1. Can a Wireless Router Be Overloaded? How to Test

    You’ve seen those commercials on TV where everyone in the family wants to use the Internet signal at the same time? Dad is finishing up some office work, mom is checking her emails, their daughter is texting her boyfriend, and their son is playing video games. Or, more likely, everyone is trying to use the internet at the same time, with mixed results. This is often the issue for businesses as well, especially those in office complexes. Their lease may provide WiFi service, however at peak usage periods, with every business in the building accessing the internet at the same time, how effective can it be?

    The two major components of any wireless system are its router and modem. These work together to disperse the network’s internet signal to every user. If more users than the system can accommodate attempt to access it at the same time, the wireless router can become overloaded. Here are some simple tests that may be performed to determine if a slow internet is a single event, or a sign that it is time to upgrade to a router that can handle increased bandwidth. Enlist your staffers for a quick test. Turn on every device that uses the internet at the same time, and check load times for an internet search. This will help determine the router’s overall capacity. A slow and sluggish load time response most likely indicates router overload.

    If your router passes the ‘everybody into the boat’ test for a general search, try live streaming next. If you encounter choppy images and long buffering times, you guessed it, your wireless router is overloaded. Just in case both of these tests proved inconclusive, the issue could be caused at a different time of day. Try keeping a log of internet outages, slow load times, and chopping streaming experiences for a week or two. You may begin to notice a pattern in your router’s signal, that it is weaker at certain times of the day, for example. Most often these tests and outage logs indicate the need for an upgraded wireless router. To ensure that your business does not encounter these difficulties for the foreseeable future, speak to our knowledgeable staff at GNS Wireless. We’re here to assist you to purchase just the right equipment for your business. Give us a call today at (877) 209-5152.

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  2. What is the Best Wireless Bridge Network for You?

    Congratulations! Your business is on the grow! Perhaps it is time to consider how your additional staff requirements will place new demands on your wireless network’s performance.The question is, how can a business that is experiencing a growth spurt anticipate and meet their enterprise’s current and future network requirements? Also, what is the best, most efficient, and also the most economical way to resolve this issue?

    In the past, wired networks expanded by simply stringing together additional lengths of cable to hook up additional desktops, Internet TVs in conference rooms, media players, and other business tools. Today, smartphones, tablets, and laptops are used during business meetings and by staffers on the go. The best way to resolve this network expansion issue for a wired network is by first upgrading to a wireless bridge network. Wireless networks are easily scalable and will continue to grow as your business grows. When the time comes these may be further expanded at relatively low cost.

    How to Increase the Range of Your Router

    Adding a wireless bridge to your WiFi network increases its range and will accommodate more users. A wireless bridge receives a signal from your wireless router which it sends out to all devices, even wired, to extend your existing wireless network. It does this without the need for a tangle of additional cables, or the inconvenience of having to string them manually. Just select the wireless bridge that will accommodate the current number of workstations, with room to grow. Be sure to place your wireless bridge within the range of your wireless router’s signal, as well as within a cable’s length of your wired devices.

    Depending on which wireless bridge has been selected, connection to your company’s device is relatively easy. If your router supports a WiFi protected setup (WPS) just press the WPS button on your bridge and router to link them immediately. If not, you’ll be connecting the bridge to your equipment via the Ethernet. This takes a few simple steps on any desktop, see your manual for instructions.

    Once the bridge and router have been connected, you’ll connect your wired devices directly to the bridge via the Ethernet. Then your wireless bridge will automatically connect any attached devices to your primary network  over your WiFi network. Additional devices may be added at any time. Best of all, as your enterprise continues to expand, your business environment will be free from a snarl of additional and unattractive cables. To determine which wireless bridge network will serve your business well, contact the network professionals at GNS Wireless at (877) 209-5152.

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  3. How to increase the range of your Wireless Network

    One of the most common questions we are asked is: "How do I extend the range of my wireless network?.  Although there are many different ways to get better range from your Wi-Fi router or access point, GNS Wireless will detail below some of the most effecient ways to get better Wi-Fi signal.

    Upgrade to a higher gain antenna:  Although this seems like the most common way to get better wireless network range, you want to make sure you use the correct antenna.  By using a higher gain antenna you can extend your wireless signal range, but it depends on what type of transmit power your router/access point has, where you are installing the antenna, and long of a coaxial cable you need to install it correctly. Some things to consider when using a higher gain antenna include potential loss of vertical signal coverage. Typically when you increase the gain on an antenna the RF gain pattern becomes more focused and produces a narrower horizontal beam.   Installing a high gain omni-directional antenna on a hill, and you will certainly have a dead spot underneath.  For campgrounds, marinas, and RV parks, one of the most popular hotspot packages we sell, is the GNS-1485.  This includes a sectorized panel antenna which helps broadcast a strong signal within a 120-180 degree area, and penetrates trees and RV's with ease.  You can point the antenan exactly where you need the signal and with minimal effort your wireless network will gain new life.  Read more about our pre-packaged hotspot setups here.

    Install a WiFi amplifier: By adding a Wi-Fi amplifier to your wireless router, or access point you can boost your wireless signal and increase wireless network range. GNS Wireless sells pre-packaged WiFi booster kits that are available for purchase by anyone in the United States or Canada without the need for a special FCC license.   These kits are license free, and operate in the 2.4GHz, or 5GHz range.  They typically include everything you need to extend the range of your network.  The most popular scenerios are campground WiFi, Marina Wireless Networks, and RV Park Hotspot setups.  These kits offer easy set up and strong signal extension and coverage capabilities.   GNS Wireless offers technical support, pre-configuration services, and custom programming to all your equipment.  Additionally we sell individual RF amplifiers for export, military and FCC licensed users supporting frequencies ranging from 900 MHz to 5.8 GHz.

    Upgrade to 802.11N or 802.11AC:  To put it simply, if you are still using the older 802.11B (11Mbps), or 802.11G (54Mbps), it is time to upgrade.  The newer 802.11N, and 802.11AC offer both increased range, and reliability for your ongoing wireless network.  If you are currently using older 802.11 standard access points and wireless adapters, consider upgrading to the latest IEEE standards, 802.11n or 802.11ac. These newer standards offer better range and speed than older standards products.

    Use a higher power Access Point:  A typical residential Wi-Fi router or Access Point provides about 30mW to 100mW of transmit power.  When upgrading to a higher power access point or router you can boost your wireless signal resulting in extended coverage.  GNS Wireless offers outdoor access points with up to 1000mW of transmit power.  When combined with the correct panel or omni-directional antenna, your wireless network becomes more stable, and can penetrate near by obstructions such as trees in a campground or RV Park.

    GNS Wireless can assist in product selection, support and installation as well as any questions you may have regarding increasing the range of your wireless network.  For questions, or for a free consultation, please contact us at (877) 209-5152, or send an email to

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  4. How to Select the Best Wireless Reseller

    What many business owners do not realize is that most quality WiFi equipment manufacturers do not sell directly to the public. One of the many reasons for this is that consumers are not likely to know how or what their business requires to order a system that is right for their needs today and into the future. Leading manufacturers such as ACTi, Axis, Cisco, Laird, Nomadix, Samsung, Ubiquiti, among many others have put their trust, and their products in the hands of the network professionals at GNS Wireless.

    As a wireless reseller, GNS has partnered with the leading manufacturers in our industry, have passed their rigorous certification programs, and have earned the right to resell their WiFi equipment. These manufacturers know that GNS Wireless is recognized to not only recommend the right network components, but to provide the high level of customer service and support, that inspires confidence and develops consumer trust.

    Recognition Brings Benefits

    Certifications alone do not indicate expertise. That comes from knowing how best to serve businesses of every size and in every industry. GNS is certified in a range of fields such as Wireless LANs, Systems Security and Architecture. These are some of the ways that GNS Wireless has distinguished ourselves in our industry. We demonstrate our expertise by providing superior options for every business facing specific network challenges.

    At GNS Wireless, our professionals continue to upgrade our skills to present our clients with the best possible options for their business. We keep up-to-date on our vendor partners’ latest products, strategies, and technical support materials. This way we’ll always be able to assist businesses to build, migrate, or upgrade their networks with the most current, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective WiFi equipment solutions possible. For more information, please contact us at (877) 209-5152.

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  5. WiFi Security- What to Know to Prevent a Hack

    Some businesses have been slow to migrate their networks to WiFi voicing concern over its security, and the safety of their data. In fact, WiFi networks are sensitive to infiltration, and offer more safeguards than some hardwired networks. While it is probably not possible to make any wireless network impossible to penetrate, GNS Wireless knows that wireless security is paramount in the minds of most business owners. Later in this article we’ll offer tips that will make any wireless network less prone to hackers.

    Nobody wants to be the victim of a WiFi security hack. Not many are aware of what this action entails. The heart of any wireless network is the router. This apparatus is the prime target to hackers who variously want to infiltrate your network, or just freeload off your WiFi connection. Here are some tips to make your wireless router and therefore, your network hard to hack:

    Simple WiFi Security Tips

    1. Enable WiFi Protected Access (WPA2) wireless encryption: older routers may require an upgrade, but this is your network’s first line of defense and should not be overlooked.
    2. Create a strong password for your SSID Network: a lengthy and random SSID name coupled with a strong password will deter some hackers who can easily bypass routers with a default setting.
    3. Keep your wireless router’s firewall turned on at all times: would you leave your doors unlocked at night? A router firewall can make it less visible to hackers.
    4. Use an encrypted personal VPN service at the router level: considered your network’s best line of defense, it creates a proxy IP address coupled with strong encryption to protect your network traffic against hacks.
    5. Disable the router’s Admin via Wireless feature: this makes it virtually impossible for someone who is not physically connected to the router to infiltrate it.

    GNS Wireless offers advice and information to business owners seeking to migrate or upgrade their networks. To make an appointment, please contact us today at (877) 209-5152.

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  6. Enterprise-Grade WiFi on a Budget

    The best way to save money building an enterprise grade WiFi network is to not buy more than your business needs for the foreseeable future. One way to spend less is to accurately estimate how much bandwidth is required. Bandwidth needs for a WAN pipe can vary widely (especially if you are enforcing bandwidth limits on your SSIDs). GNS Wireless offers this procedure to estimate your backhaul (or WAN needs) and avoid spending more than you need to.

    1. Take your download / upload limits per client.
    2. Multiply each figure by the number of clients you wish to support.
    3. Your end results should represent the rough WAN bandwidth needed to support an ideal situation where everyone is using the maximum pipeline allocated to them.

    Here’s an example: Assume that your business provides 500Kbps / 150Kbps per client on a 25-device network. This means you’ll need a pipe the size of:

    1. Download: 0.5Mbps x 25 = 12.5Mbps Down
    2. Upload: 0.15Mbps x 25 = 3.75Mbps Up

    Remember, this formula assumes that every client will be fully using their maximum bandwidth allocation at all times, 24/7/365. This is not realistic, but will capably cover current and estimated future bandwidth needs. Remember, these are general estimates.

    How Much Bandwidth Does Your Enterprise Grade WiFi Network Require?

    Comparing your business with the example above, your WiFi clients may need less bandwidth at different times throughout the workday. Also, the type of device being used also impacts the amount of required bandwidth, as well as the type of application being processed. These additional considerations should be considered to establish your true bandwidth needs, to avoid over buying, yet still maintain a reliable network for your clients.

    A last consideration, know how your office is wired. Do you have dual cable-coax business lines from your service provider or hybrid lines that include metro ethernet or similar options as well? Such units capably perform load balances from two separate pipes to endpoint devices. Know how your network is configured and you’ll avoid overspending on a single fat pipe if more affordable dual pipes will handle your peak bandwidth demands.

    To learn more, contact GNS Wireless, an industry leader, at (877) 209-5152 for more information regarding the design and setup of your business’ WiFi network.

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  7. Why Do WiFi Speeds Sometimes Slow to a Crawl- And What to Do About It?

    When business owners can no longer ignore intermittent slow internet speeds, have run a speedtest and have confirmed it is not an issue with their internet provider, then your hardware is the next place to look. If the problem exists at most workstations, it is not likely that one computer is causing the problem at that particular workstation. Check your router next, First, perform the classic test, to unplug your router, wait ten seconds, and then plug it back in. If your router is more than four years old, it is time to upgrade it. New routers now have expanded functionality, which will make future speed issues easier to troubleshoot and to remediate.

    Next, consider it may be time to fix your signal to improve your WiFi speeds. Weak signals can be caused by building materials, changes in the office layout, even breakroom appliances, cordless phones, Bluetooth, and more. Think about the recent changes to your office landscape, your building, and surrounding environment. Another workstation bandwidth hog can be plugins and apps. These programs are so tempting to download, yet are bandwidth-robbing connection hogs. There are extensions that can resolve some of these issues and speed load times, etc.

    Ways to Maximize WiFi Speeds

    Check your server. As with your router, an older DNS server may not be able to handle current usage requirements. If so, consider an upgrade. Today most businesses do not have unlimited budgets for immediate upgrades. While these prove highly cost-effective, it may not be possible to implement immediately. In the interim, prioritize tasks and relegate low priority tasks to times when usage requirements are lighter.

    The upgrades that will increase your WiFi speeds may not prove as expensive as you think. Consult with GNS Wireless. Our professionals have extensive experience assisting business owners to make the upgrades necessary to improve their networks and increase their profitability. Schedule your appointment with us at (877) 209-5152.

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  8. Can WiFi Interference Be Avoided?

    Up to now your enterprise network has been running smoothly, without a hitch. Now, all too frequently, there are service interruptions at certain times of day, and the reasons for these outages cannot easily be traced. If the frequency of these intervals increases, it’s time to troubleshoot the cause of the WiFi interference and remediate, to avoid losing money through lost productivity.

    First, look around for any changes in the office layout. Construction materials can impact wireless communications and greatly truncate their range, and slow their speed to a crawl. Be on the lookout for new concrete, brick, and metal installations. Consider elevator doors, brick facades, even new appliances in the breakroom, which, due to their density, may be slowing your router speeds. The simplest fix here would be to reconfigure your office layout to avoid WiFi interference that may be blocking your signal.

    What to Do if Your WiFi Signal is Blocked

    New tenants in your building? Competing WiFi networks may be impacting your service. If so, check to see if your router has a feature that elects to automatically adjust to the least crowded WiFi channel. This way you can reclaim your fair bandwidth share. Got an older router that does not self-adjust? It could be time for an upgrade!

    Again, if you have just reordered your office layout and now your file transfer and other speeds seem to have slowed considerably, it could also be WiFi interference from other electronics that are not connected to your network, yet operate on the same frequency. Consider Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, microwave ovens in the breakroom, even the TV in the conference room, which all can generate short range interference even when they are turned off. Unplug the presumed culprits, and see if the situation does not improve. Many times, simply moving a device or appliance is all that is needed to restore service. As for cordless phones, these often have a switching capability. If you are running your Wifi service on 5GHz frequency, try moving your phones to a 2.4GHz connection.

    In urban areas and office parks especially, WiFi interference can be an ongoing issue. Let the professionals at GNS Wireless assist you with upgrade recommendations to resolve many of these conflicts. Give us a call at (877) 209-5152 for a confidential consultation, today!

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  9. How to Determine the Real Speed of Your WiFi Equipment

    From time to time, every company owner takes notice that their computers seem slower than usual, and accept this anomaly as just the way the internet is performing that day. Yet may not be aware that they have some choices to limit or to prevent this occurrence. Most business owners would not be aware of their WiFi network’s router speed. Yet this critical component can determine how fast data and documents can be transferred. Advertised speeds are one thing, reality is governed by more than the router’s capabilities. Testing your WiFi equipment, particularly your router speed, can determine how fast your internet connection is, also how long it will take to transfer files across your network. Troubleshooting WiFi is a relatively simple task to perform. To start, here’s how to test the transfer speed to and from your internet provider, as well as the transfer speed between workstations on your LAN.

    Troubleshooting WiFi: Internet Transfer Speed

    1. From any workstation on your LAN, open an internet browser, such as Google. Search for “free speed test website.” Select one and follow the site’s instructions for testing your internet to router speed. Expect the test to take about a minute, slightly longer if you are not using a high-speed internet connection.
    2. Review the Download and Upload speeds posted.
    3. Compare these actual speeds against those advertised by your internet provider. If these numbers are “in the ballpark”, you are receiving optimal output for your spend. If not, it may be time to consider an upgrade in service to process files faster.

    Troubleshooting WiFi: LAN Transfer Speed

    1. Starting again from any workstation on your LAN, right click on the desktop and create a new folder.
    2. Right click the folder; this time, select “Properties”. Now, click the “Sharing” tab, select “Advanced Sharing” and check “Share this Folder.”
    3. Almost done: click “Permissions”, and be sure to check “Allow” for “Everyone”. Lastly, click “OK” and select “Close.”
    4. From another workstation, revisit the free speed test website you selected earlier. This time, however, download the LAN Speed Test program. This program should open automatically.
    5. Locate and click on “Folder/Server IP”, then click on “Network.” Next, select the arrow to the left of the first workstation’s name to select the folder you created. Click “OK”, select “Start Test”, then “OK.” 
    6. As before, this test should not take long. When finished, locate the “Writing and Reading” categories, and read the values for “Mbps.” Writing speed is how fast information is transferred on your intranet; Reading speed is how fast information may be accessed by other computers in your LAN. 

    If it is frequently taking too long for your company computers to “speak” to each other, give the professionals at GNS Wireless a call. We can troubleshoot your WiFi equipment and remediate your LAN speed issues by recommending the right upgrades for your company and your budget! Give us a call today for a consultation: (877) 209-5152.

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  10. What to Know Before Shopping for WiFi Equipment

    Often business owners first see the value of upgrading to a wireless network for their office when they realize how it facilitates user options for each family member at home.

    Once they upgraded to WiFi at home, there was no more jockeying for computer use. One family member could binge watching shows on a tablet, while others were gaming, or uploading photos to social media, or viewing sports in another part of the house. Installing WiFi equipment in lieu of wired, immediately enabled the use of a variety of devices throughout the home, desktops, laptops, Smartphones, tablets, streaming media such as Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV, and even Smart TVs.  If you are thinking about the benefits this technology will bring to your business office, but have not yet grasped the fine details, GNS Wireless presents what to know before you source your WiFi equipment.

    WiFi Equipment 101

    Here’s what you’ll need to know about routers. The chief difference is size, and need is determined by the speed and signal range (output) your business requires. There are two main types of wireless routers (although one is quickly outpacing the other), -802.11n and 802.11ac. 802.11ac are faster, although they are more expensive than 802.11n. There are also dual band routers, such as Netgear’s AC1900 Wireless Gigabit Router (R7000) which supports either 802.11n and 802.11ac frequencies.  

    Another consideration is the construction of the building. Signal degradation must be avoided, however, aluminum studs, insulation, glass, as well as brick and stone can create interference. Generally, for businesses that occupy more than one floor and these floors are separated into rooms, a router with a long range and strong data throughput at a distance is recommended. Router placement is centralized so that is also a consideration.

    Additional information one should know is that despite a router being designated as ‘high speed’, data only moves as fast as the slowest connection. Service providers do offer faster connections, usually up to 100mbps, which usually resolves this issue. Do you allow some clients online access? If so, a guest network can ensure that they do not encounter security roadblocks when they sign on. Speaking of security, routers can be encrypted which is also something to think about for businesses that are in close proximity to others, especially in a congested urban setting.

    GNS Wireless has extensive experience assisting business owners to upgrade their networks to WiFi. For solid advice as to the best WiFi equipment for your business, contact the professionals at GNS Wireless. Our staff will listen to your business requirements and recommend the best WiFi network solution to suits your requirements and your budget. Speak with us at (877) 209-5152, or submit your request via our contact form.

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