Protecting your Network with a Business Continuity Plan

Where would your business be if disaster struck tomorrow? If the physical servers are destroyed in a fire or other disaster, how would you get your network back up and running? To protect your business in a worst-case scenario, you should have a Business Continuity Plan, or BCP for short. A BCP will make sure that you are prepared to reassemble your network and get things running again when other businesses would be crippled by a major disaster.

When you Might Use a BCP

A BCP is likely to come up in one of two situations. The first is in the case of a major natural disaster. Earthquakes, blackouts, hurricanes, and other issues can cause power surges and physical damage capable of crippling servers and erasing important data. The second is in the case of a particularly malicious attack fr om hackers, viruses, or other information-corrupting problems. Many companies come up with a BCP as a way to protect their physical resources, but backing up the data that makes up your network is just as important if not more so. Your goal in developing a BCP is to make sure that even in the case of a total network failure you will be able to carry on and return to normal quickly.


Understanding Common Protocols: The OSI Model

How much do you know about your network protocols? One of the most common network protocols you will encounter is the OSI model, which stands for Open System Interconnection. This model uses seven layers to connect multiple systems on the same network. Understanding the different layers of the OSI model is one step on the way to being able to implement this protocol in the most efficient way possible.

The Application Layer

This is actually the last layer of the OSI model, but is the most important to understand. The application layer identifies communication partners and the quality of service. It also handles user authentication and privacy issues. Every function used in this layer is tailored to a specific application and designed to provide the best end user experience possible. Some services provided by this layer include email, file transfers, and network security. Tiered application architectures and FTP processes are also handled by this layer.


Common Network Problems and their Solutions

Have you ever run into a situation where your computer just won't work and you don't know why? It's irritating when that happens to your home computer, but it is potentially disastrous if it happens to a business network. Besides, network problems on a business network need to be fixed before you can use remote desktop software such as Remote Utilities.

While your IT team should be able to handle most network problems, you can save a lot of time and money by handling these matters yourself. Presented here are a few of the most common network problems and their possible solutions.

Wireless Network Shows Signal but won't Connect

Wireless networking is a terrific way to make sure that your employees are able to move freely while maintaining access to all their business files. However, some notebooks and computers occasionally show a strong signal from the wireless router but still don't connect. If you encounter this problem, try putting the computer right next to the wireless router and see if it connects then. If it does, then that suggests a problem with the system hardware. A network card occasionally receives a strong signal but doesn't transmit as effectively. Updating the network card's drivers might solve this problem, but it is also possible that you may need to replace the hardware entirely should this occur.


Is P2P Networking Right for You?

What sort of networking is right for you? While most people in America access the Internet through a typical client-server model, there is another way. Peer-to-peer networking, often simply referred to as P2P, is a decentralized approach to networking in which network computers connect with other machines directly rather than using a central hub to access the worldwide web. What are the benefits and drawbacks to this approach? Read on to find out.

What is P2P?

Odds are good that you’re already at least partially familiar with P2P networking. It is the default form of networking on small networks and is especially common as part of home networking. In these situations, the computers that are running the same network protocols are usually physically near each other, either in the same building or right next door. In this model, because there are so few computers, it’s easier for the computers to communicate directly with each other rather than go through a central hub first. To use an analogy, a P2P network is like calling to somebody in another room. If they’re nearby, it’s easier just to use your voice instead of looking for a phone and placing a call.


Getting Acquainted with Network Hardware

Where do you start building your network? The process can be quite intimidating at first, since there are so many different pieces of hardware and software to focus on. But once you take the time to learn about the elements of a network installation, you’ll find that it’s really not very hard to understand at all. Here’s a brief review of the hardware essentials to setting up a network. Once you’re familiar with these, getting started should be a breeze.

The Network Hub

A hub looks like nothing more than a small rectangular box, but it is one of the most essential pieces of hardware your network can have. The hub is what joins all computers on the network together, serving as the central point where data is sent to and received fr om the Internet at large. A network hub isn’t all that different from a major airport hub. An airport hub receives passengers from many smaller airports and then routes them to their destinations across the world. In the case of a network, the passengers are packets of information coming from your network, and they get rerouted to their destination online. A hub is a simple but essential device that uses a standard wall outlet for power.


A Step by Step Approach to Building a Network for your Business

So you’ve decided to take the jump and set up your own network for your business. This is an essential step in forming or improving any business, since so much work is now done away fr om the office. There are a lot of potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of, but these can be bypassed with some careful planning. Presented below are some simple decision you should make to ensure that you establish the most effective business network possible.

Wired or Wireless?

Whether you choose a wired network wh ere the computers are connected directly to a router via Ethernet cable or a wireless network that uses Wi-Fi connectivity is largely a question of how your office area is set up. For traditional offices that have desktop computers and plenty of space to run cables, having a wired option is probably a good idea. This allows you to have the best speed and reliability possible. If you have employees using laptops or notebooks to connect to the network, however, a wireless choice will allow them the chance to move freely without being anchored to any one point. A combination can also be used, using wired setups for desktops and wireless for traveling employees.


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