by Frank Wright, Service Manager
Many times a company’s network tends to be a difficult part of their infrastructure to decide what they really need.
There are many different ways of configuring a network depending on the company’s needs.
A network can be as simple as having your Internet Service Provider’s modem connected directly to a workstation or as complex as having thousands of workstations and servers connected to a company’s network around the world.
Deciding on what is needed for your network is completely dependent on the intended uses of it. Many factors contribute to this; security, size of network, locations, speed necessary, etc.
For most small companies, they can usually get by with a simple router that has a built-in firewall solution.
While the simple routers take care of giving access to users hardwired to the local network, and in some cases via a wireless connection, they don’t offer the features that a higher end router would.
Many companies have multiple sites that they want to have access to all the same files. One solution is purchasing cloud storage to accomplish this.
While that would be a great idea if you needed access when you are not on your companies network, a much more economical solution is to have a virtual private connection (VPN) setup between sites.
If a VPN is setup between sites the traffic is encrypted with a shared key between the routers which allows the two of them to pass traffic to each other without anyone being able to see what it is.
The biggest advantage of a VPN between sites is the ability to have one server at a centralized location and allow all of your sites to have access to it.
This alone can save thousands of dollars when it comes to the network build, you only need one server.
When it comes to having a server, if properly configured they can provide a significant amount of security on the network.
Servers improve security by offering centralized management and providing a means to allow or deny access to files on the network.
For instance, you may have accounting files on a network that you only want certain employees to have access to, with a server you can assign specific users access to these files.
Some routers also have the ability to manage bandwidth. This provides companies the ability to manage the amount of data users can use for different applications.
Many large companies need the ability to control how much bandwidth is being used and what is using it. With higher end routers you have the ability to do this.
On the business class firewalls we generally install at businesses they offer a large package of security tools to help protect your network.
Our business class firewalls offer all of the routing capabilities of the simple, home user routers but also offer antivirus, web filtering, antispam, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and vulnerability management.
The business class firewalls drastically improve a business’s security as well as offers many of the features listed above.
If your business is in need of network improvements to increase security and employee productivity, give us a call and we can offer you a network diagnosis to determine what your company’ needs are and where your networks weak points are.