For small business owners, a business network can make life much easier. The network allows for seamless sharing of files among all of your employees and is much easier to set up than most people realize. It also speeds up the productivity of your office due to the faster transfer of information and isn’t too expensive to install a small business network in either. You can do it yourself with minimal instruction and background experience. The next few steps will lay the basic blueprint for setting up a network in nearly any small business environment.

The Basics

First and foremost, you are going to need a router. Routers transfer information between computers on the same network. It is the central hub for your network. Preferably, you are going to want a business grade router, so you can use all of the advanced security features.

The wireless against wired route is a bad example, since you are never forced to use one over the other. However, a wired network provides more security. On the other hand, a wireless network allows for laptops and Wi-Fi capable desktops to connect without the hassle of wires. You can have both networks on one router, so you will never be lacking in connectivity.

Types of Networks

You can do either a peer-to-peer network or a client-server network. The only difference is in the way the files are transferred.

Peer-to-peer networks allow the transfer of data directly from one PC to another PC. However, it also has the potential to be less secure and has fewer features than a server-client setup.

A server-client setup allows you to transfer data between computers too, but all of the information goes through a server that is located on the premises before it arrives on another PC. It effectively adds another layer of security on top of your existing system and oftentimes large businesses prefer this setup.


Security is the next important measure in a business network. A good security system prevents users from accessing your network without your permission.

Typically a secure network is successfully set up by following these instructions. First, you install a WEP password onto your router. This can be done through the router’s firmware, which is accessed by typing in the router’s IP address. Next, you choose a password. It translates into four strings of hex code that protects the password from outside sources. Finally, you must input the password on every wireless device that connects to the network. In some cases, you will also have to do it for computers that have a wired connection to the router.

Additional Useful Features

You may want to use VPN, or virtual private network, software for accessing your network from places around the world, assuming you have an internet connection.

On a VPN, your computer is treated as a computer that is in the network. There is one key difference: speed. The speed of a VPN network depends on the speed of the internet service you are using.

However, a VPN provides a business with a means of accessing their network from around the world. This is obviously extremely efficient and helpful because it allows business professionals to access their network without physically being at the office.

As a small business owner, you can install all of these systems yourself. In turn, this helps to save you money and provides you with a secure network. It is simpler than it seems for small networks, but it gets tricky when inputted on a larger scale. It is pretty convenient to obtain more extensive knowledge about these topics with a Management Information Systems Degree, as well.

Blake Pappas has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing an MBA.