An ideal IT setup for a small business - Part 2

This is Part 2 in our series on An Ideal Setup for a Small Business where we look at firewalls, WiFi and Servers. Our last part dealt with the various options for Internet connections.


Which brings us to the next point in your enterprise setup: your firewall.

A firewall (usually hardware as opposed to software) is the gateway to your business. It stands sentry over all the data that comes into and goes out of your office. It protects against cyber attacks by monitoring network traffic for any suspicious or unnecessary activity and blocks it when found. It protects your network and computers. We recommend Sophos XG firewalls for this purpose. They perform this task, and can also offer:

  • VPN (Virtual Private Network) options for when you or your staff need to connect to your network from a remote location – say, at home (or on the beach, maybe?).
  • Automatic switching from your primary to your secondary internet connection should your main one go offline.
  • Policy enforcements such as websites allowed.
  • It can act as your DHCP server, assigning IP addresses to devices on your network.
  • VOIP phone optimisation.

and, depending on the model and the subscription level, can offer these extra functions:

  • WiFi access for both staff and guests.
  • Web protection, such as surfing quotas and site restrictions.


We mentioned WiFi above. If you don’t opt for the function in your Sophos XG, you will need an alternative option. This may be the wireless facility in your modem/router or you may opt for a solution provided by our preferred supplier, UniFi. Your requirements and budget will determine this.


As applications and file storage moves into the cloud, the need for an on-premises server becomes less. Ideally you should aim for cloud-based infrastructure, but there are still some types of businesses and business applications that require a local server to operate. We recommend HP servers because of their proven reliability over many years.

Our next post on An Ideal Setup for a Small Business will cover Workstations and Operating Systems. Future posts will cover many other aspects of your ideal setup for a small business.