Just because a business is small doesn’t mean it has to limit itself. Virtual LANS can be used to great effect by small businesses to bolster security, increase usability, and improve network performance. You can use VLANs to separate sensitive traffic and users onto their own protected network. This can introduce dynamism and security to your business, which in turn bolsters your company’s image as a safe and reputable business.
What is a VLAN?
A LAN is a collection of devices that connect to each other in the same broadcast domain. This can be wired or wireless. A Virtual LAN uses software to create a virtual network for the devices that compose the LAN. The devices are then assigned to a broadcast domain. With a wireless VLAN, you have a separate, mini network that exists within your wireless LAN. A wireless VLAN has the added benefit of being able to segment wireless traffic into groups, keeping certain types of traffic separate from others. In other words, a wireless VLAN can support different groups of users and can cater to the inherent needs and risks of your company.
Here are some common uses of VLANs for small businesses:
- Create a secure guest network that is separate from the company network.
- Group employees using a data-intensive application, like VoIP phones.
- Protect sensitive data by separating certain employees and the data they can access onto a separate network. For example, HR and financial employees could have their own secure networks that cannot be accessed by anyone else using the main network.
Other Advantages of VLANs
VLANs are great for increasing your business’s network security, which also makes your employees and clients feel safer and benefits your company’s reputation. All those advantages aside, there are still several other reasons why VLANs benefit a small business. Many people view VLANs as a tool of large enterprises, but VLANs work great with small businesses, especially if those small businesses are growing. Setting up a VLAN network now prepares your business for future growth. If your business is expanding, you want a reliable network that can grow with you. VLANs improve network performance, management, security, and usability. Installing a VLAN now is basically tantamount to building a blueprint for a successful business in the future.
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