By 2022 the value of the WiFi market is thought to reach $15.60 billion (USD). There is no doubt about it, WiFi is a big business and a big asset to businesses worldwide.
Why? Convenience and efficiency are two very good reasons. Yet another reason is access to the cloud as an integral function of how businesses are operating.
You no longer need to be confined to a heavy desktop computer that is cumbersome and space occupying. Instead, you can make use of mobile devices and tablets to perform essential operations in your business flow, and these can communicate immediately with your secure network through wireless access points.
That means live data being entered into your business control platform that can save hours in time and improve the streamlining of various business processes. Read on to find out what a WiFi access point is and why your business needs one.
WiFi Access Point or Hotspot?
These two are easily confused. A simple explanation is first to consider wired technology called a local area network (LAN). This is a series of cables that join lots of computers together as well as other devices such as printers. These machines can be used to communicate with each other within the network.
The network is physically joined and offers a measure of security by virtue of that fact. It is closed to outside access. This allows for all sorts of software and hardware resources to be shared across the network.
A wireless access point is the same idea, except that access to the network is not with a physical cable. It is through the use of wireless technology. Hence the term wireless local area network (WLAN).
In contrast, a hotspot is basically access to the internet through a WiFi connection. It can be used to remotely access a network, but it is more often used as an access point to the internet and not a closed network.
Out with the Old and in with the New
Technology is changing fast. That includes wireless access points. They have become more capable in terms of the number of devices that connect through them. The level of security has increased.
The range with which you can still receive the WiFi signal has increased. Plus, the way multiple wireless access points can be configured and controlled has advanced significantly. When multiple access points are linked together, it seems you can increase the range to cover your entire business property, no matter how big it is.
However, like all technology, everything has a lifespan beyond which servicing is not possible or practical. Therefore if you are already using access points in your business but they need changing, then it is a good idea to re-evaluate your whole network and make sure your new access points will meet your needs.
Why Your Business Needs a WiFi AP
The answer, of course, depends on your business and to what application your WiFi network will serve. That said, one of the main advantages of using access points for your network is mobility. So the real consideration is how will increased mobility of your devices and the data that they can collect help your business?
Here is an example of some of the mobile technology you can use in your business.
Some of the benefits from setting up wireless access points in your business are the transfer of data from devices to the network. This also allows for further processing for customer relationship management. This leads to improved logistics and accounting.
Once your network is in place, you also have room to further innovate and take advantage of the freedom that wireless gives you.
Get Your Head in the Cloud
This is probably the opposite of what you were told when you were a child. But a lot has changed since then. Modern wireless access points do not need a separate network controller. Instead, the network can be set up and managed from the cloud.
This is a big advantage. It allows for flexibility and means that your control system will continue to update and improve, further enhancing the efficiency and functionality of your wireless network.
Think Tomorrow Not Today
When choosing the hardware for your network don’t choose wireless access points only based on today’s technology. Many specifications for access points far exceed the capability of mobile devices and mobile computers as they are now. However, technology is developing at a breathtaking pace.
Don’t limit your network. Wherever possible opt for higher specifications than needed, expecting that in time your hardware will upgrade and improve so that you can take advantage of the full specifications on offer for your network. This is future proofing your set up.
Something to keep in mind even now is opting for dual band. This will give you the choice of using 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Make sure the devices you purchase allow you to use both these frequencies at the same time.
It is almost poetic to think that the modern ‘connection’ of businesses to technology, to the internet and to the future, is not an actual physical connection but a wireless one that requires a WiFi access point.
Setting up a wireless network within your business has real potential to transform your business operation so that it is more efficient and cost-effective and time-saving. Wireless technology is here to stay and will continue to innovate. Make sure your business knows how to harness this amazing tool.
Get in touch with us here if you have any questions. We will be happy to help.