Wired & Wireless Networking
A computer network is a group of computers that are connected to each other for the purpose of communication and may include connections to branch or home offices, remote employees, and the public Internet. In a small business environment this network is typically known as a LAN (Local Area Network). A small business LAN may contain a wide variety of network hardware and devices that generate, mediate, analyze, or utilize network data including Hubs, Switches, Routers, Gateways, Cable, DSL, & Fiber Modems, VPN connections, IP Cameras, PCs, Servers, Network Storage Devices, Wireless Access Points, Network Printers, PDA's, Smartphones, and a growing list of other electronic equipment that maintain wired, wireless, and remote connections to your business network.
On a more intangible level, the network also provides a foundation of shared Network Services and Resources for network security management, system administration, and maintaining a user friendly experience. These Network Services and Resources could include: DNS, DHCP, SNMP, Authentication, Directory Services, E-Mail Services, Network Printing, Web Traffic Content Filtering, Security & Intrusion Detection, and a host of other specialized jobs. These Network Services are the intangible core of the network providing real-time, on-demand, digital services that in combination with the network hardware enables the highly valuable, multi-faceted tool that is your small business network.
A WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) links devices via a wireless distribution method, and usually provides a connection through an access point to the Local Area Network (LAN) and from there to the wide open Internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network. Typical devices found in the small business that provide wireless access is a Wireless Access Point (WAP) or a Wireless Router. The Wireless Router is a Wireless Access Point with an additional Local Area Network (LAN) Switch and a Wide Area Network (WAN) port bundled into one device. The Wireless Router is the more flexible amd popular device for home office and small business use.