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Speak the Language: Networking Basics

A network is defined as two or more computers linked together for the purpose of sharing or exchanging resources or communicating electronically. As you consider developing a new network for your business, or want to maintain or expand an existing one, here are some helpful definitions to know as you discuss your needs with your IT vendor.

Types of Networks

Local Area Network (LAN): a network confined to a small area, such as a building, so you can share access to your computers, servers, printers, and other network devices.

Wide Area Network (WAN): has a larger reach and connects two or more LANs to each other and the internet.

Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN or WiFi): a dedicated network used to connect devices (including mobile ones) wirelessly, to your business servers and to the internet. This is accomplished by use of wireless access points (WAPs) that connect the wireless users to your network.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): software that allows your remote employees to safely access your business network.

Network Protocols

IP: the identifier of each computer so they can communicate with each other and the internet.

Bluetooth: found in phones, tablets, laptops and other devices, it’s most often used for connecting wirelessly.

Routing: protocol used to connect within a router, mostly for internet access or for connecting multiple local area networks.

HTTP: leads you to a website.

Networking Equipment

Switches: connect multiple devices on the same network for sharing resources. They are used within a building or campus, and are available managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged switches cannot be modified, while managed switches can be programmed, offering you greater network flexibility for controlling your network traffic and access.

Routers: connect multiple networks together — LAN, WAN and internet. They dispatch your information using the best route, and can protect your business from outside security threats by use of firewall software.

Access Points: a hardware device on a local area network (LAN) that allows wireless capable devices and wired networks to connect. They also control which devices have access to the network and provide proactive security, among other functions.

INNOVEX Network Support Services

Our technical consultants will work with you to understand your business goals, and recommend a network design and installation plan that fits your needs. The INNOVEX engineers are certified in various networking technologies and are experienced in deploying networking solutions. We offer:

  • Consultation
  • Existing equipment and system assessment
  • Strategic planning
  • Network design
  • IT equipment recommendations, sourcing and procurement
  • Implementation
  • Optional managed services to keep your system running smoothly

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