Managing your company’s complex IT infrastructure can be a difficult task in addition to overseeing the rest of your standard business operations. Fortunately, if you...
No matter how we choose to conduct typical business processes, the fact is clear–our world is a connected one. Digital transformation has contributed to more computer networks that function with greater speed, ability, and performance.
Despite their importance (both for technology and business), computer networks can be complex to manage. If your company has struggled to develop, maintain, or fix problems related to your computer network and IT infrastructure, computer network information services may be the solution you need.
In this post, we’ll establish a practical foundation for what a computer network is, how these connections work together, and what you can do to optimize the networks in your business.
What is a Computer Network?
In simple terms, a computer network is a set of computers that communicate with one another for a common purpose. These machines often use the same digital resources and network nodes to share digital messages between each other.
The ways in which computers link together have evolved throughout the years. In most modern cases, computers no longer require hardwiring to share connections, information, or data.
WiFi and cloud computing, which involves the use of servers to power each network, is incredibly useful for bridging the gap between computer systems.
How Computer Networks Work?
Computer networks primarily function in one of two ways.
- Wired–In this setup, computers are physically connected to each other by cables and hardware. Although reliable, this limits flexibility and is a more traditional way of handling network function.
- Wireless–Now the industry standard, wireless networks bridge computer systems together using the internet. Computers use WiFi signals to communicate and share information with one another. This is ideal for personal, corporate, and public settings.
Benefits of Computer Network Services
Most business leaders and department managers have a broad understanding of computer network services. Yet outsourcing this critical IT component can reap numerous benefits for many different companies. Some advantages to using computer network services include–
- The ability to save time and effort on manual network upkeep
- Expert-level, industry-leading guidance for major decisions about the network
- 24/7 remote monitoring that provides peace of mind during non-business hours
- Cybersecurity threat mitigation and response
One of the biggest benefits to using computer network services is that it allows businesses to focus on what’s most important. This means being able to devote more time, energy, and resources into helping customers, making improvements, or marketing new services.
Types of Computer Networks
Although the usage of computer networks is relatively widespread, networks come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on what the needs of your business are, you may find that one type of network is more suitable than others for widespread application.
Most often, the major differences include how many users can access a given network, how security is set up, and how much coverage area the network spans.
Here are a few popular network styles that you should be aware of.
- Personal Area Network (PAN) – A PAN is very small and usually includes just one wireless modem. Other personal devices, such as a phone, printer, or tablet, may also be included. A personal network is used in very small office or residential settings.
- Local Area Network (LAN) – A local area network incorporates computers on a small scale, but the space is usually larger than the average home or residential network. LANs are helpful for settings like schools, offices, and hospitals where the network is managed personally and privately.
- Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) – The WLAN model is very similar to LAN, but all connections are established wirelessly. Users can sign in to the network on their devices or through workstations. Open space WiFi networks are a type of WLAN.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) – VPNs are popular choices for corporate organizations that allow employees to sign into corporate systems remotely. According to technology leader IBM, a VPN “establishes an encrypted channel that keeps a user’s identity and access credentials, as well as any data transferred, inaccessible to hackers.” This is ideal for sensitive and personal data sharing.
Implementing Computer Network Information Services at Your Business
Choosing to implement or use computer network information services at your business is a big decision. Fortunately, as we’ve already shared, there are significant benefits that can help streamline and improve your workflow.
To begin with implementation, it’s helpful to take the following steps.
- Establish a big picture plan. How and where does network information services fit into your overall goal? Pursue recommendations from executives, stakeholders, investors, and the users who would benefit on a daily basis.
- Define a reasonable budget. Depending on the level of involvement, network information services could be a reasonable monthly cost or a significant long-term investment. Make a decision about what you can afford
- Hire a service provider that embodies your values. Not every computer network services provider operates on the same ideals. Do your research, and choose a provider, vendor, or consultant who honors your time and company mindset.
Computer networks are powerful, practical, and in many ways, required for most work tasks. It’s difficult to conduct business or fulfill your technology responsibilities without a well-functioning computer network.
At the same time, there are many moving pieces that are difficult to manage. From cloud computing needs, to cybersecurity threat mitigation, to remote monitoring, computer network management is complex. Hiring a qualified services team can relieve stress and help you stay compliant and productive.
If you’re a Boise tech company or small business, reach out today to MicroTech Systems. Our qualified team can help you establish, troubleshoot, or maintain your computer networks.