If you need to get an office network up and running fast, there are several ways to do that. The easiest, option, is to follow steps that keep you from needing to backtrack, and that make sure you have the equipment you need before you get started. This will lower the frustration level when setting up your network, and will keep you moving forward. Whether you’re setting up a home office, or creating a network for a large company, the basics are all the same.
First, you need a wireless router for your office network setup. Without it, your network isn’t going to have any way to connect. With the proper router, you can have both wireless and wired connections, providing much-needed options for your employees. In the past, routers have been hard to set up and needlessly complicated. Fortunately, that is changing. Many routers today come with software that makes it easier to set them up, but these routers can also be limited in what they can do. Make sure you know what you plan to run on your network, to find out if a particular router is right for your needs.
The networking standard you use also matters when setting up your network. Most new routers and devices operate in N mode. If all your current devices do that, you won’t have a problem. If you have older devices that don’t operate in this mode, you can use the router in mixed mode to support them. Unfortunately, that can slow down the entire network, which is something you might not be able to afford. The best choice is to upgrade your devices, so everything operates on N mode.
If you can use wired connections for some (or all) of your employees, that’s actually a better choice. These connections are faster than wireless, so they work well for anything where speed is a factor. In some cases, however, they simply aren’t practical – which is why having both wired and wireless options is a good choice for your network. You’ll also want to think about what options you’ll offer to guests, and consider hubs and switches if you need to have a lot of connections available without slowing anything down.