Would upgrading to a server really benefit me

Compaq / R3000
October 30, 2010 at 09:48:06
Specs: Windows XP, 2.699 GHz / 759 MB
A month or so ago I posted a question asking what the purpose of a server in SMALL networks are. I received good answers, but now my question has been modified to "Would a server benefit my situation in my 3 computer office?"
Let me explain my office and work situation... The company is very low tech to start with. We only have 1 office with 3 computers in it. We most likely will never have or need a second office/location to work from either. We already have a plain website hosted through Yahoo, and do NOT use any company Email to communicate with customers or each other inside the office. There are only literally about a half dozen documents that are SHARED through each computer (word and excel documents), and we have an online backup company to backup all files. And also, we have no great need for enhanced security. There are only 3 programs needed on each computer, Quickbooks for accounting, our industry specific software for billing, and MS Office for everything else. Each computer has other software installed, but mainly just personal software catered to their needs, and nothing business related.

Right now all the computers are networked through basic windows XP networking with shared internet connection through a router. I guess technically you can say that each computer right now is its own "File Server" meaning that they each host the documents that are used most on that machine, among the many others that are never needed on the other machines, but like I said earlier, all those shared documents are minimal.

I am asking if a server would be beneficial because recently we have been having a problem with computer speed and getting booted off the network randomly. So first of all, will a server "speed up" the computers connected to it? For the 3 main software titles we need described above, do they (the software themselves, not JUST the documents) run off the server, or stay installed on each local machine? I am asking this because the less software installed on any computer, the faster it tends to run, hence speeding up the computer.

My second question is how to the other computers literally connect to the server? I mean would the server just connect to the router as a 4th computer, but be the server, or does each computer connect directly to the server by some kind of build in hub/router? A similar question is does the server connect to the internet and other computers connect through the server, or is the internet connection the same as now, with a router?

Please elaborate on your opinion of if a server would be needed or help my situation in any way. Thank you

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October 30, 2010 at 14:59:39
A server doesn't make a network faster. If your network is slow, it's due to other things. The internet connection would remain the same. It wouldn't go through the server.

You don't need a server for your office. I certainly wouldn't pay the high prices MS charges for such a small operation.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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