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How to prepare your small business for tech success

Paul Mah | Jan. 15, 2014
Take some time in the early days of 2014 to improve the computer setup in your home office or small business. These security, networking, storage and productivity tips will help you work faster once you get back to business as usual.

When it comes to onsite storage, users with older NAS devices may want to consider upgrading to newer, faster hardware with support for substantially faster Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces. If your existing NAS supports it, it may be worth swapping out older 500GB or 1TB hard disk drives (HDD) and replacing them with new 2TB or 3TB HDDs for a leg up in both capacity and performance.

If you've yet to make the jump to a solid-state drive (SSD), consider it. Prices have fallen substantially, and the speed gain from an SSD upgrade is far more noticeably than a CPU or RAM upgrade.

Add Peripherals, Enhance Your Workspace
Nothing enhances productivity like having an additional display available when doing work that involves correlating or referencing information across different apps. Even if this isn't necessary, having more screen real estate can be a huge timesaver by reducing the need to sort through multiple open windows for the correct one.

Start off the New Year with a bang by getting a second (or third) monitor. Lower-end LCD monitors can be purchased for less than $100 and can be used over the life of multiple PC upgrades. (As for the technicalities end of things, has previously addressed setting up multiple monitors for laptops, and also using multiple monitors at your workstation.

A monitor arm such as the Ergotron HD Arm frees up valuable desktop space by elevating your monitor.

If you're dead set against a multimonitor rig, consider a good monitor arm for greater flexibility. Since they typically clip to the edge of a desk, they can be pushed out of the way to free up additional space on your desktop as required. Moreover, the capability to tilt, rotate and generally reposition your monitor can do wonders for your eyesight. Ergotron, a specialist in this area, sells a range of desktop arms, including a heavy-duty arm that can accommodate an All-in-One PC.

Finally, having some of life's comforts on hand can help you work faster, too. Nothing beats having the right peripherals to boost productivity. Why not settle down with a new wireless keyboard or mouse to begin 2014? If you lack ideas, here's a list of 10 new gadgets to improve your workspace.


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