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(This feature is available in BCSS Diamond and Virtual.)
Requirements for Successful Networking:
Important: Every computer on the network must be listed on the host computer in BCSS Program Setup, Networks, Manage Locations. On each remote station, in BCSS Program Setup > Network Tab, the station's location must be designated.
BCSS Site IDs must not be entered on remote stations.
If your Internet modem has multiple Ethernet connections, it may be possible to network computers through the modem but the modem may be the 'speed bottleneck' in the network. Dual Band Routers should be used with 3GB capacity.
Cat 6 Ethernet straight-through cables are necessary to achieve gigabit speed. Cat6 cables have 8 wires (four pairs). Cat5 cables have only 4 wires so they are much slower and they don't reduce cross-talk noise enough between wires at high speeds.
For larger databases and more than 2 computers on one network: Use cat6e cables.
Crossover Cables are used to connect one computer directly to another and should only be used for direct network connections. In particular, attempting to connect a computer to a hub with a crossover cable will prevent that network link from functioning. Broadband routers have become an exception, detecting crossover cables and allowing them to function with other types of Ethernet devices.
The Server is the most important computer on the network. Avoid laptops, Atom, Celeron, Centrino and Pentium chips. This is one area where it will not pay to cut corners. Shoot for an Intel quad-core Core i7 processor or a high-end AMD-8000 product. Here is a comparison of different processors: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/common_cpus.html
Windows OS: Use Windows 7/8/10. Avoid Vista and XP if possible. All machines must be running the same version of Windows. (It is possible to run mixed versions but with possible complications.)
Laptops have reduced hard-drive RPMs to keep from overheating and lack the power to drive a network. Full-powered laptops are available but will cost considerably more than a desktop PC with comparable resources. Laptops can be used but expect slower performance.
Remote-Station Computers should have Windows 7/8/10 for networking ease. The power requirements aren't as important as the host (server, main) computer. 4GB of RAM and a clock speed of 3.0GHz or better should be sufficient. The most important issues will be computer condition and Ethernet port speed which should be 3GB or better.
To increase speed on each computer, remove all unnecessary programs, stop programs from starting at startup and use USB drives that support Windows' ReadyBoost.
BCSS Software: All machines must be running the same version of BCSS, listed at the top of the BCSS screen, like:
Wireless Networks are unacceptable for commercial use. They may 'work' but there are added risks of data loss, data corruption, slower performance, lost connections. etc.
The Network: Ethernet only - properly configured.
The computer's network card (NIC card) or Ethernet port (an NIC card integrated on the motherboard) allows access to the network or Internet to allow interaction with other computers.
Most 'off-the-shelf computers' will have a NIC card unsuitable for commercial use. They should be replaced with high-speed cards.
For larger databases and more than 2 computers on one network: Use .
Hubs, Routers and Switches:
A network hub or switch is not the same as a router. A router is a faster connection because PCs are connected directly to the router and the router 'routes' data directly from one PC to another. The fastest routers are 10/100/1000.
The router provided by the ISP may suffice, but expect it to be the 'bottleneck' in the network. Instead, use a commercial-grade 10/100/1000 router with 5.0GHz capacity. (See Routers for more details.)
Routers can network up to 8 computers in a Local Area Network (LAN). For larger databases and more than 2 computers on one network use 10GBase-T routers and NICs.
Many new routers are configured through the browser. Router documentation explains how. Cisco routers come with extensive documentation. Linksys is a better trouble-free brand. Linksys' setup through the browser is very comprehensible.
The Linksys setup will have DHCP in two places - one for the connection that it makes to the Internet and the other for connection to client computers on the local network. The latter needs to be enabled. In the Linksys configuration, it is only necessary to enable DHCP and specify a starting IP address. Other configuration items on the DHCP page can be left as they are.
Hubs are old technology and shouldn't be used.
Switches can be used to link computers together in a series causing data to have to travel through computers to its network destination - not recommended. An example of a switch is the Dell 2408 10/100/1000 switch.
Need help? Dawn Warfield has years of experience with BCSS and is very knowledgeable. Feel free to contact her: Office: 843-900-8152 Cell: 843-714-5894, firstname.lastname@example.org