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Wi-Fi Installations – Wireless Networks

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WiFi Installations

Wi-Fi networks can be fairly complicated, especially when the company network needs to be large and accessible through an entire building. Our speciality is making them easy and affordable.

 

That’s why Active Communication Company Ltd in London is standing by to help with your bespoke wireless network installation. We conduct wireless surveys and work within any budget to find a Wi-Fi system which is both affordable and effective for your company.

If you need a reliable and fast Wi-Fi network for your offices in London or the surrounding areas, we’re just a click away.

CONTACT US NOW OR CALL 0333 900 0101 TO ENQUIRE ABOUT WIFI INSTALLATION
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Wireless technology (Wi-Fi) explained

Let’s take a look into the basics of Wi-Fi networking and how making the right choice can help your company’s goals.

Wi-Fi wireless technology allows users to access the Internet from any Wi-Fi capable device without bothering with cables. Desktop computers may need a special wireless card in order to access Wi-Fi networks, but most laptops have this capability built-in. Older laptops may have difficulties with the latest Wi-Fi standards, like 802.11ac, but older standards, like 802.11b/g/n, are practically universally supported.

 

Using Wi-Fi, users can move throughout an area while being able to check email, access web pages, and perform other tasks which requires access to the Internet. Network performance does depend on each device’s capabilities, and on the Wi-Fi connection parameters. Otherwise, a wireless Internet connection provides all the same functionality as any regular Internet connection would.

 

By using special Wi-Fi media adapters, a wired Ethernet system can be converted for wireless use throughout an office building or other general area. The Ethernet system can then be accessed by anything with the capability to use it, similarly to Internet. The difference between Internet and Ethernet Wi-Fi systems doesn’t involve the wireless connection itself, which is basically the same thing either way: a router which is connected to the physical network and which broadcasts wireless signals.

 

Wi-Fi Ethernet allows for wireless LANs, Local Area Networks, to be formed. Through these networks, users can access data on a local server and view other computers which are connected to the network. This sort of network is convenient in many circumstances where a small, locally accessible server serves better than the Internet itself. It does not, however, permit access to the Internet (although dual Internet and Ethernet accessibility through a single router is possible, if both networks are installed within the building).

 

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi Wireless Technology

The advantages of wireless technology, combined with the compatibility brought about by the Wi-Fi Alliance, should be fairly obvious. Let’s review them quickly:

  • A wireless network allows portability for users within a building, so they can travel short distances while still using their laptops or other portable devices with full functionality.
  • It also all but eliminates the mess and hassle of cables: even though the wireless router itself must be physically connected to the network cables, no extra wires will need to be present in public areas.
  • The lack of cables also means that nobody will be accidentally knocking wires out, which helps to prevent some problems that could be caused by an unexpectedly lost connection.

 

Of course, everything has cons as well as pros, and wireless networks are no exception:

  • The main problem with wireless networks is their lack of range: indoors, a wireless network can cover up to 300 ft., and this range is even smaller for older standards, like 802.11b and 802.11g.
  • Until a few years ago, Wi-Fi connections were also slower than wired Ethernet links. This is no longer the case, but older devices may still be limited to speeds below 1 Gbps.
  • Wireless networks may also be susceptible to interference.
  • Security-wise, modern Wi-Fi technology offers good security guarantees, but legacy devices that use legacy authentication and encryption protocols, like WEP, may be vulnerable.
  • Having Wi-Fi routers placed too far apart or too closely together may result in dead zones or in crossing signals which make it impossible to connect properly.

Fortunately, many of these cons may be circumvented with a skilled professional performing wireless network planning and installation.

Wi-Fi Surveys

To avoid dead zones or ineffective overlapping signals, routers must be placed in strategic locations within a building. Wi-Fi surveys take the building’s dimensions and construction and the range of different routers into account to be sure they are placed effectively. The best way to determine where Wi-Fi routers should be placed is to have a professional perform an on-site consultation.

 

Active Communication Company Ltd provides these consultations for free, and can assist any company with building a custom network which is perfect for them from start to finish.

 

Naturally, in this age of technology, there are computer-based options available to conduct automated surveys as well. Software from the Internet can calculate the specifications of a building and the range of different types of Wi-Fi networks to help determine where routers should be placed for maximum coverage and effectiveness.

 

Buildings which already have a Wi-Fi network in place and wish to add a new router or two may find it more convenient to simply download the software. However, for any network which is being built from scratch or added to substantially, a professional and personal on-site survey is highly recommended.

Choosing the Right Wi-Fi Standard

Three Wi-Fi standards are commonly used today: 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac. Two other standards, 802.11a and 802.11b, are still occasionally encountered, but they are largely being phased out. An upcoming standard, 802.11ax, is expected to deliver even higher performance than what is available today, but it is yet being widely deployed.

There are, of course, different pros and cons specific to each standard that should be considered when setting up a network.

802.11ax

The 802.11ax standard is an upcoming upgrade to 802.11ac. While the standard itself is not yet completed (the IEEE working group in charge of it is expected to publish the final specifications in 2019), its development is advanced enough that compatible access points have been available on the market since 2018. Its high performance, with speeds of up to 11 Gbps, is a significant improvement over current Wi-Fi standards, but compatible access points are expected to be even more expensive, and they are risky to deploy on a wide scale, since the standard has not yet been completed.

 

  • Pros: Fast, backwards-compatible with 802.11ac
  • Cons: Specifications are not yet complete, few compatible devices, high cost

 

802.11ac

The 802.11ac standard is the most recent among the well-established standards. Its performance is on-par with wired networks (up to 1 Gbps), but unless you need that kind of performance, the investment may be hard to justify. 802.11ac works in the 5 Ghz region, rather than 2.4 Ghz like its predecessor – a band which enables higher speed and may be less crowded in some environments.

 

  • Pros: High speed, good range.
  • Cons: Expensive, may be under-utilized in many environments

 

802.11n

802.11n was adopted in 2009 as an improvement to an older standard, 802.11g. Its speed and range (up to 300 MBits/sec and 300 feet, respectively) are sufficient for most office use scenarios, and it is backwards compatible with 802.11g

 

  • Pros: Fastest speed, longest range, resistant to interference, backwards compatible
  • Cons: Possible interference with nearby 802.11b/g networks

 

802.11g

The 802.11g standard was released in 2002, and provided a major upgrade to previous standards by combining the best features of the standards which preceded it. It is backwards compatible with the 802.11b standard, and you can expect it to be supported by virtually any device on the market.

 

  • Pros: Quick (54 MBits/sec), good range, backwards compatible, less expensive than 802.11a
  • Cons: Susceptible to interference

 

802.11b

The 802.11b standard is one of the oldest Wi-Fi standards. While rarely used anymore, there are still plenty of legacy devices that support it. It used to be very popular for home use and small offices. It is cheap but slow, with a maximum bandwidth of only 11 MBits/sec. It also uses an unregulated frequency, making it susceptible to interference from other devices.

 

  • Pros: Least expensive, good range
  • Cons: Slowest of all standards, susceptible to interference

 

802.11a

The 802.11a standard was created at the same time as 802.11b, but did not gain popularity until slightly later, and the two standards are not compatible. 802.11a is also rarely used anymore, except in legacy devices. It used to be very popular for enterprise applications, but was a less common choice for home and small business use, due to its higher cost. However, it was was faster than 802.11b, with a bandwidth of up to 54 MBits/sec.

 

  • Pros: Quick, not easily susceptible to interference
  • Cons: Most expensive of all standards, short range

 

Choosing the right blend of affordability, speed and range is important when setting up a network for office use.

 

Want to learn more about Wi-Fi solutions? Read our blog post:

Don’t Lose out: Learn how to enhance your workplace productivity through effective WIFI installation deployment

 

Functions, Uses and Compatibility of Wi-Fi Certified Wireless Networks

 

Nowadays, it’s almost given that any widely used wireless router available for purchase will be Wi-Fi compliant. This means that, as long as it’s working properly, it should be compatible with other Wi-Fi compliant products: computers and laptops, cell phones, various handheld devices, et cetera.

 

Wi-Fi certification generally eliminates any incompatibility issues that might be a problem otherwise. Thanks to the popularity of the Wi-Fi alliance, it’s usually safe to assume that commercially available products are built to be compatible (but it’s always a good idea to check first).

 

With fully functional wireless networks, compatible devices within range of a wireless router may connect and use it to connect to the Internet or to the LAN (Local Area Network), depending on how the router and network are configured. Wireless networks do have effective optional security functions, so users may be required to provide a password or to register prior to accessing the network. Once a user has completed any required steps, they may access certain parts of the network or use it to its full extent, depending on how it is configured.

ACCL-network-installer

How is ACCL different?

At Active Communication Company Ltd, businesses can be sure to find the most experienced assistance around.

 

Certified professionals are ready to help from beginning to end: conducting a survey, making and approving a plan, installing the network system, and providing assistance and training. For any building that wants a solidly tailored Wi-Fi wireless plan, ACCL is the perfect choice. Contact ACCL today for a free on-site consultation!

 

The ACCL team are certified installers of Meraki, Ubiquiti and Ruckus wireless products, and also provide wireless audit services.

 

As the client I can only say thanks and its an amazing piece of work by all involved. Believe me that the work to coordinate this work around other issues was challenging but Wayne and ACCL were great.

TUI / Scott Ronan

I have had the pleasure of asking Wayne and team for advice and guidance over a number of years, and have always felt assured that all advice I have received was totally unbiased and 100% accurate.

Ntegra Ltd / Grant Ward, Test Manager

The Engineers were helpful and patient. They did anything and everything that was asked of them. Thanks for a very good first job.

Leagas Delaney / Alfred Place, London

The Engineers were punctual and courteous whilst on site. They worked professionally, always being aware of the needs of the other tradesman who were also working on this project. They were sympathetic to the needs of the school and we are very satisfied with the overall installation.

Bishopshalt School / Evelyn Nolan

Another professional installation by ACCL, on time and in budget!

Bank of New York / Alan Hawley, President of IT Infrastructure

All the people involved were extremely helpful at all times. All performed equally well in a fast-track project and responded quickly to any changes in requirements.

Barnhill Community High / Sunil Kubavat, Head of IT
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