Setting Up a Small Office Network

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If you’re planning on taking the Network+ exam, you should have a basic understanding of the devices required in setting up a small office network.

For example, can you answer this question?

Q. You are helping a business owner set up small office network. Employees have ten laptops, each with Wi-Fi capabilities. The office has a DSL line. What equipment needs to be purchased? (Choose TWO.)

A. ISP

B. Wireless router

C. Modem

D. DSL balancer

E. Ten cables for the ten computers

More, do you know why the correct answer is correct and the incorrect answers are incorrect? The answer and explanation is available at the end of this post.

Modem

A modem (modulator/demodulator) converts digital and analog signals and is commonly used to provide Internet access through an Internet service provider (ISP). There are several types of modems available.

  • Cable modem. Many telecommunications companies sell subscriptions for cable television and use the same cable to provide users with an Internet connection. Cable Internet access has fast speeds and is commonly called broadband access. Broadband cable access is widely available in metropolitan areas, but not always available in rural locations.
  • Dial-up analog phone modem. In locations where broadband cable isn’t available, some users still use a dial-up connection and a phone modem. The phone modem connects via plain old telephone service (POTS) lines, which are widely available. Unfortunately, these connections are painfully slow due to the amount of traffic that most users download.
  • Digital subscriber line (DSL) modem. DSL modems provide significantly faster speeds than older phone modems but still use telephone lines. A DSL router includes the capabilities of a DSL modem and a router. Most DSL lines are asymmetric (ADSL), with the download link significantly faster than the upload link.

Remember This

Modems are a popular method of connecting to the Internet through an ISP. This includes cable modems and DSL modems.


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Access Point

Most wireless networks use an access point to provide wireless devices access to a wired network. You’ll often hear an access point referred to as an AP or a wireless access point (WAP). The AP acts as a switch and connects all the devices into the same network.

Many APs include routing capabilities and are sold as wireless routers. These typically have physical ports similar to any switch allowing you to connect wired devices in addition to supporting wireless devices. The switch portion of the access point connects the devices on the network, and the routing portion of the access point connects networks together.

The following figure shows a typical network configuration in a small network using an AP with routing capabilities. The devices connected with a solid line are using wired connections. The devices connected with a dotted line are using wireless connections. The access point connects to the Internet via a modem and an ISP and all devices connected to the access point have Internet access through it.

Small Office Network

Wireless access point with routing capabilities

Other access points topics include:

  • Wireless standards such as 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac.
  • How to install and configure a wireless network
  • How to implement appropriate wireless security measures
  • How to troubleshoot common wireless problems
  • Common wireless threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigation techniques

 

Q. You are helping a business owner set up small office network. Employees have ten laptops, each with Wi-Fi capabilities. The office has a DSL line. What equipment needs to be purchased? (Choose TWO.)

A. ISP

B. Wireless router

C. Modem

D. DSL balancer

E. Ten cables for the ten computers

Answers are B and C. You would need to have a modem (more specifically, a digital subscriber line (DSL) modem) to connect to the DSL line. Additionally, you would need to have a wireless router to connect the ten laptops to the wireless router using wireless capabilities. You would then connect the wireless router to the DSL modem.

A small business owner does not need to purchase an Internet service provider (ISP), but would subscribe to Internet access through an ISP.

There is no such thing as a DSL balancer.

The ten wireless laptops connect wirelessly, so cables are not needed.

Practice Test Questions To Help You Pass the Network+ Exam (N10-006) The First Time You Take It.

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