How to Upgrade Your Computer Network Equipment

Computer Network Equipment

Upgrading your computer network equipment can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re a small business owner looking to improve productivity or a home user wanting a faster, more reliable internet connection, upgrading your network can make a huge difference. 

Imagine seamless video calls, quicker file downloads, and no more frustrating Wi-Fi dead zones. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials of upgrading your network equipment in easy-to-understand steps. Say goodbye to tech headaches and hello to a smoother, faster digital experience!

Tips to Enhance Your Computer Network Equipment

Check Your Existing Network

Before you start shopping for new hardware, assess your network to identify its strengths, weaknesses, and other factors. Use tools like network analyzers and bandwidth testers to check your network’s speed, latency, and throughput. Review your network topology and protocols. Also, examine security policies and documentation. This will give you a clear idea of what needs to be upgraded and what can stay the same.

Budget and Goals

After assessing your existing network, determine your budget and goals for upgrading. Consider your current and future needs, including the number of users and devices you need to support, as well as applications and data. Factor in the cost of installation, maintenance, and training. Set goals that are specific, measurable, and time-bound. This will help you track your progress.

Prioritize Upgrade Options

Evaluate your options based on your budget and goals. Prioritize the most important and impactful components in your network. You don’t need to replace everything at once. You might upgrade routers, switches, or firewalls first because they have the greatest impact on your network’s performance and security. Ensure the hardware is compatible with your current network and offers features that meet your needs.

Find Cost-effective Solutions

If you look for the most cost-effective solution, upgrading your network hardware does not have to be costly. By comparing prices, searching for deals or discounts, and buying used or refurbished hardware in good condition, you can save money. Reusing and repurposing old hardware can reduce costs. For example, you could use old routers to create access points or switches. Consider the total cost of ownership, including energy consumption, maintenance, and the lifespan of your hardware.

Plan Your Upgrade Process

You need to carefully plan the upgrade process after you’ve chosen your upgrade options. Schedule your upgrade for off-peak or weekend hours when network traffic is lower and users are less affected. Backup your data, configure your hardware, test it before installation, and document the results. Communication with users and stakeholders is also important. They should be informed about the upgrade, its expected benefits, and any challenges.

Monitor and Evaluate Your Upgrade

Monitoring and evaluating your network upgrade is the last step to upgrading your hardware. Use the same tools and metrics you used to evaluate your existing network to measure performance, security and reliability of your network. Ask your users and stakeholders for feedback to determine if the upgrade has been successful and if there are any concerns or suggestions. Review your budget and goals to see if they have been met or exceeded.

Computer Network Equipment

Questions That Prepare Your IT Network For Future Upgrades of Networking Devices

1. Who is in charge?

If you don’t have any IT-focused employees, talk to your hardware vendor about options for hiring expertise. Speak to your hardware provider about hiring options if you do not have IT-focused staff.

2. How many users can there be?

Consider your growth forecast when thinking about users. How many employees do you expect to have in the next five years? Are you planning to add new locations or hire remote contractors? Give yourself room to expand.

3. Where are the network diagrams you have?

It will be much easier to upgrade your network if you have a diagram of your current system. This will help you identify what hardware is still in use and create a base for your next network.

4. What hardware and circuits are in use today?

Make a spreadsheet that includes information such as the make, model, purchase year, and original price. If your dealer deals in pre-owned equipment, they might be able to offer you a trade-in discount on your existing network equipment.

5. What problems do you have with your network devices?

List the biggest challenges you are currently experiencing—dropped phone calls, slow internet transfer, etc. Focus on the first few that come to mind.

6. What is your network in need of right now?

Create a baseline based on the current problems. If you can’t afford to upgrade your network in five years, know the minimum requirements to meet your current needs.

7. What are your long-term goals?

What do you envision your network being used for in the future? Will you use VoIP or a virtual Wireless Local Area Network (vWLAN), also known as Wi-Fi in multiple offices? Will you move your work to cloud-based services? What you purchase today will be influenced by your future plans, so consider your upgrade path.

8. Would you consider switching hardware suppliers?

Would you consider switching vendors if your business currently relies on one hardware manufacturer? Link US Online offers competitive network solutions at lower prices.

9. Consider the ideal timeframe for upgrading.

Discuss the speed at which you want your new network to be up and running. Your vendor can assist you in determining the viability and feasibility of your plan.

10. Budget your finances.

Speak to your director or CFO about the budget you will have for working with vendors. You’ll be able to quickly determine how much of your plan can be achieved today.

At Link US Online, your trusted source for IT networking solutions, we bring over a decade of expertise to help you achieve seamless connectivity. Since 2011, we’ve been dedicated to providing top-tier networking equipment from leading brands like Cisco, Meraki, HPE, Ubiquiti, and more. 

Visit our website to explore our extensive selection and start upgrading your network with confidence. Join us and experience the best in IT networking solutions!