Royal Blog

  • Sharepoint Online Cloud Migration

    What Are CAL's for SharePoint?

    SharePoint is a free add on to Windows Server 2003/2008/2011 OS which supports extranet, intranet, and Internet applications from any single, integrated platform. As such, accessing SharePoint is bound by Microsoft Server licensing for the server it’s installed on. If you’ve a server in the business then you’ll probably have all the required CALs (Client Access Licenses) for your staff to access the Windows server – and by definition, SharePoint CALs. You may, however, need to consider external, remote and or mobile staff who may not have a SharePoint CAL to the server but due to SharePoint’s simple remote access features will begin to connect and use the Windows server infrastructure.

    Sharepoint online cloud

    When purchasing a Microsoft SharePoint Portal server (or other Microsoft servers like SQL, Exchange, Windows, Windows Terminal or Systems Management), a license is needed for each copy of the installed server software. Besides, a SharePoint CAL (client access license) is needed, for the same Microsoft server version, for each device or user (or combination of both) which uses or accesses the server software. The only time you don’t need a SharePoint CAL is if:

    • Access is to a server that runs Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
    • Access is through the Internet and is unauthenticated
    • Use or access is by an external user and instead of CALs, External Connector licenses are acquired.

    With the release of the Windows 2003 Servers, there’re now 2 types of SharePoint CALs available, a user-based and a device-based CAL. This means you can acquire a Microsoft CAL for every named-user accessing your Windows servers (from any device), or you can acquire a Microsoft CAL for every device (utilized by any user) accessing your Windows servers. Although both device CALs and user CALs are available under the Select agreement, only device CALs are available under the Microsoft Campus agreement. A Microsoft SharePoint Server Enterprise (MSSE) user CAL can be used only in conjunction with a Microsoft SharePoint Server Standard (MSSS) user CAL. It authorizes the user to access extra features in Microsoft SharePoint-Server from any device (for instance, when a staff accesses the server from a PC at work and another at home).


  • MSDN Subscriptions Give You Access To Everything

    The Latest Collaboration Tools, Training And Resources For Coders

    Software developers are always looking for ways to create amazing applications. With a Microsoft Developer Network subscription, a computer programmer can build any kind of app out there.

    Microsoft Developer Network is a section of Microsoft in charge of developing a relationship with software developers and testers. This relationship is developed through websites, developer conferences, newsletters and other channels. Microsoft Developer Network's subscriptions are also sold on an annual basis, and the price varies from a couple of thousand dollars to twenty thousand dollars. Subscribers get new software every few months either on DVD or other formats. They can also download software, and this gives them further benefits.

    Licensing Made Easy

    Microsoft Developer Network's subscriptions are licensed, and they are sold in a per user basis. A user can develop, test, design or demonstrate her or his programs in any kind of device. They can also evaluate the computer program as well as simulate any kind of customer environment. This will allow users to diagnose any problem down the road. Microsoft Developer Network users can also run their programs on an Azure virtual machine, and this allows them to have greater flexibility when it comes to developing and testing applications.

    Elimination of Shared Subscription Costs

    Microsoft Developer Network doesn't offer a shared subscription. So you'll have to include each one of your team members individually as well. Microsoft Developer Network allows users to get access to any of Microsoft's personal and commercial software that are designed for the deployment of software development projects. Even if the product support service hasn't been extended, Microsoft Developer Network can still use the software package to test and develop legacy applications as well as transition to any new software.


  • Microsoft Open Licensing

     Big Business Tools At An Entry Level Price

    Microsoft Open License is an entry-level volume licensing program for small to mid-sized companies with between 2 to 250 personal computers (although it can accommodate companies with up to 750 computers). Microsoft's latest service offering allows corporate, charitable, academic, or governmental organizations to obtain volume license schemes for Microsoft products. Microsoft Open Licensing is generally a better value when compared to traditional licensing methods (i.e. - retail, or individual license purchases). Open License provides a simple, yet flexible and cost-effective approach to buying the latest Microsoft technology, maintaining said technology, and standardizing licensing methods to meet your company’s needs and budget.

    The Microsoft Open Licensing Model Is Designed To Simplify

    • Open Value – Specifically designed to offer you simplified license management, lower software management costs, and greater control over your IT investment. This option includes Software Assurance, an improved maintenance program from Microsoft which provides you access to added benefits such as training, software upgrades, deployment planning, and product support. The Open Value program has 3 options: company-wide, non-company-wide and subscription; each designed to meet diverse business needs and applications.
    • Open Value is designed for companies that want to boost their up-front order or purchase amount in one-or-more product pools to take advantage of group s. These options use a system of product pools as well as product points to set up purchase minimums for discounted prices.
    • Open Business – Ideal for organizations looking to pay for Microsoft Software Licenses as they add resources. This program gives your company the flexibility to grow as your business licensing needs increase.

    Does Your Business Qualify?

    To qualify, the initial purchase is to be no less than five licenses (of any product combination); there are some exceptions whereby a single product qualifies (for instance SQL Core licenses and Visual Studio with an MSDN Subscription).

    MicrosoftOffice365OpenLicenseIf your business has met the initial eligibility requirements, the program will run for two consecutive years (further licenses can be added to this plan a-la-carte as desired). This offer does expire, albeit the licenses bought are perpetual and may be used repeatedly. Licenses include all commercially-available Microsoft software products; Check out the Microsoft Open License page and learn more!


  • Choosing the Right Antivirus Software for Your Computer

    Safeguard your Business 2_300x250

    Years ago, deciding on an antivirus isn’t that complicated. After all, we only had 2 options – either McAfee or Norton. Today, however, there is a huge number of antivirus software to choose from. Many of them even have a free version.

    How do know which antivirus software is right for your personal and professional life?

    There are a lot of factors to take into account when choosing the best antivirus for your computer. By considering all of the following, you are more likely to get the right antivirus to suit your needs.

    Quality of protection

    Of course, the number one factor to consider is how good of a protection will it be for your computer. The program must be able to provide the highest level of protection against a wide range of threats and detect malicious codes. Also, it should deliver constant protection for all types of files, network elements and computer domains that could be subject to attack by viruses and malwares.

    Cost

    Price is one of the most important things to consider when buying antivirus software. Some of them can be downloaded for free; while others may cost hundreds of dollars. Ask yourself. How much are you willing to spend?

    Just because you got the most expensive software, doesn’t mean it’s the best. Do your research to find the one that provides the best bang for your buck.

    User reviews

    Read user’s reviews and check out the ratings of different antivirus software before buying or downloading it into your computer. If many users prefer it, then the product must be really good.

    Free trial

    Seeing is believing. Consider getting a free trial so you have an idea how it works. You might not be able to enjoy all the features in a free trial, but it can help you determine whether or not it suits your needs.


  • How Safe Is a Password Manager?

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    Using strong and unique passwords is a piece of advise that we often hear. Unfortunately, most people still opt for weak but easy to remember passwords. Worse, some would use the same password for multiple sites. That’s not surprising since it’s not that easy to remember a handful of passwords. This is where a password manager comes in handy.

    Password managers recall all your passwords for you and help you log into all the websites you use automatically. The password database is encrypted with a master password, which is the only one you have to remember. But the question is, are they really as secure as they claim to be?

    Putting all your eggs or passwords in one basket is sort of a scary proposition. If a hacker successfully gains access to your password manager, then it’s like handing him/her the keys to your online kingdom. For some people this may be a deal breaker. But  isn’t it just as easy to break into your online accounts with weak passwords? And if you do use the same password in different sites, all others will also be compromised.

    Yes, intrusions happen all the time. Popular password manager, LastPass, suffered from an intrusion a few months ago. The good news is that the incident didn’t leak any passwords directly. They said that the passwords were so heavily encrypted that no passwords were stolen.

    Now, don’t panic. If you are using a password manager, consider changing your master password every once in a while. Remember, a password manager is only as secure as your master password. Change it often and make sure that it’s a very strong password. Don’t make a hacker’s job easier.

    While a password manager can help organize all your online accounts and increase your online security, you shouldn’t rely on it too much. Make sure that you can remember passwords for crucial services such as online banking and email accounts.


  • Office 365 for Every Day of the Year

    Have you made the move to Office 365 yet? Sure, we understand that change is scarier than a Thanksgiving without Turkey, but your trusted comrades here at Royal are ready to address all of your qualms. Office 365 is a beautiful thing, and once you make the transition, you’ll wonder how you managed to operate your business without it. Here are the top five reasons to jump on board 365:

    1. 365 can be used on up to five devices. That’s right. FIVE devices. Remember when you’d buy a CD and install it on your one computer? Those days are gone. Now, your new Office is downloaded directly from the web and you can use it across all of your devices. That means your phone, your iPad, your work computer and your home PC will all be suited up with the newest version of Office. No CD-ROM necessary.

    2. 365 will be up to date for good. That’s because it all comes to you via online download. So again, your days of manual entering key cards are in the past. Let’s say Microsoft updates their software again in a few years. You’ll have guaranteed access without having to buy a copy of the newest edition. How sweet is that?

    3. You can log in from any machine virtually anywhere to access your OneDrive. Your OneDrive will be where all your documents live, so you’ll have anywhere access to all your saved stuff at any point in time. Your OneDrive is equipped with unlimited storage. Know what this means? External hard drives are VERY close to becoming obsolete. It’s all backed up to the cloud, baby, and that means you can bid adieu to that chunky piece of technology.

    4. The same aforementioned OneDrive gives you the chance to share documents with your coworkers without having to swap versions via email. Your inbox will be so thankful.

    5. 365 will help you run your business in a more timely and efficient manner. Your IT guy should be worried. This is because you now have the power to add and remove employees without having to resell or return used software. Office 365 delivers an unprecedented amount of control to business owners, and will save on capital expenditure costs in the long run.

    Still need convincing? Call up one of our friendly specialists (and avid 365 users) for a few more reasons as to why the new Office 365 is the right thing to do!


  • Backup Your Most Important Data

    Many of us have important files on our computer, but it seems like people don’t know how to take care of them. As a responsible computer user, it is essential that you always back up your most important files and have a plan for recovering from a system failure.

    I often hear end-users say that they don’t have important files on their computer, so they don’t really need to do backups. That’s not true. The truth is, all the important memories in our lives are being looked after by technology – family pictures, vacation photos, wedding photos graduation photos, financial documents etc. It’s really sad when people say that their hard drive died and they lost all their pictures with it. These photos may not cost you money, but losing all those memories can be difficult.

    Most businesses also rely on soft data. Think of all the projects, files, documents, emails, spread sheets, databases and software on your computer. Now imagine what would happen if you lose all these in an instant. What would your clients say? What would happen to your business?

    You may have protected your computer form viruses, malwares and other potential threats, but are you backing up your files regularly? Yes, we understand that this can be a chore for most people since the initial setup could take hours, but your data is valuable.

    Backing up your files is advantageous since you can retrieve some, if not all, of your information in case something happens to your computer. Recreating these data will take time and effort. Worse, some of them cannot be recreated at all.

    The most important files to backup are your pictures, documents, music and other files you can’t replaced easily. If you use your computer every day, please try to back up files you use most often at least every week. If you can do it every day, much better.

    If you’ve put off backing up your computer for too long, now is the perfect time to do so. You never know when your computer would give up or malicious software would destroy the information it holds.


  • Antivirus Myths Debunked

    Everyone wants to keep their computers and mobile devices running smoothly. That’s why we sign up for antivirus, right?

    Over the years, antivirus software has steadily evolved, but a number of obsolete myths still persist. With all these myths spreading around, people find it difficult to separate the facts from the lies.

    Allow us to take a few minutes of your time and share with you some of the most prevalent myths regarding antivirus software.

    My PC is safe because I have installed an antivirus software

    This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about antivirus. You have to understand that viruses are especially built to trick the anti-xxx capabilities of the software. These viruses are created by people who have advanced knowledge of both viruses and anti-virus software.

    Free antivirus is enough

    It can be tempting to go the unpaid route when it comes to digital protection. There’s no point paying if you download a free trial, right? Wrong! Many of these free antivirus programs only offer basic protection. You need a paid antivirus in order to keep your computer safe against malware and viruses.

    Viruses are created by antivirus companies

    The average users may find this easy to believe. It kind of seems like a good business idea after all. You create a virus, and then sell a software that would keep the devices secure. But that’s not the case.

    The truth is, attackers are the ones who create new viruses in an attempt to keep up with the newer and more up-to-date versions of antivirus software.

    Viruses are only for Windows

    It is true that MAC computers suffer fewer attacks as compared to those that are running on Windows. But that doesn’t mean that MACs don’t get viruses.

    Over the years, attackers have spent most of their time designing viruses for Windows since it is the most dominant system in the marketplace. But now that Apple has gained traction in both private and public sectors, you can never be too complacent. Having a good antivirus program is a must.


  • Tips for Creating a Strong Password

    We live in a password-driven world. We are required to create a password for every account that we make online. They provide the first line of defense against hackers and malicious software.

    Security experts often advise us to use strong passwords at all times. But what qualifies as a strong password?

    Here are 4 tips for creating an unbreakable password.

    Minimum of 12 characters

    While it’s fine to use an 8-character password, we’d like to stress the importance of using a long password. Longer passwords are much harder to crack. Go for passwords with at least 12 characters.

    Mix it up

    To make the password harder to crack, use a mix of different types of characters. Include capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers, symbols and punctuations. Instead of bighouse, try BigH0use$123.

    Avoid common passwords

    Avoid using places, names, birthdays, dates and dictionary words as password. A lot of people use the name of their kids or pets, anniversary date, city of birth, favorite team or even their car license plates as their password. Guess what? That's not a strong password, even if you combine them with numbers. Why? It’s because these are the types of information that hackers would want to know first. If you do use any of these as your password, it would only take a few minutes before they gain access to your accounts.

    Use different passwords

    Why would you use a different password for different accounts when you can easily type in your favorite password? The answer is simple. If your password gets cracked, then the person will now have access to all your accounts – email, Facebook, twitter, Amazon, paypal, bank accounts etc. You can say goodbye to your funds in an instant. Do yourself a favor and use a different password for every account.

    Add an extra layer of protection

    Add an extra layer of protection by enabling 2-step verification. Here, users are required to type in their username and password, along with the code that will be sent to their mobile phone. So even if the hacker gets a hold of your username and password, he still can’t access your account because he doesn’t have your phone.


  • Work and Play Better with Multiple Monitors

    Sometimes, it seems like you’re spending more time switching between programs as compared to the actual work. Anyone who has attempted to squeeze 2 windows on a single screen or tried to juggle the vertical split screens in Microsoft Word knows how frustrating it is to work on one small screen.

    If you’re looking to improve your computing experience, here’s an idea you might want to consider - set up multiple monitors. This will give you room to spread out and make your computer more comfortable to use.

    Here’s how an extra screen makes your PC better for work or play.

    Advantages of having multiple screens

    Increase in productivity is often touted as the main advantage to running a multi-monitor setup. In fact, studies have shown that dual monitors can increase productivity.

    We live in a multitasking world. Having multiple monitors are uniquely useful for keeping track of numerous programs simultaneously on your computer. It opens up many possibilities. You can check emails, browse the web and run multiple apps while completing tasks on a second screen.

    With all those screens spread out before you, you’ll suddenly realize that you spend a lot less time flipping through open programs, files, emails, and looking for what you want. Instead of switching between full-screen windows, you have the option to put the second program on the second monitor. Here, you can have one screen dedicated for displaying critical information while the other can be used for your actual work.

    Disadvantages of multiple screens

    A second monitor takes up additional space. So before purchasing additional monitors, consider whether or not they would fit on your desk. While keeping programs open across two or more screens can be advantageous, it can be distracting for some people. For instance, Keeping email, IM or social media window open all the time can be good thing for communication purposes, but it can also be a productivity killer.

    Despite the disadvantages, a multiple-monitor setup offers more advantages in the long run. Weigh the pros and cons and try to look at the big picture so you can make an educated decision for your office.


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