Wi-Fi is a simple and convenient way to get your business connected online, but it’s definitely not a fool-proof way to get on the internet. Wi-Fi can, and often does, have a few issues that can have a serious impact on the smooth running of your business. If you’re having issues with your organisation’s Wi-Fi—or you’d like to prevent problems before they appear—use these tips to improve your connection.
Improve Your Wi-Fi
If your Wi-Fi connection is poorly configured, or overloaded with users, it can result in a poor connection that doesn’t provide adequate bandwidth, or is constantly dropping. However, the reason for the problem isn’t always immediately obvious, especially to a layperson. These simple solutions can help you resolve common problems, or bolster your Wi-Fi to give you a more robust internet connection.
Make your connection more reliable
A good Wi-Fi connection isn’t only fast, it’s also stable. If your business’s Wi-Fi is constantly dropping, or you experience random outages, there may be circumstances beyond your control that are contributing to the problem. When this is the case, consider adding a backup service so that you’ve got a connection to fall back on if your primary Wi-Fi fails.
If your coverage is spotty
Sometimes, Wi-Fi problems are exacerbated by the physical limitations of the network, or the space in which its located. If there are parts of the office that aren’t receiving strong Wi-Fi signals, a simple fix might be to install repeaters in those locations.
In some cases, Wi-Fi problems are down to simple compatibility issues, where one or more devices just doesn’t work well with the connection you’ve got. Sometimes, it’s because there are too many devices trying to connect in a given area; sometimes, it’s just a firmware issue that prevents the device from communicating with the system effectively.
These aren’t necessarily easy problems to fix, especially for small businesses that don’t have a dedicated IT department with the time to work on solutions. In cases where the problem is due to a system upgrade, it makes sense to keep the old network running in tandem with the new one, while the kinks are worked out.
Offering free public Wi-Fi to your customers can be highly beneficial, but there are downsides, particularly when a small handful of users abuse your generosity. However, there are a few quick changes you can make to ensure your public Wi-Fi doesn’t negatively impact your business connection.
- Alter the public Wi-Fi parameters: set a limit on how long an individual can access your public Wi-Fi connection, and/or designate specific hours in which your free Wi-Fi is available.
- Protect your business’s bandwidth: Split off your public Wi-Fi from your business-critical connection, and cap the amount of bandwidth available on the public connection. This ensures your business always has plenty of bandwidth to spare.
- Set content filters: If you want to maintain your business’s family-friendly reputation, or you just want to prevent users from streaming video, you can set content filters on the public Wi-Fi so that certain websites are inaccessible.
Enhance Your Security
Most small and medium businesses don’t have the resources to maintain a dedicated IT department. This means that crucial factors such as internet security are often overlooked. However, an unsecured Wi-Fi network is a big security risk, so it’s important for even the smallest businesses to take steps to secure their Wi-Fi connection. Here are some quick, simple ways to boost security.
- Make sure your router is physically secure. It should be held in a safe location, and access should be restricted. Ideally, a locked cabinet or office is the best place to ensure that it’s secure around the clock.
- Set a strong password. Many small business owners forget to change the default login information on their router, leaving their Wi-Fi connection highly vulnerable. If this is something you’ve overlooked, fix it immediately by setting a strong password on your router. And make sure that it stays “need-to-know” information.
- Change the network name. While you’re changing the password, change the name of the network, too. There’s no need to advertise what kind of router and connection you’re using—making this information available only makes your connection more vulnerable.
- Use WPA2. Make sure you’re using WPA2 encryption—it’s not the default on all routers. If you don’t have this option it means your router is an older model and should be upgraded.
- Disable WPS. This is Wi-Fi protected setup, a setting that makes it easier to pair a device with an encrypted connection. This is exactly the opposite of what you want, to be sure to turn this setting off.
- Stay up-to-date. Make a point of checking every quarter for firmware and software updates to your router. These are released to fix specific vulnerabilities, and are a must-have to ensure security.