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How To Make Sense Of Your Office IT Network

Posted In WAN & Network - By Techtiplib on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 With No Comments »

Let’s set the scene. You have just got put in charge of managing your company’s IT systems. You know a bit about IT, but aren’t an expert as such. The company you work for only has a staff of around ten people, and you work out of a small office.

Because you are the most “technical” person there, your peers will expect you to help solve IT issues. For the most part, you can “get by” doing Google searches to find fixes to most problems. But, one thing that confuses you is networking. What do the various devices do, and how does it all fit together?

Today I will give you a brief primer into the world of networking. By the end of this blog post, you should know a bit more about networking. At least, enough to work out where the source of any problems may occur! Here is what you need to know:

Office IT Network

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The Internet

Let’s face it; everyone in your office will use the Internet at some stage of their day. How do they connect to it? Your office will have a device called a router. Its job is to send and receive data to and from Internet servers.

Your Internet connection might be an ADSL broadband one, just like the one many people use at home. Or it could be a high-speed fiber connection with a cable company. The router you use will also include a built-in firewall. The job of the firewall is to prevent hackers from accessing your internal network or “LAN”.

If the Internet stops working for everyone, your first port of call should be the router. You can usually log into it and determine the cause of the problem. In most cases, rebooting it or turning it off and on again will fix any issues.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A LAN is a term used to describe the internal network in your office. The computers and devices in your office will use Ethernet cables or wireless links. Wired connections will go either to a switch or direct to your Internet router. Wireless connections will go to your Internet router or a Wi-Fi “access point.”

In case you wondered, a switch is a device that acts as a hub. It allows wired connections to link to your Internet router. YJT Solutions can help you improve your LAN design if you’ve got an outdated or complex layout.

Powerline adapters

Is your employer’s premises split across several floors? If so, there is usually two ways computers in those cases connect to a LAN. First of all, they may use structured wiring. That’s what IT experts refer to as the Ethernet cabling that runs in and around your building. Another option is to use Powerline adapters.

In a nutshell, Powerline adapters act as LAN switches, but with a clever twist. Instead of using lots of long wires between floors, it uses power sockets!

A typical Powerline configuration will consist of at least two adapters. One of them will need to get connected to an actual LAN switch or Internet router. You can use as many Powerline adapters as you wish. I hope today’s blog post has been of some use to you. Thanks for reading!

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