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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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The Right Network Can Lower Your Total Cost of Ownership

You need to consider more than the purchase price when building the network that runs your business

As a small or mid-size business, you need to make your dollars stretch. But when it comes to investing in the network that runs your business, saving money on the purchase price can cost you more over time—at least 20-35 percent over a three-year timeframe. You need to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the equipment you’re purchasing, including implementation, network downtime, and security breaches.

With a tactical network—one that provides simple connectivity—you could end up spending more money on equipment and services to meet the needs of your business. Also, if your network includes devices from multiple vendors, you may spend more time managing and coordinating those vendors and more money troubleshooting problems rather than focusing on running your business. This loss of time and money increases TCO and decreases the value and return on your technology investment.

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Gain Efficiency With a Support Contract

A service plan provides needed technical expertise while saving you money, resources

As a small business owner, you’re faced with many challenges, not the least of which is growing your business when resources and funding are often in short supply. You want to know you’re making wise investments in your business—investments that will improve the operational efficiency of your company. With a support contract, you not only realize the full return on your IT investment but also make your business more efficient.

A support contract can help free up resources so you can focus on running your business—not on running the network that runs your business. A service plan provides support in maintaining the operational health of your network by providing access to technical expertise, resources, and tools. This helps to ensure that your business is running on a reliable, secure network, which increases employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

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5 Tips for Safeguarding Customer Data

Follow these steps to ensure safe data practices and to foster customer trust

Most small businesses, even those without an e-commerce website, collect some form of personal data from customers over the Internet. Small banks, individual insurance agencies, non-profit organizations, doctors’ offices, and even elementary schools provide forms for people to submit online—including addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card data, phone numbers, and the names of family members. We all trust that these organizations will prevent our sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. In fact, if your small business accepts customer data over the Internet, you’re responsible for protecting it from the moment a customer hits ”send,” while it’s archived on your network, and until you delete it.

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Technology Roundup: Security

These resources can help you secure your network and protect company data

Every small business knows that the only constant you can count on is change. Your business processes change, your network changes, and even the Internet changes. Each of these can make your company vulnerable and expose you to online threats. You need to make sure your security measures are keeping pace. This includes everything from battening down your network hatches to educating employees on how to safely browse the web to knowing how to securely use free Wi-Fi hotspots.

In this latest installment of our Technology Roundup series, we provide extensive resources to help you secure your network and protect valuable company information.

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