The term networking is used a lot in both IT and business a lot. Creating a successful IT network is crucial to the growth of a business. When people within an organization are able to share and merge information in real time an increase in efficiency naturally occurs. IT networking is a concept that many of us are familiar with but unsure of what it takes to create. A network is a system where computers, phones, peripherals, and even IT devices are connected. Some basic essential needed to create a manage this system include routers, switches, and wireless access points. These units connect the devices on your network and allow them to communicate with one another as well as outside networks such as the internet.
The Foundation: Switches
A network switch is the backbone of many networks within companies large and small. It acts very much like a controller and connect devices such as computers, printers, and servers to the network within a location. A switch creates a link of communication on your network, allowing devices to work with one another and outside networks, thus creating a system in which resources can be shared. When information is shared, in real time, across sources and available resources are shared businesses save time and money while increasing productivity.
There are two types of switches that IT professionals can install within your networking system: managed and unmanaged.
Managed Switches: A managed switch allows techs the ability to configure it for the needs of the network. Monitoring and adjustments can be made locally or remotely. This gives companies a greater control over the network’s traffic and accessibility.
Unmanaged Switches: An unmanaged switch is one that works right from the box however cannot be configured. This type of switch is most often not used in commercial IT but instead home networking equipment.
The Dispatcher: Routers
A router is used to join the devices on the network together. A router is also used to connect computers to the internet. Using a router in networking allows one single internet connection to be shared amongst users. Paying for individual internet connections for each computer within a company would be a huge expense without a beneficial increase in function performed.
As a dispatcher, a router examines the data that is sent across the network and pick a proper route for the data to voyage through the network to its final destination. A router is used to connect your business to the outside world while protecting the data from threats and deciding a priority over systems in the network.
There are a few types of routers to choose from including:
- Routers with firewalls
- Virtual private networks (VPN)
- Internet Protocol (IP) communications system
Routers make basic networking functions possible while making networking easier and more secure.
Accessibility: Access Points
Access points are added to network to allow for connection without cables. This makes the process of bringing new equipment online simpler and allows for flexibility to mobile employees. An access point works in a similar fashion as an amplifier for the network. Routers provide bandwidth and the access point extends the bandwidth amongst many devices that are able to access the network from a near and far.
An access point is more than just a unit that extends the Wi-Fi signal. A network access point allows useful information about all of the devices on the network and provide proactivity security while serving other practical functions.
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