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5 Steps to Improve Wireless Connectivity

Optimize your network to provide faster speeds and greater reliability for a variety of mobile devices

When you first built your company’s wireless network, you had to support just the desktop PCs and laptops you chose for your small business. Now, your wireless network is probably host to a more diverse array of mobile devices from different vendors. On any given day, you may have tablets, iPhones, and Android-enabled devices accessing your network. Instead of trying to control the personal devices that employees bring to work, it may be easier to optimize your wireless network to better support these devices. (If you’re just building a wireless network for the first time, this post can help.)

We offer five steps to help improve the performance of your wireless network and provide a better user experience regardless of the devices employees are using to access company data.

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The Importance of Security in Switches

Smart and managed switches can help secure your network from the inside out

Managing who can hop on to your network from the inside has become more important than ever, now that almost everyone who enters your building is carrying a laptop with an Ethernet port, a Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone, or a tablet computer configured to locate the nearest wireless network. Likewise, you may want to give visiting partners or other guests an Internet connection without giving them access to all your network resources. Bottom line: you need to secure your network on the inside. A switch with built-in security features adds another layer of defense for your network, protecting the devices on your LAN from internal threats.

Switches are the foundation of your network, connecting computers, servers, printers, and other peripheral devices. There are three types of switches—unmanaged, smart, and managed. Smart and managed switches both include security features, but managed switches give you the most control over network traffic with more advanced security and features.

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Don't Let Home Networks Compromise Your Business Network

Follow this basic checklist to ensure employees are safely connecting to your company LAN

When you combine almost ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections with affordable wireless networking gear and mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones, many of your employees will create home networks that allow them to work remotely. However, many people don't have security on their personal networks. Before you allow your employees to access your business network remotely, you need to be sure their home networks are secured.

This isn’t as tricky as it seems. Many of the security measures you're currently using on the local network can be applied to employees' personal networks, such as requiring strong passwords on laptops, mobile phones, and home routers. Even if employees are using their own equipment to work remotely, you can enforce specific rules for accessing company resources. For instance, you can require that everyone use an encrypted virtual private network (VPN) to connect to your business network. Also stipulate that every computer, including smartphones and tablets, that accesses business data has antivirus and antimalware software installed and is working with the latest threat updates.

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Build a Wireless Network in Four Easy Steps

A wireless LAN is cost-effective, scales easily, and gives users freedom for increased productivity

Today, many small businesses don't even bother running network cables throughout their office space. Instead of wiring a network jack for every computer on the network, companies simply install a few additional pieces of wireless networking gear to provide ubiquitous wireless connectivity. After the basic network is in place, namely the switch and the router, it's a matter of taking four basic steps to build a wireless local area network (WLAN) to connect your users to the Internet.

A wireless network offers many benefits to the small business. It's easier to set up and access than a wired network, and it scales more simply and quickly when adding new users. Wireless LANs also give employees more flexibility to stay online while moving throughout the office, and guest users can connect to the Internet immediately with just a password. Choosing the best wireless LAN solutions for your business is key to building the right network.

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Diving into Big Data

There's been some activity inside Cisco around big data, particularly with regards to Hadoop running on Cisco's Nexus switches and UCS servers. A little bit of that work is starting to surface here and there, so I thought it would be a good time to do a little post to aggregate.

If you're interested in what else Cisco is up to in the exploding world of big data, check out the new page we put up to pull it all together - cisco.com/go/bigdata.

UPDATE: You can catch Jacob Rapp speaking with the folks from Wikibon live at 1:15PM on Wednesday Nov 9th on siliconANGLE.tv

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