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Peer to Peer networking

Have you ever thought about your IT and wished that it could be working better for your company? Your current IT system fulfilled your requirements when it was installed, but as your business has evolved you have found you need something more substantial and efficient. But like many other small and medium companies you are worried this would come at a high cost and further costs could be incurred in maintaining your new IT systems.

A Peer to Peer (P2P) network is a perfect solution for this. You receive all the benefits of a network, but at a low cost. With a peer to peer network you can share devices like printers and scanners, store files in a central location, and all share internet access and email facilities without the cost of implementing a dedicated server-based solution.

Files, information and documents are stored centrally on the network and can be used by anyone at anytime regardless of which PC they are working on. This accessibility means people can work with the documents they want, and obtain the information they need far more efficiently than would have been possible before.

Peer to Peer networks are effective up to around 10 users, and are relatively easy to install. Once installed, it is easy to add new PC’s to the system, or upgrade to a larger, server-based system using existing infrastructure. This means the network can grow and adapt as your company does.


                                               



Implementing a network offers many benefits to small and medium business, some of which are outlined below:

1) Share Printers, Scanners, Cameras and Fax devices between all PC’s
2) Increased performance and reliability.
3) Centralised storage and back up of all important data.
4) Instant, convenient access to all of the company’s files and documents.
5) Scan incoming and outgoing E-mails for spam and viruses.
6) Share Internet access between all your PC’s
7) Share workload easily.
8) Remove need for duplication and repetition of data entry

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A Peer to Peer network works by having 1 PC acting as a “Server”. In this PC there is normally a faster processor, a larger hardrive and more memory, than the rest of the PC’s on the system. This PC is where all the documents, files and information are stored in one central location and this can be easily backed up at night. Although this PC does a lot of work in the background it can still be used as a normal computer to carry out office tasks.

Other devices, such as scanners, printers and fax machines can be added to the network, and once configured everyone on the network will be able to use these resources. We would always recommend the attachment of a backup device to the “server” PC, which will give protection against accidental data loss. There are several options for this, allowing for daily or weekly backups, with the option to store the backed up data off-site. Tape back up is not the only solution, there are many cheaper options that may be more suitable for your business needs.

Shared internet access requires a router, which connects everyone to the internet through one broadband or ISDN connection. These routers can limit access to specific PC’s or users, and control what information people can access on the internet. Routers also have a built-In firewall to protect your companies’ computers from hacking and other internet related threats. The result of this is internet access for every user which can be easily controlled or monitored.

Since Marcus Computers began trading we have installed many Peer to Peer networks and we have found they are the perfect solution for small and medium companies who want a better use of IT but at a reasonable cost. If you are interested in what we could do for your IT then do not hesitate to give us a call or email us for further information.

 

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