Small Biz IT

Information


Information to consider when evaluating IT services for your business.



Dreamhost


Dreamhost.com provides robust and flexible hosted Internet services (FAQ list) using open source applications.

Main Tier Hosted Services
Shared Services (Web, Email, SQL)
Shared Applications (Wordpress)
Website Builder
Cloud Computing and Storage
Dedicated Virtual Servers
Dedicated Servers

With broad support for open source standards and flexible support plans, Dreamhost.com is the "go to" provider for many business Internet service solutions.

Dreamhost.com Shared Email
Dreamhost.com's shared email service (FAQ) is provided by robust open source applications providing secure POP and IMAP email service.
1. Supported working email box size: 1024GB
2. Maximum number of email inbox messages: 2000
3. Maximum number of email age: 9999 Days
4. Emails can be selectively archived by 'read' or 'all emails' status, however, email archive disk space contributes to the supported working email box size
5. Two factor authentication is not offered or supported, third party alternative identity service integration (via API) not offered or supported
6. SMTP service attachment limit: 40MB
7. Dreamhost.com SLA provides 100% compensation for paid services via opening a support ticket (only)
8. Email service supported protocols are POP IMAP and SMTP with no Exchange type emulation offered or supported
9. Email box password, email filters, auto response, White-Blacklist and anti-SPAM (using Real-time Block List) settings available per email box via https://mailboxes.yourdomain.tld
10. Email archiving is always on
11. Web email access is always on and accessed via https://webmail.yourdomain.tld
12. Installation of shared hosting or private virtual server hosted web email interfaces is supported, the third party web application remains supported by you or the web application software provider

Summarized
Shared POP or IMAP email services are robust, secure, low cost and supported on current Windows, Android, Apple iOS and Apple macOS devices. Shared email service is more reliable and flexible than consumer email service options. Businesses desiring an even higher level of reliability, capacity and compatibility (with Microsoft applications in particular) should consider Intermedia's Hosted Exchange service or Office365 integrated email.

Apple Services, Storage and Backup


Apple iCloud is an excellent consumer grade, tightly integrated synchronization storage and short term backup solution for macOS and iOS devices.

iCloud limitations
1. iCloud free storage tier (5GB) works the same as the paid tiers (50GB $0.99/month USD first paid level)
2. iCloud file restore will only queue previously deleted files for 30 days
3. iCloud file restore is only accessible via the iCloud.com web interface
4. A bug revealed in 2015 on unpatched macOS 10.11 and older created a situation where unsynchronized files moved by the user were deleted on iCloud (Yet another reason to update and upgrade your Mac!)
5. Any type of file 50GB and less in size can be saved to iCloud
6. iOS devices with a current Apple ID sign in and iCloud backup enabled will backup to iCloud when connected to charging power and screen locked
7. iCloud on macOS (or Windows) with Apple ID sign in and iCloud configured will be able to access iCloud stored data, but not iOS backups directly
8. iCloud on macOS (or Windows) is not a backup storage destination for macOS or Windows OS backups
9. iCloud Family Sharing supports up to six accounts
10. iCloud Family Sharing does not allow access to each others data (Ala' Office365, Box, others), even though the storage and apps purchased by the parent is shared
11. Different from iCloud, Apple Time Machine Backup is only available on macOS devices (not iWatch or iPhone) and provides as many previous versions of your data and macOS operating system as the Time Machine Backup storage destination will hold

Time Machine Backup
Suitable devices for Time Machine Backup are;
1. USB connected external drives
2. Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices *Requires 2 Harddrives
3. Apple Time Capsule
4. AirPort Extreme
Note: All links in the above list are examples. I recommend selecting the size of your backup storage device to be sized 3X your current data usage.

iCloud Email
1. Apple iCloud Email is best suited for consumers
2. Attachments are limited to 20MB (5GB with Airdrop)
3. Maximum recipients per an email = 500
4. Maximum recipients per an email per a day = 1000
5. Maximum emails per a day = 1000
6. It is not possible to configure iCloud Email to send email as you@yourdomain.tld (Through clever email forwarding from you@yourdomain.tld to your iCloud account and sending email through a shared POP or IMAP email account at Dreamhost the same service is achievable. However iCloud web interface emails will still be sent from YourAccount@icloud.com)
7. Reporting and adjusting SPAM settings is not obvious or listed for review, anywhere
8. No direct control of SPAM settings, No rejected emails or log access
9. Limited SPAM settings control for iCloud email macOS and iOS

Command Line Create an install USB
Open Disk Utility and erase the target USB drive using “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format type and “Untitled” as the name. Click Erase and wait for the process to complete. Then, in terminal...sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled/ --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app --nointeraction

Safer Public DNS Server Choices


Stop most Internet threats for every device in your small business or home, INSTANTLY.

When you configure your small business or home Internet service to use any of these Domain Name Service (DNS) provider's free service tiers, the Internet safety settings apply to every device - laptops, smartphones, tablets, DVRs, game consoles, TVs, programs - literally anything that connects to the Internet. Additionally, because these providers are used less than your regular Internet Service Providers services, you will usually experience noticeably faster Internet response speeds as well.

Where the concept of using a safer public DNS server choice really shines is that known virus or malware links embedded in emails received, are also blocked. Automatically.

Selecting a safer DNS provider for your small business is just one recommended layer of an overall Internet security strategy.

All of the DNS providers listed and linked below offer a free service tier. Some providers also offer a paid tier with additional features such as reporting. Each provider site includes instructions as to how to implement using their DNS services.

Safer DNS Providers
Comodo Secure DNS name servers are 8.26.56.26 and 8.20.247.20

Mnemonic name servers are 54.76.198.100 and 52.28.79.14

Norton Connect Safe name servers are 199.85.126.30 and 199.85.127.30

OpenDNS Personal name servers are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

Quad 9 name servers are 9.9.9.9 and 149.112.112.112

For more information
Links providing more information and resources for performance over safety;

A different perspective on using a different DNS servers and list of resources is available at Lifewire's list of public and completely free DNS servers.

ComputerWorld UK's 6 free DNS services to boost internet performance and security is a published perspective on using different DNS servers for improved Internet speed and security.

The video OpenDNS vs. NortonDNS vs. Comodo Secure DNS shows a visual comparison.