sheltered from hardware failure. Add to the fact that cloud hosting companies now employ automated backups and snapshots, cloud hosting ensures that your website and its contents are consistently safe and are updated for your consumers.

Aside from data security, the underlying physical servers of cloud hosts get added security in their respective data centers. These servers receive high security measures in order to prevent other people from illegally accessing data through the physical server. This is actually equally integral because access of information by unauthorized people can cause major problems on your website. They can disrupt the system of cloud hosting. Thus, it is important to keep your data secured, and your money-making digital tool safe.

All in all, you can clearly see that cloud hosting plays a major role in this ever-evolving era. The different markets of different industries are constantly changing. From window shopping to online shopping, the world market is catching up on the trend. It is for this reason that your business should look to develop in various ways by incorporating technology. This product of innovative thinking has created a completely different perspective on how to do business.

Cloud computing seems to be a perfect solution for your business needs. From advertising to market expansion, the benefits of this web hosting service are endless. Not only does it make it easier to access websites, it is also reliable, scalable, affordable and secured. With this high end technology, it is now an excellent option to use in hosting websites that your business needs when you actually want to be competitive.

In business, you compete or you cease to exist. It is transition or extinction. Cloud hosting could be the difference between the two for your business.


Up in the Clouds: Effective Entrepreneurship Through Cloud Hosting

With the seemingly constant creation of faster and more powerful technologies, entrepreneurs have increasingly been finding tools that allow them to take care of their affairs literally in the palm of their hands. In the past, the expression “mind your own business” has been used to fend off people sticking their noses in someone’s personal matters. Now, (in the right context of course) to “mind your own business” is to connect with people within your professional industry while sitting comfortably behind your computer and finding corporate solutions online.

From public relations management, accounting software integration, and forecasting programs – you can have it all at your fingertips if you so choose. Take bookkeeping for instance… a decade ago, books upon books would have filled your office from the floor up to the ceiling. You would have had to go out of your way to find people who can deal with the nitty-gritty aspects of your business. Now, with a touch of your screen, you can get in contact with those who are able to take care of these needs – all while you’re sitting behind your desk. You simply need to make sure your MYOB accounting software is up to date in order to ensure your business can keep up.

Then again, with comfort as its byproduct, increased accessibility can also produce challenges with data management. We often take for granted the fact that we can upload content – like documents, ledgers, etc – over the internet while managing a business. One or two files wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but when your enterprise starts getting bigger and more complex, the total size of the data you are uploading is also increasing.

a graphic displaying how a cloud server can support multiple devices

There is only so much that personal emails can handle and deliver. Somewhere along the expansion path of your online enterprise, you will need a bigger and more reliable host for your content. Here is where the concept of cloud hosting comes in.

It’s All in the Clouds

Nowadays, you might hear people say “don’t worry, it’s up in the clouds,” whenever there is a discussion about having a backup of digital files like your precious business documents, don’t be surprised as if you just heard a wild joke. It basically means that somebody (maybe another company or another “host”) is providing data storage over the internet for your files so that you can access it anytime and anywhere. It’s like a digital bank that is willing to accept your digital document deposits, allowing you to monitor your data, and withdraw them anytime you wish. Like banks; they also have security features and insurance policies.

Technically, cloud hosting provides websites on virtual servers a facility to push and pull their computing resource from complex networks of physical web servers. Its primary concern is the availability of computing models, making them easily uploadable and downloadable at any given time.

Clouds can be public or private, depending on where you apply. Think about Facebook or Google Docs: your images, documents, or posts can be set to either be viewed by anyone who could pass certain requirements, or plainly accessible just to yourself. There is adequate freedom in the usage of clouds as long as you have a preset that will satisfy your needs in terms of availability.

With cloud computing and storage likened to digital banks, you’ll have to have a deeper consideration when it comes to security. In hindsight, public documents are not that secure, and private documents do have an extra layer of walls before they can be breached.

Obviously, you wouldn’t want your important business documents to be easily tampered with. This is why cloud hosting services are the more viable options in keeping enterprises secure because they have an added security and insurance feature depending on which cloud host you chose to use. Thus, before you choose you have to know the factors you have to look for when choosing a cloud hosting service.

Cumulous? Nimbus? What’s the Best Cloud, Really?

There is a certain criteria that you need to understand for you to be fully secured on which cloud hosting service you want to tender. Is it reliable? Do they have a long-term security for themselves? Are they costly?

Check first if their server management is top shelf. Make sure that they are not just hosting on one instance of physical server for the site from which it draws disk space, because there should be an extensive network of underlying physical servers so you can be sure that it is reliable.

For example, if one server goes offline, it can damage the level of resource available for the cloud, thus the availability of the website will be drastically reduced. However, if there is a good network of physical servers, a misfortune on one server will have little to no effect on the availability of the website and your data uploaded. Also, damage control systems are far better in a network as compared to that of a single server.

There is also a serious consideration in the physical location of the servers. While you may think that online transactions are totally virtual and digital, data hosting actually requires a “house” for the hardware that receives the data, keeps the data and uploads the data. Think of it as the vault for your digital bank: your bank teller will receive your cash, go deep into a safe location for the vault so you can keep your cash, and take that cash from the vault whenever you want a withdrawal.

The same is true for digital data. You almost always want your vault to be secure. Make sure that your cloud host has the hardware to appropriately take care of your virtual files.

This is where scalability comes in. If you haven’t heard of the term before, it is one of the most important factors in cloud computing and storage. Think of it as flexibility in terms of expansion. It’s as if you want to assume that your business will get bigger (and hopefully it does) as time goes by, and you want your cloud host to be open for expansion as well. Also, there will come a certain time when the data space demands will be higher, and your cloud host should be able to cater for non-forecasted data surplus. Resources should be available in real time, on demand and not limited to only the physical constraints or capacity of the servers.

Also, there is a relatively unpredictable change in terms of user traffic. Sometimes the businesses’ clients will demand extra resource from its hosting platform – maybe due to a spike in visitor traffic, updates in functionality or changes in system programs – and accessibility should still be seamless in these situations.

Lastly, you have to consider the price. Considering all the above mentioned factors, it is important to weigh how much you are willing to pay for the standard that you have settled for yourself. If there is no perfect service provider for cloud hosting, be sure that you get the most of the features that you can afford.

The Frontrunners of the Stratosphere

Inmotion Hosting is on top of the leader boards in the cloud hosting business based on various reviews and the awards it has under its belt. They boast of being the number one cloud hosting company in terms of data transfer utilities and customer support. Their price ranges from $3.49 per month for business hosting services to $79.99 for dedicated server provisions.

Arvixe web hosting logo

Arvixe and Justhost come in close to the cloud hosting master race as they both offer significant bandwidth and disk space in reasonable prices. Both their bragging rights come from their superior customer support, as cloud hosting – being the service-oriented resource that it is – considers customer satisfaction as a big factor in entrepreneurial stability.

JustHost's logo

Meanwhile, some cloud hosts are willing to provide free services in order to create a pool of users who they can invite for deeper engagements, possibly resulting in a premium subscription. Take Amazon EC for instance. They provide flexible computing capacity cloud service, as it is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers, entrepreneurs and users over the internet.

Amazon Web Service's logo

There are endless possibilities for cloud hosting. This technological era sees an enhanced entrepreneurial experience for everyone right at their fingertips. Go now, look up to the sky and discover the next generation of computing and storage. There are limitless clouds in the sky for you to enjoy.


CloudSigma Expands its Global Footprint to the Australian Market

Zurich, Switzerland – May, 2016 – Following their strategy of geographical expansion during 2016, CloudSigma, today announced the launch of their first public cloud location in Australia. Based out of NextDC’s Tier III certified P1 data centre in Perth, the west coast point of presence is the first in a planned Australian roll-out.

CloudSigma can now offer low latency cloud computing to all existing and new customers in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Southern Pacific region. Everyone can take advantage of CloudSigma’s high-availability, customizable cloud. Users can combine their on-premise systems with the benefits of the public cloud’s scalability and Cloudsigma’s “virtual data centre” approach.

They can rely on low latency hybrid connections inside the data centre, allowing seamless integration of private installations with the elasticity and convenience of shared cloud infrastructure.

CloudSigma has a regional team of experts based in Australia who maintain direct contact with customers and leverage existing relationships to transition to the cloud.

“The plan in bringing a global cloud infrastructure provider like CloudSigma to Australia is exciting and we are seeing many new opportunities for business to reap the benefits of having locally running cloud infrastructure”, said Paul Arch, Regional Director of CloudSigma AU.

“We are very excited to launch a cloud in Australia. This is the first step towards a series of Australian clouds on our roadmap. We believe that the cloud is an empowering business tool in the hands of IT consumers”, said Robert Jenkins, CEO and co-founder of CloudSigma.

“We combine a global network of clouds, each with regional customer support, operating under their local jurisdictions. We believe such a global platform with local computing under sole Australian legislation is an irresistible formula which has proven to work elsewhere and will be equally popular in Australia.”

CloudSigma offers a free trial service. Anyone who wants to test the performance of the cloud service in Perth and take advantage of the numerous enterprise-grade features is invited to register at https://per.cloudsigma.com/.

About CloudSigma
CloudSigma is a publicly listed company, which offers a pure-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). This is enabling the digital industrial economy through its highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class hybrid cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia.

CloudSigma is the most customizable cloud provider on the market, giving customers total control over their cloud which eliminates restrictions on how users deploy their computing resources.

With CloudSigma, customers can provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources as they please, as well as extend private networks out of existing infrastructure and elastically into CloudSigma’s IaaS cloud to create easy to manage and transparent hybrid cloud solutions. For more information, please visit www.CloudSigma.com or find the company on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

Press Contact
Yoanna Savova

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Zurich, Switzerland – May, 2016 – Following their strategy of geographical expansion during 2016, CloudSigma, today announced the launch of their first public cloud location in Australia. Based out of NextDC’s Tier III certified P1 data centre in Perth, the west coast point of presence is the first in a planned Australian roll-out. CloudSigma can now offer low latency cloud computing to all existing and new customers in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Southern Pacific region. Everyone can take advantage of CloudSigma’s high-availability, customizable cloud. Users can combine their on-premise systems with the benefits of the public cloud’s scalability and Cloudsigma’s “virtual data centre” approach. They can rely on low latency hybrid connections inside the data centre, allowing seamless integration of private installations with the elasticity and convenience of shared cloud infrastructure. CloudSigma has a regional team of experts based in Australia who maintain direct contact with customers and leverage existing relationships to transition to the cloud. “The plan in bringing a global cloud infrastructure provider like CloudSigma to Australia is exciting and we are seeing many new opportunities for business to reap the benefits of having locally running cloud infrastructure”, said Paul Arch, Regional Director of CloudSigma AU. “We are very excited to launch a cloud in Australia. This is the first step towards a series of Australian clouds on our roadmap. We believe that the cloud is an empowering business tool in the hands of IT consumers”, said Robert Jenkins, CEO and co-founder of CloudSigma. “We combine a global network of clouds, each with regional customer support, operating under their local jurisdictions. We believe such a global platform with local computing under sole Australian legislation is an irresistible formula which has proven to work elsewhere and will be equally popular in Australia.” CloudSigma offers a free trial service. Anyone who wants to test the performance of the cloud service in Perth and take advantage of the numerous enterprise-grade features is invited to register at https://per.cloudsigma.com/. About CloudSigma CloudSigma is a publicly listed company, which offers a pure-cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). This is enabling the digital industrial economy through its highly-available, flexible, enterprise-class hybrid cloud servers and cloud hosting solutions in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. CloudSigma is the most customizable cloud provider on the market, giving customers total control over their cloud which eliminates restrictions on how users deploy their computing resources. With CloudSigma, customers can provision processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources as they please, as well as extend private networks out of existing infrastructure and elastically into CloudSigma’s IaaS cloud to create easy to manage and transparent hybrid cloud solutions. For more information, please visit www.CloudSigma.com or find the company on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Press Contact Yoanna Savova australia@cloudsigma.com

SSDs as the Best Hardware for Cloud Servers

Online expansion is rapidly demanding more speed, more virtual space, and more professionals to work on the ever-increasing demand. Solid-state drives, or SSDs, are regarded as one of the major breakthrough technologies in the fast-paced world of virtual computing. With the growing demand for enterprise-grade services, technology should be able to keep up with the increased growth of the e-network.

Unquestionably, SSDs meet that demand.

The current technological trend has a glaring benefit to the seemingly limitless borders of the virtual world. It is incredible to know how science has been applied to make this tiny equipment and turn it into a huge arc stone that has finally addressed the growing need of the world wide web.

What is an SSD?

what is an ssd

A solid-state drive (or disk) is a storage device that keeps various types of data that range from “easily accessible information” to “infrequently accessed”, or “persistent”, data. SSDs are also non-volatile – it is a storage device that is able to save content even when it loses external power supply and/or when the computer is turned off.

Compared to hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs do not have any moving parts (i.e. the spinning disk and the mechanical arm on an HDD are replaced, among other things). Furthermore, with the emergence of smaller but more powerful electronic components, SSDs utilize an array of microchips and semiconductors that would serve as the disk drive. These interconnected parts use integrated circuits (ICs) instead of magnetic or optical storage media of a traditional HDD.

Technological revolution-rendered SSDs continually and exponentially grow and improve to cater to the needs of the e-network. Physical servers (e.g. standalone dedicated and private servers) and virtual service providers (e.g. cloud hosting providers) have been increasing their requirements to higher input/output (I/O) performance. Since SSDs create much lower random access and read access latency as compared to HDDs, solid-state drives are more ideal for the heavier workloads.

All of these features make up for an effective tool in cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, the major consideration is speed and performance. A better performing web host is the best support a thriving e-commerce website needs. A glitch in the system can result in financial loses — A perfect reason SSDs’ reliability and stability makes for a good tool for virtual private servers.

How Can My Business Benefit From Cloud Hosting Servers Who Use SSDs?

SSDs epitomize network speed and enterprise-level performance in terms of network accessibility. In the age of e-commerce and social media, top-game accessibility is a key metric for performance and reliability.

So how does all the speed, reliability and overall top-performance result to a better choice?

  1. More Speed = Better Business

In essence, the mechanical components of HDDs cause the slowing down of the whole drive because of the friction between assembled parts. When an HDD is freshly off the box, the whole mechanical system works like a well-oiled machine. It is the eventual deterioration that creates the inevitable lag in the process.

ssd vs harddrive

Since the main differentiator between an SSD and an HDD is the reduction of moving parts, there is less physical factor of delay in transmuting data at any given time. The spinning disk and the movable mechanical arm are replaced by the “solid” melded microchips. This hardware difference of SSDs prevents the usual data fragmentation that occurs on SATA drives (Serial AT Attachment). This entails a super-fast performance, virtually eradicating any latency during data access.

At this point, data transfer is now at an optimum level. With SSDs loaded up on the physical server, the virtual server has more disk space to utilize. This leads to a more stable network to allow higher website capability. More images of higher quality can be used. Video streaming makes a better impression with the speed. All in all, the website then could accept higher traffic, ultimately leading to higher chance of online success.

2. Better Safety = Fewer Losses

The main purpose of websites is to promote niche information to target audiences by presenting valuable content and data. It is imperative that the core data of any given web source is kept safe, untarnished, and readily available upon request. This is where SSDs truly showcase their value.

As any good webmaster knows, safety and speed are essential to the success of their site. That’s why many choose to go with safe option of using WordPress for the site architecture. And, of course, they choose the best hosts available for WordPress – although it’s not always easy to decide which hosting options is the best. Luckily there are sites that offer more information on the various available options.

solid state drive

Considering the mechanical nature of HDDs, there is high risk of data damage due to the natural equipment aging. There is also a chance of data inaccessibility because of possible damages during equipment transport and mishandling. Add in the endless use of the HDD, all these factors lead to wear and tear. Thus, efficient data transfer capability is greatly affected.

Since SSDs are created with advanced firmware and systemic data recovery, malware attacks are less likely to occur. Viruses, network crashes, and hardware malfunctions are similarly reduced in solid-state drives. This is highly beneficial to enterprises which have an expanded web presence. It ensures that the online portion of the business will run smoothly.

SSDs’ “solid state” eliminates all of the aforementioned risks of possibly losing data. This tags SSDs as the perfect storage device in keeping data safe.

3. Less Movement = Higher Durability

In the battle of prices, SSDs are more expensive upfront. However, since SSDs are already tried and tested as the more durable storage device as compared to HDDs, overall cost sways in favor of the former. The microchip technology that solid-state drives offer ensures the longevity of the equipment, and the reduction of the overall maintenance cost.

A factor for consideration in giving a second look at HDDs is its unrelenting requirement to consume more power while being used. Inevitably, the presence of the constantly working mechanical parts creates more heat off the hard drive – another factor that reduces the lifespan of the equipment. This is one of the reasons why server rooms require good ventilation and, in some cases, a cooling system.

This damaging factor is considerably reduced by the SSDs’ chip-based storage – a technology that needs less power, but performs better and faster. The temperature issue creates no major equipment hazard.

Long-term projections show that the SSDs’ advanced technology (as compared to HDDs) creates a viable market of SSD-integrated equipment users who wants to improve the quality of the underlying physical server of a cloud host. Considering all the benefits a business can have from this technology, a high-performing desktop server can innately increase network productivity with the incorporation of SSDs. In turn, the network grid is improved, the cloud hosting service is enhanced, and all clients within the network benefit.

network systemOverall, using enterprise grade SSDs is a great way to improve the e-networking experience. Since cloud hosting is highly dependent on its physical server, SSDs’ innovative features can mean a better connection to the rest of the online community.