An unreliable Wi-Fi connection can mean big hassles for small businesses.
There’s nothing more enjoyable than asking your biggest client to continually repeat themselves during a video conference because your glitchy connection has turned them into sputtering robots. Even more fun: Spending your entire lunch watching a progress bar inch along as you send a large PowerPoint deck because coworker Jerry is downloading a movie off BitTorrent.
You probably picked up on the sarcasm of that first paragraph...unless you’re an SME with bad Wi-Fi, in which case, you still may be struggling to open this page. (It finally opened? Great! Welcome!) The thing is, Wi-Fi is no longer a perk you offer your employees or customers. It’s a requirement. Not only that, it’s expected to run great. A slow or unreliable wireless connection or network isn’t just an annoyance, it’s bad for business. It leads to less productivity and lost revenue. A study by Sandisk revealed the average employee wastes one week per year waiting for their network to respond. Now multiply that week by the number of employees you have. Scary, right?
Here are some telltale signs that it’s time to give your office Wi-Fi an upgrade:
The numbers add up...too quickly
A lot of small businesses think they can get by with consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers, which are made for the average U.S. family...that’s 2.6 people. Chances are your business has more people than that. On top of that, you may plan to add more employees as your business grows. But there’s more at play than just people. Consider the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture in the workplace, and that each employee is probably working three devices at a time...running a multitude of applications all at once. That’s asking a lot of your current routers.
It’s showing signs of stress
The symptoms of an overworked Wi-Fi are often excruciatingly, infuriatingly obvious. Skype meeting freeze-ups. Large files and software upgrades that take eons to upload or download. System lockups for No. Discernable. Reason. These are sure signs that your company’s bandwidth demands are more than your current wireless router can handle.
It’s letting its guard down
Seemingly every day, new cybersecurity threats arise, some of which are directed at routers. If yours is more than a couple of years old, security updates may no longer be available for it, leaving you vulnerable to attack. With updated Wi-Fi, you can upgrade your protections with new wireless security enhancements, such as WPA2. You would also be able to add the latest UTM and firewall hardware, which keep your employees from torrenting or accessing illegal sites. (I’m looking at you, Jerry.)
The only part of “automatic failover” your router knows is “fail”
Is continued connectivity important to your company? Like most businesses, the ones that like to stay operational anyway, we’ll assume the answer is, “Yes, please.” Then you need a router that provides a backup plan when there’s a fixed-line outage. New Dual WAN routers offer two ISP connections, so when one Internet connection fails, the other one automatically takes over, keeping your network (and your business) up and running.
The need to make your Wi-Fi faster, boost your Wi-Fi signal or find other Wi-Fi solutions isn’t limited to the office. If your business sees a lot of guests or customers coming and going, you’ll need a managed Wi-Fi service, and RCN Business can help. Contact us today and ask about our guest access solution, designed to provide visitors with wireless access while protecting the security of your own employee network.