February 21st, 2019
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Are you moving into a new office? Maybe you have a business that’s finally found the perfect office to call home. Or maybe your company has grown too big for your current space, and it’s time to relocate. Whatever the reason, one of the biggest items on your new office's IT checklist is to set up the office network, one that will set your company up for success. So where should you start?
Like any investment for your business, the first step is to make a list of what your business needs from your network, including:
How many workstations, computers, and printers are you looking to set up?
What types of applications will your business be running?
How do you plan to share and store your files? And how big are those files going to be?
Will you need wireless coverage for a variety of devices?
Do you need private or virtual networks set up for remote employees?
It’s just as crucial to plan ahead so you can purchase the right hardware that will be able to handle your business needs, even as you continue to grow.
When choosing your network type, consider the budget you have for your network, the type of security you’ll need, and how you want to maximize your network in your office space.
There are three main types of office networks: wired, wireless, and hybrid. Wired networks are secure, fast, and reliable, but every device requires an ethernet cable to a hub, switch, or router. This can be a hassle to set up if you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s recommended to have a professional help you make sure all your needs are being met.
Wireless networks, on the other hand, allow everyone in the office to move around freely and there are no cables required. However, wireless networks are easily affected by interference, such as walls, microwaves, and pipes. Most of the time, you’ll only get half of your rated speed, and wireless networks may not be as secure and reliable as wired networks if set up improperly.
That brings us to hybrid network, which is a popular choice to implement for an office network. You kind of get the best of both worlds — fast, reliable speeds when you need them, freedom to move around, and security to protect your company data. So if you feel that the convenience of a wireless network is necessary for your business and want to allow your employees to use a variety of devices, then a hybrid network is the perfect solution.
If you are relocating to a new office and already have existing equipment that isn't quite outdated, make a list of what you plan to take with you to assess the costs of what you’ll need.
Don’t try to cut costs by purchasing consumer grade models of hardware to build your network. Home networking products will not be able to keep up with your business' growth, and it will also prevent you from easily upgrading your network later on. The type of hardware you’ll need may vary based on your network design, but some basics include a router, switch, firewall, VPN, and WiFi/Access points.
A solid office network is going to be the foundation that supports your business, so it’s not something to throw together without assessing your organization’s current needs, as well as looking a little ahead to where you want to be. Maybe you have existing IT infrastructure that needs to be relocated, or maybe you’re starting from scratch. But whether you have a clean slate or are moving forward, it’s not something you want to handle on your own if you don’t have the exact know-how.
At Electric, we are entirely focused on all things IT and have positioned ourselves at the forefront of the industry. That means we can help you make the right choices and make sure you’re fulfilling all required tasks of your office network checklist, without sacrificing your data or your security. Schedule a consultation today with one of our specialists to learn more about how we can provide IT support that is tailored to your company’s needs.