The majority of businesses are small businesses. It is not surprising then that the majority of networks are small networks.

With small networks, the design of the network is usually simple. The number and type of devices on the network are significantly reduced compared to that of a larger network. The network topologies for small networks typically involve a single router and one or more switches. Small networks may also have wireless access points (possibly built into the router) and IP phones. As for connection to the Internet, normally a small network has a single WAN connection provided by DSL, cable, or an Ethernet connection.

Managing a small network requires many of the same skills as those required for managing a larger one. The majority of work is focused on maintenance and troubleshooting of existing equipment, as well as securing devices and information on the network. The management of a small network is either done by an employee of the company or a person contracted by the company, depending on the size of the business and the type of business.

A typical small-business network is shown in the figure.