Today, there’s an extensive variety of computing and networking technologies available. Many of them are just now showing up, and others have been proven over time. However, in most instances a single technology doesn’t suffice, and multiple technologies are needed for small-business success.
The first step towards success with networking is turning your slow PC into a productivity powerhouse by upgrading and purchasing better, faster networking devices. While it’s great to assemble an advanced PC workstation, it’s not going to do you any good without a fast, reliable network. The following tips will help you upgrade your network, and bring your small-business workplace productivity to the level the “big guys” have!
Ensure Your Ethernet Is Doing Its Job
Ethernet is used to network devices to the Internet and each other. Along with an Ethernet cable you need a router as well. However, if your Ethernet switch isn’t up to speed with your router you won’t get the speed you’re looking for. Ensure your switching capacity has enough bandwidth. An eight-port gigabit Ethernet switch should ideally have 16 gigabits per second of switching capacity—Less than 18 gbps won’t allow the switch to reach its full operating capacity on all ports simultaneously. Most router switches list the switching capacity on the specifications, but some low-end switches don’t. Plus, be sure to get a single switch that has enough network ports to meet your needs because if you chain multiple small network switches together, you’re going to experience problems.
One Isn’t Enough
What would happen if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) went down? We’ve all experienced this from time to time. On a personal level, it’s very frustrating—on a business level, it could be disastrous as time and money go down the drain. An easy way to remedy this is to have more than one ISP. A good solution is to sign up with two ISPs on each of their lower-tiered plans. That way you’ll have dual access if one goes down, but you won’t be spending a fortune either. Or, if this is too much for you, consider investing in a multi-WAN router. (Better yet, ask your IT Managed Service Provider for help!)
Get Off Of My Cloud
Cloud storage is great way to access frequently used data, but it’s not so great for storing big data backups or large video files. A better choice is to use a network-attached storage (NAS) device. NAS allows you to store and retrieve files across a computer network; it’s really nothing more than file sharing but allows you to add more hard disk storage space to your network that already uses servers. A typical NAS can handle up to eight hard drives. If you need faster access you can get an NAS equipped with dual-gigabit Ethernet ports and link aggregation support.
Wi-Fi: Functional and Flexible
Everyone needs Wi-Fi these days. A world without Wi-Fi would be a world without connectivity! With Wi-Fi you can use your mobile computing devices without an Ethernet connection, allowing you the freedom to move around the office, your home, even sit on the deck and work! A simultaneous dual-band router offers double the bandwidth, and allows you to use two independent networks. To do this connect the devices that you’re using most often, such as your tablet or smartphone, to a 2.4 GHz band, and use the 5GHz band for high-quality video and voice streaming.
Automation While You’re Away
Stop worrying about what’s going on at the office while you’re on vacation! Install a switch to power off your computing devices at the end of the workday, or add a temperature-sensor device to prevent your server from getting overheated.
If this is simply “Too Much Information!” for you, as it is for most small-business owners, simply contact your local, reliable and certified IT Managed Service Provider and let them worry about the IT so you can focus on your business.