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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.


(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.

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. 


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.


(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.


(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.


(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.

WASEL Pro VPN review
10:57 am | July 17, 2020

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

The best VPNs offer a great way to protect and hide your identity and online activities. It’s also an ideal tool to circumvent internet censorship in countries with online restrictions, such as Syria, Iran, and China. Or, on the other hand, access geo-restricted content, those locked to your country, with the best streaming VPNs

WASEL Pro VPN may have been developed by the Netherlands-based iElement B.V. - but the VPN itself is actually based in Egypt and subject to Egyptian laws. The service offers 40+ servers in more than 20 locations, including the US, UK, Germany, India, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia. 

Pricing & plans 

Wasel Pro VPN offers subscriptions for lengths of one, three, six, and twelve months. Each plan has the same features and a 7-day money-back guarantee. A free trial of WASELPro is available to test the VPN daily, although it is restricted to 30 minutes. This gives you the opportunity to use it and see if it suits your needs before deciding to purchase it, but while many providers some of the best free VPN experiences, there’s no cost-free option here. 

WASEL Pro VPN prices are $9.99 a month / $27 every three months / $50 every six months / $90 a year. 

The plan does not limit the number of concurrent device connections; instead, you are allowed a maximum of six connections per protocol with no restrictions. The platform accepts payment from all major debit/credit cards, Western Union, PayPal, WebMoney, CASHU, and OneCard. The VPN doesn't give refunds and also does not accept cryptocurrencies, so there is no way to maintain anonymity when making online purchases.

WASEL Pro VPN in use

(Image credit: WASEL Pro VPN)

Privacy & encryption 

According to the company, the VPN doesn't log anything, and neither does it record user activities or connection metadata. However, the service fails to give us details about what type of data is covered by this policy. Nor have they called an independent auditor to carry out a VPN audit that would attest to the company's no-logging claims. So, we have no way of knowing if they don't keep logs.

To protect your privacy, WASEL Pro uses protocol combinations such as OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, and L2TP with 256-bit data encryption. It includes some useful extras such as a smoke tunnel that allows you to enable VPN throttling protection over UDP, TCP, or even both, a VPN kill switch that deactivates internet access when the VPN connection fails to prevent data leakage. There’s also a DNS leak protection option on the software.

As an added advantage, you can also use the VPN for China because it aims to provide unrestricted internet access to locations where governments and ISPs collaborate to blacklist numerous websites and services. WASEL Pro VPN does not prohibit P2P or torrenting on any of its servers, so it can be used as a VPN for torrenting

WASEL Pro VPN in use

(Image credit: WASEL Pro VPN)


WASELPro allowed us to unblock Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ABC, and Amazon Prime Video with no problems. We were able to use the VPN for Netflix, with high-quality streams, and we didn’t experience any buffering. To access the desired content in the country of your choice, all you need to do is establish a connection to the server there. 

Speed & experience 

Through intelligent routing and the use of OpenVPN LZO compression, WASEL Pro VPN asserts that their VPN can boost speeds. This is what we found when running a series of speed tests

When we tested WASELPro through the VPN server near our location, our connection speed was 55 Mbps, for the server in California, USA. delivered download speeds of about 40 Mbps. While the speeds for distant locations was reduced to about 16 Mbps 

WASEL Pro VPN in use

(Image credit: WASEL Pro VPN)


On the website, you can download and quickly set up the user-friendly WASEL Pro clients for Windows and Mac. There are also mobile VPN apps for iOS, and Android. Whether running on Windows, Mac, or Android, WASEL Pro VPN has a largely consistent interface and functionality, making it easy to use. 


In addition to providing live chat support around the clock, WASEL Pro VPN also offers email and web form contact options, as well as remote guidance via TeamViewer for any typical problems. 

A useful resource for information is the VPN's extensive knowledge base on its website, which includes a wealth of FAQs, service manuals, and step-by-step instructions with pictures. When we tested the customer service, we got clear responses in less than a minute.


Wasel Pro VPN provides SSH and Smoke tunnels, Shadowsocks (anti-DPI), a kill-switch, IPv6 leak protection, and support for torrenting and peer-to-peer (P2P). It offers a 30-minute free trial, has an easy-to-use app for quick setup, and unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Wassel is a VPN for China that makes it simple to get around internet censorship, making it the ideal VPN for anyone visiting or residing in the country. 


Wasel Pro VPN's privacy policy lacks detail and is not transparent about its policies. It also has not gotten an independent auditor to back up its claims that it doesn't keep logs. The VPN has a limited number of servers, does not give refunds, and charges high rates. Wasel Pro VPN's privacy policy lacks detail and is not transparent about its policies. It also has not gotten an independent auditor to back up its claims that it doesn't keep logs. The VPN has a limited number of servers, does not give refunds, and charges high rates. 

WASEL Pro VPN in use

(Image credit: WASEL Pro VPN)


ExpressVPN is one of the best alternatives to Wasel Pro VPN. It’s a secure VPN service that unblocks Netflix and other streaming websites and has thousands of servers there. It also allows for 5 simultaneous device connections and has a fast connection rate.

Read our full ExpressVPN review

NordVPN also offers a comparable service. The business offers online military-grade protection and has been in business for more than ten years. You can freely access your preferred websites and streaming platforms thanks to it. Furthermore, it has a strict "no log" policy and doesn't keep any records of your activities.

Read our full NordVPN review

Torguard VPN is a powerful software product with numerous security features. It includes the WireGuard protocol, restricts IPv6 leaks, and is suitable for torrent downloads. Windscribe is another well-known VPN service with a desktop application and browser extension. It also has a "Block Trackers" feature that prevents trackers from tracking you.

Read our TorGuard VPN review 


WASEL Pro offers strong encryption, exceptional anti-snooping protection, functional clients for the majority of the major platforms, support for torrenting, and access to major video streaming websites. However, they have the obvious drawback of slightly average speed and a no-logging policy that is not well supported by information or evidence. We believe that there is still room for improvement for WASEL Pro, and also back up their log in policy with more details. 

Kobo Nia review
7:01 am | July 15, 2020

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

Two-minute review

[Update February 7, 2023: The Kobo Nia has had a small price increase in every region it's available in. We've updated the price and availability section to reflect this new price.]

The Kobo Nia is a no-frills ereader aimed at those who want a Kindle alternative. It’s marginally more expensive than the current 10th-generation Amazon Kindle, but the Nia boasts a better 6-inch 212ppi screen.

However, there doesn’t seem to be anything new about Kobo’s latest entry-level ereader. In fact it appears to be physically identical to the Tolino Page 2 (which was released in 2019 and is only available in some markets). This shouldn’t be very surprising as Rakuten, the makers of the Kobo range, bought Tolina back in 2017.

The Nia also shares plenty of similarities with the now-discontinued Kobo Aura, the company’s previous entry-level ereader. They both have the same screen resolution of 1024x758 and screen size of six inches. The display advantage the Nia has over its older sibling is that it uses the latest E Ink Carta technology that makes the screen more responsive and sharper than the Aura. The screen resolution is also a boost over the current Amazon Kindle (2019) model, whose 6-inch E Ink display is just 167ppi.

But where the Kobo Aura had just 4GB of internal memory, the new Nia boasts 8GB of storage, putting it on par with the rest of the current Kobo ereaders, like the Clara HD, Aura One, Libra H2O and Forma. However, the Aura had a microSD slot to expand storage, which is not an option on any current Kobo or Amazon device.

Thanks to a newer processor (1GHz i.MX 6 CPU) and a more streamlined interface than before, the Nia is definitely a far superior ereader to what the Aura was, and can give the Kindle a run for its money.

Alongside a shared screen size, both the Nia and the Kindle lack waterproofing, and both boast front-lit displays. Kobo’s patented ComfortLight technology makes its way to the Nia, meaning you can easily adjust the brightness of the front light by just swiping up or down the left edge of the screen for a more comfortable reading experience at night. However, unlike the Clara HD and the more premium Kobo ereaders, there’s no blue-light filter on the Nia (or the Kindle), meaning the hue of the light cannot be adjusted to warmer tones at night.

Like all other Kobo ereaders, the Nia comes with OverDrive support in many countries, so borrowing ebooks from a public library is seamless. And you can switch from reading on the device to the Kobo app on your smartphone or tablet (in case you’ve left the house without your ereader) without losing your place.

The Nia might not have Bluetooth like the Kindle (used for the VoiceView feature, a text-to-speech screen reader, as well as for audiobooks), but it offers wider file support and the ability to sideload different fonts, including Amazon’s own Bookerly or Ember. We’re also a little partial to Kobo’s more streamlined interface.

All in all, Kobo’s new Nia is a very compelling alternative to the Kindle, particularly for anyone who’s not keen on getting locked into Amazon’s ecosystem.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Kobo Nia price and availability

  • Released July 15 in select markets
  • Only one (black) color available
  • Sleep cover available in Black, Aqua and Lemon

Compared to Amazon’s Kindle range, Kobo’s ereaders have always been a tad more expensive and the Nia is no exception. At $109.99 / £96.99 / AU$159.95 / €109.99 apiece (with the sleep cover sold separately), the Kobo Nia is quite affordable, although you can get the latest generation Kindle for just $89.99 / £69.99 / AU$139.

However, the Kobo Clara HD, which boasts a higher resolution 300ppi 6-inch screen and a blue-light filter, costs a little more – available for £119.99 / AU$189.95 (unavailable in the US) – and does seem to be the obvious choice if you’ve got the extra cash.

The Nia is available to buy now directly from Kobo or from select retailers in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and some European countries.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and display

  • 212ppi 6-inch E Ink screen
  • Familiar, minimalist design
  • Lightweight and portable

The Kobo Nia doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of design. It looks remarkably like the older Aura, the newer Clara HD and Amazon’s Kindle. In fact, it’s practically identical to Rakuten’s Tolino Page 2, with the exception of the branding on the lower bezel. The Kobo brand name is etched into the plastic of the chassis and that’s the only design embellishment on the top surface. 

The underside, like the Clara HD, bears the Rakuten branding on the top right corner of the housing, while most of the rear surface is textured that makes the Nia feel a lot more secure in the hand than the Amazon Kindle (which has a smooth finish on the rear).

Kobo Nia

A textured rear panel makes the Nia feel more secure in the hand (Image credit: TechRadar)

The only button on the Nia is on the bottom edge of the device and serves as both the sleep and the power button. Beside it is a microUSB charging port that, today, does seem antiquated when USB-C is fast becoming standard.

The Nia weighs almost as much as the Kindle (172g compared to the Kindle’s 174g) but is slightly heavier than the Clara HD (which weighs 166g), and shares similar dimensions to both older ereaders, making it a very portable device that easily slips into any bag.

But where the Nia outshines the Kindle is screen resolution. The Nia’s 6-inch display has a resolution of 1024x758 (translating to 212ppi) as opposed to the Kindle’s 800x600 pixels (or 167ppi). While that doesn’t match the Clara HD’s 300ppi screen, the Nia’s display is sharper than the Kindle.

Kobo Nia

The Nia, like all other ereaders, still uses a microUSB port for charging (Image credit: TechRadar)

In some markets, a 4GB capacity Kindle is still available, although the Nia only comes in one flavour – 8GB internal storage – that’s twice the capacity of the Kobo Aura it’s replacing.

And that’s about where its advantages over the Kindle stop. Many of the other factors are on par with its Amazon competition – there’s no waterproofing or blue-light filter in either, for instance – but the Kindle does have Bluetooth support that the Kobo lacks.

So which cheap ereader you decide to go for will depend on other factors, like user interface, your preference for Amazon’s Kindle Store or whether you’d like to borrow ebooks from your local public library.

Battery life

  • 1,000mAh battery
  • About four weeks of use
  • Recharging via microUSB

Kobo has previously not divulged battery specifications for its entry-level ereaders; instead the company has only claimed that you’ll get weeks of reading from a single charge (depending on use). This time, though, Kobo has specified that there’s a 1,000mAh battery under the hood of the Nia.

It’s hard to quantify exactly how long a single charge will last you as it depends on how long you read each day, what brightness your screen is set at and how long you spend browsing the Kobo Store on the device.

During our time testing the new ereader, we had the device set at 25% brightness, had Wi-Fi switched off most of the time, and read for about an hour and a half each day, and only managed to drain the battery by about 20% by the end of a week. That means you should be able to get up to four weeks of use per full charge if you read for a couple of hours every day with Wi-Fi on at all times.

Kobo Nia

The Kobo branding is the only design element on the top surface of the Nia (Image credit: TechRadar)

Reading experience

  • Instantaneous page turns
  • Simple, streamlined interface
  • Wide file support

The Nia’s screen is quite responsive, on par with the Clara HD but a touch slower than the Libra H2O. Things like text selection for dictionary look-up (or highlighting and note-taking) are less hit-and-miss than on the Kindle or the older Kobo Aura range, with markers falling accurately where your finger touches. Moving those same markers around is also easy. However, we found that you need to be very precise where you place your finger while typing (either a Wi-Fi password or in the search bar) as even the slightest shift to the left or right would select the adjacent key even though they’re all well spaced out on the 6-inch screen.

Kobo has been progressively improving its user interface and, we have to admit, has made it a lot more streamlined than the clunky UX you’ll find on any of the Kindles. The interface is easy to understand and very intuitive, offering excellent organization even for books that weren’t purchased directly from the Kobo Store. This is something you can’t do on a Kindle as only books purchased from the Kindle Store can be organized into folders.

Kobo Nia

Kobo OS has, over time, become a more streamlined and intuitive interface (Image credit: TechRadar)

The latest Kobo OS updates came last year when the Libra H2O launched in September, adding a new ebook navigation system that uses a slider and shows you a preview of the selected page instead of taking you there directly. This, of course, has made its way to the Nia and it’s good to see it hasn’t come at the cost of the ‘rapid page turn’ engine – which allows you to quickly move forward in an ebook by holding down on the bottom-left corner of the screen – that was introduced with the Clara HD.

Even adjusting screen brightness is simple on the Nia – all you have to do is slide a finger up or down the left edge of the display to increase or decrease the brightness. You can, of course, adjust brightness by using the slider presented when tapping on the ‘light’ icon on the top toolbar but this way allows you to continue reading while you make adjustments.

Kobo Nia

There is no option to change the hue of the light on the Nia (Image credit: TechRadar)

Another advantage of using a Kobo device is the ability to sideload fonts. The Nia comes with 12 preloaded fonts, but it’s easy enough to add more by just downloading the ones you want to your computer and transferring them to the Kobo’s fonts folder when the device is plugged in via the microUSB cable.

Moreover, all Kobo devices offer better file support than a Kindle. Whether you want to read comics, look at images or read text files, you’ll be able to view EPUB, MOBI, PDF, PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, CBR and CBZ files on the Nia.

Kobo’s partnership with OverDrive means users in supported countries will be able to borrow ebooks from their local public library, thus saving money on buying new reads. There’s also support for Pocket – a website and browser plugin that lets you save articles for reading later – as well Dropbox integration that allows you to transfer books wirelessly if you happen to have your library saved to the cloud.

Kobo Nia

A lot of reading information is available at your fingertips on the Kobo OS (Image credit: TechRadar)

Kobo Store

  • Over six million titles available
  • Kobo ebooks can be more expensive
  • Earn Kobo Super Points with every purchase

Amazon’s Kindle Store is unrivaled, with way more books available as compared to the Kobo Store. That said, there are over six million books available on Kobo right now, which includes practically all top-selling titles. What keeps the Kindle Store a step ahead for readers is Amazon’s self-publishing option that ties authors down to the e-commerce giant’s Kindle platform.

Moreover, titles on the Kobo Store can cost more as compared to the Kindle Store, although Kobo allows you to earn what it calls Super Points with each purchase. Once you’ve accumulated a sufficient amount of points, you can use them to buy ebooks on the Kobo Store. However, these points have an expiration date and must be used up within a certain period.

Audiobooks are also available on the Kobo Store but, unlike the current Kindles, none of Kobo’s ereaders have audiobook support.

Should I buy the Kobo Nia

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if

Don't buy it if

First reviewed: July 2020

Sync cloud storage review
9:26 pm | July 4, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off is a cloud storage service that’s going to appeal if you're looking for something that's simple, speedy, and secure. 

As the name suggests, it syncs a single folder of data between your computers and the cloud. In a lot of respects, is similar to Dropbox, although the ability to sync files outside the main folder is a feature we would like to see added. This makes more of a cloud storage and file syncing solution rather than a cloud backup drive. 

That said, with a little work it could function as a backup drive if you save everything within the folder or use the Vault feature. Files added to the Vault do not get synced to your other devices - letting you free up space by archiving your files in the cloud. Sync also claims that you can copy files into the vault from the desktop app, though when we opened it we couldn't see any obvious way to do this. However we were able to move a folder into the Vault using the Files section of the Sync online control panel. 

Unlike many rivals, there is end-to-end encryption for maximum file security. When setting up an account, you're offered the option to reset your password via email. If you choose not to enable this, Sync warns that there's no way to recover your encrypted data without the right password.

As the software is proprietary, it's impossible to be certain end-to-end encryption has been set up correctly. Still, Sync's Help Center addresses what they would do if issued a subpoena by law enforcement in Canada, where the company is based:

"If data is requested, we would only be able to provide the encrypted data stored on our servers, useless without the encryption keys (which we do not have access to)." Pricing & plans 

You can get 5GB free cloud storage, which sounds average, but there are tasks you can complete to increase your capacity up to a maximum of 27GB. Invite your friends, create a new folder, it’s the gamification of cloud storage on full display. Like many of’s competitors, payments are made annually, so expect a certain degree of commitment with an upfront cost. However there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

For personal users, $8 a month gets you 2TB storage. A mid-tier service blurs the boundaries between personal subscriptions and business levels, and is particularly useful for self-employed individuals and families. It offers 6TB of storage for the equivalent of $20 per month, paid annually. There is the option here for monthly billing, though it’s more expensive at $24 per month. 

For small businesses, the Teams Standard plan offers a decent 1TB at $5 per user per month. Larger businesses may want to consider the Teams Unlimited plan, which offers unlimited cloud storage for $15 per user per month. 1

(Image credit: Interface & experience 

Installing on Windows or macOS is a relatively painless exercise. After entering our email and password, we were instantly offered the choice of just using the web interface or downloading the desktop client. 

On first launch, the client application creates a folder named Sync in your home directory. Anything dropped in here then syncs to the cloud and to any other computers where you have the software installed. Network drives and external drives can't be included, nor can files and folders outside of your main folder, so the software is a little bit limited in that way.

There's not all that much to the interface on the desktop, besides progress indicators and a recent changes list, so you need to go to the web interface to access old file versions and for advanced sharing options. One trick we did find is that when data is uploading/downloading you can click Syncing to view the progress of individual files. 

We like the extra control given to the desktop client for throttling upload and download speeds to help preserve bandwidth for other computing tasks; if you have a slow Internet connection, limiting’s speeds can be useful and the effects are generally unseen as the client continues to sync in the background with ease. You don’t get much more control, and we think PolarBackup provides a more personalized experience. But unlike, this is strictly a cloud backup service, not a cloud storage platform. Horses for courses.

The web interface is slick and easy to use, and offers another way of getting your files up to the cloud. If you prefer, you can upload and keep files on the web without having local copies on your synced computers - handy if you want to save some space on your desktop machines. Which files get synced to which computers is all nicely handled through the options screen in the desktop client. The mobile apps, like the web interface, are straightforward and easy to navigate. Their appearance is rather plain, but on the plus side, it does have automatic photo and video uploading, should you need it. 

A separate tab in the browser tool - namely Vault - provides partitioned storage for files that you strictly want to store online, and not to sync with your desktop client. Naturally files placed here won't take up any space on your hard drive. 

While there is substantial support for sharing and online editing, inevitably lags behind the likes of Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive, all of which have proprietary writing apps. There is, however, integration with Microsoft 365 for live editing and collaboration. 2

(Image credit: Features 

The core functionality is to keep a folder on your system in sync with the cloud and any other computers where you've got the client software installed. It's all very simple to set up and use for personal and business users, thanks partly to the refreshed desktop clients and mobile apps. Tteam users will appreciate the Microsoft Office integration.

Our tests found that the platform supports versioning, so you can go back to older versions of files if you need to. In a generous move from, these older versions don't count against your storage quota. Depending on the subscription tier you choose, files are kept for 180 or 365 days which offers better protection than many other companies that limit this to 30 days or so. Free accounts with 5GB of storage are limited to 30 days, which is reasonable given that in this form, it is an unpaid service.

Basic file and folder sharing is supported on the platform too, and there's also support for advanced sharing controls with password protection and expiry dates on links. And if you sign up for a team account then you get provision for keeping your data compliant with standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and PIPEDA. The mobile apps also support PIN code locks. 

Actually, one of's features is its lack of features: a focus on the core functionality that matters, keeping your data secure, private, and well-managed between multiple computers (and multiple users, if needed). If that appeals, and you want several terabytes of space for not much money per month, it's worth checking out.

Of particular use to business owners and those wanting to use to archive important family files like photos and videos, there is no file size limit which is fairly typical of a cloud service these days, however there are still some that fail to offer this valuable feature. 3

(Image credit: Security 

Security is a very important part of the overall experience. There’s a whole host of features included to give you some extra peace of mind. You can secure your Sync logins using 2FA

Sync have published an extensive white paper, which explains the process of using end-to-end encryption using 2048 Bit RSA encryption keys, the private key of which is then encrypted with AES-256-GCM, secured by your password. They also claim to use secure TLS tunnels to protect anyone from snooping on your files while they're being transferred to and from the servers. As we mentioned, since the client isn't open source these claims are very difficult to verify but we're pleased to see seems to be taking privacy seriously. 

Unlike some of its rivals, doesn't work with a host of third-party applications or make an API available for other people to use – it sees this as an advantage though, reducing the number of ways in which your account can be exposed, and keeping the inner workings of the platform as secret as possible. Our tests 

We ran three core tests on, measuring sync speed, file recovery and versioning. Tests were performed on a Windows 11 virtual machine running the desktop client. Our VM was connected to the internet via fiber broadband via VPN server, which in our speed tests consistently showed an average upload speed of 70 Mbps cloud storage being tested by TechRadar Pro reviewer - screen shows file upload in progress

(Image credit:
  • Test 1 - Sync speed

In our tests, we found the tools on the desktop and the web very polished and quick in use, with good transfer rates. 

A 1GB data file was uploaded in under seven minutes which is among the best we'd experienced, though it’s worth noting this was with a particularly strong 35Mbps upload speed. Download times were also exceptional, completing 1GB in just over two minutes with a connection of up to 350Mbps.

Our most recent tests were with a group of 22 files contained in a folder (around 625MB in total size). The folder took just under 3 minutes to upload with a 70Mbps upload speed. This is around twice as long as other desktop clients we reviewed. Given how well performed in our original tests we put this down to high network usage in our area at the time. cloud storage being tested by TechRadar Pro reviewer - screen shows recovering a file in the app

(Image credit:
  • Test 2 - File recovery

For this test, we simply deleted a recently uploaded files from the Sync folder. When we opened the Sync online control panel, we saw the "Show Deleted Files" option immediately.

On clicking this, we saw the deleted folder and selected Restore. The deleted files all synced back to the device without issue in less than 120 seconds. cloud storage being tested by TechRadar Pro reviewer - screen shows different file versions to recover

(Image credit:
  • Test 3 - Versioning 

Versioning is vital if you make changes to a file, then want to roll it back to a previous state. So, after uploading our test file by placing it in the local, we opened it in Wordpad and removed all text except the intro. 

After the changes were synced to the server, we opened the online Control Panel, selected the file and chose Version History. Both the original file and the modified version were there. We clicked Restore to recover the original file in seconds. Verdict might not be as polished or as easy to integrate with other services as the likes of Google Drive and Dropbox, but it covers the basic functions of a syncing system well, with plenty of online storage at a good price. There are some very impressive security features as well. For those looking for storage on a budget, it certainly holds its ground as a viable option against other key players in the game.

The question remains whether storage is as secure as the developers claim. They certainly talk a good talk with their privacy white paper and claims of end-to-end encryption. We would have been more reassured about this if these security features had been independently audited or better yet, the desktop client was open-source so the community could see that data was being encrypted and transmitted in a safe way. 

We like a lot of the multi-user features as well, with plenty of control over which team members are able to access which files, and a lot of ways to log and monitor what's happening inside an account. While you might be able to mark down for being a bit rudimentary compared with other systems, somewhat lacking third-party integrations, the ground that it does cover is covered very well.

Whether you’re interested in personal or business-oriented plans, we think’s pricing is incredibly competitive, the list of services is extensive, and support and compliance for many business regulations is well covered. 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) review
2:55 pm | July 2, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Hi-Fi Speakers | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: June 2020
• Launch price: $250 / £200 (approx. AU$360)
• Regular price now: $220 / £170

Update: February 2024. The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is still a hit with us on TechRadar despite its age – it's still the speaker I personally use and prefer among the best Bluetooth speakers. My strong recommendation for it comes partly because, even though it was pricey to start with and the official price has actually risen to $299 / £259 / AU$600, but it's regularly available for much less than that – it just won't always be discounted in every color. The quality of the sound balance and detail is a clear step up over the likes of the Sonos Roam, for not necessarily a lot more money – and the battery life is better, too. The sound is less bouncy and party-focused, so consider this the music-lover's choice, and it holds up in that regard to this day. The rest of this review remains as previously published.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Two-minute review

Bang and Olufsen has a strong reputation, so much so that even those who don't know much about speakers know that it's a good brand to purchase from. Back in 2016, it launched its smallest and most affordable Bluetooth speaker, the Beosound A1, and now we've reached the second generation edition of the same speaker. 

At a glance, you'd think you were holding the same portable speaker as before with only some minor visual changes, but underneath the hood, there are some hefty improvements that make this an appealing package for most. 

Crucially, there's Alexa support here – something that's quite unusual for a Bluetooth only speaker. More on how that works without Wi-Fi later, but it's certainly an interesting twist on the smart speaker

Elsewhere, one of the delights about the B&O Beosound A1 is its looks. It looks gorgeous and would easily slot into any home, while also being very easy to move between rooms because, ultimately, it's made to be moved around. 

Fortunately, it's not style over substance either, with the B&O Beosound A1 delivering fantastic audio quality, with a consistently crisp sound. Whether you're listening to the latest from The Weeknd or Billie Eilish, or listening to some classical music, the Beosound A1 simply sounds great. You'll be impressed at how every instrument stands out, even if the soundstage of this mini speaker shines best in a smaller room than some beefier-looking specimens. 

Ultimately, we were impressed with the B&O Beosound A1. A marked improvement over its predecessor, there's better battery life, and waterproofing, although we're not so sure how much we'd like to take it outside the home. Alexa support is a bit poor for reasons we'll go into in our full review below, but the Beosound A1 is still a fine example of why Bang & Olufsen's good reputation precedes it.

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Price & release date

  • Costs $250 / £200 (around AU$360)
  • Launched on May 14, 2020
  • Two colors available

Launched on May 14, 2020, the B&O Beosound A1 comes with a recommended retail price of $250 / £200. That works out at around AU$360, though we're still waiting on official Australian pricing.

Don't expect discounts just yet as it's a brand new device. Be careful to look out for whether you're buying a first or second generation unit as there are considerable discounts for the former now, but you'll miss out on some key features. 

Two colors are available - Black Anthracite and Grey Mist. Both look pretty stylish and the kind of thing you could easily slip into your living room setup. 

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Design

  • Stylish design
  • Waterproof
  • Awkward buttons

B&O usually do a good job of designing attractive speakers and that's certainly the case here. With a metallic casing, the B&O Beosound A1 is a circular disc of a device being a little slimmer and lighter than its first generation predecessor. 

Attached to one side is a leather carrying strap with a Bang and Olufsen adorned toggle for adjustments. It makes it easy to grab as well as hook onto things for safety when on the move. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

It all looks suitably classy, which means we would hate to chip it or damage it accidentally. While the IP67 certified waterproofing of the B&O Beosound A1 makes it suitable for outdoor use, we're not convinced we'd fancy its chances on a muddy hike. This is a waterproof speaker to leave by the pool rather than take anywhere off the beaten path. 

All the controls are around the outside of the speaker. There are buttons for power, Bluetooth, microphone, as well as volume, along with a USB-C charging port too. 

Annoyingly, the buttons aren't raised or tactile in any way. That means they look great but if you're fumbling in the dark to adjust something, you won't be able to see what you're doing. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Audio performance

  • Crisp sound 
  • Relatively small soundstage
  • Stereo pairing support

The revamped B&O Beosound A1 has a 3.5-inch woofer along with a 0.6-inch tweeter, and it's powered by two 30W Class D amplifiers. As well as that, the grille has a slightly different hole pattern to its predecessor. 

OK, so we're not sure if that makes a huge difference to the sound, but the rest of the specs bode well for a strong audio performance. It also now supports Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive codec, although bear in mind that your smartphone might not. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen recommends the speaker for small social gatherings, offices or mid-sized rooms, and that sounds about right to us. Its soundstage is suitably impressive in a relatively small room, delivering the sense of 360 degrees of music. Go outside or into a much larger room however, and you'll realize that size does matter – or at least you'll wish you had two of these. Back to the living room and the B&O Beosound A1 sounds a delight. 

It's consistently crisp. We found ourselves enjoying our favorite songs as if we were listening to them for the first time. Tracks like The Weeknd's Blinding Light sound exciting, punchy and energetic, with the likes of Childish Gambino's Feels Like Summer sounding smooth and detailed. 

That trend continued with older hits like The Beach Boys' God Only Knows, with each instrument sounding distinctive and sharp. In reassuring contrast, Yaeji's Raingurl sounded surprisingly thumpy in the bass frequencies, but in a good way that makes you want to at least tap to the beat. Simply put, everything sounded devoid of grain or harshness, with a strong, powerful performance. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The soundstage could maybe feel a bit wider, but you'll only really notice this in a large space. In the bathroom, bedroom, or a medium sized living room, the B&O Beosound A1 easily captures your attention. 

We can only imagine pairing it up with a second device for stereo sound would counteract these soundstage issues very well.

It's always satisfying feeling like you're rediscovering music with a new speaker and the B&O Beosound A1 has that sense of delight to it. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Battery life & connectivity

  • 18 hours of battery life
  • Bluetooth 5.1 
  • USB-C charging

The B&O Beosound A1 supports Bluetooth 5.1 which is immediately welcome, thanks to further pairing distances, which are sure to come in handy if you've got a big room or outdoor space for using it in. 

Bluetooth 5.1 also allows for better battery life with B&O claiming 18 hours of playback at a "typical" volume, with even more possible at a lower volume. 

In our tests, we found that about right although mileage definitely varies when you increase the sound to very high levels. Still, that's not bad at all and it recharges quickly too, thanks to the USB-C connectivity. 

Don't expect anything more complicated than the USB-C port. There's no place for a 3.5mm AUX-in port, for instance. That keeps the B&O Beosound A1 sleek and minimalist, but you might find yourself wishing for an extra option for connectivity, particularly if you prefer the stability of wired playback. 

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen): Alexa support & app

  • Alexa depends on your smartphone's Wi-Fi
  • Can control your smart home devices
  • B&O app comes with an equalizer

Perhaps the biggest feature here is the aforementioned Alexa support, despite the Beosound A1 being a solely Bluetooth-connected speaker. 

B&O states it's a world first for a Bluetooth speaker to offer Alexa without Wi-Fi support. Of course, it does still rely on Wi-Fi (rather than magic, we assume) but that comes via the smartphone that you have connected to the speaker. 

It's simple enough to set up but it's flawed. Besides the obvious drawbacks to needing to keep the speaker within range of the phone (although Bluetooth 5.1 helps there), it's a little slower than a direct response. 

We also found that despite the three-microphone array, the B&O Beosound A1 isn't always the most responsive to the 'Alexa' wake word. This isn't a speaker to buy if Alexa support is vital, but it's a neat bonus, and it means that it can double up as a smart speaker you can use to control your smart home devices

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The B&O Beosound A1 ties into the B&O app fairly well. You can adjust volume, switch Alexa support on or off, as well as tweak listening modes via an equalizer. 

This means even if you're not technically minded, you can still immediately notice the difference between presets like Ambient, Party, and Speaker. It's possible to customize these too ,to get the sound just how you like it. There's also the option to pair two A1 speakers together for stereo sound, although you can't do this with an older first generation device, sadly. 

Should I buy the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

beosound a1

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

First reviewed: June 2020

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