Almost every successful business today relies on consistent and dependable access to its network from computers and mobile devices. Not only do employees need the ability to connect reliably without miles of wires tangling up the office, but guests (who may be clients, business partners, or visitors) must be able to use the network without undue difficulty and without compromising the integrity of the company's network security. All this is made possible by a series of wireless access points that allow the Wi-Fi signal to reach your devices.
Access points are nodes that transmit and receive WLAN (wireless local area network) signals, enabling computers and other devices to connect to the internet through them via a router and modem associated with the access point. As such, they are a critical link in the chain of your company's wireless connectivity, and a problem with one of these nodes can result in the inability of all devices within its range to lose wireless access. For offices that rely heavily on the internet for everyday operations – and such offices make up a steadily increasing percentage of all businesses – this can bring productivity to a screeching halt and prevent you from helping clients. That's why it's so important to choose the best wireless access points for your company's needs.
The first consideration for many businesses is ease of deployment. The greatest wireless access points make setup a straightforward, plug-and-play affair that won't have your network down for an extended period of time while you struggle with hardware and software incompatibility issues. If the purpose of upgrading your wireless access points, or building a new network from scratch, is to facilitate easy access to the network that your business relies on for everyday operations, it makes no sense for those operations to suffer significant and lengthy disruptions while implementing a solution.
Keeping it Going
Once your access points are in place, they need to be maintained. While some devices have frustrating or expensive licenses or pricey controller costs, the best wireless access points won't suck your budget dry while forcing your tech team to contend with license limitations that could disrupt your network. With a little effort, you can find access points with affordable licenses, or no licensing at all, making it much easier to maintain the flexibility of your system and avoid annoying problems that interfere with productivity. Choosing more current models of wireless access points that use software-based control rather than a separate piece of expensive hardware will both keep your costs down and remove potential failure points.
The physical space that your wireless network needs to cover plays a significant role in determining the best wireless access points for your company's purposes. A wider coverage area or terrain considerations may demand a model with a large antenna, or weather shielding for wireless access points positioned outdoors.
Wireless networks can be a major point of vulnerability for a company; when your business's client data, employee files, and other sensitive information can be accessed remotely from a computer or mobile device within range, it's crucial that you are able to control who has the ability to reach that data. The best wireless access points will have pre-installed security measures that will help you ensure that your company's data is safe from unauthorized third-party users.
While protecting your business's sensitive data is important, so too is making your network easily accessible to business partners, clients, and other guests, who will often need to use their devices while on your premises. Guest access can be a tricky proposition, as guest users need easy and unfettered access to all legitimate network functions while being kept out of sensitive areas; some access points handle this balance of needs better than others, and the particular demands of your business will determine the best wireless access points for your purposes.