Traveloka Launches EPIC Sale Campaign Up to 80% special deal in Singapore

Traveloka presents EPIC Sale Campaign in Singapore. Taking place from 14th to 20th April 2021, Traveloka unveils special deals of up to 80% for a wide variety of Accommodations and Xperience products. Users are welcome to combine their SingapoRediscovers Vouchers, and numerous promotions available on the Traveloka’s App to get more benefit from this campaign.

EPIC Sale is one of the manifestations of Traveloka’s commitment in supporting the government in reviving the local tourism industry that is heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the economy moves towards recovery, the EPIC Sale campaign is also expected to boost the customer demand hence can positively contribute to the partners’ business continuity.

“The pandemic has impacted many businesses around the world, especially the tourism industry. Therefore, it is crucial for us to support and form a partnership with all stakeholders, including the government and industry players to revive their businesses post-pandemic. This has become our baseline in rolling out the EPIC Sale campaign in the market, not only to provide the best experience to our users but also to support our partners and the local tourism sector. Utilizing human-centered technology, the EPIC Sale combines the creative marketing strategy with cutting edge and breakthrough approach to better understand the customers, bringing forth offers that are aligned with the change in users’ behaviour and needs,” said Pascal Gekko Head of International Accommodation at Traveloka.

Learnings from Traveloka signalled that Singaporeans started their user journey looking at flexibility in brands to provide a better user experience through a combination of coupons stacking and time-bound promotions. As such, Traveloka’s EPIC Sale will feature the following:

  • Epic Referral has begun as a pre-sale activation from 7-13 April, whereby users can earn coupons by sharing a referral link. There will also be daily rewards, new features and grand prizes!
  • EPIC Hour offers 50-80% special deals every day between 6 – 7PM (Singapore Local Time) and additionally between 9-10AM on 14 April and 12-1PM on 20 April
  • EPIC Sale offers incredible special deals ranging from 25 – 80% all day long that is combinable with SRV, Traveloka promotions, and bank coupons. Users can also save more with up to SGD 40 off all day during EPIC Sale period and up to SGD 50 off during EPIC Hour when paying with DBS/POSB Cards and applying the DBS/POSB Cards Coupon with Terms & Conditions apply.

Crafted based on Traveloka’s best selling experiences during its SingapoRediscovers campaigns, the EPIC Sale was created for users to enjoy experiences with family and friends at an affordable price. It reinforces Traveloka’s commitment to supporting the Singapore Government in boosting domestic tourism and promoting a safe way to enjoy a holiday.

While it has been a rocky road to recovery for Singapore’s hospitality industry, such a partnership between the Singapore Tourism Board and private travel and lifestyle platforms has ensured the survival of many hotels and attractions as international leisure travel has yet to return in the foreseeable future. In addition, such a synergistic partnership caters to the steady increase in hyper-local experiences such as staycations and rediscovering places of interests within the tropical island.

“We are grateful to partner with Traveloka and join the first EPIC Sale campaign this year, as they not only share the same mission and values with us but they also aim to provide a positive contribution to boosting Singapore’s local tourism sector, aligned with the Singapore Tourism Board’s agenda. Through this partnership, we believe it will bring a positive contribution to our business amid the pandemic,” said Jorge Fernandez, Director of Revenue Optimization at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.

Traveloka’s EPIC Sale campaign will run from 14 April 2021 to 20 April 2021 and can be enjoyed through the latest version of the Traveloka App. Partnering with all of our merchants, users will be spoilt for choice and can discover more deals for their desired hotel stays, leisure attractions to visit or local tours by operators, such as Shangri-La Singapore, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, The Fullerton Hotels, Park Hotel Group, Singapore Cable Car, Jewel Changi Airport Attraction, Go Green Segway Eco Adventure, Wild Wild Wet, Trick Eye Museum, and more.

Linksys Singapore Launches New Velop MX4200 WiFi 6 Mesh Router (Starhub Exclusive)

Earlier this month, both Starhub and Linksys announce the exclusive launch of the Linksys Velop MX4200 WiFi 6 Mesh System router in Singapore. Referred to as StarHub Smart WiFi Pro under the partnership, Linksys’ MX4200 combines Mesh networking and next-generation WiFi 6 technology for coverage, low latency and speed – offering the best of two worlds for an unrivalled home broadband experience.

Key Product Features of the Velop MX4200

Wi-Fi  Certified 6 – Built with the latest generation WiFi technology and security standards set by the Wi-Fi Alliance, WiFi 6 certification ensures increased capacity, device battery life and network safety for customers and their devices.  

Linksys Intelligent Mesh – in-house mesh system that is compatible with other Linksys’s product. Flexible and scalable for existing Linksys consumers who can expand their network as needs grow, with a simple addition of any Linksys mesh node/router. 

Qualcomm Networking Pro 800 platform – With 8 streams of tri-band WiFi 6 connectivity, and a 64-bit 1.4GHz Quad-Core ARM processor powering dynamic data processing and management, the Velop MX4200 provides game-changing network advancements that enhance efficiency, range and power consumption and deliver more capacity for online gaming, video calls and meetings, and 8K streaming on their devices.

Tri-band dynamic backhaul – Unlike some mesh systems that use a dedicated backhaul and limit the number of bands that the user can connect to, Linksys uses a dynamic backhaul, allowing access to all 3 bands throughout the home. Linksys’ dynamic backhaul technology chooses the best band to connect between nodes. 

(Far Right) The Velop MX4200 is fully compatible with other Velop Mesh System. Source: Instagram @weewu

StarHub is launching the Smart WiFi Pro (Usual price: $399) at no extra cost for customers who sign up for or renew their StarHub 2Gbps Fibre Broadband plans. Other StarHub Fibre Broadband customers can purchase this router at $0 upfront cost on an instalment plan from as low as $12 monthly.  Cash and carry router purchase is also available for in-contract (broadband) customers at $288 per unit (via ePOS), available at Starhub Shops and Platinum Shops.

Review: Trek iSSD, 4-In-1 Portable Data Storage Solution Made By A Singapore Company

These days, we interact so much online. Posting on Instagram and live streaming anytime and anywhere just mean that we need more gadgets on the move. Let run a quick checklist – a power bank (for your smartphone), laptop (obviously, that’s meant to edit stunning photos and video for posting), portable hard disk (what’s more disheartening when you forgot to back up your work?), camera (to capture professional shots for posting) and the list goes on. Well, does it make sense to carry that many devices?

Source: Instagram user @weewu

Trek 2000 (stock quote: 5AB.SI), a Singapore-based company, wants to reduce your load with their Trek iSSD. The Trek iSSD is a portable data backup solution, power bank, SD card reader and a wireless charger.    

Quickly, let us go through the specs.

– The Trek iSSD is available in either 240GB, 480GB or 960GB capacities that pretty much covers the needs of users from day-to-day mainstream consumers segment to hardcore mobile workers.

– It also comes with a SD card slot that enable users to directly backup their photos/video in the card without going through an external computer.   

– The Trek iSSD also double-up as a 3000mAh power bank that supports bi-directional Qi wireless charging.   

– Through its wireless b/g/n connection, users could access their files via their smartphones which means you could use the device virtually anywhere.

– FTP Functions that allow large file transfer via a network connection.

Well.  Enough of the sales pitch! I will just list down in order what I like about the product.

This is what you get in Trek iSSD. Instagram user @weewu
  1. Light and Compact: The Trek iSSD weighs only 221g and measured 11.8cm by 7.0cm. To put it in prospective, the Trek iSSD weighs like a typical 20,000mAh powerbank but it is about the size of a portable hard disk. Considering that the Trek iSSD could do so much more, its noticeably light weight (as well as its compact size) is a big plus point. Kudos to Trek team!   
  • Simple and Seamless SD Card Backup: The One Touch Backup in Trek iSSD is one of the most make sense features that a lot of portable hard disk makers overlooked. More importantly, it is amazingly easy to use. Power on, plug in the SD card, press twice on the power button to start the back up. Once the LED indicator stop blinking, Bang! You have backed up your SD card!

This is extremely useful when you are traveling (not that we can in the COVID-19 situation). I can imagine the time I am running up of capacity in my DSLR. I desperately need one more SD card, but I don’t have an extra one at my disposal. This feature will come in handy to free up the space of the card without going through computer. (I mean as much as we can, we will travel light)

  • Wireless Charging: It is all about decluttering. It is definitely not nice to see many wires lying around. The Trek iSSD also serves as a wireless charging bay. The best part – it supports pass-through meaning you just need one USB cable to charge both Trek iSSD and your mobile phone. In other word, you free up one more power socket.   
  • Mobile (Wireless) Backup: We have so many photos stored in our smartphone these days. However, there is a limit in the smartphone and occasionally, you need to clean up the phone’s memory. The Trek iSSD offers an easy way to back up the photo in your smartphones via a mobile app.  
One Touch Backup. Source: Instagram user @weewu

Well, this is more like an alternative way of backing up your photo on top of what Apple iCloud and Google Drive are offering. I still stick to an old school way of storing digital photo offline at a separately physical drive.  We have heard enough stories of photo leaked online which eventually may be detrimental to some of you especially those who are influencers with large following. Come and think about it. Old school may be better.

  • Wireless Sharing: When I first heard that the Trek iSSD is a file server and could support upto 8 devices simultaneously, I think it is a very cool feature.  I tried to share with another user, it works reasonably well which it is within my expectation; well, I have kept the number of users small. Although speed will be noticeably slower when any new device connected to it, it still delivers. Well, it is not fair to benchmark this to a NAS system. Considering how small the Trek iSSD is, its performance is quite remarkable.
Source: Instagram user @weewu

My Take

It is a very versatile storage companion that serves my day-to-day needs. If you consume a lot of contents, this is a good storage solution. The Trek iSSD comes with 3 choices – 240GB (Black), 480GB(Blue) and 960GB (Red) and are priced at RRP USD $179, USD$349 and USD$499 respectively.

Grab-Singtel Consortium Now a Digital Full Bank is offering 200 Roles

MAS has announced that Grab-Singtel (Stock Quote: Z74.SGX) Consortium is one of the two Digital Full Banks alongside with video game development company Sea Ltd (Stock Quote: SE.NYSE)

The consortium has appointed Mr Charles Wong, Citigroup’s former retailing head in Singapore as CEO and will fill up around 200 roles by end 2021.

The consortium will focus on serving consumers and small businesses, starting with time-starved young PMETs, gig workers with flexible incomes, and micro-SMEs who face limited access to financing. Grab and Singtel will enable these underserved groups to easily access transparent financial services that are embedded in their everyday activities, helping them achieve a better quality of life. The consortium will do so by drawing on both companies’ extensive experience in meeting the daily essential needs of millions in Singapore.

Mr Wong, CEO of the Grab-Singtel digital banking consortium, said, “An opportunity such as today, where we are entrusted to develop a digital bank from scratch, is truly rare. We will redefine banking by building a sustainable business focused on out-serving Singapore with personalised, accessible and trusted financial products. Customers from multiple segments, including the underserved and underbanked, will be able to have their financial needs met seamlessly, powered by our next-generation cloud technology and data platform.” 

The digital bank is a natural extension of the Grab Financial Group as well as the mobile financial business of Singtel, with the aim of enabling wider access to financial services. It will also draw on the combined experience of both companies in having already built a successful regional fintech ecosystem in highly regulated environments, offering digital financial services across payments, insurance, lending and investing.

SINGAPORE WILL BE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE LINKSYS E9450 WIFI 6 EASYMESH ROUTER

Linksys E9450 WIFI 6 EasyMesh Router. Source: Linksys Asia

SINGAPORE, 9 OCTOBER 2020 Linksys today announced the global launch of Linksys’ first WiFi 6 EasyMesh router, the E9450 (AX5400). Singtel is the first operator in the world to offer the new Linksys WiFi 6 router as it continues to bring next-generation WiFi connectivity to more Singtel fibre broadband customers in Singapore. 

The WiFi 6 standard enables customers to enjoy faster data transfers, increased capacity, better connectivity performance in environments with many connected devices, and improved power efficiency. As the latest WiFi 6 solution for consumers’ increasingly demanding wireless connectivity needs, the E9450 router will be exclusively available to Singtel fibre broadband customers for two months starting from 10 October 2020.

“Asia has the greatest number of internet users in the world, accounting for 50.3% globally[1],” said Jenny Ng, General Manager for Asia. “In 2019, 81% of Singaporeans were using the internet, with a trajectory to continue growing year-on-year2.  As a tech savvy nation, it is no wonder that Singaporeans are discerning when it comes to the routers they use at home.  We are pleased to offer consumers an opportunity to optimize their home internet speeds and capacity with the next generation Mesh WiFi system in order to cater to growing bandwidth demands.”

So What is EasyMesh Wi-Fi?

EasyMesh was introduced by Wi-Fi Alliance and it is intended to serve as a standard to Wi-Fi networks that allows Wi-Fi routers or mesh systems to communicate with one another regardless of product line or brands. To put it simply, consumer can choose router or nodes of different brands to setup their mesh system as long as the products comply to EasyMesh standard. In other words, consumers have more choices.

Complied to this standard, the Linksys E9450 makes future upgrading of mesh system seamlessly for consumers.

Tech Specifications

The E9450 WiFi 6 router feature details below: 

Technical SpecificationDetails
Wi-Fi SpeedDual Band AX5400 (4800 Mbps on 5GHz + 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz)
Product DimensionsLength – 15.6cm Width – 6cm Height – 22cm
AX5400 Dual Band4 internal antennas MU-MIMO OFDMA Technology 2.4 GHz radio 5 GHz radio  USB3.0 port
Processor & Memory1.5GHz Tri-Core Processor 256MB Flash and 512MB RAM  
WAN and LAN Connectivity  ● 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports: o 1x WAN  
o 4x LAN  
SecurityWPA2 Personal WPA3 Personal WPA2 / WPA3 Mixed Mode Personal

Pricing & Availability

Source: Linksys Asia

The E9450 WiFi 6 router retails at $399. 

At launch, it will be available at the special introductory price of $10.00/mth to the first 100 Singtel customers to sign up for or re-contract Singtel Fibre 1Gbps at $39.90/mth (U.P. $49.90/mth). Subsequently, customers can purchase the E9450 at $14.00/mth (U.P.$16.00/mth) with Singtel fibre plans.

The Linksys E9450 will roll out to the rest of the channel from 10 December 2020.


[1] Miniwatts Marketing Group, “Internet Users Distribution in the World – 2020 Q1” Data

2 Statista Research Department, “Singapore: Internet user penetration 2015-2025” , Jul 28, 2020  

Samsung Launch Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition in Singapore this June

The special edition also comes with custom designed Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Watch Active2. Source: Samsung Singapore

Samsung Electronics Singapore today announced that the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition will arrive in June.

The exclusive Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition will be available from 13 June on the Samsung Online Store at a recommended retail price of $3,388.

Pre-sales will open from 2 June for UOB Reserve, Privilege Banking, Visa Infinite and Visa Infinite Metal credit card members and Club21 Members.

The Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition, which features the designer’s signature red, white, and navy brand colours, draped on a pebble grey exterior pulled straight from the runway, will be debuted in a limited edition of 200 sets. To complete the look, the special edition also comes with custom designed Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Watch Active2.

This collaboration with the iconic New York fashion brand combines the best of art and technology. As respective leaders in fashion and technology spaces, the limited-edition Galaxy Z Flip makes a bold statement with Thom Browne’s signature aesthetic and Samsung’s state-of-the-art foldable technology.

Key Product Highlights:

The smartphone is the first of its kind to be encased in glass while sporting a matte look that is soft to the touch and effortless to hold. When unfolded, the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition reveals even more design details inside, including:

  • Iconic blinds, a reference to the mid-century office aesthetic at the centre of the Thom Browne world, which appear onscreen every time the phone is turned on and off;
  • Pre-set app icons, labelled in classic text, as well as custom wallpaper which create an elemental Thom Browne uniformity;
  • Distinctive sound cues including a typewriter for the keyboard, an analogue ringtone, and a shoe tap on a marble floor, that tie the entire experience together.

The Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition also comes with Galaxy Z Premier Service. This specialised care offering provides customers with the most premium product experience possible, which includes:

  • 24-hour concierge support via Samsung Members App
  • One-time screen replacement or repair with a deductible of $180 (including GST)
  • Door-to-door pick-up and delivery service for device repair (up to two times only)

Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition customers can also enjoy additional complimentary customer service benefits, such as 30-day 1-to-1 exchange for functional defects1, data transfer assistance1, diagnostic checks1, one-time 1-to-1 in-box accessories exchange1, and dedicated and priority queue at Samsung Customer Service Centre at VivoCity.

Galaxy Z Flip Screen Protector Application Service

Samsung will also be launching a complimentary screen protector application service for all new and existing Galaxy Z Flip customers. This service is valid within 12 months from date of purchase. Interested customers can pre-book an appointment via the Samsung Members app before heading down to any Samsung Customer Service Centre.

Huawei set to launch its first ever laptop range and flagship tablet in Singapore on 8 June

Huawei announced that its two mainstream laptops: the HUAWEI MateBook 13 and HUAWEI MateBook D15 as well as its flagship tablet, HUAWEI MatePad Pro will launch in Singapore on 8 June 2020. Pre-orders are available from 30 May to 7 June. These devices focus on mobile productivity, innovative smart design and delivery of a seamless and powerful user experience.

As an important point of entry to the smart ecosystem, the HUAWEI MateBook series and HUAWEI MatePad Pro are designed to synergise with Huawei handsets, wearables and other devices. These products enable the company’s unique Multi-screen Collaboration feature that delivers a seamless multi-device experience to consumers with a simple drag-and-drop file transfer between smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Source: YouTube Tech ARP

Phil Xu, Managing Director of Huawei Consumer Business Group Singapore said, “We are excited to introduce a new range of laptops as well as the latest tablet in Singapore that are the perfect companions for consumers looking for high performance and extreme portability. These devices are stylish, powerful and smart, which makes it perfect for both work and relaxation. As we continue to expand our product offerings in the market, we would like our customers to enjoy a seamless interconnected experience within the product ecosystem including our handsets and wearables.”

Local availability and pricing

The HUAWEI MateBook 13, HUAWEI MateBook D15 and HUAWEI MatePad will be retailing at S$1,598, S$998 and S$898 respectively from 8 June 2020 in all Huawei Concept stores, selected consumer electronic stores and official online stores with Lazada and Shopee.

In addition, customers can look forward to receiving an additional 1 year warranty on top of the standard 1 year, with every purchase of the HUAWEI MateBook 13 or the HUAWEI MateBook D 15, while stocks last.

ProductProcessorStorageColourRetail Price
HUAWEI MateBook 13Intel i5512GB + 16GB RAMSpace GreyS$1,598
HUAWEI MateBook D 15AMD R5256GB + 8GB RAMMystic SilverS$998
HUAWEI MatePad ProOS: EMUI 10.0.1 (Based on Android 10.0)256GB + 8GB RAMMidnight GreyS$898

Review of Soul Emotion 2 TWS – Don’t Associate “Cheap” as “Bad”

We have heard enough bad news about Covid-19. In Singapore, people are encouraged to stay at home during this circuit breaker. If there is one good thing in this pandemic, we are still free to go out for run. A good set of earpieces is a perfect companion especially we are running alone. If you have been following my blog closely, we have reviewed several headsets that are designed for fitness fanatics. The latest one is Soul ST-XS2.

This time, we are reviewing another TWS from Soul – Soul Emotion2. The cheaper Emotion2 is different from the Soul ST-XS2 in several ways. In terms of appearance, the Emotion2 is smaller and sleeker. Apart from that, the Emotion2 does not come with ear wings.

Source: Instagram @weewu

Unlike the Soul ST-XS2 that comes with 4 colours, the Soul Emotion2 comes only with 3 colours (pink, white & black). Soul Electronics sends me a white Emotion2 for review. Although the Emotion2 is a smaller device than the ST-XS2, the Led indicator light on the Emotion2 is larger and more visible than the one on the ST-XS2.

The Emotion2 is also splash-proof with a rating of IPX4. In another words, you could clean the Emotion2 with little water (just make sure you don’t put it under the running tap).

The Emotion2 is incredibly light. Weighed at approx.5g, it is amazingly comfortable to wear for long hours. However, this advantage may have some side effects to those with big earhole. I brought this out for a run and find that I must frequently make adjustment to make sure the Emotion2 is at the place that it should. Although I have switched to its biggest earplugs, it just does not work for people like me who have big earhole.

Soure: Instagram @weewu

Audio Quality

The Emotion2 delivers crystal clear sound with a balanced sharpness. Bass is warm and it mixes well with the treble. While I am immersing myself to a passionate vocal performance on YouTube, the Emotion2 produces a well-balanced sound with “visible” enough High, Mid and Low tones.

Conference call with this is acceptable as I can clearly hear what the counterparty is saying but it does not work as well for the other party. Apparently, the performance of mic is a little lacking. I need to speak louder to get my voice across.

Although physical design blocks off some surrounding noise, it is still quite disturbing when you are trying to focus on your online seminars. In this case, a good noise cancelling TWS could help to block off noises from the Kids TV programme while you are working. Unfortunately, this feature is not included.

A Good Buy?

This is a good product for loner like me who spent lots of hours online watching movies and concerts alone. Music is an experienced goods that touches people emotionally. As long the TWS could deliver what it is supposed to deliver, it is a good product. That is why I find the name of this product speaks for itself.  

Of course, it is also extremely comfortable to wear (just don’t bring it out for run. It is not designed to anyway).

It is cheap and I do not mean it in a negative way. Their official store at Lazada is selling at SGD54.90! That is crazy! Granted. There are flaws like no active noise cancelling but why does that matter? Who else is watching “Baby-Shark” when I am all by myself at home watching Black Pink’s music video? I am a cheapo if you want to say so.

Recommendation: “Buy” (if you are an introvert like me)

Press Release – New Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions now available in Singapore

Source: Microsoft Singapore

[Asia Pacific, Singapore, 22 April 2020] – Microsoft 365 is now available in Singapore. It is a refresh of Office 365, which provides users with new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences. 

These experiences are being rolled out regionally and will reach over 38 million Office 365 subscribers globally in the next few months.

“We want to continue to empower everyone to remain connected with those who matter inside and outside of the workplace. The Microsoft 365 Family and Personal subscriptions will provide users with innovative experiences that enable them to co-author, video chat, organize, and come together with friends and their families anytime and anywhere,” said Rami El Bayadi, Regional Director, Microsoft Office Asia. 

Users can look forward to two new Microsoft 365 experiences. Firstly, a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep families safe across the digital and physical worlds. Microsoft will also launch Microsoft Teams later this year for users to stay connected with their family and friends. There will also be new features in Microsoft Teams that make it easier to connect, organize and collaborate with family and friends.

The new Microsoft Edge browser also takes a step forward with new features to protect users on the web with Password Monitor, and to simplify research with Collections.

Other new features available with Microsoft 365 are listed below.

  • AI-Powered Microsoft Editor: To help people put their best foot forward at home and at work, Microsoft Editor – an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages – is now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers have access to advanced grammar and style refinements such as rewrite suggestions and additional style critiques to allow greater clarity and conciseness.
  • Presenter Coach Features in PowerPoint: An AI-powered Presenter that helps correct monotone pitch and refine speeches. This will be available as a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers. 
  • PowerPoint Designer: This feature effectively boosts creativity, such as transforming text into a beautiful timeline, or even auto-generated slide layouts. Microsoft is also providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 beautiful images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts, 2,800 new icons to create highimpact and visually appealing documents. 
  • New Data Types and Smart Templates in Excel: This presentsa different and less timeconsuming way to interact with data, providing deeper meaning for over 100 topics. Microsoft 365 subscribers have exclusive access to the over 100 new data types powered by Wolfram Alpha. 
  • Organizing Time Across Work and Life with Outlook: New features in Outlook on the web help users manage all commitments, across work and life, in one place. With these new features, they can link their personal calendar to their work calendar to show their real availability, while still maintaining their privacy.
  • Deepen Connections with Family and Friends with Skype and Microsoft Teams:  Skype has seen an increase in usage with 40 million people using it daily, up 70% month over month and, we are seeing a 220% increase in Skype to Skype calling minutes month over month. To help people get connected even faster, Microsoft recently introduced a new feature in Skype called Meet Now, that allows users to easily connect over video (for free) with up to 50 people in just a few clicks.
  • Protecting Families in the Physical and Digital Worlds with Microsoft Family Safety: Coming soon is the Microsoft Family Safety app, a new mobile experience on iOS and Android for Microsoft 365 subscribers. The application empowers families in a variety of ways with both free and premium offerings, including managing screen time across Windows PCs, Android and Xbox. 

The new Office features have been rolled out to all existing Office 365 customers and Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions are now available worldwide. These include premium desktop Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person, 60 Skype minutes for calling mobile phones and landlines, advanced security features to protect users from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $10.80 SGD a month. For the best value, a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $14.80 SGD a month. 

ViewQwest’s WFH solutions help ease congested home networks

ViewQwest has seen 30 per cent increase in Internet traffic over the past few weeks. It has also received (10x) increased number of requests for WFH solutions from enterprises who are currently not equipped to accommodate a full WFH arrangement for their staff due to network challenges and insufficient VPN licenses.

ViewQwest has rolled out solutions to address issues connecting to office networks due to congested Internet connections at home. With majority of the workforce now working from home, the residential network is increasingly getting congested with traffic from enterprise and consumer usage. The increase in the number of devices that need to be connected to the corporate network also contributes to the network congestion at home.

WFH Solution 1: ViewQwest Private Network

ViewQwest’s WFH Private Network, its key WFH solution, allows the office network to be directly connected to homes. Homes that can install fibre broadband mostly have two fibre optic terminal points for the entire household. Typically, only one of the terminal points will be used for the residential broadband service. The ViewQwest Private Network will then be connected to the second, spare terminal point to build a private network which connects to the office network.

The Private Network directly addresses the main issue that businesses currently face when using standard, noncloud based Virtual Private Network (VPN) services – slow network performance especially during peak hours.

VPNs typically tap on the home or public network to run. In addition, many businesses have planned for VPNs to be used mostly by remote staff or staff who occasionally need to work from home. In the current situation where work-from-home is mandated, the Internet connection at home will be strained under the weight of shared home and work usage. 

As the Private Network is directly connected on the second, spare fibre optic terminal point at home, it does not share the same bandwidth with the home network. There will be a dedicated bandwidth from the home to the office network. WFH staff who connect to the Private Network are guaranteed optimal connection between their homes and their office network without the hassle of VPNs.

At the same time, the home network will not be disrupted.

Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest said, “Traditionally, VPN solutions are sized to support only 10 to 20 per cent of the workforce connecting at any point in time. When too many people who are working from home use VPNs, they are bound to face slower network performance as the VPN solution will be operating over its initial capacity. In addition, the home network in which the VPN is operating from will also be congested with enterprise and consumer usage, which slows the network performance further.”

WFH Solution 2: ViewQwest Cloud Virtual Private Network Service (Cloud VPN)

Legacy VPNs are built upon a hardware-based infrastructure. As such, it is subjected to hardware capacity constraints and will not be able to keep up with sudden increase in usage quickly. This results in businesses not being able to upgrade their VPNs to accommodate a larger capacity urgently when needed.

ViewQwest’s Cloud VPN solution addresses this issue directly by having the VPN on a cloud platform. With a cloudbased VPN, businesses can choose to easily scale the VPN to cater to as many staff as required as there is no need for any infrastructure or hardware upgrade to do so.

Cloud VPN will be offered as an on-demand service. ViewQwest can activate the Cloud VPN for enterprises within 24 hours. 

Pricing

The Cloud VPN solution will cost S$5 per user per month while the Private Network solution will be priced according to the requirements of the customer. Enterprises who subscribe to the Private Network solution will also be charged according to Active and Standby periods.