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What You Should Know When Setting Up an Office Network When designing a small office network, consider both simplicity and functionality. Make sure your setup is in line with the growing needs of your company. Remember, the networking hardware you may see fit today may not be suitable for your business 3 years down the road. Moreover, you do not want to end up having wasted resources when your business outgrows the usefulness of the hardware while it has not yet reached its obsolescence. 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. You can know which hardware to purchase when you understand their functions. Difference between a Switch and a Router Routers and switches are required when you want to set up a small office network. It is important to know the difference between these equipment to ensure you choose the right ones.
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The work of switches is to enable different devices in your network to communicate with each other. Examples of the devices include surveillance systems, voice over IP (VoIP), network attached storage (NAS), servers, printers and desktop PCs. Keep in mind that these devices first need to be networked. It is switches that are responsible for getting all these devices into a network.
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Coming to routers, their work is to tie together different networks. For small businesses, this usually means tying the office network to the internet. The way information flows from the internet to different devices in your network is determined by the router. Apart from this, it protects the devices 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 choose either a managed or an unmanaged switch. The switches used for most business networks are the unmanaged types. The switches only have a few basic features and their configurations is easy. It is easy to install and operate these switches. 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. Managed switches have various advanced settings that can be monitored and configured. The configuration of most modern switches is done through a graphic user interface (GUI). It is also possible to configure the switches on-premise or remotely. You can determine the scalability of both managed and unmanaged switches based on the number of Ethernet ports they have. You will need to be a little technology savvy to use the advanced settings of a managed switch.