All posts by Darko Reljic

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

cloud voip

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

Is Cloud VoIP right for your business?

20 Nov, 2018

One of the most essential elements of any business are the lines of communication with customers. For someone to buy from you, they need to be able to reach you, ask you questions, and place an order with you.

If they can’t do that, they will surely find a competing business to buy from instead.

If you’re a micro business owner, you probably list your mobile as the main contact number. However as you grow, the need for a landline grows too. It allows you to keep your mobile number more private, and gives your business credibility while helping you appear more established.

To get a landline, you have three options:

  • Standard public telephone network
  • VoIP
  • Cloud VoIP

Option three is the latest addition to the telecoms industry, but is already receiving rave reviews from business owners keen to implement a reliable solution at a low cost.

What is Cloud VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This means that rather than making a phone call though a standard phone line, you are making it over the internet.

VoIP systems are usually managed via a small box that sits in your office and is connected to your internet line. The box allows you to configure your settings, and manage incoming and outgoing calls.

Cloud VoIP, however, allows you to configure and manage your VoIP remotely, so you can access it anytime, anywhere.

Why Cloud VoIP?

It’s cheaper. When you’re building a business from the ground up, you know how important it is to offer a great service while keeping overheads low.

The biggest benefit of Cloud VoIP is that it is a lot cheaper than most other landline options. Cloud VoIP can cost as little as $25 per month, compared to the standard public telephone network (PSTN) which is usually more than $50 per month.

PSTN plans also cost you line rental plus the cost of each telephone call you make in the month. With Cloud VoIP, most plans offer all calls for free – so you only ever pay for the cost of the number and no more.

You can access it remotely. The benefits of Cloud VoIP are the same as the benefits of Cloud technology in general – it doesn’t require onsite hardware, costs less to get started, and allows you to make changes (such as add new numbers, set up a diversion, check incoming and outgoing calls, and so on) from wherever you are.

If you use an IT Support company to manage this for you, the absence of an onsite visit usually means this can get sorted faster and cheaper.

It scales and moves easily. In the case of a standard landline, you pay to rent the line. In the case of Cloud VoIP, you are paying to rent the number. So adding new numbers as you grow (or removing them if you downsize) is simple and painless.

It’s also very easy to scale geographically. I.e.: you don’t need to get a new landline installed if you open a new or second office – you simply setup your phones and can add new numbers whenever you need them.

You can also choose any area code you want – without having to be in that area.

Other benefits that are possible through certain Cloud VoIP providers include:

  • Call centre additions. Some Cloud VoIP providers offer real-person call taking services.
  • Better monitoring. You can quickly and easily view call logs, times, phone numbers, etc. You may even be able to request call to email transcription.
  • Many VoIP services allow users to answer calls directly from their computer, or have them quickly and cost-effectively routed to a mobile. Voicemails can be sent by email, or transcribed to text messages.
  • Some Cloud VoIP systems integrate easily with other software, so you can integrate with other communications platforms, such as video conferencing.

To get Cloud VoIP for your business, or to find out more, give Empreus IT a call on (02) 6189 1322.

Why the right router is critical for your business

computer trouble

Why the right router is critical for your business

Why the right router is critical for your business

15 Oct, 2018

A router is a foundational piece of equipment in any IT environment. However, it rarely receives the respect it deserves when it comes to choosing the right one.

While home users and micro businesses might be able to get away with standard routers, anything larger than a small business with three employees needs to invest in a router that provides much greater security and can handle larger volumes of traffic.

As the device responsible for directing traffic across your network, your router plays a critical role in:

  • Facilitating your internet connection
  • Securing your internet connection
  • Routing internet traffic to devices in the internal network

A bad or insufficient router leaves users with an unstable internet connection, which is often a frequent cause of workplace meltdowns. This is particularly annoying if your users are working in the Cloud or use an intranet.

Worse than this, an insufficient router is also a security risk, because it does not contain the necessary features to block potential attacks.

Choosing the right router

Router specs are hard for non-technical people to understand. If this is you, you can either spend countless hours googling it, or you can hire an IT expert to evaluate your business and suggest a router that will meet your needs.

When we’re trying to determine the best router for a business, we look at:

  • The size of your organisation
  • How many users are typically on the network at any given time
  • Your security needs

Then we compare it with the different capabilities of the routers we believe offer the best value for money.

This includes the speed, range, bandwidth, security, and ability to customise certain features.

Some of the latest routers available through Juniper and Cisco offer benefits such as next generation connectivity, scalability, automation (through the incorporation of AI), and cloud-based monitoring and management.

You may not need all of the latest whizz-bang features. However, you do need features that are going to offer you the right level of connectivity and security to ensure a seamless connection and the safety of your IT environment.

For help choosing the right router for your business, please give us a call on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us.

How protecting your email can save your business


How protecting your email can save your business

How protecting your email can save your business

21 Sep, 2018

To respond or not to respond?

That is a question you’d rather not leave in the hands of human error when it comes to responding to an unknown email.

Email is one of the world’s most used communication and marketing channels in business, so it’s no surprise that it’s also quite susceptible to the likes of spam and malicious hackers.

According to a US research firm, the number of email users worldwide will top 3.0 billion by 2020. This equates to almost half the global population – which is why it’s such an enticing avenue for criminals!

Cybercriminals target email users through:

  • Spam
  • Phishing (pretending to be a business you know or trust)
  • Identity Theft
  • Malware

Taking a proactive approach to preventing an attack on your business is essential.

You could invest time and money training your employees on email security. However, keep in mind that some phishing emails are so cleverly crafted it’s almost impossible to tell that they’re fake. They even include branding and official letterheads for authenticity.

Some email hacking techniques see multiple emails sent that are designed to build a relationship with the user over time before requesting and stealing data.

Clicking on a link in an email can release malicious software onto your entire IT network. It may sit quietly in the background, tracking everything you do. Or, it may make your computers slow and unresponsive. Or, it may lock down all of your files and require you to pay a ransom before they are released back to you.

With almost all staff using email, human error is inevitable. Your data needs more than passwords, training, and hoping staff will be diligent enough to analyse every email that arrives in their inbox.

Email protection software

When you want to protect the integrity of your data, it’s important to take a digital strategy. In the case of emails, this means email protection software.

Email protection software works to identify theft and cybercrime opportunities from the onset to provide 24/7 security support. It also protects your customers’ systems when communicating with them with via email, since most threats are found in unauthorised links and false attachments.

Installed and managed correctly, email protection software filters all of your company’s emails before allowing them to reach their designated inbox. If the email is likely to present a threat, it will be held.

To ensure you get the emails you want, we can help you set up allowances for emails you trust so they always make it through. We will also show you how to login and view held emails, so that you can clear them if they are legitimate.

Importantly, the best email protection software updates regularly so that it’s always protecting against the latest spam or malware outbreaks.

At Empreus IT, we understand the detrimental effects one incorrectly opened email can have on a business, so we’ve teamed up with leading email protection software providers to help protect your business and your clients during every day email transactions.

No business is too small to consider email protection. We can install it for you, or add it as part of a Managed Services agreement, so you are assured of constant monitoring, management and security of all your IT systems.

For more information on security recommendations for your business, or for an affordable quote, please call our team at Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us here.

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

Virtualisation Canberra

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

Virtualisation: invest in what you need, when you need it

20 Aug, 2018

Despite the fact that it sounds like a new age concept, virtualisation has actually been around since the earlier days of computing in the 1960s.

In order to reduce the need to expand the number of physical machines (desktop computers or servers), the idea was to find ways to maximise the capability of a single machine through clever allocation of its resources (storage, memory and processing).

This has evolved over the past 50 years to become one of the most exciting and useful developments in computing: virtualisation.

Virtualisation basically allows you to create multiple computers inside one computer, or multiple servers inside one server. The virtualisation software (VMware) allocates hardware resources where they are needed most, thereby maximising the use of a single machine.

But virtualisation has many more benefits than just cost and space saving on hardware.

Here are our 4 favourite advantages of virtualisation…

  1. Scale to meet business demand

Finding, purchasing, installing and maintaining a new server can be a time consuming and relatively costly exercise, and is rarely set up to match your exact business needs. I.e.: if you are managing 50 people in your workplace, your server probably has the capacity to handle 100 – meaning that you’re wasting space and not utilising all of your hardware effectively.

Virtualisation, on the other hand, makes it easier to scale by growing the system gradually as you increase resources. If you decrease resources, it will also scale down to match. This elimination of wastage provides a more efficient and affordable way to run your on-premise system.

It’s also faster and easier to test new applications, without making a significant investment in a physical test server.

  1. Recover from disaster

Because your software is not managed directly by your machine (it’s managed by the VMware), maintenance or repairs can be done without disruption to your business. This lack of downtime is essential for most businesses that rely on IT.

If your server fails, or you are hit with a virus, you should be able to continue working while it is being repaired. If your business data is critical to the success of your business, we would also recommend a DATO backup solution. In conjunction with virtualisation, it ensures that all of your data is being backed up regularly, and can be made available in the cloud so you can continue working if the worst were to happen.

  1. Mobility, productivity and collaboration

Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever, and should be supported by an IT infrastructure that allows for remote working while enhancing collaboration between teams.

Virtualisation allows remote logins to virtual desktops, where staff can access all of their files and the software they need to continue working – wherever they are. Used in conjunction with messaging apps and video conferencing, you can easily build a workforce that is empowered to work anytime, anywhere.

  1. Green IT

Most businesses are committed to being more conscious about their energy usage, and virtualisation is a definite step forward in achieving this.

By reducing the need for more physical hardware, you are also reducing the amount of heating, cooling and space that is required to run your computer’s IT system. And this can have further-reaching benefits than just the impact on your business bank account and the effectiveness of your IT.

Please keep in mind that virtualisation and cloud are not the same thing – even though they do complement each other very well. Having a virtualised server can make it easier to migrate certain IT operations to the cloud, which is something we can walk you through if you decide that a hybrid cloud environment is best suited to your business.

To chat with us about virtualising your desktops or servers, and maximising ROI for your IT hardware, give us a call on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

EOFY planning: Don’t forget IT!

end of financial year IT planning

EOFY planning: Don’t forget IT!

EOFY planning: Don’t forget IT!

06 Jul, 2018

It’s EOFY! And while the rest of the world celebrates January as the “start of a new year”, for business owners, it is July that signals the chance to start anew. It’s a time ripe for planning, strategising, and preparing for growth.

Just as you would make personal New Year’s Resolutions on January 1, you should aim to do the same for your business come 1 July each year.

Unfortunately, IT planning can fall by the wayside when budget time comes around. Although it may not be as exciting as forecasting for new staff, more customers and increasing turnover, it’s a vital element of your business that should be paid proper attention if you want to avoid costly and haphazard fixes later on.


Sometimes, the sheer speed at which technology evolves can cause business owners to “give up” trying to have the latest version of anything. It seems just as you buy version 1.0, version 2.0 is being stocked on the shelves.

Fortunately, you don’t have to keep up with every upgrade that comes out. Your iPhone 5 is likely to be just as good at making calls and sending messages as your iPhone 8.

However, there is a danger in letting this approach go too far, and it can have serious consequences for your business.

For example, let’s say you opened your business 10 years ago and installed a software on your server that staff use to create documents. At the time, this software was considered cutting edge, and did everything you could ever need it to.

Having aged considerably, you one day find that your brilliant software has stopped working and you need to replace it. Across the past decade though, the software has evolved several times, and the new version is incompatible with your older one. This means that when you upgrade, every file you have created for the past 10 years is un-accessible, un-openable, and un-usable.

There is also a chance that when your old software stops working, a complete change-over can take weeks (or even months) to implement. This reactive approach can cost you severely in money, time and productivity.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be aiming to upgrade certain hardware and most software every 3-4 years to be safe.

Proactive planning

The simple way to avoid reactionary disaster is to incorporate IT planning into your normal EOFY planning.

Consider the following:

  • Do you need to upgrade the amount of hardware to accommodate new staff?
  • Do you need to add new software that can help you work smarter, faster and cheaper?
  • How old is the software you rely on now? Can you budget for an upgrade that will keep current and future versions compatible?
  • How old is the hardware that keeps your entire network running? Do any of your cables, or even your server, need to be replaced?

If you have a cash surplus in June, IT purchases can be a great way to get an instant asset write off.

Otherwise, you may need to create a prioritised list that you can work through over the new financial year.

Making a plan

We can help you do an audit of your existing IT infrastructure, and provide honest recommendations on where you need to go from here.

For example, we may determine that some of your cabling or network connections are in serious need of an upgrade. This would take priority, and then we can work through other recommendations such as server or software upgrades later on.

If you’re expanding the number of users (i.e.: more staff), we can help you make an easy transition, and set them up to ensure ease of access and proper security.

Once you have an understanding of where you’re at now, you can also chat with your accountant on how to budget for purchases in the next financial year.

Then, you may want to discuss Managed IT Services with us, to ensure your systems keep running smoothly and provide the ROI you deserve.

To get an IT site audit to help with your new financial year planning, please call (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

How to prevent and recover from cryptoware


How to prevent and recover from cryptoware

How to prevent and recover from cryptoware

06 Jun, 2018

Cryptoware (aka Ransomware) is one of the most dangerous, annoying and frequently experienced attacks on home and business computers.

Whereas once we were afraid of viruses that upset the functionality of our computers, or monitored what we were doing in the background, this new age of sophisticated viruses takes complete hold of our entire system – locking away our files until we agree to pay a “ransom” to unlock them.

If you treasure your family photos, your university papers, or your business documents, falling prey to cryptoware can cause huge headaches for you. And unless you have proper backups of everything on your computer, you have a serious decision to make:

Do you pay the ransom, or lose all of your files?

What cryptoware looks like

If you’re attacked by cryptoware, it’s unlikely that you’ll know about it until after you restart your computer. Or while you’re working, your files or documents may start to play up.

Once you restart, your computer may open to a message like this (or have a file that contains a similar message):


You won’t be able to access any of your files, or create new files. If you were accessing a shared folder on a network (housed on an external server), it could also be locked.

You may find a text document on your desktop with instructions on how to pay the ransom to an anonymous cryptocurrency wallet.

The initial ransom could be around USD$1500. And it can be tempting to pay this and move on. But unfortunately, that’s usually not the case. While you may get your files back in the interim, the virus still sits on your computer, monitoring everything you do. A few weeks, or even a month, may pass before they lock everything down again and ask for more ransom.

What to do if you’re attacked by cryptoware

If your computer is compromised, there are only 3 ways to recover:

  1. If you have an effective backup, you can hire an IT company to re-format, reload and restore your computer to its original state.
  2. If you don’t have a backup, you can choose to pay the ransomware, or lose all of your files.
  3. If you’re happy to pay a highly experienced security specialist, they may be able to decrypt your drive.

If you haven’t been impacted by cryptoware yet, you still have an opportunity to protect yourself against the likelihood of a future attack.

How to prevent against cryptoware

The best way to prevent against Cryptoware is to do regular, thorough backups and be extremely careful of anything you download online.

Perpetrators often use email as a way of sending links that either contain a dangerous download, or a send you to a website that then encourages you to download the virus.

These emails may mimic emails from other service providers, or even government departments. The ATO, for example, is notorious for falling prey to copy-cat emails that tell you to view or download a document that relates to your tax.

The other way you can fall prey to dangerous downloads is when hackers compromise an otherwise trusted website. For example, you may go to a real estate agent’s website, or a major car company website, and attempt to download a brochure. Unknown to you, the brochure has been compromised and actually contains Cryptoware.

To prevent against Cryptoware, you should:

  1. Never, ever click a link in an email without thinking. Look at the email address the email has come from, and hover over the link until it shows where the link will take you. If it seems suspect, DON’T click it.
  2. Get yourself enterprise-quality anti-virus software. General consumer products can be poor at detecting and preventing illegal downloads.
  3. Backup, backup, backup.
  4. Hire an IT company to actively manage your security. At Empreus IT, we are alerted in real time to any attacks on our clients’ computers, and may be able to prevent them before they cause serious damage. We also perform regular, thorough backups to ensure the integrity of all of your data files.

The expense of any of these preventative measures is nothing compared to what you will have to endure if you’re attacked by cryptoware.

Our managed antivirus solutions are available from just $50 per computer per month, and will give you peace of mind, and potentially save you thousands on recovering from a cryptoware attack.

For more information on how we can help you prevent against cryptoware, or recover from cryptoware, please call (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

5 things every computer needs to avoid disaster (special offer!)

5 things every computer needs to avoid disaster (special offer!)

5 things every computer needs to avoid disaster (special offer!)

17 Apr, 2018

When you run a business that relies on computers to get the job done, something going wrong with those computers is nothing short of a disaster.

If you’re a one-man-show, managing your own device seems simple enough. But, if you employ others who use your company’s computers, ensuring protection isn’t so easy.

You cannot always guarantee that they are going to back up their work. You cannot guarantee that they won’t visit dangerous websites or download risky files. And you cannot expect them to know how to care for the machine to protect its hardware.

Obviously you can’t be in 10 places at once, and although you could try mandating certain practices and installing an antivirus on each user’s computer, it’s often not enough. Not when an issue or attack could ruin your business.

This is why it makes sense to engage IT professionals for managed services. For a moderate monthly fee, you can rest assured that the top 5 things that every computer needs to avoid disaster is taken care of:

  1. Back ups

As part of our Managed IT Services arrangements, we ensure that every file on every computer (and/or your servers) is backed up. This means that if anything goes wrong, you will not lose all of your hard work.

And when you think about everything that exists on your computer right now – from important emails to complex documents that took you 6 months to create – the value far exceeds the cost.

  1. Remote management

Imagine you’re working on a report due in an hour, and your computer locks up. You can’t access the file, and you can’t figure out what’s wrong. Who do you call?

If you have a managed services arrangement, you can call us anytime – and we can automatically connect to your computer remotely and identify the problem.

Even more impressive is that the remote management tool we use will automatically alert us to any impending issues on your computers (even if you can’t see them). This means that we will know before they disrupt your work, and can fix them in real time to minimise their impact.

Sound cool? Check out our special deal below!

  1. Endpoint protection

General consumer antivirus software is usually not cut out for business use. It’s also true that many of the most well-known antivirus software are also the lowest rated by IT professionals.

For effective protection from dangerous viruses that can leave you at risk of thousands of dollars (or more) in damages or ransom payments, you need endpoint protection.

Endpoint protection safeguards your entire network of devices against security threats. It ensures every computer, laptop, tablet and other devices have the same standard of security.

Our remote management tool (above) can be linked to this endpoint protection, so that we are always aware of possible attacks, and can take any necessary measures to avoid them affecting your business.

  1. Web filtering

If you want to stop your staff from visiting certain websites, either to keep them on task or simply to protect your company’s security, you need web filtering.

Otherwise known as content control software, web filtering can easily be added to any managed services agreement, and we can update or change the listed sites whenever you need us to.

  1. System clean

You may not be able to see it, but your computer accumulates a heap of “junk” over time. This junk can build up, and make your computer slower and less effective.

As with any physical object, your computer also collects dust which (over time) can damage your hardware.

Our managed services agreements can contain system clean provisions, which include:

  • Deleting temporary files
  • Getting rid of dead space
  • Physically removing dust
  • Reapplying thermal paste to the CPU and graphics card

If you want to avoid serious damage to your business, you need to take the protection of your IT seriously.

For a reasonable monthly fee, we can manage all of the above for you, so you can focus on running your business without disruption.

Special deal:

Until 30 June 2018, Empreus IT Support is offering BUY ONE GET ONE FREE on our remote management tool, with endpoint protection*. This means that you can protect every second computer in your office at no cost, for an entire year.


  • Remote management
  • Endpoint protection (antivirus)
  • Web filtering and protection
  • Real time updates on issues

* Conditions apply. Fess charged monthly.

To purchase, or to enquire about other managed services, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.


Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

cloud systems canberra

Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

Cloud 2018: Should your business really move to Cloud this year?

20 Mar, 2018

With promises of improved collaboration, efficiency and productivity, it seems every business in Canberra is considering a move to Cloud computing this year.

But is Cloud really any better than investing in an in-house server? Especially when servers can now be configured to allow for remote and collaborative working as easily as most Cloud solutions.

To help you make the best decision for your business, it pays to consider the pros and cons of each.

Cloud Only

Cloud is an exciting revolution in technology, and is changing the way many of us work on a day to day basis.

However, moving your entire business operations (including all of your files and software) to the Cloud can be risky and very expensive.

The pros of a Cloud-only approach include:

  • No need for expensive onsite hardware or capital expenditure, and no future requirements to upgrade your server
  • No electricity costs for use of server (minor)
  • Can scale easily, depending on the needs of your business
  • Team members can access files from anywhere, provided they have an internet connection
  • Data is backed up at very regular intervals, preventing data loss

The cons of a Cloud-only approach include:

  • Very expensive – both in initial set up and ongoing monthly fees
  • Requires complex configuration and testing
  • Higher risk in storing your private files on a public Cloud Network
  • May need to set up a VPN on a private server anyway to ensure better security
  • Lack of control over the processes and hardware your provider uses (can result in an increase in costs)
  • Loss of access to files if your or your Cloud provider’s internet goes down
  • Limited by the speed of your internet connection

Moving your entire business to the Cloud really depends on what type of business you are running. If you are not comfortable having sensitive business files in someone else’s domain (regardless of how secure they promise it to be), then a total Cloud solution is not for you.

In-house Servers Only

In-house servers are the tried and true way of storing your company’s files, and making them accessible to your team.

Regardless of the hype of Cloud, it is absolutely possible to make it easy for employees to work remotely, simply by creating and allowing login to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that runs off your server. This approach not only ensures the integrity of your data, but offers all the bells and whistles of improved collaborative and productive working via file sharing.

The pros of an in-house server only approach include:

  • Data integrity and security is maintained
  • Physical control is retained
  • No need to rely on internet connection for access
  • Runs off a local network speed rather than internet speed

The cons of an in-house server only approach include:

  • Reasonable capital outlay to purchase and install equipment
  • Requires space onsite or ongoing cost of space in a data centre
  • Harder to scale as your business expands or contracts
  • May be vulnerable to data loss if proper backups aren’t in place

With advancements in technology however, servers are no longer the huge, bulky systems they used to be. And quite often, a reasonably small server is more than enough to meet most business’s needs. Keep in mind that it must be set up properly by a qualified IT professional, otherwise you may not be able to reap all the benefits.

The Sweet Spot

Every business is different, so there is no simple “right” way to choose between a Cloud solution and an in-house data storage solution.

At Empreus IT, we often recommend a hybrid approach, which allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds while minimising the disadvantages.

For example, we could help you set up and use an in-house server that protects your business files, and limits access only to company employees. We can also create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that allows for remote sign in and collaborative working.

In addition, we can help you understand and make use of quality Cloud products, such as Office 365, Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud, which take collaboration to a new level with a nifty set of tools that are ideal for use during specific projects.

And remember – regardless of whether you choose Cloud or a local solution – both still require an experienced IT professional for set up and ongoing maintenance and support. Cloud providers only offer the space you need; they’re not in the business of visiting you on site to ensure you’re Cloud-ready, or your Cloud is working the way it needs to.

Empreus IT offer a range of support services, including IT Installations, IT Support and Managed IT Services. Our job is to get you to where you want to be, and then protect you from risks and problems before they impact your business – which can save you thousands of dollars and countless headaches in the long run.

For more information on Cloud, in-house servers, or adopting a hybrid approach, please call Empreus IT on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us.

Why we partner with experts

ICT partnerships

Why we partner with experts

Why we partner with experts

25 Feb, 2018

At Empreus IT, we value the knowledge and experience of experts. We could, as is common in the IT world, hire a collection of generalists and claim to do everything well. Instead, we believe in partnering with specialist organisations that can deliver solutions to our clients at a level that far exceeds their expectations.

Currently, Empreus IT is partnered with:

  • Ricoh Commercial ACT
  • IPC Solutions

Both organisations offer invaluable expertise and specialist tools that allow us to offer a broader range of products and services to our clients, while ensuring that they receive the best advice and equipment to achieve their business objectives.

Ricoh Commercial ACT

Ricoh Commercial ACT is a renowned printer company that supplies a complete range of printers, projectors, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, digital sign in pads, and unified communication systems (i.e.: for video conferencing).

Our partnership with Ricoh Commercial ACT allows us to purchase their products on behalf of our clients, and receive exclusive support from a company that specialises in manufacturing high quality commercial hardware that supports business operations.

IPC Solutions

IPC Solutions provides VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone and teleconferencing solutions. Their server or cloud-based VoIP systems enable our clients to use the internet as a medium for telephone calls, which can be very cost effective and makes it easy to scale the number of incoming lines as the business grows.

Our partnership allows Empreus IT to implement quality VoIP systems in our clients’ workplaces that are effective, reliable and utilise the latest VoIP tech advances.

Our expertise

By focussing on what we do best, Empreus IT is able to provide a high level of service across:

Our expertise centres on the set-up and management of IT in the workplace. We do not proclaim to create our own technical devices or software. But we have immense respect for those who do, and appreciate our clients’ needs to utilise those devices and software within their workplace.

By partnering with Ricoh and IPC Solutions, we are able to extend those product offerings to our clients, while drawing on our knowledge and deep understanding of how they should be installed and managed, to create a holistic solution for all Empreus IT customers.

For more information about Ricoh or IPC Solutions products, or to discuss your IT needs, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

How to choose the best laptop or computer

which laptop is the best?

How to choose the best laptop or computer

How to choose the best laptop or computer

18 Jan, 2018

When you’re looking for a new laptop or computer, wading through all of the options can be painstaking. And when you do eventually find one you like, how do you know whether it will perform as well as you need it to?

Here is Empreus IT Support’s guide for choosing the best laptop or computer to suit your needs:


If you’ve just begun searching for a new laptop or computer, chances are your first thought is “Which brand is the best?”

In reality, the brand you choose is less important than the hardware it has in it. Of course, there are brands that have developed a solid reputation for exceptional quality over time, such as Apple and Asus. Then you have a number of dependable brands that tend to sit in the mid-level price range, such as:

  • Dell
  • Lenovo
  • HP

Finally, brands such as Acer have focussed on targeting a wider range of the market with lower cost machines. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the quality is going to be less. It all depends on the hardware you find inside it.

You could be trawling through brand reviews for hours, but it’s likely you’ll end up even more confused than when you began. Some people will say they’ve had terrible issues with Lenovo, others will say they wouldn’t buy any other brand. Some will say Acer is cheap, others will say their machine is still going strong after 8 years. Some will say Asus is overpriced, others will say it’s the top of the range.

So rather than searching based on brand, search based on capability. Then when you find a particular brand, model and make of laptop or computer you like, you can search for online reviews before purchasing. But starting a search based on brand alone is almost guaranteed to waste your time.

Screen Size

The generic screen size for a laptop is 15.6 inches. Finding a bigger screen size is rare, but there are a few brands that make 17 inches and larger. You can also find a variety of laptops with smaller screen sizes ranging from 10-15 inches.

The size you choose depends entirely on your personal preference.

If it stays at home most of the time, then any size should be fine (keep in mind that smaller screens can get tricky if you have vision problems). Alternatively, if you use it for school or work you may wish to opt for a smaller screen size which often means a smaller and lighter machine.

The same is true for 2 in 1 laptops that can be folded flat (like a tablet), or ones that swivel (for presentations, and so on). Think about what you’re going to be using it for, and choose the option that best suits your needs.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

Now we’re getting to what really matters when choosing a new computer or laptop!

If you don’t know much about hardware, it can be tricky working out why some machines are $500, and look exactly the same as other machines worth $4000.

When we talk about CPU, we’re talking about the unit that sits inside your machine and processes every command. There are two major brands of CPU: Intel and AMD. Both follow a “ranking system” when it comes to their power:

Intel Celeron, Pentium or Atom / AMD E2 or Sempron: These processors are generally designed to do one task at a time. I.e.: if you’re browsing the net, you’re just browsing the net. If you’re using Word or Excel, you’re just using Word or Excel. When you begin opening up more applications (or multiple web pages at a time), they begin to slow down and may freeze.

If you only use your laptop for browsing the internet or typing something up, one of these processors will suit you fine.

i3 / AMD Ryzen 3 or Athlon 4: These processors are designed to handle 1-2 applications at a time, so you can multi-task (such as researching and writing). However, once you begin opening 5 or 6 applications, they will slow down and may freeze.

i3 processors are generally great for university students, or as a second machine for business people on the go.

i5 or AMD Ryzen 5: i5 processors are great for multi-tasking and can handle 3 or more standard applications at a time, without slowing down or freezing up.

i7 or AMD Ryzen 7: Top of the range for standard laptops and computers (they do make an i9 though this is mainly for high end gaming and servers).

An i7 / Ryzen 7 processor will handle multiple applications at the same time and is ideal for online gaming, streaming and just about anything else you want to do on your computer.

Hard drive

Your hard drive is where all of your information is stored.

There are two main types of hard drives: HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). HDDs have a spindle that spins and reads the data. With SSD, there are no moving components – it’s a circuit board with data storage chips attached.

Generally, SSD will always perform better. This is because it does not have to “boot up” and use energy to get the hard drive spinning. It’s also less likely to break if you drop or damage your laptop.

Very cheap laptops often have “eMMC” storage. Keep in mind that these can be very, very slow.

Hard drive storage

Another figure you’ll come across is the amount of storage on the hard drive, i.e.: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and even 1TB.

Hard drive storage refers to the amount of “space” you have to store files and software on your computer.

If you are just using your laptop for web browsing, some images, and a few documents then 128GB is plenty. If you plan to store a heap of photos, movies or documents then you’ll need to look for 256GB or more.

You can always opt for a machine with lower storage, and then purchase a separate hard drive too if you prefer.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

RAM relates to a machine’s “short term memory”. When you turn your computer on, it loads the operating system and other applications, as well as the ones you open, into RAM.

If the RAM or “short term memory” fills up, the processor needs to go back to “long term memory” (your hard disk), which can slow your computer’s speed.

RAM doesn’t run out, but the less it needs to draw on the hard disk to refresh, the faster your machine will run. The minimum RAM you’ll find on current laptops and computers is 2GB, though most will have 4GB.

Ideally, if you’re after faster speed, look for a machine with 8GB of RAM. It will run smoother and free up system resources to allow for better performance. You can get more than 8GB of RAM, but it’s often not needed for a general-use computer.

Remember: at the end of the day, the best computer or laptop is the one that suits your needs.

If you are an occasional user who just likes to browse the internet, scroll through Facebook, or type a document, then an inexpensive machine with the following should suit you fine:

  • Intel Celeron processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • HDD with 500GB of storage space

If you are a student or you’re using it for work, opt for:

  • i3 or i5 / Ryzen 3 or 5
  • SSD, 256GB storage
  • 8GB RAM

And if you’re on your computer all the time, using multiple applications or playing games, you’ll need to spend a little bit more for an:

  • i7 or Ryzen 7
  • SSD, 256GB
  • 2 TB HDD
  • Graphics card GTX 1050 or Radeon RX460/560
  • At least 8GB RAM

Also, note that CPU and graphics cards on laptops are built with slower speeds and power compared to a desktop version of the same model.

For IT support, IT installations, software and security and more, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.