Certified Network Engineers
Whether you want to set a simple wireless network in your house so you can access your high speed internet on your laptop in the backyard on a sunny day or you run an corporate network that crosses state or national boundaries with a location in Coeur d Alene or Spokane, no job is too big or too small for our certified experts. With over 12 years of networking experience we can get your network up and running smoothly so it can be maintained by you or managed by ABC Internet engineers.
Home Network Opportunities
With low cost wireless devices plentiful these days, there is no reason to be tied down with wires in
your home. ABC Internet technicians can add wireless connections to your home for your personal computers, laptops, or gaming consoles virtually anywhere. In some older homes with steel siding and multiple floors the network can still be established
with a few more wireless devices that can repeat the signal to make sure you have coverage anywhere you want it. Our network engineers will make sure that your home network is secure from outside 'bandwidth bandits' and computer hackers that might try to intrude on your privacy.
We don't mind taking extra time to show owners how to maintain the network on their own and add users, set automated internet policies that prevent unauthorized internet access from children that should be in bed or doing homework, etc. With a simple set up of a rule or two in the wireless router you can have the internet shut off to specific computers at pre-set times so you don't have to 'police' them all night long.
Problems Small Business Networks Face
Many small business networks today have less than 10 computers connected with a few printers and they share the same internet connection in what we call a 'workgroup' environment. While this environment does create the basics of file and printer sharing there are many issues that face these types of networks. I have outlined just a few of them below and discussed them briefly. With computer hardware less expensive than it has ever been, I highly recommend moving your peer to peer (workgroup) environment to a much more secure, stable, easy to backup and administer client-server model. If you would like to make an appointment with our consultants to discuss the benefits of making the switch just click here and call us
- Security (Workgroups can be penetrated easily because of their naturally relaxed security profiles. This means that if someone were to compromise your internet connection on just one computer, they can easily 'walk' the network and gain access to any of the others connected to the workgroup.
Most small workgroups don't even have passwords set on the individual computers because the owners have a false sense of security with their employees. They don't consider the night cleaning crews, subcontractors, or other maintenance personnel that may have access to their network outside of business hours. It is very difficult to enforce password security on every computer in a workgroup environment as an administrator must be vigilant in making sure that employees aren't turning them off.)
- Stability (Most workgroup environments are prone to machines and printers or other devices 'falling off' the network. Mysteriously these devices were there one day and gone the next. This is often caused by the fact that workgroups really weren't intended for stable long-term device sharing. The types of computers that often share the connections are not always designed with computer networking of this type either so put the two together and there you have it- a recipe for problems.)
- No Data Backups (Because workgroup computers typically do not share a unified data source target, they are inherently difficult to back up. Most workgroups have the valuable information stored randomly all around the network on various user's computers. Only when one of these machines drops off the network or fails do users consider backup solutions and when they do, these solutions can end up being quite costly because individual devices must be attached to each machine OR expensive software must be installed on one of the computers that must 'walk the network' to backup remote data sets. This type of backup causes a major strain on the network itself as it struggles to provide the data flow necessary to maintain the normal traffic in addition to the extra load of all the backup data flying around. This normally results in late night automated backups that then must be monitored by a network
administrator who must check to see that the backup actually took place each day. This extra workload to employees that are often overburdened already is one of the major reasons most backup solutions of this type fail and no one even notices.)
- Employee Data Theft (Since most of the data on a workgroup network is unsecured, employees have direct access to it whenever they can get to their machines. Without a server to manage data access and an ability to log what
is going on, employees can steal company information at will and simply e-mail it themselves at home. When an employer decides to let an employee go, they must be prepared to prevent any further access to critical data or network resources to stop a disgruntled individual from doing damage to the data or resources. This is not easy in a workgroup environment.
Corporate Network Outsource Partnerships
Many larger networks have internal IT staffs and resources that manage the day to day processes of their network infrastructure. While this is practical for daily operation, it is often necessary to outsource to specialists when problems arise that are outside the normal scope of IT operations. ABC Internet has many such clients who turn to our network engineers for quick resolutions to these problems. Such business partnerships are beneficial to both companies because over time, our staff learns the specific
environment of the business entity and can offer consulting advice on future expansions, present new solutions to problems that our engineers may predict based on the environment of that entity, and offer a shorter window to action in situations where the internal staff is simply overwhelmed with their current workload and not able to respond quickly enough to keep things running smoothly. These 'spikes' in workload happen frequently at times when the internal IT department is already involved in other projects and the inefficiency of being pulled from project to put out fire and back again can cost far more in lack of productivity from all the employees who are impacted by this scenario than simply outsourcing the labor during the activity spike.
Another benefit from outsourcing comes from addressing another common internal IT trouble area. Frequently the internal IT staff of an organization gets 'data' or 'network' centric as time passes because they are not involved daily with new technologies that are reaching the market place. The IT departments are forced into a sort of tunnel vision by the very nature of the specific environment they are paid to maintain. Rarely do these overworked IT staffs have time to keep up on current events or demo new technology that might have a very positive impact on the network if they had the time or knowledge to implement it. Our network engineers work with all types of businesses in various industries of all sizes. This keeps our staff 'in the know' about a tremendously widespread degree of products and services. ABC Internet engineers often find themselves recommending potential solutions to problems internal IT personnel simply don't
have time to investigate. Since the network is one the largest tools of any given organization, anything that can be done to keep that tool sharp and clean should be done because it impacts the daily operation and productivity of every salaried or hourly employee. When you consider the short term cost of adding a new technology to streamline a process it comes with a price tag, but so does not doing anything at all. That price tag is harder to quantify because it must be calculated by the employee rate of pay times the number of employees times the amount of time the new process saves time the number of workdays in a year. This formula is so often disregarded though when analyzed it comes to light just how much a short term investment can save in employee productivity. Quite often when we study these cases we find a 10 to 1 ratio meaning it cost 10 times more annually to remain status quo vs. taking action.
If your organization needs help in assessing the potential value of a new technology compared the savings over time, you can call and schedule a meeting today with a consultant who can assist your IT staff in the process.