FireFold Blog

Equipment Needed for a Business Network

When you take into consideration the cutthroat nature of many businesses and the speed at which clients demand effective and efficient service, it’s easy to see why investing in technology within a business enterprise is no longer an option but a necessity. A functioning and a secure business network are usually the foundations under which any technological competitive edge is built upon. Because of this, it is of paramount importance for the business owner to build a network that’s fast, efficient, reliable, and above all, secure.

Before one embarks on building a business network, it is important to clearly identify and take note of data access needs and requirements. Then, you can come up with a network that not only meets the current goals but one which can easily grow with the business as time goes by.

There are several tools and equipment that you should have to ensure that the business network built is robust, functional, and cost-effective. A business will need to have a modem, a switch or router for internet connectivity, and more than adequate cabling. In the event that the business does have a relatively large network, the use of a patch panel becomes paramount as this greatly simplifies the management and overall connectivity of the network. Some other equipment which will come in handy the following:

A functional modem

Depending on the ISP (Internet Service Provider) you choose, many of them do provide modems to clients once they sign with them. It is possible though to get your own modem and have it installed within your network. A modem is a device that provides bi-directional communication between the ISP and the devices connected to the network. They usually have one or several Ethernet ports which employees can use to connect the modem to a switch, router, or directly to an employee’s computer. There are basically two types of modems: the DSL modems which connect clients to the ISP using a telephone line, and a cable modem which use a coaxial cable link to connect to the ISP.

Ethernet cables

Depending on the size of the network and office, you will need substantial amounts of Ethernet cables to effectively connect all the office devices in the network. Many modern network infrastructures usually tend to use either Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables. If the network is large, it is good networking practice to use different jacket colors to distinguish the network devices in the network.

Patch panels

These come in very handy in large networks since they make it much easier and relatively easier to connect a large number of network devices and computers. They normally contain a single Ethernet jack for every cable termination. Patch panels have also been known to simplify the process of troubleshooting in case of any problem.

Switches and routers

Routers and switches are key equipment in your business network as they are used to provide connectivity to multiple devices in the network. These devices normally connect to the modem using an Ethernet cable. It is worth noting though that switches are best suited for facilitating communication within a single office network. For ease of installation and management, a business owner may opt for unmanaged switches which are basically plug and play and don’t require any configuration.