Tom Lasater
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cell (209) 988-7720
LasaterTech & Associates
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Designing and administering networks based on Microsoft's Windows Operating System is the preferred service we provide at LasaterTech. The two types of networks commonly in use today are peer-to-peer workgroups and client/server networks. Determining which type of network is best for you depends on many factors.

Peer-to-Peer Workgroups

Peer-to-peer workgroups are the type of network one usually sees in a small business or an individual's home. Microsoft recommends no more than 10 computers in a peer-to-peer workgroup. In a peer-to-peer workgroup, each user controls their own computer on the network. You don't have central point of control for your network. Each user has the ability to control who can access their computer and what can seen on their computer. Windows 98, 2000, and XP can all participate in a peer-to-peer workgroup without purchasing additional software. For the home user, this is the type of network that is normally employed when sharing a Broadband Internet connection (cable or DSL). This type of network doesn't offer the control of a client/server network, but is easier to maintain, and works well for small businesses that don't require the security a client/server network provides. It is also easy to setup a peer-to-peer workgroup.

Client/Server Networks

Client/server networks are much more sophisticated than peer-to-peer workgroups. Client/server networks are the preferred network for businesses that need increased security and control over resources and users. In a client/server network, you can control what resources are available to all users on the network from a single point - the server. For example, in a client/server network, you can make files available only to users who need to work on these files. You can also restrict what users can do with their computer. You can stop them from installing programs, making changes to their system, or just about anything you desire to restrict on the network. This allows you greater control over your network than is possible on a peer-to-peer workgroup. The disadvantage of a client/server network for the small businessman is that it is more expensive to maintain and requires the purchase of additional software to run the server.