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RingCentral Phone review
5:46 pm | July 29, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

To run business and office space in 2024, finding the best VOIP provider might not be the sexiest task, but it's certainly one of the most essential to have a smooth-running workplace where everyone can communicate easily. 

While a cloud phone system may have seemed like science fiction in the recent past, this next-generation communications tech is becoming increasingly popular. More and more businesses are recognizing the value of managed, portable phone systems, and RingCentral is one of the best providers around.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and the tech basically does just that: transfer calls over the internet, avoiding out-dated landlines and other potential problems. As offices move towards remote working, VoIP providers have added new features into their offerings.

As we dive into our RingCentral Phone review, we put one of the industry’s best business phone services through its paces, testing the standout features of this virtual phone system to help your business make the right call.

Of course, it's also worth checking rivals products from Zoom, 8x8, and Dialpad before making any final decisions – being prepared is the key – but our testing found RingCentral offers a complete package.

RingCentral Phone

RingCentral’s plans range from basic to enterprise-level. (Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Plans and Pricing

RingCentral offers three plans: Core, Advanced, and Ultra, with each then being tailored to work with anywhere between one and 100+ employees. 

Starting off, the Core plan costs $20/user/month for an annual subscription, or $30/user/month for a monthly subscription, and includes business phone or toll-free numbers, up to 100 toll-free minutes, unlimited domestic calls in the US or Canada, visual voicemail, shared lines, and much more. 

Advanced costs $25 or $35 per month per user and includes everything in Core, plus up to 1,000 toll-free minutes, enhanced business SMS for 100/user/month (up from 25 for Core), advanced call queues, up to eight-digit extensions, hot desking, breakout rooms, and many other features. 

Finally, Ultra costs $35 or $45 per month per user and includes all of the aforementioned features alongside up to 200 video call participants, unlimited file storage, custom roles, advanced analytics, workflow customisation, and more. 

It's worth checking RingCentral's detailed pricing lists to see if the feature that keeps your business running smoothly comes with Core, Advanced, or Ultra. RingCentral is also keen to encourage annual subscribers, and one-off yearly payments receive an up to 33% discount.

Adding more than 100 users gives a further discount, but that likely only equates to a few dollars saved per month. All plans also come with a 15-day free trial. We were pleased to see how easy it was to scale up too, with options to add international and toll-free numbers as needed.

RingCentral Phone

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Features

RingCentral’s phone service is packed with features. In fact, there are over 50 in total, which is both pretty staggering and means your specific needs are likely to be met. 

Call quality is a very important consideration, and RingCentral ensures HD audio regardless of your calling location. The provider also limits the disruption of switching to a new phone service by helping keep any existing numbers. (There are also options to set up local numbers.)

We found RingCentral’s voicemail-to-email feature particularly interesting as it enables you to receive voicemails whilst out of office – a great feature for remote teams – and it's something few others offer. 

RingCentral has also put lot of consideration into incoming-call management, with call screening, call delegation, and call forwarding options available to users. In addition, the Call Flip feature helps users switch calls from a desktop to a mobile phone during a conversation.

As we alluded to above, RingCentral has not scrimped on adding features and pretty much any little thing your business might want to do will be there, from integrations into business apps to call logs to remote desktop control. 

The company has also been getting involved in the recent AI craze, adding live transcriptions, closed captioning, video summaries, note taking, translation, and a whole lot more to all three plans, to make life a little easier. 

RingCentral Phone

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: User interface

Once you sign up with RingCentral you’ll need to download the desktop app. The process is quick and easy, and the RingCentral interface is user-friendly and navigable. There are also nifty iOS and Android apps, too. 

Any RingCentral users should be aware that the app doesn’t just display the provider’s phone settings: From the admin dashboard, you can access video, messaging, and upcoming tasks. Clear icons on the left-hand side of the screen make accessing any core services easy.

The basic functionality of RingCentral’s business phone service is fairly easy to understand. A pop-up dial pad is there to make calls from a selection of numbers on a dropdown, and voicemails are easily accessible and displayed visually. That said, some advanced features are more difficult to locate. 

For example, call screening functions need to be enabled first, and you’ll only be able to confirm that you’ve enabled them when you receive a call. RingCentral offers a great deal in terms of features, but we would have preferred to see them displayed more prominently.

RingCentral Phone 4

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Support

RingCentral has been generous here: 24/7 support is available on all three tiers, which is an improvement on previous generations that only offered such support on more expensive plans. 

RingCentral also has a dedicated support website where you can access comprehensive FAQs split up into well-defined categories, consult instructional videos, download technical information, and join its community development group.

The company has a live chat feature too, but with such a comprehensive cache of documentation, you probably won’t need it.

RingCentral Phone 5

(Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral: Security

Reliability and security are some of RingCentral’s key concerns. As a result, the measures in place to prevent downtime and disruption to the provider’s service have led to some standout security features.

These include end-to-end network monitoring to ensure performance and real-time analysis of network stability, disaster recovery protocols involving the migration of data to alternative data centers, and cloud-based measures for service continuation even during a period of internet outage.

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone )

RingCentral: The competition

Nextiva offers a similar service to RingCentral but at a reduced cost – its Enterprise plan is just a few dollars more than RingCentral’s Core plan and includes up to 10,000 toll-free minutes.

That said, RingCentral’s multi-tool platform, with video and messaging facilities, does give it an edge, and the provider’s Essential plan is competitively priced if you don’t need the extra functionality. But small businesses that just want a simple, cheap way to integrate their phone services might prefer Nextiva.

It's also worth checking out offerings from 8x8, Zoom, GoToConnect, Vonage, Aircall, Ooma, and more of the best VoIP services, with your specific needs in mind. Each one is slightly different, and might work well.

RingCentral

(Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral: Final verdict

RingCentral is one of the best cloud phone providers available. Clearly, the team behind the platform is well versed in the requirements of business phone users, and the wide range of features tick all the boxes.

However, RingCentral's long list of features might actually over complicate the product, and we would have preferred fewer features but in more accessible places. Of course, having 'too many features' is a small problem if you invest the time in working out how best to use them. 

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection review
5:04 pm | July 28, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Business endpoint security protection needs to offer a comprehensive defense against all kinds of malicious bits floating around on the Internet. Webroot Business Endpoint Protection (WBEP) is designed to shield workstations running Windows and macOS operating systems from such known as well as new threats.  

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Plans and pricing

Webroot only offers 1 year subscriptions for WBEP. The platform will cost $30 for each endpoint for upto 9 endpoints. You’ll get a discounted price for protecting 10 endpoints and more. 

Protecting 10 endpoints costs $276, which comes to $27.6 per endpoint. It’ll cost the same for protecting 15 endpoints (for a total of $414), or for 20 endpoints that will cost $552, making it one of the cheapest endpoint security solutions on offer.

These prices have remained fixed since our original review in 2020, which means they're even more competitive relative to other endpoint security platforms.

Customers also now have the option to add Webroot DNS protection for the same cost per seat as for Endpoint Protection - in other words effectively doubling the price. This can be a good way to filter out harmful links but is more expensive than other secure Secure DNS offerings.

The Webroot checkout page for Business Endpoint Protections also offers the option to add 'Security Awareness Training'. In this case this is to teach workers in your organization on how to avoid phishing. Once again this is for the same cost per device as for Endpoint Protection, so if you combine this with Webroot DNS protection and the endpoint protection itself the price is effectively tripled. 

WebRoot offers a free 30-day trial of their Endpoint Protection, so you can try before you buy. If you do install the trial software, you can also sign up for a trial of the 'DNS Protection' and 'Security Awareness Training' features from within the WebRoot Management Console.

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: setup

(Image credit: Webroot )

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Setup

Overall, WebRoot offer a very smooth setup. If you choose to sign up for the free 30-day trial for Business Endpoint Protection, you're asked to enter your contact details. A short while later a link is sent to your e-mail address with a temporary license code and password. There's also a link to set a new, strong password. 

You use this form to create a secondary 'security code'. WebRoot will ask for two different characters from this each time you log in, as well as prompt you each time to set up two factor authentication

On first login, users are also asked to choose between the Business console (the focus of this review) or the MSP (Managed Service Provider) console. The latter is useful if you manage multiple devices on behalf of different clients.

On first login we were easily able to find a download link for the WebRoot 'SecureAnywhere' software, with the license key preloaded, then install it on our Windows 11 machine. When we did, we also noticed it installed Webroot's "Web Threat Shield" into our Edge browser. 

This can easily be disabled but it's important to note, as your endpoints may use other browser extensions for safe surfing which could interfere with Web Threat Shield's functionality.

We were pleased to note that the newest version of the endpoint client doesn't need to be updated constantly for threat protection - it performs scans based on information 'in the cloud' so is always up to date.

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection features

(Image credit: Webroot)

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Features

First things first: as far as security is concerned, WBEP has all the features you’d expect from a protection platform. It can prevent viruses, malware, trojans, ransomware, spyware, phishing attacks, browser-based attacks, cryptojacking, and all the other usual threats from wreaking havoc on your endpoints.

WBEP wraps these features inside what it refers to as shields, such as real-time shield, web shield, identity shield, phishing shield and more. 

The realtime shield blocks known threats that are listed in Webroot's threat definitions. A useful feature is the identity shield that includes mechanisms that help protect sensitive data that might be exposed during online transactions. 

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection 2

(Image credit: Webroot )

The WBEP platform also includes the behavior shield, which monitors individual user behavior to dynamically tailor malware prevention. It also includes various heuristics settings that you can use to set the level of threat analysis that WBEP performs when scanning the protected endpoints.

A new addition to the list is the evasion shield that’ll help detect, block, and quarantine evasive script attacks, including file-based, fileless, obfuscated, or encrypted threats. It’ll also prevent malicious actions in PowerShell, JavaScript, VBScript, and more. Hat tip to the WBEP developers for disabling the feature by default since many organisations use legitimate custom scripts in their environments where this shield might generate false positives.

Besides file protections, WBEP also includes other security-related features as well. For instance, you can use it to control which applications are allowed to run. The platform also includes a software firewall and several other useful features to help you take charge of your endpoints.

We've already discussed how seriously WebRoot takes security, protecting the login console with a secondary security code as well as repeatedly prompting managers to set up two-factor authentication.

The most recent version of the console also includes 30-minute rolling sessions. This simply means after 28 minutes, you'll be prompted to ask if you want to keep the session alive. If no response is received the console will automatically log out.

The latest console has also now introduced a long awaited feature whereby users can export information on all devices as a CSV file via the 'Entities' tab.

If we seem particularly well informed on the most recent updates, it's because the WebRoot Resource Center has a dedicated 'Announcements' section. You can also take 'Spotlight Tours' which walk you through the console's main features.

There are also links to WebRoot's extensive collection of user guides for all their products.

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection 3

(Image credit: Webroot )

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Interface and use

WBEP offers a couple of administration interfaces, each tailored to a different environment. The Business interface is designed for managing the devices within an organisation, and is the one we’ll be using in this review. Besides this, WBEP also has an administration interface for managing devices for your customers that can handle multiple businesses.

Although the workflow of the WBEP platform is pretty similar to its peers, the layout of its administration interface leaves much to be desired. 

The interface isn’t logically arranged, and instead of clearly-labelled starting points, you’ll have to head to the last Downloads tab to install the WBEP agent on your endpoints. 

The platform offers both EXE and MSI installers for Windows installations and DMG for macOS for simple manual installation. For advanced automated installs, you can hook up WBEP with an existing active directory server on your network.

In terms of workflow, all endpoints must subscribe to defined policies. While this allows for greater control over the behavior of individual endpoints, WBEP has its peculiarities.

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection 4

(Image credit: Webroot)

To begin with, all WBEP endpoints subscribe to the Silent Audit policy that offers limited protection. It’d be natural to switch the endpoints to the Recommended Defaults policy that provides maximum protection and remediation.

However this policy has a poll interval of 24 hours, which means scans or any other actions initiated from the administration interface can take upto a day to be communicated to the endpoint. Another unusual behavior of this policy is that it hides the platform’s resource-efficient endpoint agent.

While this might seem like a good idea once you’ve configured WBEP as per your requirements, it’ll only create confusion for first time users. Thankfully, Webroot has a good administrator’s guide and a best practices guide to help you utilize the platform to its full extent.

Besides defining policies and assigning them to the endpoints, you can also use the interface to define exceptions and do a lot more. But again you’ll need to refer to the documentation to use these functions effectively.

The overall look and feel of the interface is logical and clearly laid out. The main 'Dashboard' provides a quick summary of the number of endpoints, as well as those which are active or have become infected.

Ther dashboard also contains more detailed infographics on endpoints where the agent software has been installed, displaying information on infected endpoints and those which haven't been seen recently.

We were especially impressed that the left hand pane can both display each section with sub-options but can also be minimized to a more compact version as users become more familiar with the icons. 

We have already touched on the discrete 'Announcements' section which discussed all thst was new in the world of WebRoot. This is preferable to the 'WebRoot Threat Blog' in the right hand pane of the Endpoint Protection Console. This links to articles on subjects like online romance scams which probably don't have much relevance to business users. 

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection performance

(Image credit: Future)

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Performance

After installing the 'SecureAnywhere' software we opened the Microsoft Edge browser and attempted to download a test computer virus, provided by the good people of EICAR. 

We noted that the 'Web Threat Shield' extension didn't display any alerts and we were able to download the virus in compressed (ZIP) format without issue. 

We next extracted the virus and were surprised to see once again that the client software installed on the endpoint didn't seem to react. This is despite WebRoot's "RealTime Shield", "Web Shield" and "Firewall" all showing as enabled. 

It was only when we opened the 'SecureAnywhere' agent software and manually ran a  full system scan that the virus was removed.

We can only assume this has something to do with the aforementioned 'Silent Audit' policy which doesn't seem to proactively block threats. 

These results were troubling, so we ran our tests once again. This time when we tried to decompress the virus WebRoot's Endpoint Protection software automatically quarantined the threat and displayed an alert in the tray, prompting us to run a full scan. 

After the virus was detected and removed we logged in to the WebRoot Management Console.

Upon opening the 'Reports' tab we found that 'No Threats' were found. Since the virus we used was harmless this was technically true but we were surprised to find no mention of it neither here, nor in the 'Alerts' tab, which also claimed there was no data to display.

The main 'status' page also claimed that 'No Endpoints have reported in yet'. The 'Endpoint Protection Console' likewise reported no threats were found. suggesting the client software hadn't actually dialed home to report discovery of the virus. This was true both the first and second time we ran our tests with the fake computer virus. 

It's entirely possible that through careful configuration of the device policies and creating a custom installer that we could have created an agent which was more proactive in detecting, blocking and reporting a threat but can't help but feel it would be better if this was available out of the box. 

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection 5

(Image credit: Webroot )

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: The competition

In terms of its platform coverage, WBEP only supports Windows and macOS. There’s no support for Linux installations, nor does it offer protection features for Android and iOS mobile devices. 

Linux isn’t supported by most of WBEP’s peers including Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud, and Avira Antivirus for Endpoint. Both of these however support Android and iOS devices, which are even protected by ESET Endpoint Protection Advanced Cloud under certain conditions.

Only Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus restricts itself to Windows and macOS just like WBEP. However, Avast makes up for this limitation by including several privacy-enhancing features like a fully-functional VPN service, that you don’t get with WBEP.

Another feature we missed in WBEP is the lack of ability to control pluggable devices like you get with many of its peers, such as Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services Advanced. Of course the lack of tweakability is another characteristic that sets WBEP apart from many of its peers.

Despite the addition of the 'Web Threat Detection' extension in endpoint devices' browsers, we also didn't see any proactive prevention of threats, as during all our tests we were able to download our fake computer virus test file. In fairness we saw similar results in other endpoint security platforms like Trend Vision One, which nevertheless were able to immediately quarantine the file once it was detected on the hard drive. 

Webroot Business Endpoint Protection: Final verdict

WBEP has a lot of protection features that you get at a very affordable price. However, the platform does a poor job of exposing its strengths.  Since our previous review in 2020, the interface has been revamped and seems to have a more logical layout. This is excellent, as it was previously very counterintuitive and tricky to navigate. There are still some quirks we struggled to master.  

During our tests the platform had some fairly mixed results when it came to detecting threats. Although it failed to prevent us from downloading and decompressing our computer virus, it did detect and quarantine it the second time we ran our tests. 

We also had to question the use of the 'Web Threat Detection' extension if it doesn't prevent users from downloading a known virus. 

What troubled us most was that there was no corresponding report of the virus being detected and/or quarantined on WebRoot Management Console. This would make it difficult for network managers to monitor user activity to see if they're involved in any risky online behaviors. Admittedly this may have to do with the policies in place but as we said, we'd like to see proactive detection and reporting out of the box for endpoint security products. During our tests we also did change the device policy for our test machine to 'Recommended Defaults' but didn't see any noticeable improvement in threat detection/reporting. 

For instance, once our tests were complete and we wanted to remove the client software from our test machine we were told that this needed to be managed via the web console. We sent the 'Uninstall' Agent command several times to the software without any success forcing us to boot into Safe Mode and manually remove it ourselves via Windows Registry. 

This is why despite its strong set of features, the platform will appeal to a very narrow set of users, especially due to its limited operating system support and because of its occasionally counter-intuitive interface. We strongly advise you to read through its administration guide before you take advantage of the 30-day extended free trial to explore the platform. 

We've listed the best internet security suites.

Zendesk review
12:00 am | July 27, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Zendesk is a popular customer relationship management (CRM) software provider. It offers a range of products with solutions for businesses of all sizes. For us, its versatility and great selection of use cases makes Zendesk stand out above the competition. 

Additionally, Zendesk comes with a powerful free trial that allows you to test its software out before committing to purchasing. And, the fact that it’s used by major businesses like Uber, Shopify, and Slack should speak for itself. 

ZenDesk pricing

(Image credit: ZenDesk)

ZenDesk: Plans and pricing

SInce our last review in 2020 ZenDesk has simplified its pricing into 4 main tiers. This is a big improvement as previously there were no fewer than 7 base modules with specific features for each application.

Before we delve into the various plans, ZenDesk's pricing page deserves special mention. When it comes to help desk software subscriptions are usually listed on a "per agent per month" basis. ZenDesk makes it easier for you to obtain a quote by letting you input the number of agents you have, then updating the price underneath each tier to let you know the total cost. This is a very helpful and welcome feature for those who need a quote in a hurry.

The 'Suite Team' tier is the lowest price at $59 per agent per month if you're paying monthly or $49 per agent per month if you pay annually. It comes with a number of respectable features including a ticketing system which arranges all conversations into a central hub.

Even at this basic tier the platform also supports connecting with clients via email, chat voice and social messaging. The 'Suite Team' tier also incorporates 'Standard' bots which can use this media to respond to basic queries. Agents can also quickly respond to standard requests using macros. 

You also can set up a help center, access analytics through prebuilt dashboards and integrate over 1,000 apps.

The 'Suite Growth' plan is priced at $99 per agent per month if paying monthly or $79 per agent per month if paying annually. The plan includes all of the above, as well as extra features like being able to create customized support forms. 

This tier also supports "Light Agents" - in other words team members can have access to tickets and make private comments without taking up an official "seat", saving you the subscription cost of another full agent. 

The plan also supports creating SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) ratings. Customers can also benefit from their own self-service portal, which you can set up in addition to defining your own business hours. Help centers support multiple languages.

The 'Suite Professional' plan is Zendesk's most popular subscription. It costs $125 per agent per month if paying monthly or $99 per agent per month if you pay by the year. It includes all the perks in the above plans plus a range of extras.

These include the ability to build your own metrics and reports with custom analytics and monitor your team's performance in real-time with the pre-built live dashboard.

'Suite Professional' subscribers can also link Slack and e-mail conversations to tickets, automatically send tickets to specific agents and allow you to create a community forum where customers can interact with your company and each other.

This plan may also be useful if you're storing sensitive information like healthcare data as it allows you to specify where data's stored (US, APAC or EEA) and can also help your organization to obtain HIPAA certification. 

'Suite Professional' subscribers are also eligible for the 'Advanced AI add on'. This costs an extra $50 per agent per month and offers more advanced AI bots, which can assist your agents by creating custom workflows, as well as automatically suggesting solutions and macros.

ZenDesk also offer a 'Suite Enterprise' plan, which has perks above and beyond existing tiers such as a sandbox to test out new features and workflows and very high API rate limits. They encourage interested subscribers to contact their sales team for pricing information.

You can sign up for a free 14-day trial of Zendesk Suite, you'll have access to all features on the Zendesk Suite Professional plan. No credit card's required. New startups can also apply to use ZenDesk for free for the first six months. 

ZenDesk features

(Image credit: ZenDesk)

ZenDesk: Features

As one of the most powerful CRM software providers available, Zendesk naturally comes with a huge range of great features. Again, it’s impossible to cover everything here, but we’ve done our best to include the most noteworthy. 

Sunshine CRM

For starters, we felt it was worth looking at Zendesk’s native Sunshine CRM platform. It comes with a huge range of features and provides one of the best CRM interfaces that we’ve worked with. 

For example, the Sunshine CRM allows you to manage customer data and assets, deliver personalized experiences through contextualised consumer behaviour analysis, and monitor customer interactions. 

Additionally, the Sunshine CRM comes with interactive messaging tools, including AI and various chat bots. It even allows you to build custom apps and drive workplace decisions based on detailed customer data. 

Internal Help Desk 

We also loved Zendesk’s powerful Internal Help Desk software. It allows you to manage employee interactions and rapidly address queries and support requests. Additionally, it comes with tools to help your team become more productive by boosting morale and reducing costly downtime.  

Powerful Customer Support System

Finally, we wanted to quickly touch on Zendesk’s great customer support system. It includes phone, live chat, email, and online ticket support options, along with the ability to create your own personalized knowledge base. 

On top of this, Zendesk is known for its powerful security features. With these, you can rest assured that your customer interactions and data are fully protected and safe from hackers.

ZenDesk: Interface and in use

The exact user interface you have access to will depend on the plan/products you’re using, but we certainly didn’t have any problems with the variations we explored. In general, one of the things Zendesk focuses on is providing enough relevant information without creating a cluttered space. 

This means it can take a little to get used to, but if you’re willing to spend an hour or two finding your way around, you should be fine. You can also customize many aspects of the Zendesk dashboard. 

Zendesk security

(Image credit: Zendesk)

Zendesk: Security

ZenDesk have a dedicated Security page where they outline how seriously they take customer privacy. 

You can use this page to review the various ISO certifications ZenDesk have received as well as SOC 2 Type II, which requires regular security auditing. This is no doubt due to the fact that most of ZenDesk's service data is managed by Amazon Web Services. This means they benefit from AWS' infrastructure which includes extras like backup power and fire suppression systems. 

We were also intrigued to see that the platform supports a PCI-compliant credit card field which redacts all but the last 4-digits, providing better protection from fraud. ZenDesk regularly reviews data shared with vendors and claim to conduct regular audits.

ZenDesk also claim to have 24/7 security and carry out regular network scans both within the company and with the help of third-party penetration testers to make sure security is up to scratch.

All communications with Zendesk UI and APIs are encrypted via industry standard HTTPS/TLS (TLS 1.2 or higher) over public networks. You can also set up your own hosted TLS certificate for your organization's help center. 

Service Data is encrypted at rest in AWS using AES-256 key encryption.

The platform also supports 2FA (two factor authentication) for agent login either via SMS or approved authenticator apps. Admins can also restrict access to ZenDesk accounts to a specific range of IP addresses such as your office sites.  

ZenDesk support

(Image credit: ZenDesk)

ZenDesk: Support

Zendesk is a leading customer support software provider, so we expected it to offer the premium support that it promises its users. And it didn’t disappoint. 

For starters, you can speak directly to the Zendesk team by submitting an online ticket, using the online chat tool, calling your local office in almost 20 countries worldwide, or reaching out via one of its various social media profiles. 

Additionally, Zendesk comes with a comprehensive help center that contains answers to most frequently asked questions, along with more detailed guides to optimize your experience.  

There's a dedicated section on the ZenDesk suite, which contains helpful introductions to tools like 'Agent Workspace' and how to use the website or mobile app to have conversations with customers.

The 'Support and Ticketing' section contains answers to common questions like how to manage the ticket workflow or how to integrate with Slack.

The Help page also has a dedicated section on common Admin issues such as user management, account settings and billing, as well as integrating apps.

We were especially impressed by the 'Agent Guide' which contains 'how to' articles on virtually every relevant topic such as working with agents, creating macros and using the ZenDesk mobile app.

ZenDesk: The competition

Zendesk is great, but there are plenty of alternatives out there worth considering if you’re looking for something a little different. 

For example, Freshdesk offers very similar features to the Zendesk Support package. However, it comes with a more beginner-friendly user interface that’s easier to get started with. 

Similarly, HubSpot offers a wide range of support and sales tools that rival Zendesk’s high-end plans. It’s a good like-for-like alternative to Zendesk which we would recommend at least looking at. 

ZenDesk: Final verdict

Overall, Zendesk is a powerful CRM software provider with a range of solutions for businesses of all sizes. We didn’t come across too many negatives when we were testing it out, although the pricing of its high-end plans is quite steep. 

But, cheaper plans start from just $49 per month and come with great features. After all, there’s a reason why over 140,000 customers trust Zendesk as their CRM program of choice. 

RingCentral Contact Center review
4:20 pm | July 24, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

RingCentral Contact Center is a powerful program designed to streamline customer service and aid rapid resolutions for any issues—and it’s certainly up there with the best helpdesk software available. It can integrate with a range of popular third-party programs such as Salesforce and Zendesk, and it has a range of powerful features to help your service team.

In our RingCentral Contact Center review, we’ve analyzed every aspect of this program, including its plans and pricing, main features, ease of use, and customer support.

RingCentral Contact Center pricing

(Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral Contact Center: Plans and pricing

There are three RingCentral Contact Center plans available for businesses with various needs.

The 'Core' price tier starts at $20 per user per month if you pay annually or $30 if you pay monthly. It's touted as 'a reliable system to get your business up and running.' This seems like a fair assessment, given the core plan includes both unlimited domestic calls as well as SMS/MMS. 

Other features of the core plan include IVR (Interactive Voice Response), which can be integrated with RingCentral Office. Other features include SSO (Single Sign On) as well as analytics for IT Administrators such as call logs and interactive Qos Reports.

The 'Advanced' plan is RingCentral's most popular tier. Prices start at $25 per user per month if paid annually or £35 per user if you pay monthly. 'Advanced' includes all the benefits of Core as well as more advanced features.

These included optional automatic recording of both outbound and inbound calls. There are also superior call handling and monitoring features. These allow Managers to discreetly listen in on calls and even take over if necessary.

The 'Advanced Plan' is also more useful for companies with multiple sites, as it can provide features like individualized outbound caller ID per name per site. This tier is also best for CRM Integration as it provides access to over 300 popular apps including Salesforce and ZenDesk. If your business is still kicking it old school there's even support for Internet Fax.

RingCentral cite their highest priced "Ultra" plan as being best value. Subscriptions start at £35 per user per month if paid annually or £45 per user if paid monthly. The plan includes everything in the 'Advanced' Tier but probably the biggest perk of 'Ultra' is unlimited, enterprise-grade videoconferencing, whiteboards, messaging and file sharing. Those who can afford 'Ultra' also benefit from unlimited storage for files and recordings, as well as enhanced business analytics. 

There are also a number of optional bolt-ons, such as vanity numbers which you can set up for a $30 one-off fee. There are also special pricing plans for Educational institutions, though you'll need to contact RingCentral directly for more information on these pricing packages.

There's a 14-day free trial available to new customers for all plans, during which time you'll receive support for up to 20 phone lines. You can use up to two RingCentral Desktop Phones or just install the app. (Available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS). SMS doesn't form part of the free trial.

RingCentral Contact Center: Features

As one of the most powerful helpdesk programs available, RingCentral Contact Center is naturally backed by advanced features. For starters, it includes everything that you need to receive incoming calls, use various support channels, and streamline the entire customer service process.

Additionally, it has a range of integrations with powerful CRM platforms and other software. You can also create custom integrations with the platform’s advanced APIs.

On the usability front, RingCentral includes management features to help you control your team and their performance. For example, silent monitoring and whisper coaching will help you train new staff, and the in-depth analytics tools can aid performance monitoring. 

There are also numerous intelligent routing features designed to help customers find relevant information as fast as possible. For instance, it's easy to route customers with friendly IVR and easily manageable call queues. This is also facilitated by 'Virtual PBX', which provides advanced features like virtual extensions without the space and expense of physical hardware like routing switches. 

If you go for the 'Advanced' or 'Ultra' subscription you can also manage multiple sites, making it easier to tailor your services to callers' needs. The use of Cloud VoIP also makes it extremely simple for customers to reach your fellow workers, given that calls can be managed by a single unified app which can be used anywhere there's a connection. 

This ease of use extends to employees as well, as it's extremely simple for managers to add, change and move employees between sites on the go. RingCentral are also trialling a "Push to Talk" feature for the app which will allow real-time communication between workers.

Depending on your subscription plan, you can see more in-depth IT  business analytics too. Dashboards can be customized to generate detailed QoS reports as well as provide information useful for maintenance. 

Overall, the features on offer here are extremely impressive.

RingCentral Contact Center 2

There are numerous powerful features. (Image credit: RingCentral )

RingCentral Contact Center: Interface and in use

The RingCentral Contact Center user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate. It has a menu on the left of the screen for quick navigation, as well as advanced tools to help you get the most out of your customer interactions.

On top of this, the program is available on both desktop and mobile devices. Although the desktop version is slightly more advanced, the mobile apps still boast a selection of powerful tools.

All service staff have to be added to the system through the Central web dashboard before they can begin working.

RingCentral Contact Center support

The RingCentral Contact Center user interface has a range of customer service tools. (Image credit: RingCentralct Center)

RingCentral Contact Center: Support

RingCentral Contact Center is backed by self-help and live support streams. Solutions to common problems can be found in the RingCentral knowledge base, which includes tutorials, guides, video resources, and full documentation outlining how the program works.

There is also a selection of live support options for those with more complex issues. Live chat, email, and phone support are available, and there’s even an active community forum where users discuss their problems.

RingCentral Contact Center 4

There are numerous support streams available. (Image credit: RingCentral )

RingCentral Contact Center: Security

RingCentral Contact Center is backed by security features designed to keep sensitive data safe and to keep your service staff working efficiently in all situations.

For starters, certain parts of your Contact Center can be controlled with permission-base access restriction. With this, you can give users access to the tools that they need to do their job. The platform is built on the cloud, and RingCentral guarantees at least 99.99% uptime. 

RingCentral boasts full compliance with numerous security standards, including HIPAA, CPNI, SOX, and PCI.  The platform uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption for transmitting data, similar to Microsoft Teams.  Their data centers also have a number of onsite engineers and security guards.

In case you don't want to take RingCentral's word for all of this, the company claim to submit to regular independent audits to make sure they're compliant with all security standards. For instance, RingCentral MVP has earned the Skyhigh’s CloudTrust rating of 'Enterprise-Ready' - their highest rating.

The rating system measures 66 types of risk then awards top marks only to those providers with the very best data protection, identity verification, service security, business practices, and legal protection methods. 

RingCentral Contact Center 5

There are various security features protecting the program. (Image credit: RingCentral )

RingCentral Contact Center: The competition

Although RingCentral Contact Center is a great choice, there are other options on the market worth considering. Freshcaller is a popular program that is tailored specifically for small businesses. You don’t need to have any special hardware to use it, and the cheapest plan only requires that you pay for call charges.

RingCentral Contact Center: Final verdict

Ultimately, RingCentral Contact Center is one of the most powerful helpdesk programs in the world. It has a range of advanced features, an intuitive user interface, and the tools to help you manage large teams of customer service specialists. 

On top of this, RingCentral Contact Center is backed by leading safety features, as it's compliant with all relevant industry standards and uses advanced encryption for data transmission. 

There's also a wide range of pre-coded third-party integrations, including popular apps like Salesforce and Microsoft Teams. We were also impressed to see that RingCentral aren't resting on their laurels but are also testing new features like "Push to Talk".

Customer Support is also impressive: there's an extensive knowledge base with an overhauled UI, not to mention a dedicated live chat for customers. 

We were also very pleased to see since our last review in October 2022 that RingCentral is now much more transparent about subscriptions: pricing plans are available to view on their website without users needing to enquire first. 

We've listed the best contact center as a service (CCaaS).

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud review
2:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Kaspersky is a big name in cybersecurity. Since 1997 the UK-based Russian company has been producing respectable security software. Although perhaps best known for itsincredbily powerful antivirus software, the company is currently the fifth largest vendor of Endpoint Protection.

Back in 2013, Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud  won the AV-TEST Award for Best Protection 2012 but we couldn't help but wonder : has Kaspersky rested on their laurels or is it still one of the best endpoint security software platforms?

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Plans and pricing

Unlike many other endpoint security platforms we've reviewed, Kaspersky's product page has a clearly laid out pricing model. 

The lowest priced tier is for Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud - prices start from $215 per year for up to five devices. This includes file, web, mail and threat protection as well as ransomware prevention with 'rollback' features. There's also a 'Cloud Discovery' tool to monitor unauthorized use of cloud services and time wasted on social networks/messaging apps.

As we'd expect, the basic tier also includes a vulnerability scan to automatically patch applications.

The next pricing plan is 'Endpoint Security Cloud Plus', which starts at $342.50 per year for up to five devices. 

This includes all of the above 'plus' root cause analysis with a visual kill chain, allowing managers to analyze attacks in more detail. Subscribers also benefit from web/device control, which allows greater control of endpoint user resources, as well as which USB devices can be connected.

The 'Plus' tier also includes better cloud management services, including limiting inappropriate use of cloud apps, as well as managing Microsoft 365 services. Vulnerability patching is automatic and this pricing plan also supports OS encryption.

Endpoint Security Cloud Pro is the highest-priced tier and is the one on which this review is based. Prices start at $550 per year for up to 5 devices. 

All tiers also support up to mobile devices (Android or iOS) per user.

All the above plans are available as a free 30-day trial, with no payment information required upfront. All interested parties need to do is create a free account with Kaspersky Business Solutions. 

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Features

(Image credit: Kaspersky)

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Features

Kaspersky Security Cloud Pro contains all the features listed in the lower two pricing tiers such as basic file, web, mail and threat protection. The agent software also has firewall features.

This tier provides EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), including automated responses to known threats. We were also impressed to see 'Pro' subscriptions also include cybersecurity training for IT administrators.

The developers have produced a detailed datasheet on everything else the platform has to offer. Chief advantages include the fact that its very flexible, supporting Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Endpoints can also be managed from a single cloud console, saving organizations the time and resources of self-hosting.

Although we'll delve into the interface in more detail, while we're talking about the cloud we were impressed to see that the dashboard and other aspects of the UI can be customized through various web widgets. This makes it much easier for network managers only to see the information they see as vital. 

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Setup

(Image credit: Kaspersky)

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Setup

As we mentioned, the best way to try out Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud is through creating a free account with the Kaspersky Business Hub. You're then offered a chance to try out Endpoint Security Cloud or Kaspersky Security for Microsoft Office 365. 

Simply enter your company information and agree to the terms and conditions to have the platform create a dedicated workspace. 

On first login, we were delighted to see a welcome wizard which provided some useful tips on managing devices through creating security profiles. 

The setup wizard also suggests using various Endpoint Security Cloud features including EDR mode, as well as 'Cloud Discovery Mode'. The second of these can monitor and block unwanted cloud services.

By default the platform will scan for vulnerabilities once a week, though we were able to amend this to daily scans.

When the console first appeared, we were shown a helpful 'Information Panel' of other tasks to perform to get the best endpoint protection. These include reviewing which features are enabled, as well as links to 'add users' and 'add devices'.

We accessed 'Distribution Packages' and began downloading Kaspersky Security Endpoint for Windows to our test machine. The installer was a hefty size (over 300MB) but we later saw this was justified, given its features and graphical interface.

The install wizard took around 2 minutes to complete, and was immediately able to run an update to download new threat definitions. 

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Interface

(Image credit: Kaspersky)

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Interface

When reviewing endpoint security platforms, we often gloss over the agent program as it's usually little more than an icon sitting in the system tray.

In the case of Kaspersky Security Endpoint for Windows however, clients are treated to a visual feast. The main 'Monitoring' section displays a quick summary of threats found (if any), plus there's an excellent rundown of all threat detection technologies.

While the agent was updating itself, we took the opportunity to log in to the Kaspersky Cloud Console. We skipped past the 'Information Panel' to the 'Devices' section using the handy bar along the left hand pane.

Our test device was listed here, along with key information like the device name and owner. Clicking into the device displays more key information such as the status, security profile and event log.

Our only minor criticism of the UI is that users cannot download the agent software for devices from here but instead need to go to 'Distribution Packages'. Otherwise the interface is extremely intuitive and easy to navigate.  

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Performance

(Image credit: Kaspersky)

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Performance

Having updated Kaspersky Security Endpoint for Windows, we were keen to put the platform through its paces. 

When reviewing endpoint security platforms, our first test is to try to download a fake computer virus, provided by the good people of EICAR. 

We opened the Edge browser on our test machine and downloaded the file in compressed (ZIP) format. When we tried to extract the file, we found the fake virus vanished from the folder. The agent software didn't display a notification but when we visited the comprehensive 'Reports' section of the Kaspersky cloud console we saw the file had, in fact, been quarantined.

For our next test, we tried to copy a new, real computer virus to our test machine's "Downloads" folder. We do this to check if an endpoint security platform can detect threats based on a file's behavior, not just by comparing it to a known database of suspicious signatures. 

Sadly, Kaspersky didn't fare so well in this test. When we copied the file, the agent didn't react. We next right-clicked the file and had Kaspersky Security Endpoint scan it, only for it to report that no threats were found. Finally we ran the file - at this point Microsoft Defender stepped in to quarantine it but there was no report of this on the Kaspersky Cloud Console.

This is troubling, especially given that virtually every other endpoint security platform we've reviewed has detected this trojan virus immediately or at the very least when we tried to run it. 

We decided to give Kaspersky the benefit of the doubt and tried to download another new trojan virus. This time the agent software immediately detected and quarantined it as soon as we opened the folder it contained. 

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Interface 2

(Image credit: Kaspersky )

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud: Final Verdict

We've said previously that Kaspersky are a big name in cybersecurity and their endpoint security software has won multiple awards. Given how simple it is for organizations to register a business account and try out the cloud console, we can see why.

The helpful wizards which display on first login make device deployment a breeze and as we've learned the platform is available for both Windows, macOS and mobile devices. We were disappointed not to see Linux support but that's par for the course with most endpoint security solutions these days.

The array of security features is also spectacular : file scanning is combined with e-mail analysis and a firewall. The cloud security features also make it much easier to prevent unauthorized apps from hogging system resources. 

While we're talking security, we can't ignore that Kaspersky Security Endpoint failed to detect a virus in one of our tests. However it did detect and quarantine our 'fake' virus immediately and then did the same for another real trojan we introduced to the test machine. In fairness, no endpoint security platform claims to detect and prevent every type of threat.

In the case of those the agent did spot though, we'd have appreciated a pop up notification to tell us the threat had been contained.  As it was, we simply saw the files vanished and had to log in to the cloud console for verification. 

This said, the interface itself is very well laid out and easy to navigate. We also greatly appreciate the transparent pricing structure and how easy it is to set up a free trial, meaning you have nothing to lose by testing out this platform for yourself. 

We've listed the best cloud firewall.

ESET PROTECT review
9:58 am | July 23, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

ESET’s endpoint protection software is pitched at small and medium-sized businesses and combines the protection of the company’s popular antivirus solution along with its security product. 

ESET Protect Advanced covers Windows, and macOS, and with certain conditions also extends to Linux, Android and iOS endpoints as well. 

ESET PROTECT: Features

The antivirus bit of the solution uses heuristics and machine learning to protect against zero-day attacks and malware. It’ll also protect you against fileless malware thanks to the bundled mitigations that’ll detect any hijacked applications.

In fact, ESET monitors and evaluates all executed applications on the endpoints and based on their reputation and behavior will block any processes that act like ransomware. It keeps an eye on typically exploitable applications such as browsers, document readers, email clients, Flash, Java, and such, to look for identifiable exploitation techniques.

ESET PROTECT 1

(Image credit: ESET )

One of its interesting protection features is its ability to monitor the integrity and security of the UEFI firmware and the preboot environment. In addition to scanning the computer, ESET also has web access and email client protections to catch and block malicious downloads, harmful webpages, and purge spam from emails.

The security product brings with it a software firewall, the ability to detect malicious communications over the Internet and then block the offending process that initiated it. You also get a Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) that uses a predefined set of rules to identify and stop dubious behavior.

The endpoint bundle also includes the File Security product for Windows Servers and Microsoft Azure that can scan and monitor connected cloud storage and VMs.

By default the cloud console enables 'ESET LiveGuard' on new and existing devices. If you choose to enable ESET's recommend 'Optimal' setting then any document types that support macros will automatically sent to a secure ESET server for scanning and access will be limited until they're confirmed as safe. This could cause network slowdown if your organization regularly works with huge amounts of data like this, but luckily there's also a 'basic' option which only scans a limited number of files. ESET notes this is a particularly useful tool when it comes to preventing Ransomware from gaining a foothold on devices.

If you choose to create an installer for your device via the cloud management console (see below), you can configure it to support 'Full Disk Encryption', though you'll need to purchase a separate license for each device you want to encrypt.

One advantage of this is that admins can deploy full disk encryption on devices, disks and partitions from Cloud Administrator console. This could be helpful if your organization needs to secure data consistently across multiple devices to be compliant with data protection laws like GDPR.

While the smartphone clients also have the antivirus features that you get with the desktop, their security features differ. On Android and iOS devices you get application control and device security features as well as anti-theft features, such as the ability to remotely lock the device, or wipe it in case it is stolen.

ESET PROTECT 2

(Image credit: ESET )

ESET PROTECT: Interface and use

All of these features are accessible and can be tweaked from the endpoint clients or from the smartphone clients installed on the individual devices.

The cloud interface on the other hand, helps you deploy endpoints, rollout specific tasks to them, and get notifications and reports about incidents.

It contains several dashboards that help visualize different aspects of the network. There’s one that gives you an overview of the security incidents, another specifically for virus detections, another for events blocked by the firewall, and more. You can drill down each one of them to oversee the status of computers, along with the threats or quarantined items.

But first you’ll have to deploy the ESET agent to the endpoints. For this, you’ll have to create a small installer. The process for creating the installer allows for some customizations such as the ESET endpoint security product. This enables you to create multiple installers for a different set of machines. For instance, you can create separate installers for Windows and Macs.

ESET PROTECT 3

(Image credit: ESET )

The installer will anchor the selected ESET security product on the endpoint, activate the valid license and automatically connect to the cloud interface. You can either directly download the installer or send a link to it via email.

One advantage of having a cloud interface is that you can log in and remotely manage your endpoints from any device.

If, however, you want to install the endpoint client on devices, you'll need to be using Windows 7 onwards for PC's. ESET cautions that if you're using Windows with an ARM CPU, certain features like the Secure Browser aren't supported.

The client has no such problem with ARM-based Apple Macs, as it's compatible with all versions of macOS from version 10.12 onwards. 

The mobile versions of the client will work with any Android Device running version 5 (Lollipop) of the OS or later. Apple mobile devices running iOS 9 onwards are also compatible. 

Unlike many endpoint protection platforms ESET does actually offer a client for Linux. The installer supports Ubuntu 18.04 and RHEL Desktop 7 and their derivatives, which covers most modern Linux distributions. There's no support for some more advanced features like Full Disk Encryption but most versions of Linux already offer this option during install. 

Best of all, there’s also a remote deployment tool that can remotely deploy the installers to all the endpoints in your network. The remote deployment tool can sync with an active directory server or can scan and map all the endpoints in your network.

The two best administration features of ESET’s cloud-based interface are policies and tasks. Think of policies as predefined configurations that you can push to the endpoints to get them up and running quickly.

For instance there are policies to block access to all devices, another to only allow reads, another to log all warnings and critical events, and so on. You can also create custom policies. A policy can be applied to individual computers or can be rolled out to a group of computers and a computer can have multiple policies as well.

Then there are tasks, which are predefined commands to conduct some of the most common operations. For instance, there’s a task to perform diagnostics on the endpoints, run a scan, update the different ESET modules, isolate a computer from the network, and more. You can also create custom tasks.

ESET PROTECT interface

(Image credit: ESET)

Once a task has been created you can then schedule and execute it as per a defined trigger. The task can be executed as soon as the endpoint receives the task from the cloud interface, or at a selected time.

Finally, like all good enterprise software, ESET Endpoint bundle can also create all kinds of reports to visualize the network status. These reports can be printed or shared in digital form.

ESET PROTECT performance

(Image credit: ESET)

ESET PROTECT: Performance

After creating an 'Eset Package Installer' for our Windows 11 virtual machine, we were impressed to see that the endpoint client immediately started updating itself to detect the most recent threats. It then immediately began running an initial scan.

The scan failed to detect any threats, even though we'd placed a zipped test virus file (provided by the good people of EICAR), directly on the desktop. We had more joy when we tried to decompress the test virus however, as the client immediately detected the threat and quarantined it before it could be run.

When we tried to redownload the ZIP file with the virus using Microsoft Edge, the client also blocked the download automatically. 

We noted that by default, both the Secure Browser and 'Web Control' (which blocks access to potentially unsafe websites) are disabled. After enabling Web Control, we tried to visit file sharing site 'The Pirate Bay' and search for (legal) downloads of Ubuntu Linux. We found that while we could search for torrent files, Edge was blocked from displaying details on files.

We were curious to see what happened when deploying the secure browser, so enabled this too. After a mandatory restart of the PC, we opened the Secure Browser to find what seemed to be Microsoft Edge.

On further examination of ESET's Support Pages, we discovered the following statement:

"When you open ESET Secure Browser directly from the Tools tab in the product menu, ESET Secure Browser is opened in the web browser that you set as default. Otherwise, when you open your preferred web browser , the ESET internal list will be redirected to the same type of web browser secured by ESET."

It's not clear exactly what additional protection this would provide if a user clicked on a harmful link, nor does a 'browser within a browser' seem necessary if you already have 'Web Control' enabled. We ran our tests with the Pirate Bay within the 'Secure Browser' with the same results as before.

The only curiosity was when we logged into the ESET cloud console after running these tests, the Dashboard reported no security risks. Admittedly this was true given that the client had detected and blocked threats before they occurred but we think this should have been flagged.

A quick visit to the 'Detections' section however displayed all 3 security alerts triggered by the test virus, providing helpful information about the circumstances in which they occurred. 

ESET PROTECT: Plans and Pricing

At the time of our last review in 2020, ESET's pricing model was a little convoluted. as Endpoint bundles could be managed with either the cloud-based interface or an on-premise one for different prices.

There are now four main tiers, all of which can be managed via a console either based in the cloud or on premises. The choice is now down to users.

ESET Protect Entry is the most basic tier. It includes the aforementioned cloud/on premises console, as well as 'Modern' Endpoint Protection and real time protection for data passing through your organization's servers. 

If you want to find more about what these (or indeed any other) features entail, the ESET Business Products page contains a list of helpful hyperlinks for each, providing a detailed overview of what's included. Prices start at $211 for up to five devices for one year.

ESET Protect Advanced (which is the subject of this review), includes all of the above features in the 'Entry' tier, as well as 'Advanced Threat Defense', which can use cloud-based sandboxing and machine learning to detect and test for potential threats. This tier also offers Full Disk Encryption, though ESET's pricing page seems to suggest you also have to pay for extra licenses to set this up on each device. Prices start from $220 for up to five devices for one year. 

ESET 'Protect Complete' is the company's most recommended plan and there's currently a special offer saving customers 20%. Prices start at $270.80 for up to five devices per year. This tier includes more advanced protection for Microsoft 365 apps, along with a dedicated consoles. Subscribers also benefit from tools to scan mail servers to prevent threats from reaching users' inboxes, as well as active tracking and patching of vulnerable endpoints.

The ESET 'Protect Elite' plan is for 26 devices and upwards, with prices only available on request. It includes the same features as all the above tiers, as well as detection and response and multi-factor authentication, which are only available as a purchaseable extra for the other pricing plans.

ESET also offer a number of extras you can purchase on behalf or your organization such as CyberSecurity Awareness Training, email protection and advanced protection for Microsoft Office 365 and Sharepoint. 

Further discounts are available for all plans if you're willing to pay in advanced for longer subscriptions for 2 or 3 years. You can also trial all products for free for 30 days without providing credit card information, provided you register an online account with ESET.

ESET PROTECT interface 2

(Image credit: ESET)

ESET PROTECT: The competition

Perhaps the biggest advantage the ESET endpoint bundle offers over its peers is that it offers both cloud-based and on-premise management consoles. 

As a security product though, like most of its peers, besides hunting for malicious files on the computers, it also protects your web browsing and monitors connected devices as well.  

Admittedly it doesn't come with its own VPN as with similar products such as Avira Prime for Business. It also doesn't have a standalone 'secure browser' but this has dubious security value in any case as it's difficult to persuade workers in your organizations to switch from their usual browser. This is where ESET's "Web Control" shines, as it can provide protection for the endpoint's default browser.

Also, its user-interface offers the same kind of dexterity that you get with Bitdefender GravityZone Advanced Business Security (GZABS) without any of the complexity. Although it doesn’t ship with an administrator’s guide, the contextual help and the tooltips make easy work of navigating the interface.   

When we first logged into the cloud console, we were introduced to its main features through the 'ESET Protect Tour', which explained the ins and outs of the Dashboard, as well as the sections for Computers, Detections, Tasks, Policies, Notifications and Updates. 

ESET PROTECT: Final verdict

ESET PROTECT offers an impressive set of security features that are nicely complimented by its deployment and remote management functionalities. 

Despite the fact that most of its remote administration features cover only Windows and macOS, it still doesn’t leave your Linux endpoints completely in the lurch, which is a definite plus. Its coverage of both Android and iOS devices makes it one of the most complete endpoint security platforms. 

We are not knocking off points for the lack of a secure 'standalone browser', as the 'Web Control' feature more than makes up for this without users on your endpoint devices having to change their default web browser.

The ability to manage Full Disk Encryption of devices, as well as remote wipe of mobile devices will also be welcome news to organizations who handle sensitive data.

We were especially impressed by ESET's Protect Advanced's ability to immediately quarantine malware as soon as it was detected, whether this was from unpacking a compressed virus or when trying to download a harmful file directly within the browser.

We feature the best business laptops.

Alert1 review
12:38 pm | July 21, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Software & Services | Comments: Off

Alert1 is a company that provides medical alert systems for seniors who want to live independently and safely. Alert1 has three plans to choose from, depending on your needs and preferences. Each plan includes a wearable device with an emergency button and a 24/7 monitoring service that can contact your family, friends, or emergency responders in case of an emergency. Alert1 was founded in 1988 and is based in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It has two UL-listed and Five Diamond-certified call centers that offer customer service in 190 different languages.

Alert1: Medical alert systems

Both the in-home landline and cellular systems utilize the same medical alert system. When selecting the cellular option, an adapter is included to connect to a cellular network instead of relying on a landline. While most services have a pre-configured cellular system, this particular system requires manual assembly. The adapter itself is not compact, potentially posing a challenge in limited counter spaces.

The in-home system's pendant range, averaging 100 feet, surpasses the industry average. It outperforms MyTrex and MobileHelp systems, which typically cover around 77 and 88 feet, respectively. Although rated for 1,000 feet, the 100-foot range is ideal for homes or apartments. Venturing beyond this distance increases the risk of failed emergency communication or false alerts.

Alert1 medical alert system

Alert1 offers five packages with in-home, mobile and fall detection options. (Image credit: Future)

During fall detection tests, the Alert1 pendant stood out as the service's highlight. It accurately detected falls without being overly sensitive and generating excessive false alerts. However, it's important to note that false alerts can still occur, as even dropping the pendant from a mere 12 inches triggered a fall detection, indicating that help calls may be initiated more easily than anticipated.

The mobile GPS device, specifically the Kelsi mobile PERS device, demonstrated significantly improved fall detection capabilities. While the audio quality of the Kelsi is inferior to that of other mobile devices, it surpasses that of the in-home base station, which lacks both clarity and volume.

We were genuinely surprised by the cellular adapter that came with the in-home cellular system. Given the absence of any images on the company's website, we were completely unprepared for its substantial size. Resembling a Wi-Fi modem, it occupies a significant amount of space. In contrast, most in-home cellular systems simply require flipping a switch to establish a connection to the cellular signal. 

Alert1: Emergency response center

In terms of emergency call response speed, Alert1 exhibited the weakest performance. During the initial three-week daily testing phase, it recorded an average of 67 seconds per call, positioning it as one of the slowest services in the test. Surprisingly, in the subsequent three-week daily testing phase, while most other services showed improvements, Alert1's performance regressed, resulting in an average of almost 120 seconds per call. To put this into perspective, GreatCall, a competing service, achieved average response times of 20 seconds and 15 seconds in the respective testing phases. In emergency situations, these time differences can be profoundly significant. Even in non-emergency scenarios, the disparities are noticeable. 

Alert1 medical alert system

The Kelsi mobile GPS system is Alert1's best product. (Image credit: Future)

Furthermore, the call quality was less than satisfactory. Although most operators were professional, there were instances where they abruptly ended the call without checking on our well-being. Additionally, our identity was never verified. It was also noticeable that some operators sounded unenthusiastic and fatigued. In multiple calls, we experienced disruptive and loud beeping noises due to operators pressing buttons on their end. These factors collectively failed to provide any comfort or reduce the anxiety typically associated with reaching out to an emergency call center.  

Alert1 Accessories

Alert1 offers many accessories to help you age in place safely. (Image credit: Alert1)

Alert1: Accessories

On a positive note, Alert1 does offer more accessories to help with aging in place than other services. While they have the standard accessories, like lockbox and fall detection pendants, they also have medication reminders, fall protection kits, and more. 

Alert1: Pricing

Alert1's medical alert systems start at $19.95 per month, depending on the features and functions you choose. Here's a breakdown of their most popular plans:

In-Home Classic Medical Alert: This plan starts at $19.95 per month and includes a help button, 24/7 monitoring, and fall detection.

On-The-Go: This plan starts at $39.95 per month and includes a mobile help button with GPS, 24/7 monitoring, and fall detection. 

Ultimate: This plan starts at $44.95 per month and includes all the features of the Homeland Classic and On-The-Go plans, plus medication reminders and voice activated help.

Alert1 also offers a variety of other features and add-ons, such as fall detection for $10 per month, a lockbox for $5 per month, and additional help buttons for $5 per month each. If this all sounds confusing, no worries as you can get a free quote on Alert1's website or by calling them at 1-888-782-5378.

Finally, some additional things to keep in mind when considering Alert1 include that there is no activation fee or long-term contract required, you can cancel your service at any time, and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Alert1 medical alert system

You can save a lot with Alert1's 36 for 30 deal, but it locks you into three years. (Image credit: Alert1)

Alert1: Final verdict

Alert1 offers medical alert systems for seniors who want to live independently. They have various plans and devices to suit different needs, including in-home, mobile, and fall detection options. Their prices range start at $19.95 per month, with additional features and add-ons available. While they offer more accessories than other services and have no activation fee or contract, their emergency response center was slow and call quality was not the best. Their Kelsi mobile GPS device with fall detection was their best product. 

We've listed the best fall detection sensors.

Philips Lifeline review
12:31 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Software & Services | Tags: | Comments: Off

Lifeline is perhaps the most recognizable name in the medical alert industry (formerly known as Philips Lifeline), behind only Life Alert. In 1972, gerontologist Andrew Dibner envisioned a personal emergency response system for older adults, and in 1974 The Dibners founded Lifeline Systems and expanded their business to hospitals and other healthcare organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Lifeline grew and went public in 1983 introducing advancements such as waterproof personal alert buttons and centralized Response Center operations. Technology progressed again, and in 2010, Lifeline introduced automatic fall detection technology. Connect America acquired Lifeline in 2021, with Philips maintaining an equity stake, with the combined business offering an enhanced personal emergency response system portfolio.

In our evaluation of Lifeline's medical alert systems, we hoped for a more remarkable performance. While the company provides systems not commonly offered by others, which is commendable, the overall structure closely resembles other services, including landline, cellular, and mobile packages. However, the performance and pricing aren't sufficiently distinctive.

Philips Lifeline: Medical alert systems

Our tests revealed that HomeSafe has the most extended average range among medical alert systems, spanning 149 feet. We conducted the testing in an apartment complex with multiple walls and floors separating the pendant from the base station. This range allows users to move a considerable distance from the base station and still make an emergency call. Notably, the average range for other systems was around 77 feet. While 149 feet may be an extensive range for some seniors, it demonstrates HomeSafe's exceptional signal strength and reliability.

Bear in mind that the more you move away from the base station, the less likely you are to successfully communicate with the emergency operator. On the one hand, if the operator cannot effectively communicate with you, they will dispatch an ambulance. On the other hand, you may easily receive a false alert from this distance and be completely unaware that your pendant has called for help, particularly if you are using a fall detection pendant. 

Although the HomeSafe has excellent audio quality, the lack of loudness compared to the MyTrex and MobileHelp CBS-02 raises concerns about its long range capabilities. However, the clarity of the audio is a redeeming factor.

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

The Philips Lifeline base station has excellent audio. (Image credit: Future)

The On the Go mobile solution, a mobile medical alert system, provides a substantial improvement over its predecessor. Unlike the previous GoSafe, which combined a mobile system with an in-home system, the On the Go mobile solution features a better speaker and a similarly shaped "pill" device that is aesthetically more pleasing to wear and use than most other mobile medical alert systems we've tested, although some seniors may prefer a smartwatch. This resolves the communication issues we experienced with the pendant in the previous model.

Through a series of simulated falls, the On the Go mobile solution's fall detection showed average performance. We evaluated the pendants' sensitivity and accuracy, and the auto fall feature functioned approximately 50% of the time. While not being overly sensitive, this strikes a balance between false alarms and reliable fall detection.

Philips Lifeline: Emergency response center

The Lifeline website previously claimed a  22-second average response time from the moment a user presses the help button to when they are answered by an operator, but this has been subsequently removed. Our testing, however, revealed a different experience. In the first round, the average response time was 54 seconds, making it the seventh fastest among the services tested. GreatCall, for comparison, had an average of 20 seconds. In the second round, Lifeline averaged 49 seconds, which is roughly average. As we never encountered a response time close to 22 seconds, it is fair that the claim of 22 seconds has been removed. 

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

The HomeSafe's fall detection pendant worked about 50 percent of the time in our tests. (Image credit: Future)

We also weren’t impressed with the quality of the calls. Lifeline’s operators were often difficult to understand, as they often spoke fast or with a strong accent, resulting in many requests to repeat themselves. In some cases, the operators sounded bored, speaking in a monotone reserved for those with little interest in what they’re doing. 

Philips Lifeline: Medical alert service

Lifeline's medical alert systems are manufactured by the company itself, which is a unique feature that sets it apart from other services. However, the training and quality of these systems left us unimpressed. Furthermore, the pricing erodes any potential value that these features might have. Additionally, the company owns and operates its own monitoring center, which means it has complete control over the training and quality of the staff.  

Philips Lifeline medical alert system

Philips Lifeline sells an impressive medication reminder system. (Image credit: Philips Lifeline)

The Philips Care app, included with every medical alert system, offers a centralized platform for caretakers and family members. Through the app, family members can check in on you remotely and receive text notifications whenever you press the help button, keeping you connected and supported. You can also check on the charge status of the battery. 

Philips Lifeline: Cost comparison

After its acquisition, Lifeline has become one of the most competitively priced medical alert services. The HomeSafe landline system's monthly fee of $29.95 is average, while the cellular version costs $39.95 per month, comparable to other in-home cellular systems. It's worth noting that adding the AutoAlert fall detection feature will increase the monthly cost by $10. Each package has an activation fee of $99.95. 

Philips Lifeline pricing comparison

Each system requires a one-time activation fee. (Image credit: Philips Lifeline)

Philips Lifeline: Support

In line with industry standards, the company offers only a direct support phone number, 1.800.635.6156. However, the support hours and days of operation are not provided. The support options are limited mostly to this phone number, as we could not find access to a chat, email, fax, or a portal for submitting a ticket, but we did find that support is available through a phone app.

On the self-support front, the company provides some useful resources, including quick setup guides for each device and FAQs related to setup and billing issues. Notably, the company offers a satisfaction guarantee to instill confidence in customers. 

It is also not reassuring that Lifeline had a cybersecurity incident in 2022, with a potential breach of personal info. While this company indicates that it has provided free credit monitoring, and also enhanced its security, it still gives us pause.

Philips Lifeline: Final verdict

Lifeline has the resources to develop and manufacture medical alert systems that no other service uses. This alone makes it an interesting option in a sea of medical alert clones, but the overall performance and pricing fails to stand out. 

Despite owning their own monitoring center, the quality and speed of the calls simply doesn’t compare to most of the services we tested. And while the range of the wireless pendant of the HomeSafe was impressive, the cost of the packages is only average. To put it simply, look carefully when choosing a medical alert system and consider all the options.

We've also listed the best medical alert with GPS tracking, and the best medical alert smartwatch.

Livewell Alert review
12:26 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Software & Services | Tags: | Comments: Off

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Livewell Alert is dedicated to providing medical alert systems and wellness services to individuals and healthcare organizations. Their focus is on empowering seniors and at-risk individuals to live longer, healthier, and more independent lives in their own homes. Through advanced technological solutions like the Mini, WellBe, and Mobile, Livewell Alert allows its clients to live with comfort and security.

In addition to offering products, Livewell Alert goes above and beyond by delivering exceptional customer service, providing innovative wellness support, and eliminating equipment costs, contracts, and setup fees. Their commitment to exceptional service sets them apart.

Among their offerings, Livewell Alert features the popular MyTrex MXD in-home system, compatible with both landline and cellular networks. Known for its loud speakerphone, the MyTrex system rivals options like MobileHelp CBS-02. The company also offers two cutting-edge mobile medical alert systems: the Belle Mobile Alert and the Numera Libris, which includes fall detection technology, providing an extra layer of protection.

Livewell Alert: Medical alert systems

The MyTrex MXD is a prominent medical alert system for indoor use. Its pendant range is around 600 feet, but our tests showed an average of approximately 77 feet. The system features a powerful speaker that outperforms competing medical alert systems. This is a significant advantage, especially if you have fallen in a room far from the base station. However, the exceptionally loud speaker can sometimes lead to damage to the speaker itself.

After testing multiple MyTrex systems from different services, we observed significant variation in audio clarity. We speculate that this inconsistency is influenced by the system's circulation and age. When customers cancel their subscriptions, the returned systems are cleaned and resold. Consequently, audio quality may deteriorate over time due to extensive usage. To ensure satisfaction, we advise testing the audio quality and returning the system if it does not meet the desired standards.

Livewell Alert medical alert system for seniors

Livewell Alert offers three mobile medical alert systems and two in-home systems. (Image credit: Livewell Alert)

Livewell Alert offers three mobile systems, including the widely used Belle and Numera Libris. The iHelp 3G, a relatively new system, is comparable to the others but provides unique features. Like the other systems, it includes GPS tracking and fall detection. Additionally, it sends text alerts to designated family members when the help button is pressed.

Among the mobile medical alert systems we have evaluated, the Numera Libris is a prominent choice, standing out as the most well-received mobile alert device. It boasts an exceptional speaker, delivering audio with remarkable quality. Furthermore, the device features a highly effective fall detection sensor. However, the GreatCall Lively Mobile is the sole mobile system in the market that surpasses the Numera Libris in terms of performance.

The Numera Libris is a bulky mobile medical alert system. It comes with a cumbersome belt clip that is challenging to use and uncomfortable to wear. Alternatively, you can wear it around your neck, but its size makes it uncomfortable and not discreet.

Livewell Alert: Emergency response center

LiveWell Alert's call center performance was mediocre, with an average response time of 56 seconds during the first round of daily tests. While faster than the overall average, it lagged far behind GreatCall's 20-second average. In the second round of testing, LiveWell Alert improved to 47 seconds on average, but again, this was only marginally better than the overall average. Meanwhile, GreatCall further improved to a remarkable 15 seconds per call.  

Livewell Alert medical alert system for seniors

Livewell Alert partners with a 5Star Monitoring cener. (Image credit: Livewell Alert)

The quality of the monitoring center’s calls was generally satisfactory, but there was room for improvement. The operators were attentive, spoke clearly, and inquired about the caller's well-being multiple times. However, the lack of identity confirmation raised concerns. Confirming the caller's identity is a crucial security measure, as medical alert systems can be used to discreetly alert operators in emergency situations, such as home invasions or senior abuse. By confirming the caller's identity, the operators can look for red flags that might indicate that the senior loved one is in a compromised situation.  

Livewell Alert: Pricing

Livewell Alert offers three main medical alert system options, each with different features and pricing:

The first is Mobile Alert (iHelp 3G) at a price of $33 per month. It features a landline-based system with cellular backup, fall detection, and two-way communication with the emergency response center. We also like that the device is water-resistant, with a long battery life.

Next up is the Mobile Alert plan at a price of $39 per month. The notable features include a mobile device with GPS and Wi-Fi for location tracking, that no cell phone or service is required, and has fall detection. It has two-way communication with the emergency response center, is water-resistant, and has a long battery life. Finally it has a caregiver app with notifications and messaging.

Livewell Alert medical alert system for seniors

The iHelp 3G is the newest offering by Livewell Alert. (Image credit: Livewell Alert)

At the top is the mobile alert watch (Numera Libris) at a cost of $49 per month. The includes all features of the Mobile Alert system, and adds medication reminders, appointment reminders, social event reminders, and has a touchscreen display.

Also keep in mind that Livewell Alert offers discounts for paying annually or semi-annually, with no additional fees for activation, shipping, or service charges. Finally, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Livewell Alert: Support

Support for Livewell Alert has some options starting with phone support at 1-888-358-6667; the hours are not listed. The other direct support option is for a support portal. We did not find chat, and it is not clear if the direct email we found is only for sales or also support. 

Livewell Alert pricing

Livewell Alert's pricing is mostly competitive if you pay annually. (Image credit: Livewell Alert)

There is some limited self support including a blog. However, it was last updated in 2020. There is also a FAQ for over a dozen topics, including if the pendant can be used in the shower (the answer is yes).

Overall, we were also impressed with the customer service. Livewell Alert certainly goes out of their way to make sure you have all the information you need. We were never pressured to buy unnecessary add-ons and we weren’t funneled into an upsell call when we wanted to cancel the account. Overall, if one thing stands out with Livewell Alert, it’s the customer service.

Livewell Alert: Final verdict

Livewell Alert presents the well-known MyTrex in-home medical alert system with cellular and landline connectivity. This system is a suitable choice with a loud speaker, however, the audio quality can be inconsistent, ranging from good to poor.

In addition to the MyTrex, Livewell Alert offers three mobile medical alert systems. While all three systems are good options, they are not as competitively priced or perform as well as the GreatCall Lively Mobile. The new iHelp 3G is the most affordable option, but the cost increases substantially with fall detection. The Belle has a good speaker and is moderately priced, while the Numera Libris is an outstanding mobile medical alert system with reliable fall detection, although it might be bulky for some individuals.

Overall, Livewell Alert provides good medical alert systems with above-average performance, but the company does not particularly excel in any specific area compared to its competitors.

We've also listed the best medical alert with GPS tracking, and the best medical alert smartwatch.

LifeStation review
12:15 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro Software & Services | Comments: Off

For nearly four decades, LifeStation has been delivering essential safety services, aiming to enhance the safety and independence of seniors while providing greater peace of mind to their loved ones. As one of the leading providers of medical alert systems in the United States, LifeStation has established a solid reputation in the industry. 

LifeStation: Medical alert systems

 

LifeStation offers a variety of features across its different plans and devices, but some of the core functionalities include:

Core Features:

24/7 Emergency Monitoring: This is the heart of LifeStation's service. Upon pressing the help button, you'll be connected to their US-based monitoring center staffed by trained professionals who can assess the situation and dispatch help if needed.

Nationwide Cellular Coverage: LifeStation utilizes reliable cellular networks to ensure connectivity throughout the US, even in remote areas.

Two-Way Communication: Speak directly with the monitoring center through the help button, allowing for clear communication of your situation and needs.

Fall Detection (Optional): This feature uses advanced technology to automatically detect falls and trigger an emergency response if you're unable to call for help yourself.

GPS Location Tracking (Mobile Devices): Helps pinpoint your location for faster emergency response, especially helpful for mobile help buttons worn outside the home.

Water Resistance: Most LifeStation devices are water-resistant, allowing for use in various environments like bathrooms or near sinks.

Long Battery Life: Devices are designed to last for extended periods without needing recharge, providing peace of mind during power outages or extended use.

Voice Prompts: Audio cues inform you about battery levels, system status, and provide confirmation when pressing the help button.

LifeStation Review

The LifeStation Mobile LTE medical alert system is able to locate your exact location using GPS. (Image credit: LifeStation)

Additional Features (Depending on Plan and Device):

Lockbox: Securely store medication or valuables and grant access to emergency personnel through a PIN code.

Smartwatch Features (Sidekick Smart): Track heart rate, steps, and receive additional health insights alongside emergency alert functionality.

Alexa Integration: Use voice commands through compatible Alexa devices to request help or check system status.

It's important to note that specific features may vary depending on the chosen plan and device. Always refer to LifeStation's website or consult with their representatives for detailed information on features included in each option.

During our testing in an apartment complex with numerous walls, the pendant demonstrated an exceptional range, with an average reach of 117 feet. This surpassed most medical alert systems, which typically maxed out at approximately 75 feet. While it fell short of the specified range of 1,200 feet under ideal conditions, it was still one of the longest ranges among the systems we evaluated. With a range of 117 feet, it effectively covers large apartments and houses, eliminating concerns about signal obstruction by walls or furniture.

Despite its relatively better performance compared to other pendants, the fall detection pendant still had limitations. None of the tested pendants performed exceptionally well. Common complaints among seniors revealed that the sensors were either too sensitive, triggering constant false alerts, or insensitive, failing to recognize actual falls. While LifeStation's pendant excelled at detecting genuine falls, it still generated some false alerts. Additionally, there was a noticeable delay of 25 to 30 seconds between a fall occurring and the device calling for help, which could be improved for more immediate assistance.

LifeStation: Emergency response center

During the initial three-week daily tests, LifeStation achieved an average call response time of approximately 47 seconds. This performance placed LifeStation among the top three fastest response times recorded during the test, despite being considerably slower than GreatCall's average time of 20 seconds. However, in the subsequent three-week testing period, LifeStation's call response time regressed to an average of around 52 seconds. While still above average, this decline in performance was disappointing as we had anticipated improvement. 

LifeStation Review

LifeStation's call response time was above average. (Image credit: LifeStation)

One significant drawback of the monitoring center was the subpar call quality. The audio quality of the in-home system was extremely poor, and we could only effectively evaluate calls made on the mobile medical alert device due to its superior audio quality. However, even with the mobile device, we often encountered difficulties understanding the operators. They either spoke too rapidly or had strong regional accents that hindered effective communication. Furthermore, the operators frequently sounded disinterested and bored, which was particularly noticeable compared to other services we reviewed. While none of the calls were severely problematic, their quality was generally inferior to most other services we assessed. 

LifeStation: Pricing

Previously, we criticized this company for the lack of upfront pricing, however things have improved now. From the website, we can report that LifeStation offers three main pricing plans, each with additional options and add-ons you can choose from:

1. In-Home Systems:

Standard: Starts at $34.95 per month. Includes 24/7 monitoring, one help button, and a cellular-connected base unit.

Select: $31.95 per month on top of the Standard plan. Adds LifeStation's protection plan, which covers accidental damage and malfunction of the equipment.

Supreme: $14 per month on top of the Select plan. Includes everything in the Select plan plus a PIN-protected lock box for medication or valuables.

LifeStation Review

LifeStation's lack of information and resources is a concern. (Image credit: LifeStation)

2. Sidekick (Mobile Help Button):

Standard: Starts at $39.95 per month. Includes 24/7 monitoring, a mobile help button with GPS location tracking, and fall detection (optional for an additional fee).

Select: $4 per month on top of the Standard plan. Adds LifeStation's protection plan for the mobile help button.

3. Sidekick Smart (Wearable Help Button):

Standard: Starts at $46.95 per month. Includes 24/7 monitoring, a smartwatch-style help button with fall detection, and GPS location tracking.

Also keep in mind that all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and there are no long-term contracts required. Also some plans require a one-time activation fee of $99.95, and also a shipping fee of $12.50. There is also the option for additional help buttons on the wrist or neck pendant for an extra fee per month, and fall detection is an optional add-on on some plans.

LifeStation: Support

If you need to get in touch with LifeStation, you can call LifeStation’s experienced customer service team at (800) 998-2400; the hours of operation are not specified. While we always appreciate direct phone support, we did not find any other options, such as a chat, email or support portal.

There are also some limited self support options. These include an installation guide, and a FAQ.

LifeStation Review

You have to call LifeStation to purchase a medical alert system. (Image credit: LifeStation)

LifeStation: Final Verdict

Despite being one of the biggest and oldest medical alert companies, LifeStation doesn’t do enough to push the market forward. It offers nothing that you can’t get from other medical alert services for better prices. However, we do appreciate the choice of plans, and the move for transparent pricing. Overall, the emergency call response times were good and the fall detection pendant was decent. We also appreciate the 30 day money back guarantee. 

We've also listed the Best medical alert with GPS tracking, and the best medical alert smartwatch.

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