Sometimes it’s easy to think of internet access for granted. However, with the growing popularity of remote working in 2020, connecting to work and school has presented new problems. The use of small work had been increasing in the year 2019, according to the FlexJobs survey before the outbreak hitting fully. Nowadays, many work remotely and will continue to continue doing so for some time. Some experts believe that the shift to more mobile working could be permanent.
“We’re all connected” was the song’s lyric for commercials New York Telephone ran in the 1980s. At the time, connecting to telephone lines was enough; however, now we want our connections to be extended via the web, which requires higher-end networks.
Here we look at various networks.
Understanding the four Kinds of Area Networks
Local Area Network (LAN)
LAN is a shorthand in the form of a local area network. It is usually used in offices; however, it is also used in homes due to the popularity of Wi-Fi. Wireless or wired, chances are that Ethernet powers the network at your workplace. Ethernet is a twisted cable pair that connects to switches that connect to gateways via RJ-45 connectors similar to phone jacks from a previous period. These connections can connect the LAN with other LANs and the internet.
Ethernet can also be connected wirelessly to Wi-Fi networks under the IEEE 802.11 standard. Most new routers utilize the b/g/n standard. IEEE 802.11b.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
The reason for this is that, as indicated by”w” as indicated by “w,” WAN covers more significant areas than the LAN. Thus, wide area networks can link multiple buildings even if they are close to each other, like for campus or satellite connections to connect across different counties.
In the case of LAN, it’s possible to work using a wireless or wired connection. If it is wired, it will utilize fiber-optic cables. Infrared or microwave (IR) transmitting technology or satellites are suitable as wireless connections.
Personal Area Network (PAN)
The Personal Area Networks (PAN) have a smaller area than LANs, typically smaller rooms. The most widely-used Wireless PAN networking technology used is Bluetooth and the most well-known wireless PAN one is USB. Wi-Fi is also a PAN technology.
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) connects nodes within the same metropolitan region. Although it is possible to establish these connections using fiber optic cable, it’s cheaper connecting buildings that could be miles or blocks apart wirelessly. Therefore, the majority of relationships depend on the technology of microwave transmission.
Another important Acronym
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Although the acronym refers to networks, it’s not as recognizable as other acronyms. The reason is that it’s not really about the bridging of area networks but instead creating privacy by virtualization.
VPN redirects Internet traffic to an external server that is specifically designed to handle this type of traffic. It’s the result that your IP address and your online activity are hidden from your ISP since all information transmitted and received through the VPN is protected.
Interview on Techopedia, Daniel Markuson, an expert in digital privacy at NordVPN, explained that you could think of the VPN as a way to create a tunnel through which data flows: “This tunnel is formed by first authenticating your device, sort of a computer, smartphone or tablet with using the VPN server. The server is then able to apply an encryption protocol to all data that is sent between your computer and the destination on the internet.”
Markuson pointed out that although VPNs were initially established by businesses worried about security or tech-savvy users who wanted to protect their privacy, the use of VPNs has grown exponentially since 2000. The majority “correlates to self-isolation and loneliness and social isolation happening everywhere the planet due to coronavirus.”
A few people used the VPN to enhance their streaming experience since they spent more time using streaming services in lockdown mode than they usually do. For others, the VPN was really about getting themselves set up to work at home as efficiently as they could.
The preparation to Meet the Remote Challenge
It’s becoming more commonplace working from your home or other location that is remote because of weather or travel, and logging into a laptop is enough. But when the time for that extends into months and weeks on and other household members also work on their schools and jobs and school, you face additional difficulties.
One of the issues is bandwidth. In addition to the question of the extent to which your gateways and networks can handle the increased volume of data generated when the majority of users connect via remote access, users also have to be aware of the limitations of their home broadband.
After the switch into working at home in lockdown, many were forced to call their ISP to request an upgrade in their service. “My PC is slow” could be due to a deficiency of network resources rather than an issue with the computer itself.
Support and Equipment
It became clear that the state lockdowns would have to last more than two weeks and that there would be no return to normality within the next few days; IT stores were overwhelmed with requests for desktops docking stations, laptops and laptops monitors, cables, webcams, Wi-Fi adapters headsets, as well as other devices.
In a world where everyone is trying to find the same items simultaneously, the result is that a lack of equipment is likely. However, maintaining a hardware supply can mean laying out massive sums of cash for equipment that becomes less valuable because it gets old and will never be used.
IT shops face the problem of balancing having the right equipment to ensure that the requirements of the key players are met while avoiding having to stock up.
IT companies also have to establish clear guidelines in advance that define the extent of what they will support and are accountable for. For example, a user who has an outdated PC at home, with an old OS and an inefficient network, might encounter issues that support cannot fix.
This is why it is crucial to set up guidelines to be followed by the IT team. The policy documents that support staff can reference define what the end-user is accountable for concerning their equipment regardless of whether it’s a personal computer at home or a device used in the workplace under BYOD conditions.
Security for Remote Workers
In addition to the everyday difficulties of securing any network connection outside of the office onto your internal network home-based scenario also presents the possibility of confidential and proprietary data being transferred from the secure office network onto personal computers or printed at home.
Employees might not be aware in their minds that sending messages using the company email account that is tracked, secured, and backup isn’t the same as using a personal email account or the reason why confidential documents shouldn’t be printed out on their home printer. It is therefore essential to train them on the protocols for ensuring security, especially for heavily controlled sectors.
Another concern is the safety of the equipment. The more equipment, such as desktops and laptops/tablets permitted outside of the workplace, the higher the chance of these devices being stolen or lost and even compromised.
Another vulnerability to think about and be prepared on is the security concerns of the software used for meetings and file transfer. When many people turned to Zoom to join discussions remotely from home, some faced the unfortunate experience of having their meetings compromised. This highlighted the further security concerns that can arise in remote locations and the necessity of having security protocols that determine which solutions can be employed and which security measures should be used.
The systems we used to have at home could have been a little inadequate when the house became work for a family and school. It is why remote configurations require detailed planning to guarantee sufficient capacity and protection.