For small businesses, a secured and reliable network configuration is a must. Regardless if you only have 5 to 10 employees, as long as you rely mainly on computers and the internet to run your business, networks play a vital role in the success of your business. A computer network is a collection of computers connected to each other to exchange data through the use of network links, either wired or wireless. If you have more than 2 computers in use for your business, then you need to set-up a network suitable for you.
Setting up computer network is as easy as 5 steps. You may opt to hire a professional but you could save tons of money and do it on your own instead. Here is a guide how you can manage to create a network for your small business.
Decide between Wired or Wireless
Before anything else, decide whether you are using wires or not. For a more secured and reliable connection, wired is the best option. Wired network is also economical and easy to install. However, it limits the range of your network. Unlike wireless network, distance is not an issue, as long as it is within the range of the wireless network. Now, wireless networks are easy install and eliminates the need to use cord.
Pick a Network Set-up
Next thing to keep in mind is the type of network set-up for your small business. There are two commonly used network set-up, the peer-to-peer and the client-server set-up. In peer-to-peer set-up, computers are linked together and acts as both the client and the server. Each computer directly communicates with each other and can be easily added or removed in the network. The client-server set-up, on the other hand, connects computers through a server. All computers are linked to the server where most applications are installed. client-server network is ideal for large scale businesses.
Purchase the Hardware
Hardware includes the router, switches, hubs and cables. Choosing what to use is a matter of preference, however, it is important to keep in mind what their purpose are. Routers acts as the bridge that links your network to the internet. Multiple computers can connect to a single internet connection via the use of a router. Usually, routers have 4 ports, but if you need more, you can purchase a switch. Hub is also an option which acts like a switch but could be tricky to manage compared to a switch.
Secure your Network
Securing a network does not only mean buying anti-virus or firewall to prevent online related problems, but it also means making your network prepared of what could happen like data corruption, power interruption or hardware malfunction. It is important to consider how to deal with all of these because on way or another your network will encounter such issue. You need to invest in power surge protectors, back up drive, and password protected data. As much as possible, implement the network security basics in your business.
Protect your data by having a regular and scheduled backups of data. Some servers have automatic back up features like the Microsoft server and Mac servers.