According to a recent survey by tech giant Brother, over 40% of start-ups and small businesses are considering increasing their IT budgets in the near future. They are going to invest in dedicated servers to store and access data, protecting them from various risks.
If you are going to setup a network server for an office, you must be wondering where to start and what guidelines to follow. Well, you’ve landed in the right place. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find network setup instructions with step-by-step guidance for beginners.
Small Business Network Setup Checklist: Pick the Operating System and Network Type
People somewhat familiar with computer technology distinguish among the three major operating systems: MacOS, Linux, and Windows. The latter is considered the most common and familiar to PC and laptop owners. There are no complicated issues or pitfalls. However, the network types do require a great deal of time to learn.
What do businesses use these solutions for? They often make a setup network folder for printer or to share certain files and documents. The first step is to choose the best network type for your business.
- Wired. This is a perfect solution for businesses needing the highest data transfer speeds (up to 1 GB/sec). However, you will have to purchase network adapters, modems, and other equipment.
- Wireless. Using wireless solutions, the maximum transfer speed is limited to 600 MB per second. The advantage is that no cables are required, which makes it easy to move devices around.
- Hybrid. This can be the best solution for your business since hybrid networks combine the advantages of the two competitors above. However, it requires strong cybersecurity measures to guarantee the best experience.
The choice of network types should be guided by your business needs. The hybrid option seems to be one of the most promising and convenient, although you may need a wired network if your success depends on data rates.
Get the Appropriate Hardware & Equipment
Once you’ve chosen one type of network or another, the next step is to choose the right equipment. Small businesses typically have limited budgets. Therefore, the chosen hardware has to satisfy the needs without increasing the small business computer network setup cost. Here are the most needed solutions to set up a server these days.
- Computers. There are plenty of PCs and laptops with different features and prices on the market. Pay special attention to those with the Windows Professional operating system designed for daily office work.
- Routers. You will need them when connecting different kinds of networks.
- Switches. This is another item on the must-have list. Its purpose is to show all devices connected to your Windows network.
- Servers. If computers, routers, and switchers are the body of a network, servers are the heart. It not only hosts different business applications but also supports other network functions playing a key role in computer communications. If you are going to set up a server, you should take care of its performance and cost as well.
Once you have your hardware issues sorted out, you are ready to move on to the next stage, which we will discuss below.
Wire Your Computers/Servers to the Switch
Once you have selected a wired/hybrid network type, use a cable to connect your desktop device to the network. If you prefer a wireless network, you will need an appropriate adapter to connect your computers to it. Most of them feature an -in-built adapter, saving you time on office network setup services.
Set Up the Firewall
This step cannot be ignored because the task of the firewall is to control and limit the spread of malicious files. In other words, it protects computers every time employees use the Internet to perform office tasks. How to set up the firewall? It is enough to find the appropriate item in the settings of your device and activate it.
The Job is Almost Done
Now you can enable printer and file sharing. When it comes to the Windows Firewall, the right ports required for file and printer sharing are opened automatically. But if you are using a device with another type of firewall, you will have to do this manually through the Network settings.