Lineal’s Ian awarded Certified DrayTek Network Admin

Lineal’s Ian Meredith has been awarded DrayTek Certified Network Admin Certificate, adding an additional qualification to Lineal’s networking experience.

DrayTek’s ‘Dray School’ requires network engineers to pass a series of advanced network and security configuration tests using DrayTek devices, routers and access points, including best practice for firewall settings, fault-finding and other detailed network tasks.

DrayTek’s business-grade Router range have won praise from across the IT Support sector recent years, with the provider winning a PC PRO Technology Excellence Award for five successive years (2014-18). DrayTek router models have proved highly popular with businesses, with intelligent features such as 4G fail-over increasingly in demand for business continuity requirements.

As a part of the 2-day examination procedure, each engineer’s router is attached to a testing network which judges whether the engineer has managed the device correctly, and automatically passes or fails based on a series of security checks.

Well done Ian!


For Networking and Security Expertise, contact Lineal today.

5 Tips to Tame your Office Cabling


Messy office cabling can cause a number of both technical and safety problems: in addition to being a nasty trip and electrical hazard, bad cabling can lead to overheating, poor network performance, unnecessary stresses on equipment, expensive repair costs, and can make routine maintenance more confusing.

It doesn’t have to be this way – we share our 5 top tips to tame your office cabling and avoid the scourge of messy electronics.


  1. Get POE (‘Power Over Ethernet’) Switches and Phones

It really isn’t necessary for every device to have both a power lead and network cabling – investing a little more in a network switch which provides both data AND power to networked devices immediately halves the number of unnecessary cables left trailing around desks.

Modern VOIP phone systems typically include pass-through ports, to network your PC via the phone, cutting the need for yet another long network cable.


  1. Get a Server Cabinet

If you’ve got significant onsite hardware, such as servers, larger switches or NAS devices, these tend to accumulate wherever there’s a space for them, however inconvenient.

This is a significantly easier evolution to manage with a purpose built server cabinet – in addition to the clear security benefits of being able to lock your hardware away, a server cabinet provides the racking necessary to ‘stack’ equipment vertically safely and ventilate electronics efficiently.

It’s best to investigate a larger cabinet than is actually required for your long-term hardware investment: to allow long-term room for expansion.


  1. Shorter Cables for the Cabinet

If you’ve ever laughed at the uselessness of a 10cm network cable you’ve clearly never wired up a server room: short cables are a lifesaver to connect servers to switches without a vipers pit of excess cable trailing all over the place.

It’s also good for the environment not to use metres of unnecessary copper just to bridge a gap of only a few centimetres – so don’t do it!


  1. Get a meshed WiFi Network

It’s not 2006 anymore. Many devices can and should be connected wirelessly to save both the hassle and expense of yet more office cabling cluttering up the place.

Modern business WiFi networks use a series ‘meshed’ access points that pass signal to ensure consistent signal strength, and can be managed centrally from the cloud with ease at low costs. If you’re covering a larger premises or supporting staff with portable devices, it really is a no-brainer.


  1. Call the experts

We understand how messy office cabling happens: over time small additions are made until the overall system is a mess, and sooner or later someone is forced to admit it’s a problem.

Whether it’s installing a meshed WiFi network across your site, moving your document sharing to a virtual space in the cloud, or re-wiring an ageing server room: call the Lineal team for professional network expertise.


Dodgy USB-C cables removed by Amazon


Poor quality USB-C cables which can destroy a smartphone or laptop in spectacular (and dangerous) fashion have been blocked from sale by Amazon.

The online retailer has faced criticism in recent months for permitting third-party dealers to sell cut-priced USB-C cables, with often faulty power distribution, to early adopters of the technology.

The latest version of the USB standard is both reversible and can deliver large quantities of both power and data to a wide range of devices. This introduces a new danger, as a substandards cables can draw too much power from a laptop when charging another device, doing serious damage to circuitry.

The move comes as more and more laptop manufacturers introduce USB-C to reduce device size, ports and weight – for example Apple’s latest MacBook, which includes virtually no other physical ports.

USB-C cables have been added to Amazon’s prohibited products list (along side GPS jammers, laser pointers and radar shifters) and can not be sold unless compliant with standards set by the USB Implementers Forum.


Find out more about IT hardware supplies, support, and expertise from Lineal.


Network overhaul: how Lineal rescued a company from a cabling nightmare

network overhaul

Lineal recently rescued a London-based business from its own private cabling nightmare, with a complete network overhaul.

In a 48-hour marathon rebuild, network engineers from Lineal replaced dozens of faulty cables, analysed every area of the network, adding new switches and other network equipment.

The picture above shows just one of several cabinets, before (left) and after (right) Lineal’s rebuild. The equipment had previously been patched and re-patched over ten years without clear planning, resulting in slower internet access and overheating rooms.

Network engineer Martyn Kay explained: “This company rightly realised that they had to address the problem rather than ignore it – and fortunately we were able to overhaul the entire system.”

The team quickly discovered other unexpected problems, including mystery fibre-optic cables that led nowhere, stray power cables, long-dead switches and improvised cabling ‘borrowing’ internet access from neighbouring departments.

Lineal reconnected every cabinet, replaced every cable with new lines, standardised the colour scheme for data and phones, and added reliable backup switches to improve network resilience and business continuity.


For expert network, cabling and IT infrastructure support, click here.