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Send Large Files That Are Too Big To Email October 12, 2016

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Most email services limit the size of outgoing messages, preventing you from emailing large attachments (images, large PDF documents, etc.).  Most FTP solutions are difficult to configure and present security challenges.  One good solution is to use a web-based third-party file transfer site.  These services allow you to upload your large file to the service provider’s server and then email a link to one or more recipients allowing them to download the file.  Some of these services are free but limit the size of files that can be uploaded, the frequency of uploads within a given period, and/or the expiration time of the download link.  Paid services will offer much greater flexibility with fewer limitations at a fairly low monthly subscription cost; some services offer unlimited uploads (size and frequency) with download link expirations of up to 90 days (or more).

The size limit of files that can be uploaded will vary by service, but generally speaking free services allow files of anywhere from 2GB up to about 30GB, and the download links remain active for anywhere from 2-3 days to a week or so.  Bear in mind that this may not be a good option for confidential files as the security precautions of these services can’t always be determined. Continue reading for our favorite free third-party service, as well as links to other services (both free and paid).  (more…)

A Free Tool To Automatically Backup Outlook PST Files July 2, 2016

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Safe PST Backup provides a free tool (for personal use) to automatically backup Outlook PST files including email, contacts, calenders, tasks, and other folders and subfolders.  It is compatible with any Outlook version and can be used by other applications compatible with the PST format.  Manual or scheduled backups can be saved to your local hard drive or to a network location automatically, whether Outlook is running or not.

A (paid) Enterprise edition subscription is also available which eliminates the advertising included with the free version, will also back up Exchange OST files (and convert them to PST files if needed), allows custom backup schedules (rather than basic backup schedules with the free version), and add other enterprise features handy for network administrators.

Microsoft Outlook – Six Ways To Organize Your Inbox April 3, 2016

Posted by twiznc in Email, Tips & Tricks.
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PCWorld.com provides an excellent article on getting your Outlook email organzized using the free tools already built-in to Outlook by Microsoft.  These tools are powerful and very effective, even though most users are unaware of them.  Even though this article is from 2014, all of the tools described are still present in all versions of Outlook.  Click here to view the article.

One tool left out of the above article that is perhaps the most userful tool built-in to Outlook for managing your email messages is Outlook Rules.  If you use Office 2016 or Office 2013 click here for Microsoft’s guide for using rules in these versions of Outlook.  For those still using Outlook 2010 click here for the same guide for your version of Outlook.

 

Email Encryption Solutions March 7, 2016

Posted by twiznc in Email, Security, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated 07/17/2017

Email encryption can be very confusing and difficult to sort out.  Basically, there is “endpoint-to-server” encryption (which is what Gmail does) and there is “endpoint-to-endpoint” encryption (where messages are encrypted from the sender’s inbox to the recipient’s inbox).  Regulatory compliance requires “true” endpoint-to-endpoint encryption, which is only available from third parties that provide such a service, usually via a “hosted” encryption mail server.

Tech Wizards recommends four “point-to-point” encryption products that satisfy regulatory compliance requirements (including HIPAA):

Virtru offers a free version (marginally compliant), plus a paid version (fully compliant) with extra features and functionality – $60.00/user/year. Tech Wizards has tested this app and it seems easy to use at both ends (sender and recipient).  It provides an Outlook Plug-In which allows sending an encrypted message just by clicking a button in Outlook (although Outlook is not required to send encrypted messages; it works fine with Gmail, other email systems).  Recipients receive an email notification with a link to a website where they confirm their identity and then view (or download) the encrypted email message; there are no “keys” to exchange.

DataMotionSecureMail Desktop is priced at $99/user/year but they do offer a 14 day free trial for up to five users.  We have not tested this app but it appears to have similar features as the paid version of Virtru, plus some added-value features and options.

Enlocked pricing is $99/year or $9.99 per month per account for 100 sent messages per month (no storage limit), or $199/year or $19.99/month per account for 2,000 send messages per month (no storage limit).  Enlocked also offers a discount of 10% for more than 10 accounts and a 20% discount for more than 25 accounts.  They also offer a free plan for those users who only occasionally send encrypted messages that allow 10 sent encrypted emails per month.

ShareFile is priced at $192/year per account (or $20/month) for 100 GB of storage and 10 GB Maximum File Size, or $720/year or $75/month for five accounts (additional accounts are $8.00 each) with 1 TB of Storage and 10 GB Maximum File Size, or $1200/year or $125/month for five accounts (additional accounts are $10 each) with Unlimited Storage and 100GB Maximum File Size.

Office 365 vs Google Apps August 7, 2014

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated March 6, 2016

Trying to choose between Office 365 and Google Apps?  Both now provide powerful and flexible alternatives to a locally-installed software application like Microsoft Office Suite.  For a comprehensive comparison of these two online productivity suites click here.  Although both of these suites are good choices for small businesses who want to minimize capital investments (by “renting” rather than buying productivity suite software) and who want to always have the latest version of their productivity suite, we here at Tech Wizards find that Microsoft’s Office 365 is often a better choice primarily because it it’s almost universal compatibility with other apps and user’s familiarity with Microsoft products in general.

Bear in mind that both Office 365 and Google Apps provide generous cloud storage services as a part of the product offering, so if you go with one of these services then you probably will not need to consider a separate cloud storage service option.

 

Junk Email/SPAM Filters May 4, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations, Virus, Spyware & SPAM Issues.
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Updated March 6, 2016

This article discusses the problem of junk email messages (SPAM), steps you can take to avoid junk messages, and provides descriptions of and links to several  popular SPAM filters.

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Email and Instant Messaging (IM) Applications & Utilities May 4, 2009

Posted by twiznc in Email, Services & Software Recommendations.
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Updated March 6, 2016

Communications has become a key component of computer usage, primarily via email and Instant Messaging (IM).  This article reviews the various email and IM applications and add-on utilities, and make recommendations based on the personal opinions and experience of the author.

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