Minimum-System Recommendations - Indy IT Professionals - IT by csgirla

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									Information Technology
Minimum System Recommendations

Tom Wagenhauser

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................. 3 Hardware ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4
Definitions .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 5 Minimum System Recommendations .................................................................................................................................................. 8
Desktop Computer .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Laptop Computer ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Printers..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 10 Peripherals ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

Software ..................................................................................................................................................................... 13
Operating System Software ............................................................................................................................................................... 14 Productivity Software ......................................................................................................................................................................... 15 Minimum System Recommendations ................................................................................................................................................ 17

System Backup .......................................................................................................................................................... 18
What is a Data Backup ....................................................................................................................................................................... 18 Why Backup my Data? ....................................................................................................................................................................... 18 What is the best option for backups? ................................................................................................................................................ 18

Security....................................................................................................................................................................... 21
Definitions ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 21 Minimum System Recommendations ................................................................................................................................................ 25

Networking ................................................................................................................................................................ 26
Definitions ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 27 High Speed Internet ............................................................................................................................................................................ 30 Minimum System Recommendations ................................................................................................................................................ 31

Hardware Manufacturers ........................................................................................................................................ 32 Hardware and Software Vendors ............................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.

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Introduction
We are living in an ―information age‖ where organizations utilize software and the internet every day for communication, research and conducting business. As software and the internet evolve, improving productivity, adding functionality and increasing security, computers must meet a minimum standard to ensure proper operation. Businesses realize that technology investments are becoming an important part of their annual budget. Computers typically depreciate over 3 to 5 years depending on how the organization uses the computers. Hardware and software are rapidly changing and organizations are realizing the need to invest in newer technology for their employees every 3 to 5 years. To assist organizations in budgeting for technology, I have developed a set of minimum system recommendations to provide a baseline when purchasing new or used computer equipment. The minimum system recommendations provide a foundation on what is generally supported by most organizations. The minimum system recommendations provide detailed system and vendor recommendations. The recommendations provided should be considered as an absolute minimum in order to function and communicate effectively. Several recommendations will provide a set of optional components for organizations to consider. The recommendations are organized in four sections: Hardware – Desktop Computers, Laptop Computers, Printers and Peripherals Software – Operating System, Productivity Software and Backup Software Security – Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Anti-Spyware and Software Firewalls Networking – High Speed Internet, Computer Networking and Hardware Firewalls

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Hardware
With any new hardware purchase, it is critical that you review everything about the purchase to make sure that it will fit your individual business needs. Computer systems purchased today typically include a modem, sound card, keyboard and mouse. Be sure to review your quotation carefully before finalizing the purchase to make sure that it meets your needs. The most important part of your purchase should be a warranty. Make sure you are buying from a well established company and that they provide a minimum 3 year warranty with next day service available on the products you are buying. Included in this document is a list of recommended vendors that provide excellent price, quality and service reliability. It is highly recommended that you purchase your equipment from one of the trusted vendors to prevent any possible quality control issues.

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Definitions
Central Processing Unit (CPU) The CPU is the computer's control center. Think of it as the brain that does all the thinking (computation), thus it is called the Central Processing Unit. The actual CPU is about 1.5 inches square, yet it is the most critical part of the computer. Having a fast CPU (measured in Gigahertz) greatly aids in the overall speed of your computer This is the component that holds recently accessed data for the CPU to have quick access to. It is much faster than reading from a hard drive, so having a lot of RAM makes it quick to retrieve recently accessed files, applications, and other data. All programs must be run through RAM before they can be used. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is typically measured in megabytes or gigabytes. The hard drive stores the computer's information and retains the information when the computer is turned off. A fast hard drive is needed to supply the CPU with data as fast as it needs it. Hard drive sizes are typically measured in Gigabytes. The larger the size, the more applications installed or documents and images you can store. Reads compact disks in the form of audio or CD-Rom. A CD-Rom holds data (perhaps audio as well). Newer CD-Rom drives will read CD-R (Writable CDs) and CD-RW (Re-Writable CDs). The speed of a CD-Rom drive is not usually very important except when installing programs, running games that require use of the CDRom drive, or "burning" CDs with a CD-Rom Burner. A CD-Rom Burner is a CDRom drive that is able to write to special CDs called CD-Rs or CD-RWs.

RAM (Memory)

Hard Drive

CD-Rom

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DVD-Rom

Similar to a CD-Rom drive, a DVD-Rom reads CDs, CD-Roms, and the newer DVDs. The acronym DVD originally had no meaning, but has since been referred to as Digital Video Disk and Digital Versatile Disk. DVD's advantage over CDs is that it holds more capacity than a single CD. DVDs can also hold full-length movies and can be used double-sided for extra storage. Today's standard floppy drive is 3.5" and holds 1.44 megabytes of data. Floppies are the most common portable method of data storage. They can be used to move data from one computer to another, for backup purposes, or for distribution of software. Floppy drives quickly being supplanted by removable drives. A network interface card (NIC) is a computer circuit board or card that is installed in a computer so that it can be connected to a network. Personal computers and workstations on a local area network (LAN) typically contain a network interface card specifically designed for the LAN transmission technology, such as Ethernet. Network interface cards provide a dedicated, full-time connection to a network Similar to a Network Interface Card in that it allows a computer to be connected to a network. However, the connection to the LAN is done wirelessly. Wireless LAN is a type of local-area network that uses high-frequency radio waves rather than wires to communicate between nodes. WLAN is a flexible data communication system used as an alternative to, or an extension of a wired LAN. A board that plugs into a personal computer to give display capabilities. The display capabilities of a computer, however, depend on both the capabilities of the video card and the display monitor.

Floppy Drive

Network Interface Card

Wireless Network Card

Video Card

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Universal Serial Bus (USB)

USB is a "plug and play" interface between a computer and add-on devices such as a camera, keyboard, mouse and external hard drives. With USB, a device can be added to your computer without having to turn the computer off. USB version 1.0 supports a data speed of 12 megabytes per second and USB version 2.0 supports a data speed of 480 megabytes per second. Often referred to as a display screen, the monitor is the component of your computer system that displays the messages and data being processed and utilized by the computer's CPU. The two types of monitor technologies available to consumers are available in CRT monitors and LCD monitors. There are big differences between LCD and CRT, and while LCD technology has advanced to the point where the viewing quality is comparable to CRTs, many people today still choose to purchase a CRT monitor. CRTs are bigger and bulkier than an LCD, they consume more power and are prone to screen flicker. LCD monitors, however, are more expensive when compared to CRTs.

Monitor

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A power supply that includes a battery to maintain power in the event of a power outage. Typically, a UPS keeps a computer running for several minutes after a power outage, enabling you to save data and shut down the computer gracefully. Many UPSs now offer a software component that enables you to automate backup and shut down procedures in case there's a power failure while you're away from the computer.

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Minimum System Recommendations
Desktop Computer Component Processor Hard Drive Memory CD-Rom Floppy Drive Network Interface Card Video Card Universal Serial Bus Monitor Uninterruptible Power Supply Minimum 1.6 GHz 40 Gigabyte 512 Megabytes CD-Rom 3.5‖ 1.44 Megabyte 10/100 Ethernet 32 Megabyte Graphics 2 Ports – version 1.0 17‖ CRT 725 VA - 450 Watt Recommended 2.8 GHz 80 Gigabyte 1 Gigabyte CD-RW or DVD-RW 3.5‖ 1.44 Megabyte 10/100/1000 Ethernet 128 Megabyte Graphics 4 Ports – version 2.0 17‖ LCD 800 VA – 540 Watt

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Laptop Computer Component Processor Hard Drive Memory CD-Rom Floppy Drive Network Interface Card Wireless Network Card Video Card Universal Serial Bus Laptop Screen Uninterruptible Power Supply Minimum 1.0 GHz 40 Gigabyte 512 Megabytes CD-Rom Not required 10/100 Ethernet Not Required 32 Megabyte Graphics 2 Ports – version 1.1 14.1‖ Display 725 VA - 450 Watt Recommended 1.7 GHz 80 Gigabyte 1 Gigabyte CD-RW or DVD-RW External 3.5‖ 1.44 Megabyte 10/100/1000 Ethernet 802.11 b/g 64 Megabyte Graphics 2 Ports – version 2.0 15.4‖ Display 800 VA – 540 Watt

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Printers Printer Inkjet Printer (Minimum) Description A type of printer that sprays heated ink onto paper. An inkjet printer is initially less expensive to purchase than a laser printer, but the cost of consumables (ink cartridges) makes it more expensive to operate.

Laser Printer (Recommended)

A type of printer that uses toner and laser light to print images on paper. It is faster and produces better quality documents than an inkjet printer. A laser printer is initially more expensive to purchase than an inkjet printer, but the cost of consumables (laser cartridges) makes it much less expensive to operate. A Multi Function Printer can be inkjet or laser. The MFP is an office machine that includes the following functionality in one physical body, so as to have a smaller footprint in a home or small-business setting:     Printer Scanner Copier Fax (Optional)

Multifunction Printer (Optional)

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Peripherals Device USB Flash Drive Description If you're tired of using floppy disks or waiting around while files burn to a CD, look into purchasing a USB Flash Drive. It's a portable device that can be used with virtually any device having USB port. Plug it in, drag and drop your files onto the Flash drive, unplug it and slip it into your pocket. Sizes range from 256 Megabytes to 16 Gigabytes of storage An external CD-RW or DVD-RW is a drive which is meant to be placed outside of the computer case. This allows expandability even if a computer's drive bays are full, and also provides an easily removable form of storage limited only by the capacity of the CDs or DVDs. An external hard drive is a hard disk which is meant to be placed outside of the computer case. This allows expandability even if a computer's drive bays are full, and also provides an easily removable form of mass storage with very large capacity.

External CD-RW or DVD-RW

External Hard Drive

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Handheld Computers (PDAs)

Handheld devices (also known as handhelds) are pocket-sized computing devices that are rapidly gaining popularity as the access to information in every walk of life becomes more and more mission critical. Along with mobile computing devices such as laptops and smartphones, PDAs represent the new frontier of computing as desktop computers are limiting the mobility of everyday users.

Wireless Keyboard & Today’s users are looking for ways to clear their desk of the clutter. A Mouse wireless keyboard and mouse sets offer the convenience of wireless functionality, removing the limitations that wires often present.

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Software
Similar to Hardware in its importance, Software provides users with the necessary tools to accomplish tasks. Investing in software can be just as important as the hardware it runs on. Operating System software provides the fundamental building blocks on how the system will operate and function. Productivity Software, or sometimes referred to as ―Suites‖ provide users with the capabilities to accomplish tasks. Security Software protects users from potentially unsafe external threats. Selection of the Operating System software is the deciding factor in what productivity software and security software can be run on the computer. Some of the more common operating system software programs are Microsoft Windows and Linux. Most businesses today run Microsoft Windows as the primary operating system software as many of the productivity suites used today are developed to run on a Microsoft Windows platform. Productivity Software and Security Software are very important decisions to be made in deciding what capabilities a user will have. When deciding on Productivity Software and Security Software, an organization should standardize the applications being utilized to minimize conflicts and support costs.

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Operating System Software Microsoft Windows: Microsoft Windows is installed on the majority of personal computers. A July 2005 poll of Network Computing magazine readers found that 90% of organizations used Microsoft's desktop operating systems. Microsoft's operating system has benefited from not being tied to the success of one hardware manufacturer and from Microsoft's willingness to license the operating system to manufacturers. Due to Microsoft's extensive licensing agreements with many computer vendors, Windows presently comes pre-installed on most computers as a bundled OEM version, making it the default or only choice for most of the market. Finally, the large software base of programs available for the Windows family of operating systems has become the single largest self-perpetuating reason for the popularity of Windows. In recent years, many companies have been started with the sole intention of releasing Windows software; the fact that there is already a large customer base in place is reason enough for such companies to spend their resources solely on Windows software development. As a result, the fact that many companies are supporting Windows exclusively is reason for many customers to choose Windows.

www.microsoft.com

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Productivity Software Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity programs created by Microsoft and developed for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Recent versions of Office are now called the 'Office System' rather than the 'Office Suite' to reflect the fact that they include Servers as well. Office made its first appearance in the early '90s, and was initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications that were previously marketed and sold separately. The main selling point was that buying the bundle was substantially cheaper than buying each of the individual applications. The first version of Office contained Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Over the years the Office applications have grown substantially closer together from a technical standpoint. Office is currently the most popular office suite in the world and considered to be the de facto standard for productivity programs. Common Microsoft Office Applications: Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Powerpoint Microsoft Access

www.microsoft.com

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Adobe Acrobat: Adobe Acrobat is a program and browser plug-in that lets you read Adobe PDF files, that have many of the attributes of a book, including pagination, tables of contents and indexes, unlimited variety in typography, full-color graphics positioned anywhere, and fully customizable page layout in general. Users can leaf through a document page by page as they would a book, or go directly to a certain page number. It's possible to zoom in and out from the page, and to cut and paste text (though not to edit or add to it inside the document) PDFs are an electronic document format that emphasizes the ability to reproduce the layout and graphic look of documents created in many different proprietary formats. Used especially in cases where complex documents need to print similarly regardless of the fonts and applications installed on the readers computer. Adobe Acrobat reader is a free download available on the web at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat

www.adobe.com

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Minimum System Recommendations
Minimum Operating System Software Productivity Software Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 Microsoft Office XP Standard  Word  Excel  Outlook  Powerpoint Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 Recommended Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition  Word  Excel  Outlook  Powerpoint  Publisher Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0

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System Backup
What is a Data Backup Data backup involves the storing of files from your computer in another location. In this way, if there is ever any loss of data on your primary machine, you still have your data in backup in order to restore those files. In the world of computers, loss of data can be devastating, and while there are possibilities for recovery of data after a disaster it is far easier to restore your files from backup than to attempt to find your data on a crashed hard drive. Why Backup my Data? Data backup is easy to do and can save you great amounts of time as well as ensure that your data is secure in the case of disaster. Using a Data recovery service can be a very difficult, time consuming and expensive process, and it is not even assured that you will be able to recover your data from a system crash. Restoring from a system Backup does not take much time, as it is easy to put your files onto another medium, and is not too expensive, depending upon what mediums you use to backup your data. There are many different options for data backup, and you will have to choose the one that is best for you. What is the best option for backups? The traditional floppies have become essentially obsolete considering the limitations of the medium. New technologies have become available in the meantime, such as CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, external hard drives, online backup and USB Flash drives. These are all superior in size and capabilities to the traditional 3 ½‖ floppy. Choose the best option that suits your needs and capabilities.

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Backup MyPC Backup MyPC Deluxe is the best way to easily back up and recover all your digital media and important files. Automatically schedule full, partial or incremental backups. Restore your entire system, data and applications to a new hard drive or PC after computer crashes, file corruption, and other disasters.  Complete Disaster Recovery For Complete Peace Of Mind  Completely recover your data and applications incase of a crash, system failure or other disaster  Restore your entire system quickly and easily after a failed hard drive or virus damage  Recover your system to a new hard drive or PC  Easily revert your PC to its original "clean" state Backups should be written to a USB flash drive, external CD/DVD or an external hard drive. For enterprise solutions requiring backups of multiple computers or servers, it is recommended that speak to your technology consultant for a more robust solution.

www.sonic.com

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Carbonite PC Backups with Carbonite  Unlimited storage capacity for your PC backups  Automatically finds all your data files -- photos, documents, music, emails, everything  Always on – just connect to the Internet  Set and forget – just start Carbonite and relax  Instantly detects and backs up changed files  Never slows down your computer or Internet  Exclude files you don’t want to back up  Strong encryption for super security Carbonite installs with one click. Sit back and relax while Carbonite automatically finds all your data files, encrypts them, and backs them up over the Internet to our secure servers. Only $5 per month for unlimited backup!

www.carbonite.com

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Security
Definitions
Computer Virus: In computer security technology, a virus is a self-replicating/self-reproducing-automation program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents. A computer virus behaves in a way similar to a biological virus, which spreads by inserting itself into living cells. Extending the analogy, the insertion of a virus into the program is termed as an "infection‖ and the infected file (or executable code that is not part of a file) is called a "host". Viruses are one of the several types of malicious software or malware. In a common parlance, the term virus is often extended to refer to worms, Trojan horses and other sorts of malware; however, this can confuse computer users, since viruses in the narrow sense of the word are less common than they used to be, compared to other forms of malware. This confusion can have serious consequences, because it may lead to a focus on preventing one genre of malware over another, potentially leaving computers vulnerable to future damage. Anti-virus Software: Anti-virus software consists of computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware). Anti-virus software typically uses two different techniques to accomplish this:  Examining (scanning) files to look for known viruses matching definitions in a virus dictionary  Identifying suspicious behavior from any computer program which might indicate infection. Such analysis may include data captures, port monitoring and other methods.

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Spyware: In the field of computing, the term spyware refers to a broad category of malicious software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the informed consent of that machine's owner or legitimate user. While the term taken literally suggests software that surreptitiously monitors the user, it has come to refer more broadly to software that subverts the computer's operation for the benefit of a third party. Spyware differs from viruses and worms in that it does not usually self-replicate. Like many recent viruses, however, spyware – by design – exploits infected computers for commercial gain. Typical tactics furthering this goal include delivery of unsolicited pop-up advertisements; theft of personal information (including financial information such as credit card numbers); monitoring of Web-browsing activity for marketing purposes; or routing of website requests to advertising sites. Anti-spyware Software: Anti-spyware programs can combat spyware in two ways:  real-time protection, which prevents the installation of spyware  Detection and removal of spyware. Writers of anti-spyware programs usually find detection and removal simpler, and many more programs have become available which do so. Such programs inspect the contents of the Windows Operating System files and installed programs, and remove files and entries which match a list of known spyware components. Real-time protection from spyware works identically to real-time anti-virus protection: the software scans incoming network data and disk files at download time, and blocks the activity of components known to represent spyware. In some cases, it may also intercept attempts to install start-up items or to modify browser settings.

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E-mail Spam: Spamming is the abuse of any electronic communications medium to send unsolicited messages in bulk. While its definition usually extends to the sending of any unsolicited bulk electronic communication, some exclude from the definition of the term "spam" messages considered by the receiver (or even just the sender) to be targeted, noncommercial, or wanted. In the popular eye, the most common form of spam is that delivered in e-mail as a form of commercial advertising. However, over the short history of electronic media, people have spammed for many purposes other than the commercial, and in many media other than e-mail. Anti-Spam Software: The continuing increase in spam has resulted in rapid growth in the use of spam filter programs: software designed to examine incoming email and separate spam emails from genuine email messages intended for the user. Unwanted e-mail can be filtered at the desktop, the network email server/email gateway, the Internet Service Provider's email gateway, or all three locations. While IT managers and Internet Service Providers can choose hardened email security appliances, services or software designed to interdict both spam and viruses, desktop users are frequently limited to a software-based solution. A number of commercial spam filtering programs exist and are readily available, but many freeware and shareware spam filters are also available for easy downloading and installation. Spam filters are currently included as standard features in nearly every available email client, though the quality of these built-in filters can be low; for some users, this may necessitate the use of a higher quality filtering solution.

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Computer Intrusions: Intrusion refers to the unauthorized access or illegal access to a system or network, successfully. This could be the act compromising the computer’s operating system software or installation of malicious program giving the attacker the ability to remotely control the computer’s functions and act as a ―slave‖ for the intruder. With the increased utilization of high speed connections, there arises an increasing need to protect your computer from external attackers. Personal Firewall Software: Traditionally, a personal firewall is a piece of software installed on an end-user's PC which controls communications to and from the user's PC, permitting or denying communications based on a security policy. A personal firewall differs from a conventional firewall in that there is no hardware separation between the firewall software on the user's PC and the user's application software. A personal firewall will not usually protect any more than the one PC it is connected to, unless other PCs are sharing Internet connectivity via the protected PC. Another distinction from conventional firewall software/devices is that personal firewalls are able to control communications using methods such as prompting the user each time a connection is attempted, and 'learning' from the responses, to determine what Internet traffic a user would like to permit to/from their PC. This software may also provide some level of intrusion detection, allowing the software to terminate or block connectivity where it suspects an intrusion is being attempted.

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Minimum System Recommendations
Select One of the following Products Norton Internet Security Includes:  Norton Antivirus  Norton Personal Firewall  Norton Privacy Control  Norton Antispam  Norton Parental Control Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security Includes:  Antivirus  Spyware  Phishing Fraud Detection  Wireless Intrusion Detection  Spam Filtering  Personal Firewall  Home Network Control www.trendmicro.com McAfee Internet Security Suite Includes:  Antivirus  Spyware and Adware Detection  Personal Firewall  AntiPhishing  Spam Filtering

www.symantec.com

www.mcafee.com

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Networking
Why Network? You are running a growing organization. You now have three or more people working in your office and you've run into problems with sharing data and hardware. Your employees need to access the same database that lists all of your insolvency information and also access standard publications and files. While you want to share this information, you aren't ready to invest in a server. You can solve this problem by setting up a network in your office. Installing a network for your small office will help to save you money. When you set up networking, you only need one Internet connection for your organization’s computers. With a shared network, the people in your company will be able to use the same insolvency database at the same time, and everyone will be able to print to the same printer. It will save you money in hardware—you won't have to buy a printer for everyone—and improve your efficiency: your employees will be able to share files and data more easily.

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Definitions
Local Area Network (LAN) A computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings. Most LANs connect workstations and personal computers. Each node (individual computer) in a LAN has its own CPU with which it executes programs, but it also is able to access data and devices anywhere on the LAN. This means that many users can share expensive devices, such as laser printers, as well as data. Users can also use the LAN to communicate with each other, by sending e-mail or engaging in chat sessions Ethernet One of the most common local area network (LAN) wiring schemes, Ethernet cables are often referred as Cat5 cables. A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Megabytes per second. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. IP Address In computer networking, an IP address (internet protocol address) is a unique number that devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard. (Sometimes this is shortened to just "IP" as in "My IP is A.B.C.D".) Any participating device — including routers, computers, timeservers, printers, internet fax machines, and some telephones — must have its own globally unique communicable address.

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Switch

A networking device that improves network performance by segmenting the network and reducing competition for bandwidth. When a port on the switch receives a request for data, it forwards those requests only to the appropriate port for the intended recipient. This further reduces competition for bandwidth between the clients, servers or workgroups connected to each switch port. A wireless LAN or WLAN is a wireless local area network that uses radio waves as its carrier: the last link with the users is wireless, to give a network connection to all users in the surrounding area. Areas may range from a single room to an entire campus. The backbone network usually uses cables, with one or more wireless access points connecting the wireless users to the wired network. In a wireless local area network (WLAN), an access point is a station that transmits and receives data (sometimes referred to as a transceiver). An access point connects users to other users within the network and also can serve as the point of interconnection between the WLAN and a fixed wire network. Each access point can serve multiple users within a defined network area; as people move beyond the range of one access point, they are automatically handed over to the next one. A small WLAN may only require a single access point; the number required increases as a function of the number of network users and the physical size of the network. Sometimes referred to as a wideband transmission, broadband refers to telecommunications that provide a variety of channels and data over a single communication medium (wire). Today there are a wide variety of broadband technologies available in most areas. Two of the more commonly used technologies are cable and DSL broadband

Wireless LAN

Wireless Access Point

Broadband

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Router

A hardware device that routes data from a local area network (LAN) to another network connection. A router is connected to at least two networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its ISP's network. Routers are located at gateways - the places where two or more networks connect. So for example, a router at home connects the Internet Service Provider's (ISP) network (usually on an Internet address) together with the LAN in the organization. The switch connects devices together to form the LAN. Sometimes the switch and the router are combined together in one single package sold as a multiple port router

Hardware Firewall

A firewall is a hardware solution to enforce security policies. In the physical security analogy, a firewall is equivalent to a door lock on a perimeter door or on a door to a room inside of the building - it permits only authorized users such as those with a key or access card to enter. A firewall has built-in filters that can disallow unauthorized or potentially dangerous material from entering the system. It also logs attempted intrusions.

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High Speed Internet
High Speed internet access, also known as broadband is increasingly more available and affordable for small organizations. Broadband internet access is typically 30 to 40 times faster than traditional dial up access. The connection to your broadband service provider is permanently connected, so there isn’t the need to ―dial up‖ every time you want to connect to the internet, which significantly increases productivity and speed of communications. An internet service provider provides the broadband service at a monthly fee, typically ranging from $40 - $80 a month depending on the speed and features your organization requires. Broadband service is a very good investment for any small organization. However, the organization must realize that with greater capabilities, there comes a greater susceptibility to network intrusions and must invest in a firewall capable of blocking those intrusion attempts. Most internet service providers today provide their customers with a multifunctional device that acts as a router to their network, a switch for multiple computer access and a firewall. When making the decision to invest in broadband service with an ISP, be sure to ask the company what is included in the monthly cost and if you will need to invest into a hardware switch or firewall. Some of the more popular broadband services are:  DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): DSL is a family of technologies that provide digital data transmission over the wires used in the "last mile" of a local telephone network. Speeds can vary based on the number of subscribers in the area.  Cable: Along with DSL technology, cable ushered in the age of broadband Internet access in the United States. Cable runs on the same lines as cable television and usually delivers speeds comparable to that of DSL, however, DSL connections generally have better upload and download speeds. Speeds can vary based on the number of subscribers in the area.  T-1: Transmits data over a dedicated Ethernet cable and is usually provided by your existing telephone provider, a T-1 is purchased based on a static rate of transmission. Cost is usually

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associated with the amount of speed your organization requires. More reliable than DSL or Cable but also more expensive.

Minimum System Recommendations
Minimum Internet Access Hardware DSL or Cable Service Router Switch Software Firewall Assuming 1-5 computers Recommended T-1 Router Switch Hardware Firewall

To learn more about making the right decision on an Internet Service Provider and to find a provider near you, please click on the link below: http://reviews.cnet.com/Internet_access/2001-6536_7-0.html Additionally, it is recommended that you get assistance with your ISP or local service contractor on the installation of the Router, Switch and Firewall.

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Hardware Manufacturers
Some of the most common brands purchased and websites to research more about their product lines: Brand Website Desktop Computers Dell Hewlett Packard IBM Gateway Dell Hewlett Packard IBM Sony Toshiba Hewlett Packard Canon Dell Epson Palm Hewlett Packard Dell Dell Cisco Linksys D-Link www.dell.com www.hp.com www.ibm.com www.gateway.com www.dell.com www.hp.com www.ibm.com www.sony.com www.toshiba.com www.hp.com www.canon.com www.dell.com www.epson.com www.palm.com www.hp.com www.dell.com www.dell.com www.cisco.com www.linksys.com www.dlink.com

Laptop Computers

Printers

Handheld Computers

Network Equipment

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