Top tools that can make telecommuting easier

By Kukil Bora, SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 28 October 2010, 10:15 IST
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Bangalore: Today's work culture demands us to be available for anything at anytime. Whether if it is a weekend or we are on vacation, we are expected to take calls, reply to our emails or do every other thing that we use to perform in office. With respect to such demands, a smart telecommuter or home worker needs to have all the required technologies to perform his job easily. True productivity at a remote distance needs much more than the basic connectivity and email. We at SiliconIndia figured out the most essential tools that can make working from home much easier and comfortable. Listing the top home office tools below: Hardware Firewall: A hardware firewall can be the first line of defense against network attacks. With little or no configuration, hardware firewalls can protect every machine on a local network. Most hardware firewalls have a minimum of four network ports to connect other computers. Some of the popular firewall routers include Linksys, Netgear, and D-link. Internet Security Software: A security suite installed on your PC is a must before you go online or use others' external storage devices. Internet security software comprises multiple elements such as antivirus, antispyware, firewall, antispam, identity protection and browser protection to safeguard your data from viruses, hackers and web attacks. Web Conferencing: For everyone working remotely and wanting to level the work with those sitting in office, a web conferencing solution is a must-have. It allows conducting live meetings, training, or presentations via the Internet. Some of the popular applications include LogMeIn, Live Meetinga and WebEx. Online Document Repository: To share documents with others remotely, an online document repository to share documents with others remotely is a must for many remote workers. Operation manuals, policy and procedures, sales promotions, reports, and other files can be made available online as a searchable repository. Users can find a document in the repository fast and view using browser software. Net-It Central is software for creating and managing an online document repository. Application Sharing: Application sharing tools let users share files with the outside world. Users can share folders with small groups of people or setup image galleries on the fly directly within the easy-to-use web interface. Microsoft NetMeeting, Dropbox and Zumodrive are some of the widely used application sharing applications. Encrypted Storage Device: These are hack-resistant external storage devices that feature biometric security to protect sensitive data. The device allows access to data on swiping your finger or entering the correct password. After a specified number of unsuccessful attempts, all the data on the drive gets erased. Wi-Fi Router: A Wi-Fi router can be very helpful not only in providing wireless Internet access, but also in sharing files and network resources between laptops and Wi-fi enabled devices such as smartphones. You can make desktop PCs Wi-fi-enabled by using USB or PCI Wi-fi adapters. Instant Messaging: Instant messaging allows communication between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared software clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet. Sometimes you just need an answer quickly or find out when the other person will be available to talk, in such a situation instant messaging tools can be very useful. More advanced instant messaging software clients also allow enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or video calling. Google talk, Skype, Windows Live Messenger are some of the popular instant messaging tools. A smartphone: With need for information on go becoming more and more necessary, many users are moving towards smartphones to satisfy this need. The smartphone should have all the required features and more importantly a large display enough for you to clearly view Web pages and email. A good memory capacity can also be criteria in choosing the right smartphone.