D & P BLOG

Hosted PBX - A New Phone System For Businesses Category: Blog

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We’ve written previously on this blog about some of the advanced phone systems we offer for our business clients. But although systems like Switchvox are incredibly powerful, we also know that they’re not for everyone.

The newest addition to our business services lineup, intended for midsized businesses up to about 50 employees, is called a Hosted PBX phone system. (PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange — it’s a private telephone network within your company in which a number of external lines for outside calls are shared by all users.) The “hosted” part means that you no longer need to have a special server installed in your office in order to take advantage of the advanced phone services your business needs. With the exception of a router and the phones themselves, all the hardware is hosted at our offices, so you don’t need to worry about a thing.

Here are some of the reasons you might want to consider a Hosted PBX system:

  • If you want advanced phone services like call forwarding, fax-to-email service and the ability to work offsite, but don’t want the upfront costs of a dedicated phone server.
  • If you don’t want to give up valuable office space for a server.
  • If your business is in the five- to 50-employee range and doesn’t have a full-time tech person on staff.
  • If you’d rather pay a single monthly fee for your phone service and not have to worry about a lot of extra hardware maintenance.

When you sign up for a Hosted PBX plan, your only hardware cost comes from wiring and phones. You don’t have to program a thing — we take care of that for you.

You pay a bundled rate for each phone line, plus a fee for each station that’s based on what features you want for that phone. You can mix-and-match, too — if only a few users in your company need the most advanced features on their stations, that’s all you have to pay for.

The levels of service we offer for the stations themselves are:

  • Basic ($14.95 per month): All standard calling features, including caller ID, three-way calling, and speed dialing, plus call holding, call transferring, and hold music.
  • Standard ($17.95 per month): All of the above, plus advanced features like selective call forwarding or rejection and “find me/follow me” service, which lets you set your phone to automatically transfer calls to your cell phone if you don’t pick up within a certain number of rings.
  • Advanced ($19.95 per month): All of the features included with basic or standard plans, plus extras like a web app that allows you to seamlessly transfer calls between your workstation and your cell phone without missing a beat.

We’ve found that many businesses have aging phone systems that will need to be replaced soon, but are hesitating because they think it’ll be a hassle and a huge extra expense. Our Hosted PBX system offers an easy way to get the upgrade you need without breaking the bank.

Because the Hosted PBX service rides on top of our Internet and phone services, you need to be a D&P customer to sign up. But with business data plans starting as low as $49.95 per month, if you’re not a D&P customer yet, we hope you’ll get in touch — we can probably save you money there as well!

To speak to one of our experts, please call 1-888-536-2933. You’ll be glad you did!

Eight Ways to Speed Up Your Wifi at Home Category: Blog

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Has this happened to you? You pick up your laptop and go to sit on the couch, only to have your Internet connection start to lag — or drop out entirely.

Problems with your home wifi network can be frustrating. Luckily, there are several easy steps you can take to improve your wireless reception.

1. Position your wireless router near the center of your house. Your router’s signal radiates outward from the antenna, so if it’s positioned on one end of the house, it might be sending that signal out to your yard, but missing the other end of your home. Try putting the router as close to the middle of the house as possible to ensure the signal can reach every room.

2. Keep your router unobstructed. You might be tempted to keep electronic devices like your modem and router tucked away in a cabinet or a closet, but this actually obstructs your signal. You’ll get better results if your wireless router is out in the open.

3. Elevate the router if possible. Try setting it on a shelf or countertop instead of on the floor.

4. Make sure you have a password set up. If your wireless network isn’t secure, anyone within range can use your connection and hog your bandwidth. Securing your network is a good idea no matter what, so if you don’t have a password on your router, set one today!

5. Keep your router away from other devices. Many people store their routers in an entertainment center or near their cable boxes, but devices like TVs and speakers can generate interference that harms your router’s signal and slows down your connections. Try to keep your router away from other electronics.

6. Use a different frequency. If your router is broadcasting on the 2.4 GHz frequency, consult your user manual (you can find manuals for some common routers on our website) to find out how to switch it to 5 GHz. This bandwidth tends to have less interference, which allows for a clearer signal. However, some older computers might not be able to connect at 5 GHz, so once you make the switch, test all your devices to make sure they can still receive your wireless signal.

7. Experiment with antenna placement. If your router has an internal antenna, this won’t work for you. But if its antenna is on the outside, try pointing it straight up instead of lying flat — and if it has two exterior antennas, try pointing them in different directions.

8. Update your hardware. As we’ve written about before on this blog, equipment matters. Some older routers may not be able to keep up with modern Internet use. A D&P residential helpdesk operator can help you figure out if your current router is up to the task.

There’s a simple test to find out if your wireless router is limiting your speed. With your computer connected to your home wifi and sitting near the router, go to speedtest.net, hit the “Begin Test” button, and take note of the speed it registers. Then plug your computer directly into your modem and do it again. If your speeds are a lot faster when you’re plugged in directly, it may be time to upgrade.

If you need help with this or any other Internet connection issues, call our residential helpdesk at 888-221-2277 or email servicedesk@d-pcomm.com. You can also chat live with a helpdesk operator by going to our website and clicking on the red box at the bottom of your screen.

Happy surfing!

How Fast of an Internet Connection do I Need? Category: Blog

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D&P Communications offers residential Internet packages to fit every household. But what Internet speed is right for you?

You want to make sure your Internet connection is fast enough for everything you want to do online, but you probably also don’t want to pay for more speed than you really need. To help you decide what package is best for you, we’ve put together this quick guide.

The “M” stands for megabytes per second. The first number is your download speed, and the second is your upload speed.

4M/1M: This package is best for people who really don’t need to do much more than check their email and do some light web surfing. You can also use a streaming music service at this speed, but probably not on more than one device at a time, and it’s not recommended if you watch videos regularly.

10M/2.5M: This package is good for people who use Netflix and other streaming video services, as long as you don’t have multiple family members doing it at the same time.

25M/5M: Try this package if you’re likely to have more than one person watching movies or videos at a time, doing extensive online video gaming, or if you expect to be using video chat services like Skype, Google Hangouts, or Facetime.

50M/10M: This speed level is for heavy Internet users. In addition, because of the higher upload speed, if you have a home security system that streams video for remote monitoring, this package is a good choice.

110M/25M: The highest speed we offer, this is for households with multiple heavy Internet users.

To sign up for Internet service with D&P or to upgrade your service level, give us a call at 734-279-1339 or stop by one of our five convenient office locations!

Enjoy Summer in Southeast Michigan! Category: Blog

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It’s summer in Michigan … and that means it’s time to get out and enjoy the summer! Here’s a sample of some of the great community festivals coming up this summer in the D&P Communications service area.

Adrian

  • Community Celebration Day: The annual Community Celebration Day, organized by The Centre with help from many other partners around Adrian, takes place Saturday, August 6. Visit The Centre’s website for more information.
  • Lenawee County Fair: The annual Lenawee County Fair includes rides, concerts, 4-H exhibits, tractor pulls and much more. It’s also the longest-running county fair in Michigan! D&P is proud to be a sponsor of this fun-filled week.
  • City band concerts: The Adrian City Band plays every Thursday, June 16 through August 4, in the Farmers Market Pavilion on Toledo Street in downtown Adrian. It’s free — just bring your lawn chair or a blanket to sit on!
  • First Fridays: The first Friday of every month brings live music, art exhibits, and extended shopping hours at downtown Adrian businesses. Times vary, but most activities are between 5 and 8 p.m.

Blissfield

  • River Raisin Festival: Now in its 33rd year, the River Raisin Festival runs for four days (July 6-9) and includes a parade, games, vendors, live entertainment, and the Miss River Raisin Festival scholarship pageant. D&P is pleased to once again be a sponsor of this fantastic festival!
  • Car and Bike Shows: See classic cars and motorcycles in downtown Blissfield on Saturdays, June 11, August 13 and September 10, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Brooklyn/Irish Hills

  • Picnic on the Lawn Concert Series: The Walker Tavern Historic Site (13220 M-50, Brooklyn) presents Acoustic Strings on July 7 and The Country Playboys on July 21 and August 18. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Faster Horses Festival: The ultimate country music festival returns to Michigan International Speedway from July 15-17, featuring Lady Antebellum, Eric Church and Jason Aldean.

Clinton

  • Clinton Summerfest and Antique Tractor Show: Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include games, contests, and an antique tractor parade at 3 p.m.

Dundee

  • Mayfly Music Festival: The annual Mayfly Music Festival, along the banks of the River Raisin, returns for its 17th year on June 17 and 18. Attractions include fireworks, music, vendors and more, and D&P is proud to be a sponsor!

Hudson

Manitou Beach

  • Devils Lake Festival of the Arts: This annual event features over 40 artist booths plus music, dance and local cuisine, on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Morenci

  • Town & Country Festival: The annual Morenci Town & Country Festival takes place June 16-18 and features a carnival, live music and much more.
  • Cruise Nights: Check out the classic cars at Morenci’s Cruise Nights, on the last Thursday of every month through September.

Petersburg

  • Petersburg Rose Run: This annual 5K run/walk, of which D&P is a proud sponsor, takes place July 9. The money raised goes to benefit both research and patient services at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Tecumseh

  • Art in the Park: The fourth annual Art in the Park is a juried art show in John W. Smith Park, 804 N. Evans St. It runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4.
  • Promenade Tecumseh: This annual tour of historic homes is an annual favorite. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and tickets are $12 in advance ($15 on the day of the event).
  • Classic Car and Bike Shows: On the third Thursday of every month in the Old National Bank parking lot, 205 E. Chicago Blvd.
  • Movies in the Park: Adams Park becomes an outdoor cinema on select Fridays throughout the summer! The featured attractions are “Minions” on June 10, “Max” on July 8, “Hotel Transylvania 2” on August 12 and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on September 9. Come at dusk and enjoy the show!
  • Pet Parade: They don’t call ’em the “dog days” of summer for nothing. Tecumseh’s annual pet parade returns on Saturday, July 16, at 10 a.m. This year’s theme is the ’60s.
  • Music in the Park: Enjoy live music on the third Thursday of every month, June through August, at Adams Park, next to Tecumseh City Hall. The music runs from 6 to 8 p.m. The featured acts are the Dan Kesterke Band on June 16, Banana Fish and the Infernal Chimps on July 21, and Stella on August 18.

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