Synthesis IT

Free IT Health Check! Get in touch today 0191 270 4370

About Us

IT Support – North East, Newcastle upon Tyne & Nationally

IT Support in the North East

About Synthesis IT Support

About Synthesis IT Support

Synthesis IT Support

Synthesis IT have been providing IT support for fifteen years. Based in North Shields, Synthesis IT provides support to clients in the North East, but also further afield. With Clients in Spain, The South Coast and in The Midlands, Synthesis IT can be wherever you need us to be. We offer unlimited telephone support and unlimited on-site support with Network Trust.

We offer support for VOIP telephone systems, Servers, Networks, PCs, Internet Connections, and anything else technical. Some examples of work we’ve carried out for clients include digital signage and disaster recovery. With Disaster Recovery suites on site, business continuity is a breeze with Synthesis.

Network Trust

Network Trust is the all-you-can eat IT Support, whether you need on site or remote support. Clients can pick from three tiers – Gold, Silver and Bronze. Clients who select Bronze enjoy unlimited On-Site and Remote Support, while Silver adds to this and focuses on Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Services. Gold is designed to be integrated support services, turning Synthesis IT into a division of your business with regular site visits.

Support Fund

Support Fund is the pre-paid model where you can pay a for 10 hours of support in advance, therefore earning you a discount. Ideal if you need infrequent worry-free support so you can on with the things that matter.

Ad-Hoc Support

Ad-Hoc support gives clients the opportunity to gives us a call whenever needed. Synthesis can react as and when issues arise.

How To Contact Us

Businesses who would like to hear more about our services can head over to our contact us page. Likewise an account manager is also always available to contact via our office number 0191 270 4370. We are able to come meet you at your venue and discuss your individual needs, providing you with a bespoke plan.


Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Dan Lowe About Us No Comments

Holiday gadgets and apps for your 2018 vacation!


So you’ve got your passport, your bucket and spade, your travel adapter and a bottle of Sun lotion. What else should you be taking on your holiday in 2018? We’re going to take a look at some of the best holiday gadgets as well other tips and trips. So worry less about how to charge the kid’s tablet and spend more time in the sun!

Classic Holiday Equipment

Classic Holiday equipment may look awesome, but what mod-cons should you be considering?

Portable Charger

Where better to start than the aforementioned tablets and charging. A portable charger is vital for day trips and emergency top ups in the era of smart devices. We’ve had good experience with Anker chargers. You might be tempted by solar chargers, but they don’t actually generate much charge and rely on being charged from the wall. So do without the gimmick. We’ve spoken about this sort of thing back in 2014.

Holiday Tablets

So maybe you want a read or to occupy the kids. It’s hard to not recommend taking a tablet, but there’s no need to spend £769 on an iPad Pro. Amazon’s kindle fires are nearly impossible to not recommend. Kindles are perfect for browsing, reading or catching a film of an evening. They cost 50 quid and are frequently on sale for less! Likewise the child editions while “just” a kindle with a foam cover, also have an amazing warranty and an interface designed for kids.

Portable Speaker

Perhaps you’d like a little music in the hotel room, or some summer tunes on the beach. A portable speaker is a great little item that help you relax with your favourite tunes, or maybe add a little more volume to your tablet if you’re watching a movie. There’s many choices available, but why not consider combining this and your portable charger and going Anker again.

A Holiday Power Strip

Right, so now we’ve got all these items that need charging we need a load of travel adapters, right? Wrong. Pick up a decent power strip and you can just plug that into your travel adapter. Just be careful not to overload sockets though, so no chaining gangways sticking a kettle and hair straighteners on together! Almost any will do, but we recommend not using a surge protector strip. Surge protectors can have issues with different voltages.

Offline Sat Nav (GPS) For Holiday Travel

Maybe you’re driving yourself, maybe you’re hiring a car. Either way you want a Sat Nav. Rental costs of Sat Navs extortionate, so too can be roaming charges. Many of us are used to loading up Google Maps or Apple Maps but their offline maps are a bit fiddly to set up. A good alternative is Maps.Me which allows for downloads of entire regions and countries. So you can do that at home on the WiFi before you go. Maps.Me is available on both iDevices and Android.

Cheap Exchange Rates for your Holiday

Avoid those dodgy counters at the airport, and as great as it is to receive your M&S holiday money in the post, there may be a better way to spend while you’re abroad.

While these so called challenger banks warrant a blog on their own, what you need to know is that you can use them to reduce the cost of converting currency. These banks are “App only” and have no high street stores and where they excel is their fresh approach to charges. Two of the accounts I’ve personally tried are Monzo and Revolut. Both of these accounts offer a MasterCard Debit Card, fee-free currency exchange, and free ATM usage while abroad (usually up to around £200 per month – after that there’s charges). The exchange rate you get is Mastercards exchange rate with no fees. Compare that with Barclays which charge their customers £1.50 plus 2.75% for the pleasure. Every other high street bank I checked has similar charges, usually with a lovely complicated table to help you even less.

Monzo is a fully fledged Bank with a banking license with FSCS protection. Revolut should be viewed more as a service, like PayPal, as they’re not yet licensed (though it is “due soon” at time of writing). There are other options such as Starling and Atom, and we will explore these in the coming months.

Monday, July 30th, 2018 by Dan Lowe About Us No Comments

Google: Who’s Reading Your Gmail?

Gmail is the free email service from Google. It’s came to light that some of the 1.4 billion users may be sharing their emails with more than just the intended recipients. The Wall Street Journal brought this to world-wide attention on 2nd July, but this has been a “dirty secret” amongst app developers for years.

There’s nothing new about computers reading your email. Your anti-virus has to do it, your anti-spam has to as well, and if you want to use a free service you’re probably going to have your emails scanned for marketing purposes (though Google claimed to end this practice for Gmail a year ago).

Some of these emails can be read by actual humans, Google has now admitted. What makes for further uncomfortable reading is that these people aren’t Google employees, they can come from any company that has an app that has permission to interface with aspects of your Google account.

How does it work?

You allow it to. The apps require your permission to do this, unfortunately it’s not always clear when you’re granting permission. It’s been claimed some of the incidents of this happening have come from seemingly unrelated sources like shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools or apps that help you manage your calendar/gmail (or even if they don’t).

Gmail Permissions

Is it a big deal?

Well, yes, it’s an important reminder. Your tech-savvy friends will tell you it’s not news that an app is doing exactly what you allow it to, but let’s be honest, many people are not tech-savvy and it’s not exactly clear what you’re agreeing to when you install apps. Moreover it’s reasonable to expect a duty of care by companies such as Google to protect your privacy.

As individuals, it should be important to realise that there are companies that do try to gain access to your data. It’s been news for years, but worth reiterating that there are many phone apps out there who ask excessive permissions. The cliché example is torch apps that require location data, view call details or text on your behalf – none of which are going to help you find your keys in the dark. Stories like these need to remind us all that privacy and security still demands vigilance by the user.

This is rightly alarming for business owners who use G Suite. Maintaining white-lists of which non-google apps their users’ can install is one option. White-lists are a selection of Apps you specifically allowed users to install, in contrast to black-lists. You’re only as good as the white-list you maintain, so making sure the systems are administered appropriately is imperative.

What did Google say about it?

Google make the usual statements of their commitments to privacy and security and provide instructions of how to check your apps, but importantly they say: “We strongly encourage you to review the permissions screen before granting access to any non-Google application.”

And they point users to their security check up page where users can view potentially risky apps.

While this is all well and good, we’ll detail the way we recommend to check your permissions at the end of this article.

What should businesses be thinking?

We are of the belief that a business needs a professional solution. If you have privacy concerns, our recommendation has always been and will continue to be on-site solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Server where you remain in control of your data, but we do understand that cloud-services such as Office 365 and G-Suite do have their own benefits and advantages. Weighing this all together is when you may want to get some advice. Do get in touch with myself or the office if you want some truly independent advice.

How can I protect my Gmail?

It’s vitally important to read all app permission requests going forward, but you definitely want to review existing app’s access. We need to check whether these permissions are appropriate or relevant. So cue some guide pictures:

  1. Visit your Google account by visiting your local Google website in your PC’s web-browser and clicking on your account avatar. You may have more than one account so this whole process could need repeating for each.
    Select your user icon in the top right
  2. Click on your account.
    Click on "Google Account"
  3. Click on Sign-In & Security
    Click on Sign-In & Security
  4.  Look at the menu on the left and select “Apps with account access” under the “Sign-in & Security” sub header
    Click on "Apps with account access"
  5. Look at the box that says “Apps with access to your account” and click on “MANAGE APPS”
    Click on "MANAGE APPS"
  6. Pay attention to the box which says “Third-party apps with account access”. These are the apps that Google don’t control and pose the main risk.
    Pay attention to the box which says “Third-party apps with account access”
  7. Review and remove any apps that you no longer use, recognise or demand more access than you feel they need. For instance something that has full access to your emails may appear like below.
    Review apps for appropriate access
Monday, July 9th, 2018 by Dan Lowe About Us No Comments

Can Your Business Actually Recover Unscathed From a Real Disaster?


Is your business ready to face a disaster?

As much as we may kid ourselves that we are protecting our businesses by regularly backing up our data; without the server hardware to restore the data backup to, along with the network, computers and other necessary office equipment to process it, the data on its own is not much use. The business will be suffering and losing ground quickly in the event of a business interrupting disaster.

In such an instance, it is vital to be able to operate as though nothing has happened (at least to your customers and suppliers) as quickly as possible – ideally the next business day but so much better if this can be achieved within minutes.

In response to this critical need, we are delighted to offer clients access to our fully equipped Disaster Recovery Suite, branded as ‘The Recovery Room‘  as the latest addition to our Network Trust package of business network support products.

Our Network Trust customers already know that the most important part of their business – their data and IP is in the safest hands. Day to day its usage is within their own network of computers and servers which are looked after by our team of experienced ICT professionals. Every day, that same data is being seamlessly and automatically backed up to our own military grade encrypted Cloud Safe backup servers. Now, with the addition of The Recovery Room, we have closed the circle. Should our customer require it, there is a state of the art, fully equipped office with servers, PC’s, printers, high-speed internet connection and furniture at their disposal and ready to have the most recent data backup restored to it.

Service features

  • Dedicated private office space
  • Fully furnished with PC’s, telephone system, printers and server
  • Ready to use at literally a moments notice
  • Able to accommodate up to 20 staff members
  • Accessible 24/7
  • Free parking and within 200m from North Shields Metro Station, easy for you and your employees to access
  • On-site access to your ICT support providers
  • Access to meeting rooms


  1. Prevents revenue loss as a result of the issue
  2. Eliminates business reputation loss
  3. Speeds Up Disaster Recovery Time
  4. Instills greater confidence in your business and services from your customers
  5. Can be used as a real benefit in your own marketing and sales efforts
  6. Boosts employee confidence and morale in your organisation
  7. Lowers Insurance Premiums


We would love to discuss your own requirements and see how Network Trust, CloudSafe, and The Recovery Room could benefit your business. You are good at what you do – you should focus your efforts doing more of it. Leave the management of your data to us.

For more details, you can contact Synthesis-IT at  0191 270 4370 or alternatively email


Tags: , ,

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 by admin About Us No Comments

Windows 7 v Windows 10 – Is it worth the free upgrade?

Windows 10 Pro is currently available on a free upgrade. The catch? It runs out on 29th July 2016. So the question remains – Do you upgrade?


Windows 7 Pro

We’ve all encountered Windows 7 Professional. It’s trustworthy, reliable and we’re all pretty familiar with the set up. It was designed for desktops and laptops. In 2009, there was a sudden rise of smart phones and touch screen technology. Microsoft, responding to this, chose to implement Windows 8. This was an operating system (OS) focused on touchscreen capabilities . The new OS wasn’t always practical for the everyday office and business users. It took users time to get to grips with the new interface. The change was radical in comparison to Windows 7 Professional.

Windows 7

I could rattle off the benefits of Windows 7 Professional, but I imagine most of you are firmly familiar with the interface. Bear in mind that Microsoft will be closing the door on Windows 7 Professional extended support in January 2020. So eventually, there will be a need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro in the next couple of years.

Windows 10 Pro

So what is the hype with Windows 10 Pro?

Windows 10 Start Menu

It incorporates both Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8 features. The return on the original start menu also features the tiles featured prominently in Windows 8. Don’t worry though, if you weren’t a fan of the tiles, these can easily removed.

Another additional feature includes Edge, the new and improved Internet Explorer. Edge has some pretty unique features. There is a tool that allows a user to annotate on webpages via their touchscreen or mouse. Gone are the days where you had to open up a browser to search the web. Windows 10 Professional allows you to search the web from the start menu.

Have you heard of Cortana? Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri. However, Cortana is no longer contained to the confines of a smart phone. She’s available on desktops and laptops too. Cortana will learn about you and how you like to work. You can personalise Cortana to improve the functionality of the service. Again, you can tailor Cortana to your preferences so you don’t feel like Cortana is spying on your life.


For those with Hybrid and convertible devices, Windows 10 Professional has created a ‘Continuum
Mode’. When you’re switching between the laptop and tablet, the OS’s will change automatically.

To upgrade or to not upgrade

The choice is yours…for now. To take advantage of the free upgrade, get in touch with us and we can advise you on the best way to do this.


– Remember your current software might not be compatible with  Windows 10 Professional and might need upgrading. This will come at great cost in time and money to your organisation.

– There’s only 2 weeks left to take advantage of the upgrade. After that, it will cost.

– Remember, Windows 7 Professional is being phased out and will no longer be supported by 2020.

Windows 10 Deadline

Monday, July 18th, 2016 by amy Stephenson About Us No Comments

Helpful Free Business Tools

Running a business is challenging at the best of times.  Juggling and prioritising your time is paramount.  With this in mind, we have put together a list of free handy business tools to help the busy owner/manager.


  1. Working remotely and need to send large files to colleagues or customers? They’re too large for email and you don’t have the time to mess around with sending a pen drive.  There are a number of tools available.  One is WeTransfer (  It is a free and very simple way of sending files up to 2GB quickly and securely.  There is also a handy app for your smartphone.
  2. Social media is essential to the modern business, but many small business owners don’t have the time to manage their social media output effectively. Buffer ( is a handy free (for 1 user) tool to assist you with managing your social media content.  You can schedule posts and interact with your audience across different accounts, plus get valuable analytics on how your social media campaigns are performing.
  3. In addition to Buffer, another handy tool to help manage your social media output is Bitly (, which allows you to shorten, link and measure your marketing efforts.
  4. Keeping up to date and comprehensive information on your customers is a must for any business, but many customer relationship management (CRM) software packages are costly. Zoho ( is free, forever for up to 10 users.  Store and manage customer data, contact info, sales progress and social interactions, create leads and activities and set priorities to organise your day.
  5. Editing and design tools can be extremely expensive, but to help create a professional image they can be a must if you don’t want to pay large design fees to a professional design agency. Pixlr Editor ( provides free editing, cropping, and design tools for digital photos and imagery. Web-based and lightweight, it’s an easily accessible and cost-free way to make great looking images.
  6. Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business, so keeping tight control of your finances is a must. Many accounting and finance packages cost a great deal of money, but Mint ( is an incredibly clever tool that is available completely free. After giving Mint permission to view your financial data via your online banking account, the software will begin to learn your spending habits, categorize your expenditures and even manage budgets for you.

Free tools do of course have their limitations and may not be suited to every business, but for some they will be ideal and for others, a stopgap or stepping stone.

I hope you find them useful!

For advice and more help with improving productivity in your business through the use of technology give us a call!  We’re always happy to chat.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 by Rod Glenn About Us No Comments

Email Tips

Sorting through your Monday morning mail – that tedious task we’d rather not do. It’s often SPAM, emails you can’t remember subscribing to or just irrelevant work natter that didn’t really require an email!


To help you manage your inbox load, we’ve provided a couple of hints and tips to help you maximise your productivity, security and avoid that Monday morning drag!

  • First up – Never open attachments from unknown sources! You’re asking for trouble by opening the email. If you’re not aware of the sender or weren’t expecting it, just click delete and get rid. There are some horror stories I could tell you about opening unknown attachments, but I won’t scare you today….Just click delete if you’re unsure!


2.So you arrive at work on Monday morning, still thinking about how quick the weekend disappeared…Anyway, you arrive to a mailbox full of potential junk. Rather than spending the time to read each email individually, scan through the list and flag anything that you don’t need to prioritise. Don’t let your mailbox become your number 1 priority!

3.When you do read an email, follow the one click rule – Reply, forward, delete or archive.

4.Archiving v Deleting – It doesn’t matter which method you use, as long as you’re not hoarding emails you’ll probably never read or refer back to again. Don’t become an email hoarder.


5.If you’re constantly getting mail from a subscribed source, just unsubscribe! If you do sign up to a lot of subscription emails then use an alias email and look at the emails in your lunch break or when you’ve reached the 3pm slump.

6.Have you ever sent an email without reading it and realised it’s just littered with a tonne of mistakes? Me too. Don’t put the recipients email in till you’ve reviewed it. That means you can’t be an eager beaver and send it without reviewing it.

These are just some of the tips and tricks we’ve collated to get you out of the email slump – what are tips? Comment below

Tags: , , ,

Monday, June 20th, 2016 by amy Stephenson About Us No Comments

Small business Security


With daily reports of new incidents of cyber crime, (hacking, ransomware, credit card fraud etc), it is more important than ever to ensure that you have a robust and up to date security solution to cover internet browsing, online banking, email and e-commerce.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has carried out an extensive survey and
has discovered that smaller firms are collectively attacked seven million times a year, costing the UK economy an estimated £5.26bn.  Read the survey here:

Coupled with an alarming rise in ransomware (, we advise immediate action to ensure your finances and data are as secure as possible with daily off-sited backups should the worst occur.  Ransomware is malicious software that scrambles the data on a victim’s PC and then asks for payment before restoring the data to its original state. The costs of unlocking data can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds.

At the very least, we would advise the following:

  1. Ensure you have a good quality anti-virus and security software package on all PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  2. Ensure that your chosen software is up to date at all times.
  3. Run regular security scans with your chosen software.
  4. Implement an online data backup regime that will securely (encrypted) and automatically store a backup of your data away from your premises.
  5. Regularly test your backup to ensure that your data is backing up correctly.

It all sounds like a lot of work, but if you need any help or advise whatsoever, we are only a phone call away.  We’re always happy to offer advice on the right tools and the correct implementation.

Stay safe!


Monday, June 13th, 2016 by Rod Glenn About Us No Comments

Emergency Battery Life

We love portable devices, and we use them on a daily basis, but one of the biggest problems that we face with our selection of mobile devices is that they offer us a limited battery life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with a mobile phone, tablet, e-reader or laptop, they often suffer from a low battery capacity that is a little less than convenient. Often right when you’re in the middle of something and far away from a charger. › Continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by admin About Us 1 Comment

Pepper – The Robot Age Arrives

Robots have, for a long time, been considered to be something of science fiction, but no longer is that the case, because now they are set for release with a surprisingly affordable price tag. Pepper the Robot is an advanced development from the Japanese Technology market, and offers you a fantastic humanoid robot that has been specifically designed to live with people. › Continue reading

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by admin About Us No Comments

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Backup

There are a whole bunch of online backup companies available who can offer you countless backup solutions for all of your data.  There are however a number of advantages and disadvantages involved in the process. Find out what they are below. › Continue reading

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, August 4th, 2014 by admin About Us No Comments

Online Backup

Backing up your data is a scary though for many people, particularly those who aren’t very familiar with recent technology. For this reason many people fail to back up their data properly whilst others just find it a chore and can’t be bothered to do so. The likes of cloud however are extremely useful and very important for making sure that you don’t lose any of your work, which you will at some point in your life. › Continue reading

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, March 28th, 2014 by admin About Us No Comments

Small Business Technology Trends of 2014

One thing that we all know by now is taking a much more relied upon role in business operations is the cloud, which is currently used primarily for storage. As more and more of us are starting to adopt more relaxed work from home routines in the work place it is important that those who do work from home can access the required software and documents regardless of their physical location, this is exactly what cloud services enable to happen making it an effective and reliable sort of service regardless of the industry. Cloud services are generally very flexible and easy to set up, with a wide range of providers of cloud services cropping up all over the place it is an effective and surprisingly cost effective option for companies, particularly small businesses. › Continue reading

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by admin About Us No Comments

Outgrowing your IT? 6 things to consider when upgrading or implementing new systems

As your business grows technology get’s more complicated because more people need to use it.


Thinking back to when your business first started, it was easy.  You had the freedom to use the tools you wanted to use to enable you to work the way you wanted to work.   But IT gets more complicated and more expensive as your team grows.


So, if you’re thinking of buying new IT equipment, whether it’s computers, telephones or software applications, you’ll want to make sure your investment will see your business through for as long as possible into the future.


If we only had a crystal ball, then choosing now what we need in five years time would be so easy!  So, what do you need to consider when you’re making the decision to put new systems in place or upgrade your existing systems?


Here are few pointers we hope you’ll find useful in helping you to make the right decisions:


1.      Think about how you want to work, when and where

The wrong technology can hold your business back.  If you’re limited by what your technology can do, you’ll be less able to work quickly and easily, become frustrated and so will your staff and customers.   To decide what you need, think about how and where your team will work and what they will need to be able to do.  For example, if some of your team will work both at home and in the office, make sure they can access information securely and save information in one central place. That way information will stay accurate and up to date.


 2.      Centralise information in one central place

Saving information on your own computer network system, on a hosted system or Internet based application is a great way to ensure your team has access to the same tools and same up-to-date information.   Information saved to a central place will simplify things for you and make looking after information much easier.


 3.      Protect information both inside and outside of your business.

Set some ground rules for your employees to work to.  You’re legally bound to protect information you hold about your customers on your systems, so make sure your staff are aware of your obligations.


If there’s a problem with your computers or file server, being able to recover information could mean the difference between your business being able to continue to operate or not.  So put a data back-up procedure in place to make sure you keep a separate copy of information at regular intervals so that you can recover information should you need to do so.   If you’re using a Cloud-based or hosted service you’ll need to ensure that your provider will regularly back up your data for you.


4.      Don’t let technology rule your business

Let’s face it! We’re all in real danger of being controlled by technology.   We’re working on the go, anytime, anywhere more than ever before, because technology enables us to.   But with more staff using their own devices for work, you’ll need to minimise the associated risks of them doing so.   For example by allowing employees to receive company emails on their smart-phone, there is a risk that your customer information could be compromised  should your employee’s device be lost or stolen.


But a balance can be struck if you adopt new technologies such as Windows Server R2 which can help you protect and control access to your business data.


5.      Check out features, will they be useful?

Automating manual tasks does save time and money, so when you’re looking at buying technology, look for features that can simplify the way you do business.   Think about telephones for example.  If you have voice mail, how easy is it to retrieve the voice mail if you’re out of the office? Can a message be emailed to you automatically or do you have to dial in to retrieve a message?  If you answer a call, how easy is it to transfer the call, can it be done by pressing one button?  They may seem like small things to consider, but they can make a big difference to the way you work.


Features are great, but you could spend a lot of money on features that you’ll never use, or that will make your business process more complicated than it needs to be.


6.   Research your options 

Finally always try to research the range of options open to your business. With so many solutions available you need to be sure that you’re going to make the best, most cost-effective decisions for your business and adopting technology that will support your business growth.

Friday, September 27th, 2013 by admin About Us No Comments

Data Storage and Sharing is Changing

Let’s face it; people want everything to be wireless, and who can blame them? The world is full of cables and wires and the more they need to be used the worse their condition, the cables that connect everything to everything else become worn and need to be replaced, and the areas of the devices where the cables connect become damaged and worn over time. Overall one of the main problems we have with our computers, phones, tablets and e-readers are generally related to cables in some way, which is one of the reasons the concept of wireless charging impressed people so much. › Continue reading

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 by admin About Us No Comments

Got an IT Problem?

We can help!

Save time and reduce costs with our help.

NEW case studies

We're helping businesses

Learn how our services are making a difference.

NEW brochure

Need to know more?

Our new brochure is available.