Are you looking to set up or expand your small or medium business network but you’re not sure where to start? You know you want all the devices in your business to connect to the internet and it needs to be as easy as possible. You’re not an IT expert – all you know is that you need a router. What does all the jargon mean and what’s the best way for your business to go?
Let’s try to demystify the topic.
What type of router do you need?
A router is a piece of hardware that connects multiple networks together or connects computers on your network to the internet. Its job is to read each “packet” of data flowing through your network to find out where it needs to go, decide on the best route for it to travel and send it on its way.
Your business needs a secure, reliable router on your network, no matter what its size. While there are many brands of routers, your choice initially boils down to one thing – do you need an on-premise or cloud-hosted router?
On-premise vs Cloud-hosted
An on-premise router, like the name suggests, means it’s physically located on your premises. You buy the router as capital expenditure. The downside is that you need skilled people to support the hardware – to install, maintain and update over its life.
On the other hand, a cloud-hosted router is one that you buy an annual licence for with operating expenditure. You don’t need to worry about installing or maintaining the router and it’s automatically kept up-to-date and secure.
A cloud-hosted server also has the advantage that it can be managed from any location that has internet access.
Cisco Meraki – cloud-hosted router solution
Cisco’s cloud-hosted router solution, Cisco Meraki, puts the control for your network in your hands – and makes it easy for you to make changes. Its intuitive user interface lets you manage your entire network from a single page.
Meraki’s advanced features give you powerful functionality such as traffic shaping and access control policies. Tools such as Application Visibility and Control (AVC) let you see exactly what is happening on your network and make it easy for you to control how your network is being used.
- Prioritise applications. With it, you can see what business-critical applications are being used – like your POS or ERP system – and give those priority over other traffic.
- Throttle bandwidth. It lets you throttle bandwidth for specific applications or even block them altogether – all with just a few clicks. No more slow network because someone is watching Netflix at work!
- Guest access control. You can easily identify BYOD clients and automatically apply access policies to those devices – so guests on your network can’t get access to confidential information like your CMS or POS records.
Cisco Meraki’s routers also give you peace of mind that your network will be kept secure with strong encryption and authentication.
Want to know more?
The team at Telstra Business Technology Centre Melbourne City can talk you through what you need for your business networking.