These days, just about everything is done online – including the activities done in an office. From connecting with team members to checking daily tasks, employees need to be able to get online to get their work done.
When the wireless connection in the office isn’t working the way it should, it can put the entire team behind. Projects can get delayed, deadlines can get passed and clients can become upset. To keep everything in the office running smoothly, you want your online connection to be as strong as possible.
If you’re constantly experiencing problems with your connectivity, the solution may be easier than you think. Before you run out to purchase a new internet package, try some of these tips for improving your office connectivity.
- Change the Location of Your Router
If your router is placed behind a concrete wall or in an area that makes it difficult for employees to connect with, you may experience slower connectivity or an inability to connect at all. While we don’t think about the signals actually needing to travel to our computers or devices, routers only have a certain range they can cover.
Move your router to a clear spot in the middle of your office. If you’ve been trying to hide the router in a closet or far away from where employees’ devices are located, you may find that placing it somewhere new is enough to get the connectivity boost you need.
Try moving the router around your office to see if you can find the best placement for it. If most of your employees work in the same area, try moving the router to that room. Locating the router centrally in your office can also improve connectivity. Finding the right placement for your router is easier if you have a smaller office or an office without any major shape changes or obstructions.
- Consider the Number of Connected Devices
Sometimes connectivity problems occur when there are too many devices trying to connect. When several devices are trying to use the same amount of bandwidth, none of them will get what they need. This can make it difficult for employees to work efficiently and get things done.
If employees are trying to connect laptops, tablets and cellphones, you may have more devices using your bandwidth than you had originally predicted. Employees who are video chatting, gaming or using other applications that use high amounts of bandwidth may also make it difficult for employees to connect in the office.
One way around this problem is to limit the number of devices employees are allowed to connect. If employees don’t need to connect their smartphones to do work, prohibit them from doing so. You can also encourage employees to disconnect their devices when they’re not in use. If employees cannot cut back on their device usage, you may need to consider upping your bandwidth.
- Update Your Router
If your router had been working fine in the past, it may just be out of date. Like other forms of technology, routers need to be updated with the latest software to improve things like speed and performance. When they become too out of date, they can run slowly or stop working altogether.
Check your router’s manual for instructions on how to update the software. Newer routers tend to make it a bit easier to get the latest software, while older routers may push you to jump through a few hoops to get the job done.
After updating, make a note of the last time your router was updated. Remember to frequently check for new software for your router so you don’t let it get too far behind again. Creating a router update schedule can ensure your router is always operating on the most recent software.
- Know Your Frequency
The frequency of your router can also play a part in how well your employees can connect in the office. Most routers will have two different frequency options: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
While you may think the higher the frequency, the better your connection will be, this isn’t always true. A higher frequency can be beneficial for small offices, but higher frequency also limits the space the router can reach. Using the higher frequency means the signal will be stronger, but it will not have the strength to reach over large areas.
If you’re looking to have a strong signal in a smaller area, then you probably want to use the 5 GHz frequency. If you’re more concerned with having your router reach as far as possible, such as if you’re trying to provide connectivity to multiple floors, you want to keep your frequency lower.
- Try a Range Extender
If you’ve changed the location of your router but you’re still struggling to have it reach the entire area you need to cover, you may need a range extender. A range extender acts as a rebroadcasting system for your original router.
To use a range extender, you simply need to place it the appropriate distance from the original router. Depending on the extender you buy, the distance from the router may change. Your range extender will pick up the signals put out by your router and rebroadcast them into the room.
A range extender can be a great addition if certain offices or areas of the building have weak spots. Just keep in mind that the range extender will act as another device on the system, like a laptop or cellphone. If you are already pushing your device limit, a range extender could actually slow things down.
- Use a Cellphone Signal Booster
If you’re deep within a large office building, you may find your employees have a hard time getting cellphone signals. This can make it difficult for them to make phone calls, check their emails or connect with clients.
To boost the cellphone signal range within your building, you may need a cell phone repeater system. A cellphone repeater system uses a series of amplifiers and antennas to extend the signal from the closest cellular tower throughout your office.
If your connectivity problems are with cellphone signals and not with Wi-Fi, consider contacting a company that can help you extend those signals to reach throughout your office.
- Try a Different Router Channel
Routers operate on channels, much like walkie-talkies. When there are too many routers trying to operate on the same channel within a certain distance, this can crowd the channel and cause connectivity problems.
If you’re experiencing trouble connecting while at work, it may be because there are too many routers trying to operate on the same channel. Once you change the router channel to one that is less busy, you should be able to connect more easily.
Do your research to see which router channels the other businesses in your area are using. You can do this through a computer with Windows software. Once you know which channels are the most popular in your area and which are not being utilized, select a channel that not many routers are using.
- Buy a Newer Router
If you’re experiencing connectivity issues, you should try all other options before you purchase a new router. In most situations, you can move, update or adjust your router to get a better connection. However, if you’ve exhausted all your options and you still can’t get the connection you need, it may be time for a new router.
Sometimes your connectivity issues come from just trying to push a router too far. When routers get old, their software becomes so outdated that even updates can’t bring them up to speed. While you shouldn’t need to replace your router for a few years, even routers purchased three or four years ago may show signs of aging.
When you purchase a new router, you’re getting the newest software, which can typically provide you with the best connection. You will want to consider all the latest features and updates when selecting a new router to purchase. While it may mean dishing out some more cash, you’ll have better connectivity for many years to come.
Connectivity issues in the office can cause many problems for your employees and your company. The sooner you get to the bottom of what is causing those issues, the sooner your employees can get on with business.
If you’re wondering what could be the cause of your connectivity issues, give these tips and tricks a shot. Through trial and error and the process of elimination, you will be able to find the source of your problems and a solution to having better connectivity.
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