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IT Management Guide: Networking for SMBs

Networks made simple -- or complex? From basic definitions to security and VPN must-haves, this guide takes the bite out of network management challenges.

This guide originally appeared on For more IT articles and tips specific to small and midsized businesses, visit

If you are like most network managers, you're probably realizing your network infrastructure is out of date -- even though you feel like you just upgraded it. Hopefully that's not the case, and you're just beginning to consider what to do next to get ultimate network performance and security.

Networks, like most IT components, can always be improved, updated and more secure. But as new network technology promises to simplify your job, it also adds another layer of complexity to your network. A virtual private network isn't secure with just a firewall. Wireless networks work well -- but what about remote users? What about networking tools that are made for large companies but scaled down for small and midsized shops? Are they OK?

This guide offers articles, tips and advice on just about everything networking for the small or midsized business. From simple definitions to security options and VPN must-haves, this guide is a worthwhile beginning to the seemingly never-ending network management challenge. Send us your comments, questions and queries, and we'll do our best to satisfy your networking needs.

For free advice and resources on more IT and business topics, visit our main SMB IT Management Guide section.

 Table of contents

Expert's corner
VoIP Basics
Network Management
Network Administration
Network Security
More Resources

  Expert's corner  Return to Table of Contents

There is no doubt that network security has been and will remain a hot topic for years to come. The basic idea is to "secure" your network from the outside world. However, you can't forget about securing your network from the inside as well. Because there are now so many services available for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it's much harder to identify what to focus on to achieve an adequate level of network security.

This guide aims to help you focus on strategic areas of your network and the services it provides to ensure that you get the best possible results -- without blowing your budget (even though sometimes it's unavoidable). The articles, tips and advice columns offer valuable information for networking at SMBs. (Take a look at my Network security 1-2-3, which explains network infrastructure, Active Directory, honey pots and several network security resources that help secure your networks.)

You can prevent network attacks and catastrophes by constantly monitoring your network and resources as well as keeping up with the latest technologies, network news and the many resources available in this guide and on the Web.

Chris Partsenditis is founder and senior editor of View his Introduction to Network Security article here, and also view his answers to questions on's Ask the Experts section.


  Basics  Return to Table of Contents


  VoIP Basics  Return to Table of Contents


  Network Management  Return to Table of Contents


  Network Administration  Return to Table of Contents


  Network Security  Return to Table of Contents


  More Resources  Return to Table of Contents


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