I have a small business health care office and need to expand our network. We currently have four computers on a wired network involving:
DSL Modem (supplied by SBC)
4-port Router (cheap, no frills)
Everything works okay as it is now, although I have to reboot the modem and router about twice per week, and the internet access seems slower than it should be.
I need to add two computers right away, and probably two or three more over the next couple years. My primary concern is security, so I've pretty much ruled out wireless. I need a reliable network that is secure, fast, and allows file sharing, etc. With that in mind, do I just need to buy a new router with more ports? To replace or add to (is that possible?)? A switch? I really don't know enough about this stuff to know the difference between the two, but I need to get this rolling ASAP. If you've got an idea and know what setup and product will serve my needs best... just let me know and I'll start ordering. I'd like to stay under $500, but can go higher if it's necessary and will pay off later by investing more now.
Also, if you can point me in the right direction to learn how to restrict access to the internet for reasons that are unrelated to business (i.e. MySpace, etc.), I would greatly appreciate it.
I'd suggest if you don't know a lot about networking you either consult with a network person or talk to someone from Dell and other companies about upgrading, just read Dell wants to increase their small business stuff. Given this is your business ,$$$, and it's sounds like your doing well and expanding, want a system that is set up well including back ups, expandability, etc. Amazing what you can learn from a knowledgeable salesperson. Your getting into some pretty complicated, business critical stuff and you need to decide how much time you not only want to put in learning but administering it.