Your business is growing. You now have several machines belonging to different employees of your management company and you want to connect them into a network so they'll be able to trade information back and forth more easily than they can do if they're all simply connected to the internet. But there are two different types of networks: peer to peer and client and server. Which is right for your business? This article gives an overview of peer to peer networks so you can see if it's the right fit for you.
Definition of peer to peer networking.
In terms of cost effectiveness, peer to peer is the best choice for a small business. It allows you to link all of your computers and peripherals together using only a hub switch and some cables or network cards rather than an expensive server. Using a peer to peer network will allow everyone at your office to use the same printer or scanner, saving you money because you don't have to buy peripherals for every computer in your office.
A peer to peer network allows computers to interact with each other on an equal footing, with no one computer exercising control or regulating the network. This can reduce the chance of your whole office shutting down because of a problem with the server. The computers will be self contained but connected, which allows users to share details about a project if they wish but not to access another employee's computer without permission and dig through his or her files. The painting company Student Works might use this type of network to allow their summer management program staff to share details of an upcoming job with the paint staff.
Peer to peer networks work best with a relatively small number of computers. Between two and fifteen is the optimal number. Therefore if you start doing business with a five employees and your office expands to include more machines than that, you will have to upgrade to a server controlled network or risk running into problems as computers compete for attention and bandwidth on the peer to peer network. Therefore if you know your company will be growing soon, peer to peer may not be the way to go.
If you need a high level of security to your network, peer to peer is not the way to go because each computer needs its own security software to keep out threats, which multiplies the number of possible entrance points that hackers and viruses have to your network. One mistake by a user, one forgotten upgrade, can bring the whole network down. Therefore if you're a business owner with a lot of sensitive files, use a server arrangement with dedicated top-down security.
For more information about setting up your physical office space, read on...