WiFi connectivity increasingly is table stakes for businesses. The reason is simple: People have access to Wi-Fi in their homes, businesses, stores and transportation. It is an accepted condition of modern life. Businesses that skimp on WiFi are putting themselves at a great disadvantage.
The heart of any WiFi network is the small business access point. It is vital that an SMB owner pay as close attention to these invaluable elements as he or she does to ensuring any amenity – wash rooms, parking lots, coffee stations and the like – are clean and running smoothly.
Of course, a small business access point is more complicated than a coffee maker. The good news is that the business can keep pace with some easy steps. The important point is that despite the fact that the steps are relatively easy – either for a tech savvy person in the business or a local consultant – they must not be neglected.
These steps go beyond simply plunking down a small business access point in the office and/or on the showroom floor. This month, Small Business Computing’s Joseph Moran made several great suggestions for efficient and optimized small business Wi-Fi in general and access points in particular. They are to perform a site survey; use the 5GHZ band if possible and to consider relocating or replacing the router or upgrading its antennas to achieve more efficient coverage.
Beyond these suggestions, it’s a good idea to find out what the cable and phone companies’ offer for SMBs. If the business is truly small, a residential account may do the trick. In most cases, however, the importance of security and the intricacies of segregating customer and employee traffic – if the goal is to serve both – suggest that a business-oriented account is the way to go.
In such cases, an approach to independently treat data sent to small business access points from the business and consumer side must be in place. It can be even more complex than this: A rising trend is for cable company access points to provide connectivity to pedestrians passing in front of stores and homes. This is a controversial approach because it is predicated on the home or business essence subsidizing the cable company’s commercial WiFi business by paying to power the access point.
It is increasingly obvious that businesses of all sizes must be in the WiFi game, and the care and feeding of small business access points is growing in importance.