Windows Networking/Small Office Network (W7)

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Question
"Hi there,
I have recently started a networking class and was wondering if you could help me out with a few questions. [Please note that I'm not asking for you to do the work for me, I just need some general help.]

"What version of Windows 7 should be used for a small office network?"  -I would say home premium but that can't create homegroups, so would that mean professional would be required to create small office networks?

"Identify the main network hardware and protocols to use."  I don't understand this question. I think hardware is referring to Ethernet cables and stuff (am I right?) but have no idea what it means 'protocols to use'.

Thanks so much for your help! :)
~Liam

Answer
Hi Liam,

I would use Windows 7 professional in any office setting since that allows you to connect properly to a server and provides the necessary workstation security you want in an office environment.

Hardware today is almost always ethernet.  There used to be other options maybe 15 years ago, but ethernet is the surviving standard today.  You probably need to identify was sort of switch and cables  you need to use.  If operating as gigabit speeds (the industry standard today) you need a gigabit switch and cat6 cables.

Again, 15 years ago, there were lots of different possible protocols to use.  Most networks used Novell's IPX back then.  But there were at least half a dozen different ones in use.  Today, virtually every network in the world uses TCP/IP, which is presumably what you would want to use.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

Windows Networking

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Michael Troy

Expertise

I have a fair amount of experience in peer-to-peer networking. I can answer questions about hardware, networking software, protocol settings, etc. I have some client-server experience, but not a lot with Windows-based servers. I can also give some advice on home network security: VPN, firewalls, anti-virus, etc.

Experience

I am the Director of Information Systems for a large law firm which connects about 300 users over five offices via a wide area network. We use client-server, peer-to-peer, remote access, VPN, Internet, and proxy servers.

I also have a peer-to-peer network of computers at home, with file and print sharing, remote access, shared network storage, and shared Internet access with a firewall.

Education/Credentials
BA George Washington University JD University of Michigan

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