When it comes to wireless solutions, the average user can get overwhelmed by the terms that are often used – and, in some cases, there are devices that sound like they do exactly the same thing.
We’re here to help and give you some information on the differences between the solutions you’ll encounter.
There are several router solutions out there made by several manufactures. The wireless solution you want to approach when running your business will not only give you a wireless access point, but give you good range and the least amount of interference.
If you are running a small business, a consumer grade router may suffice for a small structure of users. It’s a good solution if you are just getting started with your network infrastructure or if you want a decent wireless radio.
This is a good solution if you are trying to cover a distance of about 2000 sq feet. Routers also provide a DHCP capability that will allow more than one user to use your Internet connection.
Most routers have up to 4 ports and open doors to direct network connectivity for your devices, such as printers, range extenders, network-attached storage devices, or even additional access points. Some wireless routers even provide VPN capabilities that will allow traffic to be routed from one location to the next, providing a gateway between sites.
Wireless Access Points
Access points are similar to routers minus the firewall and additional ports. They support port forwarding and have secure wireless capabilities. Some even support the POE function (Power On Ethernet).
This function allows powering the device using a POE device and Ethernet cable and allows placement virtually anywhere.
Not to mention, they add domain capabilities via wireless to allow a workstation to join a specific domain.
There are two types of access points available: consumer and enterprise grade access points.
Consumer grade access points are access points that are typically designed for the home user while enterprise access points are for users that need additional features that are designed for business use, such as manageability, and offer a better solution for security.
Today’s wireless access points provide support for Wireless AC, which have speeds of up to 1200 mbps and are compatible with older Wireless B, G, and N.
Most provide a single Ethernet port to provide connectivity to the network. supporting 10/100/1000 gbps.
Configuration GUI can be accessed by utilizing any browser that’s connected to the network. Some can even be used both indoors and outdoors, providing placement flexibility.
Network-Attached Storage (NAS)
Network-attached storage (NAS) can be an essential form of storage for any small business that needs to access data and share it amongst many.
The device provides a central location that users can access and allows storage data to be copied and saved. NAS devices also have room for more than one drive for additional storage options. Several manufactures have NAS devices available, so remember to read hardware reviews to make sure you are selecting the ideal NAS device and make sure to review the features to make sure it is within your business needs.