Online Collaboration - Tools to Help You Work From Anywhere

As we’ve discussed previously, the rising BYOD trend and the new popularity of telecommuting has made it necessary for mobile workers to find and adopt new technologies that give them secure remote access, viewing, editing, online collaboration and communication capabilities.

When looking for tools to facilitate online collaboration, there are a couple of questions you must ask yourself before choosing a program or service. The first question is what is the most important characteristic you want the program or service to have?

Once you answer whether it’s speed, access, editing, or communicating capabilities that are the most important the program/service you need, you can choose the right program/service for you and your business.

There are many online collaboration tools, programs, and services out there today, however, many of them can end up being very expensive (charging both monthly fees as well as charging per project). And so, we have listed some of the best inexpensive online collaboration tools, programs, and services as well as the qualities they are best known for:

1. Google Drive

With Google Drive, you can create, save, and share up to 2GB of data in Google Drive for free. Google Drive is the best for online document collaboration in that it allows multiple users to access and edit the same document at once. You can also add comments to the text as well as chat with each other in an instant message box on the right side margin of every document.

2. Teambox

If you are looking for project management capabilities, Teambox is the online collaboration tool to choose. Some of the project management aspects of this program include task lists, due dates, and email notifications.

3. Smartsheet

Though Smartsheet is a subscription online collaboration tool, it does come with a 30-day free trial. The security features in Smartsheet include restricting access and monitoring usage, so you can safely share sensitive data. Smartsheet also incorporates aspects of Word and Excel to allow you to better edit your data.

4. Co-op

The Co-op dashboard looks a lot like the newsfeed on Facebook. Users in the same group can post status updates that will be seen by the rest of the group. You can also track time spent on certain projects and keep detailed records of your work so that you can go back and check it.

Remember, if it’s fast and secure remote access you’re looking for as the primary characteristics for the online collaboration tool you decide to use, then TappIn is by far your best bet. TappIn gives you secure and immediate access to your own and shared data from a wide range of mobile devices.

What do you look for in an online collaboration tool? Which tools, programs, and/or services would you recommend for online collaboration? Did we miss any of your favorites?

 

Cloud Backup - An Examination of the 6 Best Online Storage Services

Data backup has been one of the biggest concerns/demands in computer technology since the birth of computers. Before the internet and online storage solutions became available, network attached storage (NAS) devices (on-site external hard drives) were really the only viable option for extending storage on personal computers.

As computer and internet technology evolved, the desire for online storage solutions that could securely hold sensitive data, files, media, pictures, videos, and such grew as well.

The primary benefit of storing data online is obvious. By storing your data online, you don’t run the risk of losing that data if anything were to happen to your computer. For example, if your computer crashes, or if your computer contracts a virus, or even if your computer is physically damaged in some way, your data will still be safe online.

But, with all the choices available, how do you choose the best online storage service? To make your decision easier, we have examined the six most popular online storage services available today:

1. Cloud

Perhaps the most popular online storage service currently, the Cloud from Google offers a free trial with 5GB of free storage. Once the data storage limit is reached, you have the option of purchasing more cloud storage through paid plans.

The main issue with using the cloud is that it can become expensive, depending on how much online storage you may need.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage to start, as well as paid extended storage options if you exceed the 2GB free storage limit. Once you download Dropbox onto your desktop, you can immediately start saving files to the Dropbox folder.

The only issue with Dropbox is that a Dropbox folder must be created and you are only able to access data that was specifically saved to that Dropbox folder.

3. Mozy

Fast becoming a real player on the content collaboration and online storage scene, Mozy, like Dropbox, offers you 2GB of free storage to start (not as much as other alternatives). However, unlike many other online storage solutions, Mozy allows you to encrypt the data you store  to add an extra level of security to that data.  Where Mozy lacks in online storage capabilities, it makes up for in its security features.

4. Sugarsync

Perhaps not as well-known as these other online storage solutions, Sugarsync starts you off with 5GB of free storage. Instead of requiring you to create a folder to store your data, Sugarsync has you sync files, data, and folders, which can be time consuming and lead to file versioning issues.

5. Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) online storage solutions offering content collaboration capabilities available today. Right up front, Google Drive gives you 5GB of free storage.

The problem with Google Drive, however, is that it saves all of your documents as .gdoc files that are web links, which require access to the internet to view, edit, or share them.

6. Skydrive

Skydrive from Microsoft leads all of the online storage solutions with storage size, offering 7GB of free storage to start. Skydrive also differs from the other storage services in that it provides you with editing tools and limited Office applications on its website.

However, like Dropbox and Cloud, you have to save all of your files in a Skydrive folder for them to be backed up/stored online and to be accessible from other devices and/or locations.

Wherever you choose to store your data, whether it be with an online storage service, or a network attached storage (NAS) device, TappIn is one of the most secure ways to remote access that data, from anywhere, at any time, no matter where it is stored.

Have you used any of these services? Which one is your favorite? Which service would you recommend? Which service would you not recommend?

3 Reasons Why TappIn Beats iTunes Home Sharing

The demand for internet users to be able to share pictures, videos, and large files quickly and easily online has grown exponentially over the past few years as mobile technology has advanced. As sharing media online has become more popular, so has finding easy and secure ways of sharing that media.

One proposed media sharing solution introduced by iTunes is called iTunes Home Sharing. However, we have noticed some obvious problems with iTunes Home Sharing that make TappIn a considerably better media sharing option.

There are three reasons why TappIn beats iTunes Home Sharing

1. Remote Access

iTunes Home Sharing only allows users to access iTunes libraries that are connected to the same network. That means, if you are connected to a network with your iPhone, you can only access the iTunes libraries of other computers and mobile devices that are connected to the same network.

However, as soon as you leave that network, you can no longer access those libraries.

With TappIn, you do not need to be connected to the same network to access the iTunes libraries on other computers or devices. Once you have connected your devices to TappIn, you can immediately access your iTunes libraries from wherever you choose.

2. Unrestricted Access

iTunes Home Sharing allows its users to access the iTunes libraries of other computers and devices that are connected to the same network. So that if you are in one room in your house and want to listen to music or watch a movie on a computer in another room, you can access that media content without leaving the room you’re in.

The down side is that you are only able to access the iTunes library on another computer or device on the same internet network. If you have a Word document or other files you want to access from another computer on the same network, iTunes Home Sharing cannot give you access to those.

With TappIn, you have access to ALL of your music, data, files, etc. and not just what is stored in your iTunes libraries.

3. Unlimited (Mobile) Device Connections

With iTunes Home Sharing, you can only sync up to five computers on one network to share iTunes libraries at a time. iTunes Home Sharing is also only available on Apple mobile devices.

With TappIn, there is no limit on the number of mobile devices you can use to access your music libraries. TappIn is available on Android as well as Apple devices.

See how easy it is to share media using TappIn!

How to Share Videos - A Critical Look at the 3 Most Popular Solutions

video sharing solutionsWith 100 million Americans watching online videos each day, it’s no mystery that video sharing and viewing is becoming one of the most popular features of using the internet. The term “going viral” has become a part of people’s everyday vernacular in large part due to statistics like YouTube’s 1 trillion views in 2011.

Here we examine the three most popular online video sharing options available today, and some of the issues we’ve found are:

1. Uploading the video to a video hosting service (like YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

YouTube is far and above the most popular video hosting service online today. Odds are you have visited YouTube or watched an embedded YouTube video on another website.

However, uploading a video to a video hosting website like YouTube or Vimeo usually comes with a considerable amount of waiting around time as the video is being uploaded. Also, to keep the video private, users must set customized privacy settings.

2. Sending the video via email

Before the internet really took off, email was perhaps its most popular feature. And even today, email remains the most popular online activity. Sending messages, files, pictures, and videos all with just the click of a button was and still is the main draw to using email services/platforms.

The problem with attaching videos to emails is that most email servers have file size limits for attachments ranging anywhere from 10MB to 25MB, which can make video sending and viewing via email very difficult (especially if the video is of a considerable size/length).

3. Share the video on a social media channel (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

With Facebook close to reaching 1 billion users and over 1.43 billion users of social media channels worldwide, it’s no wonder that social media channels are becoming some of the most popular places to share pictures and videos.  However, most social media sites require that you set your own privacy settings to keep the video private.

Click here to find out how to share videos online without uploading! >>>

BYOD - 3 Risks Vs. 3 Rewards

risks and rewards of bringing your own device to work

BYOD, the acronym for Bring Your Own Device, is a movement that has experienced significant growth over the past few years — a boom only made possible with the growing popularity of laptops and other mobile devices.

But what exactly are the risks and rewards associated with this new way of doing business? Here are the top 3 risks and rewards of BYOD as we see them.

Risks

 

1. IT Security

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Top 4 BYOD Challenges for Small and Midsize Businesses, implementing an effective and secure BYOD policy BEFORE you allow your employees to bring their own device to work is incredibly important. With a policy of rules in place, employees are better able to find safe and secure ways to remotely access their more sensitive data.

2. Control

While BYOD gives a lot of control to workers in that it enables them to work on their own devices in a way that suits them best, a lot of control is being given up by business owners and their IT departments.

3. Compliance and Ownership

Some industries (usually healthcare and financial institutions) have compliance mandates (like HIPAA, and GLBA) that require that data have certain safeguards and security settings in them to make sharing and accessing them more secure.

If you are providing your own equipment for your employees to work on, then you can set rules so that these mandates are easily complied with. If employees are accessing that data from their own personal devices without those safeguards in place, they run the risk of exposing sensitive data to hidden threats.

Rewards

 

1. User Familiarity = Productivity

One of the benefits of employees bringing their own devices to work is that they are usually familiar with the equipment they choose to use. Some employees work better on laptops, some work better with iPads, some work better on Apple computers, and some work better on PCs; studies have shown people are more productive using their own devices.

2. Equipment

The costs of equipment start to increase exponentially when you add in the costs of maintaining that equipment. With BYOD, you are not responsible for buying or maintaining the equipment your employees are using, and so the costs fall on them instead of on your business.

3. Cost

Providing equipment (computers, monitors, keyboards, etc.) for all of your workers can get very expensive very quickly. Saving money on office costs is one of the major reasons BYOD has become so popular. However, many experts are starting to say that BYOD will actually end up costing the employers more in the long run. Soon this may be a risk instead of a reward.

What do you think? Is BYOD something you already do? Are there are any risks or rewards that we missed?

5 Tips for Safeguarding Your Content - Online and Off

safeguarding-your-content

When it comes to your content, the need for security cannot be understated. But beyond firewalls and online security programs, what can YOU do to safeguard your content?

1. Protect your wireless connection

Most people are connecting to the internet these days with a wireless connection. Connecting wirelessly is necessary for the increasingly mobile market that demands remote access capabilities, but it can also lead to major issues if a wireless connection isn’t secure.

The potential of being hacked, spied on, or even losing your content altogether gets greater the less secure the password. Beyond just picking a unique, hard-to-guess password, consider also encrypting your wireless connection with WEP or WPA type encryptions, if possible.

2. Optimize online accounts for maximum security

Most email, social media, and other online accounts have privacy settings that you can optimize to be better protected. Make sure that with every online account you set up that you set your own privacy settings and that you have a unique password.
If you don’t set your own privacy settings, then your account will likely be set to default security settings that usually work best for the website provider (sometimes giving themselves access to your content), not the website user.

Set security settings that work best for you and remember to always log out of important accounts (i.e. bank accounts, work emails, etc.) when you are done using them.

3. Make sure websites you are using are secure

The most well-known sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are so popular and have enough users that new users don’t have to consider the safety risks of using them. However, not all sites in which content can be shared are secure. Make sure you do your research on the site to determine if a website is secure or not.

4. Get a copyright

Though most internet users use the internet to share and view shared content, that doesn’t mean they want to give over ownership of the content they share. You can’t necessarily prevent people from trying to steal your content. However, there are legal repercussions for those who attempt to steal copyrighted content.

Copyrighting your work is one of the best ways to insure that your work is protected. To copyright your work, you must file for a copyright or e-file on your country’s website (click here to be taken to the U.S. copyright website).

5. Encrypt data before sending/sharing files

If you have data, pictures, or videos that you consider sensitive (i.e. work files, pictures of your children, etc.) and you don’t feel comfortable sharing or saving that data using any online platforms, consider TappIn. TappIn enables you to keep your sensitive data on your computer and grant access to other viewers.

TappIn’s SSL encryption enables you to safely and securely access your content and file share from anywhere at any time. The SSL encryption is the same type of encryption financial institutions use to protect online transactions.

These are just the basic safeguarding tips any and all internet users can do themselves. Did we miss any?

Yes! You can “Tapp In” to Your Seagate NAS

As a TappIn/Seagate customer a number of you have seen Seagate customer announcements regarding Seagate Global Access powered by TappIn (e.g. http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/004606en  or http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/004332en ).

tapp in to your seagate nas

With Seagate’s support, we now have the ability to further explain.  An important part of the TappIn and Globalscape strategy is our ability to successfully deliver the TappIn service by integrating and delivering it with other product and service providers as their primary secure remote file access and online sharing solution.

We are pleased to let you know that Seagate, a world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, is offering the TappIn by Globalscape secure content mobility solution to their customers using the Seagate Global Access Service.  The co-branded TappIn service and mobile apps will securely and easily enable Seagate customers to access and share digital content from their Seagate storage products using popular mobile computers, tablets and smartphone devices.

Obviously, we are very excited to deliver this important capability to Seagate customers.

TappIn Makes Finalist List for Golden Bridge Awards 2012!

For the second year in a row, TappIn by Globalscape is excited to announce that the Golden Bridge Awards has listed us as a finalist in the Innovations - Top Mobile Innovative Products or Services category for 2012!

Each year the Golden Bridge Awards honor the best companies across five continents in Best Products, Innovations, Management and Teams, Women in Business and the Professions, and PR and Marketing Campaigns.

As the workforce continues to become more mobile, businesses and employees are looking for new, secure, and effective ways to work remotely on mobile devices. That’s why TappIn has gained such recognition and become a valuable tool for the mobile workforce.

Following on the heels of winning the Global Excellence Award from Info Security and being named a Red Herring 2011 Global 100 Winner, we couldn’t be more proud to be listed as a finalist in the Golden Bridge Awards among globally recognized companies like AirWatch.

Winners of this year’s Golden Bridge Awards will be honored in San Francisco on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 during the 4th Annual Awards dinner and presentations.

Read about the other awards TappIn has won and read customer stories.

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Learn more about the Golden Bridge Awards.
See the complete list of 2012 Golden Bridge Awards finalists.

4 Reasons to Stream Your Music with TappIn Instead of iTunes Match

TappIn vs iTunes MatchSince its beginning in 2001, iTunes has revolutionized the way people shop for, purchase and listen to music. However, with the recent demand for more music streaming options available to multiple mobile devices, iTunes has had to try and extend their music streaming capabilities to stream through several different devices.

iTunes has now introduced their new program iTunes Match and many people are hailing it as the best way to access their music libraries from anywhere at any time. However, we have put together four reasons to consider streaming music with TappIn over iTunes Match:

#1 Own Your Cloud

Unlike with iTunes Match, TappIn doesn’t need you to move or sync your music to the cloud or another online storage solution to listen to or access your entire music library from another device.

Instead of storing your music online to listen to it wirelessly from another device, with TappIn, you can simply stream it directly from your computer!

#2 Unlimited Access

Currently, iTunes Match has a size limit of 25,000 songs, which is inconvenient for avid music listeners/users who want access to the rest of their music. Apple is still working on a way to get around this. However, it could mean a more expensive plan for these users.

Because TappIn simply gives you access to your files, as long as your personal storage solution can hold it (online or off), you have unlimited access to your entire music library.

#3 More Bang for Your Buck

iTunes Match is more expensive, costing around $25 per year, while TappIn Standard only costs $19.99 per year. And TappIn gives you unlimited access to more than just your music. You can also access your videos, documents, and pictures.

#4 Android File Transfer Made Easy

One of the major disadvantages of iTunes Match is that it only works with the iPhone for mobile streaming. So if you’re an Android user, you are out of luck. But not with TappIn. You can easily transfer files to and from your Android device. TappIn is available on far more mobile devices than iTunes Match, making it a viable option for more users than iTunes Match.

Learn how easy it is to stream your music with TappIn!

Senior Storage Analyst Recommends TappIn in Place of Cloud Storage

eric slack senior storage analystRecently Eric Slack, Senior Analyst for Storage Switzerland LLC., reviewed his experience using TappIn.  Here are the three reasons why he recommends using it.

1. Reduces the Cost of and Need for Cloud Storage

One of Mr. Slack’s favorite aspects of using TappIn’s shared access is that it will save you money on cloud storage and other online storage solutions.

“Re-buying storage capacity in the cloud (and paying for it every month) just so you can get at your content in multiple locations is a waste of money. Similarly, having to remember to upload files that need to be shared, (or will need to be shared) adds another layer of complexity to the workflow process,” Slack argued.

With TappIn, you don’t have to pay for more cloud storage to share more content.

2. Shares Access, Not Content

“While it may seem like a semantics discussion, sharing file access is quite different from physically sharing files and if access is all that’s needed, making copies of content in order to facilitate that access is inefficient,” Slack wrote.

Here Slack points out exactly what makes TappIn different from online storage solutions that are also designed to facilitate shared access. TappIn doesn’t require its users to move, upload, or sync any of the data they want to share, instead it gives its users access to that data wherever it may be stored (whether online or off).

3. Increases IT Control in Corporate Settings

“Besides solving the file access problem for users, TappIn facilitates the use of mobile devices within the existing corporate infrastructure and increases IT’s control over corporate data in the process,” Slack wrote.

One of the biggest issues in the popular Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement that has taken hold in businesses big and small is the concern over the security of sensitive data stored online and that is accessed through personal, non-work-issued devices.

Slack went on to explain, “TappIn doesn’t store files in the cloud, but instead, stores file metadata and device information in order to create a secure pathway between devices and facilitate sharing. Files are encrypted to maintain security in transit and compressed and optimized to improve performance.”

Thank you Eric Slack, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Now we’d love to hear from YOU!  What has your experience been like using TappIn?