Does Your Business Need a Wireless Personal Area Network?
Think about the tasks you need to complete for your small business each day and the technology tools you use to get those tasks done. Would your life be easier if your computer, smartphone, printer, and other devices were all connected?
That’s where Wireless Personal Area Networks, or WPANs, could come in handy. This type of network can provide crucial connectivity for your small business, but will your business benefit from a dedicated WPAN? Keep reading to find out.
What does a WPAN do?
A WPAN is simply a short-distance network that allows multiple devices within a small area to connect to one another. WPANs need an existing Internet connection to work, and many utilize an existing WiFi connection through a computer or smartphone Internet access point to function properly.
WPANs are most useful in small offices, since the range is usually around 30 feet.
What does a WPAN do?
This type of network allows users to tether computers, smartphones, tablets, printers, and other wireless enabled devices for data sharing.
If you’ve ever used Bluetooth technology to stream music from one device to another, take phone calls from a headset, or any number of other tasks, you’ve used a WPAN. Bluetooth isn’t necessarily the best or strongest way to set up a WPAN, but it is the easiest and will work well for most users.
What are the advantages of a WPAN, and does my business need one?
Some of the advantages to having your own WPAN include:
Low cost. WPANs allow you to connect several unrelated devices without having to spend a lot of money on the appropriate IT infrastructure.
Flexibility. If your business needs to use multiple devices at the same time for any projects or tasks, a WPAN will provide the flexibility you need. For example, you could print documents from your smartphone.
Security. WPANs have security options that allow you to block specific devices, which means you can control who accesses your network.
Ease of use. Most of the smart devices and new technology you’ll purchase for your business will already have WPAN capabilities built-in to their systems. All you have to do is connect everything.
Setting up your own basic WPAN
If your computer was manufactured within the past few years, you likely already have the technology you need for a WPAN, because Bluetooth is built in. From there, follow these steps to get your WPAN up and running:
1) Connect to the Internet via your laptop or computer.
2) Turn on Bluetooth.
3) Turn on Bluetooth for the devices you want to connect. Your devices should be automatically “discoverable” on the network once you enable Bluetooth, but you can also add them manually by following the on-screen instructions. Click “Add a Bluetooth Device” or “Show Bluetooth Devices” on your computer to see your devices (the exact language may vary based on your computer).
Following these simple steps will provide your small business with it’s own basic Wireless Personal Area Network — and you’ll still have plenty of time to get back to work after setting it up.