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Wireless Network Setup Recommendations

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Learn more about topics to consider when setting up your business WiFi network in the following table.
 

Topic Suggestions
WiFi modem or router placement Setting up your WiFi network begins with proper placement of your WiFi modem or router. Select a central location away from interference such as metal objects, mirrors, microwaves, and cordless phones. If you can, relocate your equipment to an optimal location on the second floor of your business, keeping it up high and unobstructed.

Image of the preferred router placement yes and no recommendations
Choosing the right modem and compatible Internet devices

A DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 modem is necessary to achieve speeds higher than 25 Mbps. Make sure your Internet equipment is able to give you the speeds you need. Additionally, older equipment may cause you to experience slower speeds. To ensure an optimal experience, make sure you have the right WiFi modem or router for your Internet tier.

Understanding the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks

The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless frequencies are range (distance) and bandwidth (speed).

  • 5 GHz provides faster Internet at a shorter distance, whereas 2.4 GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds.
  • If you think about 5 GHz like a highway, it’s like having more lanes and less traffic on the highway – so you can go faster!
  • You will first need to ensure that devices, such as tablets, smartphones or laptops, can read the 5 GHz Network. If the device is dual band-capable, you should see two SSID / Network names; one with 2.4 or 2.4 GHz, and another labeled with 5G or 5 GHz.
  • If the devices can take advantage of this, use 5 GHz in close proximity to your WiFi modem or router. If you are far from your WiFi modem or router, the 2.4 GHz is recommended.
  • If you are renaming your Network SSID, make sure to select a different and unique name for each WiFi network that helps you clearly identify both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz network.
Wireless network setup considerations
  • The recommended setting is WPA2 which is WiFi Protected Access II. WPA2 is the best security available and is required for 802.11n and 802.11ac WiFi standards. Additionally, WPA2 is strongly recommended to achieve the fastest speeds possible. For additional information about securing your network, refer to Ways to Secure Your Wireless Network.
  • The optimal channel setting for each wireless network is automatic, or auto. Auto allows the WiFi modem or router to select the channel with the least amount of congestion.
How the age of the device using the network impacts speeds

Are the devices that are accessing the Internet a few years old? Older technology on even a single device can slow down performance of all devices utlizing your network. As wireless technology advances in new devices, the speed and wireless performance continues to improve.

For example, look at the difference illustrated below between the 2012 MacBook Air and the 2013 model. Wireless speeds are more than 3 times faster. Devices with 802.11g such as laptops running Windows XP or older generation iPods have even slower performance.

device age to speed comparison