Installing wireless internet access within your business can transform the way your coworkers operate. Most notably, it allows employees to work more freely, efficiently, and productively — helping to boost your bottom line.
Data released from the GSM Association in their annual Mobile Economy report highlights the productivity and efficiency gains that organizations and economies have achieved globally due to an uptake in wireless internet.
Businesses of all sizes and sectors can gain many advantages from WiFi installation. Read on to find out more about the equipment required to set up a fast and stable wireless internet connection.
What is wireless installation?
Wireless installation is simply the process of setting up and configuring equipment and software to establish a working WiFi network. If you already have a wired internet connection, WiFi can expand the functionality of your network and allow you to work in more innovative and productive ways.
But if you have recently moved into a new property and need an internet connection quickly, wireless connectivity is often the simplest and more cost-effective method. The process is relatively simple and involves connecting a WiFi router that will broadcast wireless signals to any devices you wish to connect.
Additional equipment, such as extra wireless access points and WiFi extenders may be necessary, depending on the size and layout of your building.
What equipment is needed to set up WiFi
The equipment needed to set up WiFi in your business or home office will vary depending on the nature of your installation. Below, we outline this in further detail:
● The core hardware consists of a WiFi router, modem, and ethernet cabling (e.g. Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable). This is the minimum equipment required to set up a wireless network. It is usually possible to rent these items from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Alternatively, you can purchase them outright at a local or online store.
● For more complex installations, you might need an outdoor wireless router, WiFi extenders, or mesh nodes to expand the signal range.
● Mounting hardware may be required if you need to attach wireless access points to a wall or rooftop. Examples include a wall mounting kit and bracket for indoor use, and a chimney mount kit or a steel mast for outdoor use.
● Hand and power tools, while not always necessary, can make installation far easier. A hammer drill, screwdriver, edge cutter, cable stripper, and RJ-45 crimper can be useful. Consumables like masonry screws, zip ties, and hose clamps might also help.
● Wireless cards and wireless USB adapters can be required if your devices are not pre-configured as WiFi-compatible. Older laptops and desktop computers typically need a WiFi adapter to connect to wireless internet.
● In the case of a DSL setup that utilizes your standard telephone line, phone microfilters are often needed. These separate voice calls from internet traffic so you can use the internet without any impact on inbound or outbound calls.
● A surge protector can be convenient to safeguard your electrical devices from sudden power surges. As well as being inexpensive, they can also help to protect against damaged and faulty wiring and electrical surges caused by lightning.
● Other equipment may also be necessary, such as excavation equipment, if you need to install an internet connection to your building from scratch.
How can I install WiFi in my building?
WiFi installation is relatively straightforward, but there are several key steps to follow. These are outlined briefly below:
Gather all equipment together
The first step is to ensure you have all the necessary equipment to hand. This includes the WiFi router, modem, power cables, ethernet cables, and anything else required for installation.
Plug in the WiFi router and modem
Plug the WiFi router into a power socket and then connect this to your modem using an ethernet cable. In some cases, your WiFi router can be connected directly to a telephone wall socket.
Configure router settings
Connect a laptop or desktop computer to the router using an ethernet cable. Log in to the router by typing in the default IP address using a web browser. Alternatively, use the supplied software.
Set up a WiFi network
After accessing the router configuration panel, follow the instructions to set up a new WiFi network. This involves choosing a name and password for the network.
Test the connectivity
Use several devices to test the connectivity of the WiFi network. Attempt to connect to the signal from different areas of the building. Perform speed tests to gauge the performance.
If you find WiFi installation too complex, consider hiring a professional wireless internet installer.
Who provides WiFi installation equipment?
WiFi installation equipment is available from three main sources: your phone and internet service providers or ISP, WiFi installation companies, and via a range of specialist retail providers.
For basic wireless internet installations, your ISP is likely able to supply a suitable WiFi router, a modem, and any other associated equipment. But if you have a larger building requiring a more complex installation, it is often best to use the services of a specialist who can source the best devices for the task.
If you have the required technical knowledge, it is also possible to source the equipment online or at a physical store.
How much does WiFi installation cost?
The cost of wireless installation depends on several factors, including the size and layout of the building, the required signal strength, and whether there are any physical obstacles to overcome. Smaller premises may only require a basic WiFi setup. This is often very similar to what would be required for a typical residential home or apartment.
To reach an outbuilding or external area, WiFi extenders may be needed to boost the signal. This can also increase the cost somewhat. Generally, the greater the distance to an outbuilding, the higher the cost usually is. When considering Distributed Antenna System (DAS) installation, professional consultation is advisable for optimal signal coverage and cost-effective solutions.
Having said that, WiFi installation is relatively cost-effective overall, especially compared to wired networks that require lengthy cables.
Get started with your WiFi installation
Wireless internet installation provides many benefits whether you are a small micro-business or a large enterprise with extensive premises. To begin the process to install WiFi in your business or home office, get in touch with The Network Installers for a quote and consultation.