With home wireless networks, what you pay for is what you get. However, a network does not have to be expensive to be cheap and good. When making the decision on the hardware to buy, your budget matters a lot. If you have the money, you can go for the more expensive devices from IBM, for example. If not, you are better off with a more affordable Wi-Fi infrastructure.
If you are operating on a tight budget, there are a few things that you must just put into consideration. In this write-up, we are going to discuss everything that goes into getting that Wi-Fi network you long for on a budget.
Who Use The Wireless Network?
Since this is a home wireless network, the people who will be using it are your family members. Unlike people at the office, this group of people does not have outrageous demands. So, it makes sense to look for a cheaper wireless network.
For most families, the number of devices to connect to the network are only a handful. For instance, you could be having only a laptop and a couple of desktops. Additional devices may include some smartwatches, smart speakers, tablets, smartphones, several security webcams, and some smart televisions. With a more affordable Wi-Fi, network operating, all of these devices will seem like a breeze.
What Kind Of Wireless Hardware Should You Buy?
With all the demands placed in the wireless network, you will have to be sure about the kind of hardware to buy. It doesn’t have to be something that supports hundreds of users like in a small business. However, it should have the ability to provide the security, speed, and reliability that the users need.
Factor in unexpected occurrences such as the network unexpectedly going down. It could be impossible to do some of the things on which an internet connection is required. If it is an office setting, it will be impossible to answer phone calls on the VoIP phone system. Also, clients’ live chat messages on your website will go unanswered. Emails will not be delivered, leading to massive losses within a very short time. All because of an unreliable Wi-Fi network. Let’s talk about the hardware you need.
1. The Router
With a wireless router, it is possible to support at least 30 users, whether at home or in your small business. The number one quality of a router is its speed and range. Importantly, make sure the router supports WPA2 encryption and also has a built-in firewall. In this case, you may want to pick one using the 802.11n technology. For small businesses, it is important that the router allows a lot of virtual private network (VPN) connections.
For example, the Cisco RV 120W — which is less costly compared to other similar models in the market. Apart from being 802.11n ready, it has a dedicated firewall and supports ten concurrent VPN connections and 1,000 simultaneous data requests.
2. Wireless Repeater
If you have a large office, you are likely to have some dead spots. To test your connectivity, walk around the building with a laptop, and stop at various locations to check. Look at the number of network bars and try to surf the web from all the spots you stop. If you reach an important location and you have less than three bars, then you need to improve your network using a wireless repeater. Two of the most affordable wireless repeaters include the TrendNet TEW-637AP and the D-Link DAP-1522. Once you buy a wireless repeater, place it in an area of the building with the weakest or non-existent network.
3. Printers to Be Shared
As part of your wireless network, you will need a dedicated printer. You can approach this in two ways. Either acquire a networked printer or use an existing one but with an attached wireless print server. If a new printer, make sure it is already networked. It is easier to set up and eliminates compatibility issues when it comes to an old printer and a print server. Examples of affordable print servers include the TrendNet TEWP1UG and the ASUS WL-500GB.
You may not have the money to buy a print server. What should you do then? Take one of the unused Windows computers in the office, attach the printer, and use Windows Print Sharing. The printer will be available to the rest of the office.
4. Network Storage
In the office, you need a common storage drive connected to the network. All the workers in the office can store and share files via this server. In that case, you need a NAS or network-attached storage device. Your employees will have access to all the space they need. In the process, you will maintain firm control on the permissions and security.
For instance, you may want to buy the Synology DiskStation DS410 which can accommodate up to 4 desktop hard disks. If you put the capacity of each hard disk at 2TB, that’s 8TB in total. You may also want to buy the Western Digital ShareSpace which has a pre-installed disk capacity of up to 4TB.
Why You Need To Hire the Right Team to Install Your Wireless Network
Having a wireless network on a budget is not just about the hardware. You also need to ensure that you have the right wireless network, installation team. Avoid hiring the first IT expert or company you come across. Working on a budget also doesn’t mean you go for the cheapest. Regardless of their experience or certification, the company should have loads of positive reviews. Otherwise, you will lose your entire investment.
As you can see, buying a wireless network on a budget involves looking for the right hardware as well as engaging the right installation company. It doesn’t matter if you are buying it for your home or business. Make every effort to save money while avoiding to compromise on the aspects of the network that really matter. At the end of the day, the users of the network won’t care about how much the network will cost to install but how well it performs.
Wireless installations is one of the many services Hubtech offers. We deal in quality products to ensure your business or home remain connected at all times. We are also well versed with fiber optics and mast and tower installations. Call us today and let us keep you connected.