Networks can be a mystery. We can help.
Trying to build a wireless network for your shop can be complicated. Here, we’ve laid out the basics of where you might be, how to strengthen your speed and boost your signal to improve your performance. Let’s get started –
Realistic network layout
Ideal network layout
Perform these steps to determine where you need to go next –
Step 1 – Test Speed
Go to speedtest.net and run a speed test on your front office computer or a computer connected to your router through an ethernet cable. Document your upload and download speeds. Ideal speeds for a small business should be between 50-100Mbps.
Step 2 – Test Distance
Find the current location of your wireless router, then get a phone or tablet and travel to the furthest point in your shop. Go to speedtest.att.com from your mobile device and test your speeds from this point.
Step 3 – Test Load
On a normal operational business day, perform a speed test at speedtest.net and see if your numbers are the same. Your wireless router should be able to handle the load of 20+ devices at any given time.
Common shop network issues and resolutions
Speed test shows less than 50Mbps on computer connected via ethernet
If your speed test fails to reach 50Mbps download speeds, we recommend contacting your Internet Service Provider to see what your current speeds should be. You may need to start by upgrading your internet package to improve speeds. Please contact a local network consultant for help.
Speed test shows less than my current ISP package
If your speeds are lower than your current package, you may have a weak modem and/or router. Contact a local network consultant for questions about upgrading network equipment.
Speeds are reduced at a distance
If speeds are reduced in the distance test on step three, you most likely have an issue with the range of your router. Things like network interference with walls, cars, and other electronics can cause this. We recommend an additional access point for your shop. Find a network consultant in your area for guidance on setting up an access point.
Without Access Point:
With Access Point:
Speeds are reduced under heavy network load
If speeds are above 50Mbps in step one, but significantly less in step three, you may have a weak router. Your router controls traffic for all devices and may not be able to handle all the wireless devices at once. This is a lack of bandwidth issue. We recommend upgrading your wireless router. Please contact a local network consultant for questions about upgrading your router.
What if my internet goes down?
Although never anticipated, Internet Service Providers have issues and your network may collapse as a result. As a redundancy, we recommend purchasing a wifi hotspot from a cellphone provider to connect your devices in the event of a catastrophe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "wireless router"?
What is a "modem"?
To locate your internet modem, look for a small box provided by your ISP that has a coax cable, ethernet cable, and power cable connected. This device should be located near your router, but does not have to be.
What is an "access point"?
What is "ethernet"?
What should my internet speeds be?
Typical internet speeds for a small business should be between 50-100Mbps download and about 10Mbps upload. In this scenario, bigger is always better. If your speeds surpass these numbers, but you’re still experiencing slow speeds, your problem may be in your internal network devices slowing you down.