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I would suggest conducting a site survey before finalizing a network layout. A site survey will aid with determining where the wireless access points will be placed to give reliable coverage. Interference from other wireless networks could cause connectivity issues and the amount of square footage throughout the office space may also cause issues if the wireless access points are not planned out properly. Once the site survey is concluded any connectivity issues will be addressed and a solid network plan will be put into place (Dean, 2013, p. 366).
After evaluating the site survey it is determined that a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a star topology design would work best for this office. This design gives the small office the wireless access it needs and provides wired access to the network for the shared resources, printers and wired users to connect to. I would suggest using CAT 5e wiring for the wired devices as it is cost effective and supports networking speeds up to 350 MHz (Dean, 2013, p. 102). This design also allows the office to add more users or devices easily with little impact to the network design.
Security for the network will be provided by a network based packet filtering firewall, proxy server and a Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) passphrase. I would also suggest not broadcasting the Service Set Identifier (SSID) and to set up the router to filter the Media Access Control (MAC) addresses so that devices that have their MAC addresses registered will be allowed access to the wireless network (Dean, 2013, p. 357). I would restrict access to the proxy, file and print servers by locking them in a secure climate controlled closet. Access would be controlled by a key card that would be held by the network administrator.
The packet-filtering firewall will keep out unauthorized data from entering the network and reduce the number of ports that are accessible by the users and outside threats.
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"Proposal for Networks in a Small Office." 123HelpMe.com. 06 Dec 2019
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Utilizing a Wireless local area network star topology for the small office will give them the ability to connect the wired and wireless users to the network. The star topology also allows the easy addition of users as the business expands and if one of the nodes goes down the entire network will continue to operate. The wireless access points will ensure there is wireless coverage throughout the office and reduce the possibility of interference from other wireless networks. Installing a firewall and proxy server will also provide the security needed to protect the network from unauthorized users and keep other potential threats from accessing the network.
Dean, T. (2013). Network + Guide to Networks 6th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning.