In Spain, 78% of companies with less than 10 employees and 98% of those with more than 10 employees have an Internet connection (Data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics). The trend is quite evident, but there are doubts regarding what kind of network to implement. Here is a summary of the most common ones and their key characteristics.
Why have a network in your company
Having a communications network in your business must respond to one or more real needs of the company. By this, we mean that you should not have it simply because it’s a trend or because the competition has it.
These needs can be diverse, for example, an increase in income, a reduction of costs, obtaining international clients or partners, providing security, etc. First of all, you will have to know what motivates you to implement your network. This will help you decide which is the best infrastructure for your company.
Among the advantages of having a computer network for your company are:
- Flexibility and faster action to face any contingency.
- Better user experience for your customers thanks to innovative solutions.
- Teleworking option for employees.
- Efficient results, increase on the revenue and reduced costs.
- Greater company data protection.
- Better and more personalized customer service.
What types of computer networks do exist for companies?
The classification of the computer networks available to your company or institution depends on various criteria. We will analyze all of them from here on.
Private and public networks
Two types of networks can be distinguished based on who owns them. This gives us public and private networks.
Public networks usually belong to a public institution, such as a city council. They are also usually free to access. An example of it is the wireless networks that are deployed in European populations thanks to the WiFi4EU community program, which grants bonds for their implementation.
Private networks belong to companies or any other private entity. In this case, access is limited to users who have the required access credentials.
According to its degree of geographic coverage
A very common classification for computer networks is their scope. Here, we find PAN, LAN, WLAN, CAN, MAN, WAN or GAN networks.
PAN (Personal Area Network): are the ones with a shorter range. Using it, a small number of devices close to each other are interconnected. PAN networks present the option of connecting to other networks with a greater reach.
Examples of PAN networks are the connections between a smartphone and a Bluetooth headset or between a camera and a computer or other IoT devices.
LAN (Local Area Network): it is the most common, used in homes, businesses and offices. LAN networks can cover from a very small number of devices to thousands of them. LAN networks can be connected to the Internet or not. If they are not, they are just an internal network.
Generally, the connection between nodes occurs through Ethernet. A LAN network requires additional hardware elements such as routers, switches, bridges or hubs, among others.
There is also the option of having a wireless LAN using a WiFi network, shaping WLAN networks.
CAN (Campus Area Network): it is a variable of the LAN networks in which different buildings and enclosures are connected in a limited geographical area. CAN networks are found on university campuses, fairs, military environments, sports centers, etc.
MAN (Metropolitan Area Network): This type of network covers an entire metropolitan area. Therefore, its range of action covers a large area.
These networks connect the LANs within their catchment area and are useful for deploying fiber optic installations. Therefore, MAN networks can interconnect the different LAN networks of the same company within a city. Its wireless equivalent, WMAN networks, are very practical in areas where the wired network with poor infrastructures, such as rural areas.
WAN (Wide Area Network): is the one used by internet distribution companies for their clients. In this way, the elements of the network don’t need to be in the same geographical area. These networks cover even entire countries.
Global Area Network (GAN): they are made of several WAN networks, covering the entire planet. They usually involve the use of submarine cables or satellites.
Other types of computer networks
In addition to those already mentioned, there are other definitions of networks that we can frequently find.
SAN networks (Storage Area Network): They have a high performance and very low latency. In SAN networks, storage is separated from network traffic, this is the key to its optimization.
Thanks to this, several users can request the same resource and it doesn’t affect its speed. In a SAN network, the stored resources are distributed among several connected devices.
VPN (Virtual Private Network): Through a VPN connection, a local network can be generated without the need to have devices physically connected, but through the internet. VPN networks are very useful for teleworking and to provide more security to companies.
Definitely, there are many alternatives when it comes to implementing a computer network in your company. The best choice will depend on many factors such as the characteristics and size of your company.
Whatever your decision is, at Galgus we have both hardware and software to get the most out of your network. With our devices and solutions, you will have everything you need for a fast, reliable, secure network with smart and automated management. There are few reasons, right? Contact us, we will discuss your case and help you with everything you need.