Computer Networking For The Small Business Owner

If you are a small business owner and want to communicate rapidly and effectively with your coworkers, clients, other entities and companies in the world, then you must understand computer networks and networking. This is especially important if you have a commercial website for your small business and want to keep it currently updated, viewed by a lot of people, and accessed by other small and large computer-based entities. 

A computer network is a telecommunications system of computers and peripheral electronic devices connected together to exchange data using hardware and software to communicate. In computer networks, authorized computing devices exchange data along connection links and nodes using either cabled or wireless media. Computer networking allows the rapid, seamless, and secure exchange of communications and data among all who are permitted to access the network.  

A computer network can be as small as one computer linked together with a printer and as large as all of the computers and peripheral electronic devices within a multinational corporation linked together to share data and resources. Computer networks connect their users with each other and with peripheral electronic devices such as servers, printers, scanners, routers, hubs, switches, modems, firewalls, bridges, and storage devices to remotely and seamlessly share, print and store data. There are many types and configurations of computer networks. Here are some of the most common computer networks to consider setting up for your small business:

  • PAN (Personal Area Network) - This primary digital network connects a few computers and personal digital assistants with each other and peripheral electronic devices within a single building or office to communicate and exchange data. This is the most basic computer network that you can set up within your small business to communicate with your coworkers, share access to peripherals, communicate with suppliers and distributors, and conduct business with clients and other networks.
  • LAN (Local Area Network) - This telecommunications network can connect your small business with other computer users in a relatively small physical area such as one or more buildings within a business high-rise, business park or university campus. Networked entities can include libraries, laboratories, research facilities, and other related businesses. A LAN network allows you as a small business owner to communicate rapidly with your suppliers and end user clients and easily access your network from home.
  • MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) - This telecommunications network can be active and viable in a large physical location such as a single major metropolitan city or two cities within close proximity of each other. As a small business owner, when your network expands the capabilities of your small business expands and the speed at which you can do business greatly expands. 
  • WAN (Wide Area Network) - This wireless telecommunications network connects users and peripheral equipment within a large physical location area. Businesses, universities,  government entities and others in various geographical locations are able to communicate directly with each other regardless of the distance between them. A WAN network can connect several LANs and can be restricted to private communications or accessible to the public. Access to the Internet is facilitated through a public WAN. 
  • GAN (Global Area Network) - This is a worldwide wireless telecommunications system that facilitates and supports mobile communications on computers and cell phones. This system will relay user communications from one LAN to another LAN to complete the global network circuit. The Internet, which has no single owner, uses a GAN to facilitate unlimited global connectivity. 

This is an exciting time for small business owners, their clients, and other commercial and non-commercial entities in the world. All of the above computer networks are linked and governed by different entities that cooperate with each other to provide the best and fastest communications possible. As technology advances, these digital telecommunications networks and systems will become even faster, more inclusive, and more secure. Pick the computer network that is appropriate for your small business now and advance to other networks as you grow and prosper. For more information, contact companies like Advanced Business Systems.