Pittsburgh’s IT Service and Support Specialists


Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Greensburg, Indiana
Uniontown and throughout Southwestern PA

3rd Quarter 2011 - October Issue

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to Shiloh Sound e-Newsletter

Click the Envelope to subscribe to your FREE Quarterly e-Newsletter

Flash Drives - a safe way to backup your files?

USB flash drives are amazingly convenient, inexpensive, and easy to use.  It's natural to think they would be a great medium for business backups and archives. Right?

Not so fast.

  • Flash DriveFlash drives backup data only, not the system state of your computer (installed software, passwords, personal preferences and settings.)
  • Flash drives are vulnerable to wear and tear, and there is a limit to the number of times they can be written to. 
  • The USB connection can become worn or damaged, and as some have found to their chagrin, the drive simply dies one day.
  • The small size of flash drives make them easy to misplace, misfile, or wash & dry with the laundry.

We don't want you to give up the convenience of flash drives; they're great gadgets! But be realistic about their intended use. One thing flash drives were never meant to be: your primary backup of business data.

Reliable Backups from Shiloh Service

Shiloh provides a line of tape drives for Small to Medium sized server applications and a hard drive backup for single pc and home application. In each case, we evaluate your situation and recommend a cost-effective, sensible approach that meets your business needs.  
 When something bad happens to your data, our goal is to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. The flash drive? It doesn't really care... Call us today at 724-863-0190

Windows 2000 - No Longer Supported

In our last newsletter, we discussed how critical patches and updates keep your computers and your network server running smoothly and safe from many hacking attempts and viruses. For Windows 2000, all such support ended in July of 2010.

Windows 2000 is no longer supported by Microsoft and machines running it no longer receive vulnerability patches and updates.

As our experience shows, many companies have yet to upgrade. Those continuing to run Windows 2000 will find, over time, that:

  •  New software and new versions of old software may no longer run on Windows 2000. No one is writing or maintaining software for it.
  •  Physical devices such as new printers, scanners, cameras, smartphones, etc. are less and less likely to work with Windows 2000, as no new drivers are being written.
  • With no regular updates coming, Windows 2000 machines will be more vulnerable to hacking attempts and new viruses. Problems with Windows 2000, when they occur, may no longer be fixable.

Not able to update your entire system at once? No problem, a Shiloh Service consultant will be glad to evaluate your computer needs and recommend upgrades that start with the most critical components of your network.

At Shiloh, we recommend Windows 7 for workstations and Windows Server 2008 for servers. These systems are being well received in the business community, and we're certain they'll do a great job for you too.

Free 30 day Trial of Monitoring

What else in your computer network is dangerously out-of-date?  Shiloh offers a FREE 30 day trial to introduce you to our remote monitoring system. It will help you identify problems within your network, and you don't have to be a current customer to take advantage. Contact Shiloh Service today to learn more.

Shiloh's Remote Monitoring
  • Assures timely installation of all patches and service packs.
  • Saves on deployment of new software installations and software updates.
  • Keeps expensive downtime and on-site service visits to a minimum.
  • Dramatically improves service response time.

Remote monitoring and management is just one way in which Shiloh helps small businesses do big things. Visit our website at www.ShilohService.com to learn more.

Are You on a Blacklist?

Do your business contacts complain that your email never gets to them? Does your email bounce back with strange mentions of RBLs and barracudas?   
It could be that your email server is on a spam blacklist. It's also possible your company is completely innocent of any spam-like activity, but you got on the list anyway.

So What is a blacklist?

A blacklist is a service that many email providers subscribe to. The blacklist's job is to monitor the Internet for signs of spam and then "tag" the place the spam is coming from as a potential problem. Once a system is on a blacklist, the customers subscribing to that blacklist may no longer accept mail from the suspected spammer.
The trouble is, you can be found guilty by association. Example: Your email service provider has a server that manages your mail along with hundreds or thousands of others. It becomes compromised by a hacker or a virus and sends out an enormous burst of spam. The blacklists can't necessarily differentiate you from the offender - all they know is to blacklist the server you share with the spammer, and suddenly you are caught up in the mess.

How to Check Blacklists

There are free tools online that can help. One is provided by MX Toolbox at this web address www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx
To use it, you need to know your IP address and the IP address of your email server (both should be checked.) To get your IP, simply go to www.whatismyip.com. To get your email server's IP address, ask your email service provider for the IP address of your email server.

I'm on a Blacklist, What Can I Do?

Don't panic. Being on one blacklist may not have a noticeable effect on your email services. But if you are on several blacklists and/or you know your mail is not getting through, then you have to take action to clear up the situation.
Often, the necessary actions are complex and require some technical knowledge. Your best bet is to call Shiloh Service, where our experienced technicians can work to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Contact Shiloh today!

Virus Protection and Blacklists

 Perhaps the most common way to end up on a blacklist is when a virus invades your computer and sends zillions of copies of itself to everyone in your address book. At Shiloh Service, we make certain your virus protection is up-to-date and of the highest quality. We recommend Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 12.1. It's features include:

  • Antivirus/Antispyware
  •  Desktop Firewall
  • Intrusion Prevention
  • Browser Protection Antivirus for Mac
  • Single Management Console

 To learn more, call Shiloh today 724-863-0190.

Cloud Computing - The New Wave

Cloud Computing. You hear it everywhere, but it's difficult to get a handle on. What exactly do they mean by computing on the cloud?
It's easier to understand if we compare traditional and cloud computing.
In traditional computing, you install software on the computer at your desk or on your network server.
Whether you needed to write a letter, make a budget, or store and update pictures, you purchased the appropriate software and installed it. You owned it, and anything you made with it resided on your local machine(s).
Cloud computing is the exact opposite.  The programs you use and even the results of working with those programs (reports, documents, pictures, etc.) are "out there somewhere." Your personal computer becomes a simple device you use to access your online resources.
The big advantage in cloud computing is that you are no longer tied to a single computer that has all your "stuff" on it. Any computer that has broadband access to the internet becomes your computer. Just log in to your cloud based programs and go.
The disadvantage is - well, where exactly is your stuff and who is responsible for it? What guarantees do you have that the cloud service you are using will be there tomorrow, or next year, or ten years from now? And if they accidentally lose your data, what then?
There are no simple answers to these questions.  Cloud computing is too new to the marketplace for anyone to understand its long term reliability, but it is the "coming thing." At Shiloh, we recommend taking a reasoned approach to cloud computing.  Small companies can take good advantage of cloud computing features, like Google's suite of programs called Google Apps (for word processing, spreadsheets, email, calendar functions, and more.), but we don't recommend keeping all of your critical business data solely in web-based clouds.
For anything you do on the cloud, you should ask yourself: how much trouble would my company be in if the cloud program we use simply went away one day (shut down because it wasn't profitable), or if a glitch happened and erased my cloud data?

Interested in learning more about Cloud Computing? Contact Shiloh Service, Inc. today.

Need to learn more? Contact Shiloh Service today.


Return to Top