Category Archives: Internet

Come and see us at the TechJunction Conference in Eugene – June 4th!

Join us for the latest in IT security and IT solutions!

InfoStructure is proud to be a part of the newest IT solutions and the latest in IT Security at the TechJunction Conference.

F2F Events, Inc. (F2F) produces CPE-accredited educational conferences for IT professionals focusing on the latest developments in information security, IT infrastructure and communications. F2F’s TechJunction conference series is dedicated to providing both attending delegates and sponsors a strong return on their investment of time and resources.

As a key-influencer on the evaluation of IT solutions, TechJunction was developed for you. An educational symposium addressing today’s most critical IT challenges:

  • Business Continuance & Recovery
  • Network & Data Security
  • Enterprise Communications

The conference will be held at the Eugene Hilton. For additional information on TechJunction Conference, visit the TechJunction site here.

Top 5 Ways to Speed up Web Browsing

speed up your internet1. Use passwords that are secure

If your browser offers a master password option, use it. If you are using one weak password with all your site logins, you could be jeopardizing your private data. Using a secure password system can fix that. If you’re using different browsers across different systems, you can keep your password synced with Dropbox, or take care of bookmarks as well with Foxmarks (Firefox only).

2. Use OpenDNS on your browser and/or router

With OpenDNS (a free service that can speed up your page connections) open pages from keyword shortcuts, operate with a parental filter, and avoid spam pages. This service provides detailed how-to instructions for both individual computers and routers, so it’s definitely worth a try.

3. Block Flash and/or JavaScript

If you are using Firefox, install the Adblock Plus and Flashblock extensions, and sites slowed down by Flash and huge display ads will load quite a bit faster. If you’re able to tweak your router, set up universal ad-blocking through it with the Tomato firmware, or use a solution specific to Chrome, on Internet Explorer through the Toggle Flash add-on or IE7Pro plug-in, and even on your iPhone or iPod touch.

4. Use RSS feeds and mobile versions instead of heavy sites

RSS feeds are great for getting a lot of reading done in a short amount of time. Google Reader webapp and NetNewsWire/NewsGator’s desktop clients are both great way to catch up on your regular web reading with a minimum of bandwidth or witout a connection whatsoever. You can run any site that is loaded full of news through the Google Mobilizer for a version that is fast enough for a mobile phone, and very fast on a desktop.

5. Tweak Connection rates on your home wireless network

Your wireless router can actually regulate bandwidth while watching your XBox, BitTorrent downloads, multiple laptops, and other web-connected apps and gear fight it out for a finite amount of bandwidth. Many routers let you negotiate connection rate using quality of service settings. Those routers that don’t have these settings can often be made to do so by installing DD-WRT or Tomato. The end result? You can let heavy video games run in the evenings, set BitTorrent free in the middle of the night and keep your browser quiet during the day.

Businesses Bandwidth and the Need for Speed

It may be tempting to believe that information comes out of thin air, but the infrastructure of internet communication is not magic. Rather, data runs on physical lines and through network devices that can only carry a finite amount of traffic. Given that business functions are increasingly turning over to web applications, customers are using the internet as the primary point of contact with a business, and phone lines are increasingly being replaced with voice over IP (VoIP) systems, a company cannot neglect its bandwidth needs.
It is not uncommon to hear the results of dropped packets due to bandwidth constraints when using web applications such as Skype. Audio calls, video conferencing, media streaming, employees running media from third-party sites, and other bandwidth intensive uses compete with traffic needed by applications that handle primary business functions. There are some general guidelines for how much bandwidth a business may need:
• 2 megabytes per second will cover medium to low-definition video chat, social media, limited voice calls, and most inter-office text communication such as IM and email.
• 5 megabytes per second will cover all of the above plus high definition video and medium file transfers.
• 10 megabytes per second will enable large file transfers and most of the other intensive, high-tech needs of a modern business.
A business should consider high-speed internet and its network capabilities with as much thought as its business plan, its recruiting/talent retention, and its sales/marketing efforts. In order to ensure that your bandwidth capabilities are up to par with the strategic vision of your company, contact your trusted service provider.

Exciting Trends in IP Business Communications for 2013

The Emerging Mobile Majority
The rapid adoption of mobile devices in the workplace continues to enhance productivity and efficiency. A recent report by Forrester observes, “A full 66 percent of employees now use two or more devices for work every day including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.”

Integrating Public and Private Clouds
The emerging mobile workplace requires an ability to switch between public and private clouds, and to do so both securely and seamlessly. Companies will be challenged to enthusiastically and competently embrace change and support cloud-based applications.

In 2013, in excess of 60 percent of companies will have instituted cloud computing to some degree, according to a recent Gartner report.

Security Initiatives
The need for cloud-based security is no longer just good business, it is essential. The need to protect proprietary data is self-evident. So is the need to keep customer information secure as well.

Also, legal mandates are as substantial as ever. Current initiatives include health care clouds to address privacy requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The public sector is looking to cloud-based solutions to maintain compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act. Finally, the payment card industry’s rapid emergence in mobile device-based transactions creates a host of new security needs in the cloud.

IP Traffic Growth — 29% per year
The pervasiveness of mobile devices and cloud-based computing will be driving forces in 2013 and beyond. The Cisco Visual Networking Index projects annual compound growth in IP traffic of a dramatic 29 percent through 2016. Consumers and employees alike will increasingly expect smart and secure networks to enhance their productivity and their lives.

About Us
InfoStructure is one of a new generation of IP business communications providers that is creatively harnessing the internet’s power and potential. In 18 years, we have grown from an Oregon-based ISP provider to a company with a fully redundant IP network that enables an array of IP voice and data services, including business VoIP. For information on how we can assist in the growth of your enterprise, contact us today.

Is EOC a Good Fit for You?

You know what they always say – time is money. Well, the reason they always say that is because it’s true. When your time is your most valuable asset, you don’t want to waste any of it waiting on inadequate connection speeds or dealing with interrupted service. If you need fast, reliable internet service at affordable prices, Ethernet over copper (EOC) might be the best business internet solution for you.
If your business is growing to the point that you’ve outgrown traditional DSL, then Ethernet over copper is an affordable way to take things to the next level. EOC can offer higher bandwidth that is easily scalable and extremely reliable. Depending upon your business location, it offers bandwidth speeds up to 45 Mbps, while remaining less expensive than a T-1.
EOC uses the existing copper telephone wires already in place, so the installation time tends to be relatively quick. Ethernet over copper combines that infrastructure already in place with new technology to bring greater reliability to your internet service. EOC uses multiple wire pairs, so if one pair goes offline, others can be accessed.
Is EOC the right choice for your business? If you need more bandwidth and faster network speeds, along with disaster recovery solutions and redundancy to protect your information assets, take a close look at EOC. Deployed on the best EOC technology available, InfoStream EOC is designed for businesses like yours.
Gain the bandwidth you need to save your business time and money. Contact us for information on pricing and availability in your area.

High Speed Internet is a Win-Win For Consumers and Retailers

There’s no doubt that access to high speed internet has changed the way we do just about everything. From streaming movies and games to working from home, the internet continues to change the way we work and play.

Now with the holiday season upon us, many will turn to shopping online rather than venturing into the maddening crowds of brick and mortar shops. And why not? Today’s breakthroughs in high speed internet enable consumers to shop smarter and faster than ever before.

In fact, according to a report from the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), consumer savings from online shopping increased from 12.2% to 13.5% annually. This was attributed to consumers having high speed internet access.

It’s no surprise that high speed internet access allows smart shoppers to save money. Through the internet, shoppers can do fast and easy price comparisons among competing stores, have access to greater inventory, and realize savings on car expenses since they never have to leave home.

Founding IIA co-chairman, Bruce Mehlman believes that “transitioning to next-generation networks is crucial for all Americans to be able to make the Internet part of their financial strategy.”

The average American family can save substantially on entertainment, travel, as well as services such as bill paying through using the internet. Many have come to realize this as Cyber Monday 2012 saw a big jump in online purchases over last year. According to a report in Internet Retailer.com, IBM reported online sales up 30.3% over last year.
Don’t be left behind without high speed internet.

Contact us for information on how our high speed internet solutions can get you and your business on the information highway quickly and easily.

Big Change in USF

The FCC is pondering a decision that could affect millions of consumers and businesses in rural America. That decision could be positive or negative, depending upon what your priorities are – the phone or the Internet.

A backward glance in time reveals that the telephone, in its earliest stage, was considered to be a novelty. Years later, it became a luxury for those who could afford it and had access to phone lines strung in more populated areas of the US. When the telephone’s value and subsequent need became recognized, Uncle Sam intervened to make sure that phones and phone lines were accessible to American citizens.

However, the problem for decades in providing phone service in low population areas has been the cost of expanding the phone networks to reach everyone, with profitability simply unattainable for the rural phone companies. To solve this problem, in 1996 the FCC created the Universal Service Fund (USF), which mandated that all US phone companies contribute to USF in order to subsidize those rural areas without phone service. This also helped to level the playing field among phone companies competing for the new nationwide telecom opportunities. Since then, hundreds of rural phone companies, along with their consumer and business customers, have benefited. Last year alone, over $8 billion in USF was spent on rural phone projects.

Internet broadband has experienced a similar progression, evolving from novelty to luxury to necessity. While Internet broadband is available today to the vast majority of Americans in populated areas, it’s still nonexistent in thousands of small towns. ISP’s have encountered the same financial hurdles in building their broadband networks as the phone companies experienced, where return on investment is elusive due to the limited subscriber opportunity. Consequently, an estimated 20 million Americans are still without access to Internet broadband.

So Uncle Sam, once again, is on the verge of taking a giant step to support rural areas. The FCC is now considering passing landmark legislation that will redirect those same USF funds to support the construction of data networks in rural areas. The assumption is that the need for rural phone line subsidies has been fulfilled, and now resources need to be directed to providing high speed Internet access.

In addition, the new legislation, if passed, would have more stringent regulation going forward, because the USF, from day one, has been loosely managed and, in many cases, abused, with virtually no boundaries on project costs. One widely publicized example is in the state of Washington where the phone lines of less than two dozen residents in one rural community have been subsidized to the tune of $20,000 per year from the USF.

However, this potentially huge shift in policy (and money) has many rural areas very concerned, as the very phone funds which have supported them for years may now be redirected. According to the New York Times, “The reallocation of money — and the promise it will be spent more carefully — unsettles many small and medium-size firms in rural areas that rely on the flow of subsidies. The proposed rules would also change the interconnection fees paid to companies, another concern to the rural telecommunications companies that count on the fees for a big chunk of revenue.” (NYT, “New Rules for Technology,” Feb. 23, 2011).

This proposed legislation in USF seems to be needed and therefore justifiable. Also, it’s supported by some of the largest telecom carriers in the US. But it will need to be scrutinized and both sides of the coin weighed accordingly. We don’t want it to rob Peter to pay Paul.