Why Your Small Business Needs a Server-Based LAN
Benefits Tailor Made for Small Business
If your business operates multiple computers, there are important reasons you should connect them through a Local Area Network or LAN. With a server-based LAN, businesses of all sizes can leverage the combined power of all their computers and networked resources to improve productivity, security, management and more.
Most new computers include the software needed to set up a simple LAN that will support file and printer sharing. To realize the full benefits of a LAN, however, you will need to add a centralized computer called a server to manage and optimize the network. Along with shared access to all networked devices, a server-based LAN gives all your computers access to centralized data, applications and secured internal networks. A server-based LAN has several benefits that are tailor made for small business.
Top 5 Advantages of a Server-Based LAN
- Shared Resources and Remote Access: The ability to share resources among all your computers is the primary reason for setting up a server-based LAN. With a server-based LAN your employees can share access to software, files, high-speed internet – and devices such as printers, scanners and back-up devices. This can substantially lower your operating costs. Your workers can also work from home or remotely and access files on your server whenever they want.
- Better Performance and Reliability: LAN servers are usually optimized for better performance, which is particularly useful for Web servers and email servers. When optimized servers are used for file or database servers, they can increase the availability and speed of applications and data. At the same time, a server-based LAN maintains redundant hardware and software, so if a single computer fails, it won’t disrupt your operations. All of this means greater productivity.
- Easier Management: It’s much easier to manage multiple computers from a single platform than it is to manage each of them individually. Also, your IT administrator can remotely troubleshoot problems on computers across the network rather than doing it in person.
- Added Security: LAN servers have built-in security features, like firewalls, that improve the security for online access. At the same time, a LAN server lets you control which users have access to what data based on their need. These features can prevent unauthorized data access and accidental data corruption. With a LAN server, you can install and update antivirus software on a network-wide basis; you can also perform regular network-wide backups. In addition, all of your backups can be saved to an off-site location. This adds a second dimension of data security to your business in the event of cyber-attack, equipment failure or carelessness.
- Robust, Real-Time Business Information: With a server-based LAN, customer service reps have instant access to all the relevant customer and product information. At the same time, data that management needs to make informed decisions – including incoming orders, sales figures or inventory levels – can be immediately accessed when it's stored on a LAN. This gives management both real-time insight and a big picture view of their business, leading to more effective and intelligent decisions.
A Server-Based LAN Will Serve Your Business Well
Setting up a server-based LAN does involve some expense, but you don’t have to be a technical expert. A good place to start is with your internet service provider. Most offer networking expertise and services to help you set up your LAN. They may also offer technical support and troubleshooting.
Most LANs will provide a substantial ROI through in increased productivity, shared resources, improved security, easier management and smarter decisions. What’s more, as your company grows, the value and importance of your LAN will grow even more.