If your office is a tangled, trip-inducing mess of wires, extension cords and power strips, it may be time to unplug and consider wireless technology.
A number of wireless service options exist that allow you to connect to the Internet, make phone calls, link office devices and computers without plugging them into a phone jack -- or each other.
Wireless technology, often called WiFi, also allows you to be extremely mobile. WiFi can give laptops online access in locations that offer the service; enable cell phones to provide real-time geographical information and directions and even create a wireless network that will allow you to print a photo from a computer from across the room.
Wireless technology options include:
1. Wireless Internet services.
2. Cell phones with wireless service.
3. A Bluetooth wireless network.
4. Wireless technology routers.
Connect to the Internet using wireless technology or WiFiOffering faster browsing and more mobility than dial-up, WiFi Internet connections allow you to get online without plugging your computer directly into a phone outlet. Instead, a WiFi router is connected to your phone line, providing a signal your wireless Internet accessible computer will pick up. Many public places, including restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses, also offer wireless Internet access to their customers for free or for a small fee. Wireless service can be obtained from phone service, cable, satellite and local and national Internet service providers, which build a wireless network for a city/region or large pool of users, respectively.
Make calls with a wireless technology cell phoneCell phones now provide more than just free long distance. Phones with GPS receivers can instantly provide maps and driving directions via a GPS navigation wireless service subscription or a software package. Prepaid cell phones may require you to buy a phone, but will offer infrequent users the option to pay as they go for wireless service, as opposed to paying a set monthly fee. Smart phones can also offer employees one-stop tech shopping, providing a cell phone, e-mail capabilities and more. An e-mail and smart phone wireless service designed specifically for small business owners costs about $30 to $40 per month.
prepaid cell phones, view the list of wireless service providers at Business.com.
Use Bluetooth wireless telecommunicationsBluetooth technology allows you to securely connect PDAs, computers, cameras and phones by creating a wireless network with a low-power radio spectrum. It's similar to WiFi, and can interact with a wireless network, but Bluetooth functions on a shorter, three to 30 foot range. Bluetooth can increase mobility by connecting headsets and cell phones and computer calendars and contact lists into a wireless network.
Use a wireless technology routerMost notebook computers now come with WiFi capability. However, a wireless technology router may be needed to help non-wireless desktop computers connect wirelessly to the Internet. Wireless routers use radio signals or Ethernet cables to connect computers -- and to connect them to the Internet. Most give about 100 feet of coverage, making a wireless network work well in a home office. A mobile router also can help employees on the road quickly connect multiple devices to the Internet using a cell phone signal in their car, hotel or elsewhere. Some companies use mobile routers in branch offices where employees only need limited wireless Internet access.
- Encrypting or setting routers to require a password in order to use wireless technology will prevent them from being accessible to all computers within range.
- Note that when connecting more than one desktop computer via a wireless Internet router, you'll likely need more than one connection device.
- If you're hoping to set up your office as a wireless network using Bluetooth wireless technology, confirm that any computers, phones and other tech items are Bluetooth compatible before buying them.
- GPS software may be more helpful than a GPS service in remote areas because it doesn't require a wireless service signal.