How fast an internet connection do you really need?

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For those old enough to remember the old days of dial-up connection with Wi-Fi nowhere to be seen, modern broadband has been a God send. For the most part it allows us to download files in a reasonably fast time and streaming movies usually goes without a blip.

For businesses however this is not always enough, especially larger corporations with offices in different parts of the country or indeed the world. For smaller businesses 10 to 100 mega bits a second is usually adequate.

But for some organisations that simply isn’t fast enough. Some businesses demand speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second – that’s between 10 and 100 times faster than your average business broadband speed.

So what type of business, if any, demands such high-speed internet connections? Is it really necessary and what advantages does it bring them?

Multinational companies

For companies with an international presence, superfast internet speeds are a must. This is particularly true when it comes to video-conferencing calls. For a company who has a presence in different parts of the world, video-conferencing has become an essential tool for effective communication. As this requires high uninterrupted speeds to be carried out effectively, your average home/ office broadband will not suffice.

Leased line connections offer a dedicated line to the user, meaning it doesn’t matter what time of day or night you use it, it will still deliver a fast connection. Click here for a description of the different types of internet connections that are currently available.

City banks  

In large city institutions leased line connections offer both a fast and ultimately a more secure way to conduct business. Take for example a video-conference call going on between London and New York – at the same time someone else wants to monitor stock prices. It is essential that there is sufficient bandwidth to run both applications simultaneously, otherwise one or other – or both will suffer.

Leased line connections also offer more security as they are connected through two points as opposed to over the internet.

E-Commerce Businesses

Basic broadband packages offer download speeds but not always upload speeds. This is ineffective for an e-commerce business or any company that conducts their business online. They need a fast connection that can also guarantee quick uploading times in order to sustain their business.

Of course not everyone needs such superfast speeds; here is an article outlining how much internet speed is right for you.

 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock. The words and opinions above were provided by a third-party, and as such this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’.

British Gas’ Hive: first look, hands-on & competition

UK energy company, British Gas, have recently unveiled their latest home innovation – the Hive system. The system looks to simplify the often confusing world of home and water heating systems, allowing for easy setting changes when they’re needed, without needing a conventional thermostat. The Hive system comes in an attractive layered box, and contains the welcome pack, the thermostat, the receiver and the hub, which will need to be set up by a qualified engineer in your home, but is good to go after this.

Hive Active Heating also aims to bring home heating to your smartphone – a free app, compatible with Android and IOS, will offer full control of your home’s heating and hot water wherever you are. If you’d rather put the heating on before you get home so the house is warm before you return, the Hive system will allow you to do this. This is made possible with the addition of the hub – included in the box, the hub is connected to your home internet router to allow it to communicate when you’re away from home.

The receiver allows the connection between the thermostat itself and the boiler – directly connected to the boiler by your qualified British Gas engineer, the receiver is the system’s middleman.

The thermostat itself is a fairly compact unit – its backlit screen offer easy viewing and control in the dark. The thermostat can be wall-mounted or kept on its own – it’s able to communicate with the receiver either way.

The system had us impressed – the benefits of a system like this could be great and make home heating a much easier and more approachable system. We also liked the fact that despite the system being created by British Gas, you don’t have to be a British Gas customer to take advantage of the system.

The Hive Active Heating system is available now for £159 for British Gas customers, or £199 for other customers. Watch the video above to see us unboxing the system.

For more information, visit Hive.

You can win a Hive system for your home!

To enter, follow these steps…

Step 1

Leave a comment on this post starting with “I love Hive because…” Be creative! To post, just click in the “Join the discussion…” comments box that appears below this article.

Step 2

Tweet this message: “I would love to win a @hivehome via @latestgadgetsuk as it’s smart, saves me money & puts me in control #HomeWithHive http://goo.gl/jgqRk6

Good luck!

Terms and Conditions: The giveaway closes on Sunday 8th February 2015 at 11.59pm. The winner will be chosen by random – UK entries only. The winner will receive a new, but opened Hive product – Guarantees of this product are provided by British Gas, not Latest Gadgets.

This post was sponsored by Hive, in conjunction with Nuffnang.

Win a Turtle Beach Stealth 500P headset

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We’ve teamed up with the kind folks at Turtle Beach who provided us with a Stealth 500P headset which we’re giving away to one lucky winner!

Turtle Beach’s latest headset addition to their headset ranges for PS3, PS4 and PC, the headset provides fantastic sound and functionality. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any dedicated gamer, be it on PS3, PS4, PC, or mobile. In our recent review we found the headset to be a fantastic combination of great sound quality and functionality. If you’re not the winner this time the Stealth 500P is available at Game.co.uk for £99.99.

How to enter

Entry is simple, you just need to follow us on Twitter by clicking the button below. If you’re already a follower then unfollow us first to ensure you get entered!

Competition is subject to any conditions listed above as well as our standard terms and conditions available here. Competition is open until midnight GMT on Sunday 23rd November 2014. The winner will be selected at random from all new (or re-following) Twitter followers who follow us within the competition period. The winner will be notified within 28 days of the closing date. The prize is as stated: no cash alternatives are available. This competition is open to UK entrants only. 1 entry per person.

Vodafone’s new campaign highlights the importance of phone calls

Phone calls are one of the most, if not the most, important forms of communications between most people in the modern world. They offer us connections to those who matter most to us, and the ease at which we can make these connections is growing ever faster. As phone technology goes from strength to strength with new smartphones innovating every day, it is only logical that what seems to be a constant is innovated too. This constant is of course the quality of sound in phone calls, which has remained more or less the same since we can collectively remember.

Vodafone’s latest development aims to see HD quality phone calls become the norm in the UK. When in 3G range, Vodafone customers will be able to automatically switch to a HD call – making those confusing city-centre phone calls easier. 4G customers will also be able to use the service as they will automatically switch to 3G to take part. This coupled with HD video chat on 4G should see a vast improvement for the connectivity of Vodafone customers. Both business and ordinary customers will be able to use this service in the UK, as long as it’s between Vodafone customers.

Vodafone also aims to shed light on the importance of phone calls and how they bring people closer, allowing them to connect in new ways. Their heart-warming video (below) shows a video call between a new father and a new grandfather as the latter sees his grandson for the first time is a prime example. HD calls will only make these moments more memorable, and bring those who matter most closer to home.

The company is also expanding its connectivity in other ways, with its 4G coverage now over 313 cities, towns and districts in the UK. Additionally, the upcoming Rural Open Sure Signal programme will see more coverage brought to over 100 rural communities. You can find out more about Vodafone’s HD calling service and watch their other videos that showcase how ‘Every Second Counts’ on their dedicated campaign page.

While the words above are our own, this article was sponsored.

Brits’ love of music adds £11 billion to tech sales

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Brits have a reputation for being music lovers and the latest study carried out by BPI shows just how much people are prepared to spend on their passion.

The way the music business operates these days is a lot different to how it used to. Technology plays a large role not only in the production and marketing of new music, but also in the way consumers listen to it.

Smartphones and tablets have seen a significant increase in sales thanks to their connection to music. And it is said that music has helped earn £11 billion in tech sales.

The best form of medication

Music plays such a big part in our everyday lives that it is often said that it is the best form of medication. It has the power to completely change our moods and this makes it a powerful tool.

This is why when buying a home – whether it be your first step onto the ladder or a retirement property from McCarthy and Stone – two of the first things you are likely to consider are where you’ll connect your music and place your speakers.

While years ago you had to rely upon a radio or large stereo, these days most people listen to music via their smartphones, tablets or laptops.

The study carried out by BPI, a top music industry body, shows that every time there is a 1% increase in music demand there is a 2.2% increase in tablet demand. Music demand rises also increase demand for smartphones by 1.4%.

Big spenders

UK consumers spend more on music than consumers in any other developed country and spend an average of 25% more than any other nation. However, the USA has also seen an increase in demand for British music.

British music accounted for just 7% of records sold in the USA in 2007. However, a few years on and that figure has doubled. As more British artists burst onto the scene, the demand is only set to increase.

As technology has become the main way to listen and share music, it is no surprise that sales have seen a significant rise. Music has really boosted the UK’s economy and now record labels are working alongside technology companies to create digital musical experiences.

The bond between music and technology is unlikely to disintegrate anytime soon. Advances in technology are constantly being made and more effort is likely going to be placed upon improving the digital musical experience over time.

The smartphone and tablet sector is currently one of the fastest growing, and British musicians are going to benefit the industry with their continued creativity.

 

Image courtesy of emmolos/flickr. The words and opinions above were provided by a third-party, and as such this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’.

Dell outlines its future vision of the Cloud

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Cloud computing from Dell has been a mouth-watering prospect for tech geeks for a few years now. It is viewed by many as next wave of information technology for individuals, companies and governments. It is also seen as the biggest revolution in how we share information electronically since the birth of the internet.

So, just what can be achieved with all this extra storage space? How can businesses benefit going forward and what can we expect from it in the future? The Cloud World Forum was held in London recently where all this and more filled the agenda. To get a flavour of what was being discussed check out Dell’s video to hear industry leaders give their views.

One thing that is not in dispute is that the cloud’s popularity is all set to grow both in business and in our day-to-day lives. Here are some of the ways we can expect it to shape the future and improve our day to day lives.

Improve education

Classrooms are already embracing the cloud and its many benefits. It allows students to access data anywhere and anytime to participate in group activities and makes it easier to enrol for classes online or for other organisational programs needed for school.

Computing will become invisible

Pretty soon computers and software will become “invisible” in that they are hidden from view. We may simply have to make gestures and a camera will interpret those and provide us what we need, or we simply have to say it. If all this seems a bit James Bond, the capabilities of cloud computing make it a realistic ambition in the not too distant future.

Gaming will become popular with everyone

The cloud offers to enhance all areas of technology and none more so than in gaming. Gamers have been marvelling at demos with complex 3-D graphics delivered to mobile devices through the cloud. While some technical wrinkles remain, players can now enjoy breathtaking gaming experiences anywhere because of the cloud’s power to provide higher speed without interruption.

Improve decision making

The cloud allows you to process large amounts of data from just about anywhere, even just with the use of a Smartphone. You can combine data and streams of information to inform your decisions, research any topic and make smarter decisions with your analysed data.

Source

ThoughtsOnCloud.com and Onyx.net

 

The words and opinions above were provided by a third party, and as such this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’.

Dell’s BYOD campaign aims to increase workplace productivity

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There is no denying that today’s world is heavily connected – almost everyone has some form of internet-connected device, be it a phone, laptop or tablet. Dell’s newest campaign for workplace innovation drives to increase productivity from this connectivity.

Dubbed the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) campaign, the company aims to enlighten businesses across the world on how using a device from home not only increases productivity, but also wants to demonstrate the scheme’s potential in improving working life for all. Dell quotes that BYOD could extend productivity hours by 460 a year per employee, as the scheme would allow each employee to bring their projects home in addition to developing them in the workplace.

However, embracing a BYOD scheme does not come without its risks. Of course, by allowing your employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, you could open up your business to potential dangers. For example, computers infected with malware could cause huge amounts of damage if your network is not sufficiently protected. Dell has further encouraged businesses to take up BYOD by providing ways to guard against these dangers. Dell is launching Mobility Solutions, which, according to the company will allow businesses to “welcome employee-owned devices in the workplace without putting company data at risk”.

Previously, companies would secure their networks by providing devices for their employees to use, controlling what these devices could access and regularly checking them for harmful data. Dell’s Mobility Solutions will allow devices into business networks securely, where protected resources can be accessed to aid with business tasks. This means a great change for businesses that formerly provided working devices – rather than paying for these devices to be provided, employees can bring their devices from home with ease.

Dell’s Mobility Solutions will also provide “complete endpoint protection, secures company and customer data, and supports the system disk and external media”. This means while there will be many devices accessing potentially sensitive business data including customer information, this can all be securely held, with no risk of this data being accidentally leaked or lost. Loss of data can be a real headache for many businesses, so this protection will prove invaluable to those using BYOD in the workplace.

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Screenshot from Dell’s BYOD Infographic

The company also wants to improve the way that devices function while being used in the workplace – Mobility Solutions provides  Desktop Virtualization, which allows connected computer devices such as laptops to sync with company services and receive a workplace version of system OS, files and media straight from the cloud. Employees can then get on with their work as if they were using an office desktop. This data is kept on secure servers, so business information is not vulnerable.

Dell have created a brand-new infographic which is called Bring Your Own Device Derek, which explains the BYOD concept in more detail.

 

We worked with Dell in creating this post. The words and opinions above are ours, however this should be considered a ‘sponsored post’. Image courtesy of Patrick Quinn-Graham.

Competition: Win a hipKey proximity & movement alarm

hipkey-comp-headerWe’ve teamed up with the folks at CSR to give away this innovative new gadget. The hipKey helps you keep track of your iPhone, iPad or even your loved ones, hipKey will help protect the things you love most. At the push of a button, hipKey will also save you time by helping you find your belongings.

The hipKey incorporates CSR’s Bluetooth® Smart technology, which enables ultra low power connectivity and basic data transfer for applications previously limited by the power consumption, size constraints and complexity of other wireless standards.

COMPETITION HAS NOW FINISHED – THE WINNER WAS @oasis1317

The competition is open until midnight GMT on February 21, 2014 and is open to residents of the UK aged 18 and over. The winner will be picked at random and will be notified via Twitter within 5 working days of the competition end date. Our decision is final. The prizes is as stated, is not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. We reserve the right to amend or alter the terms of competitions at any time and to reject entries from entrants not entering into the spirit of the competition.