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A common misconception is that internet and WiFi are the same thing but, whilst co-dependent, they are very much two separate services. Internet (most commonly broadband) is supplied to your premises by an ISP (internet service provider) whist WiFi, is the internal wireless distribution of your internet service. We have complied a jargon busting guide below, to help you understand the different options available to you.
We are one of the leading WiFi suppliers in the South East of England, particularly in the London area. We have setup and continue to manage WiFi networks for both domestic and business clients throughout Europe. Not only can we deliver secure, reliable and robust WiFi systems to your home or office, we can provide the underlying internet service too.
This is our comprehensive guide to the four most popular WiFi network options. The table below describes four options, the details of which are included in the descriptions below.
Utilises basic WiFi hardware which is generally available on the high street (brands such as Netgear, DLink, Buffalo etc.) Hardware costs vary from £30 to £80 per access point. We’d describe this as a cheap and cheerful solution providing basic wireless access. This is provided for illustration purposes only; We do not supply nor support this option.
This is our entry level option, providing reliable WiFi throughout your premises and powerful enough to support systems such as multi-room audio wireless (SONOS etc.) and Ring doorbell products. The costs are approx. £150 per access point.
We’d categorise this an exceptionally reliable solution using cutting-edge WiFi technology delivering guaranteed wireless reliability and performance. The costs are approx. £270 per access point.
This as good as it gets! If you’re looking for a robust system with guaranteed wireless reliability and performance, this is the way to go – you can honestly set it and forget it! The costs are approx. £340 per access point.
The above costs do not include installation/setup costs. We will carry out a site survey at a fixed rate of £125 (the cost for which is deducted from your final project cost should you proceed). The purpose of the survey is to ascertain how many wireless access points are required to drive your entire space and to determine where necessary data cables, if any, should be installed. All required data cables are installed as discreetly as possible utilising external elevations, internal voids and celling spaces. We always aim to provide an installation which is aesthetically pleasing. Following our site survey, we’ll provide a system design which is yours to keep, as well as a fixed price for the entire project. A typical installation cost is between £450-£900.
Contrary to popular belief, WiFi networks rely heavily on wires. This diagram of a WiFi network illustrates the internet service being supplied to the premises, either via the phone line (ADSL/VDSL) or via a cable (fibre optic) service. The internet router is configured to bring the internet connection into the property, to which all other devices must connect, in order to use the internet.
In the case of a wireless network, wireless access points are cabled back to the router, so that when wireless devices (iPhones, iPads, laptops etc.) connect to the wireless access points, internet data is passed back to the router and out to the internet.
WiFi access quite simply means the ability to connect to the internet using a wireless connection.
This allows wireless devices to automatically connect to the WiFi access point broadcasting strongest signal, negating the need for the user to physically scan for and manually connect to the WiFi network.
A SSID or Service Set Identifier, is quite simply the name of your WiFi network (e.g. MYWIFI). It is important that your wireless access points can all be configured with the same SSID, thus forming one network throughout your premises – basic WiFi equipment doesn’t support this.
Today’s WiFi operates on two bands or frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5GHz – the latter being the faster. Not all wireless clients/devices support 5GHz meaning, if using sub-standard equipment, you’ll need two SSIDs running on your wireless access points – usually differentiated by “2.4GHz” or “5GHz” on the end of the SSID (popular on Virgin Hubs). All our suggested options support dual band over single SSID so you’ll only see and connect to one.
PoE (Power over Ethernet) means that your device can be powered via the attached data cable using a device called a PoE injector or a PoE switch. This creates complete flexibility when deciding the placement of your wireless access point, as you don’t need to install it near a power outlet.
The device can be physically mounted to a wall or celling for a discrete and aesthetically pleasing installation.
Most, if not all, internet connected devices have software built into them known as firmware. It is the firmware that controls the device and allows it to perform specific functions. The hardware vendor will release periodic firmware updates keeping the hardware secure, free from bugs and feature rich. It’s preferred that your hardware updates itself automatically or manual firmware updates fall to the end user
A term which has got everyone asking, “What on earth is The Cloud?”. The Cloud quite simply means a service which is supplied over the internet. If you’re backing up your computer data to “The Cloud”, you’re backing it up online/over the internet. Cloud support for your WiFi hardware means it too can be connected to an internet-based service where it can be controlled, configured, troubleshot and updated.
Red Travis Hannigan