Because computer networks are integral to modern business, many entrepreneurs want to know how much it’ll cost to set up effective computer networks in their companies. A computer network enables you and other stakeholders to share information and other important resources within your company for enhanced workflow and performance.
To understand the actual cost of setting up a computer network in your company, you need to appreciate the whole computer network designing process. This process can be quite complex, especially when you’re designing a network for a large enterprise. The larger the computer network, the more complicated it is to design and the costlier it’ll be to set up.
But this doesn’t mean that smaller computer networks are easy to design. They can also demand significant money and time, especially if you hire a specialist who doesn’t know how to design a small business network. So, everything boils down to the persons you hire to design and set up your computer network
That’s why you have to go for the best computer network designers in the market. Fortunately, you can now find highly skilled, qualified, and experienced computer network experts on Guru. Moreover, this freelance job site enlists specialists from all over the globe, giving a wider pool of talent to choose from!
As you hire a network consultant, make sure you discuss with them the overall cost of the project before you put pen to paper. An experienced network designer understands the important aspects of each computer network and will have a good idea of how much your project will cost.
Cost Breakdown of a Small Business Computer Network Design
For your computer network to be effective, it’ll require several essential components, including computers, switches, routers, servers, mobile devices, access points, and other tools connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). So, you have to consider the cost of purchasing these items and assembling them to form an effective computer network.
Don’t forget the cost of hiring a qualified and experienced computer network designer or engineer to help you to configure and maintain the network. Generally, the cost of designing a small business computer network ranges between $1,000 and $5,000. But there’s no definite cost applicable for all networks because each network has its unique requirements.
So, the only way you can estimate the cost of your network is to consider the cost of each element. Here’s a simple breakdown of the cost of designing a small business computer network.
The average price of a good network switch is between $250 and $450. But this price varies depending on the brand of the switch and the special features it offers. There are different types of switches, including managed, unmanaged, and smart switches.
A managed network switch is ideal for large organizations, while an unmanaged switch works best in small offices that don’t have enough IT support. An unmanaged switch comes with several ports that allow you and your employees to plug and play.
A smart switch supports smaller offices because its functionality goes beyond internet access, hotspots, and word processing. Each option has its unique cost implications.
The current price of a router ranges between $80 and $350. This price varies depending on the quality and performance of the router. Don’t invest in very expensive routers because their quality deteriorates over time. Just choose affordable business-grade routers that upgrade them with tough security features and VPN support.
Firewall (Hardware and Software)
The average price of firewall hardware ranges between $400 and $2,300 while that of firewall software ranges between $150 and $300. Because a firewall is supposed to keep your data safe from unauthorized access, you should take some time to evaluate your personal and business data security needs before you decide on which firewall is ideal for you.
If your company has more than twenty-five users, you should expect to spend at least $2000 on your firewall. This amount will give you entry-level firewall hardware, wireless access point, and advanced security for three years.
The server you choose depends on the amount of bandwidth, CPU, memory, and disk space you need. Your small business network server may also require RAID, a hard drive, and DDoS protection. A business-grade server costs between $1,000 and $3,000.
Remember to factor in the cost of RAM and hard disk. A standard RAM costs about $200 while a hard disk goes for about $65. If you plan to expand your office soon, go for a high-end server to accommodate more users.
Installation and Maintenance
Computer network design experts may charge between $1,500 and $2,000 for setting up a computer network. This cost varies depending on the complexity of the network. If you add the maintenance fee, the total cost of installation and maintenance may come to $5,000. When you hire a freelance network designer, this cost will drop significantly because they can work remotely.