Wi-Fi is the standard for wirelessly connecting to the internet for a reason – it is fast, reliable and inexpensive. But the signal is also quite short range and can’t travel well through thick walls, so it is important to set it up correctly for best results.
Firstly, set up your router in a central location if possible, and away from furniture that may block the signal. For the very smallest care homes the Wi-Fi signal from the router itself may be enough – but in most cases additional units will be needed to ensure a good Wi-Fi signal coverage across your entire site.
For smaller buildings, one or more Wi-Fi ‘extenders’ may be enough to offer good Wi-Fi coverage across your care home. Devices will have to reconnect to the internet when moving out of range of the router and into the area covered by the extender. There are two main types:
These units work on a similar principle to Wi-Fi extenders, repeating and amplifying the signal across your building. They have the advantage that you will not need to disconnect from the internet if you move out of range of one Wi-Fi unit and into the range of another – they act as a single seamless network. They can also offer better range than Wi-Fi repeaters. Your existing router may have compatible mesh devices available for it, but you could need to upgrade to a new router. Speak to your internet provider to find out your options.
For larger buildings, commercial-grade systems may be the most effective option. These are more expensive to set up, but offer the reliability and The amount of data that can be transferred over a particular data connection in one second i.e. the speed of the connection. More (the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded at the same time) needed to connect a number of users across many different rooms.
They tend to work on the same basic principles as Wi-Fi extenders and Wi-Fi mesh devices, using Wi-Fi ‘access points’ spaced throughout the building. These access points are wired up to the main Broadband includes high-speed internet access in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once. NHSX and NHS Digital have worked with telecommunications companies to publish a series of offers and guidance to help care homes get More connection using physical cabling, which makes them powerful and reliable but this also means that they will need to be professionally installed by an IT supplier.
If you feel this is the most suitable option for your organisation, first contact your local commissioner to find out if they have a recommended list of suppliers, or search for local options online.
Things to consider when choosing a commercial-grade solution include:
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