A wireless network can bring tremendous flexibility to your office, freeing employees to use laptops, tablet PCs and other devices at any desk-side meeting or conference-room presentation anywhere in the office suite. It can also eliminate the costs and restrictions involved with numerous local-area network (LAN) connections. When implementing a wireless network for your business, however, you should take precautions in three areas.
- First, always enable encryption of your wireless network. If you don’t, anyone with effective snooping devices who is passing by your office inside the building or even on the street may be able to gain access to your passwords, e-mail, financial data and files. Operating systems like Windows XP enable you to encrypt your wireless network easily through the use of a setup wizard. This also prevents others from using your network for their wireless needs.
- Next, be certain you have activated a firewall to protect your network from intrusions by hackers, worms, viruses and other potentially harmful outside influences. Firewalls can be implemented through your router hardware or through your operating-system software. A software firewall offers basic protection for a single computer, warding off malicious attacks from email or other sources. Generally, the router’s built-in firewall offers better protection against hackers, however, and can secure more than one PC.
- Finally, be aware that your wireless network does have some limitations on its effective distance. Most indoor wireless access points have a range of 150 to 300 feet, depending on materials used in the building that could interfere with transmissions. Performance degrades with distance. If you need greater range, consider adding more access points or a wireless relay to extend the signal.
A properly configured wireless network can provide working benefits and conveniences that allows employees to work more effectively which helps to enable satisfied customers.