With so many options available to businesses, deciding on the best network solution can be a daunting and time-consuming process. There are a whole host of elements to consider from cost to security and it is easy to become overwhelmed with the volume of information to digest.

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At Better IT we take it one step at a time. We of course have to think about budget – after all we know our clients can’t spend money they don’t have – but we also think about what aspects of each system will work best for the business as a whole. Speed, reliability and security will be key, but so too will be the potential to add to the network as the business grows without incurring additional costs or experiencing frustrating downtime.

Wired networks

A wired network can, in some respects, be considered as the backbone of the business. It is the core of the IT infrastructure and will determine how fast and how efficiently tasks can be handled.

The processing of information will be determined by the capacity (or indeed the limits) of the network and it is therefore essential that pre-installation planning is carried out to ensure that the hardware installed meets both the current and future needs of the business.

At Better IT we look at a number of different aspects which will be unique to your company such as:

  • Number and location of users – how many permanent and hot desks are there and also how many home workers will need to access the network remotely?
  • Pattern of working – does everyone need access to information at exactly same time? (e.g. is there a peak in downloads at the beginning or end of the working day?)
  • Type and volume of information being handled – are there specific high-volume tasks such as the editing of high-resolution graphics?
  • 3 year and 5-year business plans – what might the business look like in 3-5 years and could the proposed system cope with the estimated additional capacity?

Without thorough consideration of the above factors in sufficient detail, there is always the risk of the installed system being entirely unfit for purpose. After all, if the network cannot support every employee working on their specific projects at the same time during the working day then the productivity of the business will suffer.

Be it the provision of CAT 6/7 cabling to handle data streaming and multiple applications, or the installation of switches specifically designed for fibre connections, the experience we have gained from working with businesses of all sizes means we know exactly what hardware will be most appropriate, not only to meet current needs but to support future growth.

Wireless networks

With comparatively inexpensive set up costs and minimal disruption to the workplace this is a good way to connect multiple devices without the need for additional hardware. The network is not tied to a specific location so for those businesses operating outside of the traditional office set up it is a quick and easy way to get started.

For the reasons detailed above, smaller businesses in particular may consider the installation of a wireless network to be the best solution however care must still be taken to ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’. Connection speeds tend to be much slower than on a wired network and there is always the possibility of losing signal strength through obstructions such as walls and floors. Interference too can occasionally cause frustration and, of course, we are all becoming more and more aware of the potential for hacking within the wireless environment.

AT Better IT we will use our experience and knowledge to ensure that a wireless network is indeed a good fit for the operations within the business, even looking at the effect of other devices being brought to the workplace (by employees, visitors, other building users etc.) which will also make demands on the capacity available.