Part 1: THE ROUTER
One of your most important business assets may be your most neglected - your network. Your network connects your computers and makes accessing the Internet possible should rank higher on your business priority list.
Most IT and technology support providers know their customers need to pay more attention to their business networks. Yet, instead of explaining its value and criticality, they market using fear tactics. Granted, many of the statements about cybersecurity risks are at least somewhat accurate.
But you should make decisions about business investments based on insight, not panic.
This is part 1 and will talk about your modem and routers.
BEFORE WE WERE CONNECTED
Have you been around long enough to remember Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), flip phones, or TVs that did not include the word SMART in their name? If so, then you know a device’s functionality is limited when it is not connected to other resources, like the Internet.
ROUTER vs MODEM
Modem or a router? They both serve as a gateway between your internal Local Area Network (LAN) and an external Wide Area Network (WAN) and the Internet.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide this gateway as part of their monthly service. The most common in use is a Cable Modem. The Cable Modem takes a signal that is transmitted over a physical coax cable and converts it into a format that your computer can understand.
This means it just cannot handle the capacity of a small office; it works fine for a few home devices, but connect more than a few and the router function tends to fail. And they aren't very secure which leaves you open to cybersecurity issues.
If consistent Internet access is important to your business, this issue needs to be overcome. The best practice is to disable the routing features in a modem and let a dedicated device do the routing. This is done when you put your ISP modem in Bridge Mode and get a router.
In Bridge Mode the modem does less work, taxing its resources less and reducing failures and outages. The dedicated router is designed to handle more Internet usage and takes on the workload with ease. The router then provides better security and a more dependable Internet access.
SO WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO
If you are knowledgeable about putting your modem in Bridge Mode and adding a router - do it. If you need support, reach out to an IT solutions company (Hey, why not call Leeward Business Advisors?).
This may seem like a lot of information and tech-speak. It is really all about protecting your network and making sure it is performing the way you need it to. It is important.
It may seem easier to just call your Internet Service Provider and have them come connect you to the Internet, but you leave you and your business open to vulnerabilities that can easily be avoided.
I will continue to share more about your network in future blogs. The goal is to educate you on what will help grow your business. Please feel free to leave questions or comments below.