Wireless Equipment Essential to Every Successful Business
With the widespread use of mobile devices, the prevalence of hot-desking, and the design of open plan space, businesses that want to remain successful need to cut the cords and use a wireless network around the office. Wireless networks have many advantages, including helping with flexible working, faster communication, and increased efficiency.
The cost of setting one up is relatively low, while the payoffs for your business are quite high – particularly in convenience, security, and productivity.
Here’s a list of essential equipment your business needs to get started.
1. Wireless router
The heart of all wireless networks is the router. Basically, the router will support all computers and devices configured with a wireless network adapter. They allow cable modem and DSL internet connections to be shared, which makes accessing the internet on most devices easy. Plus, many routers include a built-in firewall that protects your business from cybersecurity threats.
Wireless router products can differ from one to the next. For example, they can support different network protocols (which govern the end-to-end processes of timely, secure and managed network communication or data) and the number of devices they can maintain. If you’re unsure, Aussie Broadband will be able to advise you on the best wireless router for your business.
2. Wireless access points
Similar to routers, access points will allow your wireless network to join up with an existing wired network. Usually, this situation happens in an office that already has routers and equipment installed. Wireless access points look much the same as wireless routers. In fact, many routers already contain a wireless access point as part of the package.
So how does it all work? Essentially, wireless access points create one wireless local area network (WLAN) that spans an entire office space. This is particularly helpful if your business has a large office area, allowing your staff and clients to roam between each access point as needed. More access points should offer more coverage.
3. Wireless network adaptor
Most of the newer laptops, tablets, and smartphones all have wireless network adaptors as a built-in feature of their operating systems. Also known as wireless NICs or wireless network cards, it’s the software that allows each device to connect to your business’s wireless network. Older laptop PCs must use a separate add-on adapter in the form of an Ethernet card or USB adaptor. However, unless you are running old hardware, you shouldn’t have to worry about network adaptors.
4. Wireless print servers
Wireless print servers are small, compact devices that must be connected to printers by a network cable, usually a USB port. Essentially, if you connect your business printer to the wireless server, it will conveniently be shared to all computers and devices across the wireless network. This means your printer can be located anywhere within the wireless network range, and you don’t need a single computer to manage all print jobs.
Most wireless print server products will include setup on a CD-ROM. This must be installed on one computer to complete the initial configuration. And just like network adapters, print servers must be configured with the right network name (SSID) and encryption settings.
5. Wireless range extender
Sometimes called repeaters or signal boosters, wireless range extenders increase the distance over which the network can spread. It works by picking up and reflecting WiFi signals from the router or an access point, helping to improve the overall quality of your wireless signal. Keep in mind that the performance of any devices connected through a wireless range extender will usually be lower than if they were connected directly to the base router. Also, due to the nature of this technology, most extenders only work with a limited set of other equipment. To check compatibility, simply read over the manufacturer’s specifications.
6. Wireless video camera
If you’re in the business of using or creating video content, a wireless internet video camera is an essential tool. The camera allows you to capture video data and share it across your wireless network. Many camera products will include setup software on a CD-ROM. To complete the initial WiFi configuration, you must install the software on one computer. Some camera products can even be recognised as a device on the network. This means you can stream video to a monitor, TV or media player without connecting it directly to a viewing device.
Are you ready to connect?
Wireless technology is convenient, cheap, and built into most modern devices. Whether you choose to use a wireless network alongside your wired network or as an alternative, you’ll soon realise how much it can streamline and declutter your business.
Once your wireless network is set up, it’s important to secure it. This means you should be enabling encryption, thinking about hiding the network, and upping your firewalls. If you’re unsure what measures to take, simply chat to your ISP.
Aussie Broadband has an Australian-based support team trained to assist you with your business internet connection. To find out how you can receive award winning NBN services today, get a free quote from the Aussie Broadband team.