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    Having Trouble with Network Connectivity? Read this.

    By: Dustin Bonn
    June 4, 2020

    Every business runs on two types of networks: LAN and WAN. LAN (local area network) is a business' internal network. It has to do with your routers, firewall and switches. WAN (wide area network) is your connectivity to other remote sites. "Remote sites" can refer to other locations or employees who work remotely. Both LAN and WAN are essential for adequate connectivity, and they need to be able to support each other. 

    Unreliable Network Issues

    Map of a city with connectivity dots throughout representing the wide area network, WANLAN — the internally managed network, and WAN —the externally managed network support each other. Together, they form a business' network. And you know as well as I do that businesses need a reliable network. 

    Network connectivity issues create bottlenecks and seriously limit productivity. If you've ever experienced intermittent slowdowns as a result of network traffic peaks or on-site technical issues, you're not alone. So, what causes network connectivity issues for today's businesses? 

    In a TechRebublic article, Scott Lowe MCSE discusses the potential causes of network slowdowns, differentiating between intermittent slowdowns and consistent network slowdowns while offering some strategies for pinpointing the problem. If you're interested in troubleshooting your connectivity issues, check out this article: Common Causes of Network Slowdowns

    Here's what I find are the most common causes of network issues:

    Old Equipment

    When network equipment reaches a certain age, its manufacturers will stop supporting it. This means they stop developing key patches or designing upgrades to keep the equipment functioning at high levels. Without these updates, the equipment's function will continue to degrade.

    Additionally, a lack of upgrades for older equipment means your network might not be safeguarded against threats, including cyber attacks

    Inability for Remote Management

    Newer equipment is designed with a cloud-first mentality, meaning it has the ability to be managed and upgraded remotely. So when it's time to have patches and firewalls upgraded, it can happen via the cloud. The same goes for your connection. It can be assessed, managed and improved with minimal downtime.  

    Not Upgrading Switches or Firewalls

    Sometimes, confusion about upgrades has to do with not understanding how LAN and WAN connectivity works together. Most often, businesses will upgrade their WAN to a fiber connection to avoid intermittent slowdowns during network traffic peaks. But what they don't know is their current firewall and switches cannot support the internet upgrade. What does this mean? Businesses are paying for WAN services without reaping the benefits. What they need is to upgrade their LAN at the same time.  

    How Can a Managed IT Partner Help?

    Businesses need to find symmetry between their LAN and WAN in order to overcome network connectivity issues. When these two networks are asymmetrical, there's no guarantee you'll experience the internet connection you've invested in. A managed IT partner can develop and implement a fiber-based, symmetrical internet connection that provides balanced connectivity. 

    Marco's Managed IT Services

    Marco has expertise in all areas related to network connectivity. Some providers will work with LAN or WAN, but won't take on both together. For example, you may have an internet service provider who helps with WAN but won't touch LAN or a managed provider who does the opposite.

    When you have LAN and WAN handled separately, solving issues can feel like an endless game of finger pointing. With Marco, you can work with a single service provider on the big picture of network connectivity. We will strategize with our customers, providing all the expertise needed for WAN, as well as addressing necessary changes within LAN. That's just one of the perks of working with a single provider for connectivity needs. 

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    Topics: Managed IT Services