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When you have a business to run, the last thing you have time for is to learn about the entire information technology (IT) industry. At VGM Forbin, we often see small businesses where the owner or one-person IT team is overwhelmed and overworked. Instead of overloading yourself or your IT team with network issues, your business can shift to a commercial network for the entire company. 

Keep reading to learn about the basics of commercial networks for business and what we typically recommend. 

What is a Commercial Network? 

Before we get into this definition, let’s start with what a commercial network isn’t. A commercial network is not to be confused with a personal network. A personal network is basically a router that you can purchase at Best Buy. It’s great for your home, but not great for your business because it’s not meant to have 10 or more people connected at one time. Personal routers also need to reboot quite often, which isn’t realistic when the entire company needs to stay connected throughout the day.  

On the other hand, a commercial network is essentially a more robust solution than a personal network. This type of router is built for several devices from multiple people to connect to the network all at the same time. A commercial router will also rarely need to be rebooted (power cycles), which saves your company time and money during working hours. A commercial network is also much easier to manage from a centralized dashboard for a business of any size. The network can be managed by your IT team or an IT vendor like VGM Forbin. These are the advantages when a company like VGM Forbin manages your network: 

  • One dashboard to monitor all devices and the software on each of them 
  • Managing firewalls and switch stacks to change policies for everyone from one place 
    • Firewalls: blocks employees from going to specific sites, helps people remote in 
    • Managed switch stack: access to switch from a dashboard to another 
  • Better snapshot of entire company for IT team 

 

What You Pay for with a Managed Commercial Network 

It’s easy to understand paying for hardware when you invest in standardized equipment, but managed IT networks are so much more than that. Let’s look at what you actually pay for when you hire a vendor to manage your business’s IT network. 

  • Network hardware 
  • Subscription for the network hardware to work 
  • Time for the IT partner to set up the network 
  • Time for the IT partner to monitor security and compliance 

Basic Recommendations 

If you’re on a budget, you don’t necessarily need to buy a subscription for the hardware that is purchased. However, without the subscription it is much more difficult and time-consuming for an IT team to manage the hardware. So, you may end up paying more for an IT vendor’s time to troubleshoot and fix network issues. With this in mind, our basic recommendations include: 

  • Purchase network hardware + subscription if your company has employees working in the office and/or multiple locations 
  • Maintain a five-year hardware lifecycle for firewall and managed switch stack. After five years, it’s time to update your hardware systems. 

Forbin specializes in providing managed IT services to businesses of any size. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business, complete the contact form below to connect with one of our account executives.  

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