Proposal for Networks in a Small Office

Proposal for Networks in a Small Office

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This proposal is for a small office that will have users who are connected by Wi-Fi or cable. The network will include devices and resources that is shared among all the users. The network will need to have security measures in place to protect the entire network and keep the wireless access secure and available only to employees of the company.

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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The proxy server provides additional security by masking individual users IP addresses and using the IP address of the server for all outgoing data (Dean, 2013, p. 512). The proxy server can also be configured to improve network performance by saving recently accessed Web pages so that the content can be accessed again without having to retrieve the information again from the external Web server. As an additional security feature I would suggest implementing logon restrictions that will change the administrators’ password every time new hardware or software was installed on the network. For the users I would assign unique user IDs and logins that would require an alphanumeric password that would be changed every sixty days. This will assist with reducing the chances of having a hacker being able to break into a user’s account and get to the network.

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.




Works Cited


Dean, T. (2013). Network + Guide to Networks 6th Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning.


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