You already know your wireless setup at the office is important. You most likely use it every single day. And not just you. Employees and maybe even clients or customer depend on it, too.
It won’t surprise you to learn that experts rank your business router as critical. In fact, CIO reports that having quick and dependable Wi-Fi service is essential to the daily operations of your business.
Correctly setting up and maintaining a business router is extremely important. But there are several (totally avoidable) mistakes small businesses often make when setting up Wi-Fi routers.
Don’t overload your router
It’s easy to make the mistake of starting with a standard router and then overloading it as your business grows. Even a small business will likely have several computers, mobile devices and printers.
According to Chron, your business router is likely overloaded if you’re experiencing slow downloads and internet connections. This will decrease efficiency as well as frustrate employees and customers.
It’s better to choose a business-class router that can support your business as it grows than just putting up with an overloaded connection.
Always make security a priority
There are several steps you should take to make sure your Wi-Fi is as secure as possible. Less-expensive routers may not have a built-in firewall. It’s essential to invest in a business router that already has security devices built in.
A Wi-Fi network should also be hidden and encrypted. For example, you can set up a wireless router so it won’t broadcast the Service Set Identifier.
As important as firewalls and software are in your security plan, they’re only part of the picture. It’s necessary to have passwords for anyone using the Wi-Fi. You should never let random users in without one.
Make sure your access points are correctly located
Unless your business is located in an extremely small area with only a few users, you’ll need multiple access points.
Wi-Fi access points must be physically placed in the best locations for optimum results. Walls and furniture can weaken or completely block a signal. Access points that are located higher on walls or even near the ceiling normally face fewer obstructions.
Not only should your access points be appropriately placed but you need to make sure you have several places of access.
Even if you’re operating a small business with less than 10 employees, each employee may have several devices needing Wi-Fi connection. You need your Wi-Fi running efficiently at all times so you can focus on your business.
Don’t use a default channel
This can cause interference that affects the performance of the network. We recommend changing the channel during the initial setup of your business router.
The ideal situation is a Wi-Fi channel that’s completely unique. In other words, one that no one else nearby is using. Of course, that’s often not possible, so a channel with lower traffic is the goal.
When a lot of networks are using the same channel, there’s often more difficulty with performance and speed.
Don’t underestimate the costs
Most small businesses operate on a limited budget. (Like we have to tell you that!) Keeping business, even a small business, running efficiently sometimes requires a significant initial investment.
When budgeting for items such as a business router, it may be tempting to go with the cheapest available options. But your business router is definitely not a piece of equipment where you want to cut corners.
Cheaper options might save money in the short term but will cost your business down the road. The frustration alone is a hassle. But if you lose customers or revenue, modest budgetary savings are hardly worth it.
Don’t skimp on the equipment itself, or on the setup. The best possible scenario is to talk to your managed IT services provider (MSP). Most MSPs can handle a business router setup with ease.
In fact, the same goes for everything from managing cloud services to general IT maintenance. You don’t have to break the bank to get quality IT support, but you do get what you pay for. Make sure you’re investing in every aspect of your business network so that you and your employees are setup for success.