By PowerBuy // 1 September 2014 // Related Categories: Tips
Building a small office network
The computer network is the back bone of your small office IT infrastructure so it’s important you design and build it to support both your current and future needs.
Understanding the basics
You should start by understanding the common networking equipment in your office: namely switches, routers and access points. These devices may look similar but they perform quite different functions in a network.
A switch connects multiple devices (computers, printers, servers) on the same network within a building or campus. A switch enables connected devices to share information and talk to each other. Building a small office network is only possible with switches that tie devices together.
A router connects multiple networks together. When building a small office network you will need one or more routers. A router connects your computers to the Internet so all connected computers can share one single Internet connection. A router acts as a dispatcher, choosing the best route for your information to travel. It connects your business to the world, protects information from security threats, and can even decide which computers get priority over others.
An access point connects many wireless devices to your network. It acts as a central transmitter and receiver of wireless radio signals including WiFi and as your business grows you can install more access points to improve your wireless range.
When buying networking equipment for you small office network you should keep the following in mind:
- Buy “business
-grade” equipment for reliable communications. Networking equipment used in the home is generally not as hardy or feature rich and comes with inferior warranty and support options.
- Consider technology that will grow with your business. Depending on your growth plans you may want to check that the products can support video surveillance, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), integrated messaging, and wireless applications.
- Think about how much time it will take to install and maintain your networking equipment. For example, switches with in-line power (known as “Power over Ethernet”
) allow you to place equipment, such as wireless access points and IP phones, anywhere there is a network wall jack without requiring a separate power plug. This saves you money and time.
- Think about your fail-over plan if you lose internet connection or if one of your networking devices fails. Do you have a back-up Internet connection? Do you have redundant networking equipment? Make sure your mission-critica
l systems can stay online in the event of unforeseen downtime.
Comments: 2 // Share:
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