Network Architecture

There are many options available below to offer connectivity to the store, however we recommend that your network architecture is structured around the Local Area Network. This network will provide a suitable and sustainable for your small business. When the store grows this network can expand with it with minimal upgrades to the network backbone.

Personal Area Network (PAN) Personal Area Networks communicates with devices within 10 meters or less using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Most equipment used for a PAN is wireless. Zigbee and wireless USB are additional examples of a PAN. (Tiwari, 2017)
Local Area Network (LAN) Local Area Networks have limited reach and will degrade with the length of the ethernet cables. This can be mitigated by using repeaters or bridges. (Tiwari, 2017) LAN’s are ideal for small businesses or computer labs. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014)
Home Area Network (HAN) Home Area Networks are in the home that connect all the computers and peripherals to a central router (wired or wireless) within the home. (Tiwari, 2017)
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) Metropolitan Area Networks are much larger than LAN’s, they are made up of many LAN’s that extend over the city or metropolitan area. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014)
Wide Area Network (WAN) Wide Area Networks are globally reaching, the internet is an example of a WAN. Different solutions exist to create a WAN, fiber optic, ethernet, and 4G LTE are some examples. Due to cabling restrictions most WAN’s are limited to countries. (Tiwari, 2017)

Client/Server or peer to peer:

There are two options for the business network administration: Client/Server or Peer-to-Peer.

Client/Server networks are centrally administered from one computer called a server, this server provides the information and resources to the client computers. Each computer communicates directly with the server and most client/server networks comprise more than ten computers or more. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014) Client/Servers provide more security to the company’s computer system and tend to be more stable than peer to peer networks since the information resides on the server. (Posey, n.d.)

Peer to Peer networks are more appropriate for small businesses or home use, they can support roughly up to ten computers and each computer servers as both the client and the server. Each node operates as both client and server and both requests and provides services to the network. Because the nodes operate independently, they have an advantage over client/server networks due to the server not being bottlenecked by numerous requests for information. (Saki & Rophine, 2017)

Transmission Media

Wired or wireless:

Both wired and wireless represent practical options for small businesses and home networks. Wired networks use ethernet cables to communicate to the various nodes (computers and peripherals) connected to the network. This network requires a central device such as a hub, router, or a switch to connect all the nodes together. These devices are relatively inexpensive to purchase, are extremely reliable, and offer superior performance based on the type of ethernet cable installed within the structure. Wired hubs and switches do not support firewalls but software products can be installed on the computers themselves. Broadband routers offer firewall capability built into the device. (Mitchell, 2019)

Wireless networks connect the network through radio waves that use three main communications standards 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11ac. The access point (router) needs to be centrally located for the computers wireless signal can be reached with minimal interference, the 200 feet that you have between computers will not be an issue connecting wirelessly. These networks can be configured in two separate way, ad-hoc and infrastructure mode. Ad-hoc mode is used in peer-to-peer networks while infrastructure mode is used in client/server networks. With the convenience of connecting to the internet anywhere the signal can reach the computer, there can be interference that affects the signal strength to limit the bandwidth, although the construction of both structures there should not be a large signal loss from the store to the home. Theoretically, wireless is less secure than wired because the signal can be intercepted which means that the data should be encrypted on the system. (Mitchell, 2019)

Our company recommends that a mixture of a wired and wireless peer-to-peer network would benefit your business, the store itself would be wired with ethernet cables and the computer within the home would be connected to the store via a wireless network. Using this network structure, the business itself can maximize the upload and download speeds provided by the current cable company, while the computer within the home can still connect to the store but at a slower speed that is not required while conducting business transactions.

If wired, what type of cable do you recommend?

While your download speed will remain at 75 Mbps regardless of the ethernet cable installed it will increase the speed of transferring data within the store between computers. This speed will be noticeable when the store conducts local backups of the inventories and client’s files. We recommend that you use Cat-6 untwisted pair (UTP) for the store, Cat-6 will support up to 1 gigabit (GB) of data. (Hoffman, 2017)

Network Hardware

Network hardware is individual components that make up the network. These components transmit and receive data that operate a computer network. There are different categories of hardware that create the infrastructure of the network.

Network Routers are devices that connect to multiple channels for different networks, these routers have integrated switches built into the router itself. You require a router for the computer to access the internet since it is considered a separate network. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014) Routers use a specific protocol to route information packets to other computers, they are used for traffic management. (“What is Network Hardware and How Does It Work?”, n.d.) They can assign static or dynamic IP addresses, security protocols, and function both wired and wireless. (Uno, n.d.)

Network Interface Cards (NIC) connect each computer to the network to communicate with the router to send and receive the information packets. (Uno, n.d.) NIC provides the hardware to implement a networking standard, with the most common being Ethernet. Most computer have the NIC built into the motherboard. (“What is Network Hardware and How Does It Work?”, n.d) However, depending on the age of the computer system there are internal and external cards that can be added to the computer to provide network connectivity.

Network Switches send and receive data packets and direct them to the specified node on the same network. Switches prevent the data from being lost or damaged prior to it arriving at its directed node. It also tracks all the nodes on the network while directing each data packet to its node keeping the network operating effectively. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014)

Our company recommends the following router for your small business: The Norton Core Router will meet the needs of your small business. This router provides dual band support for your systems and can support speeds up to 2.5 Gbps. With the mobile application you can control your router from anywhere, you can see all the devices that are on your network and can block any questionable connects or behavior. (“It’s not just WiFI. It’s the future of Wifi”, n.d.) Norton’s Core secure router uses intrusion detection to notify you that “hackers” have breached your network and will automatically quarantine effected devices thus preventing any hazard circulating through the rest of your systems. With the purchase of this router Norton provides updated security for your entire system. (Hyde, n.d.)

Processor, storage, memory: 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 4GB eMMC Flash
Connectivity: 1x Gigabit WAN port, 3x Gigabit LAN ports, and 2x USB 3.0 ports
Wireless: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2, 4×4 AC2600 MU-MIMO, with Simultaneous Dual Band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Security & Networking: Security- DPI, IDS, IPS, Secure DNS, Encrypted user & data communication.Networking- WPA2, DHCP, NAT, UPnP, Automatic Device Discovery.
System Requirements: Broadband Internet Connection (Cable/DSL)Norton Core™ Mobile App with a mobile device with Bluetooth (BLE), Data Connection and either iOS 9.0 or Android™ 4.4.

Network Security Including Backup

With the Norton Core Wi-Fi router will also provide your network security, the system uses Norton’s Core security plus which covers an unlimited number of devices and smart devices (Locks, IP cameras, thermostats, and lighting) if the store chooses to upgrade later to these types of devices. This software/hardware combination protects against malware, viruses, hackers, and cybercriminals. (“It’s not just WiFI. It’s the future of Wifi”, n.d.)

Backing up data for your small business network we recommend using a mixture of cloud technology for the client files and a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device connected to a USB port on your router to back up your operating systems. By placing your files in a cloud-based server, you will have access to the files regardless if you are in the store or traveling. While backing up your operating system on the NAS will cover you from a catastrophic hardware failure. (Evans, Martin, & Poatsy, 2014) Another aspect of backing up your data is to encrypt it to prevent unauthorized individuals’ access. Hackers have infinite time to breach the data that is backed up since the data remains within the cloud, so by encrypting your data that resides on the cloud is an additional layer of security. (“The importance of securing backup and restore networks”, n.d.)


Evans, A. D., Martin, K., & Poatsy, M. A. (2014). Technology in action introductory. Boston, Mass.: Pearson.