Figuring out how to set up a small business computer network can be a stressful, time-consuming and expensive experience. Fortunately, technology has improved over the years and has made the process a lot easier.
Many small and/or home-based businesses choose to create a network because it allows them to share a single internet connection while also being able to access common files, peripherals and software. Networks can be wired or wireless, with each option having its own pros and cons, as outlined in this comprehensive ComputerWeekly guide.
Wireless networks offer offices a cleaner look since the computers aren't connected through cables. This allows users the flexibility of setting up their workspace in virtually any location in the office, it reduces the risk of people tripping and falling on the wires and visitors can also be given access to the internet. Unfortunately, wireless setups can be problematic in the sense that the connection strength may fluctuate for a variety of reasons ranging from having thick walls in a workplace to something as simple as poor weather.
Computers connected through Ethernet-based wired networks are typically less expensive to set up, are more reliable and often offer faster connection speeds.
Once you have decided between a wireless and a wired network, there are some other basics that you will need to consider:
Finally, it’s very important to make sure that your network is well protected. The first step is making sure that the security settings are enabled on your router or operating system. Using a wireless encryption protocol (WEP) for a wireless network as well as network logins and passwords will help limit unauthorized users from accessing the network.
Those who are very concerned about security can actually implement fingerprint recognition, and password keys, and full disk encryption as added protection. Also, it’s a good idea to check the security and privacy settings on browsers.