How to Setup a Small Business Network (Simple Tutorial)
Creating a small business network in the office or at home is very simple as long as you have the determination and necessary equipment. Some of the most vital equipment you should have include:
- Computers and servers
- A workstation
- Ethernet cables
- A network-attached storage (NAS)
- Switches and hubs
- Power surge protection
- Client adaptors
Once you have all the above necessary equipment, you can start setting up your small business network by using the following smart steps:
Step 1: Install a Wireless Router
A small office or home network is incomplete without a router. A router plays a very vital role in connecting your local area network (LAN) and the Internet or wide area network (WAN). It also creates a common connection between all your computers. Your router also serves as a DHCP server for your network such that it can allow each computer connected to it to have its own unique IP address. One of the many advantages of wireless routers is that they have embedded firewalls that are very capable of protecting your network from intrusion and threats. To protect your Wi-Fi network, you can use WAP or WAP2 security and avoid leaving the administrator password of your wireless router at its default setting.
Step 2: Get a Good Networking Standard
After installing your router, you should look for a good wireless networking standard to go with it. Almost all modern routers desktops like Apple Mac Mini, and wireless devices such as iPods, tablets, and iPads are compatible with 802.11n networking standard (N). Apart from being very fast, the 802.11n is very secure and less prone to interferences.
Step 3: Wire Your Network
Desktop computers and computers are known to transmit data faster when connected to an Ethernet cable than through a wireless connection. Ethernet cables such as Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 usually come with routers, network-attached storage (NAS), and gaming consoles.
Step 4: Get the Right Client Adaptors
For all your computers to pick up the Wi-Fi signal, you should use a wireless adaptor. Many modern web-ready devices and laptops come with built-in wireless adaptors. If your devices do not built-in adaptors or Ethernet ports, you can purchase a wireless adaptor card or a USB wireless adaptor.
Step 5: Fix the Switches and Hubs
Switches are to help you in connecting peripheral devices to your computers. They also allow all your computers or laptops to share a common networked scanner, printer, or copier.
Step 6: Manage Homegroups in Windows 7
After setting up your network, it’s very important for you to manage it by adding printer, folder, and printer options. Windows 7 comes with built-in functionality capable of managing small networks. After creating a Homegroup on the server, other computers can join it to share libraries.
Step 7: Get network-attached storage (NAS)
Apart from functioning as a server, NAS also boosts the speed of your network, adds storage capacity, and backs up your data automatically.
Step 8: Get Power Surge Protection
Once you are through, you must think of how to protect your network against disasters such as data corruption, power spike, or loss of data. A power surge protector is meant to give you the much-needed protection here.