Traditionally, businesses have favored a wired infrastructure at their business premises. The promise of a secure, reliable, and speedy network has swayed business owners to choose wired over wireless. But times have changed, and businesses who are willing to commit to a wi-fi network can enjoy a host of benefits to stay ahead of the competition. From enhanced collaboration across teams to easier access to documents and emails, a wi-fi installation isn’t just an option – it’s a top priority.
Are you wondering how to set up a wireless infrastructure at your work premises or another commercial property? You may have heard that a wireless internet installation in a commercial environment can be more challenging than setting one up in a private residence — after all, there’s a much larger area to consider, along with a far greater number of connected devices. But let’s take a close look at how you can achieve excellent connectivity and a seamless installation in premises of all shapes and sizes.
What is wifi installation?
Wifi installation is the process of designing, deploying, and configuring a wireless network across your business premises. Every computer, printer, scanner, or any other hardware device can be looped in to connect to your wireless network, and this is an entirely scalable infrastructure. Whether your business grows or shrinks, your wireless network will be there as the backbone of your operations, ready to support your technology needs.
This process begins with designing your wifi installation, which can be done in several ways, depending on the size of the area to be covered and the number of users that need to connect to the network. A successful wifi installation will take into account factors such as:
- The type of building (e.g., office block, warehouse, or standalone premises)
- The number of wireless devices that need to connect
- The level of usage (e.g., light, moderate, or heavy)
- Your budget
- Any potential obstacles to the wifi signal (e.g., thick walls or metal reinforcement)
All of these considerations will ensure your wifi design will support your business and deliver results for your clients and customers. You can expect the finished result to be highly responsive, meaning productivity will soar across your organization. But the benefits don’t stop there? You’ll also improve customer service by responding to queries quickly without any lags to hold up your tasks. Your finished wifi installation also has the potential to provide wifi access for guests and business partners as an added convenience for visiting personnel.
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How does wireless internet work?
Wireless internet is simply the process of connecting to the internet without the need for cumbersome cables. Historically, we’ve been tethered to wires to stay connected to the devices that support our business. But now, we can rely on data that is transmitted via radio waves.
These radio waves are sent via frequencies of either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz between your device and a router. Hertz is the measurement used for frequency, with 1 hertz (Hz) equaling one wave per second. Therefore, one gigahertz (GHz) is equal to one billion waves per second. When calculating frequency, the higher the frequency is, the greater the volume of data that can be transmitted per second.
To send data wirelessly, a computer user accesses the internet on their device, which converts your request into binary code, made up of 0s and 1s. In wireless transmission, the binary code is translated into wave frequencies using the Wi-Fi chip in your device and then travels to the Wi-Fi router your device is paired with. Next, the router converts the frequencies into binary and translates the code into the Internet request you made. The router will receive your data through a hardwired Ethernet cable, convert the wifi signal from your internet modem, and beam it around the premises.
Any wifi devices within range of the router’s wireless signal can connect to the internet. This includes mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more.
Note: your internet service provider (ISP) may provide you with a free wireless router, but be aware it may not be sufficient for your needs. Alternatively, you may prefer to purchase a new router and upgrade to a more robust design for excellent network connectivity.
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What are the benefits of wireless internet?
Wireless internet is one of the best decisions you can make to future-proof your company and keep up with the changing pace of technology. Is it an investment? Yes. While a wifi installation will require an upfront cost, it’s also a highly cost-effective option that will increase productivity and shave money off other business expenses.
There are plenty of reasons to opt for wireless internet, especially in a commercial setting. Some of the key benefits include:
- Increased mobility – users can access the internet from anywhere within range of the router’s signal.
- Reduced clutter – there’s no need for messy Ethernet cables.
- Easy to scale – adding extra users is straightforward as the needs of your business change. Equally, if you need to downsize as more of your employees switch to remote working, this is just as straightforward.
- Excellent connectivity – Staff won’t lose connection when they switch to roaming
- Enhanced collaboration – your team members will all have excellent access to documents, emails, and other shared resources
- Cost-effective – you’ll only pay for what you need.
- Improved health and safety – fewer wires will be trip hazards in your workplace.
- Highly flexible – if you’re happy with your current wired network, you can add a wireless infrastructure as an add-on service for visiting guests or customers.
How does wifi installation work?
Your wifi installation will be designed, deployed, and configured to match the specific needs of your business. This means every wireless setup project is entirely unique. A tried-and-tested approach to a successful wifi installation begins with a comprehensive site survey. This will involve an engineer visiting the premises and thoroughly assessing your property.
A site survey will take a look at:
- the size of the area
- the number of devices that need to connect
- any potential obstacles to the signal.
From here, a bespoke wifi solution will be designed that meets the specific needs of your business.
The design of your wifi installation also involves selecting the right equipment and placing it in strategic locations around your premises to ensure excellent connectivity for all users. Your installation provider must work closely with your company to better understand your current requirements, pain points, and plans for the future. The final design will reflect your organizational goals.
With the equipment installed, the next step is to configure it to work with your existing network infrastructure. Comprehensive user training is also a must so everyone in your business knows how to make the most of the new system.
How long does wifi installation take?
A quick and efficient installation means minimal disruption to your business. But as with any type of networking, your wifi installation project is unique in terms of man-hours, and labor costs. Each building is different, and the size and complexity of the project will significantly impact the timeframe. In most cases, a wifi installation project takes just a few days, but this is always something you should discuss with your provider beforehand, especially if you have a firm deadline in mind.
Often, the installation phase of your project is relatively quick, and possible delays may be related to ISP issues.
Example: If your business is moving to a brand-new office building that hasn’t previously been connected to the internet, the installation process may take slightly longer. This is because your provider will need to work with the building’s owner or manager to get the necessary approvals and permissions in place before beginning work. You may also need to wait for FTTP (fiber to the premises) or FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) to be installed before connecting to the internet.
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How much does wifi installation cost?
Of course, budget is a top priority for businesses considering a wifi installation project. The cost of a project often comes down to three main factors:
- Cost of equipment and materials
- Cost of labor, which depends on how long the installation takes
- Ongoing monthly costs once you’re setup and running
Wifi installation price
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to provide average numbers about the wifi installation price, as each project is different. A small office building with only a handful of devices will cost less than a large warehouse that needs to connect hundreds of devices.
But of course, budget is a significant consideration for businesses, so it’s advisable to work with a company that provides quotes with a transparent breakdown of the labor, materials, and service you’re paying for as part of your wifi installation project.
Always speak to a reputable professional installer to receive your wireless installation estimate. Some providers may advertise that they’ll offer an upfront quote over the phone, which may be tempting if you’re looking for a quick estimate to check if it fits your budget.
However, you’ll receive a more comprehensive report from professional wifi installers who are willing to visit your site in person to conduct a full survey. This is the best way to obtain an accurate quote for your installation project. The assessment will consider the needs of your business and any challenges within the scope of your project.
An in-person estimate also gives you a chance for a comprehensive discussion about your installation and addresses any concerns you might have. But most importantly, you won’t end up with an underestimate on your project and unexpected costs added to your invoice later!
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Wifi installation equipment
So what equipment do you need for a wireless internet installation? Let’s take a look at the essentials for your wifi project.
- Internet connection – in most cases, a fiber-optic network will be the fastest and most reliable solution for your business premises.
- Ethernet cable – to connect your router to the internet
- Wireless router – your wireless router is a device that connects the internet to other devices within your internal network.
- Wireless networking card – your hardware devices, such as desktops must be equipped with cards to use wifi.
Now, let’s take a look at how these essential components work together to provide the convenience of wireless internet access across your business premises.
To connect to the internet wirelessly, your wireless router will connect to your modem. This device then receives data from the internet via an Ethernet cable and broadcasts it around the premises using radio waves.
If you want to connect multiple separate devices to the internet, you’ll need a router for each one. However, connecting devices wirelessly to a single router is also possible. This is handy if you want to create a local area network (LAN) of devices, such as laptops and printers.
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Wifi installation devices
The number of wifi installation devices required for your building will depend on the project’s size, scope, and topology. In a smaller installation, you might expect a handful of employees within a small business to connect any of the following devices to your wifi: desktop, tablet, mobile phone, and laptop.
Additionally, any shared hardware, including scanners and printers, will be linked to the wireless network, along with critical IT servers. In larger business premises with multiple floors or zones, the number of connected devices increases significantly, with the potential for extra routers to ensure an excellent signal throughout your building. If you’re not sure about the equipment you need, a reputable wifi installation provider will be able to advise you on the best devices and the most suitable way to connect your devices during the site survey.
Wifi router installation
As we’ve seen, a wifi router is an essential component in your wireless infrastructure. This device connects to the internet via Ethernet and then broadcasts the signal around your building. But what’s the optimal position for your wifi router?
Ideally, your wifi router should be placed in a central location. This will ensure the signal is evenly distributed around the premises. However, there are a few other factors to consider when positioning your router.
- Avoid placing your wifi router near a window – the strongest broadcasting signal will be sent straight outside.
- Place your wifi router near open doors – this ensures the signal is distributed to other areas of your building.
- Avoid placing your router near thick walls – these absorb the signal and impact the quality of the wireless connection.
- Avoid placing your router near fish tanks and mirrors – office environments incorporating these popular interior design features should position the router away from these obstructions. Water negatively affects the wireless signal, while mirrors also cause radio waves to scatter and distort, which again will disrupt the internet signal.
- Avoid placing your router on the ground – much like positioning your router near the thick walls, locating this vital hardware on the floor will cause the strongest signal output to be absorbed into the ground beneath.
So, where should you position your router? The optimal location will be pinpointed during your wireless installation site assessment. This will usually be in an open area, but it’s possible to experiment with various positioning options to find the best solution. As with all installation projects, this will depend on the setup and requirements of your specific business premises.
Wifi extender installation
In certain installations, you may need to add a wifi extender to ensure your signal is strong throughout your entire building. Any dips in signal can impact business productivity and be frustrating for your employees and site visitors. So, a wifi extender is a piece of hardware that amplifies the signal from the router all around your building. This improves the range and coverage in a particular area.
How does this look in a real-life wireless installation? Let’s say you expect a large number of connected devices at your business premises. Alternatively, maybe you have obstacles that block the signal (such as thick walls). In both situations, a wifi extender can be a helpful addition as it boosts the quality of your wireless signal around your premises.
And there’s no need to stop at one wifi extender. If your wifi network needs to span multiple floors of an office block, it’s possible to install multiple extenders to ensure even coverage throughout.
Wifi installation steps
Following the survey of your premises, and once you’ve chosen the most suitable equipment, it’s time for your wifi installation project to commence.
- This will begin with Ethernet cables running from each device, such as a router, that needs to connect to the internet.
- Once the equipment is in place, it’s time to plug in the power cable for your wireless router and wait 30 to 60 seconds to check it’s functioning as expected.
- The next step is to set a unique name and password for your wireless network. This stops it from being accessed or compromised by anyone externally. Commonly, your router’s default IP address will be 184.108.40.206 or similar.
- With the correct IP address typed into the web browser bar, you can sign into the router as an admin, give your network a new Network Name, set an encryption option, and choose a strong password.
- Finally, you’ll connect your devices to the new wifi network, which is possible by searching for nearby wifi networks and then adding the necessary credentials.
Your engineers will check your network to ensure it’s working as expected. It’s also handy for your team to receive comprehensive training to ensure you know how to use the new network.
Ongoing wifi support
Once your wifi installation is complete, ongoing support gives you peace of mind in case you have any questions or if any minor issues need to be resolved.
Along with troubleshooting, you may also wish to expand your network in the future as your business grows. One of the great benefits of wireless internet is that it’s entirely scalable, so it’s straightforward to add new devices to your network as and when required. It’s easy to learn how to connect new hardware when your business needs change but ongoing wifi support will also ensure help is at hand if you need it. This may be offered as part of your installation quote, or you may opt to pay an ongoing monthly fee.
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Wireless wifi installation
The success of your wifi installation will be in part based on using quality brands and enterprise materials. Businesses rely on their wireless internet installation to improve productivity and drive performance and results for their organization. Of course, with such a breadth of hardware solutions in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the components for your network that will offer you an exceptional wireless service. Some recommendations include:
Installation wifi Ubiquiti
Ubiquiti Networks is a leading brand commonly used in wifi installations. Their products are reliable and easy to use, and they offer great value for money. The UniFi system is a particular favorite, as it offers comprehensive management of your wireless network from a single location.
There are also a range of Ubiquiti models available to match your requirements and budget, all offered with a sleek design and both excellent ease of deployment and usability.
Ubiquiti also offers a UniFi Controller, which is excellent from a performance perspective. Use it to obtain a clear visual overview of your wireless network’s general health and ability to manage system traffic. You’ll always have access to the latest system insights so you can stay in control and make the most of your wireless installation.
Mesh wifi Unifi installation
Mesh wifi is a type of wireless network that uses multiple access points to provide coverage. This is different from a traditional wifi network, which uses a single router to broadcast the signal.
Mesh wifi systems are becoming increasingly popular, as they’re much more resilient and can provide better coverage in large or difficult-to-reach areas. If you’re looking for a wifi solution for large premises or a difficult-to-wire area, mesh wifi could be the ideal option.
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Where to install wifi
Wireless internet is appropriate for any business, regardless of size or industry. Whether you’re a small business operating from a single office unit, or a large corporation based in a multi-story property, wireless networks are an excellent option for you. In fact, they’re typically used across a wide range of environments, including:
- Retail stores
- Healthcare buildings
- Government buildings
- Technology companies
- Education facilities
- Construction sites
- Manufacturing plants
- Cannabis sites
- Hospitality premises
But even businesses within the same industry may require markedly different approaches to their wifi installation project.
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Wifi installation for industrial facility
If you’re installing wifi in an industrial facility, the first consideration will be the increased size of the premises. This will impact the number and type of wifi installation devices required.
For example, you may need to install multiple routers or extenders in optimal positions to ensure that the signal can reach all corners of the premises. The internet service offered by your ISP should be considered here to check it’s adequate for serving your site. It may be advisable to upgrade to a fiber-optic network installation for a more reliable wireless service.
Another consideration for industrial wifi installations is the type of equipment and machinery that will be connecting to the network. In some cases, you may need to install specialized devices that can withstand harsh conditions.
Wifi installation for home
Wireless internet is a useful addition to the smart home office environment for businesses with remote employees. This will give them the same reliable, high-speed internet connection they would have in the office.
Installing a wireless network in your home office is a simple process so long as your team members have an internet connection. In most cases, a small home wifi router can be installed to provide coverage for a few devices. However, if you have a large property or multiple floors, you may need additional equipment for your home network.
It’s worthwhile providing your employees with full guidance on how to ensure the best possible wireless service in their home environment. This may mean positioning the router in a central location where it’s not obscured by desks, sofas, or any other home furniture. Once the installation is complete, the final step is to test the broadband network to ensure the wifi connection is working as expected.
Commercial wifi installation
There’s an art to commercial wifi installation in any type of environment or industry and a top consideration will be setting up your network with minimal disruption to your ongoing business operations. During business hours, this means working quickly and efficiently to get the job done, or if you prefer a more seamless experience, the project may need to take place over the weekend or at any other time when you’re closed for business.
With this in mind, it’s essential you work with contractors who can tailor the project and service to your specific needs. Get in touch with The Network Installers today to explore commercial wifi installation options for your business.