Free up disk space on your PC with Disk Cleanup

Hard disk drive capacities are increasing exponentially over time, yet somehow they always seem to fill up. This rings even more true for solid-state drives, which cost more but offer less storage space than conventional mechanical hard disks. If you’re brushing against your PC’s maximum storage capacity, using Disk Cleanup should help you free up space by getting rid of unimportant files and programs cluttering up your hard drive.

What is Disk Cleanup?

Disk cleanup is a tool that scans your computer’s hard drive for files that you no longer use. These include temporary files, cached web pages, and deleted items stored in your system’s Recycle Bin. Unless you periodically purge these files, they accumulate over time and take up a lot of space on your PC.

Disk Cleanup categorizes the identified files as well as the amount of storage space that each category occupies within your hard drive. From these items, you decide which ones to delete according to their importance to you and the amount of storage space that you’ll be able to recover.

How to use Disk Cleanup

In Windows 10, you can access Disk Cleanup by going to the Start menu and scrolling to Windows Administrative Tools.

Once opened, this tool automatically selects Drive C (though you can switch to other drives) and shows a list of file locations containing files that can be removed.

Each file location has a corresponding checkbox that needs to be selected in order to delete the files it contains. Upon clicking a file location, a description of the files it contains will appear at the bottom of the window so that you’ll know exactly the types of files you’ll be removing.

When Disk Cleanup is finished, you’ll need to restart your system to remove unnecessary Windows Update files. Remember, the Disk Cleanup tool only removes Update files that are no longer needed, hence usually very few are deleted.

The benefits of Disk Cleanup

Using the Disk Cleanup tool can help improve your computer’s performance by:

  • Maximizing your drive’s memory – The ultimate benefits of cleaning up your disk are maximized computer storage space, increased speed, and improved functionality. These enable you to use your device to run at peak performance levels.
  • Making your computer more reliable – Some programs that are downloaded through the internet may be infected with viruses that can decrease your computer’s reliability. The Disk Cleanup tool can clean your computer and rid it of unwanted programs as well.
  • Saving time and increasing efficiency – The traditional way of opening folders to find and delete old files may be sufficient for some, but not for those who prioritize productivity. Although files can be deleted manually, Disk Cleanup can do this much faster.

The Disk Cleanup tool is as simple to launch and operate as any basic program. If you are looking to further improve the speed of your systems or are interested in other tech solutions, contact us today to learn more.

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Fix these business security flaws now

As businesses have become more reliant on technology, they’ve also become a prime target of cybercriminals. If you want to protect your organization from cyberattacks, make sure your cybersecurity system doesn’t have the following flaws.

Open wireless networks

With just one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, an entire office can get online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there’s a risk that it might be unsecure.

It’s not enough to plug in a wireless router and create a basic network to secure your wireless network. If you have an open network, anyone within range can connect. With simple tools and technical know-how, cybercriminals can capture incoming and outgoing data, and even attack the network and any device connected to it.

Ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy-to-guess password for the router. Change this password immediately to minimize the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to your network.

Unsecure email

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years are most likely secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based platforms or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses that are at risk are those using older systems like Post Office Protocol, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (also known as “clear passwords”). If your system doesn’t support encryption, anyone with the right tools can compromise your systems and data.

Unsecure mobile devices

Mobile devices help you stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or smartphone to connect to office systems without proper security measures in place, you run the risk of compromising your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your smartphone but don’t have a password enabled. If the device goes missing, anyone who picks it up can have access to your email and your sensitive information. The same applies if you install a malicious mobile app. If you use this same device to connect to your company’s network, the malware will spread across your systems and disrupt your business operations.

Ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and your company has sufficient security policies in place to regulate their use. Lastly, implement mobile device management solutions to prevent employee devices from being a security risk to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t properly maintained

Anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to stand a chance of keeping your systems secure.

If your anti-malware scans are scheduled during business hours, some employees may just turn the scanner off because it slows down their computers. This makes your systems vulnerable to malware.

The same goes for not updating your anti-malware software regularly. Updates are important for anti-malware applications because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and fixes.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that filters incoming and outgoing network traffic and protects data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not powerful enough for business use.

Get a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed IT services provider for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way to secure business systems and networks is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help you set up cybersecurity measures and ensure that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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Avoid these 5 bad business security practices

Many small- and mid-sized businesses struggle to protect their data, often neglecting a critical component in their security strategy. If your organization still follows one or more of these bad security practices, correct them as soon as possible.

Open wireless networks

With just one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, an entire office can get online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there’s a risk that it might be unsecure.

It’s not enough to plug in a wireless router and create a basic network to secure your wireless network. If you have an open network, anyone within range can connect. With simple tools and technical know-how, cybercriminals can capture incoming and outgoing data, and even attack the network and any device connected to it.

Ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy-to-guess password for the router. Change this password immediately to minimize the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to your network.

Unsecure email

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years are most likely secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based platforms or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses that are at risk are those using older systems like Post Office Protocol, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (also known as “clear passwords”). If your system doesn’t support encryption, anyone with the right tools can compromise your systems and data.

Unsecure mobile devices

Mobile devices help you stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or smartphone to connect to office systems without proper security measures in place, you run the risk of compromising your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your smartphone but don’t have a password enabled. If the device goes missing, anyone who picks it up can have access to your email and your sensitive information. The same applies if you install a malicious mobile app. If you use this same device to connect to your company’s network, the malware will spread across your systems and disrupt your business operations.

Ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and your company has sufficient security policies in place to regulate their use. Lastly, implement mobile device management solutions to prevent employee devices from being a security risk to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t properly maintained

Anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to stand a chance of keeping your systems secure.

If your anti-malware scans are scheduled during business hours, some employees may just turn the scanner off because it slows down their computers. This makes your systems vulnerable to malware.

The same goes for not updating your anti-malware software regularly. Updates are important for anti-malware applications because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and fixes.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that filters incoming and outgoing network traffic and protects data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not powerful enough for business use.

Get a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed IT services provider for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way to secure business systems and networks is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help you set up cybersecurity measures and ensure that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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Signs you have weak enterprise security

As cyberthreats become more sophisticated, many businesses need to prioritize cybersecurity more than ever. But are you sure that your security measures are keeping your enterprise IT assets safe? Here are five signs that they may not be effective.

Open wireless networks

With just one main internet line and a couple of wireless routers, an entire office can get online. A wireless internet connection saves money, but there’s a risk that it might be unsecure.

It’s not enough to plug in a wireless router and create a basic network to secure your wireless network. If you have an open network, anyone within range can connect. With simple tools and technical know-how, cybercriminals can capture incoming and outgoing data, and even attack the network and any device connected to it.

Ensure that all wireless networks in the office are secured with strong passwords. Many internet service providers that install hardware when setting up networks will often just use an easy-to-guess password for the router. Change this password immediately to minimize the risk of unauthorized users gaining access to your network.

Unsecure email

Most companies that have implemented a new email system in the past couple of years are most likely secure. This is especially true if they use cloud-based platforms or well-known email systems like Exchange, which offer enhanced security and scanning.

The businesses that are at risk are those using older systems like Post Office Protocol, or systems that don’t encrypt passwords (also known as “clear passwords”). If your system doesn’t support encryption, anyone with the right tools can compromise your systems and data.

Unsecure mobile devices

Mobile devices help you stay connected and productive while out of the office. However, if you use your tablet or smartphone to connect to office systems without proper security measures in place, you run the risk of compromising your networks.

Imagine you have linked your work email to your smartphone but don’t have a password enabled. If the device goes missing, anyone who picks it up can have access to your email and your sensitive information. The same applies if you install a malicious mobile app. If you use this same device to connect to your company’s network, the malware will spread across your systems and disrupt your business operations.

Ensure that employee devices have adequate security, such as passcodes, and your company has sufficient security policies in place to regulate their use. Lastly, implement mobile device management solutions to prevent employee devices from being a security risk to your network.

Anti-malware software that isn’t properly maintained

Anti-malware software needs to be properly installed and maintained if they are going to stand a chance of keeping your systems secure.

If your anti-malware scans are scheduled during business hours, some employees may just turn the scanner off because it slows down their computers. This makes your systems vulnerable to malware.

The same goes for not updating your anti-malware software regularly. Updates are important for anti-malware applications because they implement new databases that contain recently discovered threats and fixes.

Lack of firewalls

A firewall is a network security tool that filters incoming and outgoing network traffic and protects data from being accessed from outside the network. While many modems or routers include firewalls, they are often not powerful enough for business use.

Get a firewall that covers the whole network at the point where data enters and exits (usually before the routers). These are business-centric tools that should be installed by an IT partner like a managed IT services provider for them to be most effective.

How do I ensure proper business security?

The best way to secure business systems and networks is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help you set up cybersecurity measures and ensure that they are managed properly. Tech peace of mind means you can focus on growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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4 Ways EMRs assist healthcare organizations

Electronic medical records (EMRs) digitize your paper medical records and, when properly implemented, can generate a positive return on investment and improve organizational efficiency. The major drawbacks of paperwork are that it hinders a healthcare institution’s ability to treat patients and slows down processes. An EMR system eliminates these issues and offers a host of benefits to healthcare organizations. Here are just a few reasons to switch from paper records to EMRs.

1. Better communication

Fast and accurate communication between medical departments is key to providing quality healthcare. From staying in touch with ambulance staff to instantly contacting emergency room doctors, a healthcare institution must have an effective means of communication, and this is where an EMR system comes in.

EMR software enables frontline staff to quickly transfer a patient’s medical records to other departments in real time. When the patient’s information is recorded in the system, other medical staff will no longer need to question the patient about his or her conditions again, and can proceed to treating the patient in a timely manner.

2. Lower costs

Reducing operational costs is a must for hospitals operating on a tight budget, and cutting redundant expenses is therefore necessary. When it comes to paper records, a hospital could be using over hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper each year.

By implementing an EMR system, hospitals can reduce the labor behind recordkeeping and cut down on paper costs. It also reduces the likelihood of costly errors when handing out prescription medications because of illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation.

3. Scalable recordkeeping

Before EMRs, hospitals needed to devote an entire room, if not more, for storing the paper records of patients. When a hospital grows, the number of patients increases along with it, and more space is required for physical data storage. EMR software provides a more efficient way of storing data on a virtualized platform compared to traditional paper records. The recordkeeping process is completely scalable, and EMRs will not take up valuable space in the hospital like paper records do.

4. Efficient treatment

With the help of an EMR system, patient checkups take less time since doctors can quickly access a patient’s medical record and reference the information needed to schedule appointments. When the turnaround time for the recording and prescription processes is reduced, a hospital can greatly improve its patient workflow.

Moreover, if further consultation or testing is required, physicians in other locations can simultaneously view a patient’s medical record on their computers, and get the latest test results and recommendations from previous doctors. EMR systems essentially enable healthcare providers to collaborate more efficiently with one another.

A hospital’s goal is to provide better patient care, and the benefits of EMRs can help improve various medical processes, including quicker access to patient information, better collaboration between departments and healthcare providers, and improved patient workflow. For more information on how to implement EMR software in your healthcare institution, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

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Why EMRs are vital for healthcare providers

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are digitized versions of patients’ information, and they’re a game changer for healthcare organizations. By transitioning from paper to digital records, healthcare providers can improve overall productivity and provide better care for patients. Here are some other benefits of using EMRs.

1. Better communication

Fast and accurate communication between medical departments is key to providing quality healthcare. From staying in touch with ambulance staff to instantly contacting emergency room doctors, a healthcare institution must have an effective means of communication, and this is where an EMR system comes in.

EMR software enables frontline staff to quickly transfer a patient’s medical records to other departments in real time. When the patient’s information is recorded in the system, other medical staff will no longer need to question the patient about his or her conditions again, and can proceed to treating the patient in a timely manner.

2. Lower costs

Reducing operational costs is a must for hospitals operating on a tight budget, and cutting redundant expenses is therefore necessary. When it comes to paper records, a hospital could be using over hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper each year.

By implementing an EMR system, hospitals can reduce the labor behind recordkeeping and cut down on paper costs. It also reduces the likelihood of costly errors when handing out prescription medications because of illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation.

3. Scalable recordkeeping

Before EMRs, hospitals needed to devote an entire room, if not more, for storing the paper records of patients. When a hospital grows, the number of patients increases along with it, and more space is required for physical data storage. EMR software provides a more efficient way of storing data on a virtualized platform compared to traditional paper records. The recordkeeping process is completely scalable, and EMRs will not take up valuable space in the hospital like paper records do.

4. Efficient treatment

With the help of an EMR system, patient checkups take less time since doctors can quickly access a patient’s medical record and reference the information needed to schedule appointments. When the turnaround time for the recording and prescription processes is reduced, a hospital can greatly improve its patient workflow.

Moreover, if further consultation or testing is required, physicians in other locations can simultaneously view a patient’s medical record on their computers, and get the latest test results and recommendations from previous doctors. EMR systems essentially enable healthcare providers to collaborate more efficiently with one another.

A hospital’s goal is to provide better patient care, and the benefits of EMRs can help improve various medical processes, including quicker access to patient information, better collaboration between departments and healthcare providers, and improved patient workflow. For more information on how to implement EMR software in your healthcare institution, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

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4 Massive benefits of using EMRs

Healthcare providers are ditching the traditional pen and clipboard, and are looking to electronic systems to house their patient records. Electronic medical records (EMRs) offer healthcare professionals a quicker way of accessing and sharing patient information between offices and providers. They also provide several major benefits to healthcare organizations and transform the way professionals work.

1. Better communication

Fast and accurate communication between medical departments is key to providing quality healthcare. From staying in touch with ambulance staff to instantly contacting emergency room doctors, a healthcare institution must have an effective means of communication, and this is where an EMR system comes in.

EMR software enables frontline staff to quickly transfer a patient’s medical records to other departments in real time. When the patient’s information is recorded in the system, other medical staff will no longer need to question the patient about his or her conditions again, and can proceed to treating the patient in a timely manner.

2. Lower costs

Reducing operational costs is a must for hospitals operating on a tight budget, and cutting redundant expenses is therefore necessary. When it comes to paper records, a hospital could be using over hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper each year.

By implementing an EMR system, hospitals can reduce the labor behind recordkeeping and cut down on paper costs. It also reduces the likelihood of costly errors when handing out prescription medications because of illegible handwriting or incomplete documentation.

3. Scalable recordkeeping

Before EMRs, hospitals needed to devote an entire room, if not more, for storing the paper records of patients. When a hospital grows, the number of patients increases along with it, and more space is required for physical data storage. EMR software provides a more efficient way of storing data on a virtualized platform compared to traditional paper records. The recordkeeping process is completely scalable, and EMRs will not take up valuable space in the hospital like paper records do.

4. Efficient treatment

With the help of an EMR system, patient checkups take less time since doctors can quickly access a patient’s medical record and reference the information needed to schedule appointments. When the turnaround time for the recording and prescription processes is reduced, a hospital can greatly improve its patient workflow.

Moreover, if further consultation or testing is required, physicians in other locations can simultaneously view a patient’s medical record on their computers, and get the latest test results and recommendations from previous doctors. EMR systems essentially enable healthcare providers to collaborate more efficiently with one another.

A hospital’s goal is to provide better patient care, and the benefits of EMRs can help improve various medical processes, including quicker access to patient information, better collaboration between departments and healthcare providers, and improved patient workflow. For more information on how to implement EMR software in your healthcare institution, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

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Things to look for when buying a Wi-Fi router

A strong network enables your business to surf the web and access cloud productivity apps. Behind these networks are Wi-Fi routers that keep your devices connected to the internet. While there are many more components involved in setting up a strong network, your choice of router can make a huge difference. Here are some tips to help you find the right router for your business.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different network types available. Also referred to as wireless protocols, the four most common types are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest.

Newer routers now utilize the latest Wi-Fi protocol dubbed 802.11ax. Also known as Wi-Fi 6 or High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW) , this new protocol improves upon 802.11ac tech in the following ways:

  • Greater throughput speeds (up to 9.6 Gbps)
  • Reduced network congestion and expanded client capacity, thanks to Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)
  • Improved range performance
  • Reduced power consumption by network-connected devices, courtesy of Target Wake Time (TWT)

OFDMA enhances network performance by splitting up Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels. Doing so permits up to 30 users to use the same channel simultaneously.

TWT reduces the power consumption of connected devices by allowing them to determine when and how often they will wake up to begin sending and receiving data. This extends the battery life of smartphones and battery-powered internet of things (IoT) home devices such as smart thermostats and security cameras.

Throughput

In communication networks, throughput is the rate at which messages are successfully delivered via a communications channel. A router’s throughput, in particular, is the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps (or Gbps for its cable ethernet connections). It is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100 Mbps internet connection, but your router can only deliver up to 80 Mbps, then the total speed of your network will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be best to get a router with a higher throughput if your internet service provider delivers faster connections.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual- or tri-band router will have both radios so that the connection workload can be split between them.

The 2.4 Ghz radio is sufficient for activities that don’t require much network bandwidth, such as web browsing and replying to emails. Since its band is of a lower frequency, it reaches farther than 5 Ghz but is more easily blocked by concrete walls.

The 5 Ghz band, on the other hand, has greater power, but has a shorter broadcast range. 5 Ghz is what you’ll want to use for video conferencing and playing online games (if permitted by the company after office hours, of course).

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if the antennae are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a feature that’s now standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in areas with poor or dead signals. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of signal interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connections are weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac or higher. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best setup for your business.

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Wi-Fi router features you need to keep in mind

Wireless routers are essential for operating a modern business. These allow one network connection to essentially be split into many and then shared by different users and devices — usually over a Wi-Fi connection. If you are looking for a new Wi-Fi router for your office, there are some important features you should be aware of.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different network types available. Also referred to as wireless protocols, the four most common types are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest.

Newer routers now utilize the latest Wi-Fi protocol dubbed 802.11ax. Also known as Wi-Fi 6 or High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW) , this new protocol improves upon 802.11ac tech in the following ways:

  • Greater throughput speeds (up to 9.6 Gbps)
  • Reduced network congestion and expanded client capacity, thanks to Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)
  • Improved range performance
  • Reduced power consumption by network-connected devices, courtesy of Target Wake Time (TWT)

OFDMA enhances network performance by splitting up Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels. Doing so permits up to 30 users to use the same channel simultaneously.

TWT reduces the power consumption of connected devices by allowing them to determine when and how often they will wake up to begin sending and receiving data. This extends the battery life of smartphones and battery-powered internet of things (IoT) home devices such as smart thermostats and security cameras.

Throughput

In communication networks, throughput is the rate at which messages are successfully delivered via a communications channel. A router’s throughput, in particular, is the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps (or Gbps for its cable ethernet connections). It is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100 Mbps internet connection, but your router can only deliver up to 80 Mbps, then the total speed of your network will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be best to get a router with a higher throughput if your internet service provider delivers faster connections.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual- or tri-band router will have both radios so that the connection workload can be split between them.

The 2.4 Ghz radio is sufficient for activities that don’t require much network bandwidth, such as web browsing and replying to emails. Since its band is of a lower frequency, it reaches farther than 5 Ghz but is more easily blocked by concrete walls.

The 5 Ghz band, on the other hand, has greater power, but has a shorter broadcast range. 5 Ghz is what you’ll want to use for video conferencing and playing online games (if permitted by the company after office hours, of course).

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if the antennae are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a feature that’s now standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in areas with poor or dead signals. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of signal interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connections are weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac or higher. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best setup for your business.

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Picking the right office Wi-Fi router

Selecting a Wi-Fi router, much like selecting any other piece of equipment for your business, can be a complicated task. The sheer variety of models available can make it difficult to choose the best option. However, if you know what features to look for, it’s much easier to make the right decision.

Network type

Look at any router and you will quickly see that there are a number of different network types available. Also referred to as wireless protocols, the four most common types are 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac. These designations indicate how fast the router can transfer wireless data, with 802.11ac being the fastest.

Newer routers now utilize the latest Wi-Fi protocol dubbed 802.11ax. Also known as Wi-Fi 6 or High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW) , this new protocol improves upon 802.11ac tech in the following ways:

  • Greater throughput speeds (up to 9.6 Gbps)
  • Reduced network congestion and expanded client capacity, thanks to Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)
  • Improved range performance
  • Reduced power consumption by network-connected devices, courtesy of Target Wake Time (TWT)

OFDMA enhances network performance by splitting up Wi-Fi channels into sub-channels. Doing so permits up to 30 users to use the same channel simultaneously.

TWT reduces the power consumption of connected devices by allowing them to determine when and how often they will wake up to begin sending and receiving data. This extends the battery life of smartphones and battery-powered internet of things (IoT) home devices such as smart thermostats and security cameras.

Throughput

In communication networks, throughput is the rate at which messages are successfully delivered via a communications channel. A router’s throughput, in particular, is the speed at which the router is supposed to transmit data from your connection to users. To spot the router’s throughput, look for Mbps (or Gbps for its cable ethernet connections). It is usually one of the first things listed on router boxes and specifications.

Keep in mind that if you have a 100 Mbps internet connection, but your router can only deliver up to 80 Mbps, then the total speed of your network will be the lower figure. Therefore, it would be best to get a router with a higher throughput if your internet service provider delivers faster connections.

Bands

On every single router’s box, you will see numbers like 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. These indicate the wireless radios on the router. A dual- or tri-band router will have both radios so that the connection workload can be split between them.

The 2.4 Ghz radio is sufficient for activities that don’t require much network bandwidth, such as web browsing and replying to emails. Since its band is of a lower frequency, it reaches farther than 5 Ghz but is more easily blocked by concrete walls.

The 5 Ghz band, on the other hand, has greater power, but has a shorter broadcast range. 5 Ghz is what you’ll want to use for video conferencing and playing online games (if permitted by the company after office hours, of course).

Multiple input, multiple output (MIMO)

MIMO is the use of multiple antennas to increase performance and overall throughput. MIMO-enabled routers ensure that more devices can connect to one router with less interference.

When it comes to real-world tests, there is often a slight improvement if the antennae are configured and aimed properly. However, getting a high-end router with six or more antennae may be an unnecessary cost for small businesses.

Beamforming

Beamforming is a feature that’s now standard in mid- to high-end routers. It is a form of signal technology that allows for better throughput in areas with poor or dead signals. In other words, it can help improve the connection quality with devices behind solid walls or in rooms with high amounts of signal interference.

By utilizing this technology, routers can see where connections are weak and act to improve it. While this is available on routers with many network types, it is really only useful with routers running 802.11ac or higher. Those who don’t mind paying a higher price point for an increase in network performance should consider this feature.

Quality of service (QoS)

QoS allows the router administrator to limit certain types of traffic. For example, you can use the QoS feature of a router to completely block all torrent traffic, or limit it so that other users can have equal bandwidth. Not every router has this ability, but it is a highly beneficial feature for office routers.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to picking a router, which is why we recommend you contact us. We can evaluate your networking needs and help you find the best setup for your business.

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