Although it is possible that some small business owners are still running “pen and paper” offices, this is definitely not the norm.  Business owners overwhelmingly understand the need to invest in technology as a part of the cost of setting up and doing business – at the same time, they may find it difficult to evaluate their technology needs, and may find the idea of setting up their systems to be quite overwhelming. It goes without saying that any business will need at least one computer, and most will need more than one. But beyond that, it may not be clear what is needed. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of technical know-how.  Here two basic hardware components that, in addition to computers, should be all a small business requires to get itself out of the gate.

Server

If a business has several computers, it may eventually need to use a server in order store shared files or manage things like email. A server is basically a program that provides specific services to other programs which may be located on other computers that are linked together in a network.  These services can include sending and receiving mail, managing files so that other computers on the network can access them, printing services, or passing on requests for services. Servers are also important for backing up company-wide data.  There are several different types of servers, each of which has its advantages depending on what it is that you need them to do.  For most small businesses (under about 25 employees), a tower server may be the best option because it is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t require a lot of expertise to set up.  There are many Zazco tower servers to choose from as a way to get started.

Wireless Router

A router is a device that receives information from your modem (which is typically connected to the internet via cable) and delivers it to your computer; a router can do this simultaneously for more than one computer, which means that if you are running a small business with more than one computer, you will need a router unless you want to have a separate internet account for every computer!  Routers also add a layer of security to the internet connection by requiring a password.  A wireless router allows devices – like smartphones, printers, or laptops to connect to the internet without being physically connected to the modem.

Servers and routers may sound complicated to the small business owner, who may be tempted to do without them as a result.  However, as you can see, each of these hardware components performs tasks that are vital in any office with more than one computer.

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