We will be contacting customers with in-force maintenance contracts to schedule updates of their DHCPatriot systems to this version of software.
Contact us today to reserve your upgrade time slot.
A question for the tinkerers and Makers among you and for those of you catering to the makers in your customer base: Do You Have a Robot in Your Attic?
You may look at old computer and A/V equipment (VCRs, cassette players, out of date computers) and see a pile of junk. Hobbyists interested in IoT (the Internet of Things) see power supplies, LCD displays, motors, gears and a raft of components that can be used in robotics and all manner of other projects. Where do they get their inspiration? Check out …
The Ben Heck Show at Element 14, https://www.element14.com/community/community/experts/benheck
Articles and projects at Makezine (http://www.makezine.com)
Or the educational videos by engineer Limor “Ladyada” Freid on Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com)
Your local “maker” community may be your most loyal customer base and the source of your future employees! Enjoy your summer, be safe and … Make!
— Stephen C. Walter
I often promote the increasing popularity and value of the Internet of Things (IoT.) Recently, there has been news about the IOT and security. Specifically, articles about how intelligence agencies and hackers, both foreign and domestic, exploit weaknesses in the software of IoT to increase surveillance on an unsuspecting public. Should your customers be concerned? Perhaps. Is there a guaranteed solution? No. But your customers can minimize risk with the same “best practices” that you should use to keep your network secure and running.
Beyond using passwords and basic security, the most important thing you and your customers can do is keep software and firmware up to date. That sounds simple enough, yet too many ignore this basic yet necessary step. Exploits, like the ones recently reported, find flaws in specific code (applications, Operating Software or firmware.) Code updates are often issued specifically to address such flaws, once known. Staying current on updates can help keep you one step ahead of the legion of “black hats” who want to exploit your network or information.
Devices from your customer’s IP camera or Smart TV, to personal computers, your routers and other network hardware, and especially your servers must be kept up to date if you want even the most basic safeguards from the disasters of hacking. IT and security professionals keep track of such exploits and the patches and updates needed to repair them. The First Network Group Information Technologies division specializes in keeping your equipment up to date as a routine part of providing Server and Network management services. Unsure of the update status of your Network? Contact Randy Carpenter VP of IT Services at 1-800-578-6381, option 1 to arrange an analysis of your Network today.
— Stephen C. Walter
Founder, President and CEO
First Network Group, Inc
Chromebooks have been around since 2011, odds are you may have used one or at least seen one in a local store. Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome Operating System and tied to the Google application ecosystem. Let’s take a look at some Pro’s and Con’s about using a Chromebook.
Pro: Linux-based operating system specifically designed by Google does not need anti-virus or is impervious to 99.999% of malware you will come across.
Con: Common PC-oriented applications cannot be used. Including Microsoft Office (desktop), Adobe Photoshop, Mozilla Firefox, etc. However many of these applications have analogous software or lightweight versions available via the Chrome Web Store.
Pro: Fast boot times and well known interfaces. If you’ve used the Google Chrome web browser or an Android-powered phone, you will feel right at home with a Chromebook.
Con: Limited hardware available. Many times the hardware specs of Chromebooks will be much lower that full-fledged laptops running Windows or Mac OS. However, Chrome OS and applications are so lightweight, that the hardware they ship with is more than capable.
Pro: Android Applications are coming to Chrome OS. Google is working on integrating Android apps that run on your phone or tablet to run inside of Chrome OS. Moving from one device to another will continue to become more and more seamless.
Con: People heavily integrated into the Apple ecosystem will find very few options on how to interact with their Apple-based applications and sign-in options.
Chromebooks can be very powerful devices when utilized correctly and for the majority of day-to-day uses they will fit every need you have. While they can’t fully replace your classic Windows or Apple laptop, they certainly can close the gap nicely. And their price point makes them a fantastic secondary device to keep near the couch, or a first laptop for a child.
Did you know that part of the End-User Technical Support services you already receive from us, includes our remote assistance feature for free?
We’ve always known that helping a user directly is the best way to correct an issue, so in 2010 we designed and deployed our remote assistance software. This secure and lightweight software is any easy to download and run for any user and allows us to view and manipulate the customer’s computer with them in real time.
The biggest surprise of using this tool was not the ease and speed of resolving a customer’s issue, but using it as a way to educate customers to features of their computer or websites one-on-one and at their own pace.
This tool has been invaluable in helping us reach our recent one million call milestone!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Handling their first support call over 20 years ago, First Network Group, Inc. reaches another major milestone by making their One Millionth support call!
Wapakoneta, OH (July 2017)
First Network Group, Inc. is proud to announce a major milestone in the history of the company– their one millionth call produced by their Technical Support and Customer Care Call Center.
Small businesses are judged by longevity and First Network Group has already proven their mettle in that area by surpassing 20 years in business in July 2016. However very few companies can claim the benchmark of one million support calls. If you think you’re on the phone a lot, making one million calls adds up to nearly 400 days of non-stop talk time!
The past one million calls have been made been made at First Network Group’s home office, in the small town of Wapakoneta, Ohio. Each one of these calls has focused on providing the special type of warmth and neighborly approach that can only be found in a small Midwestern town.
First Network Group has always maintained a customer first attitude, which explains why they’ve been so successful. “We’ve always said, we could support Internet, TV, telephone or whatever, but at the heart of it all was the desire to help make someone’s life easier and more enjoyable through the use of technology,” states Cory Lykins, Vice President of Tech Services.
Small town values, a customer-friendly and focused approach and dedication to bringing technology in reach of everyone– it’s clear to see why First Network Group has enjoyed so much success through the years.
About First Network Group, Inc.
First Network Group Inc. is a specialist in building and maintaining Internet Service Provider Networks. Based in Ohio, it provides Server Administration, Network Engineering, and 24×7 emergency monitoring to reduce ISP/NSP downtime. FNGi developed and sells the DHCPatriot– a DHCP accounting and authentication server appliance. FNGi has a flexible and robust Call Center that provides multi-product End-user Technical Support Services and Customer Care options 24/7/365.
Press and Media Inquiries
First Network Group, Inc.
We will be contacting certain DHCPatriot customers to inquire about helping us with beta testing. If anyone would like to help us beta test, please feel free to contact us and inquire about beta testing!
Phone: 800-578-6381 opt. 3
Here are the current patch notes for 6.1.0:
It is commonly understood that computer systems need to be kept up to date in order to keep them secure, and to fix bugs. End-user computers have updates that either automatically happen, or at least notify the user when they are ready to be installed. For servers, it is typical to have scheduled maintenance to install updates and reboot.
Unfortunately, network routers, firewalls, and switches are often not given the same care. There are several reasons that this may happen:
For #1, it is simply a matter of education, which we hope this article serves to help.
For #2, it needs to be understood that by not keeping network systems up-to-date, you are potentially exposing your network to security issues, and denial-of-service attacks.
For #3, there are a variety of techniques to make your network redundant, so that outages caused by updates are minimal. These features also make your network more robust in general, protecting against device failure. First Network Group can help to design and deploy a network architecture that is less vulnerable to outages.
#4 should be considered as a required cost of doing business. Depending on the hardware vendor, the costs will vary. There are some vendors whose support contracts are significantly less costly than others. It is important to factor in the ongoing operational costs when deciding on the particular brand and model of gear for your needs.
The bottom line is that updates to all server, storage, and network devices are critical to keeping your network secure and available to serve your customers.
To discuss your options, contact Randy Carpenter, Vice President of IT Services: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-578-6381, option 2
First Network Group, Inc. now offers our own line of FNGi-branded optics. This includes the common SFP optical transceivers, as well as SFP+, XFP, CFP, and more. These are sourced from major manufacturers (the same ones that make the OEM-labeled products) and programmed and tested by one of the leading suppliers in the industry.
Custom programming allows these modules to appear the same as OEM models to switches and routers. No more having to issue special commands to get non-original SFPs to function.
We can provide direct replacements for existing OEM models. In some cases, we can offer similar models that exceed the distance specifications, or use different wavelengths. Examples include 100+km distance support, Bi-directional optics that use only 1 fiber, and DWDM models. Our optical transceivers have a lifetime warranty.
We also provide a full catalog of optical cabling, as well. A variety of lengths, fiber types, and connectors are available.
Contact Randy Carpenter for more details and for a custom quote.
email@example.com or 1-800-578-6381, option 2