Improving a small business network

Tips & Hints

How to make your network run faster

6 December 2001

The whole point of having a network is to make your business more productive and a slow network gets in the way. Slow computers and networks not only frustrate the users, they can corrupt or lose data. Keeping your network tuned improves the performance of your business.

Get rid of unnecessary protocols.

Protocols are the languages computers use to talk. TCP/IP is the protocol used by the Internet, NetBEUI is the protocol used by older Windows networks and AppleTalk is the protocol used by older Apple networks. It is not unknown, particularly on Windows machines, to have three or more protocols running. Get rid of the unnecessary ones.

Misconfigured computers

Networks can work even when the settings are slightly wrong. The problem is that the incorrect settings may be slowing both the computer and network. Check the settings on the computers' protocols. Incorrect TCP/IP settings are common and can slow a computer to a crawl.

Upgrade the network

If you have an older network you are probably running at 10Mps. Standard networks today are 100 Mb. If you are running Cat5 or 6 cable (the type with a square plastic plug) then you need to add newer cards to your system. If you have older coaxial cable, the type with metal t-pieces at each end, then you will need to upgrade your cabling and add newer cards.

As well as the cost of upgrading the network cable older computers may not be able to handle the newer cards. If you can't upgrade all your computers to base 100 network cards then you can to use a dual-speed hub. A dual-speed hub can detect the different speed ports and adjust themselves accordingly.

Check your software

Some software works better with some protocols than others. Check with the software company for what they recommend. They may also be able to give some useful tips on improving the performance of their software across the network.

As you can see from this article, many of these improvements need someone who knows what they are doing. You shouldn't play with any computer setting if you don't know what it does. Get an expert in. If you're business is quiet during January then the Christmas holidays are an excellent time to upgrade networks and computers.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011