Articles tagged ‘home office’

Setting Up a Home Office – 5 Things You Need and 5 Things You Want

Here is a checklist to help you set up your own home office. I’ve listed 5 things you need and 5 things you want. I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but was inspired to do it this week by the ProBlogger Group Writing Project. Check it out after you’ve got your office set up.

1. You need a computer. You want a laptop!
You still get more bang for your buck with a desktop system but the price difference is decreasing every day. By choosing a laptop you gain mobility. Laptops allow you to work in other parts of the house; on the road; or in the office. The fact of the matter is that most hardware power these days is overkill unless you are a heavy gamer, big into video encoding, or perform lots of complicate CAD and graphic work.

2. You need a printer. You want a multi-function printer/scanner/fax/copier!
We simply haven’t achieved the paperless office yet. A printer is still essential. However, since you are taking up the desk space anyway, consider getting a multifunction printer/scanner/fax/copier. You will be surprised at how little these additional features add to the price. Even though you may not need them all the time, you will be glad you have the ability to whip out an occasional fax or copy a contract. Other features to look for are wired or wireless network ready and a document feeder. (Check out our review on the Brother MFC-420cn.)

3. You need a phone. You want VOIP!
Some may argue with me on this one, but hear my case. With VOIP you are paying far less for far more. Most VOIP plans come with all the features you can dream of and include long distance to boot. Many are now even including some international destinations as part of their unlimited plans. The sound quality isn’t always perfect, but VOIP certainly does the job 99.9% of the time and saves you a bundle. (Read and write reviews of various VOIP providers in our Resource Directory.)

4. You need an internet connection. You want broadband!
It’s the 21st century. You need the internet. You need to be connected. You can’t settle for dial-up. It just doesn’t cut it anymore. If budget is your primary concern, I urge you to look at entry level DSL in your area. I have been shocked at how cheap some of these plans have become. If you are still on dial-up and haven’t checked DSL prices in a while, run (don’t walk) to your nearest provider and see what they offer, you may find that you can get a faster connection for less money than you are paying for dial-up. (Read and write reviews of various Broadband ISPs in our Resource Directory.)

5. You need a dedicated space for your office. You want a door!
Designate a comfortable space in your house with the room you need to perform your job. Furnish it with a desk of the appropriate size, a chair with the proper support and make sure that there aren’t a lot of distractions. I highly recommend that your designated space has a door. A door serves two essential purposes. It keeps out noise and distractions when you are working in the office, and it keeps you out of office when you should be living. Work-Life balance is important and a simple door is a great way to preserve it.

How To Set up a Home Office Network: The Overview

How To Set up a Home Office Network: The Overview

This is a multi-part series to explain in simple language the process of connecting to the internet and setting up a home network.

The Overview – Includes a checklist. Looking for the basics? Start here.
Part 1: Get Service – Choosing an internet service provider
Part 2: Get Connected – What equipment is necessary for connecting one or more machines to each other and the internet.
Part 3: Get Secure – Securing your network from hackers and pests. (coming soon)
Part 4: FAQ – Submit your questions in the comments or using our form. (coming soon)
Read the rest of this article »

Review: Brother MFC-420CN


What is it?

The Brother MFC-420CN is a compact inkjet printer, scanner, copier, fax machine, memory card reader. It has USB2 and RJ-45 network connectivity and it has a document feeder. Read the rest of this article »