Wireless (WiFi) connectivity is commonplace in most business environments. It allows for convenient network connections for laptop computers used in temporary spaces like meeting rooms, as well as Smartphones and tablets used throughout the workplace. WiFi can be used in warehouses to connect everything from scanners, to time clocks to computers that are difficult to reach with a cable.
Here are 5 tips for choosing and setting up a business WiFi system:
- Determine how many wireless access points will be needed to cover the area you want and whether you might expand that coverage area later on. The reason this is important is that once you go beyond one access point, managing and troubleshooting issues with them becomes difficult without central management capability. This capability is available with business class wireless equipment.
- If you want rock solid, reliable business WiFi performance, budget for business class equipment. Consumer grade equipment is fine for your home. Where we see consumer equipment installed in business environments, it generally doesn’t do the job reliably and consistently, meaning your work is disrupted and productivity is affected.
- Ensure access to your wireless network is secured with a strong password. You’ve probably heard the stories of people accessing unprotected networks from a nearby parked car or from the building next door.
- If you offer wireless access to the Internet for customers or guests, be sure their access is controlled and separate from your employees. A business class WiFi system has the capability of creating this separation. It is important that non-employees are denied access to your corporate network, one reason being that they could inadvertently bring viruses and malware to your network by connecting a laptop that hasn’t been well maintained. A separate Internet connection might also be considered for customers or guests if their bandwidth usage could be a problem. You want to be certain they don’t bring your business Internet connectivity to a crawl because someone is downloading a movie or game. With business class WiFi equipment, customers can be redirected to a landing page of your choice and be forced to accept your Terms and Conditions before they are permitted to use your network.
- What about all those wireless tablets and Smartphones? Many organizations allow both corporate and personal devices into the workplace. Carefully consider what access, if any, you will allow for those personal devices. If you do allow employees to connect their smartphones, they should connect to a segmented WiFi network, separate from your organization computer network.
Choosing and setting up a business WiFi network is not as simple as it might first seem. There are many factors to consider. We should point out that we still recommend wired networks as the first choice, but recognize that wireless access is sometimes the more practical or necessary option.
If you would like to learn more about our WiFi Solutions, please give us a call.