Setting up a computer network is a good way to get more out of your system and its components. This is especially true if you are running a small business. Networking allows you to manage all of the operations of a small business – like communication, data transfer, and storage – more easily.

By setting up a network, your computer will be used to its full potential and all your business needs will be met. You can access the Internet with any computer on the network, as well as share files and devices across it. An effective computer network design can make a big difference for you and your business.

But setting up a good IT or network system can be costly. Especially with equipment, it is easy to go overboard by using the wrong type of network, or by purchasing the most sophisticated but unnecessary machines.

Below are 3 ways you can save on an efficient network/IT set-up

Save money by sharing resources

One of the main benefits of setting an IT network is to save money by buying less equipment. A network provides you with time efficiency, organization, accessibility, and cost savings. It allows you to utilize a single Internet connection to power a variety of devices while also allowing those devices to effectively interact with each other. Also, when each individual computer can be connected to one central printer, this will help any business save on costly IT equipment.

 Wired or Wireless?Or both?

The first decision you will need to make about your new network is whether you would like it to be wired or completely wireless. These two methods obviously have their upsides and downsides, but either one is suitable for your business needs.

Wired (or Ethernet) networks are said to be extremely reliable, economical, secure, and easy to install. Ethernet-based wired networking can still have the edge over wireless equipment in being more reliable, lower cost and offering faster connection speeds. If you want to save money by making sure that each connection has a reliable signal despite proximity to the main internet source, then go Ethernet.

If you have a lot of components you would like to access the Internet with, however, you might opt for a wireless network, which allows you to have broadband access from a distance. Wireless networks have become very easy to install as well, thanks to Wi-Fi. You also eliminate the need for wires or chords in a wireless network, hence the name. Wireless signals, on the other hand, can vary depending on the layout of an office, the thickness of the walls and sometimes even the weather. Problems like these make it necessary to buy extra routers to solve the complications brought by distance to the internet source and weather disturbances.

Wired networks are more geared towards desktop PC setups and wireless is more of a laptop thing. If you have both a desktop and laptop in your office, you can simply use a combination of the two. For instance, have your desktop physically connected to the Internet with an Ethernet cable and your laptops connect via the wireless router.

Use an offsite server instead of an in-house server

When businesses keep their data in an in-house data centre, they are basically buying space — then they have to buy their own equipment, pay for networking, power & cooling, electricity and have a contract in place – as the costs add up. Plus, you’d also need to factor in the cost of hiring someone just to manage the related IT operations, and there’s also ongoing maintenance and upgrade fees.

But offsite servers such as cloud-hosted solutions are a major way to trim down those costs: This monthly reduction alone creates a real return-on-investment in businesses, especially small businesses, where there never used to be one.

When you run your own servers, you’re looking at up-front capital costs. But in the world of cloud-computing, financing that capital investment is someone else’s problem. If you run the servers yourself, the accounting wizards do their amortization magic which makes it appear that the cost gets spread over a server’s life. But that money still has to come from somewhere, so it’s capital that otherwise can’t be invested in the business—be it actual money or a line of credit.

Other ways to save money on off-site servers:

  • When you move to the cloud, some of the money you pay for the service goes to the provider’s staffing costs. But it’s typically a much smaller amount than if you did all that work in-house.
  • A cloud service provider can charge you less for energy used than you’re spending in your own data centre.
  • When you run your own servers, you need to buy more hardware than you need in case of failure. You also need to spend on repairs should one or more pieces of hardware or software break down.