How to improve the WiFi signal in my businessPosted on 31 May 2023 by Beaming Support
Beaming customers are always supplied with a business-grade router that usually has wi-fi capability built-in, and in most circumstances, the range will match their business’s needs perfectly. But what about those situations where you have a larger floor area, or multiple floors that need to be covered?
In that situation there are 4 main options that can be used: –
- Wi-Fi range extenders.
- Power line adaptors.
- A Mesh Wi-Fi System.
- Wired Access points.
All four of these options have their pros and cons, and we will run through them below.
1. Wi-Fi Range Extenders.
These are the cheapest option on this list – prices for one from a known brand start from as little as £15 but (as you would imagine at that price) they are also the most limited. They are installed towards the edge of the range of your current Wi-Fi and create a new network that extends the range.
The disadvantage is that the retransmitted signal gets a different wi-fi network name (SSID). This means that when you move around the site, your device has to drop one connection and then reconnect to the new one. Then sometimes, the device will not be connected to the strongest signal, meaning your speeds are suboptimal.
2. Power line adaptors.
These devices utilise a building’s internal wiring to transmit data. It involves having a device next to your router, plugged directly into a 3-pin wall socket, and connected to the router with a network cable. You can then plug a power line Wi-Fi adaptor into any other 3 pin socket in the property (Assuming it is on the same ring main), this device will then generate its own Wi-Fi network with its own SSID.
The powerline adaptor has similar drawbacks to the range extenders in that a device has to switch to different networks but has the advantage that you don’t have to have an overlap between the Wi-Fi networks for it to work. These tend to range from £30 – £70.
The remaining options are roughly comparable in cost (from around £100 for a low-end system to over £1000 for more advanced and larger systems) and end user experience, but the way they are installed is very different.
3. Mesh Wi-Fi.
There are many different suppliers of mesh Wi-Fi systems and each claim to have advantages in speed and coverage but they all work in roughly the same way; a single device is connected to your broadband router with a cable. Then other devices are placed (like a range extender) towards the edge of the first device’s coverage. These devices then retransmit the same Wi-Fi network (SSID). As more mesh devices are added, they are able to talk to each other to give seamless Wi-Fi coverage. This means that from a user’s perspective. they are never having to disconnect and reconnect to different networks.
The advantage of this system is that it can be installed in building where there is no existing network cabling.
The disadvantage is that – as with a range extender – the further you get from the first wired device, the slower the rate of data transmissions tends to be.
4. Wired access points.
Like a mesh system, there are multiple suppliers of Wi-Fi access points (APs), and they range in price depending on coverage and speed.
Unlike a mesh system, however, each AP has to have a wired connection to the broadband router. If you only have a couple of them then you will probably be able to connect them directly to the router but if there are more, then you might need a network switch.
They will all transmit the same network name, so moving around your property will be seamless in the same way as a mesh Wi-Fi system – but, unlike a mesh system, as each AP is directly connected to the router these is no drop off in speed no matter where you are.
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