Networking - Wired and Wireless
Wired Network Solutions
Having a secure and reliable network is vital to the smooth running of your business. We can set-up, maintain and troubleshoot all of your network issues.
Networking of Printers or Multi-Function Devices to Windows and Apple Mac devices
A networked printer can be shared by all your team. This saves on hardware and running costs. RealClear IT support offers a complete printer configuration and troubleshooting service for networked (and USB) printers that connects to Windows and Apple Mac devices. The brands we regularly work with include Canon, HP, Kyocera and Oki.
Networking of File Storage / Back-up Devices
Your business needs a central storage device like a server (PC or dedicated server) or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) for devices to be able to centrally store files. We work with Windows Server, Synology NAS, Qnap, ReadyNAS, G-Tech and Apple Time Machine.
The networking switch is the kingpin of your network. This device receives, processes and forwards data to all the destination devices. Switches can be as small as a 5-port or as large as a 48-port device. The switches are of two variants: “managed” and “un-managed”. Managed switches allow you to customise QoS (Quality of Service) or VLAN settings, whilst unmanaged means that all of the data is managed according to the device’s own default settings. RealClear IT Support works with HP, Cisco, Netgear, TP-link and Juniper switches.
Modem / Router Configuration
Your (ADSL, fibre-power or cable) modem is the device that connects directly to your switch, PC or wireless access point and is used to establish an internet connection from your ISP (internet service provider) to your office. Most broadband modems are supplied by your ISP and relatively trouble-free. Occasionally, however, these devices fail or need configuration changes applied to them. RealClear IT Support has experience in configuring and troubleshooting Eir, Vodafone, Virgin and Three modem routers so that you can get a fast and reliable internet connection.
Addition of new PCs or devices to your Network
If you have recently purchased a new PC and need it professionally configured to talk to the rest of the devices on your network – we can help.
Troubleshooting tips if you have no internet connection or it is intermittent
- Check Twitter to see if your internet service provider is having an outage in your area.
- Check the status of your modem’s DSL light. A solid green DSL light usually indicates that the connection is OK. However, a flashing green or red DSL light usually indicates that your modem has a problem connecting to your internet service provider.
- Have you tried power cycling the router (turning it off for at least one minute and then turning it back on)?
- What changes have been made to your network recently? Have you added any new hardware, like networked printers, POS terminals, credit card machines or any networked security systems?
Accelerate your business with ultra-fast, secure WiFi
Wireless Networking for Apple and Windows environments
Boost employee productivity and workplace efficiency with our wireless network solutions
The days of users being tethered to their desks by cables are over. High-speed wireless solutions mean your office can now be completely wireless.
- Comprehensive Coverage – Wireless in your home or office without dead-spots.
- Robust Wireless – Our networks are robust and reliable. Modern wireless networks should not need constant maintenance. They should just work.
- Secure – We deploy wireless networks that use the latest security protocols, such as WPA2-AES with authentication to keep your network safe from digital snoopers and cybercriminals.
- Affordable – We believe that small business IT users are entitled to corporate-grade wireless network standards without the corporate price tag.
Wireless Network Troubleshooting
Is your current WiFi connection continually dropping? Are wireless dead-spots in your office or home hindering productivity? We troubleshoot and install wireless networks in your home or office.
Why is my WiFi continually dropping?
An intermittent or continually dropping internet connection can be extremely frustrating. An unreliable wireless network can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Defective WLAN card – A failing or defective wireless networking card (Atheros, Intel, etc) in your computing device can cause your internet connection to be intermittent and unstable.
- Corrupt or Misconfigured Operating System Settings – Sometimes corrupt or misconfigured wireless settings on your device can cause connection instability. For example, corrupt Network Preference files will cause intermittent wireless connections in OS X devices.
- Interference – Wireless networks can suffer interference from neighbouring WLAN networks or devices, such as microwaves, baby monitors or water pumps.
- Attenuation – The further you get away from your wireless router or access point the more attenuated (weakened) the signal gets as it travels through walls and ceilings, etc. This is especially true if you’re using devices on the 5GHz bandwidth.
- Rogue DHCP servers – Sometimes “rouge DHCP” servers on your network can wreak havoc with wireless routers and access points. For a SoHo network, there should only ever be one device that acts as a DHCP server.
We provide support and assistance for routers and access points from Netgear, TP-Link, Asus, Huawei and Apple (Airport Extreme and Airport Express). We also troubleshoot wireless modem-routers as supplied by Eir, Virgin (UPC), Vodafone and Three.
Our Wireless Troubleshooting Process
All of of our wireless troubleshooting activities follow a standard plan:
- Discussion of your priorities
- Wireless Site Survey
- Proposed Solution
- Solution Implementation
- Wireless testing
WiFi Extension Service – Beat WiFi Deadspots in your Home or Office
No matter how well your wireless network is configured, there will be some parts of your home or office that your wireless network does not extend to. These are known as wireless deadspots. It might be a floor in your home or office where wireless internet coverage is weak or non-existent. Or it might be a garden office near your house.
You might have already tried “internet-boosters”, but found these to be of little use. If all this sounds familiar, we can professionally install a robust and far-reaching wireless network for you.
- A robust and reliable 802.11n or 802.11ac stable wireless network with “all area” coverage of your office or home.
- A wireless network that supports roaming, which means you do not have to continually connect and disconnect as you move from one room to another. The network will use the same SSID and password.
- A wireless network that uses the latest security protocols to protect your data from unauthorised snoopers.
- A wireless network that supports Apple and Windows devices equally well.
Mini case study – robust wireless network for Dublin civil engineer
A Dublin civil engineer needed to extend his wireless network to his custom-built office located in the back garden of his home. He had already tried several “wireless booster” solutions, but none of them provided him with a successful solution. RealClear IT Support performed a wireless site survey in his house and custom-built garden office. We decided on a wireless solution that worked in the 2MHZ to 68 MHz frequency that would provide him with data transfer rates of up to 500Mbps. We then applied 128-Bit AES encryption to secure the network.
The result: no more wireless drop outs. The engineer was able to roam seamlessly from his home to his office without having to change the network. He was more than satisfied with the solution to this very frustrating problem, and able to concentrate on his work and customers rather than the nagging worry of dropping wireless.
The Ingredients of Quality Data Cabling
RealClear install both Category 5 and Category 6 networks. We also help to troubleshoot data cabling problems that prevent your computer network from communicating properly.
Some of the factors that you need to consider for network projects include:
- Networks never become smaller or less complex
- It is important to always install more network outlets than you currently require, as extra points always come in useful
- Plan for higher speeds than are currently available today. Just because 1000 Base-T network is not a requirement for you today, does not mean you won't need it in five years’ time
- Installers of your network should provide both documentation of the network structure (e.g. a network map) and the layout to you
The Cost of Poor Quality Cabling
The frustration and downtime that can arise from a poorly planned and poorly implemented cable network can be staggering.
One company that we helped move into a new office space was using the existing cable infrastructure, which was alleged to be Category 5. Almost immediately users began to report intermittent connection problems. These difficulties included the exceptionally slow time it took to read emails, save documents and access the sales database. Other users reported that their PCs were locking up when they accessed shared files across the network. After many months of frustration, the company had the cable runs tested and the cabling was found to be of such poor quality that it did not even meet the minimum requirements for a Category 5 installation. Moreover, the cabling was installed and terminated incorrectly, creating problems at every point of the network.
Mini Case Study – When it rains, it pours...
One of our customers in Ballsbridge, Dublin had quite a strange problem with an intermittent network connection. We checked all their routers, switches, desktops and server, but all of their network configuration appeared to be correct. When we asked staff if they had noticed any pattern to the network outage problem, one lady said the problem only happened when it rained!
This small clue led us to believe that some part of the cabling might be exposed to the elements. After some searching, we eventually found a small length of cable (approximately three quarters of a metre long) which was outside the building, badly frayed and getting damp when it rained. We replaced it with an exterior black polyethylene external grade cable, specially designed to cope with damp, icy and hot conditions and the problem never reoccurred.
Key ingredients for good network design
Your wired (LAN) or wireless (WLAN) network is the backbone of your IT infrastructure. A badly designed network will leave you with untold problems that will slow down your productivity and frustrate staff. A well designed network should just work. It should be fast, reliable, secure and simple-to-use.
A good network should have adequate throughput and bandwidth, so that your team can get their tasks completed quickly and smoothly.
A good network is reliable and “just works”. A badly designed network that uses poor quality hardware will be slow, prone to outages and pose a security risk to your data.
A properly configured, robust and secure network does not have to be complicated to use. End-users should be able to access network resources and share files easily.
With security breaches becoming more common, a secure business network is more important than ever. For example, is your network protected from DoS attacks? Is your WLAN encryption secure enough? Are there proper intrusion detection and prevention systems in place? Proper penetration testing should be undertaken at regular intervals to ensure that security levels remain sufficiently strong.
Your network should be designed with the future in mind. Questions like “will there be more or less users on the network shortly?” should be be carefully considered. Building a good network from the ground up is sometimes better than “bolting-on” network functionality later.
Your network should be flexible enough to deal with legacy hardware or applications, but should also be reasonably future-proofed to handle technology changes further down the line.