Online connectivity was something to marvel at when it first became available for home and commercial use. Now it’s the backbone of nearly every company’s day-to-day operations. Without the internet and Wi-Fi, businesses wouldn’t be delivering many of the conveniences consumers depend on.
But like any technology, Wi-Fi remains in a state of evolution. New standards and infrastructure capabilities keep pushing the limits of what tech can do. Businesses that don’t keep up with the latest developments put themselves at risk.
Slow and outdated Wi-Fi networks prompt more than short-term delays and frustrations. They can cause your business to get left behind as customers flock to competitors that offer the latest amenities. Outdated internet technology can also leave your company vulnerable to cybercriminal activity. Before you decide to put off adopting next-gen Wi-Fi, consider these four benefits.
1. Adaptable Signal Strength
If you have a larger or multi-story home, you’ve probably experienced poor Wi-Fi signal strength in more than one room. Perhaps you’ve tried a booster or extender, hoping to put a stop to the random disconnects and buffering. But these solutions didn’t do the trick, and you’ve still got a few slow spots where it’s difficult to connect.
The same scenarios happen in businesses due to sluggish Wi-Fi, resulting in lost productivity and patience. A small business Wi-Fi solution with the latest AI-driven technology can help prevent those slow and dead spots. Instead of just sending out signals, the network learns how and where you need connectivity the most. Over time, the technology adapts to your location’s usage behaviors and needs.
Your back office might be hustling and bustling at 9 a.m., requiring the most capacity your Wi-Fi can muster. By noon, the front reception area needs all the signal strength it can get. And at the end of the workday, the staff cubicles are placing the highest demands on the network. Adaptive Wi-Fi can handle all of it by sending more signal strength where and when it’s necessary.
2. Support for IoT and Additional Devices
Although recent supply chain problems and shortages have lowered projections for Internet of Things (IoT) device adoption, market analysts still predict growth. The number of connected IoT gadgets is expected to reach 27.1 billion worldwide by 2025. The Internet of Things includes smart devices, wearables, and sensors. Some of these sensors help businesses manage inventory, fleet vehicles, and other assets. Farmers also use them to automate precision agriculture techniques.
The next generation of Wi-Fi comes with increased capacity to accommodate the bandwidth IoT devices require. When there are more gadgets online, they start competing for available space on the network. It’s not just your POS systems, office computers, and employees’ smartphones that are vying for throughput. The smart locks on the doors and the sensors that monitor movements and appliances can’t function without enough bandwidth.
Built into the latest Wi-Fi standards is the ability to divide a single channel into a larger number of subchannels. More devices can sustain a connection on a single access point without experiencing latency, freezing, or spotty service. Two-way or synchronous communication is also possible between access points and devices. This means more seamless and steady connections for all the machines businesses rely on.
3. Improved Power Management
One of the benefits of a Wi-Fi connection is the freedom to move around with mobile devices. You’re not limited to using the internet and your web-based applications at your desk. That said, mobile gadgets rely on battery power to run. And although manufacturers have made strides in improving battery life over the years, batteries still require monitoring and recharging.
Next-gen Wi-Fi reduces the strain on batteries through a capability called Target Wake Time. This feature puts the wireless signal on a device or access point to sleep until it’s needed. When it’s time to send or receive data on the network, the internal hardware responsible for communicating wakes back up.
When wireless cards are constantly in “on” mode, they can drain battery life. During sleep mode, mobile devices save battery power. You can set your tablet down and keep it connected to the network. You won’t have to plug in a few hours later when you’re ready to start using the tablet again.
4. Faster Speeds
According to industry reports, the latest Wi-Fi technology is three times faster than previous standards. Increased speed capacity allows for better video conferencing and streaming in 4K. If your business uses smart TVs to display entertainment, upgraded Wi-Fi can contribute to enhanced customer experiences.
You’ll also notice quicker download and upload times when sending files or retrieving information online. Your team’s efficiency will get a boost since they won’t spend as much time waiting in front of their screens. Although a few seconds or minutes might not seem like a lot, those wasted moments add up. With faster response times, staff will feel more capable and productive, which can motivate them to keep moving forward.
Similar to some previous wireless standards, the latest generation accommodates more than one frequency. Because next-gen Wi-Fi is backward-compatible, devices that run on 2.4GHz frequencies can take advantage of increased speeds. While those speeds may not reach the full potential of the newest wireless technology, improvement will still be noticeable. So if your business has devices that don’t operate on higher frequencies, you won’t have to ditch them.
Wi-Fi connections are sometimes taken for granted. You think about keeping your laptops and other devices up to date because your business stops working when they do. But outdated network solutions can slow you down and end up hurting productivity, customer service, and brand appeal.
The benefits of next-generation Wi-Fi are plenty, including adaptive signal strengths and faster speeds. These advantages keep your business in the game and allow you to offer the resources employees and clients expect. Investing in current network technology is a move you can’t afford to overlook.