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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Gmail Gets Better with Chrome Extensions

Gmail Gets Better with Chrome Extensions

Google has contributed many useful applications and utilities to the average computer user, but one of the biggest standalone contributions that Alphabet, Inc. has made is Gmail, its email program. While this communications tool is comprehensive on its own, it only becomes more useful when paired with the right extensions. Today, we’ll review some of the ones that can best help you boost and sustain high levels of productivity.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Screen Reading Software

Tip of the Week: 3 Pieces of Screen Reading Software

Wouldn’t it be convenient if your business could have web pages or applications read out text for you so that you don’t have to? While most would consider this a luxury, these screen reading applications are an everyday occurrence to those who are blind, visually impaired, or have a learning disability. Even if you don’t have anyone in your office who needs screen reading, it can’t hurt to be prepared for a day when you might.


We’re going to discuss some of the more common screen reading software that you might consider for your organization.

Microsoft Narrator
Microsoft Narrator has been on every single form of Windows since 2000. It was initially implemented with the intention of providing those who are blind and visually impaired a solution to take in written content. Narrator can read the dialogue boxes and information in windows to the most basic of degrees. Because of this, it’s not meant to provide a comprehensive in-depth solution. Instead, Microsoft recommends that those who need screen reading download a full-function screen-reader software. For the purposes of installing this application, Microsoft Narrator can help with this process.

Job Access with Speech (JAWS)
JAWS is a powerful tool that is the most commonly used screen reading application in the world. In 2015, JAWS was used frequently by approximately 30.2% of those who used a screen reader, whereas about 43.7% had used it sparingly. JAWS can perform a number of functions, including web browsing, reading text out loud, reading ebooks and other articles, word processing, and communicating through telecommunication apps. JAWS is compatible with every version of Windows since Windows Vista, but if you’re using that operating system, you have bigger problems to deal with than finding a screen reader.

NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA)
JAWS is a commercial screen reader, whereas NVDA presents a more affordable alternative as a free solution. NVDA can read the text on-screen in a computerized voice or output it to a braille machine for use by the reader. The neat thing about NVDA is that you can either download it on a PC, and access it that way, or place it on a USB drive for use on any computer. NVDA can help users read their email and messages, as well as their social media accounts. NVDA can also assist users with online functionality, word processing, and other productivity software. Just like JAWS, NVDA is compatible all the way up to Windows 10.

Do you have any other recommended screen reading software titles to share? Let us know in the comments.

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Could Your Favorite App Infect Your Device?

Could Your Favorite App Infect Your Device?

When considering solutions to help ensure your business’s IT security, mobile devices often go overlooked. This makes sense. For most of the time the telephone has existed, it has been attached to a wall, only capable of transmitting sound. However, now that phones are palm-sized computers carried in our pockets, keeping them safe from cyberthreats has a new importance.


Part of maintaining security on a mobile device is to protect it from picking up viruses, which means that you need to have a mobile antivirus solution installed. Of course, Google has released its own internal safeguard, called Play Protect, that is supposed to catch malicious apps and updates. By scanning everything that is uploaded to the Play Store, and again before it is installed on each device, Play Protect’s job is to catch malware and other threats before a user’s device is exposed to these nefarious programs.

The trouble is, Play Protect isn’t very good at its job.

When the industry average for real-time malware detection rates is 94.8 percent, and rises to 96.9 percent over four weeks, it isn’t a good sign if your rates are 48.5 percent and 66.3 percent, respectively.

Fortunately, there are antivirus apps available for download with prevention rates that are above-average, many of them free. Many are similar to Play Protect in that they serve as a comprehensive mobile security suite. While the benefits certainly balance out any of the downsides that these apps have, it helps to know the possible downside.

For instance, some antivirus apps (like Avast Mobile Security and McAfee Mobile Security) are supported by ads, which many users may find to be annoying. Norton Security Antivirus doesn’t block a user from visiting a malicious website, but it does allow a user to remotely lock a lost phone via text message.

When so much business can be completed through a mobile device, you owe it to yourself, your employees, and your clients to make sure your mobile devices are well managed, and are as secure as possible. CTN Solutions can help implement the security solutions, including mobile antivirus, that keep your business safely productive. Reach out to us at (610) 828-5500 for more information.

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Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

Is Your Organization Utilizing Software from the Cloud?

All businesses require at least some type of software in order to perform as expected. It’s how organizations acquire this software that has a considerable impact on cost. For some, software can be a budget-breaking nightmare, but others have found a much more convenient way of acquiring this software: as a service.


Software as a Service is a method of software distribution designed to help your business acquire the applications it needs without suffering from the large upfront costs that software acquisition typically carries with it. Do you remember purchasing software licenses for each and every user on your network? This can get somewhat challenging to maintain, as these licenses need to be renewed frequently. If they are not, then your organization could be at substantial risk.

Businesses can instead use 'software as a service' offerings to purchase access to cloud-based applications and storage. Basically, you pay for access to the software and reap all of the benefits of actually owning it--plus some additional ones--by leveraging cloud computing.

More Cost-Effective
Think about how much it costs to purchase software for your organization. The same services that are necessary for operations, could be a major detriment to turning a profit. With the use of an application hosted in the cloud, you can cut the cost of ownership and transfer the once recurring capital expense into a manageable operating expense.

Up-to-Date Editions
When you purchase 'software as a service' applications, you always access the most recent version of it through an online interface. This means that you’ll never have to worry about updating the apps with patches or security updates, as they will be taken care of by the service provider.

More Flexibility
Purchasing new software licenses can be troublesome, especially when you’re a small business that’s experiencing growing pains. You can add new users easily enough just by creating accounts for them--no additional purchases necessary. Changes in your service plan are generally added to your next billing cycle. This provides the scalability every growing business needs.

Does your business want to use software as a service? CTN Solutions can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Why Hasn’t Mobile Payment Really Taken Off?

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