340 East 11th
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 345-0408
 

 


PREVENTING VIRUSES, WORMS, SPYWARE & SPAM


The internet is an amazing place that allows each and every one of us easy access to a wide variety of resources. Unfortunately, there is an increasing amount of viruses, worms, spyware and spam that can easily infect your computer. Your computer in fact may already be infected and you may not even know it.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTING DATA LOSS

Data loss itself can come in a variety of forms. A virus can infect your network deleting documents throughout the company. An employee might maliciously delete sensitive documents. An important document might be accidentally overwritten by using the same filename. An electrical outage might cause your server to crash and damage the hard drive storing all company data. The company database might become corrupted. There are a very wide variety of potential technical disasters just waiting to happen.

SAVE MONEY WITH A DOMAIN ENVIRONMENT

We routinely encounter businesses that have setup their networks in a “peer to peer” or “workgroup” configuration as opposed to establishing a domain. A peer to peer network is a configuration that was made popular in 1992 with the release of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Peer to peer networks were easy to setup and required only a basic knowledge of computer networking. In Windows XP, this technology is often referred to as “File & Printer Sharing.” Many businesses forego the cost of establishing a domain due to their belief that a peer to peer network is quicker and therefore cheaper to setup. However as we will demonstrate in this article, establishing a domain provides your business with a complete business solution that will serve your needs now and into the future.

SAVE MONEY WITH A DOMAIN ENVIRONMENT

We routinely encounter businesses that have setup their networks in a “peer to peer” or “workgroup” configuration as opposed to establishing a domain. A peer to peer network is a configuration that was made popular in 1992 with the release of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Peer to peer networks were easy to setup and required only a basic knowledge of computer networking. In Windows XP, this technology is often referred to as “File & Printer Sharing.”

Many businesses forego the cost of establishing a domain due to their belief that a peer to peer network is quicker and therefore cheaper to setup. However as we will demonstrate in this article, establishing a domain provides your business with a complete business solution that will serve your needs now and into the future. It provides you with a central location from which to manage your network – simplifying your network and therefore dramatically reducing technical support.

The Peer To Peer Network

  • A peer to peer network does not require a server. However it is not uncommon for us to encounter a peer to peer network that has a server which has simply been configured as a peer rather than a domain controller.

  • In a “peer to peer” or “workgroup” configuration, each workstation on the network must be separately configured.

  • The management of your network is spread out amongst all workstations on the network. When a technical issue arises, it is not uncommon that it be addressed on each workstation.

  • For each staff member to have access to each workstation, a user account must be created on each workstation.

  • Shared drives must be mapped manually from each workstation.

  • Shared printers must be manually connected and printer drivers installed on each workstation.

  • The user account name on the workstation must match the server if one exists on the network. So the user account must be created not only on the workstation but on the server as well.

  • In a peer to peer network, company data and electronic mail is stored on various workstations throughout the network rather than being stored in one central location. The daily backup job if one exists is therefore not able to backup all company data because it is not in one central location.

The Domain Environment

  • The domain environment requires a server running the Windows Server operating system. The server is then configured as a domain controller.

  • The user accounts for the network are created in one place – on the server. The workstations on the network are then simply joined to the domain which allows staff members to utilize their user accounts.

  • The management of the network is conducted from one place – on the server. When a technical issue arises, it is typically addressed from one place on the server which often resolves the problem for the workstations on the network as well.

  • When a user logs in to the network, the server grants access to files and directories as defined by the business owner and/or network administrator. In addition, they are passed through a login script which maps common network drive letters throughout the network.

  • For a user to have access to a printer, they are simply connected to a print queue on the server. The print driver is only installed once on the server and the workstations are then connected to the print queue.

  • All data in the domain is then typically stored in one place – on the server. The daily backup then insures that all data such as company files and electronic mail are backed up from this location on a daily basis.

If you haven’t already done so, we would be happy to configure your network as a domain environment! Give us a call at (541) 345-0408.

 
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