Web Browsers

Accessing the internet is straightforward using popular browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Internet Explorer, which was lovingly used a few years ago has now been superseded by Microsoft Edge.

There is a common feeling that there is little difference between browsers. After all, they all fundamentally do the same thing – display the contents of a website.

But there are differences. Each has its’ own preference for searching the internet.

And whilst Safari is loaded by default onto all Apple devices, and Google Chrome is loaded as a default on Android-based mobile phones and additionally onto many computers, Edge is only loaded by default onto Windows-based computers.

Determining the best browser to use depends on individual needs, and the website being accessed, as each browser has its unique benefits and drawbacks.

Many people use Google Chrome as their web browser on both Windows and Apple devices, preferring it to the more native product. It is quick and easy to download, and because most people confuse “Google Chrome” the browser with the Google Search engine available in any browser using the URL https://google.co.uk, Google does have the edge.

Even in everyday language, it is quite common to ask “Have you Googled it?”

RJS Consultants recommends the use of Google Chrome as the browser of choice due to the ease of use and superiority of the search engine, but also recommends having a second browser available for those websites that might be tuned to work better on something other than Google Chrome, or those situations when you might want a different search engine to get a different set of results for a question. For more details, thoughts or assistance, please contact us on 01923 254302.

Email archiving – Mailbox sizes, usage and you (POP/IMAP)

As with everything on a computer, like your word documents, excel spreadsheets and pictures as an example, emails all use disk space.  Typically, your average home or business computer has around 256Gb of hard disk space.  Usually, around 30 to 50 Gb is used for your operating system and the rest is used by your programs, files and pictures.  Emails are the same – they use your disk space, but they are also using disk space on the server they are held on.

When using IMAP or POP emails, there is usually a small space in which the email server provides to them.  If you’re being hosted with us (RJS Consultants) the initial size of a POP/IMAP mailbox is 1Gb.  Other sites like One.com are similar, but they restrict their POP mailboxes to 200Mb.  As explained in a different post here: (link to ‘Email Types’), POP downloads emails to your computer, whilst IMAP keeps it on the server.  Archiving is mostly relevant to IMAP mailboxes as POP downloads the emails to your computer or other device anyway.

Over time, the mailboxes fill up which requires you to empty some of it to continue sending and receiving emails.  On the PC, the is easily done by copying your email to a local file called a PST.  This is made possible by using the Microsoft Outlook app that comes with Microsoft Office (not the ‘new’ Outlook app that is replacing Windows Mail).  A data file is created, which makes it possible to move your old emails to the data file, freeing up space on the server and allowing you to keep sending and receiving.

Managing Your Computer Disk Space

  • Managing Your Computer Disk Space
  • Windows running out of virtual memory (and causing the computer to slow down)
  • (in worst-case scenarios) experiencing the Blue Screen of Death or data loss.

As these issues can severely impact on your use of the computer, it is valuable to understand what can cause the available storage to fill up. And often it is a combination of things, rather than one particular aspect. Factors that can contribute to increased disk space usage include:

  • Cloud storage services like OneDrive and Dropbox
  • Phone backups
  • Large video files
  • Design software such as InDesign, that can generate large files
  • Effective Disk Space Management
  • Managing your disk space can be straightforward once you know how. Here are some tips:
  • OneDrive Management: In File Explorer, OneDrive offers an option to “free up space,” which removes local copies of files while keeping them available in the cloud.
  • Phone Backups: Often the primary cause of disk space issues, phone backups can be managed within the phone’s app or manually removed from the AppData directory.
  • At RJS Consultants, we provide guidance and support to help you manage these aspects efficiently.
  • Upgrade Options
  • If you frequently run out of disk space despite regular cleanups, upgrading your hard drive may be necessary. We at RJS Consultants can facilitate this by providing the necessary upgrade and transferring your files and folders to a new disk using disk cloning technology.
  • Adding a Second Hard Drive
  • While not our recommended solution, adding a second hard drive is another option that some users consider. Advertisements often highlight computers with a 1TB expansion disk. However, these drives are usually not set up for proper use out of the box. Users must configure their systems to store data on the expansion drive by changing the default save locations for Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Downloads from the primary (C:) drive to the data storage drive, typically labelled (D:).
  • RJS Consultants can assist you with this setup to ensure optimal use of your additional storage space.
  • For more information or assistance with disk space management and upgrades, please contact us at RJS Consultants. We are here to help you optimize your storage solutions and prevent potential issues related to insufficient disk space.

Why you should switch to Exchange as soon as possible

Many small businesses use email from Gmail, Yahoo, BTInternet etc, and they have had many benefits – not least being that they are easy to set up, and are free. The only downside, has mostly been that they are a bit generic, rather than using the business name as a domain.

Other businesses have their own domain email, but are using the IMAP and POP types of mailboxes, which again are cheap and have been very easy to set up and use.

Unsecure Protocols

Unfortunately, as security has become an ever-growing requirement, these types of email are just not as secure as they used to be, and are no longer deemed “safe” by Cyber Security authorities.

RJS Consultants have, over the past 12 months, started to transition clients to more secure email (using Microsoft Exchange-style email), and where necessary have been able to help clients acquire their own domain.

What we will do

If you want to make your email more secure, and would like some assistance, RJS Consultants can help you make this an almost seamless transition.

There is obviously a small amount of work to be done on your computer and smartphone/tablet etc to access the re-located email, but RJS Consultants will do the work required to set it up and switch your current email to the new environment – and arrange to forward your current email to the new email if you have a new email address, so that you don’t miss any emails.

Yes, this updated approach to email is a little more expensive than the free or almost-free options. But what is the price of hacked and/or insecure email?

Costs and how to get started

The costs are actually not that high, and at RJS Consultants, we prize our ability to keep those costs down for you. Our clients are all small businesses and we understand that dynamic.

If you would like to look into Exchange email as an option for your business, please click the link below for details about us, contact us, and let’s see how we can help you.

Phone Call Scams – How to recognise them

We all receive phone calls from people telling you that they are from (BT, Microsoft, your Bank, the taxman, etc) and invariably they are scams. But how can you tell?

(And please forward this article to any less technical, and/or elderly friends or family, as they are often the unfortunate victims. BUT….. not always. We have had solicitor and acountant clients who have been caught out.)

These scammers need to get onto your computer to get their crooked and sticky fingers on your details. And they do this by persuading you to download software (often TeamViewer, LogmeIn or more recently AnyDesk).

At this point STOP. Do NOT do it. DO NOT give them access. It only takes them a few seconds to suck all the details that they want off your computer.

Please read our detailed article for more details.

If you have been scammed, we give advice on what to do, and how to become safe again.

And Beware…… the new AI (Artificial Intelligence) routines are getting better at fooling you. We also have advice on how to spot a computer impersonating somebody that you know.