Introduction:Computers and Internet has really made lot of things possible that seemed impossible few years back. A common man never even imagined that there will be a time when there will be a new era of communication wherein one person would easily be able to communicate with other sitting thousands of miles away. With the invention of electronic mail, it has really become possible to communicate with anyone in any part of the world. But what is that secret that gives life to this form of modern communication known as E-Mail? There is something that acts as a blood to keep this so called E-Mail alive in the world of Internet, and what is that? That something is known as Email Hosting.Email Hosting is something that can be referred to as a technique that hosts email servers. Just like any other website is hosted on a web server to become live on internet, similarly email also needs a host to be live on the internet and the activity of taking email servers live on internet is termed as Email Hosting. It’s the best way to establish one’s own identity and is appropriate for a variety of users who possess certified email address as their own domain name. Companies providing such type of hosting services are known as Email hosting providers.Basic Understanding:Since there is a huge possibility of email exchanges, sharing of contacts, calendars, scheduling online meetings etc in different companies, Email hosting can be a very appealing option. Email hosting is often provided by companies having large server resources and by offering such type of services to different organizations, Email hosting companies automatically become responsible to maintain the security of their clients, their email accounts as well as the consistency of their servers on which all the email accounts are stored. It is usual practice for a company that provides email hosting to store its subscribers email archive on their servers. And since email service is a service that is always on and live on internet, Email hosting companies must also ensure that their servers are always up and running.This service is basically intended to provide cost effective email hosting solution to businesses that cannot afford to or want to spend their precious resources and time to build an internal communication infrastructure, and the main reason behind this is that the never ending maintenance can increase the cost and possibility of virus infections and various other software and hardware related problems.Benefits of Email Hosting:There are various advantages of outsourcing your communication needs to a hosting company, some of the considerable are listed below.Secure Webmail Access: In secure webmail access, Email host companies normally equip their servers with Industry encryption which is 128-bit, and that remains active during the complete webmail session. What this means is that the complete to and fro transition of data from server that is happening is completely encrypted from the moment user signs in till the moment user signs out. This is a proven source of security protocol, and hence can ensure no interception or compromise to the sensitive messages in anyway.Secure IMAP and POP Access: Now a day’s more and more businesses prefer solutions to email hosting since secure access is enabled using them to desktop email clients through POP or IMAP. All the communication traffic gets encrypted including all the data transferred from email client to mail server for authentication and this includes usernames and passwords too. Almost all the popular mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail etc are supported by all reputed Hosting providers and most importantly most of them even provide support for BSD clients and Linux as well as pocket PC’s and PDAs. An email hosting plan ensures efficient and secure management of your email either online or offline.Adequate Storage Space: A robust amount of storage is provided for each mailbox created when you sign up for an email hosting account. Some providers offer storage space in GB while some in MB, whatever the limit may be, however all the hosting companies often provide storage space that is more than enough limit to store thousands of critical messages. The more flexible a hosting plan is, the more it allows the users to easily upgrade or downgrade storage limit.Shared Address Book: This is a very positive attribute many email clients have since it offers the user a more suitable option to stock data for easy use and retrieval in future. Private and Shared address books are offered by majority of email hosting service providers that come along with access to public network directory services. Shared address book can easily be used with any mail client that supports LDAP directory services in most of the cases.Spam and Virus Filtering: Potentially harmful communication is blocked before it tries to access the network in Email hosting plan with spam and virus filtering feature. In this case Host’s SMTP gateways integrate Anti-virus scanners and spam is treated in various other ways. If your email hosting service provider is really genuine and reliable and gives priority also to keep spam emails out of your network, they will utilize several filtering methods to get rid of spam. These filtering methods can be grey listing, white listing and blacklisting. These methods allow for the making of configurations that send spam into a quarantine folder instead of your Email folder automatically.Conclusion:Choosing a right email hosting service provider can be little critical since lot of factors are to be considered before that such as the size of your organization, good technical support etc, however its always advisable to do a little research on your requirements, analyze them, compare it with several hosting plans offered by reputed companies and choose the best one that suits your needs. Electronic mail has now a day’s become widespread method of communication that can really allow a person to overcome all the communication barriers. It’s really important to consider email hosting as a primary option if you are no longer able to dominate communication network internally.
ADSL offers many opportunities to improve business efficiency and cut costs. Companies everywhere, given the current economic outlook, are looking for ways to save money either by cutting costs, without having to give up any services on which they rely, or by getting more out of existing resources. One way to get more out of what you already have is to better exploit the possibilities that your ADSL connections offers. Here is a list of the top 5 things that we recommend to our ADSL customers:1. ADSL – VPN Remote Access to the officeMany businesses would like to enable their staff to access servers,mail or files at the office when they are at clients or at home. If you run your own business you are probably familiar with the feeling when you are working at home, on the weekend or after hours, and you remember you forgot some files/mail at the office that you need?Well even with the cheapest ADSL line you can setup a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a secure tunnel that allows the user to access the remote network as if they were on the local lan. Of course the number of simultaneous user the line can support depends on the line speed but luckily for us there is a wide range of ADSL options to support this. Even for large medium sized corporates there is the bonded ADSL option. Part of the VPN solutions is that your remote staff will need mobile internet access. The best option for this 3G or HSDPA.The benefits of remote access incude happier staff since they dont have to travel to the office to access mail etc. More efficient use of time and of course better service to customers when the sales rep can get the latest price list within seconds.2. Inter Branch Connections with ADSLIf you have two or more branches you probably have some application hosted at head office that branches need to access on a regular basis, Pastel, VIP and other popular applications are common. When looking for applications solutions to support business with branches many small businesses try and rely on some kind of disconnected solution that allows merging of databases and records on a periodic basis. As anyone who does this knows this is never an easy process as the application vendors make out and you end up wasting a lot of time and money sorting out conflicts, corruption and lost data. The solution we offer is to setup a inter-branch Virtual Private Network (VPN). With an inter-branch VPN users at the remote branch can access and run application that are located at head office. We often suggest using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop in combination with the ADSL VPN to get the most out of the ADSL lines uplink speed without having to use a larger ADSL pipe.3. Cut telephone costs with VOIPVoice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) with ADSL is another great way to save costs. If you are a micro business then a single ADSL line is all you need to be able to use voip and access the Internet. If you are a larger business then you will need a dedicated ADSL connection for your VOIP calls. Whats great though is that you can make use of a cheap local only, unshaped, ADSL account.With the wide range of ADSL offerings out there and the corporate ADSL solution it is possible to run call centres off of VOIP trunks. What is great as well is that VOIP can be added to an existing PBX or if you need a whole new PBX then a complete PBX VOIP solution can be provided to you. Even if you are a larger sized business but don’t want to use VOIP on your main switchboard it can be used to connect branches to head office. Since VOIP on VOIP calls are free you can eliminate the cost of inter-branch calls completely!With VOIP you don’t have to change your company’s numbers. You can keep you existing telkom lines to for incoming calls and just route outgoing over VOIP. Least cost routing is done at the VOIP providers premises so you also get to take advantage of routing calls over the cheapest connection without the outlay of cash for expensive routing equipment.4. Host your own servers over ADSL securelyAnother common scenario is when the boss or director is overseas and wants to access his mail. Usually this is a problem. Even with a VPN it can be a bit of an issue as often the executive does not have access to his normal laptop, with the VPN configuration, but just the hotel’s computer or some kind of Internet cafe or suppliers/customers computer. In this case it is best to expose your email servers web interface over the Internet, then as long as the user has access to the net he or she can get their mails. We suggest using one of our uncapped ADSL solutions, such as the 512Kb uncapped ADSL, or the 1Mbps uncapped ADSL option for this as you get 5 fixed IP which make the hosting of application a lot easier5. Do your shopping and banking onlineAlthough this might seem lame it is surprising how many people still do not use the Internet to do banking and shopping online. With the cost of petrol these days, horrendous traffic jams and lack of parking at the mall it is much better to shop online without raising your blood pressure. The weekend should be used to relax not fight for parking and wait in queues at the till.Besides the convenience factor you can also save money as online shopping is often cheaper and you can make choices without being distracted by all those marketing gimmicks that retailers use to make you buy that magazine or chocolate on your way out which you don’t really need.Exploit your ADSL connectionI hope this article has provided you with some ideas on how to use your ADSL connection to enhance your business’s competitiveness. Sometime we just have to work smarter, not harder.
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