4 Tips to keep your wireless network secure

Because wireless networks are particularly vulnerable to attacks, security is a primary concern. Wireless networks can be hacked by “war drivers“—who cruise around looking for a wireless signal to exploit. Usually war drivers are just looking for free Internet access, but sometimes they’re looking for confidential information such as credit card numbers.

Although a wireless network can never be totally secure, there are important steps you can take to minimize the risk:

1. Know how far your signal extends.
When you install a wireless network near public areas, it’s very important to know where your signal is going. If it’s easily picked up outside your business—perhaps from a parked car across the street or from the building next door—then you’ve got a security problem. If you send a strong wireless signal into the coffee house next door to your business, chances are someone is going to try to take advantage of it.

Continue reading


Choosing the right headset

Headsets are ideal for all types of environments. Our entire inbound and outbound our sales team uses them, and when you’re on the phone for hours at a time, the last thing you want is a crick in your neck. Also, more and more states are prohibiting drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving (to see if your state is on the list check out the Governors Highway Safety Association State Cell Phone and Texting Laws).

Choosing the right headset depends on your needs.

For the office
First, do you need a monaural, binaural, or stereo headset? Monaural headsets have only one earpiece, making it easy to have over-the-phone conversations as well as face-to-face interactions, such as in a busy call center setting (see models HS402A or 64338-31). Binaural headsets have two earpieces, which are on the same audio channel (2009-820-105). They are great when a user needs to have long, over-the-phone conversations. Stereo headpieces also have two earpieces, but operate on distinct audio channels. These last types of earpieces are best for listening to music on your iPod® or other MP3 player.

Continue reading

What to look for in a channel solution

Channel solution. You hear the term a lot these days to describe complete copper or fiber cabling systems. But what exactly is a channel solution and what are its benefits?

A definition.
A channel solution is a cabling system from the data center to the desktop where every cable, jack, and patch panel is designed to work together and give you consistent end-to-end performance when compared with the EIA/TIA requirements.

Its benefits.
A channel solution is beneficial because you have some assurance that your cabling components will perform as specified. Without that assurance, one part may not be doing its job, so your entire system may not be performing up to standard, which is a problem — especially if you rely on bandwidth-heavy links for video and voice.

Continue reading

Media Converters: Do you rent an apartment or buy a house?

Media converters interconnect different cable types such as twisted pair, fiber, and coax within an existing network. They are often used to connect newer Ethernet equipment to legacy cabling. They can also be used in pairs to insert a fiber segment into copper networks to increase cabling distances and enhance immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Traditional media converters are purely Layer 1 devices that only convert electrical signals and physical media. They don’t do anything to the data coming through the link so they’re totally transparent to data. These converters have two ports—one port for each media type. Layer 1 media converters only operate at one speed and cannot, for instance, support both 10-Mbps and 100-Mbps Ethernet.

Some media converters are more advanced Layer 2 Ethernet devices that, like traditional media converters, provide Layer 1 electrical and physical conversion. But, unlike traditional media converters, they also provide Layer 2 services—in other words, they’re really switches. This kind of media converter often has more than two ports, enabling you to, for instance, extend two or more copper links across a single fiber link. They also often feature autosensing ports on the copper side, making them useful for linking segments operating at different speeds.

Continue reading

Alternatives to analog video cable extension

When VGA (Video Graphics Array) was introduced by IBM® in 1987 for PC video display, it was a huge improvement over the earlier EGA DB9 connector. VGA, the basic format, supports resolutions up to 640 x 480 with 256 colors. You can find it on many video cards and computer monitors.

SVGA (Super VGA), EGA, and later formats continued the drive to provide ever-sharper images and greater color depth. Plus, over the years, VESA standards have brought structure and interoperability to a market that was becoming a mixture of often incompatible SVGA graphics cards.

Later formats supported even higher resolutions—oftentimes, rivaling those of digital 1080i and 1080p displays. These later formats include SXGA (1280 x 1024), UXGA (1600 x 1200) and WUXGA (1920 x 1200).

Other analog video connectors:
Composite video—Typically presented as a yellow RCA connector, the analog Composite interface has been the standard interface for consumer TV equipment. As its name suggests, Composite video has the luminance (black and white), chrominance (color) and sync pulses combined in one signal.

S-Video—Also called Y/C video, S-Video was introduced to overcome some shortfalls associated with Composite video. It’s a less encoded video format, transmitting color (C) and luminance (Y) information separately to produce a sharper image.

Continue reading