The two most common forms of Internet networks are a local area network (LAN), and a wide area network (WAN) connection. They may not seem different to the average user, especially one that does not work in information technology, but your option can influence your business decisions, viability, and success.
The first distinction most people think of between LAN and WAN are their different geographic limitations. However, there are more differences, which make LAN the far superior option for small businesses. Here are the top five reasons.
Faster Internet Speeds
Speed can be the determining factor between a successful and failed online sale. Whether you or your co-workers are bidding for important equipment on ebay, or attempting to submit a proposal before the deadline, speed is everything. Routing and switching LAN will provide your business with faster high speed Internet. In contrast, WAN only provides you with a fraction of the speed. For faster Internet service, you should be routing and switching LAN, not WAN.
Faster Transfer Rates
Data transfers are another issue small businesses need to cover when determining which Internet package they use. Routing and switching LAN is important for businesses that transfer lots of data due to its higher data transfer rate. If you or your co-workers have to share large or many files online, you should consider purchasing LAN for your business.
However, if your business operates mostly off-line, and the Internet is rarely used, especially if your office is located on multiple floors or in multiple buildings, you may be better off routing and switching WAN instead. You should look at your business needs and decide if a faster data transfer rate is right for you.
Routing and switching LAN is More Secure
Even if your business does not utilize the Internet much, you probably use it for important things like filing invoices and paying bills. Your financial information must be secure at all times or else a data thief or hacker might steal it. LAN is the more secure Internet option over WAN because all the computers connected to your Internet network are located in a small geographic area.
It is much, much harder to steal data if a thief has to be physically present and use your computers, due to the high risk of being caught. Most thieves try to avoid being seen, so LAN is a perfect option if you are concerned about your online and digital security.
Routing and switching WAN is more expensive
If budget is a concern for your small business, you should purchase LAN coverage. Due to the larger geographic coverage required for WAN networks, it is significantly more expensive to setup and run a WAN network. Unless you own a large business with many locations, like a franchised restaurant with multiple locations throughout town, for instance, it does not make sense to set up a WAN network. Routing and switching LAN is much easier and cheaper for you and your IT department to run. However, again, it depends on your business needs.
One Consideration You Should Keep in Mind
Even with all the advantages routing and switching LAN has over WAN, WAN provides one important benefit to companies on the go. WAN is useful when using the Internet over larger geographic areas, and can even be used in multiple areas at the same time. If you or your staff are constantly mobile, you may benefit from routing and switching WAN, rather than LAN. However, LAN is smaller, more secure, and often cheaper than WAN service. This is just something you should keep in mind.
Network IT’s Cisco Network Consulting and Support Services can help you and your small business with routing and switching LAN and WAN. Get faster Internet service and serviceability by contacting us today. We have helped small business owners across Toronto and the GTA with their IT needs. For more information, please contact us at our website.