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What You Should Know When Setting Up an Office Network It is important to consider both simplicity and functionality when designing a small office network. Make sure your setup is in line with the growing needs of your 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. It is crucial to do your research to determine the best way to go about setting your office network. To begin, you should know the functionality and capability of various networking hardware that will be required for the setup. 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 For a small office network to function, it needs to have switches and routers. Knowing the difference between these devices will help you determine which one to choose.
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In a nutshell, switches make it possible for office devices to communicate with each other. Network attached storage (NAS), printers, desktop PCs, CCTV cameras and VoIP are some of the devices that can communicate through each other through the switch. However, before the devices can communicate, they have to be networked. It is switches that are responsible for getting all these devices into a network.
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For routers, their work is to bring together different networks. For a small business, the router will tie your office network to the internet. The router determines which devices receive data in what fashion from the internet. Apart from this, it protects the devices from cyber threats. What to Consider When Choosing a Switch When setting up a small business network, you can choose from two types of switches. These switches are managed and unmanaged types. The switches used for most business networks are the unmanaged types. The switches have an easy configuration and only have basic features. Operating and installing the switches is easy. You do not need a lot of technical prowess to set up and manage the switches. On the other hand, managed switches offer more control on how to configure the way internet is accessed by the devices in your network. 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. It is also possible to configure the switches on-premise or remotely. Make sure the switches have the number of ports that corresponds to the number of devices you will be connecting in the network. You will need to be a little technology savvy to use the advanced settings of a managed switch.