Setting Up a Network for your Small Business by Infoconsol
Introduction Whether you're an existing business or a start-up about to open its doors, it is essential for you to set up an IT network if you want to make the most of your computers and thrive in today's interconnected world.
In this presentation, we will see exactly what you can do to be up and running as fast and as efficiently as possible.
Equipment Needed The amount of equipment you will need to set up your network will largely depend on its size. For small networks that only require a basic connection, the following should suffice : •
Computers with a relatively new operating system (Linux or Microsoft Windows – Server Ed. are highly recommended)
Some type of wireless router that will serve to exchange the information between the different computers in the network
Ethernet cables and such if you choose to go wired
If you plan on connecting more than a dozen computers, it might be a good idea to invest in a server to ensure the stability of your network
As we hinted in the previous slide, one of the questions you will first have to answer is whether to go for a wired or wireless router. Both options have their pros and cons, which could be summed up in the following manner : â€˘
If you want a sturdy solution that will be both easy to install and reliable, then favor a wired system
If you have a lot of devices to interconnect and don't want to get lost in miles of cables, then you might want to go wireless
Router Considerations Once you've determined your connection mode, you will have to find the router that best suits your needs. To help you in that respect, here are 3 variables to consider : •
Speed : differences in speed will usually not matter (because few Internet connections can reach those limits anyways), unless your devices are located far from your router. In that case, choose a faster router that will come with a stronger signal
Warranty : if most companies make products which are equal in terms of performance, the same can't be said about their customer support. So investigate that element before going out and buying your router
Cost : usually, a router will be an affordable piece of hardware to acquire, unless you need to connect a lot of computers. In that case, you might want to purchase a VPN router
Networking Standards So far, it all sounded clear and easy, but once you start looking at the different models, you will notice that wireless routers use different networking standards, which can prove to be quite confusing. For those without IT consulting for support, here are those standards: •
802.11b: this was the first development of the protocol, making it a low cost standard. Its main drawback: a slow max speed
802.11a : supporting a bandwith of up to 54Mbps, 802.11a is faster than the previous standard but with a signal that can easily be obstructed
802.11g : this new variation was created at the beginning of the 2000's and, simply put, is faster and cheaper than its predecessors
802.11n : this is the follow-up to the g-standard. It uses new technology to send several data streams through an array of antennas, making it almost 500% more performant than 802.11g
Securing the Network Your network is in place, ready to serve. There’s one last thing to do before you can use it: you need to secure it, so no third party can access your connection and potentially steal your files.
To secure a network, here are some good options: •
Install the 128-bit WEP protocol
Limit the number of devices that can access the network
Use a strong password to protect your network
After Thoughts Once your network is up and running, don't go thinking that your job is over. If you want to make the most of your new installation, you need to make sure that it stays protected and updated at all times. To achieve that mission, observe the following: •
Data backup: even if your network is protected, no system is ever 100% secure. So, just in case, you need to regularly backup your files
Tech support: look at some IT companies to find one that can help you set a firewall and check if you left any hole in your security
System update: make sure to always use the latest version of your softwares as, oftentimes, the updates come to fix known security issues
Conclusion Setting up a network is the best way to leverage the computers in your business as well as your Internet connection. Follow the tips outlined in this presentation to help you get started, and take the time to put a sound security strategy into place to ensure the longevity of your business. This is how you will bring it to the top!
Want more information about how to set up a network or protect your computer? Visit : http://www.infoconsol.com/