How to build a small business computer network

This article explains how to build and setup a small business computer network with internet connection. The business has a combination of wired and wireless users along with a server and printer. The following products are needed to setup and build the network.

Switch

Based on the number of users , the switch needs to be selected. For example , assuming that the number of wired users on the network is 30, a 48 port switch is recommended. The switch would take care of expansion plans and also would accommodate the printer, server and access points which would be used for setting up the network. If you wish to use VLAN in your network a 48 port manageable switch would be recommended. Else, a 48 port unmanageable switch would suffice. Manageable switches would be more expensive than unmanageable switches and would increase your budget. Check out Ethernet switches here

Access points

Assuming that the total number of wireless users on the network is 10, a single wireless access point would suffice. There are different types of wireless access points. There are different types of access points like dual band , triband , mesh etc . Based on your budget and need you can look for options here – Check out wireless access points here

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Wireless router

A wireless user is used for connecting to the internet and sharing it. There are different types of wireless routers like gigabit, long range, mesh etc . Based on your budget and need you can look for options here – Check out wireless routers here

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Printer

There are different types of printers. There are network printers which has inbuilt network ports or wireless printers. Wireless printers would be a bit more expensive than traditional printers. Based on your budget and need you can look for options here – Check out network printers here




Server

Based on the type of application on the server, it can either be setup inside the network or on the cloud. There are various cloud vendors like google,amazon which would allow to setup your server on the cloud. Cloud servers are becoming more popular , since it reduces the manageability factor. Users would be able to connect seamlessly to the servers from anywhere. If the server is setup inside the network and if it needs remote accessibility from outside, then the additional network infrastructure requirements like VPN appliances would be needed which would increase the budget.

Cables and patch chords

Cables are need to setup and wire the entire infrastructure. Based on the size of the office, the length of the cable has to be decided. In addition, RJ45 patch chords or ethernet cables would be required to connect the PCs and other devices to appropriate outlets on the wall.

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Set Up Procedure

1. Connect the wireless router to the internet and ensure that the internet is working fine.

2. Enable DHCP on the wireless router. This would ensure that all devices on the network receive IP address dynamically. Exclude two IP address for the printer and the access point from the DHCP server. This is assuming that the server is setup on the cloud.

3. Connect the wireless router to the switch.

4. Connect the access point to the switch

5. Connect the PCs and printer to the network. If the printer is a wireless printer , connect it to the access point on the network.

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