Connecting Your Company: The Essentials Your Business Network Should Provide You With

If you’re looking for a new business-class network for your company, you may be struggling with all the technical jargon out there, not to mention all of the different types of services available.

To help make your search for an SD WAN or other network provider run as smoothly as possible, here’s what you need to look out for:

Bandwidth

Various media is used to transport digital information around. The “pipes” used to transport this information have a certain capacity as to how much data they can carry – this is their bandwidth.

Making sure you have enough bandwidth is imperative as it will allow multiple users to carry out tasks simultaneously without the network crashing. For example, a business that’s moving a lot of digital image, voice, or video files will need more bandwidth than an organization that’s just sharing documents and printers.

Power over Ethernet

The data that’s moving around the network is powered by electricity in the device – e.g. a switch, wireless access point, or computer. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is business technology that’s very beneficial in locations where wiring or AC power will be costly or inconvenient. This could be outdoors, in old buildings, or on a ceiling – for example.

PoE uses the Ethernet cable to provide DC power as well as the data.  It can also provide the wattage that Internet phones, switches, and wireless access points require – unlike a USB cable. And it’ll provide this over a longer distance.

Switches

A switch establishes a network within your organization – a local area network (LAN). The switch acts as a bridge with ports, connecting your digital devices so they are able to communicate with each other efficiently. Most of this communication is carried out through the Internet Protocol (IP) and Ethernet.

By investing in a business-class switch, it’ll provide you with lower operating costs, higher data security, and greater employee productivity. The key things to look for in your switch are whether they’re managed or unmanaged, the Quality of Service (QoS), energy efficiency, IPv6 support, and security features.

Routers

A router allows all your employees to share a connection outside of the business, e.g. on the Internet. Having a business-class router will provide you with a number of benefits, including greater employee productivity, higher security, and lower costs with sharing a network interface.

The key things to look for in your router include VLAN creation, VPN capabilities, additional security features, and load balancing and connection redundancy.

Wireless Access Points

Having a wireless network allows your company to connect digital devices to a switch or router without the need for cable or wires. It does this by using radio waves. A wireless access point is typically used to provide radio signal coverage that’s shared by your organization’s Wi-Fi users. Wi-Fi hotspots are often for public access, whereas these wireless access points within your business allow you to control who’s accessing the network.

The benefits of wireless networking include flexibility in expanding or locating a network, user mobility, higher data security, and lower operating costs. Look out for security features, Wireless-N, QoS support, and clustering intelligence.

Hopefully, all of the above tips will allow you to find a business network that meets your company’s demands while saving you plenty of time and money.