Whether you’re looking to start your own home business, or you’ve found yourself in quarantine, a suitable home network set up will ensure you stay on top of your work. Working from home can have many benefits including reduced stress, no more peak hour morning commutes and enjoying the comfort of being in your own familiar space.
ASSESSING YOUR EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
Setting up and appropriate home office can be different for everyone depending on your jobs specific needs and requirements. For most, a simple set up with a computer, telephone and printer may be enough to get by. However other people may want more whether to help with the job or your own comfort, such as a dual monitor set up or ergonomic equipment.
You need to take the time to assess your needs and requirements so you can invest in the appropriate software, hardware, storage and more.
PC, LAPTOP, TABLET OR COMBINATION?
In the past, home desktop PCs were the computer of choice especially if working from home, however as technology, the market and requirements have shifted, smartphones and tablets have begun to take over as the device of choice in some cases.
Mobility is important, which is evident by the popularity of laptops, however you will find that you can get an equal or greater performance from a PC desktop for a reduced price. Many people will choose to add mobile devices such as tablets to supplement their main computer as a means of flexibility.
It is also worth noting which operating system you need to use. Some professions such as photographers or designers may use an apple device over Windows due to more suitable programs and software.
UPGRADES/IMPROVEMENTS AND REPAIRS TO HARDWARE
If your workload increases and you find you need your technology upgraded, a PC provides more options for improvements. For example, a PC can easily have its RAM upgraded as well as the graphics and storage, whereas in laptops some of these features could be fixed.
In terms of repairs it is also easier to opening the console of a PC and replace or repair the part in question. With a laptop it can require more effort and can be more difficult to repair at times as parts could be specific to the laptops model.
INTERNET CONNECTIVITY (WIRED OR WIRELESS?)
Wireless offers you the mobility and flexibility to conveniently access the internet without the need for ethernet cables. If you have portable devices such as a laptop, tablet or mobile, this connection is required for these devices.
If you are using a stationary desktop PC or if your set up is in a fixed location, then you may want to consider using a wired connection instead. While you won’t have the ability to move around, you will generally get better speeds and more reliability using a wired connection. Be sure to do your research when choosing your Internet Service Provider to make sure they have reliable coverage and good customer service. A loss in your internet connection can result in a loss of income.
As Australia continues its NBN installation program, soon all homes and businesses will be fitted with the new fibre optic network. You will need to make sure you are on a suitable data plan so you don’t run into any disruptions during your work.
VOIP (VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL)
You will need a high-speed internet connection if you are considering VoIP. VoIP is a telephone communication that is transmitted over the internet. It is common for people working from home to use this technology as it is cost-effective when compared to landline phones.
VoIP plans will generally be generous in terms of calling rates and call forwarding services and other advanced calling functions. Many of the plans are inexpensive and offer unlimited free calling for international and long-distance calls. Some Internet service providers (ISPs) offer VoIP plans with your broadband Internet connection subscription.
Get 30 days Free VoIP with every Yealink and Grandstream VoIP Phone purchased from DeviceDeal.
WHAT PERIPHERALS SHOULD YOU USE?
If you know you are going to spend a lot of time in your home office, take note of your inventory and decide what peripherals you will need. Peripherals include printers, scanners, ergonomic equipment, keyboard, mouse, external hard drives etc.
When choosing peripherals if you have the budget you should avoid going for the cheapest options. Keep in mind you are using these devices daily, so you need to be sure these are reliable and provide comfort. For example, using a high-quality ergonomic keyboard and mouse will provide hours of productivity and improved comfort.
For printing options, its recommended to use a multifunction printer so can save space by having your prints, copies and scans all done from one device. If you’re worried about the ongoing costs of printer cartridges, you can now buy EcoTank technology printers which use bottles instead of cartridges. These not only help the environment but also come with two years’ worth of ink in the box!
WHAT TYPES OF SOFTWARE SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
Depending on your occupation, the software requirements you need will vary. However, you can be sure that the two basic needs of any business are to require an office productivity suite and email system.
Many users will go with the Microsoft Office 365 for Business program as it provides you access to all essential Microsoft programs without the high price tag. Using this system allows you to pay a subscription fee instead.
The Premium Office 365 subscription gives you access to the following:
WHAT ABOUT DATA STORAGE NEEDS?
Data storage will be critical to your business, not only for file access but for archiving purposes as well. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes back up and data storage. The first step is to assess exactly what your storage needs are. You can then use one or a combination of options to ensure you always have access to your data.
Some questions to ask:
For modern peripherals, such as flash memory and cloud storage devices, home office users now have more opportunities to back up and store data than ever before. The variety of choices makes storage very accessible and varies from small thumb drives to cloud storage, network-attached storage, and more.
An external hard drive connects to your computer via a USB port. Modern hard drives can offer substantial storage space and if portable can be small in size as well. An external hard drive is a cost-effective way to implement one of your storage options.
This is a great option to be able to remotely access backed up data on multiple devices. Cloud storage is a back up solution that is transmitted over the internet to a secure location. The cloud storage company is responsible for using encryption and security techniques to protect the technology of its data centres. Using a high-speed broadband Internet connection, you can share and access files through your web browser. Data recovery is quick and easy when a disaster occurs.
Flash memory is a common type of storage used in USB sticks, SD cards and Compact Flashcards. These devices allow you to easy transport data from one device to another as they are portable and do not require external power. These devices hold smaller amounts of data, usually up to 256GB, but can be found up to 1TB.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network-attached storage provides easy and reliable access to your files and documents on network infrastructure. This type of storage can be as simple as a hard drive connected with an Ethernet cable.
NAS solutions can also offer more advanced storage by providing multiple FireWire or USB ports. This allows you to connect multiple hard drives to expand your storage capacity.
If you are setting up a home or remote office, printing is always important but there are so many options: Laser or inkjet? Colour or black and white? Scanning? Copying? Maybe a multifunction printer? We can help you find the right device for the job. DeviceDeal has a comprehensive printer buying guide to help you decide what is best for you. We suggest starting with the guide, then if you have any questions our friendly team are available to assist.
VoIP phones connect via the internet, once configured they can be moved from location to location and will work from most internet connections making them perfect for remote work. Using a VoIP phone from home will allow users to make and receive business calls outside the office, receive voicemail and generally make work/home life easier to manage. VoIP services are scalable, allowing for rapid growth and decline with transparent costing. When linking a VoIP phone to a virtual PBX, features such as auto-attendants, out of hours messaging and call routing are all available, this allows users to build a cost efficient custom phone solution.
VoIP Services offer benefits such as:
When considering a VoIP phone, consider if you require a headset as well.
A powerful and reliable internet connection is the foundation for an efficient home office ecosystem. The key for a reliable internet connection is a good modem and/or router. There is a big range of models and various types of modems and routers. If you are unsure which device is best for you, use our modems and routers recommendation tool on our Modems and Routers category page.
The right computer monitor can make or break your work from home experience. You need to invest in buying the right monitor and monitor accessories for both health and productivity reasons. Have a look at our Monitor Buying Guide if you need help in understanding the different attributes of computer monitors and as usual, reach out to our sales team if you need more information.
Using your computer for work often requires extra level of security, especially when you are handling information for clients or using corporate networks. Consider buying a reputable anti-virus to protect your devices against possible threats. You may also need other software packages such operating systems in case you bought a new computer that didn't include an installed operating system. Below is a list of our recommended software packages. You can also browse our Software and Licenses category and get our special prices.
f you are working remotely you may require local backup or additional storage capacity. We offer a range of storage devices to suit any requirements, you can browse all our storage products, but to give you an idea where to start you can follow the below guidelines:
The first question is whether to get a laptop, desktop or an All-in-one. Laptops offer the benefit of mobility, but for the same price range, you can get a more powerful desktop. On the other hand, All-in-ones offer powerful capabilities in light weight devices with built in screens, but for higher prices than conventional desktops. For more detailed information about how to pick a computer, check out our Desktop Buying Guide and our Laptop Buying Guide.
Networking devices such as switches can help connect several devices in one network. If you have a VoIP phone, printer, PC/Laptop to connect, you can connect them all to your router using a switch. Switches range in size from 4 ports to 48 ports and vary widely in price and capability. You can check out our range of networking devices and give us a call if you need help choosing the best device for your environment.
USB hubs are devices that allow you to connect multiple USB-powered devices to a single laptop or computer device. You just attach them to your laptop then you instantly get multiple working USB ports.
This is ideal for users who need to connect multiple devices to a single computer. Let’s face it, two or three ports isn’t enough for most people.