Products necessary for Local Area Network, small business

I need to find all the items (products) for a local area network for 12 users  with a speed of 100 Mbps. A system that allows users to send and receive at the same time. I dont want a workgroup.  All of the users also need access to high performance network printing.  I need a brief description off all the products I need for this to work since two stores I have gone to have no idea how I can attain this and an estimated good price for all the products would also be aprreciated but is not necessary.  Other than the microcomputers all of the pieces of equipment needed would be appreciated thanks in advance.
Who is Participating?
the things you will need to create a network for 12 people are -

1, a 10/100 switch
2, 12 network cables (also called cat 5, cat 5e, cat 6 or ethernet cables), + 1 cable for the printer
3, i assume you have the printer already and its networkable ?  

1, this bit of kit connects all your pcs to gether and controls the 'talking' between them.  You could use a 'hub' but a switch is intelligent adn will do the job more effiecently and faster.  You might want to consider going to Gigabit (speed of 1000 rather than 100) which has come right down in price lately and is noticeably faster, its the same principles and slightly more expensive kit.
I tend to buy Netgear equipment these days as its fairly cheap and does exactly what it says on the box with no bells and wistles, its just good solid kit.  The switches come in 4,8,16 or 24 port versions so you'll need to buy the 16 port at minimum but if you buy the 24 you'll be future proofing yourself..  

If you do decide to go Gigabit rather than 100Mb, yo may have to upgrade the NIC (network card) in your PCs, i wouldn't use Netgear NIC's as i've heard they can have problems,  D-Link are an ok make and do the job chepaly.

2, network cables, every PC and the printer need to plug in to the switch so get yourself enough network cables (you'll need cat5e at minimum if you are going for gigabit).

3, I assume you have a networkable printer, if not take a look at HP's range they have some good kit, a lot of the business class stuff has a network card built right in,  we use a lot of their laserjet 4000 series printers which have multiple trays, duplex printing and their fast etc.

You say you don't want a 'workgroup', well a workgroup is just a colection of networked PCs, so you will in effect have a workgroup.  the next 'step up' from that is a domain which means installig a server and joining all the PCs to the domain, but its just a more secure and organised version of a workgroup with the server generally storing most stuff and controlling access to the files etc. but thats a whole different question.

Hope this helps,


Ok, I think we need more details!

By send and receive at the same time, do you mean email?

If you don't want a workgroup, are you saying you don't want to share files and printers?  If you do want to share files and printers, you need either a workgroup or a domain, and in this case you'd want a workgroup.

Hardware needed for a LAN is (I've done pricing in GBP):

12 port 10/100 switch (easier to get hold of a 16 port these days though, e.g. @ around £50
Ensure each computer has a Network Interface Card (most have it built in, otherwise a 10/100 card should set you back around £5 per computer.
Cat5e cable to wire everything up: 305m reel of cable costs around £30 from trade suppliers
Wall boxes and front panels: £4 each roughly, similar price for double sockets so go for these if possible
12 patch leads (to go from wall sockets to computers): £2 each dependent on length

To make things look neat (though this is optional for this size network... I would always go for the neat approach though!)
Small cabinet: £90
Patch panel (16 port): £15

The other thing you would probably want if you have broadband and haven't already got a router, is a broadband router, e.g. Netgear DG834G (which includes wireless too), at around £90.

The workgroup/file sharing is purely software, so the hardware requirements wouldn't change.

lol, there's always someone else typing while I am!!
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.