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Twenty-five best business software tools and services

Twenty-five best business software tools and services

With capability and frugality firmly in mind, here are 25 software tools and Web services for powering small and medium-size businesses.

Remote Access/Syncing

LogMeIn

If all you need is occasional access to a single PC that isn't within walking distance, you can get by with this simple remote-access tool. LogMeIn lets you quickly connect to your office computer to grab a file or check an application you don't have on your laptop, all via any computer with a Web browser. (free to $20 per month)

Syncplicity

If you regularly use more than one computer, keeping track of which machine has which version of which report can get a little confusing. The solution: Synchronize the PCs so you can ensure they're all up-to-the-minute, while protecting yourself in the event you made different changes to the same file on more than one PC. Unlike most traditional sync software, Syncplicity works over the Web, so you can sync from anywhere. (free for 2GB limit, to $10 per month for 40GB limit)

Security Suite

Avira AntiVir

Yes, you need to protect your business with a solid antivirus package, but big-name, enterprise-level protection can be really expensive. At its most basic, Avira offers security for individual PCs for free (if you're willing to deal with one ad pop-up per day); but if you need protection for file and mail servers or other central services, Avira can provide such tools as well, for a generally reasonable price. (pricing varies by protection level)

Social Networking

LinkedIn

When it comes to finding employees, contractors, service providers, and even outsourcing partners, LinkedIn has proven to be an invaluable tool for many businesses. But the real beauty of LinkedIn is something that becomes apparent only with use and time: As you expand your network--recommending other businesses, and otherwise participating--you may find that other LinkedIn users are recommending your business, as well. In addition, a Q&A system lets you ask for general advice on all matters business. (free, up to $50 per month for premium services)


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