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Get your tech house in order for new year


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POSTED: Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's the time of the year when the holidays get distracting, and it seems the last thing you want to think about is the best technology for your business. Thank goodness, we're thinking about it for you.

I spoke to a couple of old pros who provided some sage advice on must-have business IT tools for the new year. Our panel included Mike Meyer, founder of Islandatech, a cloud computing, ISP and application development company, and Don Mangiarelli, IT manager at Shidler Investment Corp., one of the largest office building owners in the state.

Here are their recommendations:

» Guarding your precious data is always a concern. For a small or home office, Trend Micro's Internet Security Pro ($69.95) safeguards your information from hackers and cybercriminals. This includes everything from checking the legitimacy of Wi-Fi “;hot spots”; to inspecting a Web page's content in real time. Unlike other Internet security products out there, Trend Micro's products (us.trendmicro.com/us/home) will not slow down your system. Another software recommendation from the pros is Smart Security 4 (http://www.eset.com). Priced at $59.99, it's a lean application that has one of the best antivirus update records on the Internet. In addition to small office and home versions, both companies offer small-business and enterprise-level solutions.

» Backing up data is mundane but incredibly important. UltraBac Backup/Disaster Recovery Systems (http://www.ultrabac.com/products) provides multiple levels of simple-to-use backup systems. This focuses on low-cost and low-overhead systems for complete backup of files for a wide range of businesses.

Google Mail is not exactly bleeding-edge technology, but it's rapidly becoming a tool of choice for small businesses in Hawaii. It's got all the bells and whistles anyone could ask for, including an effective search tool. Most important, it resides “;in the cloud”; so that if your work station or laptop crashes, you'll never lose your data. It's also free.

Likewise, Skype (http://www.skype.com) is nothing new, but it's only gotten better with time.

One last thought to leave you with. Those of you interested in purchasing a mobile device for your business might be interested in knowing that, according to AOL, these items were the most searched for in 2009:

1. iPhone
2. iPod Touch
3. PSP
4. Palm Pre
5. Zune
6. Blackberry Storm
7. Garmin Nuvi
8. Blackberry Curve
9. Sidekick
10. Amazon Kindle