7 things you should know: Setting up a WiFi Network for Small Business

Office Network is important thing for any size business now. Each employee almost can’t work without network. You can image, when you edit an article on the computer and want to send it to your boss. Without network, you may need to print it on paper and catch these pieces of paper to your boss’s office and give him. If there are some mistakes in your article, you must correct and print it again for your boss.

Is it troublesome?

I think you will say “Yes, of course”!

As the office network is very necessary, we need to deploy our network carefully. Furthermore, WiFi network is commonly used now.

How to set up a WiFi network for small business network?

Here are some tips for you.

1. Confirm your WiFi Signal Coverage Area

You must know the differences between wireless routers and access points (We always say AP).

A wireless router is designed for small office. It can help personal devices connect to the network without cables.

A access point is a WiFi signal pot. It can share the WiFi signal to those devices but it must be connected with the router first.

If your office is not big, you don’t need the AP to extend the WiFi signal.

However, if you’re working with 1,500 or fewer square feet, you’ll probably need one AP to extend the network. You need to confirm your WiFi signal coverage area when choosing a AP.

If you think you need multiple APs, do a simple site survey. Move a wireless router or AP around the coverage boundaries and come up with rough spots where you should install them. Use a laptop or mobile phone to walk around to see where the signal drops.

You’ll want the signal from each AP to overlap the signal from the others, so there’s a good signal throughout the building. Overlapping is fine if you use different channels (1, 6 or 11) for each overlapping AP.

2. Choose the right cable

Your wireless router must be connected with the WAN. So Ethernet cables are needed.

All Ethernet cable nowadays is Cat5, but there’s also Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7. Which one do you choose?

If you have devices that use Gigabit Ethernet (also denoted as 10/100/1000) you need to use Cat5e. Cat5 only supports Fast Ethernet (or 10/100) networks, so if you want devices that are wired to a Gigabit Ethernet to take advantage of the 1 GBps speed, you need to use Cat5e. Most Ethernet cable sold in retail stores these days is Cat5e anyway, though. Cat6 and 7 are certified for Gigabit Ethernet transmission, they’re more expensive than Cat5e, and unnecessary in the typical small-business network they have special shielding and can transmit over longer distances than you’re likely to need.

3. Consider the Cabling

Now you need to install some APs, so that you must deploy the cables, which connect your wireless router and APs. Network engineers know, cabling is not an easy thing. Once the cables become more and more, they will be messy.

Before you deploy, you need to consider how to deploy cables.

4. Choose the Right WiFi Standard

When evaluating or purchasing wireless adapters, routers or APs, consider the 802.11 standards and speeds they support. There’s 802.11b at 11 Mbps, 802.11g at 54 Mbps, 802.11a at 54 Mbps, and/or 802.11n at 450+ Mbps. Nowadays, the latest 802.11ac delivers gigabit speed.

Certainly, the faster speed, the higher price. You need to choose the right one according to your budget.

5. Setting up Guest Wi-Fi

Setting up a small business network, you may need to consider your customers. When your customers come to your office, they may connect to your WiFi network. So setting up guest Wi-Fi is needed.

Most routers on the market feature multiple SSIDs (Service Set Identifier) which enables them to offer guests access to a wireless Internet connection that is set apart from the internal network of servers, PCs, printers, and other networked devices. Setting this up usually involves toggling on guest access in the router’s software.

6. Confirm Small Business Network Security

Network security is important. You can use firewalls to protect your network. You also can choose the Wi-Fi protected access security.

There are two very different modes of the Wi-Fi Protected Access security versions WPA and WPA2.

The easiest mode to setup and use is the Personal or Pre-Shared Key (PSK) mode. However, since all the Wi-Fi devices use the same security password, it isn’t designed for businesses that have employees. You’d have to change the password on all the APs, computers and other Wi-Fi devices when an employee leaves the organization or a device is lost or stolen. Plus, users on the network can intercept and snoop on the Internet activity of the other users, possibility capturing email and website passwords.

The other mode is called the Enterprise or RADIUS mode. Users log onto the wireless network with unique usernames and passwords and/or install a digital certificate. You can quickly and easily change the login credentials for users if they leave or a device is lost or stolen. Plus users can’t capture and read each other’s traffic.

7. Check Devices’ Wi-Fi Adapter

Before office network setup is finished, you need to check those devices’ WiFi adapter, including personal computers, printers, and so on. Do they work? If not, they can’t connect the WiFi office network. For example, if your computers’ WiFi network card controller is switched off, the computer can’t access the WiFi network. You need to turn it on.

An editor from Router-switch.com

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