Setting up a business - no matter how small - is undeniably hard work. Making decisions about infrastructure and equipment is part of the initial planning stages of any business so it is important to get it right from the outset.
In this article we’ll be focussing on setting up the best network for your business and helping you to determine what information you will need to make the decision that is right for the type of work that you do.
Your Local Area Network (LAN) or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is vital to how your business will work if you intend to use the internet or share files amongst your colleagues in your network. Your colleagues will be using your network to send one another important documents and files and they will share software. Your network will work as your business hub, allowing users to print from anywhere and collaborate on projects, so it is essential that you get the job done right.
Know Your Business
It is important that you know what you need for your business and the best way to get that information is by paring things down to the basics, the bare bones of what you do. Start by asking yourself the following 8 questions.
1. Who will be administering the network?
2. Will you be using mobile devices as well as computers on the network?
3. What types of computers or devices be used on the network?
4. How many computers or devices will be part of the network?
5. Will you be adding further computers or devices to the network?
6. What type of connection will you need to use? Wired, wireless, or both?
7. What type of documents and files will you need to share across the network?
8. If you’re working with large files you might need to think about higher capacity bandwidth. How much will you need?
Know your Router
These days most routers on the market will offer wireless (Wi-Fi) and wired functionality so this shouldn’t be an issue. If you need the full bandwidth capacity of your network you should pay serious thought to keeping it a physical Ethernet connection (wired). Good old-fashioned Ethernet will allow you the fastest file transfer speeds which will be a good thing if you need to share large files such as video or audio.
Know Your Security Options
Security will be very important for your network - especially if it will be connected to the internet. With the number of Cyberattacks on the rise this is not an issue that you can ignore.
You need to guard your network against the following Enemies:
Luckily you can rely on the following Friends to help keep your network safe:
● An active Firewall for your router. For a Wi-Fi network be sure to choose either WPA or WPA2.
● Be sure to store your router in a place that is safe from prying eyes.
● If accessing the network from outside be sure to enable VPN on the computer or device you are using.
● If a visitor to your establishment will be using your connection be sure to set up them up as a “guest” with limited access to your files and settings.
● Keep responsibility settings, such as authorisations, available to a limited number of persons.
● Always make sure any security and antivirus software is kept up to date.
● This may sound basic but that doesn’t make it any less true: always use complex passwords to set up data-encryption for your network.