Switches, routers, and wireless access points are the networking underpinnings.
The fundamental networking components include switches, routers, and wireless access points. Devices linked to your network can communicate with one another and with other networks, such as the Internet, via them. Switches, routers, and wireless access points all serve distinct roles in a network.
Most business networks are built around switches. A switch is a controller that connects computers, printers, and servers to a network in a building or on campus.
Switches enable devices on your network to connect with one another as well as with other networks, resulting in the creation of a network of shared resources. Switches save money and boost production by sharing information and allocating resources.
As part of your networking basics, you can pick between two types of switches: on-premises and cloud-managed.
A controlled on-premises switch allows you to configure and monitor your LAN, providing you with greater control over your network traffic.
Do you have a tiny IT team? A cloud-managed switch can make network management easier. A simple user interface is provided, as well as multisite full-stack management and automatic upgrades transmitted directly to the switch.
Routers are devices that connect several networks. They also connect such networks’ PCs to the Internet. Routers allow all networked computers to share a single Internet connection, resulting in cost savings.
A router serves as a dispatcher. It analyses data transferred across a network, determines the optimal path for the data to take, and sends it to its destination.
Routers connect your company to the rest of the world, secure data from security threats, and can even decide which computers get priority over others.
Aside from the core networking functions, routers include extra functionality to make networking easier or more secure. You can, for example, choose a router with a firewall, a virtual private network (VPN), or an Internet Protocol (IP) communications system based on your security requirements.
Points of Entry
An access point* enables devices to connect to a wireless network without the use of cables. A wireless network makes it simple to bring new devices online and provides mobile workers with flexible assistance.
An access point serves as a network amplifier. While a router offers bandwidth, an access point expands that bandwidth so that the network can handle more devices and those devices may reach the network from a greater distance.
However, an access point does more than just expand Wi-Fi. It can also provide relevant data on network devices, provide proactive security, and serve a variety of other practical purposes.
*Various IEEE standards are supported by access points. Each standard is a ratified amendment throughout time.
Networking over Wi-Fi
You can build your wireless network in one of three ways: centralized deployment, convergent deployment, or cloud-based deployment. Do you need assistance determining which deployment is best for your company? Speak with a professional.
1. Deployment centralized
Centralized installations, the most prevalent type of wireless network system, are generally utilized on campuses where buildings and networks are close together. This configuration consolidates the wireless network, allowing for quicker upgrades and advanced wireless capability. Controllers are situated in a centralized location and are based on-premises.
2. Deployment convergence
Converged deployments provide consistency in wireless and wired connections for small campuses or branch offices. This deployment combines wired and wireless networks on a single network device—an access switch—that serves as both.
3. Deployment on the cloud
This solution makes advantage of the cloud to manage network devices that are deployed on-premises in various locations. The approach necessitates the use of Cisco Meraki cloud-managed devices, which enable complete network visibility via their dashboards.