Cost-cutters and time-savers on the Web

This month I thought I would share some cost-saving secrets. Here are a few services that help me be more productive. Most are free or very cost-effective.
Virus protection software. Not only is it free, but it is not a moose in your computer. It runs smoothly and doesn’t slow you to a crawl like other software. Free
Automatic online backup service that monitors your hard drive (or folders you choose) and automatically backs them to a server. One of the most cost-effective solutions I have found so far. $50 a year, less with a multiple-year purchase
An online fax service that allows you to send and receive faxes through your e-mail. The paid upgrade allows you to select a fax number within your area code. If you need an FTP client, this free service works quite well. It also comes in handy for large download files linked via an FTP site.
“Google desktop” has a search feature I use every day. This works much better than the search directory that comes with Windows. Be careful to only use one of these programs (either Windows or Google) because the indexing function will only slow your computer down.
This is a sophisticated virtual PBX-like voicemail system for your office. It works just like any digital voicemail system with mailboxes, a hunt feature, special extensions for directions or hours of operations, and  dial-by-name and screening options.

Readers are welcome to e-mail their questions for “On Point” to Louis J. Celli Jr. is a retired Army master sergeant who has started and developed businesses, and has counseled hundreds of veteran entrepreneurs. He is CEO of the Northeast Veterans Business Resource Center.