Networking 101 – Understanding the Basics

July 14, 2020 Computer St.Louis

Networking 101

Networks are comprised of firewalls, routers, switches, wireless access points and servers and any combination thereof. Understanding your network requirements and the infrastructure it takes to support those needs is our main priority. When we evaluate a network, we take into consideration all the ways in which you access your information within your own business as well as the outside world. Through this assessment, we can determine what course of action makes the most sense economically, while simultaneously taking special consideration regarding compliance issues.

A firewall acts as a gatekeeper that decides what traffic can enter your network based upon rules configured upon installation. Firewalls are the first line of defense in your network and require maintenance and updated patching to combat the latest threats. Just like anything else in your network, there is never a one-and-done situation when it comes to protection; a robust network requires a dedicated, recurring eye on network health and upkeep.

Routers transmit communication across multiple networks. They understand how many networks are active and coordinate the incoming traffic to the appropriate resource and can even coordinate a hierarchy of what device gets which service first. Routers allow you to coordinate several networks on a single internet connection which can save money. Routers also require security updates and monitoring for active and passive susceptibilities.

Switches provide coordination services to segregate traffic and allows your devices to communicate with each other. Switches take all the resources necessary in maintaining your business and configures the settings to provide access to users. Think of switches like you might utilize a concierge in coordinating your vacation, creating a seamless unification of tasks that if organized properly, can function mutually exclusive of one another and maintain optimal output. Our team works diligently at ensuring your switching components do just that and with our managed services platform, you can set up the configuration to receive automatic updates to switch vulnerabilities.

Wireless access points do exactly what they say they do – provide access to your network and the outside world all without wires! This amazing invention has changed the landscape of remote accessibility making it possible to create invoices in the field, access that document that you forgot to download off the company server, anything and everything you can think of to make your life easier!

And of course, the server or your cloud-based server acts as the storage unit for all your data. A server also acts as a services provider, like authenticating users, acting as a print server, coordinating computers on a network – just to name a few.

Now you’ve got the basics, talk to any member of our Computer St. Louis team to find out more about what your network needs and how to maintain quality inside and out for your network security.