With the increasing coverage of mobile devices, a reliable and secure Wi-Fi network is in higher demand than ever. Unfortunately, out-of-the-box ISP routers often aren't up to the task of supporting multiple device connections, and it can take some tweaking to make your wireless network business-ready. So we're going to point out some areas of importance when setting up your Wi-Fi for business purposes, and how to ensure minimal problems down the road. WPA2 security This comes first because it means the difference between having a good day, and getting a visit from the local police precinct. WEP encryption is laughably easy to crack with a little determination and intelligence, and anyone using your connection for their shady activities is essentially naming you the fall guy. A majority of wireless networks these days make use of WEP encryption, but that doesn't mean it's anywhere near safe. It just means it's the first option in the drop down list. If you're using WEP encryption, or none at all, enable WPA2 ASAP to add some extra security. The security gap between the two encryption methods is substantial. While not exactly required, you might consider doing some research and learning the differences between WEP and WPA2 encryption. Access point location Also important, but usually underestimated, the location and surroundings of your wireless access points can affect connectivity. For example, placing your router in a central location relative to the devices being used on your network will allow for more stable connections in general. Surrounding the router with metal or concrete casing will just block and absorb your signal. You might get the feeling that a single router just isn't going to work for your situation. In this case, consider adding multiple access points to your wireless network. Use your 5GHz band If your router supports dual-band connection, and hopefully it does, you have access to a 5GHz network as well as your default 2.4GHz network. Offload some of your 5GHz-compatible devices to the 5GHz band to lighten to the load on the main band. If you are unsure of what devices to switch, conduct some research on the differences between 5GHz and 2.4GHz and how they work. Control your applications If you're having odd waves of connectivity problems, and none of the above seem to be the issue, consider that someone on the network is using resource-intensive applications. Anything that streams, for example, will slow down your network a great deal. Music streaming services, such as Spotify and Pandora, are probably the most common. People using their breaks / lunches to watch Netflix, Hulu and other premium video streaming services will impact the network in a big way. Anything that actively moves data through the network at a constant rate is streaming and these things will toll your wireless like nothing else. Your wireless connection will likely be a staple business function if you're fielding multiple devices. Conducting proper research and setting the best configurations for Wi-Fi's many facets is key to keeping up productivity in the workplace.
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