Below is a list of common questions asked by our clients. We aim to update this page regularly. If you have a question not covered here then please do not hesitate to contact us.

What are your contract lengths?
At Firbanks, most of our agreements are 30 days notice. We feel there is no reason to tie a customer in to stay with us and would rather the customer chooses themselves to use us to maintain a healthy relationship. Many of our cloud services, phone, broadband and mobiles are all based on 30 day terms with the exception of the odd couple that we are enforced with longer terms from the wholesalers such as superfast broadband and leased lines. This also allows us to choose the best product for our clients at the time and maintain flexibility to be able to change and adapt services as and when they become available.

What is 2-step authentication?
2-step authentication is a method of authentication with 2 layers. Normally you can log in with a username and password. With 2-step, after successfully entering your password you will be asked for a unique code which randomly changes from another device (such as your mobile) or may be sent a text message to a registered number to enter to continue logging in to a service. This is designed to ensure that it is you logging in and not a third party that may have guessed your password as they would not have access to your secure device. Technology like this is commonly used with online banking that use tokens and card readers.

Which mobile network do you resell?
We resell O2 and Vodafone. However, we resell the network and have direct responsibility for provisioning and number porting. Our relationship is not with O2 and Vodafone retail, we resell the service by using the network itself as a carrier. Your phones will use O2 and Vodafone voicemail, all O2 and Vodafone data services, you will have the benefit of not ever requiring to call customer service. Because of the wholesale arrangement you will be fully using the network but do not have an account with O2 or Vodafone themselves. All of our O2 and Vodafone SIM deals are 30 day terms.

What is a hosted phone system?
A hosted phone system replaces a traditional phone line. The PBX as traditionally known is hosted within data centres, internet technology is used to carry the voice data between the office phone handset and the hosted PBX. This allows a huge cost saving and efficiency over paying for copper lines, phone channels and needing to maintain expensive PBX equipment. Should an internet connection fail for any reason, DR diverts can auto set to alternate numbers such as a mobile phone or alternate copper line.

I use Skype and I can make free calls, isn’t that the same with a hosted phone system?
It is true that you can make free calls between skype apps to one another, whatsapp and other common IP methods of communicating. Hosted phones allow you to use the ‘internet’ technology to allow home workers at dispersed locations and calls between extensions and handsets within an organisation will benefit from free internal calls. However, the hosted phone system does connect to traditional phone interconnects at their datacenter in order to be able to route the phone calls to other destinations and this is where the phone call charging occurs. There is also a cost of system maintenance and ensuring that there is enough infrastructure available to handle concurrent calls. For example on a traditional system you may need 10 concurrent ISDN channels to handle 10 simultaneous phone calls. On a hosted system this is simliar, you need capacity for 10 concurrent calls to work, at quality with no impact on call qualilty and thus, is the reason still today for line rentals and call charges (albeit, much cheaper).

Why can’t I replace my Small Business server with a newer one?
SBS Server 2011 was the last of the family of small business servers. It was a cocktail of multiple microsoft products. Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010, Sharepoint Server and other useful software. It was designed for small businesses to use the typical features required for file sharing, remote working, email and collaboration. Due to the advent and cost effectiveness of cloud services for most customers it made financial sense and from an IT security level to migrate to cloud services. Customers that want to keep their data on premise still can buy the products individually such as Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange but with the increased support and maintenance costs associated (and points of failure associated with a server within a company) most customers opt for scalable cloud services and no longer worry about backups, failing hard drives, full disks and so on. In answer to the question, Microsoft now focus on increasing the development of their cloud products and no longer pursue development of the SBS products.

Is there a limit to the amount of cloud users I can have?
Technically, no. You can keep adding users to both voice and cloud products and the only variable that changes is the monthly fee. It will not collapse or run out of space or processing. There are some licence limitations with certain products such as Small Business products with Microsoft have a maximum of 300 users, whereas Enterprise products have no limits. Speak to us about what you need, let’s plan it from the beginning to keep it hassle free as you grow.

My password has been used to login but I never told anyone what is was. How did that happen?
A common question. Often the password that you use to log in to your system may be used elsewhere such as another website. Occasionally other sites are compromised whereby your details can be found out. If you use the same password elsewhere then you would be at risk on any account that the same password is used. Another reason could be that your password is easy to guess using information from social media, forums or that you’ve used a simple password such as Password1 and so on.