A Complete Overview of Network Address Translation

Did you know that there is a way to convert your entire network to only one IP address? This method is known as network address translation, or NAT. That is only one use of the technology, however. It can also increase security and provide a smoother overall browsing experience depending on how it is used. This article will discuss the history of NAT and both the advantages and drawbacks of using it for your business network.

The History of NAT

NAT originated as a result of how the Internet in general and IPs specifically work. Any computer that accesses the Internet needs to have an IP address in order to do so. Because IP addresses have a limited number of digits, there are only so many of those addresses to go around. While this wasn't an issue in the early days of the Internet, it became an issue later on. As a workaround for this problem, NATs were born. Using an NAT means that your entire network has one IP address, through which many different computers can access the Internet. This limits the number of existing IP addresses that get used and can also have several security benefits when implemented properly.


Backing up Data on a Small Network: Dos and Don’ts

Backing up your data is important, and handling data on a small network presents unique challenges. Rather than try to handle a small network in a way that isn’t custom tailored to your needs, it’s better to put together a customized protocol. When you’re planning out the data backup on your small network, keep the follows dos and don’ts in mind. This advice will help save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

Do: Thoroughly Analyze your Network

Before you get started, you first need to analyze your network and decide exactly where the important data is. You should identify what data is important enough to be backed up, which computers create the most important data, and where this data is stored. This will allow you to quickly identify what areas need to be backed up regularly and what areas you can leave under the supervision of individual employees. Many small businesses try making a backup of everything on the network and either run out of space or wind up with a situation where they can't quickly identify the most important files that they need access to. Analyzing the network beforehand will avoid this problem.


Performance Problems and how to Overcome Them

There are many performance pitfalls out there that can slow down your network. Fr om poor hardware configurations to incompatible software, these items can make even the most modern computer feel like it's stuck in quicksand. Below you'll find a listing of the most common slowdown problems that networks face and what you can do to prevent them. With a few simple steps, you can make sure that your network remains running optimally at all times.

Hard Drive Usage

Your computer's hard drive has a limited number of space, and even the largest of hard drives can fill up very quickly. If you have more than 80% of your hard drive filled with data, your computer and thus other computers on the network it is linked to will have trouble accessing that data. This will cause severe slowdown. Downloading files from the Internet also takes up more temporary space than the actual program itself, meaning that even if you think you are under this lim it you might be causing temporary slowdown by accessing large files. Avoid this problem by storing data on network drives instead of individual computers that have less space, and expand your network space regularly to keep free space.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

What is DHCP?

A protocol is a set of rules used to determine how computers on a network communicate. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol commonly used to automatically generate an Internet Protocol (IP) address and other configuration details, like the Domain Name System (DNS) server address, subnet mask and default gateway to client host computers connecting to a network.

Before it can connect to a local or internet network a computer, or any other device, needs to be properly configured to communicate on the network. With DHCP the configuration takes place automatically instead of manually, and as a result DHCP is often used with numerous devices that connect to networks, like computers, smartphones, servers, etc.


Common Types of Malware and how to Avoid Them

Malware is a catch all phrase that includes any sort of program designed to do harm to a computer or that disrupts its normal processes. This includes viruses, spyware, adware, and much more. Malware is one of the biggest enemies of any computer that has access to the Internet, be it a company computer or a personal one. The most common types of malware that you might acquire and they way in which they affect a computer are outlined in detail below.

Remote Administration Tools

Remote Administration Tools are also known as RATs. If you have a RAT infestation, it means that somebody has planted malware on your computer that will give a remote user administrator rights to your files. This can include gaining access to your personal software as well as some hardware like your computer's microphone or webcam. Essentially, anything you can do with your computer, somebody using a RAT can as well. This malware is usually spread by getting users to click on a link that they think is safe, especially via social media channels or file sharing networks. You should make sure to avoid any unknown files or links, as a single mistake can lead to a RAT infestation that can destroy your privacy.


Pros and Cons of Windows Remote Desktop Services

The Windows Remote Desktop Services, or Windows RDS for short, is Microsoft's remote desktop tool which is customized specifically to the features of Windows in all its various iterations. This service is available in both Windows 7 and Windows 8, and offers a free way to access a Windows computer remotely. Remote Utilities also supports RDP connection.

More information about RDS, including a complete rundown of all the pros and cons of this software, can be found below.

What is RDS?

This service, which is also known on some systems as the Windows Terminal Services, is targeted toward providing access from a distance for Windows users. This is ideal for businesses, especially if you have a centralized file storage but have employees who do a lot of traveling or who work from home. Because the technology was developed specifically by Microsoft, it has a great deal of compatibility with Windows and takes advantage of some special Windows only features. You can generally expect this system to work with both 32 bit and 64 bit applications on Windows, although you may have some compatibility issues when it comes to the remote access of certain third party products and programs.


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