Tag Archives: great tool

How to Improve Internet speed at your Business

How to Improve Internet speed at your Business

If you are a Business owner or a System Administrator and the Internet connection is an important piece of your business, you probably know how difficult it is sometimes to keep a good balance between the real needs and the perfect Internet Connection.

Most of the times the first impulse is to make a connection upgrade and many times, this is the right step. Sometimes however we can improve a lot the Internet usage without upgrading. This article will show you what to do to improve the Internet speed without upgrading.

What is the Root Cause of your Slow Internet

Determine if the problem is the Internet Connection Bandwidth.
Many times the problem is the computer or the Local Area network. If your network was installed by your cousin or a friend who “New How to Do IT” it is likely that this is your problem. Check this article to learn “How to Troubleshoot a Slow Network.”(coming soon)
Use an Internet Connection Speed Test and determine if the connection performs at parameters.

Implement policies for the Internet use.

Very often companies don’t have a policy for Internet usage and employees abuse it and use it for personal use.
Educate employees about the day to day operations.
Many people don’t know what is acceptable to do and not to do on Internet. For Instance listening radio over Internet is a total waste if you don’t have huge bandwidth. Internet phones take a lot of bandwidth use whenever possible a regular phone. Video streaming are big bandwidth consumers. Users sometimes download files two or three times just because they don’t know where that file goes after the download. Many times they don’t even have the right to install or the file is already saved on an internal server. Sending files as attachments is another common mistake, especially if your mail server is hosted outside the company. Users will always prefer to send files via email than via a file server. A 15 Mb file will generate an Outlook message of around 18Mb. This 18 Mb will be uploaded to the email server which is the more painful operation on an asynchronous DSL connection (download is 3M but upload is 800K), and then will be again downloaded. If this email is sent to a few people imagine the connection bottleneck created.

Using a Caching Proxy could save you Money

If after all of the previous steps your business is still too slow you can implement a Caching Proxy. A Caching Proxy Server is an extremely useful tool to optimize Internet connection utilization and security. A Caching Proxy Server will cache the most used data and then serve it to its next client from the local copy rather than the Internet. A proxy will increase security in the company by providing an additional layer between the client and the Internet. It will help you enforce policies and control Internet Usage. It is also a great tool to log the Internet activity of your users. The downside of a proxy server is that is not easy to administrate, it needs an IT professional.

Caching Proxy Software

Two of the most used Caching Proxies are Squid and Microsoft ISA Server. Both of them are great tools extremely customizable and flexible. ISA Server is a rather expensive product but it has the advantage of a visual administration interface. On the other hand Squid is free software, but it needs command line administration. Another major advantage of Squid is that it doesn’t need too much hardware resources, and if configured properly can deliver excellent services.

A good companion for squid is a Content Filter. A content filter is a program that filters the access to Internet based on rules specified by the Administrator, public lists of known offensive websites and heuristic analysis. Two good content filtering programs are DansGuardian and SquidGuard.

Your Internet Usage Policies have to be Relaxed

As a closing paragraph I would recommend to keep a balance between business and personal use depending of the nature of your business. My experience showed that an extreme restriction would deteriorate the work climate and make your employee unhappy. On the other hand security and control of Internet Access are a very important factor and employees should understand this.

Social bookmarking as a way to increase your Website’s traffic

What is Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is a great way to improve your website’s ranking and traffic in Search Engines.

SB are websites that provide subscribers a way to save their bookmarks on a central server and retrieve them from any computer. The nice thing about it is that you can share some of those bookmarks with other users, based on interests or friendship. Google and the other Search Engines take these SB sites very seriously because that is the user’s choice and they want to provide users with the best service. It’s obvious that the more users bookmark your site the better your ranking.

Improve your rankings using SB

-First create an account to all major Social Bookmarking services and bookmark your own site.
-Second ask your friends to signup for these websites and bookmark your site. This should be done personally by all your friends. You can provide them with a list of keywords to be used in the description text. Your friends can recommend your website to other friends, etc… This is something that the SEO spammers do, but they do it unnaturally by spamming. The rest of us do it as a social activity. It is not recommended to use multiple accounts to the same Social Bookmarking site as is considered spam. And the Search engines will figure out is spam, by matching the description for all the fake accounts, and penalize your rankings. However if the description is different, there is no way that the Search Engine figure out that you cheated.
Be an active participant and give back the community, show your interest, it’s the best way to attract visitors.
Place a navigation bar on your site with links to all major Social Bookmarking sites.
What would be a good list of Social Bookmarking sites? Here are a few of them:
http://digg.com/
http://del.icio.us/
http://reddit.com/
http://www.furl.net/
http://www.blinklist.com/
http://www.stumbleupon.com/

I should probably mention that stumble upon is a great tool not necessarily for rankings, but for free traffic. If you are getting voted positively by the community you are being pushed in their rankings and they will send invitation to people with an expressed interest in that area. If you have a good site that you think it deserves more traffic and better rankings in SE send me an email with the link and the suitable keywords.

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