Remote working is a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down, especially given the current circumstances as thousands of employees globally are now working from home in some capacity. Even outside of current events, research shows the number of remote working jobs on offer has more than doubled in the past four years. This indicates that…
Remote working is a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down, especially given the current circumstances as thousands of employees globally are now working from home in some capacity. Even outside of current events, research shows the number of remote working jobs on offer has more than doubled in the past four years. This indicates that businesses are even taking steps to meet employees’ remote working expectations, in particular, those of the younger generation of employees. These workers expect to access work much in the same way as they access social media – anywhere and anytime. Considering that millennials are predicted to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, it’s clear that businesses across all sectors need to make strides in supporting remote and flexible working, even outside times of crisis.
However, when facilitating this anywhere, anytime model, it is vital that businesses don’t overlook security. As cloud has become the de facto IT set-up for organisations, the traditional IT perimeter of the past has disappeared. Now, from Microsoft Teams, to Trello, to Evernote, companies are spoilt for choice when it comes to cloud-based tools to support remote workers. Further, cloud services such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and apps allow workers to c
Skype is one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, and hold video conferences. Video and voice calls to other Skype users are free – potentially saving you huge amounts of money on phone bills. You can also buy Skype credits enabling you to call mobile phones and…
Skype is one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, and hold video conferences.
Video and voice calls to other Skype users are free – potentially saving you huge amounts of money on phone bills. You can also buy Skype credits enabling you to call mobile phones and landlines from the Skype app on your desktop or mobile device easily and cheaply.
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Here’s our list of the best business webcams for 2020
We’ve also curated the best business headsets on the market
1. Download Skype for your device
Skype is included by default with all new Windows 10 installations, so you should be able to find it by simply typing ‘Skype’ into the search bar.
If you can’t see it, or you’re using macOS or Linux, you can download the desktop software free directly from Microsoft. Here, you’ll also find an option to use Skype online, which is a great option if you’re using an enterprise device and don’t have permission to install software. There are also free Skype apps available for iPhone and Android.
In this guide we’ll be focusing on the desktop software, but the principles are the same for all versions.
2. View your contacts
Skype is all about staying in touch with people, and to do that, you need to add contacts to Skype. The good news is that adding people to Skype is now even easier. If you use the People app in Windows 10 as an address book, you should see your contacts are already in Skype. You can use the search bar at the top of the app window to easily find who you’re looking for.
3. Add a contact
If you want to add someone to Skype, click ‘Contacts’, then select the ‘New contact’ button at the top left. From here, you can send the person an invitation or enter their phone number. Using the invitation option will generate a unique link, which you can send in an email, SMS or social media message. The link will direct them to your profile, where they can choose to connect with you.
4. Buy and use Skype credit
While you can make video and text calls to other Skype users for free, calls to other landline and mobile numbers cost money. Luckily, you can use Skype Credit to make these calls instead. Skype credits are cheap to top up and use, and cost a lot less than making regular international calls. To buy Skype credit, click the currency icon just to the right of your name at the top left and follow the instructions provided.
5. Make a voice or video call
To start a call with one of your contacts, it’s a good idea to start by sending them a quick message to let them know you’re about to contact them. Click their name in your contacts list and click the ‘Say hi’ button to send a waving emoji, then type any additional information they should know before the call.
To start a video or voice call, click the webcam or microphone icon respectively in the top right. If you experience difficulty with the picture or audio, check out our troubleshooting guide at the bottom of this article.
6. Start a group call
Group calls are when two or more people are involved on the same call – making them ideal for virtual business meetings, or big family reunions. Skype makes group calls even easier – and more fun – than was the case previously. To add people to a group call, click on the icon of a person with a ‘+’ sign next to them, then select who you want to join.
Alternatively, you can set up a group call by clicking ‘Contacts’ and then choosing ‘Meet now’. This will create a unique link that you can send to other people, which will allow them to join the call immediately. When you’ve send the link to your friends and family (using email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or anything else), click ‘Start call’ and wait for them to join.
7. Search your chats
Skype works brilliantly as a free instant messaging program, enabling you to have text chats with contacts around the world. You can even exchange pictures, video and emoticons. For that reason, one of its newest features is a welcome one – the ability to search your messages. To do that, click the Recent Messages icon, then in the Search Skype box, type the phrase you are looking for.
8. Troubleshoot speaker problems
If you can’t hear any audio during a Skype call, first work out whether the problem is with your system or the other person’s microphone. Click the ‘…’ menu icon to the right of your name and select ‘Settings’. Click ‘Audio and video’ and scroll down to ‘Test audio’. Hear anything? If not, it’s possible that Skype isn’t configured properly, but don’t worry, it’s easy to fix.
Type ‘Sound’ into Windows 10’s search bar and open ‘Sound settings’. Make a note of the device name listed under ‘Choose your output device’. Now return to Skype’s audio and video settings and look at the device name to the right of ‘Speakers’. If this doesn’t match the device name from Windows, click it and select the correct option. Click ‘Test audio’ to check everything is now working.
9. Troubleshoot video problems
If there’s no picture from your webcam, it probably means that Skype doesn’t have permission to use it. Windows 10 has pretty tight security settings on cameras to prevent anyone watching you without permission.
Hit [Windows]+[I] on your keyboard to bring up the Windows settings control panel, then click ‘Privacy’ and select ‘Camera’ from the menu on the left. Scroll down to ‘Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access this camera’ and make sure the switch for Skype is toggled on.
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Looking for an alternative? Find out how to use Zoom video conferencing
The ongoing pandemic is having a major impact on businesses this quarter and, by all accounts, is set to be a major challenge for enterprises throughout the rest of the financial year. The US CDC (Centre for Disease Control) hinted that it may be necessary to implement “social distancing measures”. At present, its official advice…
The ongoing pandemic is having a major impact on businesses this quarter and, by all accounts, is set to be a major challenge for enterprises throughout the rest of the financial year. The US CDC (Centre for Disease Control) hinted that it may be necessary to implement “social distancing measures”. At present, its official advice is that employees with symptoms should be encouraged to telework where possible and companies should prepare to have “the information technology and infrastructure needed to support multiple employees [working from home]”. Some large enterprises, IBM, Goldman Sachs, PwC, and Twitter among them have already gone a step further and preemptively instructed all employees to work remotely where possible.
In providing the infrastructure and support for large-scale teleworking, organisations need to prepare themselves and their employees for the increased cyber security risks such a shift can bring. In this post, we outline some of the challenges and best practices for staff suddenly faced with a transition from office-based work to remote work.
Here’s our list of the best antivirus services on the market
Working from home: the mouse, monitor, keyboard and router you need
Here’s our choice of the best VPN services of 2020
Physical security of company devices
First of all, it’s important to note that just because employees won’t be working from the office doesn’t mean they won’t travel or work in public places. When doing so, employees are exposing themselves to a greater risk of losing their laptops and all the data that resides locally.
Do – Ensure all devices that support it use full disk encryption. If a machine is lost, the data on the device should not be accessible to thieves.
Do – Implement robust password management for laptop access. All accounts on the device should require unique login credentials, and wher
More and more organisations across the globe are starting to have their employees and contractors work remotely. The number of people working from home will only increase over the next few weeks as the British government has recommended that people who show “minor” symptoms should self-isolate themselves.While many enterprises have remote access for their IT…
More and more organisations across the globe are starting to have their employees and contractors work remotely. The number of people working from home will only increase over the next few weeks as the British government has recommended that people who show “minor” symptoms should self-isolate themselves.
While many enterprises have remote access for their IT support personnel, providing remote access for a large number of employees and contractors across various departments is likely to pose several new challenges for organisations not used to scaling up to these requirements.
best antivirus services on the market
Working from home: the mouse, monitor, keyboard and router you need
Here’s our choice of the best VPN services for 2020
1. Log all remote access events.
Attribute the events to the associated user, and monitor for anomalies using your security monitoring tools (SIEM/UEBA).
If you want to protect your privacy online, one of the simplest ways to do that is using a proxy server.Effectively, it serves as a gateway between you and the internet, so when using a proxy server the details of the websites you visit and other online history is saved to that server, rather than…
If you want to protect your privacy online, one of the simplest ways to do that is using a proxy server.
Effectively, it serves as a gateway between you and the internet, so when using a proxy server the details of the websites you visit and other online history is saved to that server, rather than to your computer.
free VPN or pay for one of the best VPN services instead.
If you’re not sure whether a proxy server will be better, check out our guide Proxy servers vs VPN: Why VPNs are better.
In the meantime, here we’ll feature the best proxy services, free and paid-for, which will overlap with some VPN services.
Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to [email protected] with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.
Best paid proxy services
Best free proxy servers
Best paid proxy services
Hide My Ass
The best all-round VPN service for speed, privacy and unblocking
Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | IP addresses: 30,000 | Maximum devices supported: 5
at Express VPN
Runs on almost any platform
Speedy VPN servers in 94 countries
Superb 24/7 live customer support
Fewer simultaneous connections than some
Get 3 months free with an annual plan on TechRadar’s #1 rated VPN ExpressVPN delivered outstanding performance in our speed tests and excellent customer support plus a 30 day money back guarantee.
ExpressVPN offers access to more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries, alongside maybe the widest platform support you’ll find anywhere.
We’re not just talking about native clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, plus iOS, Android and even BlackBerry. There’s custom firmware for some routers, DNS content-unblocking for a host of streaming media devices and smart TVs, and surprisingly capable VPN browser extensions for anything which can run them.
All that functionality could sound intimidating to VPN newbies, but ExpressVPN does more than most to help. An excellent support website is stuffed with detailed guides and tutorials to get you up and running. And if you do have any trouble, 24/7 live chat support is on hand to answer your questions. It really works, too – we got a helpful response from a knowledgeable support agent within a couple of minutes of posting our question.
The good news continues elsewhere, with ExpressVPN delivering in almost every area. Bitcoin payments? Of course. P2P support? Yep. Netflix unblocking? Naturally. Industrial-strength encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, solid and reliable performance and a clear no-logging policy? You’ve got it.
Downsides? Not many to speak of. The ExpressVPN service supports five simultaneous connections per user (increased from three), and it comes with a premium price tag. But if you want a speedy service, crammed with top-notch features, and with all the support you need to help you use them, ExpressVPN will be a great fit. While they don’t have a free trial, ExpressVPN has a no-questions-asked 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the service.
Get the best overall VPN 2020 Our #1 recommended VPN is the one we would choose if we were getting one: ExpressVPN. TechRadar readers get 3 extra months free when they sign up for a year. And you can also give it a try first with a 30-day money-back guarantee. View Deal
One of the fastest swimmers in the VPN sea
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Unlimited devices covered
Generally fast connections
A bit basic
Android app unstable at times
Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark has laid-back and playful branding. But when it comes to keeping you and your online identity secure, it’s all business.
The basics are all in place for starters. So that includes OpenVPN UDP and TCP, IKEv2 security protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch ready to stop your details leaking if ever your connection fails. In addition, Surfshark boasts a private DNS and an extra security blanket via a double VPN hop. Not to mention a logging policy whereby only your email address and billing information are kept on record. It’s fast, too, whether you’re connecting to a US or UK server or somewhere further away – say in Australia and New Zealand. Handy if you’re trying to access your Netflix account from abroad.
If you’re somebody who is easily bamboozled and, ultimately, put off by complicated menus and myriad options, Surfshark could be the best VPN for you. It keeps its interface completely stripped back and free from complication. All you’ll really see are options for ‘Quick connect’ and ‘All locations’, accompanied by a Settings icon, and nothing else at all really. Whether that level of detail (or lack thereof) is a boon or a drawback entirely depends on your perspective.
One of our favorite things about this VPN service (other than the price) is the fact that your subscription covers an unlimited devices and services. So if you plan to use your VPN on your laptop, desktop (compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux), tablet, a couple of mobile phones (iOS and Android both covered) and Amazon Fire TV Stick for watching overseas TV, the one account will cover you on all of them simultaneously.
Surfshark offers a 30-day money back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to give it a try before committing for a longer period. And even then, annual plans are very reasonably priced indeed.
One of 2020’s best value VPNs While Surfshark loses out to Express when it comes to sheer all-round quality, security and support, Surfshark has bite when it comes to pricing. Subscribe to a longer plan and you can bring the monthly spend down to less than $2/£2. View Deal
3. Hide My Ass
Private browsing via VPN or proxy server
Hide My Ass offers a free web proxy service that’s very handy when you want to browse privately, but don’t have time or permission to download additional software or browser extensions. There are limitations – the premium software offers faster speeds, more secure encryption, and active malware protection – but for a quick bit of browsing, it’s a good option.
Hide My Ass’s free proxy masks your identity and IP address, connecting via servers in the US, UK, or Netherlands (other options are visible in the drop-down menu, but are only accessible in the premium edition). The free service also places a large banner at the top of each web page, but it’s an advertisement for Hide My Ass’s own products – your data isn’t forwarded to third-party advertisers. It also supports HTTPS connections.
Hide My Ass’s web proxy service collects log files, which include your IP address, the URLs you visit, which pages and files you viewed, and when. It stores this data for 30 days – a policy that pushed it down our list of preferences.
You can sign up to Hide My Ass here.
KProxy is fast and free, with a portable browser for surfing on the move
KProxy offers a browser-based service, an extension for Chrome or Firefox, and a portable version of Firefox available with the extension already installed – a nice touch that lets you use the proxy on PCs at school, university or work.
Setup is a piece of cake – once the extension is installed, pick a remote server (the free version offers several options in Montreal and Munich) and click ‘Connect’. Secure HTTPS connections are supported.
The paid-for version, KProxy Pro, gives you access to ‘premium servers’, which it claims are ‘never overloaded’, implying that the free service may sometimes slow down under the weight of traffic, but we barely saw any impact on speed.
As ever with free services, there are limitations: you can only browse free for three hours at a stretch, or until you’ve reached your 300MB data cap. Once you hit this limit, you might see a tab prompting you to purchase a premium account, but this isn’t mandatory – you can reconnect again free after taking a breather for 30 minutes.
You can sign up for KProxy here.
Free proxy with paid-for VPN option
However, while some proxy services focus on anonymity and privacy, ProxySite has a couple of settings that could make it potentially useful for a wider audience.
For example, in the ProxySite settings you can select from a wide range of user-agents. On the one hand, this makes it less likely anyone could possibly identify the actual device that you are using, but it does also mean that webmasters and web designers could use it to test acce