Learn the WiFi basics to stay connected
If you’re a small business owner who needs to keep your business connected, you’re in luck. Broadband infrastructure has spread so widely these days, that WiFi is virtually ubiquitous (tech jargon for ‘available anywhere’.) But how do you select the best small business WiFi, without over-scaling and overpaying?
That choice depends on what you’re looking for, and where and how you’re going to connect. There are really no hard-fast rules here. In fact, most small businesses today use not one, but a mix of technologies for keeping their people connected and productive. Let’s take a basic look.
Small Business WiFi Solutions
Without getting too technical, bandwidth for WiFi and other digital services is generally delivered by two methods: hard-wired or wireless.
The two most popular wired approaches are the coax cable laid by your cable provider, or in more and more neighborhoods, fiber optic cable from a telecom provider.
Broadband can also be provided via wireless infrastructure, signals traveling through the air from cell towers to connect with portable devices like smart phones, tablets, and other mobile endpoints.
For the Home Office
At the home office, the broadband signal comes into modems and routers, which then distribute access wirelessly throughout the home via a standard router or a whole-home mesh router, like Astound’s eero solution. Which one should you use?
That depends on many physical and operational conditions, such as the layout of the home, how many walls the signal must pass through, how many floors must be reached, the amount of square footage to cover, type of work being performed, etc.
In the Main Office
At many small business offices, more powerful modems, gateways and firewalls are used to move data around from workstation to workstation via ethernet cable, protecting that data along the way.
Usually, an internal wireless network is created to connect these workstations, and employees can communicate freely and safely, knowing that security solutions, in both hardware and software form, are in place to shield that data from theft. As more employees come onboard, you build out the size of your network, so throughput speeds won’t get choked.
Consult your internet provider about boosting bandwidth at certain peak periods of operation, through a process called bursting.
On the Go
When on the road, smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices are the primary means of staying connected, whether you’re using corporate or personal mobile communications plans or utilizing public WiFi.
You can use software to control access to your private office network, especially for business-critical applications, or use general telecom networks.
In addition, most devices today have a mobile hotspot feature, which allows you to share WiFi across several devices and associates at a time.
However, what you gain in mobility, generally speaking, you lose in data security. In this case, it’s best to limit your communications and operations to less sensitive information.
Safeguard Your Small Business’s Wireless Network
You can also protect your business from catastrophic data loss by incorporating physical hard drives as backup units or by subscribing to cloud-based backup services.
Once reserved for the more complex needs and the extended budgets of larger companies, today there are many products and services that provide redundant backup that small businesses of any size can afford.
Fast, Reliable, Secure Business WiFi
Astound Business Solutions offers simple, affordable, and secure WiFi options for businesses of all sizes — supporting hundreds of devices and keeping everyone connected wherever they work. Learn more here.
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