The first step of mobile connectivity starts with wireless networking and communication. Wireless connectivity can be established within the walls of a facility or provided to an outdoor wide coverage area. Wireless can also be utilized through cellular connectivity by all major cell phone providers. Users can literally travel in their cars and have continuous connectivity to their office resources. If your company has the need to become mobile, INS can provide you several affordable secured solutions to meet your needs.
What is Wireless Networking?
Wireless networking is an essential productivity tool for today’s mobile workforce. With wireless networking, you and your employees can stay connected to your company’s information resources virtually anytime, anywhere.
Ready to get started with wireless networking? Begin by familiarizing yourself with the basics and benefits of having a wireless network.
What Is a Wireless Network?: Five Questions to Start With
What is a wireless network? How is it different from a wired network? And what are the business benefits of a wireless network? The following overview answers basic questions such as What is a wireless network?, so you can decide if one is right for your business.
What Is a Wireless Network?
A wireless local-area network (LAN) uses radio waves to connect devices such as laptops to the Internet and to your business network and its applications. When you connect a laptop to a WiFi hotspot at a cafe, hotel, airport lounge, or other public place, you’re connecting to that business’s wireless network.
What Is a Wireless Network vs. a Wired Network?
A wired network connects devices to the Internet or other network using cables. The most common wired networks use cables connected to Ethernet ports on the network router on one end and to a computer or other device on the cable’s opposite end.
What Is a Wireless Network? Catching Up with Wired Networks
In the past, some believed wired networks were faster and more secure than wireless networks. But continual enhancements to wireless networking standards and technologies have eroded those speed and security differences.
What Is a Wireless Network?: The Benefits
Small businesses can experience many benefits from a wireless network, including:
- Convenience. Access your network resources from any location within your wireless network’s coverage area or from any WiFi hotspot.
- Mobility. You’re no longer tied to your desk, as you were with a wired connection. You and your employees can go online in conference room meetings, for example.
- Productivity. Wireless access to the Internet and to your company’s key applications and resources helps your staff get the job done and encourages collaboration.
- Easy setup. You don’t have to string cables, so installation can be quick and cost-effective.
- Expandable. You can easily expand wireless networks with existing equipment, while a wired network might require additional wiring.
- Security. Advances in wireless networks provide robust security protections.
- Cost. Because wireless networks eliminate or reduce wiring costs, they can cost less to operate than wired networks.
Steps to Wireless Networking
1. Make Sure Your PCs Are Wireless
Most laptops today have built-in wireless networking connections. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need to install a wireless network adapter card, which is typically inexpensive and easy to use.
2. Get a Router Capable of Wireless Networking
Many network routers today act as wireless networking access points. They let you connect multiple computers to a single wireless network. And they connect your network to the Internet.
You can extend wireless networking throughout your office, store, or campus by placing additional wireless access points in various locations. The additional access points extend the wireless signal’s range and strength over a wider geographical area, so that it’s available in more places, such as conference rooms.
3. Pay Attention to Location
The signal generated from each wireless access point or router extends up to approximately 300 feet. Walls, metal (such as in elevator shafts) and floors can negatively affect range. And the wireless signal’s strength weakens the longer it has to travel. For best results, space out your access points and position them in central areas. Tip: Access points can provide stronger signals when installed on or near ceilings.
4. Don’t Overshare Access Point
For best results, don’t share any single wireless access point with more than 20 users. Typically, the more users sharing an access point, the slower the wireless network can become. If your business network supports a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Unified Communications system, limit each access point to 8-12 users. This will prevent potential degradation in voice quality.
5. Secure Your Network
Security is vital to wireless networking. Some security methods to consider for your network include:
- Data encryption, so only authorized users can access information over your wireless network
- User authentication, which identifies computers trying to access the network
- Secure access for visitors and guests
- Control systems, which protect the laptops and other devices that use the network.