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The Year in Review: the Top 10 Posts of 2011

It’s hard to believe another year has come and (almost) gone. Every year seems to speed by ever faster, much like the pace of technological advancements. We understand that it’s a challenge keeping up with the latest technologies that impact your small business. So we were curious to find out what topics caught your eye this past year on the Small Business Blog.

Security was by far the most popular topic; and security in all forms—from your core network to personal devices to the cloud. That’s not surprising when you consider all the ways in which you can now access data.

Here’s the list of top 10 posts for 2011:

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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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Technology Roundup: Switches

Ready to get connected? These resources can help you choose the right switch for your network

Whether you’re building a network from scratch for your new small business or you’re looking to expand your network to accommodate a growing business, finding the right switch is key. Switches are the backbone of any small business network. Without them, you couldn’t connect your employees to the resources they need to do their jobs, like servers, printers, laptops, and storage devices.

With types like managed, unmanaged, smart, and stackable, it can be hard to know which switch to choose. Everything from how many to which kinds of devices you plan to connect will impact your decision. In this second installment of our Technology Roundup series, we offer some help in understanding the differences and determining which switches are right for your small business.

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Make Managing Your Network Easier

Built-in switch features can not only save time but also help eliminate errors

Your network is vital to your small business. It connects the devices critical to running your business as well as connecting employees to the resources they need, such as servers, printers, and storage. Managing your network, though, can cost you in both time and resources. There can be a lot to manage when it comes to a small business network—from configuring employee PCs and troubleshooting wireless connectivity to managing unified communications if you’re running voice and data on the same network. Most small businesses can’t justify a full-time in-house IT person. Oftentimes, the job of managing the network becomes an added responsibility of someone in the company.

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Borderless Networks: Experience Required

In a recent blog, I talked about how recording artists are using the network to create new ways of nurturing customer (or fan) relationships while also building a great marketing base. But as we increasingly move into a world of borderless networks, where traditional, limiting boundaries fall away, we’re seeing a new cultural playground. One that allows us, as users, to connect with what enriches our lives. And that, too, is a powerful force in building relationships and community on the network.

As the explosion of mobile devices continues, and new forms of social media and tools emerge, we are entering an exciting new phase. Because when you start putting these together, along with innovative functionality in the routers and switches that bring those things to life, we have the opportunity to experience things that might have been out of reach in the past.

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