How to Set Up a Network for a Small Business
Setting up a small computer Local Area Network (LAN) or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) for your clients' business is integral for sharing files, software resources, printing from anywhere and connecting with colleagues for projects. Sharing assets across your clients' professional computer networks ensures their businesses will save time and money. Here’s how to get started.
Small Business Computer Networking
Before configuring a small business computer network, users will want to determine the following:
- Are you going to use wired, wireless or both kinds of connections?
- What kinds of computers and mobile devices will be allowed on the network?
- Does the business plan to expand and add more computers?
- How much bandwidth will the company need for larger data sets and sharing media files?
- How many computers are going to be needed for the network?
- Who will be the network administrator?
- What files can be shared, and who will have access?
1. Choose a Router
Most wireless routers provide both wired and wireless connections, so setting up a LAN or WLAN connection should pose no problem. While wireless networking is easy to setup, Ethernet-based networking can cost less and can provide faster connection speeds.
Set up firewalls for your wireless router from outside threats. Choose WPA or WPA2 to secure a Wi-Fi network.
2. Connecting Networks
Many personal computer and mobile operating systems have built-in networking capabilities. Microsoft Windows platforms like Vista, XP, and Windows 7 and 10 — as well as Apple Mac OS X — can connect easily in minutes. Contact a local service provider and determine whether the walls will work with a wireless connection or if installing cables is a better option. Determine where the server should reside, and add switches and hubs for more connectivity.
3. Securing Networks
Your clients' small businesses should be wary of security vulnerabilities in software and potential threats from malware, phishing, proxies, spyware, adware, botnets and spam.
- Use complex passwords to encrypt the network traffic through wireless encryption protocols (WEPs).
- Set authorization access and restrictions to certain employees through programming.
- Turn on VPN to enable remote computer access.
- Set up a “guest” network for other wireless users.
- Ensure the network, security and virus protection software is up to date.
- Limit access to the router.
Your Total Business Computer Network Solution
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- Manage and monitor servers and workstations
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- Managed Antivirus
- Managed Online Backup
- Disaster recovery
- Cloud-based email security, continuity and archive service
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What is a firewall: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/pc-security/firewalls-whatis.aspx
Wiring Your Network: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2366332,00.asp