Windows 7 Support Ends

Windows 7 is one of the most successful operating systems developed by Microsoft. However, as with the saying “all good things come to an end”, Microsoft Windows 7 support will be coming to its end. The main reason for this is that Microsoft doesn’t like to support an operating system with more than 10 years of life. Starting January 2020, Microsoft will no longer offer any updates nor support to all Windows 7 devices. If you have a PC with Windows 7, you need to prepare yourself sooner than later. What will be your next step knowing that Windows 7 end of life is fast approaching?

Starting January 2020, Windows 7 will come to the end of its road. By this, it would mean that Microsoft will no longer update on any security, fix any bug and support on all its kind. While you can still enjoy its extended paid support, any complimentary updates that come with the product license has been terminated by Microsoft.

 

Extended Support

If you’re a first time user and you’re willing to pay, Windows 7 will still carry on supporting Windows 7. However, due to its “charges per machine” price, it will increase gradually over time. Just like what Windows XP policy used to have, these deals and extended support tended to be done only behind closed doors. The result is that organizations and businesses had more pressing security reasons for migrating from the Windows XP than dragging their feet.  This means that starting 2020, even when the extended support ends, you can still use Windows 7 but only by paying a small fortune.

The extended support will run until January 14, 2020. Until then, Microsoft will no longer support any security fixes and updates. While you can still able to use Windows 7 even after its end of life, you should know that using an OS that’s outdated will only make your computer vulnerable to cyber and other malware attacks.

 

Why Does Microsoft Windows Support Ends?

Just like any standard life cycle of an operating system, Windows 7 has come to its date when Microsoft’s policy stipulates how and when it ends. This is the part where the company will stop providing any support.

Another reason Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 is to sell its latest Operating System, Windows 8 and 10. To sell them effectively, Windows 7 must preside its death due to its much older OS.

 

Moving into the Future

Knowing that using a vulnerable product is not safe, you need to prepare by moving in the more modern Windows 10 OS. The Windows 10 gets regular updates and patches, making it completely secure. Installing Windows 10 on most devices and machines takes no issues or problems and if you meet any problem installing it, you can check out their website for help and support in case you encounter any trouble.

If you’re an individual who’d like to update your OS to Windows 10, you can still do so depending on your computer’s technical specifications.  For instance, if your PC has a RAM of more than 16GB, a minimum hard drive space of  20GB and a processor higher than 2.5GHz, you can upgrade and repurpose.

On the other hand, if you have an older PC and could not meet Windows 10 technical specifications, purchasing a new PC with Windows 10 is the best thing you can do.

If you run an enterprise and needs to upgrade your system, the best way to do so is seek help of an IT expert. This is to ensure that your installation or upgrade will be done correctly. Doing so will also ensure that all antivirus and firewalls are placed and will work optimally.

Change is normal and inevitable. And when it comes to something as important as your OS, you need to embrace change to cope up with it quickly. Once you or your team knows how to use the latest Microsoft products and its great features, you can save time producing better documents, Powerpoint presentations, spreadsheets, and other important things you need to do either for your own sake or for your business.

Top Anti-Virus for 2019

Virus and malware creators are always coming up with new techniques to gain access to your computer. The good news is that numerous online software security companies are always updating their antivirus packages. The more good news is that you can get most of them for free!

Here are the top 5 free antivirus for 2019

  1. AVG Antivirus

If you need a basic malware protection but don’t want to pay for advanced features, then AVG is the right antivirus for you. You can also use AVG in tandem with your current antivirus program as a second layer of protection for your system. AVG antivirus is recommended for beginners because of its easy interface and easy installation. AVG provides a basic level of online and offline protection for users.

Pros:

  • Fast and lightweight
  • Places infected files in quarantine
  • Spam and email filter

Cons:

  • Software may slow down your computer

 

  1. Bitdefender Free Antivirus

This free edition of antivirus is keeping its pace with some of the better-known antivirus programs on this rundown. Some of its key takeaways include the easy set-up and arrangement and does not use much of the system resources. This antivirus program is also not bothersome with self-promoting and pop up ads to upgrade to the paid subscriptions and offers.

Pros:

  • Provides on-access protection from virus and malware
  • Virus definitions are updated regularly

Cons:

  • No custom scanning options
  • Cannot be used on business

 

  1. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)

Microsoft Security Essentials is also one of the top notching antivirus programs for 2019.  It boasts its user friendly interface and automatic threat updates. Its antivirus system is a part of Microsoft that shields your computer from a wide range of malware.

Pros:

  • Auto-updates
  • No pop up ads or display

Cons:

  • No control over exact time of updates

 

  1. Panda Free Protection

Also known as Panda Free Antivirus, it delivers an absolute protection to defy even the most challenging and unknown threats. Some of its best features include URL and web filtering and automatic USB protection. This program also supports all versions of Windows OS including 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP.

Pros:

  • Low memory usage
  • Web protection
  • Good detection rate

Cons:

  • Weak offline protection
  • Some removal issues
  • Slow scan

 

  1. Ad-Aware Free Antivirus

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus supports Windows Operating Systems 10,8,7, Vista and XP. One of its best features includes real time system protection against viruses, malwares and other malicious threats. Gamers can greatly benefit from this program as it assures to be in silent mode while gaming or while users are watching movies to mitigate the interference on its system resource.

Pros:

  • Constant, real time protection
  • Scan files and folders
  • Updates automatically

Cons:

  • Some features work only for paid version
  • Doesn’t scan all incoming or outgoing emails

 

If, however, you are planning to upgrade to a top-level antivirus software program or simply want to update your current antivirus version, here are the top 5 paid antivirus to choose from.

 

Top 5 Paid Antivirus for 2019

  1. Avast Antivirus 2019 ($38.39/year)

OS: Windows, Mac

Stand out feature: Rescue disk, smart scan, Wi-Fi inspector

Pros:

  • Silent gaming mode
  • Friendly user interface

Cons:

  • No firewall

With its recently launched 2019 versions, Avast Security Antivirus has its new and improved features such as sensitive data shield, Do Not Disturb mode and stronger anti-phishing features. Its paid versions also include a Rescue-Disk feature, password manager and Wi-Fi inspector.

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus 2019 ($29.99/year)

OS: Windows

Stand out feature: Simplified security management, automatic scans

Pros:

  • Beginner user-friendly

Cons:

  • Its full suites are better value

The 2019 version of Kaspersky Lab is equipped with multiple techniques to keep your computer safe from any malware programs. One of its main features is the core antivirus engine scan. It also has a system watcher that monitors behavior and could even spot unknown and brand new threats. Kaspersky Antivirus 2019 also has a separate layer to protect your system from malicious and phishing links, even the most dangerous email attachments. This program is free to download and their products also have a 30-day trial version.

  1. ESET NOD32 Antivirus ($39.99/year)

OS: Windows

Stand out feature: UEFI Scanner, Cloud powered scanning, ransomware shield

Pros:

  • Device access control
  • Highly configurable

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Not for beginners

When it comes to combating digital threats to your computer system, ESET NOD32 has the perfect features to perform its duty. It has a real time anti-malware and anti-ransomware barriers that will give you some peace of mind while you’re surfing the internet. Aside from this, it also boasts its modules which prevent script-based attacks as well as the URL filtering features. This antivirus program also offers a dedicated control module that prevents the USB and external hard drive from infection. Its advanced features with lots of configurable options may not give a beginner user an easy time learning its interface, but it promises to give you the best results you want in an antivirus software.

  1. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus ($19.00/year)

OS: Windows, Mac

Stand out feature: Identity protection, firewall monitor, real time anti-phishing

Pros:

  • Light on system resource
  • Lightning fast

Cons:

  • No testing data from the top labs

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is a cloud-based service which means it requires you to stay online to achieve best results. It has a lightweight status as a badge of honor. Its installation is only seconds-long with just a few megabytes of space it demands. Webroot SecureAnyhere Antivirus includes an anti-phishing engine, intelligent behavior monitoring as well as anti-ransomware modules.

  1. Trend Micro Antivirus + Security ($29.95/year)

OS: Windows

Stand out feature: advanced AI learning, ransomware protection

Pros:

  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Higher than average false positives

Two of the selling points of this antivirus software are its antispam layer which offers the best performance and a high quality anti-ransomware module.  As indicated by its name, Trend Micro Antivirus + Security is specifically designed to offer a “plus” points when it comes to security. Its robust anti-ransomware protection and detection performance is enough to give you a peace of mind while surfing the web.

10 of the Best ClickFunnels Alternatives

If you are looking for a reliable sales software solution, you have likely encountered ClickFunnels. ClickFunnels is the perfect solution for some companies, but yours may not be one of them. There are, however, a lot of option for an alternative solution. Locating the correct alternative means searching for alternative products and then compare them to each other.

Here are ten of the best ClickFunnels alternatives:

  1. Leadpages

Leadpages was one of the first landing page solutions to hit the market. Because of this, the developers at Leadpages have had time to upgrade their solutions to fit client needs. Leadpages differs from ClickFunnels in that its focus is on landing pages rather than sales funnels. However, creating funnels is a possibility, it just takes a little effort.

There are over 130 templates to choose from and you have the option to create your own. If that doesn’t work for you, there are also templates from Themeforest that come with a cost of $10-$30.

Features

  • Two different landing page editors: one for beginning users and one for advanced users. The basic option allows for more help while the advanced option gives users full ability to customize as they need.
  • Leadpages offers webinar hosting.
  • Users can create popup windows to show up on the page to allow visitors to sign up for services or email.
  • There is easy integration with most email providers, webinar platforms, and membership sites.

Pricing

There are 3 different pricing options: standard, pro, and advanced. Standard pricing is $37 per month, pro is $79 per month, and advanced is $199 per month. There is also a 14-day free trial.

  1. InstaPage

InstaPage is considered a more sophisticated landing page builder than its competitors. It offers members the ability to create their entire funnel via the platform. There are over 200 templates with an easy to use drag and drop editor that allows for full customization.

Features

  • There is a built-it analytics tool to assess the performance of your pages.
  • It allows for A/B testing results.
  • Heatmaps allow for users to optimize their landing pages, track visitors, and analyze how far visitors scroll down the page.

Pricing

InstaPage has 3 tiers for pricing. The Core Plan is $68 per month, the Optimizer Plan is $113 per month, and the Team and Agency Plan is $203 per month.

  1. SamCart

Although SamCartsoesn’t focus on building landing pages, it is the easiest shopping cart solution for small business owners. It is a great option for those looking to build a membership site, selling e-books, physical products, and digital downloads.

Features

  • Creating funnels.
  • Customized sales pages.
  • There is a gateway between WordPress sales pages and checkout success pages.
  • Simple integration with tools such as PayPal, HubSpot, Stripe, Zapier, Drip, and OntraPort.

Pricing

There are 3 plans: Basic at $19 per month, Pro at $99 per month, and Premium at $199 per month. There is also a 14-day free trial.

  1. 10 Minute Funnels

10 Minute Funnels is dedicated to creating websites, web pages, and marketing funnels easily and affordable. In addition to a user-friendly website and marketing funnel builder, 10 Minute Funnels offers a variety of other features.

Features

  • Simple drag and drop building that is instantly integrated.
  • Limitless pages for your website.
  • Easily create landing pages, video pages, home pages, thank you pages, live event pages, opt-in lead generation pages, order forms, sales pages, and more.
  • Tech free set up.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Complete hosting including secure websites.
  • Built-on SEP, shopping cart, analytics, split testing, social media links, and many widgets.
  • 24-hour support.

Pricing

10 Minute Funnels offers a 14-day trial for $1.00. After that, there are 2 price plan options: Premium at $97 per month and Enterprise at $197 per month.

  1. Unbounce

Unbounce has focused on helping clients design landing pages to enhance their marketing experience. Because of this laser focus, Unbounce has revolutionize page building experiences. It has helped large brands such as Vimeo, The New York Times, Hootsuite, and New Balance because it is one of the fastest page building services available.

Features

  • Drag and drop builder that is mobile friendly with the option for dynamic text replacement and targeted convertibles.
  • Target landing page visitors at the perfect moment through convertibles.
  • Create custom convertibles through 125 user-friendly templates.
  • Unlimited A/B testing.
  • Simply integrated with CRM, email, and analytics tools such as MailChimp, Zapier, WordPress, Marketo, Hubspot, and Salesforce.

Pricing

Unbounce offers 3 packages: Essentials at $99 per month and Premium at $199 per month, and Enterprise which is $499 per month which brings with it a Launch Specialist and Success Manager to maximize your ROI.

  1. Thrive

Thrive is a WordPress plugin known for its comprehensive drag and drop landing page builder. It is also extremely affordable. There are over 160 templates making it a great option for small businesses.

Features

  • Create opt-in forms.
  • Easily create quality content.
  • Build scarcity campaigns for conversion boosting.
  • Publish landing pages through WordPress.
  • Produce engaging content through Thrive’s Headline Optimizer.
  • Clever widgets to help with content creation.

Pricing

Thrive has one-time costs rather than monthly fees. For a single site the cost is $67. For multiple sites, the price increases to $97.

  1. OptimizePress

OptimzePress is also a WordPress plugin. It was designed specifically for designing landing pages, sales pages, and membership sites.

Features

  • The innovative LiveEditor feature creates layouts to build custom pages.
  • The Element Browser allows users to integrate different elements needed for building landing pages.
  • Create secure areas for members.
  • Integrates seamlessly with WordPress.
  • Creates funnels for product launches.
  • Great blogging system.

Pricing

There are 3 price options with a one-time fee for the first year: the Core plan is $97, the Publisher package is $197, and the Pro package is $297. After the first year, the cost for updates and support is just $39.

  1. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is one of the most powerful online marketing toolkits available. It is designed specifically for growing businesses and marketing teams offering a large range of features. It can, however, be difficult to use.

Features

  • Landing page opt-in availability.
  • Opt-in form builder.
  • Marketing automation tools.
  • Easily design campaigns.
  • Eye-catching, professional email templates.

Pricing

$99 per month for a list of less than 500 contacts. The complete plan is $379 per month. To begin with Infusionsoft, there is a one-time Kickstart package that costs $999 which includes one-on-one training with a coach.

  1. GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing, landing page, and marketing automation solution. It is great for small businesses.

Features

  • User friendly landing page builder with drag and drop and an intuitive user interface.
  • Hundreds of quality templates to use.
  • Customizable pages for mobile viewing.
  • A/B testing and form building capabilities.
  • Easy email marketing and automation.

Pricing

The basic version starts at $15 per month. The Max version is $165 per month.

  1. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is different from the other companies on the list. This is because they opt for a sales pipeline representation model instead of a funnel. Pipedrive targets its clients at small and medium sized businesses. It promotes itself as a Customer Relationship Manager with the end goal of driving sales through your website through useful tricks.

Features

  • Very easy to use.
  • Fully Customizable.
  • Analytics based on what you want to look at.
  • Full email sync capabilities.
  • Email tracking available.

Pricing

Basic version is $10 per month. At the high end, the Platinum version is $63 per month.

With so many options, it can be hard to choose the right solution for your business needs. Comparing the cost, mobile accessibility, support, and integrations are all important pieces to consider when making that choice.

 

By Christine Trimbur

Jay Clark and Associates

Top 6 Best Antivirus of 2018

It is very important today to have some sort of antivirus installed on your laptop or PC so that you can deal with a threat of virus, malware, and ransomware. A computer virus is a malicious program that tends to slow down or corrupt the device gradually. Moreover, a person may also lose important personal data and this is mainly targeted by ransomware. To negate all these types of mischievous activities, antivirus can be used. It detects and prevents many types of malware or ransomware attacks that may cause havoc. It must also be mentioned here that an antivirus may fail to detect ‘zero-day’ attacks, i.e., new malwares that has not been analyzed previously.

There are a lot of antiviruses available in the market today. To find out the most useful ones, I have gone through a deep research and have come up with the below mentioned top six best antivirus of 2018. I want to add here that this list of the top antivirus of 2018 are based on their capability of detecting and blocking malwares as well as recognizing ‘zero-day’ attacks and taking prompt preemptive steps. We list them out here one by one.

1. Bitdefender Total Security 2018:

It is available for many types of platforms and the entire operation is looked after by a central web portal. It utilizes Advanced Threat Defense Technology to counter ransomware and with the help of a new layer, it prevents all user folders. There can be enough Webcam Protection, File Shredder, Safe Online Banking and Password Manager. A year’s subscription may cost $ 54.99 but considering the number of features delivered by it and its technical reputation; this antivirus is worth buying.

2. Norton Security Deluxe 2018:

Symantec manages Norton and it benefits from the cloud support and cutting-edge technology brought by it. Features like the SONAR Protection detect malware simply by analyzing the behavior of applications. The Intrusion Prevention module stops attacks from already infected devices. It is a futuristic technology that can replace the more conventional signature-based protection. Online activity is protected by the integrated password manager. Web downloads are checked and reports are compiled and enough browser protection is also there to prevent against known vulnerabilities. A lot of utility performance features are also there that can be quite useful. This AV is priced at $97.95 and can be quite justified with all the features that it supports.

3. Kaspersky Total Security:

This antivirus can help in getting maximum privacy while being online. A secure browser can be made available so that no site can be able to track the user. Kaspersky Safe Money utility ensures that financial transactions can be done without any issue. The screen turn green when there is no risk and to orange when there are threats. There is also an on-screen keyboard so that data cannot be intercepted. A suspicious file can be sent to the Kaspersky Security Network for checking and its Software Cleaner can scan unused application before opening. The default Trusted Application mode can ensure only genuine applications to run and the data vault facility is sufficiently secured. A year’s subscription of this AV is prices at $59.99.

4. Kaspersky Security Cloud:

It is more or less similar to the earlier variant except for the patented adaptive security technology. It automatically adjusts the security parameters and informs the user like as it mentions a new device on the Wi-Fi or a website that does not have a security certificate to it. It can also analyze passwords for their strength. A user can also rejoice at the fact that its toolbar will not show on the browser. A year’s subscription of this antivirus can be bought at 49.99 pounds as the US version is not available as yet.

5. McAfee Total Protection:

It uses multi-factor authentication methods including face recognition and fingerprint techniques. It can provide sufficient email and web protection through its signature-based scanning features. The Web Advisor tool is useful for detecting and identifying suspicious downloads and shady URLs. The anti-spam module can keep the inbox free of spam emails. The File Lock can help in keeping all files safely. Associated shredder will ensure deleted files stay that way. The Vulnerability Scanner searches for the vulnerable softwares and downloads the latest versions. Lastly, My Home Network can be useful to take a peek into the complete network to determine if there are any unauthorized devices. A year’s subscription is available at $89.99.

6. ESET Internet Security 10:

Apart from e-commerce and internet banking, this antivirus can be useful for blocking phishing websites, mail content checking, and webcam protection. It can also scan the router to detect any botnet presence. A user can send unknown files for analysis in order to open it without any issue. The ESET SysRescue Live can be run to determine any rootkit threat. Its mobile variant is equally useful and can offer call filtering and SMS services. It also has enough anti-theft features and alerts a user when an unknown SIM card is put into the handset.

Verdict:

These are the six best antivirus options that are available in the market today and can be used according to one’s choice. All of them can offer enough protection to a user due to which they can be used easily and a user can expect to stay sufficiently relaxed without compromising on his online safety and security.

Top 7 Best Free Antivirus of 2018

With the flooding viruses on the internet which might harm your device immensely, it is necessary to have an anti-virus installed for preventing the effects of these destructive viruses. It is just a few minutes that it takes for a malware to infect your device, therefore make sure your antivirus is regularly updated.

Not only it will block the entrance of any new virus but will also clean the existing suspicious files present on your device. It helps keep your electronic gadget healthy.

Following are the top antivirus software (in no particular order) which you can download and use for FREE:

1. COMODO:

With the introduction of various advanced features and technological developments, Comodo made it to the top of the list of free antivirus systems. It is a cloud-based system which makes it even more useful and attractive. A few of its outstanding features include One-Click Virus Scanning, The Behavior Analysis based on the cloud, Auto-sandboxing technology etc. It also provides automatic scanning if anything new is added to the gadget. The complete interface is user-friendly and thus makes it more convenient to use this antivirus safely.

2. Panda Security:

For a normal device that stores very less data, Panda can prove to be a useful antivirus. It comes under the average category when compared as per the performance with other systems. A few interesting functions of this software include rescue kit, protection of USB and highly improved anti-phishing protection function.

3. AVG 2018:

Another popular and free available antivirus system is AVG. Despite being attained by Avast, it holds a strong and independent reputation in the market. It possesses an outstanding user interface. The reason for which being AVG Zen, the managing tool of the antivirus system. It allows you to track the overall security on all your devices. It is an amazing source to keep away malware from your device. The only drawback it possesses is the inability to block phishing attacks. Plugins like AVG Web Tune Up and Shred Using AVG are some interesting features of the antivirus.

4. Avast Free Antivirus 2018:

Avast is popular and is used by many gadget users across the world. It is an excellent antivirus system and provides professional protection to your gadgets. Along with the blocking and prevention of any new viruses and malware entering your system, it also facilitates the stopping of formation or self-regeneration of new files within a system. The Wi-Fi Inspector is yet another interesting feature offered by Avast. It helps to identify and to secure the available Wi-Fi connections your device might connect to. It also scans the files and software available on your device and notifies you in case any of them are not updated. It also gives you secure internet surfing as well as downloading.

5. Kaspersky:

This is one amazing available antivirus for the users to secure both the data and devices. In case you need an antivirus for non-commercial purposes, Kaspersky is a pro at blocking the malware as well as providing protection against phishing attacks. It also performs file scanning on your computer to identify and treat any unusual activities. What makes it even better is the availability of its on-screen keyboard which eliminates the chance of passwords being hacked by a keylogger. Many other amazing features make it a reliable and trustworthy antivirus system for your device’s welfare.

6. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition:

This antivirus allows you to avoid the complex and lengthy processes by giving you an easy and fast installation on your device. The Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition has been becoming popular because of its flawless performance in blocking the phishing attacks caused by a device and data. It detects these attacks automatically and deals with them immediately thus providing you hassle-free functioning. It also notifies you beforehand if you are about to open a fraudulent or suspicious website. Though the free edition isn’t as good as the paid one, it surely does provide you with the basic security required by your gadget for safe functioning.

7. Malwarebytes:

It is a lightweight and quickly installable system for your device. It has a special Anti-Ransomware design which detects and isolates ransomware on the basis of the behavior. The system has a drawback that it detects the ransomware late which gives it time to harm the files on the device.

Final Thoughts:

Mentioned above are a few popular as well as useful antivirus systems rated as the top antiviruses for 2018. Using any one of these seven free antivirus will help your device be protected and keep your data safe. Also, a healthy device will give an efficient output over the years.

Easy Tips for Smooth Taxation for Home Based Business Owners

Are you running a business from your home are looking for how to work on business tax return? Are you excited to start crossing off your resolutions? Then this is the right place where you can get the best solution for all of your queries. It is essential to know the kind of tax return you are going to file based on your business. Taxpayers who run their business from home or outside their home must be aware of the tax return to claim the rights. Getting tax return is far easy when you are following the basic structure to get the tax return on time.

There is a very little difference between the home-based and the business located outside the home. And that is the deduction of the cost from the calculated space provided in your business. Every company needs to have a space for running it including online store as well. Space required for it is a legitimate business expense which you can deduce from the business tax return.

A small entrepreneur needs to file his tax deduction from home on Form 8829. In this article, we have provided detailed information and some important tips for smooth taxation for your home-based business, which are as follow:

1. Fill the Form 8829 Carefully

It is one of the simplified options which you need to fill nicely. While loading it, you need to calculate all of your legitimate business expenses. In addition to the number of different charges that are often being made for the business purposes, you must know the calculation for the total amount of space used from your home, internet bill, office room decorations and much more. If you aren’t aware of such calculations, you should consult a professional who can guide you properly.

2. Deduct Various Home Utilities Very Carefully

If you are running your business from home, you are allowed to deduct the portion of your utility bills such as your electricity bill, internet bill, phone bill etc. Other home utility charges you can add are mortgage interest, home insurance, sewer, trash etc.

You can also add the charges for the space which you are using as your office space. You can get the charges per square feet of your home office.

3. Deduce Stationary Costs from Your Tax

Being a home-based entrepreneur you also have some expenses as done by office entrepreneurs such as stationary. You can’t forget to add the costs made on paper, ink toner, postage, paper clips and various other expenses to your tax deduction. If you are using a new computer or iPad, you can deduce their charges as well from the payments.

4. Introduce All of the Payments That Is Needed to Upgrade Your Home Office

Home-based business owners are also free to add charges spend on a new desk, office chair, bookcase, desk lamps and other furniture as well. It means that you can use these charges as the expenditure for setting up your home business and hence also use in tax deduction.

5. Deduce All the Charges Spent on Business Trips Travels

If you are supposed to pay some amount on transportation to meet your clients, you can add them to your list of the tax deduction. You can add charges such as flight booking, train reservation, bus reservation, parking charges, and tools to this list.

6. Deduce the Charges of Lunches with the Clients

Being a home-based entrepreneur if you are going for a lunch meeting, you can add these charges to your business expenses. Just add money spend on local coffee houses, public transport you used to meet the clients and any other such spending to the list.

7. Deduce Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most critical factors whose value you can deduce from the principal tax payments. You are free to infer the cost of health insurance for the business holder and their family as well. You can also choose the employer-subsidized plan for your tax deduction.

8. Use Tax-Deferring Retirement Plan

Most of us always look forward to the tax deferring retirement plans which can save a lot of our hard-earned money. Various taxpayers who have a tight cash flow are very eager to know about the multiple methods for a tax deduction. If you are among them, then tax deferring retirement plan is one of the best options to go along. It is the best way to lower your taxes. Just choose a method as per your convenience and lower down the amount of taxes you are paying down.

Wrapping-Up:

When comes to paying tax return, it’s always good to consult a tax specialist to know the complete details regarding your tax issues. It’s your responsibility and rights to claim the tax return benefits on time. So try to know all the legal statements which support on your way to reach the destination.

Tax Laws for a Home-Based Business

Your home-based business is in a unique tax situation. It’s important to realize that if you conduct your business from home, you can deduct all the same expenses other businesses can. Moreover, you can access further deductions that will mean lower taxes you pay on your business income. Add to that the deductions of a home office and you’re really looking to lower taxes. However, be aware that calculating these deductions can be slightly different.

Direct Business Expenses
Any expenses that are directly related to the running of your business are deductible regardless of where your business is located. This includes home-based businesses. This means office supplies, raw materials, product samples, entertainment, and meals can all be included in your deductions. Be sure to keep your receipts for business related expenses so you can back up your deduction claims. Your expenses should be reported on Schedule C of the 1040 return form.

If you find that you have more expenses than revenue, you are able to claim the net loss against other sources of income or carry it forward for future years.

Home Office Deductions
If your business is located in your home, you will be able to claim some expenses of your home operations as a business expense. The IRS allows a home office deduction if you meet one of the following two criteria:

  • The home office is your main place of business, or
  • You regularly and consistently receive clients there.

This means that if you do not rent or own office space somewhere else, your home office is your main place of business. To meet the second criterion, you can have an office outside your home, but you see clients often in your home office. An example would be a lawyer who regularly meets clients in his home office in the evenings.

Calculating a Home Office Deduction
To figure your home office deduction, calculate the percentage of your home devoted to your office. This can be done in two ways. In the first manner, divide the square footage of the home office by the total livable square footage of the house. The second manner is to divide the number of rooms taken up exclusively by the home office by the number of rooms in the house. Be sure to calculate both ways and then choose the one that gives you the biggest percentage. Then, apply this percentage to home expenses, such as mortgage interest, utilities, property taxes, repairs, and maintenance. Apply the percentage to home expenses on the Schedule C form and this becomes your deduction. If your home office expenses create a net business loss, there are rules about which ones can be deducted and which must be carried forward in the future.

Vehicle Expenses
If you drive your personal car for business, you are allowed to deduct a portion of vehicle expenses against your business income. This is similar to businesses which deduct vehicle expenses. However, having a home office means the calculations are different. With a home office, you can include driving to and from your home for business purposes in your mileage calculation. You can also include driving between your home and another office. To calculate the appropriate deductible vehicle expenses, you can choose one of two methods. You may either multiply the IRS mileage rate ($0.55 at the time of writing) by the total miles you drove throughout the year for business or accumulate all your actual car expenses and apply the percentage of business miles versus total miles driven during the year.

Problems with Free Press Release Service

You may think that free press release services seem like a very easy public relations tactic. However, did you know that most PR and SEO experts recommend being extremely leery of them or better yet, avoiding them? While everyone may think that free press release distribution websites offer great result, a paid news distribution service offers far better search results compared to free press release services.

The concept of a free press release website that gets traffic and gets a one-way link are two the main reasons why webmasters, business owners, and some SEO professionals recommended using this service. However, this concept can also be a real head-scratcher to most PR professionals simply because it basically removes “reaching the media” from the real equation. The truth is,one-way links to your website actually came from a deep-linked webpage on the website of the free press release service, and not the homepage.

 

So what exactly is Free in Free Press Release?

Believe it or not, there are sites that promote themselves as free and offers too little for nothing. Most of the time, they post the release on their site and sometimes for a limited time only. But they do not distribute the news to media outlets. They might invite visitors to pay additional money to “publish” or “upgrade” for added services such as live links. And then there are websites that merely rub the advertisements which link to other press release websites. It can be tempting to try, however; this isn’t recommended especially for distribution.

What you only get for a press release service is actually the free traffic. An average press release can yield results of almost 100 visitors to your site. Not bad for a free press release distribution. Not until you realize that most of that traffic is not actually a potential customer. Rather, most of your visitors are website owners looking at their own press release on the website.

 

Why Getting a Paid Press Release Service Better than Opting for Free Press Release?

Getting a paid press release service has greater credibility to search engines and journalists because it gets your company news directly in front of the real and actual journalists. Thus results in placement in broadcasts outlets, print, and online news outlets. It could also look expensive yet the advantage is well worth it.

Aside from distributing your press release to different online news sites, databases, portals, and search engines paid press release services to send your news to different websites that are devoted to specific industries.

 

Why is a Press Release Still Important?

While most so-called experts suggest that press releases are no longer needed or worthless, one cannot deny the fact that press releases still has importance to businesses and companies alike.

Most of the major publicities such as those in top-tier media outlets don’t actually originate from press releases. Rather, it is the result of the customized pitch specifically aimed for the media outlet. However, the journalists who cover the business’ story as well as the consumers who visit your website typically expect to find press releases there. The result is there is no need to hunt for information about your news. And posting press releases online will ensure that it is part of the record.

When writing a press release about your new product, new business or events you’re hosting, you only want the widest exposure possible. And a press release is one great way to ensure you’ll have the largest publicity for your news.

Turn Your Home into a Smart Home – the Best in Smart Home Technology for 2018

The artificial intelligence is becoming an everyday thing with the virtual assistants, voice-automated lights, and other smart home devices.Just before a year, this technology of controlling your home products through devices like your smartphone was in its babyhood. But recently, tech giants like Google and Amazon have taken this technology to another level by introducing the smart home devices.

Last year, we had the choices of Echo smart speaker by Amazon and Home by Google. But we can expect tons of new smart home devices like speakers from other electronics giants like Apple and Samsung.

Smart Home Devices – a Brief Introduction

Smart homedevices connect your house to the internet and your gadgets like your smartphone. Everything in your home like your thermostat, lights, doorbells, appliances, window curtains, TV, air-conditioner etc. will thensend information to you and take your command through voice or smartphone apps.

With this technology, you can control your house without being present in the house. You can set the temperature of your air-conditionerfrom your office, watch over your pet while grocery shopping by a remote camera, orswitch on your geyser while on your way back from office.

The smart home devices which are in high demand and are very popular these days are Echo speakers from Amazon and Home speaker from Google.

These smart speakersfromboth Amazon and Googleare available in cylindrical shapes which use power sources and internet connectivity to work.

You can not only make use of these speakers to listen to music by giving them voice command, but you can alsolisten to news, set alarms, and get audible answersto your any questions like you search something in a search engine. They can also be connected to a range of other smart home devices like some other speaker systems orsmart lights.

A Quick Guide to Use Amazon Echo and Google Home

Both the smart speaker systems are voice-controlled and can do manythings other than simply playing music for you. If you are using Amazon echo device, you just need to say ‘alexa’ to activate its voice assistance feature. And if you are using Google home device, then speaking the phrase ‘Okay, Google’ will activate the voice assistant feature of the device.

After waking up, amazon echo can take care of or respond to everything you say. All you have to do is to just say “Alexa, set an alarm for 10:00 AM”, or “Alexa, what’s today’s weather report?” or “Alexa, add brown bread to the grocery shopping list”, and the smart gadget will do accordingly.Similarly,in the case of Google home devices, you start a sentence following the phrase ‘Ok, Google’ and your assistant will be in place. For instance, say “Ok Google, what time is an available flight to London?” and your speaker will become your personal Google search engine.

Apple and Siri-Powered Smart Homes

Just like Alexa and Google, you can also convert your home into a smart home using iOS compatible devices and Siri. The upcoming HomePod speaker by Apple will be integrated with the service called Apple’s Homekit in the same way as Echo or Home.

Just like Alexa or Google, you can wake up the apple assistant by just saying “Hey Siri”. All the devices that are marked as “works with Apple HomeKit” can be used by the HomePod like Honeywell thermostats,the Philips Hue bulbs, and Lightwave plugs. HomePod is due to launch in early 2018 following a delay.

How to Set-Up Your Smart Home?

Both the speakers are compatible to set up with other smart home devices. They can be linked up to all your smart devices in the house from your smart thermostat to the multi-room audio systems.

For setting up a smart home, you need to consider that there is a huge range of different accessories that only work with certain products and work better with some than the others. Thus, the first step is to determine which assistant you want to have. After that, you need to determine which devices you have that are already compatible with your virtual assistant and which compatible devices you need to get.

There is a range of smart home products available in the market for both Google and Amazon.Amazon’s product range includes the main Echo speaker, Echo Plus (the larger version of Echo), the smaller version called Echo Dot and the Echo Show(its video-calling device). Similarly, Google offers the Google Home, Google Home Mini (the smaller version Google Home), and a Google Assistant on an Android smartphone. After you are clear on your choice about the smart home device, you need to have a rundown of the compatible products.

For every aspect of your home, the list of compatible and incompatible devices exists. For example, the range of smart lights by Philips, Philips Hue, can be operated by both Alexa and Google. Audio streaming devices like Google Chromecast can only use Google home while Sonos speakers respond only to Alexa currently.

The List of the Top Best Smart Home Devices of 2018

1. Amazon Alexa’s Echo, US $99.99

Amazon re-introduced Echo with new looks and slashed price from US$179.99 to $99.99. The new colors and fabricshelp it blend more easily into your home. The voice assistant Alexa uses thecloud to respond to music requests and answer questions.

You can enjoy many servicesby echo, which include playing music from Spotify, Amazon music, controlling Hive thermostats, booking a cab on Uber and getting a Domino’s delivery. Echo also allows its users to make calls and send messages. It can also read you articles and stories from over the internet. Alexa can follow a lot of voice activated commands and its abilities are being added every day. Alexa also has an Alexa app which can be used on your smartphone to manage the assistant.

However, it also has some restrictionssuch as, you can neither use Apple music with Echo and Alexa, nor you can connect Google’s Chromecast audio dongle with it.

2. Amazon Alexa Echo Dot,US $49.99

Echo Dot is a smaller model of Amazon Echo which is available online at around $50. There is no difference in the features between these two Amazon Alexa smart home speakers except the size.

So, Echo Dot can be a smart choice for those who are new to these voice-controlled smart home gadgets. However, if you are planning to buy Echo Dot over the regular Amazon Echo, then you must know that the regular Echo comes with a better sound quality than the Echo Dot.

3. Amazon AlexaEcho Show,US $299.99

Echo show is the newest gadget in the Echo series. It is not only a smart speaker powered by Alexa, but it also has video calling feature, which makes it the most advanced gadget in its Echo series.Echo Show has a 7-inch display screen on which you can enjoy video calling, online shopping, play videos and you can also use it as a baby monitor. You can watch videos on Amazon Video and now even on YouTube. Echo Show, while working as a smart home hub for other gadgets, can also show you news updates with videos and pictures on its screen.

Amazon is soon going to launch the mini version of Echo Dot, named Echo Spot. The date of release of this smart home gadget is not yet disclosed.

4. Google Home, US $119.00

In late 2016, Google launched Google Home as its own smart home hub to rival Amazon Echo. This device can answer any question in the world using the Google search engine such as train and flight details, restaurant recommendations, daily schedule reading and traffic updates. It can also link to other Home devices like the new Mini sets and the upcoming Max.

The main advantage of Google over Amazon is that it can integrate with Google Chromecast for streaming and also with the Android smartphones. With the help of Android smartphones, you can give voice commands to the Google assistant while on move.

You can voice activate the speakers linked to a Chromecast Audio for US $54.95 or attach the Google Chromecast streaming dongle to your set up and stream TV shows.

5. Google Home Mini, US $48

To rival with Echo Dot, Google came up with its own Home Mini which is priced at a similar range to Echo Dot and is perfect for the first-timers. It can perform all the functions performed by Home including controlling the speakers attached to Google Chromecast. It is small in size and is just 40mm high. It comes in a range of colors like coral, white and charcoal. Google is also about to launch a bigger version called the Google Home Max.

6. Chromecast Audio,US $54.95

Any speaker can be turned into a smart speaker by connecting it to the Google Chromecast via the headphone jack. This device can link any normal speaker to your smartphone or Google Home assistant. You can pair it with multiple other speakers or cast music from your phone by just using “Ok Google”. Chromecast Audio can also be paired with Chromecast video streamer to stream TV shows.

7. Sonos One, US $198.99

Sonos One is one of the best multi-room audio speakers that also connect to a smart home hub like Google’s and Amazon’s smart home speakers do. It is compatible with the Amazon Echo range and can respond to voice commands for playing songs. It can also play music from services like Spotify, TuneIn Radio and Amazon currently and is all set to add Google Assistant in its compatibility range in 2018.

8. Nest Learning Thermostat, US $233.97

The Nest Thermostat is a smart thermostat developed by Nest, a Google-owned heat control and thermostat company. Nest is compatible with both Amazon and Google but is yet not compatible with Siri. Its rival Hive thermostats can also be managed by both the smart assistants.

9. Philips Hue Smartlight, US $177.60

Smartlights from Philips have been around for a couple of years and are compatible with all Google, Amazon and Apple’s HomeKit. It can work with voice commands and also by the app. The Hue range can set up lights with 16 million colors and allows the users to have pre-set scenes for movies, gaming, dinner etc.

Wrap Up:

Both, Amazon Alexa and Google assistants can accomplish almost the same tasks but Amazon’s Echo comes at a slightly lower price. Moreover, it has a significant disadvantage of its incompatibility with Chromecast.Making the choice comes down to price range and personal choice. Apple fans can opt to wait for the HomePod before making the purchase.

For the new Smart home device users, both Google and Amazon provide pocket-friendly options with their Google Home Mini and Echo Dot devices, which you can buy under US $50 till date.

The Rise of Home Business in 2018

2017 has finally come to a close and all businesses are now preparing to start 2018 with a bang. With the markets going up and unemployment slowly going down, there are lots of positive things to expect this year. One of this is the rise of home businesses. In 2013, there are over 3 million home businesses registered in the UK alone. That is around 60% of all businesses in the United Kingdom. And while Britain’s homes are much alive with the sounds of business, the USA is also part of the growing home business owners.

The growth in the numbers of rising home businesses is increasing, raising over 1.1 million trades in the last 20 years. It has been reported that approximately 500,000 more home businesses existed in 2010. More and more business owners want to grow from home too, which is why the statistics are continuously rising even up until this year 2018.

According to recent polls conducted, over 40% of Americans now have some part of their jobs from the comfort of their own home. Both employees and employers get something from working remotely. And as technology continues to eat up this world, different collaboration software and chat programs are now making remote work more feasible for most white collar workers. Most employees love the flexibility and some researchers believed that unconventional work hours could actually help close the pay gap. Companies, on the other hand, permits remote work, as it will also help them able to cut down on their real estate costs and in order for them to retain and even attract employees.

Most people are now choosing to run their own home-based business. Here are some of the advantages of choosing home business as your smart choice for the source of income.

  • No Need to Commute. This is one of the most obvious reasons why lots of individuals choose home business: there is no commuting necessary. Imagine a day where you spent sitting in a car, a bus or at the subway while fighting your way to work. Home-based business owners don’t need to do all of that, for their commute is consists of just walking down a flight of stairs.
  • Lower overhead. If you are a home business owner, chances are you do not need to spend buying or renting business premises, thus, making your overhead lowers considerably. There will be no separate office to maintain or rent. This will help you save money on other miscellaneous such as utilities, licenses or taxes.
  • Advantages of income tax. Yes, you heard it right. When you run a home-based business, it will be a great way for you to recoup some of your business expenses. In some cases, you just need to reduce the income tax amount which you have to pay.
  • More quality time with the family. Operating a home business gives you more flexible time with your family, especially if you have children. When they grow up, you also might employ your sons or daughters in your business for it is completely legal to do so.

The rise of home business will continue not just this 2018 but also for the next years to come. If you’re planning on shifting from office-based to home-based, then this year might be the perfect year for you.