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Going Wireless: How to Set up Your First Small Business WiFi Network

wifi

Setting up a WiFi network in your business doesn’t have to be rocket science. There are a few things that you need to know.

The first is what took you so long? Customers and employees expect a wireless environment wherever they go. If they’re not connected, 75% of people said their mood is worse than not having coffee for a week.

To get your business ready for a WiFi network, you’re going to understand the different parts and how they all tie together in a secure environment. This will create a better customer experience and increase office productivity.

Ready to build your wireless network? Let’s get started!

Who Needs a Business WiFi Network?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a grocery chain, a retail store, an office, or a coffee shop. You need to have a WiFi network.

People expect to have access to information on demand. Consumers will even conduct product research while shopping in a brick and mortar store.

They’re shopping at the grocery store and they want to find where the taco kits are. Your store is big and they can just look up that information quickly over your WiFi network.

They can find the products they’re looking for much more quickly than trying to find a store associate to help them.

If you’re wondering why they can’t just look things up over data, different phone plans have different coverage zones. Your store could be one big dead spot for customers, creating a frustrating experience.

In an office environment, your WiFi network can increase productivity. It’s a no-brainer to set up WiFi in the workplace.

How to Set Up A Wireless Network

A wireless network in your office can seem like it’s an overwhelming chore. Here’s how you can make the process seamless.

Start with a Map

Take a site survey of your office space. To create a high performing WiFi network, you need to ensure that you have enough coverage.

If you have a home office, your set up is going to be relatively simple. You’ll just need a WiFi router and that should give you plenty of bandwidth to operate. That would apply to smaller offices with a few people in close proximity.

In an office space larger than 2000 square feet, you will need to map out access points. You’ll want to see your office in real time and get a sense of how people are using your network and from where.

You’ll need to place your wireless access points in places that are tough for your WiFi router to reach.

Routers, Modems, and Extenders, Oh My!

Once you map out your hardware, you’ll have to get the right hardware for your business.

Depending on your needs, your equipment will have to be able to withstand dozens, if not hundreds, of simultaneous connections.

All too often, business owners opt for hardware that’s meant for home use, where there are few simultaneous connections. In this case, most users won’t be able to access WiFi because the connection limit will have been reached.

It will be a little more expensive, but you will need to invest in commercial equipment. It’s worth it in the higher productivity and lower frustration levels of your employees.

Put Security First!

By virtue of having a WiFi network, you have to be concerned with security. One security expert discovered that all WiFi networks are vulnerable to attack.

Hackers get through WiFi networks to install malware on computers on your network, or worse, create a ransomware attack.

Read more about these steps you need to take to make your WiFi network safe and secure.

Support Multiple SSIDs

It’s time to geek out a little. An SSID is a service set identifier. In your home network, you have one access point. That’s usually where your cable modem is.

In a business network, you have the potential to create countless wireless networks, as long as your business access point supports it.

What you can do is set up several SSIDs and give different SSIDs different security levels. It’s like going to an office that has a main network and a guest network. They just have two SSIDs created.

Theoretically, you can take it a step further and create an SSID for each department. Customer service would use one SSID, accounting another, and so on.

The reason why you want multiple SSIDs is to have access to different security protocols for each network.

Avoid the Wired Jungle

Yes, you’re building a wireless network. You still have to think about wires. You’ll need to consider where access points will plug in and how you’re going to hide those wires.

Not having a plan for the wires could result in an ugly installation with wires all over the place. It’s also a potential hazard should anyone trip over the wires.

You could have the wires behind your walls for a clean look, or you can invest in cable concealers. If you do hide the wires behind walls, maintenance can be a challenge if you need to access them.

Make Maintenance Easy

Throughout the process to build your WiFi network, you’ll want to keep maintenance in mind. You’ll want to choose equipment that requires a little tweaking.

With some equipment, you’ll have to go in periodically and adjust settings. That can get old pretty quickly. You could also invest in hardware that’s easy to scale up as your business grows.

Build Your WiFi Network

A WiFi network is a must for any business. Your customers expect it as well as office visitors and your employees.

It’s not hard to build a safe, secure network that is built for performance.

You do have to choose the right hardware and plan your access points accordingly. Don’t forget about making your network completely secure from hackers.

Want more tech tips for your business? Take a look at these email security threats and find out how you can protect your business.

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