Wireless Networking: The Basics

What Wireless Can and Can't Do for My Business?

Learn the functions of wireless networking and how it can fit into your existing setup (1:48 min)

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What Wireless Can and Can't Do for My Business?

Learn the functions of wireless networking and how it can fit into your existing setup (1:48 min)

Wireless Networking: Getting Started

Wireless networking is an essential productivity tool for today's mobile workforce. With wireless networking, you and your employees can stay connected to your company's information resources virtually anytime, anywhere.

Ready to get started with wireless networking? Begin by familiarizing yourself with the basics and benefits of having a wireless network.

Next, consider the following steps:

1. Make Sure Your PCs Are Wireless

Most laptops today have built-in wireless networking connections. If yours doesn't, you'll need to install a wireless network adapter card, which is typically inexpensive and easy to use.

2. Get a Router Capable of Wireless Networking

Many network routers today act as wireless networking access points. They let you connect multiple computers to a single wireless network. And they connect your network to the Internet.

You can extend wireless networking throughout your office, store, or campus by placing additional wireless access points in various locations. The additional access points extend the wireless signal's range and strength over a wider geographical area, so that it's available in more places, such as conference rooms.

3. Pay Attention to Location

The signal generated from each wireless access point or router extends up to approximately 300 feet. Walls, metal (such as in elevator shafts) and floors can negatively affect range. And the wireless signal's strength weakens the longer it has to travel. For best results, space out your access points and position them in central areas. Tip: Access points can provide stronger signals when installed on or near ceilings.

4. Don't Overshare Access Point

For best results, don't share any single wireless access point with more than 20 users. Typically, the more users sharing an access point, the slower the wireless network can become. If your business network supports a voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Unified Communications system, limit each access point to 8-12 users. This will prevent potential degradation in voice quality.

5. Secure Your Network

Security is vital to wireless networking. Some security methods to consider for your network include:

  • Data encryption, so only authorized users can access information over your wireless network
  • User authentication, which identifies computers trying to access the network
  • Secure access for visitors and guests
  • Control systems, which protect the laptops and other devices that use the network.

Next:

Learn about Cisco Wireless solutions

Previous:

What is a Wireless Network?

Five Reasons to Go Wireless

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