How To Find The Top Networking Equipment

The foundation for any modern computer network is built on the back of top networking equipment. Suppose you are looking to develop an enterprise-class data center that can handle millions of transactions per second. In that case, there are many different pieces of networking equipment available that enable all kinds of connectivity and configuration options.

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As you might imagine, with so many different networking equipment options available, it is nearly impossible to know which products are the highest-rated and most reputable. Here’s how you can find top networking equipment.

1. Network compatibility

Before you purchase any networking equipment, it is essential to know what type of devices will connect to your network and how many there will be to choose equipment with support for as many different types as possible. For example, if your network uses DSL connections, such as those found in older ADSL-type modems, look for devices that also have built-in support for this connection standard in addition to newer cable and fiber optic technologies. While most networking devices in the market today are compatible with a wide range of devices, it pays to make sure you are not buying something with too many extra features. Some features might go unused simply because your existing devices do not require them.

2. Break it down by application

Many of today’s high-tech routers can handle millions of packets per second. Still, it is often unnecessary to purchase a networking equipment device with this capacity unless your business requires it. For example, LANs that have very few users or access points might get away with less expensive models that support fewer simultaneous connections. Doing so can reduce costs and complexity when setting up your network infrastructure. Generally, most people will be able to get by with a much less expensive model that is perfectly capable of providing the speeds they need. Before choosing your networking equipment, consider exactly how it will be used and what types of applications you will need to run through it.

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3. Don’t skimp on quality

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Even though there are many low-cost networking equipment options available on the market today, it is essential to remember that you get what you pay for. Buying cheap routers or modems may be cheaper in the short term, but you will likely end up paying more over time because replacement units or repairs will cost more than they would have if you had just purchased higher quality products, to begin with. Sometimes cheap networking equipment can save money upfront, but overpaying for better quality items later defeats the purpose. Also, higher price tags don’t always mean better performance or reliability. Often, the least expensive products on the market prove to be more durable and faster than their high-priced competitors. The bottom line is that high-quality networking equipment usually saves money in the long run while providing reliable service and cutting down on maintenance costs.

4. Determine the speeds of your network

Many of today’s networking equipment products can run the latest standards in Gigabit Ethernet networking. Still, if your network does not require this speed, you can save money by purchasing products that support lower speeds. For example, depending on the amount and types of devices you will be connecting to your network, equipment rated for 100 to 1000 Mbps might be more than enough for your needs – especially if you do not plan on adding any new devices to your network soon.

5. Look into warranties

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When choosing between competing brands of networking equipment, it is vital to consider warranty options. Many manufacturers offer extended warranties when products are registered within 90 days after the sale. However, these deals often expire quickly and may cost you more money than you would save by purchasing a less expensive unit that doesn’t offer any warranty at all. Decide beforehand how much warranty coverage will be essential for protecting your investment, and whether or not it is worth the added cost of registering your purchase to receive the best possible warranty deal.

6. Know what you need

The first thing you will need to do before purchasing any networking equipment is to know your network requirements. You’ll need to know how many computers or other devices you will be connecting and in what locations. Knowing the number of devices that will connect through each modem or router, along with their respective location, will help determine the speeds at which your users can access your network resources. Furthermore, it will help you determine if you need more than one modem or router and how many.

7. Avoid the latest fad

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This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but sometimes it is worth holding off on buying a new networking product until a unique model comes along. When manufacturers release new models only every few years, you can usually save money by choosing an older unit that still offers more than enough features for your needs. Also, it would be supported for many years to come, even if the manufacturer has no plans on releasing any upgrades soon. In some cases, it might also be advantageous to choose products from manufacturers who have been around longer, since they usually have better customer support options in place if anything goes wrong. Or, if you need help updating your device drivers or firmware, use them with the latest operating system.

8. Determine your total cost of ownership

While initial purchase prices are often the first thing people look at when shopping, other vital factors like maintenance costs, increased productivity due to faster speeds, higher reliability, better security, and more advanced features make certain products worth their price tags. Before buying any equipment, one last thing to consider is the total lifetime costs associated with purchasing and operating it. Some networking equipment may appear less expensive upfront, but if you factor in everything you will need to buy over time, they could end up costing you more in the long run.

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With these tips, anyone can find the best possible piece of top networking equipment to suit their needs and budget. Just keep in mind that no two networks are exactly alike, and while one product might fit a particular solution perfectly, it might be entirely wrong for another. By following these steps when trying out different products, your search will go much smoother than if you just picked based on price alone.

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