Best small business network solution?

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,830
1,851
136
So what type of equipment would I need to network 5 work station PC's to another PC functioning as a server?

The 5 work stations need to access the internet, and it needs wireless for a piece of ancillary equipment that uses an iPad.

All PC's are running Windows 8.1 and SQL 2012 and veterinary software. The internet connection is DSL.

I'm asking in a very basic manner because I have very basic knowledge, although if I have issues I will have a support line to call. Currently they recommend an $800 piece of equipment although we have been getting by with an $80 router.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,471
387
126
I'm asking in a very basic manner because I have very basic knowledge, although if I have issues I will have a support line to call. Currently they recommend an $800 piece of equipment although we have been getting by with an $80 router.

Let say that you work 1 Mile form were you live.

You can walk, you can use a Byke, Segway, simple Car, Lamborghini.

Your Notwork is a Byke the $800 offers you a car. It is your call.


:cool:
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,830
1,851
136
Let say that you work 1 Mile form were you live.

You can walk, you can use a Byke, Segway, simple Car, Lamborghini.

Your Notwork is a Byke the $800 offers you a car. It is your call.


:cool:


What?
 

Mushkins

Golden Member
Feb 11, 2013
1,631
0
0

Let me clarify:

Can you run 5 PCs and a "server" with a wireless AP off an $80 router?
Sure, I do it at home. Emphasis on home. It's not the end of the world if my wifi isn't rock solid or my router coughs and interrupts my netflix stream.

You're talking business though. Business means "has to work." Your clients and the livelihood of your employees are depending on this equipment to work. It doesn't work, *you* cant work. You cant work, you make no money. No money? You go out of business.

Business-class hardware is built with better quality parts, and has actual warranty options focused around business continuity and mission-critical uptime. I've reset that $30 crappy 8 port switch in my closet at home at least a dozen times this year. The business class cisco switches in my closets at work have *never* needed a restart to fix a quirky connection, they've only been restarted during regular old scheduled network maintenance (maybe once a year where a switch actually has to be restarted).

From a router perspective, that $800 device is going to handle considerably more concurrent connections without breaking a sweat, and it's also going to have advanced security features like a robust firewall, intrusion prevention, and web content filtering capabilities. All of these features require a more powerful device, that $80 router is not going to be able to do those things to any great effect while also handling internet access for the whole network.

In car terms, you might drive your friends to the movies in your old beat up 1998 chevy malibu and it'll get you there just fine. But if you were starting up a taxi service, you'd want a more reliable and safer car, which is going to cost some money. Just because that $80 device and that $800 are both routers does *not* mean they are "the same thing." Anything but.

You don't *want* to be calling that support line four times a day because your network is down. Nor do you want to have to tell the client standing at your reception desk that you cant service them because the computers dont work.
 
Last edited:

RadiclDreamer

Diamond Member
Aug 8, 2004
8,622
40
91
Let me clarify:

Can you run 5 PCs and a "server" with a wireless AP off an $80 router?
Sure, I do it at home. Emphasis on home. It's not the end of the world if my wifi isn't rock solid or my router coughs and interrupts my netflix stream.

You're talking business though. Business means "has to work." Your clients and the livelihood of your employees are depending on this equipment to work. It doesn't work, *you* cant work. You cant work, you make no money. No money? You go out of business.

Business-class hardware is built with better quality parts, and has actual warranty options focused around business continuity and mission-critical uptime. I've reset that $30 crappy 8 port switch in my closet at home at least a dozen times this year. The business class cisco switches in my closets at work have *never* needed a restart to fix a quirky connection, they've only been restarted during regular old scheduled network maintenance (maybe once a year where a switch actually has to be restarted).

From a router perspective, that $800 device is going to handle considerably more concurrent connections without breaking a sweat, and it's also going to have advanced security features like a robust firewall, intrusion prevention, and web content filtering capabilities. All of these features require a more powerful device, that $80 router is not going to be able to do those things to any great effect while also handling internet access for the whole network.

In car terms, you might drive your friends to the movies in your old beat up 1998 chevy malibu and it'll get you there just fine. But if you were starting up a taxi service, you'd want a more reliable and safer car, which is going to cost some money. Just because that $80 device and that $800 are both routers does *not* mean they are "the same thing." Anything but.

You don't *want* to be calling that support line four times a day because your network is down. Nor do you want to have to tell the client standing at your reception desk that you cant service them because the computers dont work.

This is all true, but for 5 people, you can keep quite a few spares ready in case of failure. I would only upgrade if there were performance concerns.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
2,830
1,851
136
Of course I understand that. I'm asking from the standpoint of ease of use and security I guess. I can easily set up a network and do the basic functions on a Linksys router, including the encryption for wireless etc. I just don't know if an $800 unit would even be doable for me to configure, all that stuff is meaningless if I don't know how to set it up, maintain it, etc. I think if we went that route they might get more money for service calls just because if it went down I wouldn't know what to do beyond resetting everything.

The main concerns are protecting the pc's from malware and viruses, not someone sitting out front with a laptop trying to hack into the network. I don't really have problems with our home Linksys unit, our POS dsl has more issues than the wireless router. I could keep a spare unit sitting there with the proper settings as a spare I guess, which is a good idea I hadn't really thought of...

Let me clarify:

Can you run 5 PCs and a "server" with a wireless AP off an $80 router?
Sure, I do it at home. Emphasis on home. It's not the end of the world if my wifi isn't rock solid or my router coughs and interrupts my netflix stream.

You're talking business though. Business means "has to work." Your clients and the livelihood of your employees are depending on this equipment to work. It doesn't work, *you* cant work. You cant work, you make no money. No money? You go out of business.

Business-class hardware is built with better quality parts, and has actual warranty options focused around business continuity and mission-critical uptime. I've reset that $30 crappy 8 port switch in my closet at home at least a dozen times this year. The business class cisco switches in my closets at work have *never* needed a restart to fix a quirky connection, they've only been restarted during regular old scheduled network maintenance (maybe once a year where a switch actually has to be restarted).

From a router perspective, that $800 device is going to handle considerably more concurrent connections without breaking a sweat, and it's also going to have advanced security features like a robust firewall, intrusion prevention, and web content filtering capabilities. All of these features require a more powerful device, that $80 router is not going to be able to do those things to any great effect while also handling internet access for the whole network.

In car terms, you might drive your friends to the movies in your old beat up 1998 chevy malibu and it'll get you there just fine. But if you were starting up a taxi service, you'd want a more reliable and safer car, which is going to cost some money. Just because that $80 device and that $800 are both routers does *not* mean they are "the same thing." Anything but.

You don't *want* to be calling that support line four times a day because your network is down. Nor do you want to have to tell the client standing at your reception desk that you cant service them because the computers dont work.