Today, customers expect fast, accessible Wi-Fi when visiting your business premises. But if it isn’t set up properly, your Wi-Fi network can cause more headaches and even hurt your business’ reputation.
Often, businesses install Wi-Fi as an afterthought, resulting in a slow and unreliable connection. Other businesses are heavily dependent on round-the-clock Wi-Fi access for their staff and customers. And while Wi-Fi can be fast and reliable, remember that a fixed Ethernet or structured cabling will be faster and more robust.
If you’ve decided to install a business Wi-Fi network, consider this handy 7 point checklist:
1. How many access points do you need?
Take time to calculate how many access points you need – and how many users need to use them. Some access points can cope with five to ten devices connected simultaneously, while some can cope with more than 30.
2. Where will you place the access points?
You’ll need to spread the access points throughout the building and provide the best line of sight by mounting them up high or on the ceiling.
There are many tools to help plan and place your business Wi-Fi access points. Fortinet’s Forti Planner helps you plot placement and indicates signal strength based on the wall type, obstructions and distances. It also takes into account radios, which have stronger signals or operate on multiple frequencies.
3. Will you install business-grade Wi-Fi?
While Wi-Fi probably won’t be your only online connection, it can be very frustrating when it is sluggish or stops working. So consider a business-grade solution, which allows users to seamlessly roam between access points without any downtime or packet loss while their computers and mobile devices switch over.
A business-grade Wi-Fi solution also stops users from connecting to faraway radios and forces their devices to connect to the closest, strongest access point. This guarantees the best possible service.
4. Do you need to broadcast multiple SSIDs?
A business-grade Wi-Fi network will also enable you to broadcast multiple SSIDs or networks from all of the access points, providing these different types of network access. For example, you could set up an internal business wireless network for staff to get online and access internal services. Another SSID could allow guests to only access the Internet – and not the internal network.
Think about the restrictions you want to place on those networks. To protect your business and brand, it can be wise to block access to illegal or undesirable content.
5. How will you secure your business Wi-Fi network?
In business, security and safeguarding your data is essential. And so network level scanning for viruses, and rouge access point scanning is a must. These can be built into the Wi-Fi solution to alert you to access points that have been plugged into your network without authorisation.
6. What about Wi-Fi for multiple sites?
If your business operates across multiple sites, you can set up wireless networks that allow users to roam between sites, without setting up new networks – saving time and many frustrations!
7. Should you add single sign-on?
Lastly, consider offering single sign-on (SSO) when setting up your business Wi-Fi network. This allows users to sign in just once to access a suite of apps and services. And that means faster, more streamlined work – and greater productivity.
Have a question about business Wi-Fi or anything else?
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