If you’re looking to provide your employees with unhindered access to your wireless network, a wireless access point is a must. But we implore you. DO NOT buy a wireless access point – yet. Buying the wrong wireless access point can lead to spotty internet connections, lack of security, and low productivity for your employees.

When it comes to running your business, you don’t want to settle for second best. You want the best possible outcomes, so choosing the best wireless access point for your company’s needs at the right price is imperative.

So, what factors make for the best access point? You should consider several things, which is why we’ve laid out a comprehensive checklist you can follow to choose the right wireless access point for your business.


What Features Should The Best Wireless Access Point Include?

As is the case with most technology, the hardware you choose should reflect your individual needs or the needs of your organization. Everything from the range of your wireless access, the speed of your wireless system, and security access will be different from business to business.

Before you choose a wireless access point, you want to be sure your wireless solution meets all your company’s needs – and then some.

You should choose the best wireless access point that provides quality and scalability so your network stays secure and can grow with your company.

Here are just a few important features you should look for in a wireless access point.


The Best Access Point Takes a Cloud-First Approach

There is a misconception that safety and proximity are related. This is not always the case.

For example, most people keep their money in banks or deposit boxes because those institutions have better security, are insured, and can keep a better eye on your money than you can. Your network is similar. Sure, keeping a data center on-premises may seem like a good idea, but with that comes maintenance, IT services, and security – all of which you need to manage and pay for.

Giving your network devices access to the cloud shifts the day-to-day management to third-party and automated services that are equipped to monitor and maintain your network to the highest degree.

For example, Cisco Meraki access points are 100% cloud-managed, giving features like network-wide visibility and control to easily manage your wireless connection and self-learning radio frequency optimization to ensure your employees always have optimal signal strength.


The Best Access Point Is One That Does the Work for You

Maintaining your access points and ensuring all firmware is up to date can be a headache for administrators. So why not opt for a wireless access point that does it all for you?

Several wireless access points, like Cisco Meraki, provide automatic firmware updates that update your network with new features and fixes with minimal manual intervention.

By connecting to the cloud, Cisco Meraki can check for all the latest firmware updates. Meraki automatically keeps networks up to date by notifying the administrator via email and the dashboard. From there, administrators can choose to update immediately or choose an alternate timeline.


The Best Access Point is Faster and More Flexible

The job of an access point isn’t easy! Throughout a workday, your access point will encounter interference from non-wireless devices and even other nearby access points.

The best wireless access point should include features that continually optimize your connection, limiting inconsistent internet speed and maximizing your Wi-Fi performance throughout the office. Through tools like real-time spectrum analysis and live channel utilization, an access point will get real-time information about the surrounding Wi-Fi environment, identify any interference, and choose the best channel that maintains system-wide performance.

Cisco designed its Meraki Access Points to maintain connection even in the most demanding environments, with the ability to support over 100 users per access point.


The Best Access Point Saves You Money… Beyond Checkout

Finally, you want an access point that limits your TCO, that’s Total Cost of Ownership. This is not just the total price at checkout but the costs that you’ll incur during the entire lifetime of the product.

When it comes to your wireless network, over 80% of the total IT costs occur after the initial purchase. This includes the amount of money wasted when employees are dealing with network issues, subscriptions to supporting software, support from IT teams, network maintenance, and more.

Before you go out and purchase a new wireless access point, you need to factor in all the ways it addresses these costs. For example, Cisco Meraki’s cloud-first approach limits IT costs through zero-touch access point provisioning that addresses network issues automatically. It also eliminates the need for traditional hardware controllers, saving space and overall maintenance costs.

Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider and several options to weigh out, but Cisco Meraki offers multiple models and features to choose from, so you know you’re getting the best access point for the perfect price. If you need help deciding, you can start a free demo, so you can see everything Meraki has to offer and experience the platform for yourself. Simply looking for more information? Contact a Cisco expert today.


Ian Thompson

Leader, SMB Marketing

Americas Growth Marketing