A good Wi-Fi network has become necessary, especially with a rapid increase in smart devices and laptops in offices. The shift from manual to automated and paper to paperless processes has made it essential to deploy a wireless connection. A stable and safe connection makes routine business processes more efficient and saves the company lots of money.
Are you planning to set up a business-grade Wi-Fi network to run your operations smoothly? If yes, listed below are a few steps that will make the process easier. Any business can set up its Wi-Fi network with a bit of assistance. But before digging into that process, you should probably know what a business-grade Wi-Fi network is.
What is business-grade Wi-Fi?
It is a networking technology that permits different devices in large premises, such as an office, to access an internet connection. You can easily connect your smartphones, security cameras, laptops, and printers via a wireless router. Now, how is this internet connection different from a residential connection? Some significant differences between a business-grade network and a regular network are:
- Business-grade networks are designed to be more secure than regular ones
- Only a limited number of users can have access to an office connection
- A business-grade connection uses an underlying broadband connection specially designed for business use
Suppose you are well-versed with information technology and systems. In that case, it will be easier to set up your Wi-Fi network on your business premises. But, you can take help from someone who has done masters in IT, so it becomes less time-consuming and cumbersome to set up. So, how to set up a business-grade Wi-Fi network? Here are five tips to help you:
- Start by selecting a reliable Wi-Fi service provider
To secure a good Wi-Fi network, you need to search for reliable service providers near your workplace. You can quickly Google and look up local service providers to shortlist a few options. Visit their website and read testimonials to develop a clear picture of the names you’ve shortlisted.
While signing up for upgraded broadband service, pay attention to important details like pricing, after-sales service, internet speed, and contract terms. Also, check if those Wi-Fi service providers offer secured networks or not. After verifying these little details, you are ready to select an ideal service provider.
- Invest in the proper hardware
A seamless broadband internet connection has everything pre-installed for your convenience. However, you still need to create wireless internet access points and to do this, you need a wireless router. You may have to invest in a few Wi-Fi extensions for a larger workplace to broaden your connection’s reach. Buying or leasing pre-configured equipment is better and more practical. While making this investment, ensure the following:
- Look for Wi-Fi adapters with two radio bands of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Both radio bands have unique features. An adaptor with a 2.4 GHz radio band can pass through walls, whereas a 5 GHz one helps transfer data faster.
- Check USB ports, guest-networking functions, wired LAN inputs, quality of services (QoS), and removable antennas.
- Look for wireless internet protocols. These vary from a standard protocol of 802.11 to 802.11ax, n, ac, g, b, and a. These protocols help send and receive data through different limits, speeds, and frequencies. Do not worry about this technical aspect right now. You can consult a specialized expert while setting up your Wi-Fi.
- Configure and uphold the necessary equipment
You won’t have to modify the networking settings frequently while using an adequately installed Wi-Fi network. However, you never know when you might have to change your network settings or configure them. Therefore, it is best to learn about it while setting up instead of facing trouble in the future.
In general, configuring your network takes hardly much time or effort. From changing the switching to handling gateways, you can learn it all. Most service providers try to retain full access to the Wi-Fi network. They may even change network settings by themselves. This is why try to learn things independently and manage your business-grade network properly if anything wrong happens.
- Prioritize securing the Wi-Fi network
While dealing with the chosen service provider, you might notice a lack of emphasis on securing the network. As an entrepreneur, this isn’t something to take lightly. Try to install additional software for extra security, like firewalls and premium antivirus and cybersecurity software. Not just that, but safeguard your Wi-Fi by using a complex password for office premises. The latest security protocols for Wi-Fi are WPA2 or WPA3. It would be best to deploy a 360-degree digital security strategy and provide company-wide training to ensure your employees follow SOPs.
- Make use of numerous SSIDs to widen your coverage and improve performance
You must have heard the term “VLAN,” which stands for a Virtual Local Area Network. Since many business and residential servers usually connect to a single VLAN, it may cause disruption when setting up a robust connection in your office. It may even put your business-grade network at risk and give intruders access to your sensitive data. Be it internal threats or external; you should protect your network from both.
By creating numerous SSIDs (network names) for different groups of Wi-Fi, users will solve this problem. For instance, set up a separate network for employees, clients, and others. By making different categories, you will be able to retain and control information within the office premises. However, try not to go overboard with it and only use multiple SSIDs for users who require a particular networking policy.
Some other tips to consider are:
- Seeking professional help in case of trouble
- Maintaining the overall aesthetics of internet cables or wiring
Not a single workplace can run smoothly without business-grade Wi-Fi. So do some research about it and power your day-to-day business operations through a fully functional and secure Wi-Fi network. Such a network will not only enhance your data processing capability but benefit your stakeholders as well. It will further reduce overall operational costs, and productivity will shoot up in return. Therefore, do the needful and make good use of these Wi-Fi networking tips.