It can seem like business life is strewn with headaches – and no headache comes bigger than expensive, unreliable internet connections, according to a new survey.
Access to quick, trustworthy public Wi-Fi tops the list of concerns, a report from Lifeline IT has found. The network support firm’s research is particularly worrying since IT is key to seven in 10 firms. Almost half of them work remotely while out and about.
So if you or any of your staff work at home or on the move, then what steps can be taken to enhance the trustworthiness of your tech connections?
The poll also finds that one in three firms have been preyed on by cyber criminals, while over three-quarters (78%) worry about the safety of their open networks. More than half (57%) of respondents say ‘dropping calls” and bad mobile reception are among their biggest worries, and nearly half (49%) resent paying for poor Wi-Fi connection.
Do your homework
If you’re a start-up about to launch your business, there’s no excuse for ignorance about poor Wi-Fi in your area hindering initial progress. Speedtest is just the app for this test. Every day this market leader attracts 5 million users, helping them to check a district’s broadband speeds. This app could be particularly useful to start-ups in rural areas who can’t waste time and money relocating or waiting for broadband speeds to catch up. It could mean the difference between survival and going under in those crucial opening six months.
Keep lobbying for improved 4G reach
Over four in 10 businesses (44%) polled want improved 4G. The four major mobile networks have already made big strides into their 4G rollout program. Last month, for example, EE claimed to have hit its initial 75% UK coverage target, having included an extra 13 new towns. The broadband provider’s superfast mobile network is now available to 260 leading cities and towns besides more than 2,500 small towns and villages.
Big office furniture, such as heavy cabinets, should be put along your office’s exterior walls. This should improve reception because signals will be able to flow unimpeded. Other people’s wireless routers, cordless phones, baby monitors or even the water in fish tanks can also interfere with your WiFi signal, according to research by Virgin Media. So keep your electrical appliances (and fish) away from your router.
The more mirrors, the better. Every metallic surface reflects signals from WiFi, such as the small metal borders found on the majority of mirrors.
Maximise your routers’ effectiveness
Where you place these can be key to WiFi efficiency. Near an office’s top and heart is best – perhaps on a tall shelf. Radiowaves travel most efficiently downwards besides laterally. They should also be put far away from halogen lamps and kitchens (to avoid interference from microwaves).
Safer Wi-Fi/better internet security
More secure online banking and accounting has paved the way for greater security consciousness. Already nearly six out of 10 firms polled (57%) say they have instigated their own IT recovery procedures to avoid getting hacked. A further four-tenths of respondents want to see additional mobile and online security via greater usage of more and more biometric passwords, including voice recognition, palm prints and fingerprints.
Better, free Wi-Fi
Three in four firms want this. Hotels are increasingly following the US’s lead and introducing them free of charge into their rooms to outscore the competition. Some experts hope that a rising amount of public places will follow suit.
Post by The Secret Businessman