Installation of Local Area Network

Nowadays technologies are developing very fast and thanks to it the speed of information exchange grows rapidly. Expeditious exchange of information is very important for enterprises, companies and various institutions because their profit and competitiveness depend on how information streams are automated and coordinated. Information exchange by means of portable media, such as memory sticks or hard disks, doesn't allow to provide speed necessary for effective operation of enterprise. Besides, it’s not always possible to use portable media.

Computer networks

Computer networks are created for exchange and joint use of information, while running computers which are removed from each other. Network is several computers connected with each other by communication channel. Data exchange between computers within network is carried out by this channel. Network may include from 2 or 3 computers to several thousands. Data exchange between devices can be realized by fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, twisted pair, telephone wire and radio waves. In network computers can be connected directly with each other, or through intermediate communication centers. Also computers in network can be either servers, or workstations (clients). Clients use resources of server and have access to resources in network, but they don't provide access to their resources in network. Servers are computers collecting data from workstations and managing whole network. Servers may not have keyboard and even monitor, but they always carry out control of network and data collection in automatic mode. Network administrators are people whose duties include operation and equipment of network, prevention of problems connected with access rights and restriction of users’ opportunities. Most often server is the most powerful computer in network. Networks not only allow people to exchange data quickly, but also give opportunity of joint use of network scanners, printers, hard disks and other peripherals. According to the transmission media networks can be wired and wireless. In this article we will speak about local wired networks (further simply local networks).

Local networks

Networks which consist of computers located not far from each other, within one building or several buildings situated next to each other, are called local. In local networks containing small amount of computers, all computers are mostly equal. It means that people working in this network decide independently general access to which computer files, disks and catalogs they can open. This type of networks is called peer. If network contains more than 10 computers, productivity of peer network cannot be enough. Therefore to increase safety of storage of files and to provide big productivity, there are servers to store data and software. In this case local network is called network on the basis of server. In order to be connected to a network a computer should have network adapter necessary for reception and transmission of data from network. Computers are related to one another by means of different types of cables which are listed above. In local network computers can be connected with each other differently. For example, the type of connection when each computer and other peripherals in network are consistently connected to one cable is called ‘linear bus’. If each computer is connected to the central knot of network by means of separate cable, such type of connection is called ‘star’. The second type of connection has an advantage in comparison with the first as if cable of one of computers is damaged other elements of network will function properly.

Why is local network needed?

Today local network represents integral element of every office and organization. Organization will work ineffectively and information exchange will be carried out much more slowly without local network. Let's examine why local network is needed in general? Firstly, as previously stated, local network allows to participants of network group to exchange various data, such as electronic documents, files, software, games, music, etc. Thanks to high speed of modern network adapters, you can listen to music or watch films directly from remote computer, without loading data on your computer. However, if it is necessary to download data, it can be done at high speed (to 1000 Mb/s) in network. When developing any software product or working on project overall performance increases if all users are integrated by means of local network. Secondly, with the help of local network it is possible to share various peripherals, such as printers, scanners, etc. Thirdly, local network can provide each component of network with Internet access. Fourthly, to lay telephone connection at enterprise, special equipment which installation demands the existence of local network is necessary. If you want to create local network, it is necessary to choose network parameters suitable for you. First of all it is necessary to decide by which means data will be transferred in your network – either by cables or by radio waves. According to this parameter network can be wired or wireless.

Comparison of wired and wireless networks

Local wired network is applied more often as it has a number of advantages over wireless one. Firstly, the most prominent advantage of local networks is the speed which can reach 1000 Mb/s. When using wireless network connection speed is much less, and the bigger distance from access point, the slower data exchange is. Also, if there are thick walls in building, radio signal is very weak. Besides, if building has big area, the use of wireless networks is extremely inefficient, again because of limited coverage field of access point. Secondly, local network is cheaper alternative to wireless network. Certainly, at wireless data transmission you can save on cables but if building is big, it is necessary to establish some access points or to amplify the signal, and moreover the price of wireless network adapters is higher than the price of wired ones. Thirdly, wireless network is more vulnerable than local. Safety of connection in any organization is one of key factors because information leakage can have an adverse effect on profit and competitiveness of enterprise. As for wireless network, its only advantage is absence of cables and mobility. If you use laptop, you will have an opportunity to move freely around your office, staying in network, within coverage area of access point.

What is necessary for development of local network

After having chosen the technology of data transmission, it is necessary to think over network plan properly. If you are going to use wired network, you have to determine where and how many sockets should be installed, in what place cables should be laid and where switchboards should be placed. Besides, there is a need to assign a place for cross and server rooms. If both premises are situated in one place, it is necessary to think over in advance whether it will be possible to lay additional cables in case of need, way of cooling of the room and other aspects. Also it is necessary to make allowance for expansion of network. If you are not a professional, it is difficult to consider all necessary factors for the organization of local network. It is quite possible that you won’t be satisfied by the result of your work. If you have no experience in organization of local network, it is better to ask for help of professionals who won’t fail to take into account all necessary factors of network development, and, thus, save you from problems you can face if you work by your own.