Building a Small Business Network

Sep 16, 2022 | Solutions

By Mary Grlic

No matter the size of your business, having an organized, well-managed network is important. At Computero, we specialize in providing small and medium sized businesses network installation. A good network will be the backbone of your business, with all of your devices, applications, and software. Although building a small business network may seem like a daunting task, Computero is here to help.

Your Small Business Network

Building a small business network means that there will be a lot of components necessary to install. A network involves all of the basic cabling and wiring that connects every device together, as well as the necessary technical/hardware components to operate your organization. Your business network will need the following:

  • Cabling and Wiring
  • Modem 
  • Router
  • Firewall
  • Switch
  • Patch Panel

These parts of your network are all essential to optimal performance. Let’s look into each part of your network to understand the purpose of all of these.

Cabling and Wiring

A well-maintained small business network includes organized cabling and wiring, which Computero is available to assist with. Professional wiring will connect each device to your system’s network. Just like your home or office has electrical wiring for your lighting, you will also have wiring for your internet connection. Your network involves Ethernet cables, which is a type of connection that allows access to your local area network (LAN). Ethernet enables high speed communication and connection, which is important for businesses and networking. Wiring is considered the highway for your business data and communication, so a good cabling set up is critical for your small/medium sized business.

Modem and Router

In a network, the modem helps devices connect to the internet. Many individuals or companies question: “do I need a modem and router?” The answer is quite simply yes. While your modem may seem like enough, a router will allow you to access the internet on multiple devices at one time. These two devices typically go hand-in-hand, but still have differences in their operations, making both critical for network operations. Your business will connect to the internet with a secure internet service provider (ISP).

Firewall

When building a small business network, a firewall is essential. It protects incoming and outgoing traffic in your network. There have been many instances in the news where a lack of firewall protection resulted in data breaches or corruption. Take SolarWind’s Sunburst Vulnerability for example. This virtual supply chain attack stresses just how important installing a firewall is. For maximum security, SonicWall is a great option for firewalls. This brand is well-known, meets robust cybersecurity standards, and protects data from outside interference. 

Switches 

Network switches are just what they sound like: they are the basic building blocks for every network, connecting devices within the network. There are many different types of switches and each network needs at least one switch. Any type of switch will enable communication within a network. Ethernet switches, for example, allow multiple devices to connect to the same network (LAN) as long as they are plugged into the dedicated port. The switch has multiple ports so that many devices can connect to the same network at one time. Some other types of switches in a network include a KVM switch, managed switch, unmanaged switch, and PoE (power over Ethernet) switch/injector. Switches a necessity when building a small business network.

Patch Panel

Looking inside of a well-managed and properly set-up IT closet, everything may seem neat and organized. Patch panels are part of this process. The purpose of a patch panel is to organize network cables. This way, when technicians need to disconnect a device or troubleshoot a network issue, the wires are neat and organized. If wires are not properly organized, the resulting wiring mess may result in overheating, maintenance challenges, and signal interference. 

Devices on your Business Network

Your business network devices will include anything that your employees use to operate. For example, computers, laptops, tablets, and VoIP phone systems are all a part of your small business network. You will want to set up all of these devices on your network to make sure that they are secured and properly protected. 

Computers, laptops, and other PC devices can be connected to your network for internet service. Direct connection via Ethernet cable is perfect to prevent any interference and ensure high-speed networking. Additionally, you may choose VoIP to connect your phone system to your cable/network installation. VoIP phone systems, or Voice over Internet Protocol, allows for people to make and receive calls over internet connection instead of wired systems and landlines. A well-wired, high-speed internet service enables your organization to use VoIP to make phone calls. Some advantages of VoIP are high-speed connection, good communication, cost savings, and great services included within the system. Looking back at the types of switches mentioned before, the PoE injector is essential for VoIP. This is how you can use your network to make phone calls. Computero advises that all businesses use VoIP systems for optimal phone communications.  

Network Designs

When building a small business network, you will likely set up your organization as a local area network (LAN). LAN connects local devices that are used in close proximity or within the business office itself. These sorts of networks are typically set up using Ethernet connection, which is why a proper cabling and wiring installation is crucial for business success. Your company can stay organized and have great connections with a well-managed LAN.

WLAN vs. LAN

LAN (local area network) connections include both wired and wireless internet connections, while WLAN (wireless LAN) is strictly wireless. LAN is typically connected with Ethernet cables, while WLAN does not require Ethernet. Because of the hardwired connection for LAN, these networks are not vulnerable to attacks. WLAN may experience attacks or interference and is not as secure. However, they are becoming more and more popular, as wireless internet connection is convenient especially for the public. An access point allows for wireless access to a network. 

Building your Small Business Network

Now that you understand the necessary components of a small or medium sized business network, it is time to start the installation process. That’s where Computero comes in. We specialize in network installation for small and medium sized businesses all across New York. 

Computero begins by planning your network, looking at available space to optimize the location, accessibility, and efficacy of your new network. We will consider all of the factors that come into building a network for you. Computero has worked with spaces of all sizes and accessibility to create the most optimal network possible: from small closets with only 5-10 rack server rooms to large installations that span an entire floor. We will work with you for the best service possible. Our network and server services include:

  • Network design
  • Network installation
  • Network & server optimization
  • Network monitoring & maintenance
  • Network & server security
  • Network storage setup / configuration
  • Peer-to-peer network setup / repair
  • WAN / Office-to-office network setup
  • Wireless network setup & repair
  • Remote network access (VPN) & terminal services
  • Network equipment installation & repair (routers, switches)
  • Broadband installation & repair (DSL, cable, FIOS, T1)

After the installation process, the Computero team is always here to help you troubleshoot any issues that arise. We can assure you that our team of IT support specialists will readily assist you remotely or in-person to make sure that your business is always running smoothly. If you’re a small or medium sized business looking to build a network in the New York area, contact Computero today.

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