What should you look for in a WiFi provider?

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How to set up WiFi for a business

Posted on 16 April 2019 by Beaming Support

Readily available WiFi is now considered to be something of a necessity in both public and private spaces. Whether it’s just for employees or you’re rolling out WiFi for your business customers, users expect WiFi to be fast, reliable and secure.

We find many small and medium businesses still using basic multiple wireless access points to provide a solution which by today’s standards just doesn’t cut it.

There are multiple options when it comes to business WiFi and finding the right provider can be quite daunting. We’ve put together a list of seven features to consider when you’re choosing between WiFi network companies and setting up a WiFi network.

Wireless Segregation

Simply put, wireless segregation means you can securely separate out your private and public wireless networks.

Ideally you’d want to run your private network on a different VLAN from your public network without allowing the two to talk to each other.

Use a different SSID (Service Set Identifier; the unique name of your wireless local area network) for each network with different passwords. Ideally you’ll want the capability to incorporate a guest portal for your public users (more on that later).

Scalability

Imagine you’ve got a single office with 10-20 users but have plans for the future to expand. It might seem common sense to go for the best single access point (AP) money can buy at this time, but in the future when you want to add further access points you’ll come unstuck. There are plenty of solutions out there that you can add to as you grow.

Think about using a solution that allows you to roam between access points seamlessly without any impact on the end user. This will save you and your staff hours of configuration time when it comes to setting up new access points on the network.

Security

Everyone should be using at least WPAPSK on their wireless network.

All too often the password being used for the network is so simple that it can be guessed within minutes if not seconds; it’s often the default password that’s come with the equipment.

Guest portal

You’ve got all your branding setup, private network is secure and running reliably but you think to yourself ‘wouldn’t it be nice for our customers and guests to enjoy some WiFi?’

Most business WiFi network providers offer some form of guest portal that you can customise with your company branding, along with your own terms and conditions. You can even let users log in via social media if you want to.

Device Management

How difficult and time consuming can it be to set up multiple access points countless times using different SSIDs and passwords, then configuring them constantly so they don’t all use the same congested WiFi channel?

We know all too well how frustrating this can be for both you and the end user.

A business solution should have device management access via a controller, be it software or hardware based. This can make it so simple that you only need to configure the wireless networks, passwords, guest portal and various other settings once.

When it’s time to expand the network coverage all you have to do is add another access point to the system and deploy it in its place

This can save hours of time if you have a large building to cover.

Cost

The best advice is to decide exactly what you need from your solution and how best to implement your end goal.

There is little point spending thousands on a product, spending time configuring it all only to find that there could be a much simpler, more cost effective solution out there. Equally, cutting a few corners or failing to take into account the possible future need for extension of your WiFi network may result in a system that “falls over” frequently. This causes frustration and dissatisfaction for users and extra work for your IT staff.

Data connectivity

Of course, there’s no point having your WiFi network all set up, only to find that the technology you’re using to connect users to the internet can’t handle the amount of data being sent across it or drops at peak times. Using a provider that specialises in business connectivity means you’ll get service and security that gives you confidence in your network’s ability to support multiple users with varying requirements.

 Use our connectivity products comparison table to choose an internet connection that’s capable of the job in hand.

Beaming can provide you with a complete WiFi solution, from data connectivity to hardware provision, network setup and advice on securing your WiFi service.

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