VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. These systems are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all shapes and sizes. They allow you to divide your IT network into different groupings, which has efficiency and security advantages.

#1 Speed up the network

Most businesses run their IT networks on the edge of performance capacity. That’s especially true for startups, but it can be a problem at all levels. Networks that are prone to slow down or even dropouts will benefit from the segregated approach offered by a VLAN. A VLAN allows business owners to prioritize traffic according to importance. This means that employees performing vital (or network-intensive) tasks have priority access to the network.

That, of course, optimizes the network and speeds it up. Slow down is often associated with bottlenecks when the whole office is online at once performing tasks in unison. The network slows down and everybody suffers. VLANs prevent these bottlenecks by segregating access. They ensure that important tasks are always performed and that the connection won’t drop out just when it’s needed most.

#2 Increase cybersecurity

There are lots of advantages of a fully interconnected network. File and application sharing is a breeze and data backup becomes much easier when everybody has access to cloud storage. There is one major downside, though: malware. If one system becomes infected, it doesn’t take long for the virus to spread through the entire network, undermining its integrity and even bringing it to a dead stop. Malware and viruses are rarely out of the news lately, so it’s more important than ever to keep your network protected. 

By dividing the network into different “areas,” VLANs can stop malware in their tracks. VLANs are frequently used to divide networks into public and private spaces, and they’re a firm favorite of IT management firms like outsourceIT. These companies monitor systems for malware attacks and work to bolster security, often by establishing different zones of access. If your network is segregated between multiple groups of users, it’s much more difficult for a virus to infect everybody.

#3 Near infinitely scalable 

The beauty of VLANs lies in their scaleability. They’re just as useful for startups segregating a small group of users as they are for massive tech giants. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can use them, and they’ll grow alongside the company. It’s easy to add more users (or groups of users) to the network, and designating their priority ensures smooth operation.

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Better still, the use of a VLAN allows for logical groupings of devices and computers. Rather than grouping these based on their location on the network, they can be bundled together according to their purpose and priority. This kind of order is particularly important for smaller businesses as they grow. Continuing to add to the network with little or no sense of order is more than confusing. It can undermine efficiency, lead to poor communication and make it much harder to complete even the simplest of tasks.