Guide

Computer networking

Benefits of using networks

Setting up a computer network is a fast and reliable way of sharing information and resources within a business. It can help you make the most of your IT systems and equipment.

Advantages of computer networking

There are several distinct advantages to networking, including:

  • File sharing – you can easily share data between different users, or access it remotely if you keep it on other connected devices.
  • Resource sharing – using network-connected peripheral devices like printers, scanners and copiers, or sharing software between multiple users, saves money.
  • Sharing a single internet connection – it is cost-efficient and can help protect your systems if you properly secure the network.
  • Increasing storage capacity – you can access files and multimedia, such as images and music, which you store remotely on other machines or network-attached storage devices.

Networking can also help you improve communication, so that:

  • staff, suppliers and customers can share information and get in touch more easily
  • your business can become more efficient - eg networked access to a common database can avoid the same data being keyed multiple times, saving time and preventing errors
  • staff can deal with queries and deliver a better standard of service as a result of sharing customer data

Storing information in one centralised database can also help you reduce costs and drive efficiency. For example:

  • staff can deal with more customers in less time, since they have shared access to customer and product databases
  • you can centralise network administration, meaning less IT support is required
  • you can cut costs through sharing of peripherals and internet access

You can reduce errors and improve consistency by having all staff work from a single source of information. This way, you can make standard versions of manuals and directories available to them, and back up data from a single point on a scheduled basis, ensuring consistency.

Read more about the pros and cons of wireless networking.