If you are planning on setting up a network in your work office or home office, don’t just jump right into it and try to figure it out as you go. If you plan ahead and devote some thought to what you’ll need and how to organize it all, you’ll create the perfect office network setup that won’t require any tinkering in the future.
A network will help you get the most out of your computers and peripherals. You’ll be able to share one broadband Internet connection, printer and as many files as you’d like between computers.
Thankfully, networking technologies and operating systems have improved so much over the past few years that setting up an office network is no longer a significant challenge. Let’s take a look at how it is done.
Choose Between Wired and Wireless
Nowadays, most office networks are set up with wireless equipment. Wireless networking equipment is no longer egregiously expensive and difficult to configure. Going wireless will eliminate those pesky cords, beautify your working space and give you more flexibility.
Yet some still choose to set up a wired network as it is typically cheaper, more reliable and offers faster connection speeds. When considering networking techniques, you should keep in mind that wireless signals will differ by the office’s layout, wall thickness and even the weather.
Popular operating systems like Apple Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Vista have networking capabilities built right in. So if you have a fairly new desktop PC or laptop, you’ll be able to network your devices together without much of a hassle.
Beyond the computers, you’ll also need cables to connect them. If you are planning an expansive setup, you’ll likely need a wired or wireless router and Ethernet cables to link the machines.
When establishing a wireless network, you’ll have to link your wireless router to your broadband Internet connection. You’ll also need a cable to link the router to the primary computer or server.
This permits other desktop computers and laptops which already have integrated/attached wireless networking equipment to find the wireless signals and connect to the local area network, commonly referred to as the LAN.
Securing Your Network
Once the network is established, you must take the proper precautions to safeguard it. This can be done through the router’s security settings or by way of the primary computer’s operating system.
Utilize technologies like the wireless encryption protocol (WEP) if you’ve chosen to set up a wireless network. This will utilize passwords to encrypt the traffic moving along your network. Be sure to use network and Windows logins and passwords so that access is limited to strictly authorized users within your workplace or home.
Some network users go as far as using hardware security such as full disk encryption, fingerprint recognition and security and password keys. Be sure to check each computer’s browser security and privacy settings before accessing the Internet. This will help to guard the network from hacks, viruses and spam.
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Katrina specializes in products for the leading custom design and manufacturing of racking products for your tech needs at Rack Solutions.