When you’re considering buying and implementing a network, it’s a good idea to know the lay of the land before you start shopping. Computer networks designed for small and mid-sized businesses have come a long way in the last 20 years, but the vocabulary may still seem foreign to you. Here are some basic terms you should know:
- Wireless vs Wired. Wired networks (where a cable is plugged into the PC, printer or other device) have a longstanding reputation for being reliable. Wireless networks, though, have progressed a great deal, and have the benefit of mobility. In both wireless and wired networks, a router and modem are needed, as well as some type of security/authentication process.
- CAT5e, CAT6, and Fiber Optic. Network cables have evolved significantly. Fiber Optic is the most expensive, but it allows the most bandwidth and speed. CAT5e (Category 5-e) is the most common network cable used. Category 6 is a grade better than CAT5e.
- Router vs switch. The router provides a means for PCs and other devices to connect to the network. A router can be wireless or wired, and can have its own security. A switch is a key building block of the network, and identifies what devices can connect in order to function within the network.
- VOIP. Businesses can set up a network so that it also functions as a phone system, using Voice Over IP. A phone can be connected, allowing users to make normal calls without the need of a telephone cable.
- ISP. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides the means to connect to the internet. The data size, data volume and the number of devices dictates what ISPs would be best.
Networking is a complex topic. It is helpful to have an expert assist in determining what network is most suitable. Net Plus Consulting can provide you with the guidance needed to make the best decision for a network purchase, and can manage your implementation.
Net Plus Consulting is a nationwide service provider. To get started, check out our website or contact us to arrange a free one hour consultation.