The holidays are right around the corner, making it the best time to treat yourself or your business to some new tech! The whole Guardian Computer team got together to pick out these awesome options for our 2018 tech gift guide. From hands-free assistants to wireless headphones to a handheld translator, we’ve got all the tech gifts you need this holiday season for personal and business use in the Guardian Computer Tech Gift Guide!

Tech Gift Guide For Businesses

PNY Elite-X 512GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive ($100)Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide flash-drive

When asked about the perfect gift this holiday season, Charles suggested the PNY Elite-X flash drive. “Nothing is as handy as keeping your entire music, movie, pictures and well…everything right in your pocket.” This easy to encrypt USB is perfect for safe and on-the-go storage. It provides speedy files transfers with 200 MB per second. It’s also compatible with most PC and Mac laptop and desktop computers. This gift is perfect for anyone but especially those in the education, finance, or legal industry to use at the office, at home, and at school. Also, this flash drive is great for emergency data recovery, with 512gb of storage, this can be used to keep your most important files with you.

 Eufy Smart Scale ($30)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Scale

Jeremy suggests The Eufy Smart Scale, “a stylish and affordable scale that works in conjunction with an app you can use on your smartphone or tablet.” The app helps to track multiple aspects of your health to provide you with insight into your well-being. The Smart Scale also connects with the Google Fit and Apple Health apps to sync data. With the ability to sync up to 20 user accounts, the Eufy Smart Scale is perfect for families who are all about fitness or for your colleague who works in the healthcare industry!

Google Wifi Mesh ($249)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Google wifi Mesh

Our President, Jean said, “Google Wifi is the easiest and most manageable router, period.” It’s a Wifi router that works well, even in old houses with thick walls. No more connecting to other someone’s public wifi! Unlike the traditional router, Google Wifi Mesh sets up multiple points throughout your home to create a “mesh” network that delivers a consistently strong, secure signal. It might not be flashy with lots of controls, but it more than makes up for it in unmatched simplicity! This gift is perfect for business owners in old New Orleans buildings and work-from-homers.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC ($14.99/month)

Dani suggests giving the gift of Adobe this holiday season! With Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you can create, edit, share and sign PDFs. This program also allows you to collaborate with people in remote locations! Rather than being Windows or Mac specified, users on all platforms can use this and its features are the same. This makes working with PDFs easily accessible from any device while on-the-go! It also integrates with Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365. “With PDFs being optionally secured to be both read-only and tamper-evident, they are the preferred file format for most legal documents,” Dani says. This makes the perfect gift for someone in the legal industry!

ili Translator ($199)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide I am ili

The ili translator is so awesome! You simply just press the button, speak into the mic, and it translates your sentence from English to Spanish, Mandarin or Japanese (one-way) in as little as 0.2 seconds. Charlie says, “The device is primarily designed for travel, however, I’ve used it for many other day-to-day quick communications.” It also has a built-in library of short sentences and common travel sentences. No wi-fi is required so this pocket translator is perfect to use anywhere you want!

Google Home Mini ($29)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Google home

Get hands-free help in any room. Ryan says that “the Google Home Mini is a bargain for the value and ever-increasing options.” With this device, you can play music from your favorite streaming service, set reminders, create to-do lists, play your favorite radio stations, ask questions powered by the Google Assistant, and control any smart home devices you may have around the house. It’s also built for kid-friendly fun, including trivia games or read-a-longs that help to bring stories to life with music and sound effects. This is a great gift for anyone in the education industry to implement inside the classroom!

Fitbit Charge 3 ($150)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Fitbit

Charles suggests getting the tech-loving fitness guru in your life a Fitbit Charge 3. “It’s one of, if not, the most advanced fitness trackers on the market,” Charles says. This lightweight fitness tracker tracks your heart rate, calories burned, hours of sleep, distance and more with a battery life of up to 7 days! Also, the Fitbit app lets you customize your workout routine and allows you to run reports, so you can see your progress come alive. This gift is perfect for the tech and health nut in your life.

Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds ($180)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide headphones

“If you own a Samsung smartphone, your next purchase should be the Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds,” John says. He has always hated earbuds because they don’t stay in his ears for more than 2 minutes but these wireless earbuds have a small wing that tucks in just right to keep them securely in your ears. The Gear IconX earbuds also work as standalone media players when you upload music from your phone. You can play playlists, navigate tracks, and turn up the volume with simple taps and swipes! Also, the batteries last for days. This is the perfect gift for anyone always on-the-go!

RoboForm Password Manager ($40/user/year)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide roboform

With so many apps and programs that require a login these days, it’s become hard to keep up and remember so many passwords! Sherri suggested getting RoboForm this holiday season, “this little gem of software can be used not only in the work environment ANYONE can and should use it!” RoboForm does all the remembering and creating for you. You only need to remember one password which will give you access and logins to all your different accounts in just a couple of clicks! This is perfect for any and everyone no matter what industry you’re in.

Plantronics CS530 Wireless Headset ($245)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide headset

According to Dani, this is the most comfortable and lightweight wireless headset. Being on the phone all day, she needs something that doesn’t hurt her ear and audio that is crystal clear. Plantronics CS530 Wireless Headset’s quality digital sound is combined with both mobility and multitasking! It supports multi-headset conferencing for up to four headsets with a low probability of interference. You can get up to six hours of talk time and range up to 350 feet from your desk phone. The Plantronics Wireless Headset is a must-have if you are on the phone all day.

OnePlus Bullets ($20)

Image result for oneplus bullets type c

“The era of analog headphones is behind us. If you own a flagship iPhone as well as many leading Android brands, you may be dealing with no headphone jack. The OnePlus Bullets are what the basic earbuds from a convenience store used to provide,” Ryan says. These wireless headphones provide great sound quality and are designed for durability and comfort. You can also switch between music, calls, and Google Assistant effortlessly. Whether you’re heading to work, working out or relaxing, these headphones will stay in place!

Ring Video Doorbell Pro ($249)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide doorbell

Kids at home while you’re still at work? Jean Prejean suggests the Ring Video Doorbell Pro as a great way to keep an eye on them! The motion detector alerts you on your phone when someone approaches the door, so you not only know when your kids get home, but you also know when friends or strangers have arrived, even after dark. You also have the option to talk to the person at the door from wherever you are. Jean says the biggest plus is that it was easy to install!

Dropbox ($12.50/month)

Want to work better, safer, and together? Dani suggests Dropbox which allows you to easily store and share your documents, videos, and photos while also having easy access on any device whenever needed! “With 3 ways to access – the desktop application, online, and the DropBox mobile application – it’s more than convenient to use,” Dani says! Dropbox syncs and backs up on its own, so you don’t have to worry about losing anything and if you accidentally delete something it can be easily restored. If changes are made on one document, on one device, they will sync to appear on all other linked devices. Also, it enables HIPAA compliance!

Logitech K480 Keyboard ($50)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Keyboard

Jeremy suggests getting this affordable, high-quality little Bluetooth keyboard that works perfectly with your computer, tablet, and smartphone this year. To switch between your wireless devices, simply turn the easy-switch dial. Also, there is an integrated cradle that holds your phone or tablet at just the right angle for you to read while you type!

We admit it, this fun tech gift guide aside, we’re technology fanatics! We’re always keeping up to date on the latest and greatest technology. We use our technical know-how to help our clients gain productivity by helping them choose and utilize the best products for their business. Want to talk all things keyboards, flash drives, or wifi? Contact us!

There is no substitution for knowledgeable, helpful, real-human service.

Those big-box commercial IT help desks simply can’t compete with personalized customer service. When you need IT solutions, you don’t want to be a number in a queue, wait on hold four hours, or wait to be helped next Tuesday between 10 AM and 5 PM. You need effective solutions immediately, right? That’s where we come in.

Whenever You Need Us, We’re Available

Rather than going back and forth for ten or more emails, we believe that a simple five-minute phone call with a qualified and knowledgeable staff member can fix your IT problem. We pride ourselves on the fact that if you call Guardian Computer, whoever answers the phone can fix your problem.

When is the last time you talked to a team of actual experts with a commercial IT help desk? We know that saving your time and solving problems quickly can be hugely beneficial for your business.

The Personal Touch Really Does Matter

We sometimes hear that great customer service doesn’t matter so long as the problem is fixed. We wholeheartedly disagree! Having a personal relationship with our customers isn’t just nice for them, it’s helpful for us too! It helps to build up our team relationship and retain our staff.

At Guardian Computer, our employees are a big, friendly family and our clients are extensions of that family. We work hard to make sure that all of our client-business relationships are unique, by having their back with any and all IT problems.

Even when we can’t have a one-on-one, in-person conversation with a customer, we make sure they know we are still there for them. We’re just a phone call or email away! We make sure that all of our interactions with our customers are real, personal and engaging.

Our Personal Edge

We pride ourselves in knowing our clients as people, not numbers or line items. Our business is small enough to get intimately familiar with our clients’ specific needs. At Guardian Computer, we make sure that what we offer is closely aligned with our clients’ needs and aspirations.

A positive organizational culture is critical to success!

Having a close focus on the client’s work helps us to rectify their problems quickly, and to delve far more deeply into potential issues. Rather than dealing with an impersonal commercial, IT help desk call center, our clients call us, the people they know. And we are available and authentic on the other end of the line.

Over 20 Years of Expertise

We’re a close-knit team at Guardian Computer! Maintaining a positive work environment helps us to keep quality people on staff, so our clients can draw on their knowledge of their business. Our team members are cross-trained as subject matter experts, so our clients don’t get volleyed from one tech to another.

Also, all of the members of our team are empowered to act in the best interest of our clients. There are no layers of bureaucracy to get an answer or escalate a problem. We are proud to say that anyone answering the phone at Guardian Computer is empowered to solve your IT problem.

Our Flexibility Saves You Time

Small businesses tend to be more nimble than larger businesses. So, their reaction time tends to be faster than big businesses. At Guardian Computer, we can customize the services we provide to a client’s specific, individual needs. We’re also able to adjust to any unexpected changes or issues a client may have. We actively listen to all feedback and observe changing preferences.

Unique Solutions For Your Business

We all hate those impersonal hard sells that turn out to offer something unnecessary. We’re your IT company, not an infomercial!

As a small business, we are able to produce goods and services that stand out from those commercial IT help desk solutions. We understand our clients need to work within a tight budget and don’t need all the extra “fluff”. We don’t use proprietary software and we make sure to include the client in the planning and execution of their services.

Customer Satisfaction Is Always First

At GCIT, we are committed to providing extraordinary service by consistently going the extra mile to create the best experience for our clients. We make sure to deliver reliable, highly individualized, and responsive customer service to all of our clients. Our advanced network monitoring tools allow us to catch the small issues before they become big problems for our clients.

Tired of trying to work with rigid solutions offered by big commercial IT help desks? We offer customized solutions for businesses of all sizes! Let’s chat about how we can improve your business technology.

Utilizing cloud technology can make a huge impact on the bottom line of your business.

We’re talking about saving your time, your money, and staying safer in an emergency. Every business can get on board with that, right? Even though there are so many positives to using cloud technology, many businesses are hesitant to make the leap. This post is going to cover everything you’ll ever want to know about cloud computing as it relates to your business.

First Things First, What is The Cloud?

We’re sure you’ve probably heard of the cloud or cloud technology by now. Don’t worry, it’s not as intangible of a concept as it may sound. When working with tech companies, you’ll often hear the term “cloud” when talking about storing your data “in the cloud” or “working in the cloud”.

Simply put, the cloud is the software and services that you can access from the Internet rather than locally on your computer. A great example of a cloud service is Google Drive. Instead of storing files on your desktop or laptop, you can create documents on Google Drive and access them from anywhere, on any device, so long as you’re signed into your account.

The Main Uses For The Cloud

In our experience, we see three main uses for the cloud, besides as a storage solution.

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). For example, using Salesforce, Box, and Office 365 all use the cloud.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). This category includes services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). This includes services like Google App Engine, AWS PaaS, and Azure PaaS.

What Are the Benefits of Using the Cloud?

The benefits of switching to the cloud can be huge for your business! We know because we help our clients make the transition all the time. The major benefits of using the cloud break down into four categories: cost, power, recovery, and security.

Cloud Technology Cost

Using the cloud helps to remove or reduce the need for an upfront capital investment. That alone can be huge for a business! When using local servers, the costs of maintenance and management are often unpredictable. But, when you use the cloud, the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software are usually included in cloud provider contracts. Plus, you get the option for services and storage just when you need it. This means you can pay as you go instead of investing all at once.

This last one can be a huge help for small and medium businesses: no extra staff needed. An in-house expert on staff tends to be a high salary position. For big companies, they may need help to maintain servers, storage, and backup/recovery. But, honestly, there is rarely justification for keeping such a person since it doesn’t require a full-time person for a small or medium sized business.

Capacity and Computing Power

When using an in-house solution, you would need to buy more hardware each and every time you needed to increase storage. Now, with cloud technology, businesses of any size can tap into computing resources that were once only available to large corporations.

Cloud computing allows practically unlimited data storage and processing power due to the pooling of computer resources. It provides on-demand scalability that corresponds to a company’s needs so as your applications grow, you can add as much storage, RAM and CPU capacity as needed. Cloud-based applications have the ability to automatically refresh and update, which saves you time and resources.

Backup and Recovery

Private cloud solutions include backups that offer an easier, less resource-intensive method to protecting your data. In fact, most cloud providers distribute backups between data centers to ensure access.

When critical business information is saved on the computer or a server at your office it can be damaged in an emergency situation. In these cases, there is no guarantee that your data is able to be recovered. Utilizing cloud technology solves this problem.

No matter the event, a natural disaster, power failure, or other crisis, the cloud services will provide quick data recovery. For example, having critical data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. This allows companies to conduct business as usual, minimizing downtime and loss of productivity. When critical business information is saved on a computer or a server at your office it can be damaged in an emergency situation. In these cases, there is no guarantee that your data is able to be recovered.

Enhanced Security

Our cloud is fully managed and secure, which means your data is secure no matter where you access it from. The economies of scale which apply to computer resources also ensure that the best security measures can be put in place with high-level oversight from IT security experts.

The key to this amped-up security is the encryption of data being transmitted over networks and stored in databases. By using encryption, information is less accessible by hackers or anyone else not authorized to view your data. As an added security measure, with most cloud-based services, different security settings can be set based on the user.

How We Protect Our Clients In The Cloud

While most people know that the cloud gives you a lot of flexibility, there are some security concerns if done improperly. We’ve seen concerns such as:

  • Theft of data from cloud infrastructures or applications.
  • Lack of a plan for GDPR Compliance.
  • Cloud providers using data centers in potentially unstable countries.
  • Advanced attacks against cloud infrastructure.

At Guardian Computer, we protect the intellectual property, Protected Health Information (PHI), and sensitive data of our clients who use cloud technology. With over 50 years combined in the tech solutions industry, we bring our experience to the table. We help our clients avoid the pitfalls, know the right questions to ask a potential cloud provider, and ensure our clients have a comprehensive plan to migrate to the cloud.

Questions You Should Ask A Potential Cloud Provider

Not all cloud technology service providers are of the same caliber. We have a comprehensive list of questions you should ask before making any decisions on your cloud service provider.

Transitioning To Using The Cloud

At Guardian Computer, we help organizations understand how a migration to the cloud is different than what IT administrators are used to deploying in their legacy infrastructure environments. We want our clients to understand what they are getting into, how the process works and what they should expect.

For example, often a business’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded to handle the stress and traffic of a full-scale migration to the cloud. We help organizations develop and execute a plan for the data migration including deciding which applications and datasets need to migrate to and what tools and technologies ease the migration process.

Changing to the cloud can be challenging to start! But is more than worth it for the time and expense your business will save. Want to chat more about cloud technology? Let’s chat!