What is Wi-Fi?
Simply put, Wi-Fi allows electronic devices to exchange data using radio waves. The waves travel through a Wi-Fi router into your computer system to obtain Internet access via the computer’s high speed Internet connection. The router becomes a two-way hub to communicate using the Internet. The router receives information and requests from devices such as tablet computers, notebook/laptop computers, and smartphones such as Androids and iPhones. A person can take a photo with a smartphone and quickly upload it to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection or wait for the much slower cellular provider network when Wi-Fi is not available.
Why do you need it?
As society depends more and more on connections through Facebook, Twitter, email and text messages, employees and customers expect most places to have Wi-Fi. For a customer waiting for service or a vendor rep waiting for an appointment, Wi-Fi allows a user to quickly receive and respond to emails during a wait. Employees can use their smartphones to access their Facebook accounts during breaks. You also can take advantage of office equipment such as copiers and printers that use Wi-Fi technology. Eliminate unsightly printer cables and share resources to reduce the need for more equipment.
As society becomes more and more dependent upon being connected through facebook, twitter, email and text messages, employees and customers expect most places to
The Wi-Fi printer/copier/scanner/fax
One of the best investments for the modern office is the purchase of an all-in-one machine. Almost all office computers have a printer, which uses ink and electricity; a fax machine, using a different type; and a copy machine, usually operated with toner cartridges costing about $100 for each replacement and sucking up even more electricity. You may not have a scanner yet, but they are handy tools for sending a signed document or image by email. The wireless all-in-one machine replaces all of them. Any computer in the office can use this printer by adding a $6 (amazon.com) USB wireless adapter to the computer. Once the adapter is plugged into the USB port, the accompanying software will prompt you to give this new device a name in the network. The router has its own name as the network gateway or entry point.
Is it difficult to install a Wi-Fi system?
With the high-tech software and graphic pictures displayed in a step-by-step installation, it is not a difficult process and usually can be done in about 15 minutes. If you have a single computer already attached to the Internet, you only need to buy a router. The prices range from $20 to $70. You will first place the installation disc in your computer and be guided through easy steps. Those include unplugging your modem cable from the back of your computer, plugging it into the back of the router, and then running another cable (usually supplied with the router) from Port 1 of the router to the back of the computer where the modem cable was previously plugged in.
Technically, you are connected now, but the software will walk you through configuring your network and actually connecting to the Internet and setting up passwords. Most routers allow the opportunity to create a guest password for people who might want to use your network while in your building. When a Wi-Fi device, such as an iPhone, is near your router, the name you gave it during the set-up will be displayed. If it is locked by you, you must provide the guest a password. If it is open, anyone in the area can use it.