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Setting Up a Small-Business Network

Small businesses have come a long way since the days of the "sneaker net," when a tired floppy disk served as the only means for sharing files among employees. As we become more reliant on computers, e-mail, and the Internet to do our jobs, local area networks (LANs) have become an essential resource for growing businesses - whether they're based in a home office or a downtown skyscraper. If your employees need to share applications, files, printers, databases, or an Internet connection, you're ready for a LAN. We've pulled together the best material from to help you get the basics on wiring your small business.

Getting Started

How to Buy a Small-Business Network Server
The nuts and bolts on what you need for speed, memory, power, and redundancy.
Missing Links
Novell? NT? Peer to peer? Client/server? Once you've decided to install a local area network, a host of new decisions awaits.
Plug and Pay
Chances are, you'll be hiring a consultant to install your local area network. But even techies can get fooled by incompetent or unscrupulous consultants. Here's what you need to know before you hire one. Also, check out the resources at the end of the article to get started on your search for the right consultant.
No Strings Attached
Keep peripatetic employees, consultants, and independent contractors connected to your network - without rummaging for wires and crawling under desks.

Connecting to the Internet

The Basics of Broadband
Get up to speed on ISDN, DSL, cable, and T1 Internet connections for your business.
Speed Leader
Here's what you can expect to pay for broadband.
Twoing the Line
Sharing a single Internet connection got easy for this home-based entrepreneur, who hit a bottleneck when business boomed.
Plug In and Play on the Internet
For those who do it themselves: The Whistle InterJet lets you easily connect your company to the Internet without a Web server, modem, router, or systems administrator.

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