Know Thy Enemy: Common Computer Viruses and how to Avoid Them

Nothing can cripple a network as thoroughly as a computer virus can. Having good firewall and virus protection software can help prevent your network from picking up these viruses, but it also helps to know more about the dangers out there. If you can recognize the behavior of specific types of viruses, that can help you avoid more dangers and find a cure faster in the unfortunate case that you wind up with this type of malware on your computer.

Identifying Trojan Viruses

Perhaps the most common type of virus on the Internet is the Trojan virus. Like the legendary Trojan horse, this virus pretends to be something useful and desirable but is actually designed to either disrupt network processes or harvest information. Trojans can do any number of different things, including tracking keystrokes to gain access to passwords and personal information. These viruses used to be linked to illicit activities like illegal file sharing and pornography sites, but times have changed and they can now be found on reputable websites from time to time. Unfortunately, the only sure way to defeat a Trojan is to make sure it doesn’t infect your computer in the first place.


Going Virtual: An Understanding of Virtual Desktops and What they can Offer your Business

How do you want employees to access your business network? An increasing number of businesses are switching partially or even fully to a virtual desktop model. Doing so comes with a lot of different benefits, but you also need to be aware of all the potential issues that you might face. When it comes time for you to make the decision about switching to a virtual model, you should consider the following logistical issues, which should help make sure you get set up right.

What is a Virtual Desktop?

The term “virtual desktop” gets its name from the fact that when a user logs in, they aren’t accessing the desktop that is local to their own computer. Instead, all users in a group or organization access a remotely stored desktop interface. This means that everybody’s desktop experience is the same and that resources are shared. For small companies or groups that work off-site, this can be a great way of getting the software needs that a specific job requires without having to individually purchase, download, and install that software for each machine. There is also a shared desktop experience in this model, so every employee knows exactly how the core system works.


Is P2P Networking Right for You?

What sort of networking is right for you? While most people in America access the Internet through a typical client-server model, there is another way. Peer-to-peer networking, often simply referred to as P2P, is a decentralized approach to networking in which network computers connect with other machines directly rather than using a central hub to access the worldwide web. What are the benefits and drawbacks to this approach? Read on to find out.

What is P2P?

Odds are good that you’re already at least partially familiar with P2P networking. It is the default form of networking on small networks and is especially common as part of home networking. In these situations, the computers that are running the same network protocols are usually physically near each other, either in the same building or right next door. In this model, because there are so few computers, it’s easier for the computers to communicate directly with each other rather than go through a central hub first. To use an analogy, a P2P network is like calling to somebody in another room. If they’re nearby, it’s easier just to use your voice instead of looking for a phone and placing a call.


Alternatives to Windows and How to Make them Work for your Network

Most businesses use Microsoft Windows in some form or another, but it is not the only operating system out there. Whether for business reasons, compatibility purposes, or just personal preference, some companies choose to use an alternative operating system for their business network, such as Linux, Apple’s Mac OSX, or Novell’s NetWare. Is this a move you should make? What are the possible implications? Read on to find out more about these alternatives.

Why Seek an Alternative?

If Windows is so popular, why would anybody seek an alternate system? There are a number of answers to this, and it usually boils down to business needs and personal preference. First of all, it’s important to remember that Windows isn’t used because it is unquestionably the best operating system out there, but rather because it is most convenient to many users. It comes bundled on most computers, which means that those who don’t want to look for alternatives have something suitable right in front of them. However, there are other systems that work better in some ways than Windows. Mac OS, for example is ideal for design work, while Linux offers more customization.


Getting Acquainted with Network Hardware

Where do you start building your network? The process can be quite intimidating at first, since there are so many different pieces of hardware and software to focus on. But once you take the time to learn about the elements of a network installation, you’ll find that it’s really not very hard to understand at all. Here’s a brief review of the hardware essentials to setting up a network. Once you’re familiar with these, getting started should be a breeze.

The Network Hub

A hub looks like nothing more than a small rectangular box, but it is one of the most essential pieces of hardware your network can have. The hub is what joins all computers on the network together, serving as the central point where data is sent to and received fr om the Internet at large. A network hub isn’t all that different from a major airport hub. An airport hub receives passengers from many smaller airports and then routes them to their destinations across the world. In the case of a network, the passengers are packets of information coming from your network, and they get rerouted to their destination online. A hub is a simple but essential device that uses a standard wall outlet for power.


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