It is hard to imagine the work of a modern office without the use of computers, telephony, servers, printers and a number of other peripherals operating in a single interconnected system that provides fast transmission and customized access to stored information. Such communication is made possible by combining all the equipment in use into a local network, the parameters of which are configured depending on the scale of the system, the type of devices used, their functionality, and the tasks assigned to the internal network itself.
Setting up a local network in an office is a stage that follows many others: design, installation of cable infrastructure, creation of access points and switching points, and commissioning. The whole range of work initially requires a careful calculation of the parameters of the future system and its size, but since the architecture of a standard local area network is usually created according to typical “templates” that provide for its scalability, a special role is assigned to configuration, which can provide each element of the internal office system with the necessary functionality.
Features of local office networks
Experts call a local area network a structured cabling system (SCS), which has undergone a design phase that takes into account the
- system throughput,
- number of workstations connected to it,
- the possibility of expansion.
Experts determine the physical location of each device in advance, lay cable lines, install access points and cross nodes, and are guided by the principle of redundancy (they create more such points than necessary so that the future network does not operate at its limits). When thinking about how to create a local area network for an office, professionals have to deal with such an important issue as integration into the overall system of an internal telephone network. Here, you have to use a PBX, possibly with its own servers, which also need to be specially configured and connected to the right computers.
What is a local office network setup?
Setting up a local area network always consists of two stages: technical and programmatic. To ensure that all the numerous elements of the system – computers, printers, scanners, faxes, telephones, routers, routers, etc. – worked synchronously and smoothly, after they are installed and physically connected by cables, a special software configuration is performed. First, the routers are launched, then computers are connected to them, and then additional equipment is synchronized to each PC. All this is done using the necessary driver programs – their most current versions, after which additional configuration parameters are set for each device through separate interfaces.
In fact, these manipulations are carried out with each network device, including a router, printer, computer, server, PBX, after which anti-virus programs are installed and Wi-Fi parameters are set. A separate issue is network security, which should take into account which computers will have access to certain files and folders of the system, which users will have access to the Internet (full or limited), which PCs should connect to various peripherals. If you have a centralized file storage service, the settings will also include work to increase the level of data security, create a backup system, and much more.
Do it yourself or get professional help?
Any Internet user will be able to find detailed instructions that fully answer the question of how to set up a network. Of course, these will be dozens of pages with a lot of special terms and step-by-step algorithms, which, however, will have to be seriously adjusted depending on the characteristics and scale of your own office network. Worst of all, the price of any mistake made during self-configuration is, at the very least, a loss of valuable time, because you will have to start all over again. But some shortcomings can surface later and lead to malfunctions in an already functioning office. There is also a high responsibility for data security, managing access to confidential commercial information, and much more. Is it worth the risk of trying to save money on the services of specialists who can set up a local network faster and better?
We shouldn’t forget about such an important component as the need to maintain the system’s performance. The latter may scale, the number of its users may change, and security standards may increase. Only professional maintenance of computer networks by invited specialists who can quickly make the necessary changes to the local network settings, adapt it to new working conditions, make it more productive, reconfigure office telephony, etc. can help. Finally, professional services mean that experienced technicians are always on call, which allows you to quickly respond to any failures or signs of system malfunction, thus guaranteeing the smooth operation of your office in any situation.