Connectivity: The Office Must Walk Out

written by Andrew Kamau

A Case for Connectivity

Gone are the days when we had to beat early morning traffic to get to the office. Those emails, presentations, meetings and office documents are now just a click away. Your office is in your pocket wherever you maybe. All these have been made possible by internet connectivity. 

In the office processes are carried out via LAN (Local Area Network) which is the basic of connectivity. Have you wondered why you are able to print yet there is no physical connection between your computer and the printer? This is a LAN capability. Printing, File sharing, IP telephones and server connections happens courtesy of the local area network. The same way we can address our colleagues by names, computers and other devices address each other by their MAC addresses. 

Local Area Networks are either wired or wireless. The wired network is mostly common in offices and cyber cafes. Wireless LAN is commonly referred to as WiFi. 

Our office devices can now talk to each other, but we need to meet our neighbors and share experiences. When it comes to the outside world, the same concept for the LAN applies. 

The internet, the big web above the spherical world, is a combination of millions of LAN. How are our emails transported from our office desks to the recipients? 

There is the wide area network covering a large geographical space. For our office to communicate with the outside world we need to have a gate that only allows what is our entry the gate is known as a router. The router is on one side connected to our LAN and on the other to the Service provider’s network.  

Service provider networks could either be wired or wireless. Wired networks include fiber optics cablecopper cables or coaxial cablesToday most buildings, institutions and apartments are connected via Fiber Optics cables. Wireless networks include GSM, LTE, WiMAX and Hotspots. These networks enable us to interact with the outside world. 

Despite having a gate our homes are faced with the challenge of intruders and all types of insecurity. We require a wall around our homes. Sometimes we are forced to put up an electric fence and a razor wire. The objective is to ensure we filter our visitors as much as possible. The same case applies to our networks. Even though routers can filter the incoming networks requests and deliveries some intruders are working day and night to compromise our security and privacy. To address this issue, we require protection in terms of firewalls and antivirus software.

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