How to create effective internal communications

Simply put: establishing an effective communications ecosystem within a company is key—success depends a lot on this investment. As per previously discussed by Don Burns, effective communication between a company and its employees allows businesses to fully harness the talent of its people, and, in fact, the benefits commonly associated with this practice are often found a way beyond pure financial ROI.

Having open discussions and building rapport with employees help companies build a much stronger sense of community within the business, thusly enabling workers to feel not only more confident but also happier and to go beyond the boundaries of their primary roles. In order to develop such corporate environment: one that is passion-driven in its own approach—thanks to employees who are not afraid of voicing their opinions and ideas—here are a few tips companies should pay special attention to should they want to improve their overall internal communications:

Allow the presence of company-wide interactions and conversations

According to a survey carried out seven years ago by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, there are at least five benefits of allowing instant messaging in a business:

  1. Individual chat logs that can be comfortably used for reference later on
  2. Continuous and seamless collaboration with co-workers irrespective of their location
  3. The possibility to actively manage multiple chat logs at the same time
  4. Elimination of long-distance phone calling tariffs

Thus, it is pretty clear that empowering employees much better communicate not only reduces the overhead and the costs associated with communication but also provides a lot of value. Under these circumstances, creating different ways for coworkers and employees, in general, to communicate and exchange data and information across the whole company is the wisest thing to do. And although there are many different software and applications that enable people to reach out to coworkers, the general idea is for peers to interact with each other—which also strengthens their relationships.

Foster peer-to-peer and employee-to-manager communication

In order to foster horizontal and vertical communications like the ones described in the subtitle, companies need to use the right tools: Slack, HipChat and other internet-based applications and services have been developed to ensure seamless communication across the different levels of a company. By fully getting the most out of these software and applications, employees are thusly empowered to voice their opinions and ideas on issues and topics that matter to them and their duties and roles.

In light of what today’s fourth industrial revolution has ultimately implied, collaboration solutions have allowed executives to create a sense of transparency and fully harness what employees and coworkers have to offer. In today’s competitive world, companies cannot underestimate the possible wisdom and input they can get from the people they work with. And, as a consequence, such scenario makes business owners and C-level executives more responsible and accountable when peers voice their ideas: businesses, by their nature, are supposed to thrive and make profit, which is considering anything that could result beneficial in increasing productivity, improving customer service or reducing overhead is no less than recommendable.

On another note, direct communications between employees and the head of the company reduce the chances of conveying the wrong message. It is very important that new concepts, internal regulations, and ideas are conveyed clearly in order to avoid falling victim of any misconception that could lead to a pejorative scenario. Besides, management also needs to be involved and connected with people from the very beginning as well: thus, company leaders can definitely help understand and implement the best ideas.

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Mind the budget

In order to succeed at implementing any kind of corporate communications program, managers need to resort to their financial assets and resources. Determining a budget requires managers and business owners in general to evaluate the possible outcome of allowing employees to improve the way they communicate with each other. As mentioned above, this not only helps them build stronger relationships but also share concerns and ideas, and that is something companies must evaluate prior to allocating money and efforts in establishing such environment. Here are several positive aspects to take into account when considering to implement and establish a communications ecosystem within a company:

  • Employee retention and morale
  • Turnover
  • Missed opportunities, loss of revenue, inaccuracies
  • Effectiveness of customer service
  • Quality assurance

Additionally, companies should ultimately consider the possible upsides and downsides, benefits and disadvantages of implementing new software and getting rid of existing programs.

Assess the impact and effectiveness of internal and corporate communications

Remember that when implementing new software, regardless of its nature, results are often conceived as long-term objectives. In this sense, companies must continuously keep an eye on results, evaluate whether employees are successfully adopting the changes, assess levels of peer satisfaction and whether or not the expectations are being met as time passes.

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Get the most out of your WiFi router

They are always there, yet people hardly notice them. They enable people to experience all sorts of feelings; people laugh, cry, learn and communicate with each other thanks to WiFi routers. They are, in short, part of people’s lives. WiFi routers can be found in practically every part of the world—every home, every business, every city area—, and it is quite hard to imagine the world without their application and use. However, despite their traditional use, most people feel that their WiFi performance is not as good and reliable as they would desire. Donald Burns has previously talked about some things people can do in order to improve their WiFi signal; however, it is also important to note that there are some improvements and changes that can be carried out on the device itself.

Of course, even the most advanced wireless routers struggle to provide a reliable signal and cover an entire office or house. That is not a secret. However, in light of such circumstances, it is essential to know how to effectively get the most out of a WiFi device using the right tools. Widely used by IT professionals and households, NetSpot has definitely become a highly reliable tool for doing such thing.

NetSpot, used today as one of the strongest tools out there to improve WiFi routers, is capable of carrying out several things such as network analysis, site surveys and traditional network troubleshooting. It is quite useful, and it can even make a low-budget WiFi router perform just as good as those outside that price range. Need more? NetSpot aside from being easy-to-use, simple and powerful, is free.

Picking the most reliable Wireless Router

As mentioned in previous articles, not all routers are quite the same. Thus, it is also advisable for people to get rid of the router they are currently using and buy a new one instead. Chances are it will be definitely much better. Traditionally, routers were used just to connect people and companies to the internet; nonetheless, modern and non-traditional WiFi devices are way different and capable of doing a lot more: they provide internet access to not only desktop computers and laptops but also to smartphones, tablets and all kinds of new technologies. Their security protocols have been greatly improved; they now come with USB ports for information sharing and, of course, support and run on the latest wireless standards.

Some of the today’s modern WiFi routers are even capable of transmitting on two different frequencies at the same time—these are the ones commonly referred to as dual-band routers—. That, of course, is important as the 2.4 GHz band oftentimes tend to be highly crowded. Especifically in crowded areas—apartment blocks and crowded neighborhoods—, routers may broadcast a sheer array of different signals on the exact same channel, making it much harder for other electronic devices to collect the right amount of data packets in the middle of that fuss.

Likewise, today´s routers offer different signal ranges: there are some devices that literally look like giant spiders with several antennas attached to their bodies, and of course, those perform much better than those that come with built-in antennas.

Software updates have acquired a whole new level of importance especially amidst today’s myriad of cyber attackers. It has been established and calculated that cyber criminals are responsible for releasing up to 400,000 new malware versions on a daily basis and old, traditional—even unsafe—routers have subsequently become their prime victims. Thus, it is quite wise to wonder whether it is better to just purchase a new device in hopes of avoiding falling victim of unscrupulous criminals.

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Poor signal? Do not blame your router

Prior to ranting about a WiFi signal, it is recommendable to analyze and consider what could be in fact affecting the quality of any WiFi signal and Internet speed. First and foremost, in order to get a much better signal and faster speed, wireless networks ought to be encrypted—which is also highly advisable for safety purposes—, otherwise, neighbors can access that signal and prevent the owner from getting the router’s whole capability of broadcasting and receiving data and information.

Second, in order to make sure the internet service provider is actually delivering the right download and upload speeds, users can use NetSpot in order to scan and rapidly assess the router’s connection speed. Any discrepancies between the results and the contract with the internet service provider is the real explanation as to why some routers perform under expected levels, and, last but not least, in order to get the most out of a Wireless Router, it is advisable to make sure to use a good working device—laptop, computer, smartphone, etc.—. Slow internet speed is often the consequence of malware infestations.

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How to get the most out of your Zendesk

Communication is a key aspect within any organization. Donald Burns has previously addressed several options when it comes to choosing a particular communication tool; however, communications, per se, spans beyond the regular connotation people are used to. In this sense, maintaining customer relationships is one of those things that never gets old. Successful businesses are the ones that have focused all their efforts on providing their customers with outstanding service, thusly making them the center of their actions. Sustainable growth can only be achieved, amongst other things of course, through excellent customer service.

This seems pretty obvious at first sight; however, even under today’s juncture, there are many businesses than recklessly tend to disregard and overlook the details and all the small things that are arguably key to make customers satisfied. Zendesk, although initially conceived as a customer service platform, has allowed hundreds of businesses to stay synced with their customers while maintaining a fruitful channel of communication open. Thus, this tool has become crucial for providing audiences with remarkable, meaningful, personal and more productive customer experiences. Be that as it may, when it comes to getting the most of Zendesk, the sky is the limit.

Zendesk has helped startups and well-established companies scale up their businesses in terms of communications and communications with their customers. The methodology? Pretty much self-explanatory: critical feedback. Zendesk enables organizations to build a customer-centric business culture, paying special attention to the interactions with customers.

How to communicate effectively with customers? That is, in fact, the question. Those who are new to Zendesk ought to simply consider that Zendesk builds customer software for better customer service to help companies get and stay closer to their target audience and current customers: it is, simply short, a product that supports a customer’s service journey that starts with customer support, resolving any sort of customer issues and providing accurate answers to their questions; enabling self-service—helping customers find and discover the information they are looking for; and, last but not least, eventually there will come a time where customers will feel encouraged enough to conceive this support as a long-term conversation instead of short-term transactions.

Zendesk provides the user with various channels to support their customers. In fact, the process starts when the customer reaches out seeking support. It does not matter if they reach out through direct emails, through the website, by calling the customer service line or by posting a mention on social media. Zendesk allows users to collect all these conversations into a single location and respond from one single place. Technically, Zendesk conceives all these ways of reaching out as «channels», which in fact comes in handy, as the user is able to create as many channels as they need for a proper and accurate management of communication with customers.

The most common and used channel in Zendesk is none other the old reliable email; however, it gets a bit more technical when using the tool. Zendesk possesses three different ways of customizing email reply addresses: default reply, past-through emails, and personalized reply addresses.

Aside from the email, Zendesk comes with a chat. This will allow customers to chat with the customer service representative at any given moment. There are basically two ways customers can start chatting with customer service agents: through a currently active ticket, or by starting a new chat through a widget that can be created in Zendesk called «Feedback».

In short, this tool is really compelling, mostly because its nature: it is a social media customer support platform that comes with a sheer array of features. In addition to the aforementioned features, Zendesk includes embeddable apps, voice calling and self-help platform for directing customers where they need to go without having a customer service representative help them. From the customer service standpoint, its functions basically cover everything businesses need for communicating and responding to consumers in a timely and effective manner. Besides, it offers an entirely scalable customer support.

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The social media integration feature allows users to rapidly get a grasp of social media conversations, messages and mentions, allowing them to stay on top of every possible interaction. Direct messages and conversations on popular social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter are directly collected by the tool. With the possibility of setting up quick and fast notification alerts from one single command center, companies or customer service representatives can reply much faster, which, of course, will end up having a real positive impact on the company’s social media profiles and its customer resource management strategy. Thus, with Zendesk, companies can respond and communicate with their customers on their preferred social media platform, without having them make a call or visit the company’s website. Given its integration feature, this tool provides a faster and higher turnover for customers who are just seeking a single answer to a simple question.

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How To Make The Most Out Of Your Wi-Fi Connection

Wi-Fi connections have become as ubiquitous as the ways we access the Internet nowadays. Everyone carries on their body at least a smartphone to stay connected while most also keep a laptop or a tablet in their bag in order to be able to work on the move and have access to everything they consider essential. Internet access has become something as necessary as water and electric utilities today, and we are able to find it at malls, parks, airplanes and even buses.

Just because something is everywhere and we consider it a given, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of room for improvement as far as quality of service goes. People often complain that Internet service providers are not fulfilling their promise when it comes to strength and speed in Internet connections, especially in the wireless signal.

More often than not, people fail to realize that there are many factors dictating the actual download and upload speeds they are experiencing at home with the service provided by their ISP, and that they can, in fact, follow some simple instructions to significantly boost their speed, or find out why they are not getting the numbers they feel they should be getting. 

We at Donald Burns Blog do recommend to check your contract first and test your connection before you do anything else and figure out if you are in fact getting less than you were promised before you go ahead and make any changes.

The latest technology

Not all wireless routers are created equal, and while we may change our computers and cellphones every couple of years, we may have the same router for a very long time without replacing it. There are different types of routers like the A, B, and G that are considered outdated by now and could be the cause of your woes. Make sure that your router and your computer are not just up to date as far as hardware is concerned, but also that they are compatible in the way they communicate.

Positioning is everything

When it comes to wireless routers, the higher, the better. Also, make sure that the device is located in a place where is equidistant from every corner of the house to ensure an even dispersal of the signal and maximum reach. Do not put anything on top on the router like magazines, clothing or other objects that may obstruct the signal. Antenna positioning is another variable to consider.

Change the channel

Routers can operate in different channels in order to avoid interference. The problem is that most people simply leave them with the factory settings and never bother to change their default channel. If you have neighbors, this may become a problem as the channels in your vicinity may be over saturated with signals. Change your channel to a less cluttered signal and enjoy faster speeds.


Change your password as soon as the technicians that installed your service leave your home, or better yet, have them set it up for you and introduce a strong password. Most Internet connections are slow simply because they have many users at once. Internet download speeds are affected significantly by neighbors using your Wi-Fi to download large files while you are having trouble even opening your email.

Interference may be the problem

Cordless phones and microwave ovens are some of the most common appliances that can cause router interference. Move them away from each other or make sure they operate in different bands than your router does. You can look for the information here.

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Share the bandwidth

The use your household gives to the Internet highly influences the speed of your downloads. If someone in your house plays online games, chances are they are hogging all the bandwidth, and that may be the reason why you are experiencing slow speeds. You can prioritize some applications over others, so the less bandwidth-requiring programs are first on the priority list and not suffer from sluggish connections.

Extend the signal

Getting a signal booster or even using an older router as a Wi-Fi repeater are great ways of making the most out of your home network. The set up is easy, and you can find many tutorials online showing you how to do it step by step. You can place the repeaters in areas that do not have a strong signal and thus enjoy more consistent speeds all throughout your house.

Remember to reboot

Just like your computer, your router also needs to reboot in order to make software changes, updates and to cool off in general. You can do this by hand or even set up software that does it for you every night as you sleep or while you are away at work. Rebooting fixes most problems right away, but never rule out a fault device.

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Working Remotely? Six Basic Tools for Remote Collaborators

The vast majority of today’s businesses could not escape the pace at which the current corporate juncture is evolving: many companies, just to mention an example, are now seizing the benefits of remote work. Nos, unlike other times, businesses can hire the best talent to work on a specific project irrespective of where they are located; besides, overhead expenses can be cut dramatically, especially if businesses also harness the perks of going completely office-free. And, as Donald Burns has previously asserted in other articles, today’s juncture in terms of connectivity, plus the opportunity to work and collaborate from different parts of the world, unlike the primal and most common connotation, has allowed workers to enhance and improve their productivity levels.

Nonetheless, although the good things about working remotely are pretty clear and pretty much self-explanatory, there are also other challenges that are entailed within this trend: achieving a good communication level is vital and no less than a daunting task. Team members need to be able to collaborate with each other while avoiding falling victim of slow internet—which is the primary motive why companies cannot share their ideas and resources in an effective and efficient manner.

But, since it seems that the fourth industrial revolution will continue its expansion, communication, and software experts have come up with different tools that come in handy for enabling collaborators from everywhere to properly talk to each other:


Good old fashioned Dropbox. Dropbox, although already known, is definitely one of the most effective cloud-based file sharing services. Once users upload a file, it can be then accessed from any other device everywhere on the planet, either via browser or by downloading the Dropbox application. People can also set up different folders that can be shared with other team members, thusly allowing them to access those files.

By default, Dropbox comes with 2GB storage for free; however, it can be increased up to 18GB just by referring the service to peeps and friends. Paid subscriptions, nonetheless, offer up to 500GB a month, and the business pro-version provides companies with high-end and advanced security options alongside 1,000GB of storage.


Unlike Dropbox, Sqwiggle is rather a relatively new tool. It offers, nevertheless, a totally new approach to remote collaboration. The idea behind its avant garde-ish nature is to practically recreate an office atmosphere for those people who are overseas but belong to the same team—which, in theory, increases both productivity levels and team spirit and morale—. Team members can see each other on-screen all day long via webcam, and, if one of them needs to chat directly with another team member, all that she or he has to do is click on the other person’s picture to immediately start a discussion.

It also comes with other appealing features: Sqwiggle comes with the possibility to set up diverse and different “working spaces” for different teams.


Yes: the world’s most famous (and free) video call service. Skype, aside from the well-known perks it possesses, also has several useful features for those who prefer to work directly from home. Aside from instant messaging and video calls, users are not confined to their desks, as Skype, just like many other tools, is available in other forms such as mobile phones or tablets.

Google+ Hangouts

This tool is quite well known and mimics several features that are also available on Skype. However, unlike the latter, Hangouts does not charge for group video calling. Besides, since its developer is Google, there is also a myriad of other integrated apps, which come in handy for allowing users to watch a YouTube video while working on a Google Document, just to mention an example.

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The best description of this tool can be found in its own motto: “Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life.” The motto also says that users can use the tool either on their computer, phone, tablet or a browser. All sorts of information and data can be uploaded, synced across different devices and shared with other team members and peeps. The content being uploaded is then turned into a note, which can be afterward organized by either notebooks or simply tags, making it much simpler to find all kinds of data and information. It comes with a free version and a premium version.


Basecamp is definitely a great project management tool. It allows users to start message threads, assign tasks to other team members, view schedules on a company-based calendar and store all sorts of data that belong to a specific project, which, once completed, can be safely saved or archived. One of its most appealing features is the possibility to message both team members and clients, thusly eliminating the dreary need for e-mails and copies.

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Some routers that can handle startup and smart home needs

Wireless routers: those uncanny-almost-ugly-looking devices that provide WiFi have always been drifting around between two edges: they are either good or a weak link in network security. It is not a secret that nowadays it is quite easy for hackers to lay their hands on passwords and information; poor manufacturing standards are the consequence of an industry that has long focused on price over security.

Donald Burns addressed the topic in regard to what aspects ought to be considered prior to acquiring a Wireless Router; however, buying a wireless router, especially for smart homes and startups, is still something seen as a daunting and dreary task. Homeowners, for their part, have not precisely focused on their network security; many, in fact, seem to ignore what routers are capable of and instead rely on their regular Internet service provider to provide these in their plans and modems. It was not until Internet service providers started charging monthly fees of $5 to $8 for modems, consumers started looking for and buying their own network devices. Same thing actually happened to small ventures and small businesses, especially soon after the emergence of the digital era. Be that as it may, both homeowners and entrepreneurs seem to behave similarly when it comes to choosing a wireless router: the vast majority seem to lean towards price and base their purchasing decisions on that specific aspect.

Nevertheless, it is also necessary to mention the fact that even those who want to research further on high-end features do not have much, in terms of variety, to choose from: most wireless router devices come with just a pyrrhic number of extras. But in light of how fast today’s digital landscape has been evolving, the aforementioned conditions have started to change though: a myriad of startups and even well-established, much larger companies are trying to enhance today’s current connectivity conditions and provide a much better and proficient user interface, and, after realizing that the network is not as secure as they would have thought, provide better security conditions as well. And, in fact, it has been the sheer array of concerns in regard to security what has boosted this rigid market. Consumers, both entrepreneurs and homeowners, are the ones who bring more connected devices into their environments —this, obviously, goes way beyond tablets and smartphones. This also includes connected speakers and assorted appliances)—. Taking into account what the future looks like, today’s consumers are going to need routers with additional features such as device management, graphical interfaces, high-end security features, etc.

Big router makers are known for producing flawed routers with security patches that cannot be updated or have suppliers whose chips come with outdated software’s —some are over a decade old—. This scenario, alongside the current status around security and consumer needs, seemed to be compelling enough for startups such as Securifi and Eero, and big companies like Google to start developing newer, more secure gear.

Perfect for homeowners and entrepreneurs

Securifi, for instance, has been making wireless routers for nearly three years. They recently launched the third version of their router for smart homes and startups. It combines different types of radios along with the regular WiFi signal so that homeowners and entrepreneurs can control what type of devices are connected to the network. The router does have more radios, and it also has a touch screen so that buyers can program it without the traditional struggle that seems to be inherent to the traditional device. Besides, it regularly updates its software on its own.

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For those whose major concern is the security issue, there are other routers that have been manufactured with security as their primary focus. Innovation labs, for instance, came up with the Chime WiFi Router with software from famous software developer AVG. This router contains antivirus software perfectly tailored to protect devices from malware and phishing eventualities. The router is capable of analyzing both incoming and outgoing traffic while looking for suspicious and irregular activities. However, it is not yet clear whether it would be enough against compromises at the firmware level were they to occur.

Perfect for startups and households

A perfect example of a router with high-end and fancy features is the Torch, which has been designed mostly for parents. This router is listed on famous funding site Kickstarter and contains a particular software that allows parents to easily control the sites that their kids attempt to access online. This has already started to be used within the corporate world, since, much like a corporate IT manager, this modem prevents people from accessing certain websites. It actually serves these two purposes: parents can make their children’s iPad to log off the network at a specific time just by programming Torch.

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Don’t miss out on the future of enterprise VoIP

Many things have been said about VoIP technology. In fact, after being launched almost 20 years ago, no one would have bet back then that VoIP would become what it has become. As Donald Burns has previously asserted in previous articles, VoIP has definitely become one of the most powerful and popular technologies of the past and today’s century: ranging from business phones to social interaction apps, VoIP has successfully served as the basis to empower the way people connect with each other amidst today’s juncture.

It would be fair to assert that during these years many things have changed. In about two decades, mobile definitely took over, WebRTC has been now added into the equation and Voice continues to grow rapidly. Two years ago, experts concluded that by 2017 VoIP would be valued at almost $83 million, growing at a staggering 6% on a yearly basis. Today, VoIP is one of the best industries of the present decade alongside biotechnology and e-commerce.

Thus, is not rare to see that the adoption of VoIP services has grown amidst today’s rapidly evolving juncture, mostly because VoIP has proven to be an effective aid for organizations when it comes to adding value to their business. VoIP services are widely known for helping organizations reduce operational expenses, offer advanced features, etc. In light of its evolution, do not miss out on the future of VoIP and pay attention to the following trends for the rest of 2017:

Internet of Things and Networks

One of the most important trends regarding enterprise VoIP is how it influences and impacts the Internet of Things (IoT). Experts seem to agree on the fact that by 2020 almost 25 billion objects —or things— will be connected or will in/to the Internet. Internet of Things, for those who are not familiar with the term, is the concept of connecting pretty much everything to the Internet and to other objects, like connecting a mobile phone to a microwave or to a refrigerator. VoIP is likely going to be added to that not-so-utopian mix, and it will certainly become integral to smart homes via VoIP-based phones to exert control on such amount of automation.

VoIP phones will probably become vital devices for smart-based organizations: these devices will serve as a tool for reserving desk space and customize the whole organizational environment: businesses would be able to carry out a myriad of different tasks such as adjusting the lighting, the monitors and transferring data simply by using VoIP softphone client.

Integration with other apps and interoperability

The whole idea behind this trend finds its substrate in today’s multitasking workforce that aims at completing as many tasks as possible using the smallest amount of tools. This only suggests that the digital world will likely face an ongoing process of integration with cloud-based platforms and services using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These will serve as the bridge between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and apps and other Help Desk programs. VoIP will certainly play a vital role within the digital marketing and social media realm; however, its applications and its integration will also come in handy for meeting productivity goals.

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Security Fear

As mentioned in Forbes earlier this year, and considering the recent cyber security attack and all the hype and concerns regarding the WannaCry viruses, one of the most important concerns for the present year will be security. With the recent security breaches, VoIP service providers alike ought to pay special attention to the possible and plausible security gaps and address them carefully. In order to avoid falling victim of an attack on VoIP, organizations and companies should equally strive to implement comprehensive security solutions in order to protect themselves from the sheer array of threats. There are plenty of solutions, though, but the most common ones include a managed firewall, spam filtering, virus and other malware protection, web content monitoring and VPN.

The 5G technology that is about to come

The never-ending crusade for increased productivity is something almost inherent to running a business. In light of the rise in mobility options tailored for the corporate world, 5G Internet speed will certainly become the perfect ally for companies that currently struggle to some extent to improve their productivity key performance indicators. It has already been estimated that this fifth generation of wireless network standards will be up to ten times much faster than the current 4G speed. This increment in the speed rate will make VoIP calls much better and less jittery, the number of packets lost and disconnections will certainly plummet as well. It would be rare to also see a much greater number of mobile VoIP applications enter this landscape since a 5G speed will definitely make apps more stable and, thusly, more usable.

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