Inbound vs. outbound firewall rules

Inbound rules: These are to do with other things accessing your computer. If you are running a Web Server on your computer then you will have to tell the Firewall that outsiders are allowed to connect to it.
Outbound rules: These are so that you can let some programs use the Internet, and Block others. You will want to let your Web Browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera…) have access to the Internet, so you will tell Windows Firewall that it’s allowed.

Using outbound firewalls

It’s actually rare to see an outbound firewall used because of the complexities that it introduces into the network. Oftentimes, outbound firewalls interrupt application traffic, disrupt business workflows and get users upset unless close attention has been paid to configuring the firewall in just such a way to enable everything to work.

However, in certain cases, businesses might need to filter outbound traffic. For example, an outbound firewall can be beneficial in very locked down environments that control network behavior down to the host level. Alternately, certain data loss prevention technologies may need an outbound firewall to protect specific information on the host.

Remote IT Support

10 reasons why use remote IT support

1. Efficiency

There’s no way around the fact that if you have to drive to every client, you’re spending precious time (time that could be billable) in your car. Instead of a fifteen to thirty minute drive, why not make that a fifteen second dial of a phone number? You’ll be getting more done, faster, thereby you’ll be billing more hours and working far more efficiently. Yes, you’ll have the downtime of getting clients connected to you – but most often that is a fairly painless process (there are of course those clients that simply don’t get what “open your web browser” means).

2. Cost effective

Doing remote support means you’re not using gas or adding wear and tear to your vehicle. It also means fewer chances of accidents while driving (so cheaper insurance rates). Remote support can also save your budget in many, varied ways: Eating lunch at home, less budget spent on clothing, and even less money spent using your smartphone data plan to look up information for the job at hand.

3. Green

Again we return to vehicle usage. When doing remote support, you’re not driving. When not driving, you’re not adding to the greenhouse gas issue. Having a greener overall footprint can help you in many ways. First, you can find possible tax credits. Second, your reputation for being a conscientious business will precede you – thus helping to win you over more clients. But this issue shouldn’t necessarily be about winning over clients…right?

4. Client-friendly

How many times have you stepped into a job to find the clients to be less than happy you are on site? Whether it’s due to bad timing, impossible scheduling, or what – there are instances when you arriving at a client location is less than ideal. When that occasion arises, it can quickly escalate into you not getting much work done (or worse, working under a pressure you don’t need). Avoid this by offering remote support for those clients that would rather hear you, than see you.

5. Multi-tasking

When you work remotely, you can do as many jobs as you can juggle. I have, on more than one occasion, had six remote sessions going at one time. If each of those appointments takes an hour to resolve, that’s six billable hours taken care of in one hour. This type of situation, of course, must be handled with care. You cannot bill a client for an hour when the job would have taken significantly less time had you not been double-dipping. If handled properly,  remote support enables you to get much more done in less time.

6 After hours

Remote support also allows you to work after hours. This, of course, is not for everyone. But there are certain situations (such as Windows updates – especially on servers) where working after hours is the only way to get something done. For those times, you’ll be glad you offer remote support. I have run into numerous instances where a client had a problem but didn’t have time for me to work on said problem until they were out of the office. Remote support – perfect solution.

7. Work from home

I have to confess…I’m a big fan. Why? Why not? Working in my PJs, working at my own pace, working within a safe and known environment…what is there not to like? I always find, when I’m working within a comfortable environment, I work better. Injecting remote services into your business model is the easiest means of making the work-from-home model work for you.

8. Fast response

The difference between hopping in your car and dialing a phone number could be crucial. This is especially true when you’re dealing with failing machines or clients that demand immediate turn around. Your clients will greatly appreciate the super fast contact times and you will be glad for the quick resolution of issues.

9. Controlled environment

Like working in your most comfortable pajamas, working in an environment you can control will go a long, long way to helping you get your work done as efficiently as possible. When working on site, there is no way you can control the variables thrown your way. This is also very much dependent upon the client. If you’ve ever done support for a retail client, you know trying to get anything done inside the business (especially during business hours), is nearly impossible. When working remotely, you don’t have to worry about customers or clients getting in your way.

10. Less intrusive

There are clients that simply don’t want you there. There are also clients you don’t want to be around. Doing remote work avoids this trap all together. You won’t have to feel like you are in the way of someone else doing their job or feeling unwanted (which certainly does nothing to make a job more efficient). A lot of clients greatly appreciate it when you can get their technology back up and running smoothly from behind the magic curtain.

Not every job can be handled remotely. Considering remote work depends upon a solid network connection, and it should be pretty obvious there will be times when you will simply have to be on site. But when you have the choice, working remotely sure makes the job easier in many ways. If you have the opportunity to add remote service to your menu, give it a try…both you and your clients will be glad you made the addition.

ref: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-reasons-you-should-offer-remote-support-to-your-clients/

Disable/Enable Command Prompt

Command Prompt is a feature of Windows that provides an entry point for typing MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk
Operating System) commands and other computer commands. The most important thing to know is that
by typing commands, you can perform tasks on your computer without using the Windows graphical
interface. Command Prompt is typically only used by advanced users.

Disable:

When you open Command Prompt this message will be displayed:
The command prompt has been disabled by your administrator.
Press any key to continue …
wpfe99888a_01
Gpedit:

Warning Computers running Windows Vista Home do not have access to Group Policy (gpedit.msc)
This method shows you how to Disable/Enable Command Prompt from Group Policy
Please perform the following steps:
Type gpedit.msc and press Enter
In the Group Policy window please navigate to User Configuration> Administrative Templates>
System and open Prevent access to the command prompt
The Default state is Not Configured and Command Prompt is Enable
To Enable cmd select
Disable
To Disable cmd select Enable