Setting UP Small Business Server

Small Business Server 2011: Instructions for creating a CSR

A computer network, also called a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), connects multiple computers and peripherals so everyone in the office can share the same Internet connection and resources.

Assess Your Needs

Before setting up your network, assess your business needs as it will affect your network setup and equipment. A few questions to consider include:

-How many computers and peripherals need to connect to the network?
-What kinds of data and files are you storing and sharing?
-What applications will you be using?
-Will employees need/want to access the network from remote locations or using mobile devices?

Wired or Wireless?

In the not-so-distant past, networks had to be wired with computers and devices connected by cables. Today, wireless networks are more commonly used employees are able to access the network from anywhere the wireless signal reaches. As a result, flexibility across the office is enabled by the ability to connect to the network via mobile devices.

However, wired (or Ethernet) networks do have some advantages, including greater reliability and faster speeds. Wireless networks are prone to dropping out if too many devices use the network at once; even weather can affect connectivity. Many businesses incorporate both wired and wireless access into the network, such as using cables to connect critical devices and peripherals for a reliable connection.

Hardware and Equipment

The basic elements of a business network are a wired or wireless router (also called a gateway or access point) and a server or a computer to act as a server. Some small businesses use secure, cloud-based servers rather than a physical server in the office. If your business stores and works with sensitive data or if you have big growth plans, this could be a smart move.

Your Internet service provider may give you a router, or you may have to purchase your own. It can be tempting to buy a less expensive router meant for consumer use, but for the sake of your business running smoothly, a router is not the place to skimp.

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