All posts by Darko Reljic

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.

When to invest in an IT audit

IT Audit Canberra

When to invest in an IT audit

When to invest in an IT audit

19 Dec, 2017

Businesses can grow exceptionally fast. One minute you’re sitting alone in your lounge room plugging away on your laptop, and the next you’re setting up passwords for the 5th new employee to join your team in 6 months.

Expansion is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be a stressful time where tedious tasks – such as documenting all of the IT you’ve been accumulating – seem to fall by the wayside.

Before you know it, your business is the proud owner of 10 new desktop computers, 15 keyboards, 6 laptops, 8 tablets, 2 printers, a router and a server (not to mention all the software you’ve paid for). And that’s just what you remember buying!

In addition, you know your business relies heavily on all of these assets. You hope (fingers crossed) that it just works and that, as a system, it’s going to continue delivering what you need to ensure your business runs smoothly.

But crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is a dangerous game. It’s true that IT exists to help you “get the job done” – but without a proper understanding of how that IT works in unison to support your business goals, you may end up facing a severe problem that rocks the core of your entire operation.

Rather than winding up in this predicament, an IT audit can be an invaluable exercise to help you get a handle on your IT environment.

What is an IT audit?

An IT audit is the starting point of every effective IT management system.

When Empreus IT conducts an IT audit, we:

  • Document your ICT assets (including software and hardware)
  • Examine your IT environment and how it is working to support your business goals
  • Discuss any issues you may be having
  • Test your environment for security and data integrity
  • Provide recommendations for eliminating issues and controlling risks

Once we understand your environment, we’re also better equipped to respond to your needs in the future.

We recommend a “health check” every 6 months following your IT audit, to ensure that everything is still working as it should be. And if you prefer a more proactive approach, you may even wish to start a Managed Services arrangement.

Can an IT audit help with insurance?

An IT site audit is the basis (or bare minimum) for understanding what you have in terms of ICT assets.

If the unthinkable were to happen – such as someone broke into your office, or there was a fire – this list would be a great starting point, but would likely not be enough information for a contents insurance claim.

In this case, you need an itemised list complete with serial numbers and product numbers. If you require this in addition to an IT audit, please don’t hesitate to ask us for a quote.

To arrange an IT audit for your business, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us today.

Why You MUST Back Up

computer back ups

Why You MUST Back Up

Why You MUST Back Up

07 Dec, 2017

Imagine for a moment that you lost every important email, every cleverly crafted document, and every precious image on your device. Websites that you’d carefully bookmarked over many years were gone, and every password stored locally simply disappeared into thin air.

Now imagine that we told you that exact scenario was going to happen – 10 minutes from now. What would you do? Would you frantically try to put everything on a USB stick; salvaging what you could in the time you had? Would you phone a friend and ask how you could stop this dreadful event from happening?

While this scenario may not happen to you now, in 10 minutes, or anytime in the next year, the sheer thought of it probably left you a little short of breath.

The possibility of losing everything is terrifying, and what’s worse is that if it does happen – your hardware malfunctions or a virus takes hold of your operating system – you probably won’t get any warning at all. All that you have could be lost in a heartbeat, never to be seen again.

Luckily, there is a way to plan against this situation and protect yourself and your data.

It’s called “backing up”, and it’s one of the most important activities you can do to safeguard your hard work and prevent against losing everything.

Backing up basically means “making a copy” of all that exists on your local machine (or server). Once a copy is made, it exists forever outside of your device to ensure that it can be easily restored if the worst were to happen.

It’s not expensive to get a backup done. Of course, you could get a USB or external drive and do one yourself. However, there are many good reasons to hire a professional, such as:

  • Many of your important files, such as emails, aren’t stored where you think they are so you may miss things you aren’t prepared to lose.
  • Sometimes backups can be corrupted if not done properly, meaning they become impossible to restore.
  • Depending on the volume and size of your files, you may require more than a standard backup.

At Empreus IT, we offer two solutions to safely back up your device.

The first is called Veeam, and it allows us to make a secure backup of your entire operating system so that it can be easily restored if the worst were to happen.

The second is called Datto. A Datto solution is the best option for larger businesses that have a lot of data or manage a collection of devices.

As a Datto partner, we can integrate Datto into your technical environment to ensure that it:

  • backs up in real time
  • preserves your data
  • acts as an immediate backup server if your current one failed

If you run a business that cannot afford to live without its data for more than 24 hours, we highly recommend Datto. It gives you peace of mind that you can continue to operate, without losing so much as a single email.

Both Veeam and Datto also protect against Cryptolocker and Ransomware (where hackers take virtual hold over your device or server, and ask you to pay them to release it). If this unnerving situation were to arise, you could confidently ignore their demands, knowing that you could restore your entire machine from your back up.

Don’t get caught out and lose everything you’ve worked so hard to create. Hardware fails. Hackers and viruses attack unsuspecting victims all the time. You MUST protect yourself…and the best way to do it is with an effective back up system.

For help implementing a reliable and secure back up system, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

Replace or Repair? How to Make the Best Decision

Repair or replace laptop

Replace or Repair? How to Make the Best Decision

Replace or Repair? How to Make the Best Decision

16 Oct, 2017

Most people have a love hate relationship with technology. We need our laptops, phones, desktop computers, routers, printers and other devices to help us work and keep us connected. And while it would be nice if they could live forever without so much as a hiccup, breakages can and do happen.

Devices can break for any number of reasons, such as:

  • Dropping it
  • Spilling liquid on it
  • Age
  • Malfunction/fault
  • Serious malware
  • Exposure to heat

At Empreus IT, we’re often asked what to do when a device breaks, and how to make the best decision about repair versus replacement.

Here are a few factors we consider…

Cost Value

Generally, we like to follow a simple rule:

If the cost of repair is 50% or more of the value of the device, replace it.

Of course, the only way to know how much it will cost to repair is to get the problem diagnosed. Even if you dropped it from a third floor balcony or ran over it with your Jeep, we still need to know which parts are broken in order to estimate the repair cost.

Diagnosis is the first and most important step in making an informed decision.

A cracked screen may only cost a few hundred dollars to replace. If a single internal component is broken, it depends on how easy it is to obtain and how difficult it is to get to – but it’s usually achievable at a reasonable price.

However, if multiple components are broken, it’s unlikely that repair is going to be the best option.

Sentimental Value

Perhaps your partner gave you your laptop for Christmas, or you bought it 10 years ago and have formed a special bond. Whatever the case, if your device has sentimental value, you may be happy to spend what is required to have it repaired.


If a diagnosis confirms that there is a problem with the hardware, and it’s still under warranty, it’s worth contacting the supplier for help. You can do this by visiting the store you bought it from, or contacting the supplier directly. They will have their own process for repairs/replacements, but this means the cost is theirs to wear.


Have you backed up your data lately? Do you know all of your passwords?

One of the biggest concerns people have when their device breaks is whether the data can be recovered. At Empreus IT, we regularly perform data recovery for customers to ensure it’s still there after repair, or is imported to a replacement device.

Keep in mind that this does add to the cost of both though, as data recovery can be a tricky and time consuming process.

Buying a replacement

While we’re on the topic, it’s important to mention that if you are going to opt for a replacement, we recommend you don’t go for something cheap and nasty.

Although technology appears to decrease in cost every year, manufacturers often reduce the functionality of cheaper devices to save money. This means that the storage space, speed and quality of parts may be sacrificed to achieve a lower price point.

Whatever you spent last time, spend about 30% more. This will ensure you get something more powerful, with better functionality and a stronger chance that it will stand the test of time.

For more information on hardware repairs and replacements, including diagnosing the problem or performing data recovery, please call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.

Café Owners Reaping the Benefits of Seamless New POS Systems

Cafe point of sale system Canberra

Café Owners Reaping the Benefits of Seamless New POS Systems

Café Owners Reaping the Benefits of Seamless New POS Systems

21 Sep, 2017

Gone are the days of old cash registers and manually typing in the cost of every purchase a customer makes…the internet has changed the way industries work, and point of sale systems are definitely no exception!

Seamless new POS systems are popping up everywhere – from retail stores to hairdressing salons, doctor’s offices, petrol stations, and more.

Cafés and restaurants are also reaping the benefits, with new locations installing the latest POS systems during fitout, and existing locations increasingly upgrading their out-dated systems.

They’re not as expensive as you might think too…at Empreus IT we do an entire cashless POS system with state-of-the-art functionality from just $1800, and cash systems from just $2200, which includes the merchant facility.

And it’s not just about looking cool. These new systems allow you to do so much more than ever before, including:

  • Input custom menus with images and pricing
  • Send customers digital receipts (or print them)
  • Create accounts for regulars and set up tabs/automatic billing
  • Split billing
  • PayWave feature (tap and go)
  • Inventory management
  • Much more!

The merchant facility is run through Square, a renowned service provider offering the latest in POS technology.

Their intuitive and very secure (encrypted) payment system ensures ease and peace of mind. All payments go into your bank account within 24-48 hours, and you only pay per charge (as little as 1.9%), so you can avoid locking yourself into a recurring monthly fee.

It’s a long way from the siloed and time consuming approach of the past, and makes it easy for café and restaurant operators to implement a streamlined solution that naturally reduces human error and makes tracking, measuring and reporting simpler.

Some premises are even utilising the latest technologies to increase sales, such as using digital menu boards (which display scrumptious images of food rather than writing it), QR code loyalty programs (which allow customers to tap their phone rather than carrying around a loyalty card), and clever apps (allowing customers to order on their way to the premise rather than waiting in line).

If you’re keen to take your café or restaurant to the next level with a new POS system, or clever new digital technologies, we can help.

To ensure an end to end solution, we also provide:

  • Internet through iinet;
  • Security cameras and monitoring station;
  • Microsoft 365 to help you manage emails; and
  • A personalised domain for your website and emails to help you kick off a professional online presence.

It’s all about making sure that your i.t. just works – so you can get on with running a profitable business doing what you do best!

For more information about installing a new (or upgrading an old) POS system in your café or restaurant, call Empreus IT Support on (02) 6189 1322 or contact us now.