International Calls Made Cheaper With Mobile VoIP

This is the age of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). It seems that everyone has ditched the traditional telephony system to take up the smarter way of alternative communication worldwide, and that is VoIP.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) uses a very unique technology to allow users on the same VoIP network the ability to make free calls. Yes, you read it right - free! By leveraging one's existing broadband connection, VoIP providers can make calls to another VoIP user based in an international destination with the broadband connection only. Another impressive point about VoIP communication is, due to the digital nature of VoIP communication, there are much more features to it than a standard phone. Apart from broadband, a computer may be necessary for the process. However, some providers supply a VoIP phone for making the calls without the need of any PC. It is also possible to convert your mobile handset into being compatible with VoIP through a mobile dialer app.

Mobile VoIP frees the caller from any limitations as he does not need to be restricted to a place to make any call. The mobile VoIP can work with the cellphone's 3G, 4G, GSM, or other Internet service to make calls. The voice calls are sent as digital signals over the web using the voice over IP technology. At available hotspots, mobile VoIP calls can be made eliminating the costs of any cellular voice or data plan completely.

Here's in a nutshell how you can bring down your international call costs with mobile VoIP:

1. With mobile VoIP, smartphone users can make the most of low costs when they are calling or texting international destinations. The data transmission also happens typically faster as the data travels through multiple packets traveling over the web to reach the destination.

2. The mobile VoIP dialers can be used Wi-Fi hotspots with utmost ease. That means, the mobile VoIP users can cut the cost of the carrier's 3G service and make calls using the Wi-Fi network. With monthly data plans from carriers, there is always chance of exceeding maximum bandwidth limits and running up the bills. Using Wi-Fi hotspots gives users the liberty to be limited within the data plans.

3. Mobile VoIP plans eliminates need of subscribing to any voice plans or texting packages from the carrier. The cell phone users can now make use of their data plans to make unlimited free or low-cost calls to international destinations using the Voice over Internet Protocol.

4. With mobile VoIP, it is possible to make low cost and one-click calls utilizing the VoIP termination gateways. Some of the VoIP providers also offer advanced features like free worldwide dialing.

5. VoIP providers also extend the service of offering calls internationally to non-VoIP users at a nominal additional rate. Though the procedure is the same as a standard phone setup, it is free of the high expense that comes with a conventional telephony system.

The world is slowly but steadily turning into a digital community and mobile VoIP is the new way of communication. Not only does it make international calling easy and accessible but also makes international communications cheaper like never before.

4 Types of Network Switches

Network switches are a useful piece of hardware to include in a computer network that consists of several devices. There are a few types of network switches that play a different part in the management of the network. A major function is the ability to direct traffic and make sure the data packets sent over the network reach the desired location. By installing the right series of switches it is possible to run a system without straining the resources and also making sure the connected peripheral devices are running effectively.

There is a total of four network switches which include the enterprise managed, smart, managed and unmanaged. The different types have their own positives and negatives, so it is important to use the right components to create the most efficient and cost-effective system.

Here is an overview of the different types of network switches:


The unmanaged type is the most cost-effective in the market and a popular choice for the home or small business set up. One of its major functions is to help manage the type of data that flows between two or more computers and a shared printer. It rarely needs to be watched or configured and is extremely easy to set up.


This type is more advanced and comes with built-in software or a user interface to make it possible to adjust the setting to improve the functionality of the network. This system is best operated by the knowledgeable network administrator because they are a lot more complicated to use and it is important to configure with the proper settings.


The smart option offers a middle ground product which is like an automated version of the managed switch. This type is quite straightforward to manage and is easily controlled using a web-based interface and can easily function on its default settings. The standard settings only need to be changed if using one of the most complex setups or trying a control a specific function. Useful settings to configure include duplex, port-bandwidth, LAN or VLANs. Plus, it is a reliable choice for supporting the high volume of data transfer.


The enterprise-managed type is practical for larger organizations that are in need of a system that makes it possible to make multiple changes and adjustments. These network switches need constant supervision and must be managed by the network specialist because of the great complexity and size of the system.

Learn more about the different types of Cisco Switches for managing a network to a high standard.

The Smarter Side of International Calling Cards

Undoubtedly, VoIP technology has swept the way modern communication is being done. All thanks to internet technology whose growth has simultaneously helped the telecommunication industry to explore cheaper and efficient ways of staying connected to any part of the world. The prime beneficiaries of this developmental model have been end users and corporate companies.

VoIP communication is made possible via mainstream VoIP services and Calling Cards. Both these modes use VoIP technology to offer incredibly low call rates for long distance or international calls. Today, almost every business is leveraging the benefits of VoIP communication. Not only does it offer low calling rates, but also provides many advanced features which enables for a seamless calling experience.

Both modes of VoIP communication are popular among end users. However, based on the necessity one can opt either of the two modes. Following are the few instances where, calling cards can be handier and simple to use.

No Internet Connectivity Zones:

If you happen to visit places where there is no internet connectivity then it becomes a herculean task for you to make VoIP calls. That's when calling cards can be handy. It gives the same experience as that of a VoIP calling service, but requires you to pay and secure them. You can dial the desired destination number and continue making calls. It requires no internet connectivity.

For Not-So-Frequent Long Distance Calls:

In cases where you don't make long distance calls very often, international calling cards can be the best option. You can save a lot of money as depending upon your necessity you can secure a calling card that has pre-defined expiry date rather than going for a full-fledged VoIP service.

To Avoid Maintenance of VoIP Infrastructure:

For those who think securing necessary VoIP infrastructure and maintaining them could be a cumbersome affair, calling cards can be a treat for them. It absolutely requires no maintenance of any kind of VoIP infrastructure. However, in the longer run a complete VoIP set up is the safer and reliable option.

Easy-to-Use for All Age Groups:

Calling cards are simple and easy to use for all age groups. In the sense, one need not be tech-savvy to use this medium of communication. Everyone can enjoy making calls to their dear and loved ones with its use.

Contrastingly, all businesses make use of mainstream VoIP services as they find it increasingly easy to install and use for seamless VoIP communication.

Nagendran is a senior VoIP engineer at Voxvalley Technologies. His 5+ years of techno commercial expertise VoIP, SIP, Telecommunication, Application Design & Development, Telecom and mobile communication.

How Much Do PCI Companies Charge?

There is much more to being PCI compliant than just getting a PCI SAQ filled or going through a quarterly vulnerability scan successfully. There is a lot of work and resources required by the business to go through to make sure the customer credit card data is secured.

A lot of businesses get confused when it comes to setting up a budget for PCI compliance. Commonly the budget kept is too small that it becomes really difficult for IT departments and third parties to provide upgrading to the equipment and to meet the latest security standards; such actions makes the security at the risk of getting breached.

Dependence of Cost of PCI Compliance

The cost of PCI compliance totally depends on the number of transactions made per year. There are two types of businesses one that process more than 6 million MasterCard or Visa transactions each year. Then there are businesses that make less than 6 million MasterCard or Visa transactions per year.

Variables that affect the cost of PCI compliance

The cost you are giving for your PCI audit totally depends on the setup of your organization. Below are some factors that affect the overall PCI compliance cost.

Type of Business:

Whether you are a service provider, shop, or a franchise each would have different amount of cardholder data, environment structure, and sets of requirements.

Size of Organization:

Normally the bigger the organization the more possible weaknesses it has in its system; including an extra number of computers, cardholder data, departments, processes, programs, and staff members. Having an extra number of departments means extra protection and extra security which definitely ends up in more cost.

Environment of Organization:

The mobile devices, brand of computers, firewall kinds, backend servers, etc everything can put an effect on the PCI cost.

Dedicated PCI Staff of Organization:

Even with the presence of highly dedicated team, organizations commonly need consulting or help from outsiders to assist them in meeting PCI requirements.

PCI Fees:

A monthly non compliance fee may be charged by your acquiring bank for not being PCI compliant. This usually varies from bank to bank and might go away if you give a proof of being PCI Compliant.

Pre pay acquirers:

Acquiring banks check with a PCI DSS vendor and pay for PCI Compliance of their merchant; but it happens rarely.

Cost of PCI Compliance

A small entity's cost of PCI DSS compliance should start from $300 per year depending mostly on the environment. There are various costs that are considered.

· Self-Assessment Questionnaire $50 to $200
· Vulnerability scanning per IP address $100-$150
· Training and policy making per employee $70
· Remediation (software and hardware upgrades/updates etc.) varies according to the relation of entity with compliance and security around $100 to $10,000.

A large entity is required to get PCI audit, which could cost from $70,000 per audit.

· Onsite audit more than $40,000
· Penetration testing more than $5,000
· Vulnerability scans more than $800
· Training and policy making more than $5,000
· Remediation (software and hardware upgrades/updates etc.) differs on the basis of the relation of entity with the compliance and security and can be around $10,000 to $500,000.

BuyerShield® ASV PCI Compliance brings peace of mind and security to your business and utilizes robust security analysis for thousands of know vulnerabilities, and more are added every day.

USB Memory Sticks - Advantages Over Disc Formats

USB sticks, or flash drives as they are also known, are becoming an ever more popular format for the transfer of data between businesses and also to for business promotion to potential customers. At the current time of creating of this article (March 2016), memory sticks that are capable of holding as much as 512 GB of data can be purchased easily on-line at a surprisingly low cost. Amazingly, a USB drive that will hold 1TB of data can also be obtained, but currently, these are expensive. The rate of technological advance will mean that the current high price will tumble over the next twelve months as order numbers grow and manufacturing costs are lowered due to bulk purchases.

A 512 GB USB stick can contain the same amount of information as over 20 regular Blu-ray DVD discs. The format may currently be a little more costly than the Blu-ray DVD discs but there is little to compare in terms of the convenience of the format as opposed to a pile of Blu-ray DVDs. The USB drive occupies little space and can be secured using a keyring or kept safely in a small pocket in a laptop bag or with ease. 20 Blu-ray DVDs, however, occupy a lot more space and would be much more inconvenient to have to transport.

At the other end of the scale, a memory stick with a capacity of 128 MB can be purchased inexpensively if the information files to be held on it are only small.

USB Sticks - Volume Production and Customised Casings

The ever- increasing sales volumes of the format has resulted in many companies, particularly in the far east, producing them in a staggering array of shapes and sizes. These designs can be both useful, such as a torch with a USB stick moulded into it, or any amount of novelty shapes such as a toy supercar shape that can be put onto a keyring. Many businesses using memory sticks to send out data on-site to employees and offsite to existing or potential clients, use flash drives in the form of a business card or a useful pocket sized shape that can be screen printed with the business or brand logo to further promote the company. Mostly, mass produced USB drives are basic shapes about 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm which can be printed onto, or a business card form which, once more, can be printed through a spot colour screen printing technique. There are also a lot of companies which can produce memory sticks in a custom shape specified by the client.

Making Use of USB Memory Sticks To Give Your Business a Boost

The easy transportation of flash drive means that they are ideal for data storage for use by any company with a need for data distribution, particularly where data files are of a significant size. Where many employees need to be able to view large graphic design files or data/code files then USB sticks that hold large files are perfectly suited. This format is perhaps most commonly used, though, for promotion of businesses at exhibitions and business shows. Here, USB drives have two benefits; if you are employed in the marketing department for your business and are tasked with promoting your company at a tradeshow with the aim of raising brand awareness, or just to promote your company's services, they can be used to distribute sales information, presentations or applications for potential clients to view on their laptops or desktop PCs. Any data space can then be used for information storage by the user. This convenience means that the flash drive is always on hand keeping the brand in mind whenever the memory stick is used. They are popular freebies and business card or stick type forms can receive a print via the spot colour screen printing technique, with up to 4 separate colours. This is great for printing business logos or contact details onto the body of the drive.

The gain for a business, where USB memory sticks are utilised for promotion, can be enormous. As with almost any mass produced product, the larger the quantity you purchase, the lower the unit cost. If your business lands a lucrative contract or sells a high value product after giving away a memory stick with a small cost, then the benefit is very clear.

USB flash drives account for a large proportion of the data distribution and business promotion markets. Their capacity to hold a very large amount of data in such a small package makes them perfect replacements for CD and DVD discs. Along with the fact that their prices are falling as mass production of USB sticks increases, they are now starting to become the choice format for many businesses that need to distribute very large files quickly, to existing clients or potential new ones, and also existing personnel. Just about everyone seems to possess at least one memory stick and they can be obtained in a vast array of shapes, sizes and colours.

USB Duplication - Producing Memory Sticks in Bulk

A great number of companies based in the UK are consistently placing orders for thousands of memory sticks to enable them to promote their businesses. This growing demand means that there are a growing number of USB duplication companies offering their services to UK customers. Units are readily available that can copy large amounts of data rapidly, to over 100 USB sticks, at the same time. If a duplication suite has several of these units working together, they can then transfer data to many thousands of memory sticks, very quickly. Data transfer speeds are constantly on the increase as the technology advances. The USB 3.0 data transfer standard claims a realistic data transfer rate of 400 MB/second meaning that even a 512 GB USB memory stick can reach capacity in around 20 minutes. This is roughly 10 times faster than the older USB 2.0 standard. The ability to transfer such a large amount of data so rapidly means that duplication expenses can be minimised and flash drives are then a financially attractive alternative to Blu-ray DVDs, as they are also much easier to handle.

These duplication units are readily available for purchase online and many businesses who find they have a regular need for a large amount of USB sticks will either outsource the work or obtain a duplication unit for their employees to use. They are easily set up and take up very little room, meaning that they can be tucked into a corner or even a drawer when not in use and taken out when needed.

USB Memory Stick Security

USB flash drives are also a convenient format for the distribution of sensitive data such as:
  • Legal documents
  • Sensitive internal company data
  • Copyright controlled information
  • Sensitive research documents
The files can be secured through encryption using security software such as Truecrypt or similar, and the key for decryption of the data communicated through another means as an added level of security. Where the files contained are particularly sensitive, the USB drive can be concealed as it can be moulded into just about any form such as a pen or a torch. Even a large capacity memory stick can be contained on a very small PCB, so hiding the drive in a place known only to the intended recipient is a good option.

Many of the world's major engineering corporations use USB memory sticks to deliver CAD models of projects like household appliances, road vehicles or aeroplanes and military transportation. Such files are usually very large and need a high storage capacity device to hold them. With the mainstream availability of a 1TB USB memory stick on the horizon, this format will see an increase in use across the majority of industries.

For more information on USB memory stick duplication, speak to our team of experts at Alpha Duplication.

Is PCI a Law?

With the requirements set up by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), a lot of businesses scratch their heads and ask whether PCI is a law. The answer to this question is very short and simple no PCI Compliance is not a law.

Will PCI Compliance be a Law in Future?

To make the things more clear, let's go in detail about this topic. At the moment it is not a federal law; but still there are some state laws that are in effect (while some might go in effect in future) to implement the requirements of PCI DSS. The story does not end here there is a big press on from the industry trade association and legislatures, to pass a federal law about breach and security notification.

Plastic Card Security Act

In 2007, "Plastic Card Security Act" was established in Minnesota which stated that if a company is breached and later on it is discovered that the company was storing prohibited PCI data like CVV codes, magnetic stripe, track data etc. then it is required to repay banks and other individuals costs linked with reissuing and blocking of cards. According to this law such companies are open to private lawsuits. The law at the moment is not to be implemented on Level 4 merchants (carrying out less than 20,000 card transactions per year).

On this, it was announced by the state of Massachusetts that it will commence a new law, 201 CMR 17.00. For example, the law stated the need of limiting the data collected, and further stated about data encryption and written security policies. The law would be implemented on any company storing or handling customer data based in Massachusetts. The enforcement of law was pushed back to 2010, when it was meant to be in action from 2009. Like all the previous laws this law also didn't include level 4 merchants to be enforced by the law.

None of the above stated law stated anything about being PCI Compliant. More states are in need of customers' notifications when a data breach finds its way, as the time goes on the definition of the data which is personal information will also have credit card numbers included in it.

What are the Possibilities?

With all that said, is it possible that we will get to see devotion to PCI Compliance and more specifically call it out as a law? Well there is no guarantee about it; but it might be possible, as you don't know anything about future. The government does take time to get things done and PCI compliance is still evolving. So, it will be quite difficult for the legislatures to keep up with the pace of new technology changes being put forward by PCI.

It is possible to a certain extent that in the future more states will recognize credit card data as personal information and will carry out strict actions against the companies neglecting the proper security. Also, in upcoming time there might be direct financial incentives to companies with far greater security postures.

Secure your Business with BuyerShield® Approved PCI Compliance Security Scanning and stop Security threats before they stop you. Learn more today.

Recycle Old Computers Thoughtfully to Prevent Bio-Hazards

Recycling of old computers and electronic gadgets is not only a matter of accruing profit, but also a clever stride to take, towards the creation of a cleaner world; free of e-wastes. The correct method of e-waste disposal task makes the entire difference.

Technologies and electronic gadgets become obsolete within no time and get vanished away from the market outpacing the speed of their emergence into our lives. The first generation of computers, for instance, provides a perfect example of such discovery of mankind that have gone through the ups and downs of ages to become one the most powerful electronic human-friendly device, the sixth generation of computers; a completely new version of computers that have accelerated the society to reach new heights. But the days are not so far when this wild progression, will cause this smart machine not to perform, but sit idle on the pages of history.

Here the most important question arises regarding about what needs to be done with these time-worn machines and computers. They cannot serve as alluring show-pieces neither can be stacked up to consume spaces inside the cupboards. In developed countries like USA, China and Australia, where the self-accelerating society follows the steady rule of development, often find themselves surrounded by heaps of such electronic junks. And in dexterous attempt from coming out of such occurrence, they sometimes mess up while handling e-wastes that play havoc in our environment. E-wastes contain toxic and hazardous components like mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium, and chemical flame retardants, which very easily gets leached into the soil and water and contaminates them. The entry of these toxic substances into the human food chain may plague the human race with many kinds of diseases that may become impossible to treat. According to many types of research, underground water in most parts of the world has been declared unfit for drinking due to the presence of high levels of lead, mercury or arsenic in it. It has also been said that the increasing number of cancer patients around the world is the result of e-waste contamination; that is constantly going on happening below our noses.

To resolve such mismanagement the administrative body of such countries have come up with the unique idea of recycling old computers that will not only save our environment from e-contamination but also accomplish the problem of spacing. Recycling old computers is also a profitable affair because old computers contain recoverable valuable metals such as aluminum, copper, gold, silver, plastics, and ferrous metals.

Luther Martin has visited many computer recycling centers and shops throughout the world and his research clearly concludes the fact about recycling old computers can prove to become a profitable scenario alongside saving our mother from e-contamination.

Glossary of PCI Terms

Here is a glossary of terms associated with PCI.

Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV)

In order to be PCI Compliant, you will require a successful scan certificate from an Approved Scanning Vendor. An ASV will certify you that you are up to all the technical requirements. ASVs are enlisted by PCI SSC on the basis of their performance.

Audit log

It is the record of activities of system up to a certain date; but it should have enough details to track back sequence of events that go from the beginning of transaction to the end.

Card holder Data (CD)

Cardholder data contains full Primary Account Number (PAN). Cardholder data also contains the following information:

· Name of the Cardholder
· Expiration Date
· Service Code (optional)

Card holder Data Environment (CDE)

It is an environment containing all the processes and technology including the people that process, transmit or store customer cardholder information or authentication information. CDE also includes connected system components and virtualization technology like applications, servers etc.


The conversion of text into coded form is known as encryption. Only the people having the specific decrypting codes can get access to such data and only through a specific cryptographic key this data can be accessed. This puts a barrier between unauthorized disclosure and the encryption and decryption process.

File Integrity Monitoring

This concludes if the files or logs have been changed or altered in any way. When specific important files or logs are changed, PCI sends notifications and alerts to the security personnel.


This technology keeps the network protected from unauthorized access by limiting or stopping traffic among networks having different security level based on specific criteria. Hosting options of PCI Compliance has various types of firewalls, including dedicated firewall appliances, virtual private firewalls, and shared firewalls.

Intrusion Detection Service (IDS)

This is the software or hardware that gives alerts about network or system intrusions. This system might have alert sensors, a centralized logging system and monitoring options to keep track of events.

Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS)

It is same as the Intrusion Detection Service, while IDS detects the intrusions the IPS tries to prevent the intrusions or possibly block the intrusions detected by the IDS.

Penetration Test

This is a test conducted on applications and network and also on processes and controls, to check any vulnerability and to know about how much at risk is the security and how openly can security be accessed or breached.

Primary Account Number (PAN)

The Primary Account Number is also known as unique payment card number or account number that gives details about the cardholder account and the issuer, it is used for either credit or debit cards.

Private Network

Private networks consider using private IP address space and their access must be protected through firewalls and routers from a public network.

Service Provider

Service provider is a non-payment brand entity that processes, stores or transmits payment cardholder data. Any company that affects the security of the payment cardholder information is included as the service provider, i.e. a company providing management services or a company providing hosting services by managing firewalls, IDS, etc.

BuyerShield® ASV PCI Compliance brings peace of mind and security to your business and utilizes robust security analysis for thousands of know vulnerabilities, and more are added every day.

7 Tips to Increase Your Laptop's Battery Life

1. Turn On the Battery Saver Mode 
Every laptop is equipped with a battery saver mode or economy mode which puts the machine in a low power consumption state. The processor, memory, hard disk, etc. all start consuming less power by reducing their performance. This allows you to lengthen the time before the battery dies.

2. Reduce the Screen Brightness 
As with any electronic device including your mobile phone, you should lower the brightness of your laptop's screen. In fact, if the battery is about to die, lower it to the lowest setting. Most modern laptop screens consist of LEDs to provide the backlighting and hence, they do take up power.

3. Switch Off Unused Devices 
Unless you are using them, turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth because these are radio devices which consume quite a bit of battery power. Additionally, you can also turn off unused peripherals like a high performance graphic card (you obviously won't need it to make a presentation), one or more USB ports (most laptops contain two to three ports, so you can turn off one), and any underutilized optical drives.

4. Lower the Resolution 
Modern laptops contain high resolution screens which draw a lot of battery power; reducing the resolution to a basic one when you wish to have more battery time is an efficient way to decrease the power consumption.

5. Turn Off the Keyboard's Backlight 
Unless you don't have a laptop with a keyboard that features a backlight, switching off the backlight helps to further increase the time before the battery runs out.

6. Close Any Unnecessary Apps and Processes 
Hardware is not the only component consuming your battery, it is the software too. So start by closing any programs running in the background; for example, processes related to sound, music players, video players, or cloud services can be safely closed.

7. Don't Let Your Laptop Overheat 
Do you use your laptop on your bed, blanket, or pillow? If so, chances are you risk damaging the battery and the internal components; excessive heat will not only cause damage, but will shorten the battery life as well. Therefore, place your laptop on a hard surface like a desk or a table and if you are feeling lazy, use a portable table like a lapdesk.

Furthermore, dust and debris accumulate on the ventilation ports, fans, and air vents of a laptop which blocks the heat from escaping. Blowing out the vents with compressed air helps in improving the performance and extending the battery life of a laptop.

Laptops are expensive, there's no tiptoeing around it; it's a lot of hard-earned cash out of your pocket. However, they're also incredibly useful and you're likely to have a lot of personal data stored on yours along with photos and videos you won't want to lose it. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen. Strongly consider getting Laptop Insurance, from just £1.49 per month:

Popular Posts