Small Business Network Setup: Everything You Need to KnowJune 8, 2018 No Comments
Featured article by Catherine Hernandez, Independent Technology Author
Running a small business requires wearing different hats. And while it’s easy to assign most of your IT needs to the tech guys, it helps to know a bit about small business computer networking. Here’s what you need to know about your small business network setup.
If your business is expanding, you’ll likely need to invest in improving your small business network setup.
But if you’re new to the world of small business networking, you probably don’t know where to start. If you are in this position, you’ll be pleased to know that setting up a small business network is simple.
In fact, if you keep reading, you’ll learn what it takes to set up a small business network the right way, even if you don’t consider yourself an IT pro. By the time you’re finished, you’ll know so much about small business networking that you’ll be ready to write a book on the topic.
What Does Your Office Setup Look Like?
You office setup is going to have a big impact on the way you are going to network your business.
If you have a virtual office, then your networking needs are going to be different than if everyone is located under the same roof.
If you have a virtual office then networking becomes quite easy. That is because everyone is going to have their own little setup that they’re in charge of.
With a virtual office, you generally won’t need these different ‘setups’ to talk to one another. For instance, you won’t have one printer that everyone will need to use.
If you need to exchange documents with one another you can use a cloud storage solution. You will find that there are many companies that provide business quality cloud storage. Such solutions come with high levels of security and control over the people who have access.
Even so, if you have a local office, then networking needs can become a bit more complicated. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things you need consider for a local network.
Wired Networks vs. Wireless Networks
One of the first things you need to think about, for a local network, is whether you want to establish a wireless or wired network. Each option has its pros and cons.
A wired network means that you’re going to have a lot of wires to deal with.
If these wires are not properly organized it can be hard to figure out how to isolate a problem, if something goes wrong with your network. You will also need to spend money on replacing these wires if something goes wrong.
But one of the main benefits of a wired network is that ‘uptime’ levels are going to be very high. That is because the wires will allow you to maintain a stable connection.
Wireless networks can experience moments of downtime. This can be frustrating if you are working to a deadline. If you are using a VoIP service to make calls, a drop in connection could mean that the call is cut off. Yet, a wireless network means that you won’t have to deal with wires.
You may find that you need to connect different kinds of hardware to your network. An example of such hardware could include a printer. You might even need to create a server for your office.
You will find that there is hardware which is designed to be integrated wireless into a network.
For instance, there are printers which have wireless capabilities. If you want to make things easier to network, then wireless hardware can be a good option. That is because setting up a shared ‘wired’ printer for the entire network can require a certain level of IT skill.
If you are going to invest in a wireless network, you need to think about maintaining a strong network throughout your office. You should think about investing in multiple routers. You might also want to invest in ‘WiFi range extenders.’
When you are buying hardware for your network, make sure you purchase from a reputable company like Net Equity. In doing so, you can be sure that there are no forms of malicious code, preinstalled on the hardware you are buying. You can also ensure that the hardware will not prematurely fail you.
Take a Moment to Think About Security
One of the benefits of having a wired network is that security levels tend to be higher. It is much harder for someone to break into a wired network.
An individual will generally require physical access to your wired network if they’re going to compromise it. Even if there is a remote way to access your wired network, you have a greater level of control over who is able to gain access. The attacker will need to know what the ‘address’ of the network is.
A wireless network, though, is more vulnerable to attacks. A wireless network is openly broadcast and only protected by a password.
If someone knows or is able to crack the password to your network, they’ll be able to access your computers. They do not need physical access to your computers and can do this remotely.
Plus, if you have wireless forms of hardware connected to your network, these items can act as entry points into your network.
If you want to maintain high levels of security, regardless of whether you are using a wired or wireless network, make sure you train staff. Make them aware of the mistakes that can lead to a network being compromised.
For example, you can explain to them the dangers of connecting a USB to the network.
If a member of staff comes across a stray USB, they should not insert it into the office network to just see what it is on it. That is because the USB could contain a form of malicious code on it. This code could install itself onto the network, as soon as the USB is connected to the computer.
Hackers are known to leave such USBs lying around, as they know that people will fall for this trip, all because they want to see what’s on the drive.
Are You Ready to Tackle a Small Business Network Setup Project?
Before reading this post, you may have felt that setting up a small business network was something reserved only for the IT pros. But now, you should know a bit more about what you need to consider in regards to a small business network setup.
You need to think about whether you want a wireless network or a wired network. You should also review the different kinds of hardware you will need in your office.
The most important thing you need to think about is security. It is important you learn how to keep your network secure. If you don’t, your business might be under threat. By taking the needed steps ahead of time, you will be able to reduce the odds of someone hacking into your network and accessing your files.
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About the Author
Catherine Hernandez is a freelance set decorator, shopper, stylist, and vintage seller. She loves to thrift shop, and hunt for vintage items and other treasures. Currently she lives in Los Angeles with her fiancé.
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