The Role of VPNs in Your Security Arsenal

Virtual Private Networks or VPNs have been used for over 20 years to provide computer access to corporate networks for employees traveling or working remotely. Their adoption by both corporate and private users has boomed over the past 5 years as awareness has grown about privacy risks.

In fact, “doing it without protection” has taken on new meaning as public WiFi is broadly ubiquitous and heavily used. Personally, I either use Verizon cellular data or I use a VPN if I can’t access a trusted network. And I don’t trust business networks unless I know what they use for security. That means that I use VPNs often when I am working on my laptop.

For those interested in learning a bit more about VPNs, here is a link to a useful articale in PC Magazine – https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/296955/the-best-vpn-services

And feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about VPNs and their role in a comprehensive security strategy for your family or your business.


Connected HHI Partners with Verizon for One Talk Business Voice Solutions

Connected HHI is pleased to partner with Verizon Wireless to provide services for One Talk customers in the Lowcountry.  The One Talk voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) business phone solution is a natural fit for many businesses in our area.  And combining One Talk with our Always-On Network ensures that your phones and network continue to operate when you lose your primary network connection.  VOIP phones require a reliable and fast network to operate properly and Connected HHI is well positioned to ensure that voice, data, and applications perform optimally for our customers.

For more information on Verizon’s One Talk Solution –   Click Here


Protecting Business Phones From Downtime

Connected HHI is now offering Alway-On service for the new generation of Voice-Over Internet-Protocol (VOIP) phones that are being installed in more and more businesses.  Now your new VOIP phones can be protected from network downtime in the same way that we are protecting internet networks throughout the lowcountry.  One benefit of voice over internet is that we can offer a second internet pathway for your voice traffic if your primary connection fails, keeping your phones up and your business running.


Sophos XG-105 Security Appliance – Hands On

I researched network security companies for several months before selecting Sophos Ltd as my partner of choice.  The selection was based on a series of demos, analyst reviews, product pricing, and support for a managed service offering.  I installed the Sophos XG-105 security appliance in my lab in January after getting enrolled as a partner and going through basic education on the product line.  Continue reading


Netgear Orbi – Whole Home WiFi That Works

I have installed over 100 WiFi routers in homes and signal coverage is the biggest issue I encounter.  This is especially true in our area due to the sprawling layout of  our homes.  And now that we want fast WiFi connections for our streaming devices wherever we happen to be in or around the house, coverage has become even more important.  Multiple access points and WiFi extenders can work, but aren’t ideal when you and your devices move throughout the home and need to switch WiFi connections.

Netgear and other networking companies have introduced new products that provide 2 or more WiFi devices that operate as a single, coordinated system.  The base unit is connected by wire to your cable modem or router.  The second unit is placed in another area of the home and communicates with the base using a wireless connection.  Both units work together to provide a blanket of WiFi coverage throughout your home.  Homes larger than 5000 sqft  or with special signal challenges may require an additional satellite unit.

Orbi from Netgear has received some of the best reviews and I brought in a set to test. I replaced 2 separate WiFi access points with an Orbi base station and satellite and I am more than pleased with the results.  My WiFi coverage as measured by signal strength and throughput has improved markedly and I no longer need to manually switch WiFi networks when I move around the house.

Installation can be done using the Orbi app on iOS or Android if you have a very basic setup.  I prefer the control that I get from the web-based interface.  Setup took less than 10 minutes and performance has been fantastic.  The only drawback of Orbi over standard WiFi devices is the cost.  The 2 station AC3000 set retails for $379 on Amazon.

If you find yourself with WiFi coverage or throughput challenges, I recommend that you check out Orbi.  As always, please contact me with any questions or to schedule an installation.


PCI Compliance – A Primer

If credit and debit cards are important to your business, you need to understand three things:

  • What is PCI Compliance
  • What is your potential cost for Non-Compliance
  • How to be sure that your business stays compliant

This paper will provide a brief overview of these three topics and provide a plan to move forward.Continue reading


Digital Security for your Business

Do you wonder or even worry about risks to your business from hacking, viruses, ransomware, client data breaches, exploits, and other digital attacks? Do you understand all of the threats and potential risks to your business? Are you confident that you have the necessary protection in place to protect your networks, computers, mobile devices, and critical data?

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ALWAYS-ON – Keep your business up and running

Many businesses rely on their internet connection to place and receive orders, process sales transactions, accept reservations, and even stream music. If your business can’t afford to lose your internet connection, we have the solution. Our ALWAYS-ON Network service provides an always-on safety net for your internet connection. This new service will automatically and seamlessly switch your internet connection over to the Verizon cellular network during any outages of your primary internet service and will switch back when service is restored. Everything that connects to your existing network is automatically switched over and back – you and your team don’t have to do a thing.

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Connected HHI Adds Sophos as Network Security Partner


Connected HHI is proud to add Sophos as our partner for Network Security.  Sophos is recognized as a market leader* in network security for business.  With Sophos, we can provide business protection from viruses, malware, ransomware, and hacking across your servers, PCs, tablets, and phones.  Sophos products control what gets in and out of your network to protect from external and internal threats, keeping your business and client data safe.  We have Sophos equipment installed in our lab and available for demonstration.

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Observations on Amazon’s Echo

Amazon released their voice-directed assistant Amazon Echo in November, 2014 and it has been an amazing sales success.  There have been over 5 million units sold since the introduction and there are now 3 different versions to choose from.  We have been an Echo home since 2016 and I have received a lot of questions about my experience with the Echo products.   New capabilities are added regularly, so things will change. Here is a summary of my observations and experiences at the time of this post.

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