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Important Considerations When Setting Up a Small Business Network

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A high-quality IT network is crucial for any 21st-century business, and yours is no exception. By enabling internet and VoIP access for your employees, they can easily communicate with each other as well as customers and other third parties, providing essential benefits for your company. To ensure a robust network that provides everything you need, you have to make good decisions from the start.

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Evaluating Your Needs

Every business has unique requirements, so perform a detailed analysis of yours before investing in network infrastructure. Take stock of your employees’ IT needs: how many devices will be connected to the network and what applications will those devices run? Will you need to restrict access for some files to certain employees? Also, look at the size of your business premises, and lay the groundwork not only for current requirements but for future ones: as your company and workforce grows, so will the number of devices and the load on the network.

One major consideration is network type: wireless or wired? The answer is probably both, balancing the convenience of wireless connectivity with the reliability and security of a wired network. While great for employees to connect their devices, including smartphones, anywhere within network coverage, wireless networks are more vulnerable to security breaches and can be inconsistent, especially if heavily loaded. A wired network is faster – therefore better for transmitting or downloading large files – and easier to protect against outside attack.

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Another factor is how external providers can meet your requirements. What type of internet connection do you need and who offers the best solution? What about phones? Competitive wholesale VoIP termination rates, as described at https://www.idtexpress.com/blog/2018/04/07/wholesale-voip-termination-rates-why-voip-is-booming/, make VoIP a compelling alternative to traditional phone systems.

Finally, consider how much of your operations can be cloud-hosted: less hardware for you to purchase, and things like security and maintenance are the responsibility of your provider(s). For example, according to Forbes, small businesses are increasingly choosing cloud VoIP.

Essential Equipment

Whatever you choose, from servers to cables, switches and routers, research the options and buy the best you can afford. You need your network to be reliable, easily maintainable and adaptable in the long term. A solid network is a fundamental part of any successful enterprise. Investing in quality at the start will provide an invaluable cornerstone for your business.

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