Networking refers to the transfer and exchange of data between different nodes in an information system. A node is a connection point that can receive, create, send and store data along a network. Networking goes beyond simply having an internet connection. It entails not only the design and construction of the network, but also, management, maintenance and operation of the network infrastructure. This facilitates everything, from telephone calls, to text messaging, to streaming video, to the internet of things (IoT). Technology has improved considerably over the past few years and it is now much easier to set up a network for your business. Networks can be either wired or wireless.
Wired network connections make use of cables to connect to the internet and to other devices on the network. Data is transferred through ethernet cables. These networks represent very limited mobility and are an inconvenience for office workers, installation takes a very long time and the wires and cables make for a less tidy workplace. Wired networks also present benefits, mainly: reliability and stability, visibility, speed, security and cost-effectiveness.
Most small to medium businesses make use of a Local Area Network (LAN), which comprises a group of computers and/or mobile devices connected to a server. This allows employees to share a single internet connection, in order to access files, peripherals and software. With unlimited access to documents, emails, applications and other network resources, employees have the ability to roam freely and have constant access to the tools required to do their jobs. This, therefore, increases productivity by encouraging fast information sharing and gives workers the freedom to work from anywhere. Moreover, it gives offices a cleaner look, reduces falling hazards and allows visitors to have access to the internet. On the other hand, wireless connections can also represent vulnerability to cyber-attacks, interference and issues with range. Wired connections may be more suitable for offices with thick walls.
Therefore, businesses may opt for wireless or wired networks depending mainly on the budget, mobility, security and performance requirements.
In today’s internet-driven world, every business needs a reliable network to send and receive data internally, as well as, externally. As your business expands, you will need to set up a LAN at each location, all of which can then be connected to a Wide Area Network (WAN). It is vital for your business to choose a reliable IT Support and Consultancy company in order to have a smooth and efficient move from the old system to the new network.