Live Help

LAN Configuration

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building using network media.The defining characteristics of LANs,in contrast to wide area networks (WANs), include their usually higher data-transfer rates, smaller geographic area, and lack of a need for leased telecommunication lines.
Specialized operating system software may be used to configure a local area network. For example, most flavors of Microsoft Windows provide a software package called Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) that supports controlled access to LAN resources.

 

LAN

Network Setup - Peer - To - Peer Vs. Client-Server

The next step in how to set up a small business computer network is deciding whether to make it a peer-to-peer setup or a client-server one. Both networks connect computers so that resources can be shared between them. The fundamental differences are in the setup configuration.

Peer - To - Peer Setup

In a peer-to-peer setup, every computer acts as both the client and the server. Each computer communicates directly with the other computers in the network and resources can be added or removed. A peer-to-peer setup is much more common in the home.

Equipment You Will Need

Setting up your network peer-to-peer only requires you to have a router (possibly with wireless capability) and the necessary Ethernet cords to run the router to the modem and from the router to all of your computers.

Settings You Will Need

Depending on the operating system your computers may be running on, you should have some built in functions for a network. In Windows, for example, you can opt to put all computers on the same Workgroup (XP) or Homegroup (Windows 7) and enable print/file sharing. The built-in Network Setup Wizard in the control panel will walk you through your setup.

Client-Server Setup

In a client-server setup, multiple clients (computers) connect to a single, central server. Public data and applications are only installed on the server and the clients connect to the server to use the resources. This type of setup is more typical in larger offices or businesses.

Equipment You Will Need

In order to create a client-server setup, you are probably going to need a server, or at least a server-friendly operating system. Microsoft Windows Server Edition and Linux are very good for this.You can install one of them on a PC and use it as a server if you like, but if you have a large business it would be wise to consider purchasing a stand-alone server for the job, especially if you are going to be adding or expanding to your network in the future.

Equipment You Will Need

In order to create a client-server setup, you are probably going to need a server, or at least a server-friendly operating system. Microsoft Windows Server Edition and Linux are very good for this.You can install one of them on a PC and use it as a server if you like, but if you have a large business it would be wise to consider purchasing a stand-alone server for the job, especially if you are going to be adding or expanding to your network in the future.

Settings You Will Need

Hooking up the network properly is half the battle. Once hooked up, your server - or the computer running the server OS - should be pretty straight forward to configure. All of your client computers should have computer names (e.g. Steve-Desktop1). You can use these names to set restrictions or grant privileges to any or all of the clients on your network.

Securing Your New Network

Network security is also important to consider when you're running a small business, particularly in a wireless configuration.