Thinking about offering your guests wifi access at your business? It’s a benefit your customers will really appreciate, so here are some tips to get you started.
- Given regulatory compliance and not having your customers use up all your bandwidth, consider getting a separate Internet service and dedicating it for customer or guest use. Keeping your business data, POS terminals, and all your customer’s credit card info separate from whatever your guests are doing is a smart idea that doesn’t cost much. We often have our customers pick up an inexpensive DSL or cable circuit just for this purpose.
- If your business layout is complex or has multiple floors, get a vendor in who specializes in wireless networking and have them do a site survey. This will ensure that you get adequate coverage for all areas and also that you have enough access points to handle the number of end-user devices to be supported.
- Speaking of the number of devices to be supported, 8 or 10 is a realistic limit for a decent business class wireless access point, so don’t undersize to try and save money. Everyone that comes into your business will have at least one wifi device – kids usually have several. It’s better not to offer the Internet at all rather than have intermittent or painfully slow service.
- Make sure you set up your guest wifi using the latest technology access points that support both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz devices. This helps support older devices, balances loads, and customers with newer equipment will enjoy the greater performance.
- Make sure your access points are MIMO devices – multiple input and multiple output. These devices offer significant increases in range and data throughput compared to the last generation of wireless access points. They also support a variety of antennas so support specific building layouts and even outdoor use.
- If you’re not sure what you’re doing, get some help from a company that specializes in wireless networking.