Setting Up a Small Office Network
When designing a small office network, consider both simplicity and functionality. Your setup should meet the needs of your growing company. Keep in mind that the networking hardware that may fit today may not necessarily be able to keep up 2 or 3 years down the line. Apart from this, it’s important to ensure your business will not outgrow the hardware before it reaches its obsoleteness or else that would be a waste of resources.
You should research well prior to setting up a small office network. Knowing the functionality and capability of the different networking hardware available is the first step to follow. From the information you will gather, it will be easier to decide which hardware will be appropriate for your use.
What You Should Know About Switches and Routers
Routers and switches are required when you want to set up a small office network. Knowing the difference between these devices will help you determine which one to choose.
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The work of switches is to enable different devices in your network to communicate with each other. Some of the devices we are referring to include CCTV cameras, desktop PCs, printers, storage devices and so on. However, before the devices can communicate, they have to be networked. For the devices to be in the same network, they will need to be connected to the switch.
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The work of routers is to tie together different networks. Your office network is tied to the internet through the router. The way information flows from the internet to different devices in your network is determined by the router. The router also keeps your devices safe from cyber threats.
What to Consider When Choosing a Switch
There are two types of switches you can choose from when setting up a small business network. You can go for either a managed or an unmanaged type of switch.
The unmanaged types of switches are used for most business networks. The switches work out of the box and can only has a few basic features to configure. These switches are easy to install and operate. Setting up and managing the switches does not require a lot of technical prowess.
For managed switches, you can configure various advanced settings such as the devices to access the internet, what time the internet should be accessed, amount of bandwidth each device should use, and so on. The main difference between a managed and an unmanaged switch is that for the former, you can monitor and configure advanced settings. Most of the newer switches in the market have a graphical user interface (GUI) for this purpose. Configuring the switches either on-premise or remotely is also possible. Check that the ports of the switch you want to buy will be sufficient for the number of devices in your network. To take full advantage of the features of the switches, you generally require some technical training.