Setting up a wireless network is an essential part of creating an effective work space. Here’s a guide to doing to safely and with sufficient bandwidth.
The increased prominence of wireless devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets in the workplace means that small business owners are taking a new look at wireless local area networks (WLAN) and the positive impact wireless networks can have on the bottom line.
Today’s wireless networks are faster, and the technology is more affordable than ever. Wireless also improves employee satisfaction by increasing productivity, flexibility and accessibility. From the sales force and warehouse to manufacturing and inter-office communication, wireless computing lets employees work from anywhere at any time to review data, take notes, send and receive emails and do research on the spot.
Getting Started with a Wireless Network
If you’re thinking about a wireless network for your business, consider these factors to ensure a successful implementation:
Know Your Building’s Bones
Do you know what your building is made of? Before you install your wireless network, you should. Dense building materials like filled cinder blocks, brick, rock walls, adobe or stucco construction can significantly reduce the strength of your wireless signal, and increase the number of access points needed to ensure a fast, reliable connection. Also anything that holds water, like pipes, bathrooms and elevator shafts tend to limit the range of wireless signals.
Count Heads and Balance the Load
Typically, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) require fewer than 24 access points, but businesses must consider bandwidth in the overall plan. Without adequate bandwidth to handle traffic, you may not realize expected productivity gains. IT staff should also be able to manage multiple access points and balance the load accordingly; centrally-managed wireless controller appliances can do this dynamically to boost performance and save time.
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