Being able to identify the components that make up your business’ data network is a valuable skill. If you own a club, bar, pub, lounge or restaurant, it’s likely that you have a state-of-the-art surveillance, telecommunications and entertainment system. Even if you’re not responsible for the system’s infrastructure, understanding its components can help to diagnose any problems and prevent accidental user errors. Here’s a simple explanation of the elements that make up your business’ data network.
But first, what is a data network?
Before we can dive into its components, let’s quickly go over what the term “data network” means. Simply put, a network involves two or more devices connected together to share resources. Depending on the nature of your business, this could involve computers, copiers, surveillance cameras, audio equipment or other devices. Network cabling enables these devices to share an Internet connection, audio files, surveillance footage or other resources that are integral to your operations.
Network interface card
A network interface card (NIC) enables each of your devices to be connected to the other elements of your network. Some NIC cards support wired connections (Ethernet) and others are wireless (Wi-Fi).
A hub is best described as a distribution centre that splits your network connection among different devices. This wired component receives information requests from one device and broadcasts it to the others. Currently, hubs are being replaced by more modern switches and routers. However, we decided to include it in this list for businesses that are upgrading outdated systems.
Similar to a hub, a switch is responsible for transmitting information within your network, but it does so more efficiently. It identifies each message received and knows exactly where to send it. Unlike the hub, it connects the source and destination directly resulting in an increased network speed.
A router is used to connect more than one network together and to share an Internet connection among more than one device. Similar to a hub and switch, it directs (routes) network traffic to the right destination, but can be programmed to understand, manipulate and more intelligently act upon the data it transfers.
Cables and connectors
Cables and connectors enable your devices to transmit media and communications. Depending on the system size and components, CAT5, CAT6, Fiber Optic and Coax cables are the most common types used in network cabling projects.
Ultimately, your data network will have variable components suited your unique business needs. But the backbone of any system is reliant on efficient network cabling. If you’re using the wrong type of cable or if your cabling has been improperly installed, you may run the risk of compromising both the speed and the security of your overall network.
No matter what type of cable you need for your restaurant, bar or office, Panopticon Solutions has got you covered. We have almost a decade of experience installing, updating and maintaining cabling systems in the Greater Toronto Area, and our expert technicians will ensure your network’s cabling is reliable, safe and secure. For more information about network cabling, and for all your network cabling services, give us a call at: 647-706-8650.