When it comes to fundamental networking components, few devices are as important as your router. The router connects your business to the rest of the world, linking your local network to the vast resources on the Internet. It allows everyone in your office to share a single connection to the Internet, and it may also help protect your business from online threats, as well as give employees remote access to your network. Before you can choose the best router for your small business, you need to know what you want it to do for your network. Now that the Internet has become crucial to most companies’ day-to-day business operations, you need to know how your company uses its Internet connection. Here are some questions to consider: Read More »
A wireless network has become almost mandatory for every small business. A wireless network is relatively easy for non-technical people to install, and it’s convenient for users, who can use it to connect to the network and the Internet from anywhere in the building. But Wi-Fi does present a challenge that’s unique to the radio signals it uses to transmit data: interference. In this Mythbusters post, we’ll clear up the misconception that there’s no interference on the 5GHz channel.
A Wi-Fi network can use one of two frequency bands to send and receive radio waves: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These frequencies are much higher than those used for other radios, like cell phones and walkie-talkies, so the Wi-Fi signal can carry considerably more data. All Wi-Fi networks use the wireless 802.11 networking standard; the difference is in which band you set your wireless router or access point to transmit on. 802.11b and 802.11g operate at the 2.4 GHz band, while 802.11a transmits at 5 GHz. Unlike the other variations of the standard, 802.11n can operate at both bands.
An advanced switch with performance, security, and availability features is the heart of every high-availability network
Most of today’s advanced communications and business applications have been scaled for the small business. Smaller companies are using technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, and IP voice to grow their business and connect more personally with customers. Unfortunately, these data-hungry applications can quickly slow down small business networks, which aren’t always built for such a demanding environment. To keep these applications—and your business—running continuously at top speed, your network must be built for high availability, performance, and security.
Extend the reach and speed of your wireless network
A small business makes big demands on its wireless network. It must be fast, so users never have to wait to connect to the local network or the Internet. The wireless network also needs to be able to run the demanding new communications applications that small businesses now rely on. It must even provide a blanket of reliable Wi-Fi coverage within the building premises so that users don’t have to be tied to their desks. And for a small business, high performance isn’t enough—because many smaller companies don’t have on-site IT staff, wireless access points (WAPs) must not only be easy to use and set up, but should also secure their network. The only way to meet these demands is with modern Wireless-N access points that are designed for the small business.
The WPA data encryption protocol you choose depends on your wireless network’s needs
It’s critically important to secure your wireless networks, but security can be complex, particularly when it comes to configuring each network component appropriately. A smart place to start is with the wireless router, which connects your local area network (LAN) to the Internet. Routers allow you to encrypt data as it travels in and out of your network, making it much more difficult to be read or altered by hackers trying to steal confidential information. Most small business routers let you choose which data encryption protocol you want to use, but in order to make the best choice for your network, you need to understand the differences between encryption protocols.