A Quickie on Navigating Small Business Networks and Hardware: Keeping Your Switches, Routers, and Budget In Line

Switches and Routers Oh My

Does navigating your small business network make your head spin? Do you feel like saying routers, switches, and scaling, oh my! Let’s dig into the basics to alleviate those fears and avoid any visits to Oz.

The foundation of your business network is the switch. An unmanaged switch provides simplicity. It connects all the devices on your networks such as laptops and printers and allows them to speak to each other. For a small business, smart choices are the Linksys LGS116P or NetGear ProSafe GS108.

A managed switch for your network allows for customization and more features. This addition generally requires an administrator to orchestrate the interactions. Good choices are Cisco SG300-28 or Mikrotik CRS226.

Your network router connects your network to the Internet and hence all your computers to the web. Depending on the size of your network, your business requires one or more routers. Your router provides security and routes information to the correct spot within your network. One of the most recommended routers for small biz is the Synology RT2600-AC.

An essential consideration in setting up your network is scalability. For example, if your business sends or will soon send large data files, a low-cost switch with few ports will not get the job done. Your network budget needs to anticipate your requirements down the road, at least three years.

Limping along with old switches and routers will slow your business down or could crash it altogether. Purchase equipment recommended for small companies which your business can grow into.

 

Author: Kris Keppeler, a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes for Crossing Genres on Medium.com and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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