Small Business Network Setup: Understanding a Network & Its Devices

Understanding your small business network setup can be an overwhelming task. I'm going to break down what all those devices are, and what they mean!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and had ZERO clue what they were talking about? Chances are, if you have talked with tech support, this has happened more often than it should. I’m going to break down the small business network setup to cut out all of that “jibberish”! 

What makes up a solid small business network design? 

  • Internet 
  • Modem
  • Router / Firewall
  • Switch
  • Network Devices 

I’m sure you have heard these terms before, but what do they really mean? 


We're talking about the holy grail of the 21st century. The Catalina Winemixer of our current existence. The internet is an ever expanding network that connects smaller networks together all over the world. Not sure what the best Internet Service Provider (ISP) is best for you? No worries, we have you covered here.



A modem's sole purpose is to provide you with usable internet. Essentially, your modem is a translator. It translates data from your network to the internet. 

Your ISP typically provides your modem for a monthly fee. If you’re interested in cutting your costs, let us know! But what exactly does a modem do for your network? 


Router / Firewall

Wait a second! Aren’t these the same thing? While they have similar functions, there is one crucial difference between them. 


Routers are the roadmap of your network. Every port is like the onramp to a new section of highway. Without knowing which roads to take, family vacations may not feel relaxing, right? Routers are what connect your computer to the right roads to reach its destination. 


Firewalls do all the same things as a router, except they go one step further. Routers blindly let traffic in and out of your network, whereas a firewall monitors the traffic for things that shouldn’t be coming and going.

Which Is Right For My Business?

The answer to this question should always be a firewall. Your business’s network contains sensitive data that you don’t want sent blindly to the internet. Imagine coming to a busy intersection where the crossing guard is blindfolded. It just doesn’t seem all too safe, does it?



Have you ever dared peek inside a network closet before? If you braved the unimaginable to most, you probably saw a bunch of wires going to a rectangular device on a rack. That device is probably your switch. A switch is what forwards all of your data between the different devices on your network. For example: when you print out that weekly report, your request goes from your computer, through the cable to the switch, and from the switch to the printer. 


Network Devices

Network devices are typically things like:

  • Servers
  • Computers
  • Access Points
  • Phones
  • Cameras

Need Help With Your Small Business Network Setup?

Your network devices will be the deciding factors when choosing the right equipment for your network. If you’re not sure which components to purchase, click the image below to contact us for a free consultation! 

Support Concept. Button on Modern Computer Keyboard with Word Contact Us on It.


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