Wi-Fi is commonly explained as Wireless Fidelity; essentially it is wireless internet. Wi-Fi connects you to your network using radio frequency signals transmitted through a wireless adapter instead of a data cable. The reliability of your WI-Fi is dependent on the strength of your signal and there are many things that can affect your signal.
Wi-Fi is extremely beneficial when you have visitors to your office who have a laptop, tablet, or mobile that need to utilise a strong, secure signal. Another key reason that Wi-Fi is essential is its use in business collaboration; such as when you need to use AV equipment such as video conferencing or screen sharing on a TV for presentation purposes.
Strong Wi-Fi connectivity means an increase in:
Team Collaboration – Flexible working - Productivity – Profitability – Efficiency – Happy Staff and Visitors
What are the Advantages of Business Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is essential for internal use as it can increase business productivity and enhance business collaboration by the following:
- No desk restrictions – your staff can pick their laptop or device up and move to another desk or perhaps a conference room and still remain connected. Ultimately, it means they aren’t tethered to one location when their job could take them all over the office.
- Increase Team Collaboration – a huge benefit if teams can take their work to a colleague to work on a project but still be able to access key business information.
- Operate Collaboration tools – such as the ability to connect to AV technology to present presentations to internal or external people.
- Simple Infrastructure – you are no longer dictated to by wires and cables when your business grows of when you have an influx of visitors.
What is a Public Wi-Fi network?
Public Wi-Fi network is essentially opening your wi-fi network to the public so that everyone can access it. A Public Wi-Fi network is ideal if you have a physical location where visitors will be spending time such as a hotel, store or restaurant.
There are of course, security risks to consider which is why as a key rule you should keep all business operations on a separate network specifically for internal users.
Despite some risks, owning a Public Wi-Fi network can be hugely beneficial, for the following reasons:
- Marketing – you can have a fixed log-in page, where for users to obtain free Wi-Fi, they need to supply their emails and naturally be exposed to your promotional messages on the page.
- Increase footfall – if you advertise that you offer free Wi-Fi, that can be a huge draw for potential customers, especially, if they are looking to meet a business colleague.
- Increase repeat purchases – some people just need to sit down or burn time, so they’ll turn to their devices. If they can freely access your Wi-Fi, they may spend longer because they are more comfortable, which in turn can increase further purchases.
What is Mobile Wi-Fi?
Mobile Wi-Fi is where you can make your mobile, a Wi-Fi hot spot.
A mobile hot spot allows other devices to utilise your data allowance to access documents which may be in the cloud, browse the internet or just generally carry out their job without needing to use a public network, connect via a cable or be in an office.
It is quite common occurrence and many mobile networks allow for this in data plans that they offer.
This can be particularly advantageous if you have travelling workers because it can:
- Increase your productivity, external to the office – whether your staff are travelling on a train, or attending a meeting at a customer’s office, they’ll be able to access your network and continue to work or process orders.
- Increase security – open Wi-Fi networks are frequented by hackers as quick-wins, by using their own mobile hot spot; your data is protected.
- Use other devices, securely – sometimes a mobile device is too small, so a tablet (or laptop) is a better solution but you need to connect to the internet; a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot allows you to do this and not be restricted by device.
How secure is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi security is a key concern for businesses and it should be but you shouldn’t reject the idea of going wireless when there are things that can be put in place to minimise your risk.
One of the simple security measures we can do is install a wireless Local Area Network (LAN), which will require a pass code, so only approved members of staff will be able to access the connection.
As far as Wi-Fi security, specifically, we utilise the following products which mean that you have a strong and resilient network:
- Policy Enforcement Firewall – with deep packet inspection to ensure that each connection and user session is secure. Unlike traditional firewalls, our next-gen mobility firewall is aware of user roles, device types and app flows.
- Wireless Intrusion Protection – throughout your network to prevent denial-of-service, man-in-the-middle and other security threats. There is no need to separate RF sensors and security appliances.
- Policy Management – identifies all devices and users so that if an unknown device tries to connect, it is rejected and you are notified.