Cloud Services

 

Cloud_Computing

The Network Division utilizes the Cloud when it is the best solution.  For many things Cloud solutions are wonderful, but for many they are not.

If you need rapid scaling and geographical diversity, the cloud may be the way to go.  But remember, the cloud is really just someone else’s server, it’s not magic!

Cloud-based solutions provide:

  1. Redundancy – When there is a hardware (RAM, CPU, motherboard etc.) failure in a server, it will route traffic to a backup server.
  2. Scalability – In Cloud servers, you can increase/decrease resources (RAM, CPU, storage etc.) anytime as you see fit.
  3. 100% Uptime – Whatever application, files, images, videos are there on the Cloud, they’re all accessible all the time.
  4. Hosting – Your business website needs to be stored somewhere and be accessible to other computers. Hosting allows you to use another’s rack space to accomplish this.

 

The benefits for business are:

 

  1. Data protection
  2. Regulatory compliance and data residency requirements
  3. Scalability and flexibility
  4. Cost efficiencies
  5. Access to data anytime, anywhere.

 

Sometimes cloud solutions are not the way. Depending on your company’s requirements, you may notice connection issues or network latency. Additionally, given enough operating capital, you may be able to save your business a lot of money down the road by creating your own business network.

What’s best for your organization?  Let the team at 2-Way’s Network Division help create and execute a road map for the IT solution that’s best for your business. Give them a call (603-431-6288) or send an email to NetworkSolutions@2-way.biz.

RADAR and LIDAR Certification

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2-Way Communications Services is about more than two-way radio systems. Most of our customers are familiar the products and services provided by the Fleet and Network Departments … but the company’s RADAR and LIDAR certification program is still a (welcome) surprise to some.

2-Way Communications Service is the only authorized factory service representative for Kustom Signal in New England. We can certify not only the Raptor, Golden Eagle and Talon RADARs, but the Pro Laser 3 and 4 LIDARs as well. And if your hardware isn’t Kustom Signal, the techs can still certify your gear. They have the knowledge and test equipment needed to get the job done.

Certification is usually done on site, and removal of the RADAR units from a vehicle is not necessary. Same-day LIDAR certification happens on site as well. Of course, certifications can be completed at any of our offices too … and a warranty comes with all our work.

The RADAR/LIDAR van is fully outfitted, providing the availability of on-site factory certified repairs for most emergent needs. The van is even outfitted with a printer, so the customer receives a copy of the certification documentation before end of day.

If your annual RADAR/LIDAR certifications are due soon, call Travis at Communications Service (603-431-6288) to schedule a visit. We’ll come out at your convenience and get the job done quickly and correctly.

SAU17 Surveillance Upgrade

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The Network Division of 2-Way Communications is assisting Sanborn Regional School District with a surveillance system upgrade.

The district is composed of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. The objective of the project is to expand the current surveillance system by replacing old and installing new surveillance cameras along with supporting hardware and software.

Over the past four weeks 2-Way teams have pulled approximately 20,000 feet of cable throughout the four schools in preparation for the camera install. Within the next four weeks approximately 100 new cameras will be mounted and hardwired to recorders. The project is scheduled to be completed before the new school year begins.

As noted above, the camera installation process has begun. Here’s Chuck doing some high work …Chuck_Surveillance

Stay tuned ….. there’s more to come …

Achievable Security

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Personal on-line security is obviously  needed, and I’m sure you’ve been meaning to clean up some things up for awhile. On a daily basis spamming, phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and ransom ware pose serious threats. Passwords continue to leak in rather large corporate breaches, and people own more and more devices that can be compromised. Do you sometimes feel like you’re tightrope walking without a net?

The overwhelming challenge of protecting yourself is only apparent, and is not reason to give up on security. It’s true that adding more internet security does require some work. Note the operational term here is “some”. It’s a relative word. So do it!

The first step is to check off the really simple tasks that only take a few minutes, noted in a prior blog post. Once you’ve got that baseline set, read on for the slightly more time-consuming tasks. Do one, do all … Do it for yourself, then generate some positive personal karma and do it for your relatives or a friend, too.

Set Up a Password Manager

The nice thing about setting up a password manager is that once you put in the time to get it up and running it will genuinely make your life easier beyond just improving your security. You won’t have to go through password resets all the time, risk being locked out of accounts after too many failed entry attempts, or need to stretch your brain with complicated password mnemonics. Everything will just be there behind one long and strong master password. Once you get going it easily becomes part of the daily routine, and you’ll eventually you’ll wake up one morning and realize that you’ve had your password manager for years. Promise!

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

This measure, which usually requires you to enter temporary codes sent to or generated on your phone along with your regular password, helps protect you from attack if your passwords fail. Not all services have two-factor authentication, and many that do call it by similar but confusing names. Setting it up for important accounts, though, provides another defense layer.

Make Backups

This is such an obviously great idea that the point will not be belabored here. Whether you’re storing backups locally on a hard drive or in the cloud, you can add an additional layer of protection by encrypting your data and password protecting it before doing the backup. With this in place your data has increased defense even if your cloud provider is hacked or your external hard drive is lost/stolen.

Know How to Use a VPN

Once you are connected to the internet, VPNs create an encrypted connection between your device and a secure server. With this connection in place you can browse and use the internet, protected from eavesdropping. All you need to do to use the VPN day to day is log in through a “VPN client,” an application or web portal. If you’re doing something sensitive or browsing on unprotected public Wi-Fi, like at a coffee shop, turning on your VPN helps ensure that the data you send and receive is encrypted and can’t be spied on.

Use End-to-End Encrypted Chat App

Apps with full end-to-end encryption are safe from prying eyes, whomever they may be. By convincing your friends and family to switch to chat apps like WhatsApp and Signal, you reduce the chance that your communications will be intercepted. As with password managers or anything else, there is never a guarantee of perfect security, but taking the step to use services that place a high priority on security is better than not doing it.

For the average person who’s just looking to make some positive changes, adding these five precautions to your digital life will make a significant difference in the quality of your defense, and your ability to recover from common attacks.

Watch a Google video: Does two-factor authentication protect me from hackers?

Jim’s Showroom Project

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Jim, as the Fleet Division Coordinator, doesn’t have a lot of spare time on his hands while he’s on the clock. Even so, he’s taken on a pretty cool project that’s going to (excuse me) really brighten up the showroom.

The project has been in the works (time allowing) for a few weeks after a conversation with Rick about making a display for the company’s commercial customers. Jim says the completion date is still TBD ’cause his “spare time” has been non-existent lately.

You can see from the image above what’s been completed so far. What’s coming next? Jim plans on adding more scene and off-road lighting, amber lightbars, and other light types with commercial and professional application. Though amber will be chosen for the display, red, blue, and white are available from our vendors as well.

The display is intended for our walk-in customers. Rick and Jim think for a lot of folks it’s easier to make a buying decision after being able to spend some hands-on time with a product. The idea is that once a customer checks out available lighting and makes a choice, they can grab one of whatever off the shelf and have it installed that day, getting back on the road in under an hour (in most cases).

When finished, customers will be able to test and select from Whelen, Strobe&More, and Rigid Industries lighting products.

(I personally think there ought to be at least one siren on the display … what’s the sense of having a flashing light without the sound you know goes along with it?)

We’ll keep track on Jim’s progress and left you know when it’s done!

 

A Comparison of Analog and Digital Radios

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In the two-way radio world, there are two types of radios available; analog and digital.

The main difference is the way in which signals are transmitted and received.

An analog radio works by picking up the signal from a transmission site using carrier radio frequency waves. Listeners tune into analog frequency stations on their device. They listen to the electrical radio waves as they are transmitted directly from the radio station to the analog radio. These radios waves are transmitted continuously, without interruption to the sound.

Digital radios work by picking up a processed signal which turns sound into patterns of digits rather than the radio waves which are used for analog transmissions. These digital signals are transmitted via satellite to listeners’ radios by the same technology as is used for digital television signals.

Pros and Cons of Analog Radio:

Pro

  • Analog radios are relatively inexpensive when compared to digital radios. They are far less complex and easy to use.
  • The number of products and accessories offered is much larger and provides for more options.
  • Analog systems make good use of bandwidth and are well understood.
  • Analog radios are eco-friendly by comparison to digital radios.
  • Analog radio waves broadcast a continuous signal, so every tone of a transmission is heard as a complete sound.
  • Analog systems use the natural voice, which is a feature preferred by many users.

Con

  • Typically only one two-way conversation can occur at a time on each channel.
  • Analog systems require hardware receivers and transmitters that are designed to fit the particular transmission.
  • No software-driven business applications are available for analog radios.
  • Analog radios cannot filter out other noise around the sender.
  • There is no privacy on an analog radio.
  • Analog radios pick up interference from other transmitting stations.

Pros and Cons of Digital Radio

Pro

  • Digital radios have greater range than analog.
  • Digital and analog voice signals can be combined in the same digital devices.
  • Digital signals can be handled by standardized antenna systems and existing infrastructure equipment.
  • Digital radios have far more capabilities, such as: voice filtering; direct and group calling; text messaging; call privacy.
  • Longer battery life.

Con

  • Radio frequency noises can impact the signal received on a digital device.
  • First-time users may experience a steep learning curve.
  • Digital is currently typically more expensive than analog.

When considering your next fleet radio purchase, it will help to understand which transmission type will suit you best. Assess the level of reception of digital and analog radio signals at the location you intend to use the radio to help ensure you are making the right choice. Keep in mind the United States is moving in favor of digital transmission, which may affect the long-term worth and usability of analog models.

Whichever  you choose, the Sales Team at 2-Way Communications will be happy to help with the selection of radio and accessories that best meets your needs.Give them a call at (603) 421-6288 or send an email to sales@2-way.biz.

Magnetic Mic

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Our Fleet Coordinator says these mic clips do not stay on the shelves … everyone takes a look, realizes the benefit, and gets one for their vehicle. Here’s a quick look at this inspired-in-the-field device.
Magnetic Mic enhances safety by reducing distracted driving. Once installed it helps drivers stay focused on the road when picking up and returning a CB or police radio microphone to its holder.  The magnetic attraction between the mount and mic allows you to keep your eyes on the road. Magnetic Mic works with virtually all radio systems. It doesn’t matter if your radio system functions with an on-hook/ off-hook setting, switches to a private line or scans when hung up.
The Mic replaces your hang-up clip using a standard two-hole mount. It installs IMG_1918anywhere within the driver’s reach and is designed to work with all major microphone manufactures. According to the manufacturer, currently more than 30,000 radio operators in a wide range of industries (construction, public transportation, commercial trucking, police, fire, EMS and more) benefit from the use of this made-in-America product.
Visit the showroom or give us a call (800-441-6288) to learn more about this amazing product!