Wireless internet is immensely popular and something that all businesses should consider installing no matter what the industry. The reason is simple: there are many advantages that wireless internet brings to the table in comparison to traditional wired networks.
For one thing, WiFi internet means there are few (if any) cables to contend with. Users can work with more freedom on any compatible device within range of the signal. This provides significant productivity and flexibility benefits to your organization.
But WiFi is also more affordable to install than wired networks and can be up and running quicker — often within minutes after the configuration of a WiFi router.
If you operate a business and want to discover the benefits and average costs of wireless internet installation, read on to find out more.
What costs are included in a traditional LAN network?
The costs to set up a traditional wired LAN can vary. A basic network may only include a limited amount of equipment and will be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, larger offices and multi-site buildings will cost considerably more.
The key reason is that there are several hardware components with a wired network. Aside from the abundance of lengthy RJ45 ethernet cabling that you will likely need, there may be other devices to install as well, such as modems, hubs, and switches.
Generally speaking, the more complex the network topology, the more devices, equipment, and subsequent costs will be.
How much does WiFi installation cost to set up?
In contrast to a wired network, WiFi is more affordable and provides greater flexibility. But there are still several costs to consider:
The minimum equipment you need is a WiFi router, usually retailing between $75 and $250, depending on the model. A modem may also be necessary and typically costs between $50 and $100. These items should be available from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), although you can purchase your own. Often, ISPs will rent you a router and modem for $10 to $15 a month.
In more complex installations, additional equipment may be necessary, such as extra wireless access points, WiFi extenders to boost the signal, and indoor and outdoor aerials.
Internet access in commercial environments often needs greater security than residential, so there may be requirements for other equipment like a hardware firewall. And if the WiFi installation is to form part of a wider cabled LAN, this can also increase the cost.
Most ISPs operate on a monthly subscription pricing model. Usually, you will be required to enter into a fixed-term contract, often between 12 and 24 months. The average cost for a 25 Mbps+ fiber broadband service is around $60 per month. The longer you tie into a contract, usually the lower your monthly bill will be.
The actual cost depends on factors like your connection type (e.g. fiber, cable, DSL, satellite), the download speed, location, and if you have any data caps.
Choosing a slower connection on DSL or cable as opposed to fiber can help you to save money. If you are unsure what speed to choose, start slower. This way, you can always upgrade if you need a faster service.
The cost of labor will vary depending on the scale and location of your wireless installation. Smaller WiFi networks are invariably cheaper than large enterprise-level installations. Any physical challenges to overcome will also increase the cost.
A typical small wireless network may cost just a few hundred dollars. In contrast, larger networks can cost more than a thousand dollars.
Be sure to factor in the electrical costs to run equipment and keep your WiFi internet working. A standard WiFi router consumes around 6 watts and costs a few cents each day to operate. Larger wireless networks with several access points and extenders will understandably consume a greater amount of electricity.
If your WiFi signal requires upgrading at any point, such as due to business expansion, then there may be additional costs in the future. The cost to replace key equipment, such as a modem or router, is also something to consider.
A maintenance agreement is often charged monthly and includes the regular upkeep of equipment and software to ensure your WiFi network remains in good working order. This is another cost to be aware of when looking to install WiFi.
What’s the cheapest way to get WiFi?
If your business already has a wired internet connection and you are unsure whether you actually need WiFi, there are some affordable ways to test the water.
The most cost-effective way is to invest in a WiFi router and then plug this into your existing wired LAN. Routers are widely available online and in physical stores. This option will require you to have some basic technical knowledge.
Another approach is to consider switching your internet provider. There may be significant savings to be had at another ISP. Be sure to research the figures before making the move and be aware of any setup fees.
How much does it cost to get broadband installed?
The cost to have broadband installed in new premises will depend on the type of connection, the speed, your location, and the ISP you select.
A DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection that utilizes your existing telephone line will be significantly cheaper than faster connections, such as fiber.
Another tip: there will nearly always be a one-off installation fee to install broadband. Always check which fees may apply depending on the plan you choose.
Arrange a cost-effective WiFi consultation
WiFi installation can be worthwhile for small and large businesses in a variety of industry sectors. Not only does it empower your staff to work in more innovative and productive ways, but it is also faster to set up and cheaper to install than a traditional wired network.
Get in touch with The Network Installers to learn exactly how much wireless installation costs and see how wireless internet can transform your organization today.