IT Small Business Recommendations

Hey Friends!

I am in the process of setting up an IT consulting website to use my technology skills to help people in my area. This will be a me only business. No other team members. Ideally I want to stay away from BigTech! I setup a wordpress site that is hosted in BlueHost. I am using a Windows machine but will setup a Linux VM til I can get used to things. Also alot of the support tools are windows based still. I have a few questions.

Workspace: I am looking into Zoho to use for Email etc. instead of Microsoft or Google. Is that a good option? What others are out there? I was looking at Proton mail but Zoho offers more features like spreadsheets etc.

Support Tools: Zoho has Meeting and Assist. Would Zoho Meeting be sufficient for screen sharing and take control ?

Tech Tools: For PC cleanup and Antivirus removal. I have used Malware bytes in the past. What other solutions should I be looking at to run on customers PCs?

Thanks in advance!

Hey @KaptainKopter and welcome to the forums!

Zoho is an excellent solution for a small (and even larger) business. I’m personally using it for mine. Especially the Workplace Pro. Besides the cloud storage and - of course - the email and the other amenities, it also offers Cliq, which is a Slack equivalent that allows you to create chat channels and invite guests - with whom you can text and video-chat to help them out with issues. It offers clients for all main operating systems and also runs on mobiles as well.

Another advantage the Workplace has is its own Social Network (like Facebook), which is private and controlled by you.

Its Meetings application is sufficient for video chat and share screen, not taking control of another system for assistance purposes. For that purpose, there are different tools, but they also require installation on the client-side. If you don’t want to go into the lengths of installing VNC-enabled applications, such as Remmina (which may have a bit of a tedious setup), I would highly recommend TeamViewer. I’ve helped quite a few people that way and it’s cross-platform (with a Linux application as well). I haven’t tried Assist yet, so I can’t offer any input.

If you are looking for an extremely secure (and fast) video chat system, I personally recommend Cisco’s Webex. It has more collaboration tools and the clients can just join from a browser, without having to download and install an application (like Zoom demands).

Proton is a great alternative, but it’s still under development on its suite. It’s new, Unlimited version offers email, VPN and cloud storage.

For Antivirus stuff on Windows, this is a long subject. In my book, if people act carelessly enough to have to rely on an antivirus, then sooner or later, their system will get infected no matter what. There is nothing to protect them against 0-day malware, other than good education on how to act online. Believe it or not, even Windows Defender can do a good job regarding viruses. I have familiarized myself with these techniques and it has kept my systems clean for a really long time.

However, if you absolutely have to suggest something, the two top-of-the-line motherships of the Antivirus applications are Kaspersky (I know, Russian, so people may be reluctant) or BitDefender. Those two have state-of-the-art engines with the necessary heuristics to stop nearly everything.

I hope the above helps!

Thanks for the reply! You sold me on Zoho. I will try out the meeting app for support. I did some research and it also seems that alot of people are liking Zoho Assist more than TeamViewer! In regards to the antivirus and spyware support tools I was more referring to what I can run on customer PCs that I am working on. I have used Malwarebytes and Super AntiSpyware in the past so I will start with those.

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@KaptainKopter please keep us appraised of your progress and which programs you are using and maybe even why you are not using others. This topic interests me very much. Cheers!!

Thanks for the interest! I am using BlueHost for Website hosting on WordPress with Divi to create the theme. WordPress I found isnt as “Bigtech” as Wix or SquareSpace and also allows for alot more customization on plugins and features so you can essentially make it less BigTech as possible. I went with Zoho Workplace as an alternative to GSuite or Office 355. The platform is great! I like Zoho. I will try the Zoho Meet tool but may end up buyin Zoho Assist for supporting users pending on how much control features come with Zoho Meet.


@KaptainKopter Very Cool. Let me know how Zoho Meet vs. Zoho Assist, if you get to that point. I will be following this post closely. Cheers!!

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