The Wonderful World of Wifi

The Wonderful World of Wifi post thumbnail

Wifi is the way the world is going. People no longer want to be tethered to their desk or station. But there are a lot of questions that business owners ask us when the subject comes up.

Isn’t it slower than a wired connection?

  • In some cases it is but in other cases it can actually be just as fast. It all depends on what you are transmitting over the connection. Also speed isn’t everything when it comes to what we do on our PCs on a daily basis. We have found, in most cases, the “internet slowness” most users experience turns out to be the computer or software that is causing the slowness. Not the internet connection.
  • This doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy the cheapest and easiest to install access point or wireless router. Just like in most technology tools, you want to make sure what you are getting is quality and matches your need. If this is done properly, speed will not be an issue.

Is it secure?

  • Just like in any technology, nothing is 100% secure. The way it is configured will determine how secure it is. For instance, not having encryption or a password set on the wireless ID that is broadcasting is just asking for an attack. It would be like leaving your computer logged in or no password set so anyone can walk up and use it.
  • Encryption, a secured password, access rules, and proper routing can eliminate a lot of the risk and make it just as secure as your wired workstations.

Does it cost more?

  • This would depend on volume and where the workstations are located. Running ethernet cables can be very costly. Mostly because it is labor intensive and not very many techs enjoy doing it. Running one line for an access point that will cover a whole room is much easier than running 5 lines for the 5 workstations in that room. The cost of the one line and a good access point could be less than the cost of running all of those lines.

Should I have a “Guest” wifi?

  • Any place where customers are expected to wait for any decent amount of time is pretty much expected to have this. Having a good, fast, and functional one may elevate some stress or discomfort of having to sit in a waiting room for any amount of time. However, this brings up security concerns. So as mentioned above, this needs to be properly configured in order to minimize risk and avoid slowing down the facilities connection. Business class access points and controllers provide these options.

A good Wifi connection can also help your business in a number of ways. Embracing technologies like this give birth to opportunities.

  • A business having an event in the summer outside their front doors can still process payments and provide customers with a wireless connection to browse the web while they wait.
  • Businesses can switch to laptops and allow their employees the ability to move around the office, have open seating plans and collaborate with coworkers on projects.
  • Businesses that have access to resources that only work while on their network can allow mobile devices like phones and tables to access those resources.