Getting Connected to the Internet
A high speed, "always on" connection to the Internet can give your business the competitive edge it needs in today's market. Send and receive e-mail, research your customers and your competition, or even sell your products and services online: Today, you have more choices than ever when connecting your company to the Internet. Once you are connected, what about keeping your connection secure or sharing your connection with all the computers in your business? Mykrotek helps you make the right choices for your unique situation. We cut through all the jargon and make it easy for you understand your options for connecting, protecting, and distributing the Internet in your business.
The following tutorial will help you understand some of the technology options you have when connecting your business to the Internet. Call Mykrotek today for a complete description of any of the technologies listed below and to get started in the world of high-speed Internet access.
Dial-up - This is the simplest, and usually the cheapest way to connect. It is also the slowest. All that is required is a regular phone line and a modem. Even though the fastest modems claim to connect at 56,000 bits per second (56K), a typical connection will only ever reach about 40K to 48K. Transferring a large file at these speeds can take half an hour or more, and a complex web page can take over a minute to load. Cost for dial-up services is typically around $20 per month, and is available almost everywhere.
ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a special type of phone line that allows you to connect to the Internet from 64K to 128K for basic rate, and up to 1,540K for primary rate connections. You can even combine voice and Internet traffic over the same phone line. This choice is becoming less popular as other technologies provide higher speeds at lower cost. The cost of ISDN service varies widely from region to region, and may not be available in all areas.
Cable Modem - Although typically targeted for home use, some cable companies offer Internet access for small businesses. Speeds reach over 2,000K for receiving data from the Internet, but can be reduced when other cable modem users are on at the same time. Also, the outbound speed is usually lower than the inbound, but this isn't a problem unless you need to send large amounts of data over the Internet. A phone line isn't required, but cable TV wiring must be installed at your place of business. Typical costs for residential services is $40-$50 per month (a cable TV package is usually required at additional cost). Business service is often available for $100 or more per month, but delivers more reliable connections and often comes with additional services. Availability varies with each cable company and even within their service areas.
DSL - Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service allows you to add high-speed access to an existing phone line. There are many "flavors" of DSL, some of which provide speeds or over 4000K. The most common variations for small business deliver from 384K to 768K inbound, with around 64K to 384K outbound. Some forms of DSL will even allow you to use your phone line for normal voice calls along with Internet access. Availability varies with your local phone company, and you must typically be within a three mile radius of a "central office", where your phone lines connect to the phone company's equipment. Costs can range from $40 per month for residential service to several hundred dollars per month for higher speed business services.
Satellite - These services allow high speed Internet access to locations not served by any of the other types of service. Until recently, a phone line was required for outbound data, and inbound data was delivered though a small, roof-mounted dish antenna. Newer services allow both inbound and outbound data through the dish, making high speed access in remote locations possible. Speeds typically range between 150K to 500K, depending on traffic. Service is available in the continental United States, and costs $70 or more per month.
T1 & T3 - These are the "traditional" connections used by medium and large business for voice and data access. Speeds vary anywhere from 1500K to 45000K with monthly costs ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars per month. These connections are usually reserved for companies with large numbers of employees using the Internet, or companies providing services or hosting web sites on the Internet. This service is widely available, but installation costs can also be very high.
Firewalls - Isolating your computers and sensitive data from everyone else on the Internet, a firewall monitors and controls the flow of information into and out of your company. A firewall is software and/or hardware that sits between your connection to the Internet and the computers inside your company, and blocks certain traffic from entering or leaving your company. Firewalls limit the ways in which an outsider can access your company's computer systems.
Proxy Servers - Typically implemented as a combination of hardware and software that sits between your company and the Internet, proxies are used to monitor and control inbound and outbound traffic. They allow you to record what kind of connections are being made and prevent certain kinds of traffic from flowing in our out of your company.
Virus Software - Every computer with an Internet connection should be running a virus detection program. With so many e-mail viruses and malicious programs out there, you can't afford not to protect your computers. Even with protection software in place, users must still be vigilant to avoid infections and security problems.
Routers - A router manages the data on your company's network and automatically detects which data needs to be transferred via the Internet, and which should stay within your company's network. The router acts like a modem, connecting your network to the Internet. Many routers also contain firewalls and other services for making your connection more secure.
Connection Sharing Programs - Some DSL and cable modem services are designed to connect to a single computer. Connection Sharing software allows a single computer to act as a router to handle traffic from other computers on your network and allow them access to the Internet connection. This computer can also run firewall software to protect all the systems connected to your network.
If your computers aren't currently connected using a network, Mykrotek helps you get your systems networked together, so that you can share your high speed connection, along with sharing printers and files between computers. We'll make it easier than ever to access and share information around the office and around the world.
Choosing the right Internet options for your business is simple with help from Mykrotek.
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