Definitive Guide to Build Ethernet Network for Small Businesses

We live in a digital world, and therefore, it has become imperative for businesses to have a data network, irrespective of the size. As far as wired networks are concerned, Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, and Cat6a cables remain the top choices for connectivity. In this article, you will learn to set up a network for small businesses. Stay with us!

Setting up a network is essential as it connects your business to the internet and helps employees communicate more efficiently and swiftly. Through a network, you can also share files, customers, and other individuals and companies. In a nutshell, we can say that modern-day businesses rely heavily on IT networks and infrastructure. If any of them collapse or malfunction, your business might face a shutdown. 

Therefore, it is crucial to set up a top-notch data network for your business. This article will explain how you can ace this arduous task.

Figure Out Your Business Needs

Before investing in the cabling and hardware, you should and must first figure out your business needs. This cabling part is essential, and Cat5e cables, Cat6 Cables, and Cat6a cables vastly vary in price. So, to spend the correct amount on ethernet cables, first, you should figure out your business needs.

Other factors that you will consider while setting up a network are the layout and the size of your office. You won’t mind considering future expansions too. With the growth of your business, your staff and devices will grow too. 

Going wired or wireless

Despite all technological advancements in the wireless arena, wired networks remain the preferred choice for setting up a data network in small and medium-sized businesses. It is due to multiple reasons: wired networks are more secure, they are more reliable, the data transfer rates are far higher than wireless networks, there are no issues like loss signals. 

The best ethernet cables for wired connectivity are Cat5e cables, Cat6 cables, and Cat6a cables; we recommend you use the latter two as they will future-proof your networks for the upgrades. 

The problem with wireless networks is that they are vulnerable to malicious attacks, and if you connect to many devices, the performance will become abysmal. 

Server (s)

A powerful server takes care of your network just like parents take care of their children. As network servers are designed to support a wide array of devices and applications and perform a full range of functions, therefore, the capacities and the size of your network server should be sufficient enough. 

Consequently, you should figure out the type of server you need, security features and requirements, and storage capacities. A well-integrated and capable server will support day-to-day function and support your devices, hardware, and software with ease. 

Computers

You must choose the right type of computer for your business needs. Purchasing the latest models is a good option as it will future-proof your network for the several years to come. 

Figure out what your budget is and what type of specifications (ram, rom, model, storage) sit perfectly well with you. And when it comes to computers or laptops, the choice of the operating system matters most. Always use Windows 10 Professional as it has been designed for businesses. Windows Home Edition is not a good choice as it has been designed for home users. 

Router/Firewall

Being a key component of networking, firewalls play a major role in keeping data security and integrity intact as they are indispensable for the success of any business. Firewalls scan internet traffic going out and coming into your networks and keep malicious elements like hackers at bay. Modern-era businesses rely too much on data security for success; therefore, you must use the best firewalls for security purposes. 

As far as routers are concerned, they produce a shared connection by linking two networks together. Besides, they also connect devices with the internet. Being smarter than switches, routers protect any network from cyber-attacks and prioritize devices if resources are limited. 

Switches for network

Picking up the suitable switches for your network is very important as they are the centralized point around which all connectivity revolves. Switches connect computers with computers, computers with servers, and before data passes through computers to the server, it first goes through a switch. Businesses usually opt for unmanaged switches as they can be installed without basic configurations.