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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. Consider the growing needs of your business when setting up the network. Remember, it is possible for the hardware that seems suitable for your business now to be unable to cater for your needs 3 years to come. Moreover, you do not want to outgrow your hardware before it reaches its obsolescence as this is simply wastage of resources. It is crucial to do your research to determine the best way to go about setting your office network. Knowing the functionality and capability of the different networking hardware available is the first step to follow. Understanding the functions of the networking hardware will make it easy for you to know which ones to purchase. Overview of Switches and Routers For a small office network to function, it needs to have switches and routers. 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. Some of the devices we are referring to include CCTV cameras, desktop PCs, printers, storage devices and so on. 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 small businesses, this usually means tying the 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 There are two types of switches you can choose from when setting up a small business network. You can go for either a managed or an unmanaged type of 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. 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. A managed switch can be configured and monitored. 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 generally need some technical prowess to take full advantage of the features of a managed switch.