The information age – a time when creating, publishing, sharing, and consuming information cannot be imagined without computers and computer networks. From teenagers, college students, and parents, to experts, business owners and their employees, we all harness the advantages fast computer networks offer. However, computer networks are particularly useful for companies, for many of them have the need to communicate and exchange sensitive pieces of information with partners and clients from all over the globe, which can be quite costly if done via telephone.
If you realize that a computer network is precisely what your business needs, then the first thing you should do is decide which type of network is the right one for you. A basic computer network is appropriate for small organizations and households with four to five computers which can be linked wirelessly. Intermediate and advanced computer networks are the ones that include more than 15 or 30 computers, respectively. In both of these cases, network cables are needed.
If you choose to build an intermediate or advanced computer network, then you should know that one of the most commonly used network cables is the category 5 network cable and its siblings – category 5e, category 6, and category 6a network cables. Both category 5 network cable and all of its improved versions are used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet and they are known to be reliable and easy to use.
Aside from network cables, you’ll also need switches and routers. Although some people believe switches and routers are two names of the same device (because they look similar), these necessary pieces of equipment perform entirely different functions in a computer network, which means they’re not the same thing.
When building a computer network, switches are needed because they tie multiple devices together, such as computers, servers, and printers. Without this piece of equipment, the aforementioned devices won’t be able to connect, share data, and talk to each other. Routers, on the other hand, tie multiple computer networks together, enabling the connected devices to share one Internet connection. Routers also offer protection and the possibility to decide which computers should get priority over others. When shopping for these devices, make sure to find business-grade ones, for consumer or home networking products can’t keep up with the challenges of your business’s growth.
The last piece of the puzzle is the installation. First, you’ll have to install the network cables and then plug everything in. If the whole process of building a functional computer network seems too complicated for you, then I strongly suggest you to avoid making mistakes and hire professionals.