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Web site design and maintenance by
Prestek Design Services
and
John R. Dykstra
Seattle, Washington
.
.

Connectivity and Networking

There are several ways you can connect your computer to other computers in your company and to the Internet. Below are some of the connection and networking options available to you.

Peer-to-Peer Networking
This is the most common type of network for small companies with 10 or fewer PC's (or Mac's). The computers are networked by means of a router that manages the physical or wireless connections between them. Once all your computers are on a network, you can share files and printers. Sometimes one of the PC's is dedicated as a 'file server' even though it's not running on a server operating system. This can help simplify sharing and keep the other PC's running faster. Most of the routers I install now have wireless capability with good reliability and range. I have installed repeaters in some very large areas to further extend the range when needed.
Client-Server Networking
This networking model encompasses a range of possibilities from very simple to very complex. In this configuration one computer is the "server" and the others are "clients". The server will be running on Windows Server software and will usually authenticate users and then allow them access to designated files and programs. Some programs may be hosted on the server but run from the client PC's. This is usually the case with large database systems and may also be used for some versions of QuickBooks. Some of my customers use an Internet based server for access to their inventory and customer data from remote locations around the country. Contact me if you think this is something for you.
High-speed Internet Access
If your business requires regular access to and interaction with web sites or you have several people downloading information and doing research throughout the day, you will need high-speed Internet access. Depending on your location you may have up to three or more choices of "broadband" service to choose from; cable, DSL, fiber-optic, Wi-Max or satellite. Prices and availability are changing all the time as providers merge, expand and/or fail but this is a must in most businesses. Mobile broadband is getting more reliable and affordable for many companies. If you have personell that spend a good portion of their day working away from the office I can help you choose a plan that's right for you.


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