8 key tips on how to improve network performance for business

8 Key Tips on How to Improve Network Performance for Business

It's no news that efficiency is everything for your business network.

It's important to know how to make your network infrastructure work better. By managing bandwidth and keeping an eye on network visibility, you can improve how your network performs and also protect it from increasing cyber threats.

If you're facing slow network speeds or just want to make your network perform better, some strategies and tools can help.

Understanding network performance

Network performance measures how well a network supports desired operations and services. Ensuring smooth and efficient data flow across your network infrastructure is crucial. 

The main signs of network performance are network speed, bandwidth, and latency. These signs determine how fast and reliably data moves. 

Several factors can affect network performance, including the layout of network components, the types of hardware and software in use, and the amount of network traffic. Keeping an eye on these factors through network monitoring helps spot performance issues, making sure the network is working well.

Monitoring the network is key to keeping performance at its best. It means gathering and looking at network performance data, which sheds light on how network resources are used. This insight into network usage helps IT admins make smart decisions about network configuration and spot areas that need attention.

The significance of network optimization

Optimizing network performance is vital for organizations depending on their network for everyday tasks. An optimized network uses network resources efficiently, improving network speed and reducing latency. This boosts overall performance, helping businesses achieve their operational goals.

Network optimization is about more than just speed and efficiency; it also affects network security. Improving network performance strengthens the network's defenses against threats. Key steps in network optimization include putting in place intrusion detection systems and ensuring the network configuration is up to scratch, both of which are crucial for enhancing security.

Moreover, network optimization is key to handling increased bandwidth demands without incurring additional costs. It involves better bandwidth management—the network's data transmission capacity. Optimizing bandwidth helps prevent bottlenecks that can slow down work and annoy users.

In short, network performance comes down to many interacting factors that affect how well a network serves its users. Optimizing this performance is key to efficient, secure, and reliable network operations. By careful network monitoring and managing its resources, you can improve network performance, supporting your organization's success.

8 tips on how to improve network performance

Below, we're going to share eight practical tips that can really improve your business network performance. Here's what we suggest:

  • Set up Quality of Service (QoS) settings

  • Adjust your network setup

  • Divide your network into segments

  • Add intrusion detection systems (IDS)

  • Update your network hardware

  • Implement load balancing

  • Optimize network protocols

  • Increase network redundancy.

How to improve network performance

Set up Quality of Service (QoS) settings

Quality of Service (QoS) helps manage how much bandwidth each part of your network uses, which can make it run smoother. It achieves this by ensuring important tasks, like video calls, get enough internet speed to work well. 

To use QoS effectively, figure out which tasks are most important for your network and give them priority. However, if your network traffic is generally the same or you have plenty of bandwidth, adding QoS might make things more complicated than they need to be.

Adjust your network setup

Adjusting your network setup can significantly improve network performance. This task involves making changes to the setup of your routers, switches, and firewalls. It's a smart move to regularly review and tweak these settings, guided by your network performance data. 

Having clear visibility into your network helps a lot here. With tools like Network Visibility, you gain valuable insights into your network's operation. With this knowledge you can make well-informed adjustments to your network configuration. Such adjustments are particularly useful for networks that have grown or undergone changes. Yet, this approach may not solve performance issues stemming from outdated hardware or restrictions from your internet service provider.

Divide your network into segments

Network segmentation can help it run better and more securely. Each part gets its own network resources, which means less waiting around for the data to get where it's going. Plus, it's safer because if one part has a problem, it doesn't affect the whole network.

When creating network segments, consider your business needs and plan accordingly. Yet, this approach might be more trouble for very small networks than it's worth.

Add intrusion detection systems (IDS)

Using intrusion detection systems (IDS) can keep your network running smoothly by catching security threats early. IDS monitors bandwidth and network traffic for anything odd and helps stop potential attacks that could slow things down. 

For IDS to work best, it must be updated and adjusted to recognize new types of threats. But if slowdown isn't coming from security problems, IDS might not be the solution you need.

Update your network hardware

Getting new network devices, like routers and switches, can make a big difference in how well your network works. The latest devices usually handle bandwidth better and offer more ways to keep traffic flowing smoothly. When considering upgrades, think about what your network needs now and what it might need in the future. 

Implement load balancing

Load balancing is a smart way to manage network traffic by distributing it across multiple servers. It prevents any single server from getting overloaded with requests, which could slow down the network performance. Sharing the load reduces response times and improves the availability of services.

Businesses looking to implement load balancing should examine their network infrastructure. Exploring different load balancing methods, like round-robin or IP-hash, helps find the best fit. It may require an initial investment in new hardware or software, but improving network speed and reliability often justifies the cost. However, this method may be overly sophisticated for smaller businesses with less complex networks.

Optimize network protocols

Optimizing network protocols can significantly improve network performance. These protocols are essential for how data is transmitted across your network, and choosing the right ones can decrease latency, boost network speed, and enhance overall network performance.

Businesses should assess their current use of protocols. Switching to newer protocols that offer faster data transmission rates or more efficient data packet sizes can make a noticeable difference. This network optimization is particularly beneficial for businesses that depend on fast and reliable data transmission, such as in the finance or gaming industries.

Increase network redundancy

Increasing network redundancy involves adding backup routes and equipment to ensure continuous network availability, even in the event of a failure. This strategy is critical for businesses where downtime can lead to significant losses or operational disruptions. Network traffic can maintain optimal performance levels by having multiple pathways for data to travel, even if one path becomes unavailable.

Investing in additional network infrastructure, such as extra routers and switches, and creating alternative data pathways are steps toward improving network performance through redundancy. This approach is especially important for organizations providing critical services, like healthcare or financial institutions, where network downtime is not an option. A simpler approach might be more cost-effective for smaller businesses or those with less critical uptime needs.

Looking ahead, we see exciting developments that will greatly improve how businesses manage their networks. These changes are all about making networks faster, more efficient, and more secure. Let's explore what these trends mean and how they could benefit businesses.

  • AI and machine learning integration. Using AI and machine learning for predictive analytics means businesses can avoid performance issues, preventing them before they cause downtime. This shift towards proactive network optimization can reduce costs and enhance user experience as networks become smarter and more self-sufficient.

  • 5G technology expansion. The rollout of 5G will change the game for network speed and latency, especially for mobile and IoT devices. This will enable faster data processing in real time, paving the way for new services and applications that need quick, reliable connections. Businesses could see new opportunities for remote operations and smarter IoT setups.

  • Edge computing rise. By processing data closer to where it's generated, edge computing helps reduce the need for data to travel to centralized data centers. This can save on bandwidth and improve response times for essential applications, making operations more efficient and enhancing customer interactions.

  • Increased SD-WAN use. With SD-WAN, businesses have more control over their network traffic, ensuring data takes the best path across the network. This can cut costs and keep applications running smoothly, no matter where they're hosted. SD-WAN also makes networks easier to manage and more secure.

  • Quantum networking emergence. Quantum networking brings a new level of security to communications with quantum cryptography. This technology is becoming more accessible and offers a way to protect sensitive data from cyber threats, keeping digital transactions secure.

  • Automated network configuration. Automation tools powered by AI simplify the task of managing network settings, reducing errors, and freeing up IT teams to focus on more strategic work. These tools can adjust settings in real time to keep the network running optimally.

  • Blockchain for network security. Using blockchain can help ensure the security and integrity of network data and transactions. Its decentralized nature makes it tough for attackers to compromise data, providing a strong layer of network security for critical business operations.

Optimize network performance with NordLayer

Cyber threats are rising every year, and ensuring your network is both fast and secure is crucial. 

NordLayer is here to help, offering solutions tailored to your needs. With plans starting at $7 per user per month for groups of five or more, you can enhance your network's speed and security without breaking the bank. Discover NordLayer's plans to give your network the protection it needs without compromising performance.

How to improve your network performance with NordLayer

Here’s how NordLayer can help you improve network performance while keeping it secure:

  • NordLayer Browser Extension. Detecting a slowdown in your network with the NordLayer app? Try our Browser Extension for a lighter solution. It encrypts your browsing directly, allowing safe use of trusted apps like Zoom without slowing everything else down. 

  • NordLynx VPN Protocol. If your VPN is slowing you down, give NordLynx a try. Known as one of the quickest VPN protocols out there, NordLynx reduces slowdowns, offering a perfect balance of speed and security for your network.

  • DNS Filtering. With NordLayer's DNS filtering, you can block whole categories of sites, such as those for file-sharing or streaming. This boosts your network's security and can also free up bandwidth, leading to better network performance.

  • Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Manage how your network uses its resources by blocking apps that use too much bandwidth. DPI ensures that important network traffic is the priority, helping your essential services run smoothly.

  • URL-Based Split Tunneling. If VPN encryption is slowing down key services like large video calls on Zoom or Google Meet, URL-based split tunneling can help. It allows you to choose which services bypass the VPN, ensuring they get fast, direct internet access while keeping the rest of your network encrypted and secure.

Our sales team is ready to assist you with any questions or to find out more. Let NordLayer take your network performance and security to the next level. 

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