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Analysis / Enterprise

How To Invest In Network Equipment For Your Business

network cables

In this day and age, business and technology go hand in hand. If before the early 2000s companies would invest in state of the art tech equipment only if they activated in this field, nowadays, the necessity for high-quality equipment isn’t limited to a certain field. Whether they run a media production company, a retail business or a real estate agency, business owners who have an office need to invest in network equipment. Unfortunately, this is quite the specialised topic and those who are unfamiliar with it will find that it’s very difficult to look at online listings and know the difference between a router and a switch.

There are options for everyone and you will have to answer two questions before making a purchase? 

  • What networking requirements does my company have? At this stage in my business development, which purchases are essential and which can be postponed?
  • What company can offer the equipment you need for the best price, while at the same time satisfying your customer service needs?

Equipment You Need

The world of network equipment can be complex and, in general, the larger a company is, the more it needs high end solutions. Start off by understanding the importance of these products and make a list of local vendors who can offer them to you at an affordable price.

Routers

From the moment you set up an office network, no matter how small, you will need a reliable router. Its job is to connect multiple computers to the Internet and, therefore, to connect you to your investors and customers. If your office consists of just a few people, then one router is enough, but, the larger the premises, the more routers you will need.

Firewalls

By now, even non-techy Internet users know just how important data security is. However, when it comes to business operations, security is all the more important and you should never compromise on equipment that protects your company from malicious attacks. Firewalls were created exactly for that. No matter how small, your office needs a reliable firewall to protect your sensitive data.

Switches

Every business uses computers, printers and servers, but these devices have to be connected. This way, the same data can be accessed from multiple computers and shared equipment can be used by everyone. This is done with the help of switches. Although they look similar to routers, Cisco switches have a different purpose and need to be bought separately. These are just the main things you need when setting up an office network. Other equipment you might need includes: load balancers, modules and VoIP phones, power cords and much more.

The Importance Of Business-Grade

Purchasing supplies for a startup can be a daunting task and financial restrictions might force business owners to make compromises. However, you should never substitute professional, business grade network solutions for home network solutions. Although the latter are considerably cheaper and more widely available, they are in no way comparable to professional equipment. For complete, fast and secure solutions, it’s best to trust in business grade network solutions. In fact, if you had to choose, you are better off with used professional equipment than new home networking products. Also, you should check that the company you are working with has previous experience with businesses of your scale. 

Here are just a few major benefits that you can expect from equipment such as routers, firewalls and switches:

  • Your employees can access company data and applications easily
  • Information can be managed and shared between employees
  • Productivity is increased
  • Your company is protected in the event of a hacker attack
  • Reduce the risk of data leaks
  • Your staff can easily share office equipment, so you don’t have to buy more devices
  • You can enjoy the benefits of high-speed Internet
  • You can establish remote connections to office equipment when you are not there. for example, if you’re on vacation and you need urgent access to a company file, you can immediately arrange a connection.
  • Your employees can also work for home through remote connections.

What Type Of Customer Service Do You Need?

In the field of professional network equipment, stellar customer service is just as important as high-quality products and can make the difference between providers. Keep in mind that you will establish a long-term collaboration with the seller and, to avoid unpleasant surprises, you should consider the following aspects:

  • Does the seller help you with installation and network setup?
  • Does the seller offer only 100% certified components?
  • Does the seller provide ongoing tech support for the equipment? Should something malfunction, can they come and have a look at it?
  • Does the seller have in stock both new and refurbished network equipment, so you can choose the right option based on your budget?
  • Does the seller offer overnight delivery if you need something urgently?

Leave Room For Growth

Last up, when ordering network equipment and discussing your needs with a professional vendor, don’t focus only on short term needs, because you never know how your company might evolve. This is where scalability comes in. Your network could grow in time, and when that happens, you should be able to expand it easily. You can make a parallel between professional network equipment and a hosting plan. In the same way as the hosting plan can be upgraded when you grow your business, so should the network.

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Cynthia V. Madison is a marketing graduate, technical writer and IT enthusiast who specialises in gadget reviews and website development. Enjoying content writing as a hobby and a profession, she likes to explore the latest business & IT news and share ideas with the tech blogging community.

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