Networking can be a confusing topic for owners of small and midsize businesses. Unless you’ve worked in IT, you may never have seen a router or a switch.

To help clear up confusion, we’re setting the record straight on common networking myths. Scroll on to see if you’ve heard any of these, and leave a comment if you have any others we should add to this list.

Myth 1: Access points and switches don’t need robust security features as long as my router has them.

The facts: If you rely solely on your router or security appliance to protect against threats to your network, you are leaving your business susceptible to cyber threats.

This isn’t hyperbole. Most access points aren’t secure when you purchase them. They require manual configuration to stop malicious users from connecting to your network. At best, those users will access your network to use the Internet, possibly for illegal streaming or downloading. At worst, they could steal files and passwords, or hack into employee computers.

If you leave your access points and switches unprotected, you endanger every locally accessed device, file, and piece of customer data. Sixty percent of small businesses fold within six months of a cyber attack.

Myth 2: My small business doesn’t need advanced networking features like analytics or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

The facts: Every business should have a network that provides enterprise-quality features such as built-in security, BLE, and analytics.

Why? These features put you on the same level as larger, more sophisticated peers. But they are also standard in products that do one thing incredibly well: grow with you.

The last thing any business owner or IT manager wants to do is constantly replace their company network. Productivity drops. Work grinds to a halt. Your bottom line suffers.

If you prioritize cost over features, your business will soon require new networking equipment when you hire more employees, add locations, or grow your customer base.

On the other hand, if you prioritize advanced features over cost, you may not use those features immediately, but you are buying a more robust solution that can accommodate your growth. That can save you money in the long term.

Myth 3: It doesn’t matter which product I use; Wi-Fi is Wi-Fi. I just need to get my employees online.

The facts: It is true that technically, any combination of routersswitches, and access points can create a business’s wired or wireless network. However, the quality of that network, however, can vary widely.

Poorly made or commodity solutions may leave your business vulnerable to cyber threats and malicious users. You also risk having a network that is unstable and unreliable, performing poorly in high-density, industrial, or outdoor environments. That can result in low productivity and a frustrating experience for employees and customers.

In short, buyer beware: not all networks are created equal.

Myth 4: I’ll never need services and support for something as simple as my wireless network.

The facts: Never say never. Services and support often prove invaluable to small and growing businesses that don’t have a dedicated IT team to troubleshoot, manage, and configure networks.

Cloud-managed networks are an excellent option for companies with a limited or nonexistent IT team. These networks typically include remote management, simple configuration, and an option for managed services through your vendor or partner.

When evaluating vendors for your network, consider:

  • the level of technical support each offers
  • how quickly you can reach them when there is a problem
  • what protections are included in your Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Often, low-cost vendors will sacrifice support and services, as these have high resource costs. Be wary of any vendor who doesn’t prioritize helping you when something goes wrong.

Myth 5: Cisco architecture from Forefront Technology Inc costs too much for what my business can afford.

The facts: You get what you pay for. Yes, Cisco networking equipment is often more expensive than lower-priced competitors. But it works. And it works for longer, in more environments, with more users, across any industry.

We build networking products with a purpose: to help you do your job in less time, with more confidence, anytime and anywhere you want to work. We believe that every business, small or large, deserves a network that’s designed to be secure and reliable. That’s why we have networking solutions for every business need, from cloud-managed to on premise, and we back every one with our award-winning services and support.

On the topic of price, we get it. That’s why we are proud of our Cisco portfolio at Forefront Technology, which offers enterprise-quality products for a price that is affordable for small and growing businesse

Or you could buy cheaper networking products that need to be replaced more frequently, put your data at risk, and require constant maintenance–but why would you?

Contact us today for a free network assessment or to learn more!