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Mythbusters: There’s No Interference at 5 GHz

A wireless network has become almost mandatory for every small business. A wireless network is relatively easy for non-technical people to install, and it’s convenient for users, who can use it to connect to the network and the Internet from anywhere in the building. But Wi-Fi does present a challenge that’s unique to the radio signals it uses to transmit data: interference. In this Mythbusters post, we’ll clear up the misconception that there’s no interference on the 5GHz channel.

A Wi-Fi network can use one of two frequency bands to send and receive radio waves: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These frequencies are much higher than those used for other radios, like cell phones and walkie-talkies, so the Wi-Fi signal can carry considerably more data. All Wi-Fi networks use the wireless 802.11 networking standard; the difference is in which band you set your wireless router or access point to transmit on. 802.11b and 802.11g operate at the 2.4 GHz band, while 802.11a transmits at 5 GHz. Unlike the other variations of the standard, 802.11n can operate at both bands.

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Virtual LANs Can Offer Big Benefits for Small Businesses

Wireless VLANs can boost network security and protect business assets by segmenting traffic

Small business networks don’t have to be basic. In fact, they should apply some advanced networking technologies to their networks to get the same benefits as large enterprises, such as virtual LANs (VLANs). Just like larger companies, smaller businesses can use VLANs to bolster security, increase usability, and improve network performance. And with a wireless VLAN, you can segment wireless traffic on your network into groups that keep certain types of traffic separate from the rest of the traffic on your network.

A LAN is defined as all the devices that connect to each other in the same broadcast domain, whether that’s a wired or a wireless network. A VLAN uses software to create a virtual network of devices that are assigned to a broadcast domain; a wireless VLAN is like a separate, mini network within your wireless LAN. You can set up one or more wireless VLANs to support different groups of users, depending on their needs and the risks inherent to your company.

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WAPs: More than Simple Wireless Network Access

An advanced wireless access point can bolster wireless security and improve network access

Most people have come to expect wireless network access almost everywhere they go, especially when they are at work or elsewhere. After all, if they can check their email on their smartphones from Starbucks, why shouldn’t they be able to do the same in a conference room at the office? Luckily, adding wireless access to your existing network isn’t difficult—but you must make some choices. You can opt for a basic wireless access point (WAP) for wireless network connectivity. Or, you can choose a more advanced small-business wireless router or WAP that adds sophisticated capabilities to your wireless network.

At their most basic, WAPs simply connect wireless devices to your local network through a standard wireless signal such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A WAP connects to your router, which connects users’ devices (including smartphones, tablets, and laptops) to the network and the Internet. But WAPs can also bolster your network security, provide users with better network access throughout your building, and give you additional installation flexibility.

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