04 Mar 2019

You need to get your Business NBN sorted out ASAP… Here’s why..

The NBN (National Broadband Network) is here and available in many areas of Australia.

Why should you care?

Well. The problem with NBN is that 18months after it’s first available to be ordered, all your old ADSL, PSTN, ISDN phone lines will be cut off.

Your Phones, Your Fax, Your EFTPOS, Your alarm. All of those services that are on legacy single telephone lines or even on ISDN telephone lines will be shut off.

You need to act and you need to act now!

EtherTech is an Accredited NBN Business Adviser and we have put together many solutions for lots of business’ now to help transition them over to NBN Internet and Telephony.

EtherTech can help you not only understand how the NBN will affect you, but design a solution that will mean your business can continue to work without downtime.

 Plus, we can save you a LOT of money on your monthly telephone costs!

We have already seen many instances where other companies have promised the world to business’ yet delivered half baked solutions that don’t work!

Some of the issues we’ve seen include downtime during ‘cutover’ of days to weeks. (1 business we know of is still down since December!)  Choppy voice calls, poor internet speeds and poor support.

You pay for what you get! Do you want to risk your business?

A lot of these ‘cheap’ NBN deals are cheap for a reason. They’re not rated for voice calls,  there’s no rules to prioritise voice traffic over data traffic, and these providers only provide basic support, nothing for alarms/fax/EFT etc. They just want a quick sale and move on,  leaving you to deal with the aftermath.

EtherTech can help.

 

Here at EtherTech we can provide you with not only the design and solution architecture for your business, but we install NBN Internet & Telephone systems as well. Ensuring they are customised to suit and work in your place of business.

We have installed systems now which allow you to telework, meaning you or your sales guys could be working remotely or from home, holiday, overseas  etc, and still have their office telephone extension follow them on their mobile phone or even have a proper work handset at home in their office which is still an extension from the office.

Imagine being able to transfer calls from the office to a remote worker without any diversion or call forwarding costs, as its all done over the NBN and the internet.

With a range of handsets (both fixed and wireless), conference phones, reception addons, headsets etc. We have a solution for every business.

Please give us a call on 1300-ETHERTECH to have a talk and arrange a meeting to  get your business prepared, before its too late!  Until next time!

20 Oct 2017

More and more companies are getting hacked every day. What are you doing about it?

More and more companies are getting hacked every day.

What are you doing about it?

Recently we have been seeing a spate of personalised and specific hacks customised against certain companies. Its been in the news for major organisations, and we’re seeing it as well on companies from 5 – 500 users too. Which means you are probably vulnerable as well.

Attacks against companies come most commonly in three forms.

1/ Brute force attacks against firewalls and unpatched server to gain access – this is normally not very successful.

2/ Bulk emailed phishing scams containing cryptolocker / malware/ remote access payloads etc. Varying success.

3/ Email Phishing Scams which are customised and targeted at individuals and companies. THIS IS THE PROBLEM.

We’ve all seen the fake apple store receipts, fake Australia post tracking emails, plus the myriad of other fake emails all trying to get you to press a link that will infect your machine or give hackers a backdoor to your system.

The problem is these emails are becoming more and more crafty, and unless your users are 100% aware of what they’re looking at and clicking, then you’re inadvertently putting your entire organisation at risk of being hacked.

EtherTech can now supply you with phishing & scam training in response to this ever-increasing threat. More and more clients are coming on board every day as they see the value in continuous training of their staff against the most recent vulnerabilities as well as helping to meet their training obligations.

The program itself consists of an initial free ‘test’ of your staff to see how likely they are to click on a fake email. (The average failure rate per organisation is 20%.)

Once signed up for the course, there is an initial training video that all staff need to watch to learn about the risks and how to identify them, then there are automated monthly random emails that are sent to see whether the individuals have learnt what to look for. If they continue to click these emails they are re-trained and re-tested using different techniques until they no longer fail the tests.

There are extensive training videos and courses that can be customised for your workplace and work type. Active Directory Integration means that when you have a new employee start they will automatically be enrolled in the course and receive emails to attend training. Portal access to see how your staff are going and who needs more training plus much much more.

The course runs over 3 years and works out at only $25 per user per year (from 1-50 users) (discounts apply > 51 users).

As a SPECIAL OFFER, EtherTech are also offering the ‘home training’ system to each subscribed business user, which allows your staff to train their kids, their spouse, their grandparents. The value in this extra home training system is immeasurable.

Please give us a call on 1300-ETHERTECH to arrange your test!

Until next time!

03 Feb 2017

WordPress vulnerabilities. are you affected? read on!

Wow!.. what a start to the new year its been!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the impact of Donald Trump as President has been and will continue to cause waves all over the world, not the least has been his latest venture into preventing immigrants with green cards from re-entering the US which has caused bedlam within the IT industry as well as many other industries, who employ a lot of overseas workers. Hopefully the US will sort itself out and some normality will return to our day to day operations, as currently there is a lot of market uncertainty.

Getting back to specific IT news though, vulnerabilities seem to be a constant problem for everyone these days. You’d notice all the Microsoft Updates that get applied to your machines on a regular basis to fix bugs and security problems, but what about other applications and even your website? They are not automatic, and need to be manually updated to fix any issues. Unfortunately most software vendors don’t maintain up-to-date mailing lists and/or don’t notify their users of problems until its too late.

One such thing that has come across my inbox this last week has been a MAJOR vulnerability with WordPress (which is website software that a LOT of companies (like EtherTech) use to run their websites).

The release states :

HOMELAND SECURITY – US-CERT
National Cyber Awareness System:
WordPress Releases Security Update
01/26/2017 10:25 PM EST

Original release date: January 26, 2017 | Last revised: February 01, 2017

WordPress 4.7.1 and prior versions are affected by multiple vulnerabilities. A remote attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected website.

On February 1, WordPress disclosed an additional vulnerability that is fixed in version 4.7.2.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the WordPress Security Release and upgrade to WordPress 4.7.2.

If you currently have a website that uses wordpress you need to get this addresses pretty quickly before your site is attacked and/or hacked.

If you need help doing these upgrades EtherTech can advise and perform upgrades to sites that use wordpress and associated plugins. (normal hourly rates apply) for you. We can also setup regular maintenance for these sites if required (as we’ve found most web designers simply design the site, get the money and that’s it. They never update it ever again. Please give us a call.

Office365.

If you’re currently running on an alternative mail system to Office365, please give us a call and let us discuss with you the benefits and potential cost savings you can make by switching to Office365.
For example, we recently switched on of clients with 40 mailboxes to office365 and after all the migration costs and our costs and office365 licensing costs they have a ROI of 3 years, then save approx. $3600 a year ongoing plus they have access to the latest Office applications and the extra Microsoft applications and features. Call us for a meeting and a quote!

Please give us a call anytime on 1300-ETHERTECH!

Until next time!

23 Nov 2016

November 2016 – New Domain name email SCAM! – How do I protect myself from data breaches?

We’ve brought this edition to you mid month due to a new scam that has just started hitting email boxes in Australia today..

New scam: Domain Abuse Notice: from DomainCop.net

Today we received the first of many random domain name abuse emails targeting owners of domain names stating that your domain name has been blacklisted due to spam/spreading malware.

The Exact email reads (links and domain name have been removed):

Dear Domain Owner,

Our system has detected that your domain: is being used for spamming and spreading malware recently.
You can download the detailed abuse report of your domain along with date/time of incidents. (Click Here)

We have also provided detailed instruction on how to delist your domain from our blacklisting.

Please download the report immediately and take proper action within 24 hours otherwise your domain will be suspended permanently.

There is also possibility of legal action depend on severity and persistence of your abuse case.

Three Simple Steps:
1. Download your abuse report.
2. Check your domain abuse incidents along with date and time.
3. Take few simple steps for prevention and to avoid domain suspension.

(Click here to download your report)

Best Regards,
Domain Abuse Admin
DomainCop Inc.
Tel.: (139) 729-41-97

Please DO NOT click these links, this is a scam, and likely will infect your machine and your network.

Simply delete the email.

As this is a new Zero day scam, a lot of AV and spam filters are still not picking this up, so please be alert.

Security and Data Breaches

Over the last month, we’ve heard of even more data breaches.

The personal data of 550,000 blood donors that includes information about “at-risk sexual behaviour” has been leaked from the Red Cross Blood Service in what has been described as Australia’s largest security breach.

We all remember the headlines Ashley Madison had their userbase hacked in July 2015, but did you hear of the hack on the Adult Friend finder/Penthouse sites in October this year?

Surprisingly it didn’t made national headlines, but has exposed over 412Million user accounts and is being touted as the largest data breach EVER recorded surpassing the 2013 hack on myspace which ‘only’ exposed 359Million accounts!

So, what can we do to protect ourselves from data hacks?

Password security and different passwords for every site is the first thing, but I hear you..

‘ I cant remember all those passwords’.

It’s a problem, but companies like ‘lastpass’ ‘keePass’, ‘True Key’ etc are all offering secure password storage with two factor authentication meaning even if they get hacked your passwords are secure due to double encryption and you holding the only decryption key.

Until Next month REMAIN VIGILANT!

09 Aug 2016

August 2016 – Windows10 Anniversary, 5G announcement and more!

Wow! what a busy start to the financial year it’s been!

In case you’ve been asleep….. Interest rates have been dropped again to an all-time low, Microsoft have ceased offering Free Windows 10 upgrades, but released their ‘anniversary update for Windows 10 (more on that in a second), Pokemon Go was released, the Hillary and Trump show gains momentum, Spam and Scams are getting more prolific and the Olympics have begun. Phew!

As well as all this excitement EtheTech have launched our new replacement automated Ticketing and CRM management tool after months and months of preparation and configuration.

The new system allows you to log and manage your own tickets from within our system and get live updates and job status reports directly with our techs and team leaders.

To check the new system out and log / review new tickets simply browse to http://bit.ly/2aBLo3G

 

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft’s general release Free edition of Windows 10 has now ended, however users with any sort of assistive technology requirement (spoken prompts, text to speech, magnify text etc) are able to download the Windows 10 Upgrade (in its normal form) still for free by visiting:

http://bit.ly/2aqaoey

There is no slated end date for this upgrade. So theoretically, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free using this link.

Microsoft also released their anniversary update for Windows 10. Another 3.5gb download though is proving to be a problem for a lot of users, especially those who rely on mobile tethering for their internet.

Notwithstanding the size of the download, a LOT of users are experiencing problems with their machines after installing the anniversary update, and if you haven’t already enabled system restores (which are OFF by default in Windows 10) turn them on and create a restore point before updating.

Once you have this anniversary update though, you really want to turn on the ‘Updates from more than one place’. This is like a localised WSUS system that allows your PC’s on your network to ‘share’ windows updates between themselves instead of each machine having to download the 3.5Gb anniversary update as well as every other update on each machine.

For all of you still frustrated with no NBN and with ADSL service speeds deteriorating country wide, never fear! Telstra is preparing their 5G network for trial in September 2016! Remember we spoke about this many months ago, and now its becoming a reality with boasted speeds anywhere from 1.41Gbps up to 20Gbps (Yes, you read correctly..  20Gig download not Meg!)

So the question remains.. why bother with NBN at all?

Anyway, another month beckons, so we must away!

As always, if you have any questions or queries on anything you’ve read, or want us to discuss, drop up a line or call 1300-ETHERTECH!

04 May 2016

May 2016 – How can I make my PC run faster ?

Welcome to another month of Boffin!

Well the election budget has dropped, and is good news for small business with the definition for a small business increasing from 2million dollars of annual turnover to 10million dollars.

The Budget is also proclaiming to come down hard on overseas companies who pay little tax in Australia. Google has already restructured its business to reflect the revenue it generates in Australia effective Jan1 2016, after it was accused of not paying enough tax.

Hopefully other organisations will now follow suit!

As always though, the devil will be in the detail, which we’ll wait to see what unfolds.

In IT news though, this week Gumtree Australia announced that a data breach has allowed hackers to steal all email addresses / contact names and phone numbers, and are advising all customers to be wary of fake emails that utilise this information in order to trick Gumtree customers. As always, be weary of all E-mail you receive.

Here at EtherTech we get asked all the time ..

“How much memory do I need in my PC?, and how can I make it run faster?”

Most PC’s these days generally come with 4GB of RAM, a mid-range PC comes with 8GB and a high end gaming machine 16GB or more.

But do you need this much memory?

Memory is definitely a LOT cheaper today than it was in the past, but adding more memory to your PC will not make the machine significantly faster, as it’s the actual Processor in the machine that determines how fast it can execute code. Additional memory will allow you to run ‘more instances’ or programs concurrently, and avoid swapping from memory to disk (which is slow and wears hard disks out quicker).

In real world tests, opening several major applications at once, you’re unlikely to see your PC top 4GB of usage, so in a normal situation 4GB of memory is perfect.

If however you need to work on databases, complex large spreadsheets, CAD or 4K video then upgrading to 8GB RAM has a lot of benefits. With general applications though, an upgrade from 4GB to 8GB will see a slight speed improvement of around 3%.

If you’re looking at making your PC run faster though, and its speed you’re after, then upgrading your Hard Disc to an SSD (Solid State Drive) will have a more pronounced effect on the speed your programs load and operate.

For example a normal power-on start to windows on a Notebook took 63seconds, after the SSD upgrade it took 23 seconds!

Normally you’d expect to see an improvement of around 50% (obviously every system is different), by upgrading to an SSD. *all prices below inc GST.

250gb Samsung SSD – $ 145.00

500gb Samsung SSD – $ 249.00

1Tb Samsung SSD – $ 495.00

 

Installation and imaging of your current PC onto the new SSD so everything is EXACTLY how you left it will cost you $132.00

Call us TODAY on 1300-ETHERTECH to book your PC in for a REAL SPEED UPGRADE!

04 Apr 2016

April 2016 – Windows10 Updating, April Fools Day plus more!

Welcome to another month of Boffin!

With the news that Microsoft’s Windows 10 Operating system now has over 270million users actively using the new software, the time has come to decide whether or not you’re ready for Windows10 in your life.

The biggest issue we’ve found with Windows10 has been compatibility with older programs. Please ensure that if you are considering Windows10 that ALL your applications are supported by  the Windows10 operating system, as downgrading back to Windows7 or Windows8 is possible (at the moment), but is painful to do.

If you have decided not to upgrade to Windows10, there is a nifty utility that once run can turn off the annoying ‘Upgrade to Windows10 now’ feature that pops up all the time and will prevent someone from accidentally upgrading to it if you didn’t want to.

Click on the following link which will automatically run the util https://www.grc.com/files/never10.exe

It’s very Self-Explanatory, and you can turn off (or on) your Windows10 upgrade option.

Remember the final date to get the free Window10 upgrade is 29th July 2016, after which time you’ll have to pay for the upgrade (if you want it).

April Fool’s day 2016 came and went without much hoopla this year. It seems almost every company did ‘something’, I suppose that’s what having too much money in the marketing budget is all about? The biggest FoPa was Gmail who put its foot in its mouth by introducing a ‘feature’ into Gmail that caused many users to lose email, so they abandoned it half way through the day.

Google also announced their new Bluetooth enabled Searchable Socks, to eradicate the missing sock syndrome from washing. Just search for them.

Krispy Kreme launched their 3Donut Printer which allows consumers to print their own donuts.

Other than that we think it was pretty dull this year.. A quick google search of April Fools Jokes 2016 will show a lot more.

You may have also read this last month about the FBI trying to force Apple to unlock a terrorist’s iPhone, but to no avail. The FBI has now dropped the court case, as they’ve been able to employ a 3rd party to unlock the phone and give them access to the information it contained. This is very interesting, as the FBI has a mandate to share all information between all departments. Currently there are many other cases that are awaiting the unlocking of iPhones to gain access as well. Apple have stated that as soon as they have access to the method they will block it. So don’t fear, your information will be safe.. soon..

The other big news of course is the ongoing Panama Leaks, where over 2.2Tb of data was leaked containing all the information and financial affairs of over 200,000 companies. This is by far the biggest data breach/leak to date (bigger than WikiLeaks and all others), and will be far reaching in terms of tax avoidance scams.. Watch this space..

As always, please drop us a line about anything IT related!

Until next month!

15 Mar 2016

Telstra NBN woes with VOIP and solution for 3rd party routers !

As you may have heard, once (if) NBN ever rolls out in your area, the objective is to decommission the aging copper infrastructure used by Telephony / Fax / ADSL / Alarms etc and move/port your existing telephone number over to your NBN carrier.

The following is a case study based on Telstra residential and the issues we faced in using a 3rd party router in place of the Telstra Supplied DLINK DEVG2020 or the Technicolor TG797 or later.

Firstly, you need a working NBN Service. For this example we are using FTTN with no Battery backup. Single PSTN telephone line being ported to VOIP. So connect a Cat5 ethernet cable to the NBN NTU into port UNI-D1 only.

This cable then will connect to the WAN port on your telstra supplied modem.

As we all know the Telstra routers are very basic, and if you wish to retain your existing router setup telstra will not support you with VOIP settings or help. There are many solutions out there regarding Bridge-mode etc, but these will NOT allow you to retain your voice component of the service.

Out of the box if you plug your Telstra supplied Technicolor or DEVG router in, it will auto configure (we assume based on MAC address) and within 10minutes your PSTN land line will be ported to VOIP and you can place and receive calls over your normal handsets. This is good. Now while this is connected, browse to the modem on 10.0.0.138 and disable DHCP and all wireless access. save and reboot. (if you need access in the future manually assign a 10.0.0.x address and plug into a LAN port on the Telstra modem).

Now simply  unplug your telstra modem and connect your own Router WAN port to the NBN Cat5 cable and reconfigure your router for Ethernet over IP. Now connect the Telstra modem WAN port into a LAN port on your router (and make sure DHCP is enabled on your router).

Because the Telstra modem has already registered and setup your telephony, it will now call out to the Telstra SIP Servers and register your phone THROUGH your other modem (disable firewall etc on your equipment first to ensure it all works).

You now have VOIP working BEHIND your own router connected directly to NBN! Congratulations!


We did recently find an interesting amendment for that article. It appears that if you don’t receive a call on your VOIP line for an ‘undetermined amount of time’ (approx. 15mins) the voip service that was registered will drop off. Calls will come in, but wont ring, and go straight to voicemail (you can dial in and collect them from voicemail though no problems), yet you can continue to make outbound calls with no issues.. If however you regularly receive calls (at least 1 every 15mins or so it works fine. Its as if there is a ‘periodic telstra registration’ requirement for phone registration on idle.

What we’ve been doing as the only solution to get around this though is migrating our clients to use UNI-V1 with battery backup and this eliminates the Supplied Telstra Modem altogether which is a much nicer solution. Plus it gives you battery backup.


After running some more investigations via wireshark, we have discovered the following NAT’s that you need to open up to get the Telstra Voice to work behind a non-telstra modem.

Setup NAT’s in your internet facing router pointing to the telstra modem using :

TCP/UDP 5060
TCP/UDP 5061
TCP/UDP 3478
UDP 5004

Due to the HUGE number of phone calls and emails to us regarding this article there seems to be some confusion on how to connect up your devices in order to use the above information.

NBN coming into your premises -> (WAN) Your Router (ethernet 1) -> Telstra Router (WAN 1) -> Phones
NBN coming into your premises -> (WAN) Your Router (ethernet 2) -> Switch -> Rest of your network


If after all this you’re still sick of Telstra and their charges / lack of support for VOIP, please consider moving your VOIP to EtherTech. We give you all the settings and support you could ever need! eg. $14.85inc per month per ‘Line’ (SIP Channel) and call rates as low as 15c a min for mobiles and 5c a min for local/national calls, you’ll find we’ll come in MUCH cheaper than what you’re paying now! – use the form on the right hand side to contact us now to discuss your options.


And now a request from us to you.. If you found this information valuable. we dont want money or anything, just hit the Like button below! or go to our page and give us Review.

https://www.facebook.com/ethertech.au/

Cheers!

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