Choosing the right network for your business
Whether you’re starting for scratch, looking to expand or need a new solution, choosing the right network to suit your business is vital. It ensures you are able to communicate easily with employees, keeps data secure and allows your business to grow. When it comes to choosing the right network, the abundance of choice can be confusing. That’s why our experts here at Adept Network have pulled together this comprehensive guide to help you make the right decision.
Why do businesses need networks?
A network is a group of computers and devices that communicate and send data between themselves. And, for businesses, this set up comes with a host of benefits:
- Easy Communication: Communication is vital to business growth. Allowing teams to discuss projects and deadlines easily is one of the only ways to ensure productivity. And strong networks allow communication to be strong and reliable.
- Secure Data: All businesses have sensitive information that needs to be kept private, either within departments or inside the business. Networks with security measures in place can be encrypted and scrambled to prevent hackers from accessing information.
- Speed: Internal networks are often faster than the general, public internet. This means you’ll be able to complete projects and finalise work in a more productive manner.
What are the different types of network?
There are 4 main networks that businesses can take advantage of - LAN, WAN, VPN and PAN. Let’s look into each of these individually below.
A LAN or Local Area Network is a collection of computers or devices that can be found in the same location - such as an office or single floor of a building. They can be as small or large as you need, suiting the needs of both residential or commercial needs. LAN networks are commonly used in schools and within departments, such as accountancy and IT. Security software allows data access to be restricted to specific departments - a key benefit for business owners.
- Allows multiple users to utilise expensive equipment, such as printers.
- Allows information to be safely stored in a central backing server.
- Allows software to be shared and upgraded easily.
- Easily share data across the network and with several different people.
- Files can be shared but locked to prevent unnecessary changes.
- Fast data speeds benefit the needs of business growth.
- Restricted to a small geographical location.
- Chance of security breach if a network isn’t set up properly.
- Installation can be costly, with all the switches, cables and routers required.
A WAN or wide area network is one that connects multiple LANs together. It isn’t restricted in location in the same way that LANs are and is ideal for businesses as they grow. They allow you to communicate between different audiences and can be very important for international businesses. Security software can also be installed here to ensure heightened privacy while still ensuring clear communication is possible.
- Allows you to centralise the IT infrastructure, without needing to buy email or file servers for every office.
- Heightens security and private, allowing you to confidently share sensitive data.
- Allows you to increase bandwidth and achieve higher upload speeds.
- Highly productive.
- Requires high set-up fees so can be out of reach for smaller businesses.
- Can present some security concerns.
- High maintenance costs and requirements.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is one that allows you to keep data as private and anonymous as possible. They use an encryption process that prevents data from being read and scrambles it during transmission. This allows you to work privately, without running the risk that internet providers or hackers can see your search history, IP address or other online information.
- Allow you to bypass content blocks and restrictions in different locations.
- Keeps information secure and safe from hackers.
- Allow you to unblock websites.
- Costly to install.
- Can give businesses a false sense of security when it comes to data protection.
- VPN networks are illegal in some countries.
- They can be difficult to configure yourself and need the expertise of a professional.
A PAN or Personal Area Network is one that links up a number of devices on an individual's workstation. It allows you to communicate between items such as your computer, mobile phone, tables and PDA. They work on a low-powered and short-distance wireless network and can generally only function within a few meters, at max. Examples of these include wireless mice, wireless keyboards and games consoles.
- Cost-effective and convenient.
- Don’t require additional space to function.
- Generally don’t need extra cable connections or wires.
- Can be used in any rooms.
- Can be used to connect many devices.
- Can be operated in smaller areas.
- Can only be used within a personal workspace.
- Can be slow when it comes to data transfer.
- Can be interrupted by radio signals.
How to choose the right network for your business?
When it comes to finding the right option for you, it’s important to consider a number of aspects:
- Available budget.
- Number of users.
- Location or colleagues/users.
- Number of devices.
- Distance between locations.
Here at Adept Network, we offer specialist advice and equipment to businesses looking to improve and grow their networks. Our team can also provide a complete networking solution, advising on the right cables, leads, switches and cabinets to get the most out of your system. If you would like to discuss your individual project, get in contact today. We’ll be happy to help you the very most out of your business network.