A common theme of questioning that our team of Wi-Fi experts often get asked is around Wi-Fi connectivity for startup offices, so we thought we’d jot down some of our thoughts for anyone in a similar position.
We have a wealth of experience working with all sorts of businesses and organisations, from huge outdoor festivals, to startup business offices, all with one thing in common – Getting connected.
This blog covers some things to bear in mind when you’re setting your Wi-Fi up. Although, the easiest thing to do would be to give us experts a call! But then we would say that wouldn’t we… So here you go, all things Wi-Fi for getting your new office online.
Factors to Consider
User base and usage patterns
– What’s your number of users?
– Do you use Google Drive / Dropbox? If you have a big user base and use these heavily you’ll need more upstream bandwidth.
– How many devices are going to connect? (Laptops, mobile phones, printers, local servers). If you have many users, all with multiple devices, you’ll need a more powerful router that can handle the amount of devices.
– Do you have employees that work remotely? Do they have to connect via VPN to access local files? This will require more upstream bandwidth, a proper router and might also require a fixed IP address.
Do you need a fixed IP address?
This isn’t usually necessary, apart from the case described above.
Outages and Failover
Basically, how fundamental is the Wi-Fi connection for your office to keep ‘business-as-usual’? If the internet was to go down, would you need an alternative connection? If your router failed, do you have a plan to put in place where you could quickly replace it?
If your business is largely online, or in tech, the internet going down is going to mean that most of your employees cannot carry on with their work. This would support an argument for investing money in a reliable Wi-Fi setup – Get good, reliable hardware and two internet connections instead of just one.
Internet Connection Options
You might be wondering if there’s a difference between the internet connection you would use at home and in the office, especially if you have a small business in a startup office. But there is likely a difference in the connection you need, and generally not as simple as a household internet connection.
The main problems you’ll find are:
– End-consumer internet connections usually come with a lot of downstream but very limited upstream.
– There might be volume restrictions which would lead to bandwidth limits. For example, if your bandwidth was limited to 10GB per day, this could be reached within minute in an office with 25+ people.
– If the internet went down, there would likely be no SLA with your provider in terms of when it would be fixed / back online. It’s generally a lot longer for a household connection that a business one.
These type of connections are mainly available from ISPs for office buildings, although a business broadband contract can sometimes also be arranged for businesses that run from home.
They tend to be a bit more expensive, but this is really worth the money as there will be proper SLA’s in place and as much upstream as there is downstream (handy if you use cloud based services to save and share your files).
If you are a small company, then end-consumer hardware is probably okay to use (up to 30-40 devices). Larger companies will need a proper router which can do automatic failover, more expensive but necessary.
If you’re sat reading this blog, chances are you’re in a position where you’re trying to set up Wi-Fi in your office. If you don’t know what some of the jargon means, or are still unsure of what you need, then maybe consider not trying to do it all yourself. If the internet connection is important for your business to run, then we’d really recommend getting a professional to come and get this sorted for you.
Here at Geekabit, our London, Hampshire and Wales based Wi-Fi experts are ready to help design and install the Wi-Fi setup that’s right for you and your business. Wi-Fi isn’t a luxury, it’s an important investment to making sure your business stays online.
Get in touch…
London Office – Tel. 0203 322 2443
Cardiff Office – Tel. 02920 676712
Hampshire Office – Tel. 01962 657 390