Wi-Fi gives us the amazing freedom to work from nearly anywhere! But setting up a network can be quite a challenge, and if you do it wrong, you could put your entire organization at risk from hackers (who live with their mom and spend all day figuring out how to make our lives more difficult).
Below we have a basic guide on how to set up a Wi-Fi network and some steps to follow to make it happen.
You need to ask yourself some questions to find out what you’re really trying to accomplish.
It’s important that you set up the rules for your Wi-Fi. Even if you are a small operation, write down who you think should be able to make changes and who should be able to access it. Basically, write down the answers after you have decided on your needs. We would recommend that all mobile devices connect to the Guest Network, unless you can own them and have proper security features installed.
Write down who will be the Wi-Fi network administrators and set a location to securely store the passwords you will set up.
This step is incredibly important, your Wi-Fi access point should have modern security features, and you will need enough access points to get signal throughout your workspace, but you don’t want to overdo it so loiterers can see your network a mile away. You will most likely also want to have a second access point in your office for your guests.
Place the Equipment
Place the access points throughout your area where you are wanting access. Be aware of any obstructions that may prevent the signal from sufficiently traveling (heaters, duct work, walls, etc.).
Set up Security
Make sure you are using WPA2. Use a password that is 12 characters or longer and includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t worry about making it easy to remember, it shouldn’t be. This should be something that’s only accessed when new computers are purchased, so make it complex so hackers can’t easily guess it or use a program to hack it (See post on passwords).
You will also want to change the admin password and user name on the router or controller. Routers typically have easy-to-guess passwords pre-installed, or none at all. Any millennial you hire will likely be tempted to mess with your settings.
Test your Connectivity
Once you have set up the security. Walk throughout your space and make sure that your Wi-Fi is working with sufficient strength. You will also want to test your guest access and any special parameters you’ve set up.
As your business grows, plan to re-evaluate your Wi-Fi network to make sure it’s keeping pace. You may need to buy better routers as your number of devices grows.