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Wireless Access Points

Do you suffer from a weak wireless signal?  This is a very simple question to answer.  Either you do or you don’t, it’s a yes or a no.

The solution to the problem however is not quite so simple.  A poor wireless signal can be caused by a whole spectrum of issues.  In this short article, we hope to tackle some of the more common issues.

The most common issue with a weak signal is access point placement.  Before you go out buying new equipment, you should first determine if repositioning the access point will give you better coverage.  Place the access point in a central location in your home and see if that helps cover your entire house.  Access points broadcast their signal outwards in a circular pattern. Depending on the material used to build your home, the walls will distort and reflect the signal causing dead zones.

If placement of the access point doesn’t help because there are too many obstructions in the house, adding additional access points may be of importance.  In this configuration, you want to move your access points so they evenly cover the household.  You don’t want them bunched up in the middle of the building and you don’t want them on the very edges either.

Once you have the right placement and right quantity of wireless access points to cover your entire home, you want to make sure that your devices are talking on the right frequency.  Newer access points operate in the 5Ghz spectrum.  This spectrum typically requires a direct line of sight for a fast reliable connection.  If there are obstacles in the home, 5Ghz speeds will tend to drop off quickly and you may be better off using the 2.4Ghz wireless signal.

Moving beyond just the speed, making sure your access point is capable of handling more devices is important.  In todays modern world, its not uncommon for a typical family household to have 3-4 ipads, 2-4 smart phones, 3-4 wireless televisions and 2-3 laptops computers.  When you do the math, we are talking about 20+ devices for a family of 5.  When looking for a good access point, you want to make sure it has MU-MIMO technology.  MU-MIMO stands for Mult-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output.   This technology opens up the lines of communications with the router and allows all devices to talk simultaneously without crowding each other out.

We configure and deploy Meraki Wireless Access Points in areas like schools where WIfi is mission critical to the learning of the students.  When you have 30 students in a classroom, and 20 classrooms across the campus, Meraki Wireless Access points offer advanced capabilities to smooth out issues and offer detailed reporting when issues arise.

For residential and commercial businesses, we deploy Unifi wireless access points.  These offer a cheaper alternative to Meraki because they do not require an active subscription to function.  These offer equally high performance to their Meraki counterparts, but require a little more hands-on knowledge to setup, configure and troubleshoot.

 

If you need help with a wireless problem, if it’s a new install or a wireless installation that isnt working like you expect it, we can be of assistance.

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Finding the perfect laptop

Finding the perfect laptop

Laptops come in many different sizes.

When choosing a laptop, a primary consideration is the size of the keyboard and screen.  Laptops can range in size from 13.3 inches up to 17.3 inches.  I am sure that there are small and larger, but those sizes are outside the norm.  The sizes typically come down to user preference.  How often you travel with the laptop may be a consideration.  Nobody likes to lug around a large heavy laptop while travelling.  On the same token, if you don’t travel often, but want that flexibility, a larger laptop will grant you faster speeds.

Laptop Features

Laptops have come a long way in recent years.  Many features are now built directly into a laptop.  Microsoft has gone through great lengths to make the device more secure in the event that its stolen.  Microsoft can now secure the computer using biometric data.  It may require you to swipe your finger print, or smile for the camera so it can detect who you are by facial recognition.  Failing to pass one of these biometric locks would prevent unauthorized access to the computer.  Bitlocker is an encryption technology that was designed and implemented by Microsoft.  Even in the event of the theft of your laptop, you can be sure that the thieves would not have access to your encrypted data without that biometric key.  

Laptop Speed

Nobody likes working on a slow computer.  Its important to make sure your system specifications are ideal for a laptop.  Beliefve it or not, the budget models may still use clunky old hard disk drive technology.  When you purchase a laptop, you will want to make sure you have a solid state drive, also known as SSD.  You will also want a minimum of 8gb of Memory and an Intel Core i7 processor or equivalent from AMD.  By ensuring you have the right specs, you can enjoy hours of mobile computing.

System Warranty

Because laptops are mobile, you want to make sure you carry the appropriate warranty.  You want to make sure your warranty is from a reputable source and that they have a good rating.  You can find the ratings of your warranty provider on services like Yelp.  Many third party warranty services require you to mail in your computer and takes weeks on average before you get the computer back..

We sell Dell laptops and the Dell warranties are rated in class.  The Dell warranties on the computers we seel are good for 3 years and they come to your home/business the next business day when a part needs replacing.

We also highly recommend you get the accidental coverage as everyone knows, accidents to happen and basic warranty coverage does not cover accidental damage.  Accidental coverage covers most issues like water damage and cracked screens from falls.