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Favourite Tools

The SBS Guys’ Favourite Tools

Our personal collection of links and tools – I come here every day as I forget URLs and we don’t want to waste time G00gle searching for them!  Email me if you have a great “regular” tool and we will evaluate it and put it on the list!

 

Anti Virus/Anti Malware

  • Sophos – either the Enterprise system or the “-Business” versions – v10  now has a great new Web Content Filtering that pro-activelty tests each web site visit with the live Sophos database of malware infected sites and prevents the page loading if it’s listed as being infected.
  • If a machine is infected I usually turn first to www.malwarebytes.org or www.SuperAntiSpyware.com

 

Anti Spam

  • Sophos PureMessage – either the PureMessage for Microsoft Exchange for Exchange sites or the PureMessage for Unix running on bare metal or VM Debian box for non-Exchange sites.  Up to the minute filtering of mail for spam and virus/malware/phishing etc.   Crazy amount of options to control things such as signature stamping with company policy /copyright/acceptable use notices, policy-based scanning to prevent encrypted/malformed or un-scannable mail being sent, keyword scanning/blocking, white/black lists, end-user-controlled quarantine review/release system – pretty much endless scanning options.

 

Defragmenting

  • I like to use MyDefrag on workstations — this updated version of JKDefrag allows custom scripts – these allow me to place critical files such as databases and often-used folders at the very start of a customer’s data disks to make sure they are accessed as fast as possible. Full scheduling allows these special defrags to occur after hours.

 

Loading Latest Utilities

  • www.ninite.com – After setting up a client PC and running all WSUS updates I next visit NINITE to easily download all the required utilities – such as Acrobat Reader, CutePDF, VLC, WinRAR, Flash, Java etc etc  NINITE allows you to check each utiliy you want and it then queues up download and install of them all – it also installs all the programs *without* any toolbars or other crud they may otherwise default you into installing

Moving User Profiles

  • http://fpnet.fr – Fabs Auto Backup for Tech V4 – I regularly need to copy a user’s profile from one PC to another, for example when upgrading. Back in the XP days I used to just switch a user over to a Roaming Profile and use that to move their profile from their old PC to their New PC, however  with the introduction of Windrows 7 this process becomes messy and going from XP to Windows 7 does not really work out well.  I now use Fabs Auto Backup 4 Tech to move the profile across from the old PC to the new PC – it works between any versions and does a terrific job of moving XP profile up to a W7 profile. It takes across all the stuff you need including settings for common programs like Skype, the Outlook NK2 files and you can also specify additional folders you wish to transfer across.  It’s also handy when I work on non-business machines, eg customers home PC’s that have multiple user profiles for Mum, Dad and the five kids – it will let you move across multiple profiles in one operation.     Its just a one-off 40-Euros and it’s a must have.

 

Remote Control

  • #1 rule – for Servers have a iLO card or similar OOB controller
  • I always enable RDP at a group policy level, and open RDP tcp 3389 using GP
  • For redundancy  I also  install VNC and open tcp 5900 using GP – I use UltraVNC – note that you need to also modify a LOCAL group policy setting — please see this link (Getting CAD to work on Win7+ PCs using VNC)

 of course – this is all done using local TCP routing – never expose these ports to the internet — use aVPN service to first establish a secure access to the network and then use the RDP/VNC protocols — never pass VNC/RDP protocols directly from the Internet to internal machines,  unless you can lock down the source networks/IPs — easy on some routers, impossible on others!

 

 

OTHER TOOLS

 

Online Networking Tools

  • www.mxtoolbox.com – terrific testing and documentation of DNS records, with the concentration on MX records and SMTP server tests, black-list reporting etc
  • www.dnsstuff.com – the original online DNS reporting tool (www.dnsrepot.com) now lives here – their detailed DNS Report lists all the relavent DNS items you will require, highlights errors and anomalies and tests for common services and records such as MX/WWW/FTP etc -for safety,  before changing a customers DNS settings or re-delegating their DNS I always run a DNS Report first
  • www.whatsmydns.net – realtime global DNS propagating reporting tool – watch your DNS changes as the propagate the globe in real time — great tool to check on your DNS changes as they propagate to major ISPs worldwide – checks your DNS against a few dozen different global DNS servers. Another one to try is checkdnspropagation.com
  • Similar to above, to check DNS Propagation is : CheckDNSPropagation.com
  • IP Calculator Online: JODIES.DE
  • You Get Signal – Lots of Network Tools including List Sites on Shared Hosting

 

Links to other useful tools – instant downloads:

Network Scanner – http://www.eusing.com/ipscan/free_ip_scanner.htm
Ping Plotter – http://www.pingplotter.com/freeware.html
Multi Ping – http://www.nessoft.com/multiping/
Simple TFTP Server for Windows : http://tftpd32.jounin.net
Wake on LAN Util : http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wake_on_lan.html
ISO Image Burner : http://www.ntfs.com/iso_burner_free.htm
RDP / RDC / Terminal Server – Delete Temporary FIles : http://www.ctrl-alt-del.com.au/CAD_TSUtils.htm
Multi RBL Checking :   MultiRBL @ VALLI