Connecting Two Offices When Wi-Fi Won't Reach

When businesses expand, they will often move on to larger commercial premises. In many situations, however, the main office will continue to operate as normal and the additional space will be found nearby in a satellite office. If the two premises adjoin one another, then connecting the IT infrastructures should be relatively simple. If they are separate from one another, then you may need to consider how data communications will operate between the two spaces. If there is such a great distance between them that wireless communications are not an option, what do you need to do?

Boost Your Wireless Signal

In truth, there is not a commercially viable way of boosting a Wi-Fi signal so that it will be powerful enough to reach a satellite office, even if it is close by on the same industrial estate. You can, however, use repeater stations which transceive wireless communications back and forth. A typical repeater unit that is located in the normal area that the Wi-Fi signal from your router reaches will extend its range half as far again. You might achieve a bit more distance if there are no walls in the way. However, using a repeater puts more strain on a Wi-Fi network, with increased incidents of data clashes. It can be a slow, if convenient, solution. As such, it is always better to opt for a wired answer to the problem instead.

Ethernet Data Communications

You may be surprised at just how far standard data cabling will reach using Ethernet. For example, Cat-6 data cables can be run between an RJ-45 outlet jack and a patch bay up to 90 metres away from one another. Bear in mind that you can also stretch this to a maximum of 100 metres when you take the respective patch cables into account. For many satellite offices in the same building, for example on different floors of an office block, running new Ethernet cables via a dry riser will be enough to meet the demands of the new office's IT equipment. Where longer distances are needed, fibre optics should be considered.

Data Communications Using Fibre Optics

When you install a fibre optic connection between two offices, very fast communication can be expected with enough bandwidth to handle lots of IT equipment on either side of the divide talking to one another simultaneously. Connections of up to 2,000 metres can be handled with this approach, although the total distance can be less depending on the strength of the laser signal used. This limiting factor is usually down to the terminal equipment you choose, so you shouldn't be put off using fibre optics so long as you select the right sort of switches in your set up.