December Newsletter: Solid-state drives 5 great benefits

Solid-state drives have 5 great benefits
One of the more important components of computers, and any electronic device really, is the hard drive. The most popular drive is the hard disk drive (HDD) which has been in use in computers since the mid 1950s. It’s safe to say that these drives are a little past their prime but luckily there is a replacement: solid-state drives (SSD).

An SSD port on a white field. You’ve likely heard of SSDs – drives that have no moving parts – and you may have even looked at the price of them. Yes, they are more expensive when compared with the aging HDD platform, SSDs however have a number of benefits over their cheaper cousins.

Here’s five benefits of using SSDs in your company:

  • They’re speedy – Put an SSD into a computer or laptop and you’ll notice it screams. On some laptops, like the Google Chromebook, startup time can be as quick as eight seconds. This gets you into your desktop and to your work faster. While it’s only seconds at each startup, it can add up to extra hours across the whole company. Access speed is also important, as traditional HDDs can access data at a rate of about 140 MB/s, while SSDs can access data at over 600 MB/s. This means your computer runs faster.
  • They’re tough – There are no moving parts to most SSDs, so they are less likely to break. That’s why they have been used by militaries, the aeronautical industry and the medical industry for years. Another advantage of not having moving parts is that the SSD will function in a greater temperature range, which is good news for businesses operating extreme climates, or even in the confines of hot server rooms.
  • They can help increase battery life – The power draw of the SSD is considerably lower than HDDs, which means battery life is extended. Some laptops with SSD-only drives can last 8-10 hours, compare this to six hours, (if you’re lucky), on laptops with HDD. When installed in computers, there is a cost savings in energy bills too and while this might not amount to huge savings these can add up over time.
  • They last longer – HDD’s moving parts mean that they eventually wear out, or crash. If this happens, the information stored on the drive will likely be inaccessible. SSDs are predicted to last far longer, which means your data is safer on these drives in the long-run.
  • They can be safer – Some SSDs utilize a memory system similar to flash drives. With an OS that can be configured to this type of memory, users can install these onto the drive, lock it and then use the cloud for media storage. Because the SSD can be locked, each time the OS is booted, it’s booted into the original installed state, so malware that attacks the OS is rendered useless as all you have to do is revert the OS to it’s original installed state i.e., restart your computer.

While SSDs have been around for nearly three decades, they are just now starting to make inroads with personal computers, and even business solutions for that matter. The biggest reason for the slow adoption is the price. On average, SSDs cost USD$0.65 for 1 GB while HDDs cost USD$0.05 to USD$0.10 per GB. This may seem like a big cost difference but the price in SSDs is dropping rapidly, while the price for HDDs is largely staying the same. If you’re interested in learning more about SSDs and how they can fit into your company’s IT, please contact us.

Who knows your important passwords?
four Key bits placed next to each other. When it comes to disasters, people and businesses tend to think big, really big. Take for example Superstorm Sandy that hit the eastern US earlier in November. It can be pretty much guaranteed that a whole string of businesses will be preparing diligently for the next big storm. While this is important, smaller issues that happen at a higher frequency will be pushed to the side. One common issue revolves around passwords, and who manages them.

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How to identify different kinds of spam
Red Spam button on a black keyboard.Spam was introduced in the late 1930s as a tinned form of ham that was easy to eat. It quickly became ubiquitous, so much so, that in 1970 Monty Python created a skit about a couple who go to a diner where Spam is in nearly every dish. Throughout the comedy sketch, Spam is said over 132 times and at one point one of the characters yells, “I hate Spam.” It’s because of this comedy moment that unsolicited and unwanted emails have come to be known as spam. The problem is, it’s hard to spot spam these days.

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Microsoft Messenger Skypes it up
Two fish in fish bowls next to each other. One of the fist is jumping out into the other.Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has become so commonplace that we likely use it without even knowing. One of the most popular customer oriented VoIP solutions is Skype, owned by Microsoft. Skype has received a recent update that sees Microsoft’s popular Instant Messenger program (Messenger) merged into Skype.

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How to use Pinterest to boost marketing
A yellow pin casts a shadow on a white field. Social networks are something that have become a major marketing tool for all companies. A maintained presence on the major networks will help establish/solidify your brand, and possibly drive traffic and interest to your website. One of the newest social media services is Pinterest, and it’s taking off in a big way. If you’re looking to gain your company more online exposure, Pinterest could be a way to do so.

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