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How to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal in 5 Minutes

If you’re asking ‘How do I get better WiFi?’

Then this is definitely for you.

Wi-Fi signal is made of simple radio waves and as with any radio there are numerous issues that can cause interference problems. Strong Wi-Fi signal on the other hand can have the opposite effect. Giving you faster performance and better coverage around your home or business. So with this in mind it’s important to make sure you properly position and configure your router to get the best from the signal strength which is available. Read on and we’ll show you how to achieve this in no more than 5 minutes by following theses three easy steps.

 1) Point The Antenna Up

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well it is, and in many cases routers have aerial-looking antenna sticking out of the back of them. These antennae will almost always come out of the box pointing horizontally to make sure they fit in the box and we often see these in buildings still horizontal just because they have never been moved. Positioning the antenna vertically will increase your connection strength and if you have two or more antennae, keep the antennae vertical and in parallel to optimise performance, there is no advantage to pointing them all in different directions.

 2) Position Your Router Properly.

Consider where you will put your router. If you have a large home or office space then getting your router as central as possible you will benefit from more overall coverage as you will be boosting the range of the signal. Placing the router at one end of the building will, in many cases, mean you get great signal at that end of the building (and also outside that side of the building) but limited signal at the other side of the office. However, if your router signal is strong enough and there is a good signal everywhere in your office there’s little benefit in moving it now.

Position your router high up. Placing your router on the floor may be the most convenient place but is almost always the worst. A higher position will help your signal.

Metal has been the enemy for wireless signals for numerous years and we’re afraid nothing has changed. If your router is placed on or near large metal objects such as filing cabinets or metal shelves, this could cause a problem as the signal cannot pass through metal. In some cases, routers positioned too close to metal pipes have had issues and moving them can provide an almost instant improvement.

Ok, so you’ve checked all that, but there is still some interference, well you maybe able to root out the problem by looking at your other devices. Microwave ovens, baby monitors and even cordless telephones can interfere with Wi-Fi signals.

 3) Choose the best Wi-Fi Channel

If you’re in a place where there are a variety of different Wi-Fi networks running such as a block of flats or a shared office space, your neighbours’ Wi-Fi will probably be interfering with yours

You can however minimize the effect this can have, and as a starting point moving your router away from the other routers will be a good place to start but unfortunately is not a fool proof plan. The best option in this case is to switch to a different Wi-Fi Channel. If you’re not highly ‘tech savvy’ you may feel like we’ve just asked you to perform something you have no idea how to do? Well not to fear, we promise it’s not as technical as it sounds, just follow these simple instructions.

• You can change channels on your router’s settings page (instructions on finding this page will be in your routers manual or online).

• Locate the Wi-Fi channel option in the router’s web interface and change it to a different channel with less interference. Finding the right channel can be a bit of an experiment at first but it’s relatively easy to do and can have a great effect. The investment of a few minutes of your time now will save you hours in the future. To us, it seems like a good option.

So, 3 easy steps and you’re done!

If you would like more information on how to get the best from your Wi-Fi connection or explore the best connections for you then call the team at The 848 Group on 01785 503 848 or email info@848.co and we will be happy to help.

Wi-Fi isn’t our only service, you can view the rest of our IT products and services here: www.848.co

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Keele Internships and The 848 Group

This week, we’re singing the praises of Keele Internships. As a company that is local to the university, The 848 Group were eager to engage with emerging student and graduate talent and provide hands on experience that was more than just making tea! Our employees come equipped with a wide variety of skills, from sales to marketing to IT engineering, providing plenty of opportunities for Keele graduates across many disciplines.

 

Finding out about the internship scheme through his previous position, Matt discovered The 848 Group were on the look out for a Keele graduate to join their team in demonstrating and selling Dynamics CRM, a key business IT solution. Today we’re happy to announce that Matt will be staying with the company in a permanent position after making a brilliant first impression.

I studied Law at Keele University and was a post graduate when this internship opportunity was offered to me. I was already working in Business Support in Wolverhampton and had worked alongside 848 on numerous occasions in my role.

I had been working alongside Andy Mallett, 848’s Software director, on a Dynamics CRM implementation. Due to governmental policy changes in the business support sector, a major national SMB support and funding programme was cut short which meant redundancies across my organisation. Andy and David Moore at 848 made me aware of an internship opportunity with Santander and Keele that would allow me to move into a more specialised role at 848 and drew on the skills and experience I had gained until then.

Moving into a specialist role has meant my skillset and understanding have increased exponentially. I have got great experience not only on the technical administration of Dynamics CRM but also in customization, management and pre-sales. My internship with 848 has gone brilliantly and I have integrated into the team here at 848 well. Working for a growing business offers many inherent opportunities and benefits but, most rewarding of all, a win for me in sales is a win for the company which creates a hardworking ethic and team mentality here at the office. I really look forward to a future here at 848 and would like to thank David, Andy and the internship programme for the opportunity.

We’re very happy that Matt has decided to stay with 848 and can’t wait to see him bring even more to the company!

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CCDA Passed with Flying Colours!

Congratulations to James Saunders on his CCDA qualification!

We’re incredibly happy to announce our very own head of professional services James Saunders has achieved a Cisco CCDA qualification- passing with an incredible score of 1000! To become a Cisco Certified Design Associate, you must have the extensive ability to design, configure, develop and implement network infrastructure at an expert level.

Cisco Partner Select Certified Staffordshire

The CCDA qualification covers design methodologies, objectives, data, devices, and security and wireless controls, amongst many other aspects. At The 848 Group, we know each business we work with has their own unique specifications and requests. A CCDA qualification proves that we can create a custom network for you that is both scalable, personal, and 100% functional, ensuring your satisfaction. Nobody wants a cookie cutter service, so at The 848 Group we’re happy to provide you with a custom solution.

James is now the go-to man for any sophisticated network design you might ever need. He’s added this qualification to his extensive list of skills and attributes- merely a notch in the belt of his tech knowledge! We’re incredibly proud of any qualification our team might attain, and feel blessed to have such talented staff on board. James is currently working on some of The 848 Group’s largest projects- watch this space.

If you’re interested in how a CCDA qualification can benefit your business personally, contact us.

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What an Inbound Marketing Certification Means for Customers

Last week I passed Hubspot’s Inbound Certification. If you didn’t know already, Hubspot is well known online for their market leading software which aids marketers to drive website traffic, sales and customer delight.

The certification gives 848 another opportunity to provide our customers with a valuable online marketing service that can not only help to improve visitor numbers, but leads and promoters as well.

 

But what is Inbound Marketing?

This is a term that Hubspot themselves coined back in 2005, which has now become mainstream online.

The main point of inbound marketing is that marketers earn their visitors and sales, rather than buying them (known as Outbound marketing).

This means that blogs, eBooks, email newsletters, social media, search engine optimisation and all other forms of attracting visitors (rather than forcing adverts upon them) count as forms of Inbound Marketing.

Why are these things important? Well, with traditional Outbound Marketing, your effort is focused on going out to talk to people, slapping big fat adverts in front of them and even calling up strangers from a non-opt-in list of numbers and names.

Inbound marketing provides value through blogs that people want to read, through SEO that helps search engines to show your content to people that want what your content offers, through social media that people want to see when they like or follow your profile, as well as everything else that provides some sort of value that people can decide whether they want to see or not.

When people want to see or read something, they’re more likely to be receptive to contributing through comments or by sharing through social media, providing it is at least either funny, informative, interesting, intriguing, exciting or even something horrific that people want to share to increase awareness – a generic and boring advert is unlikely to be shared.

This is big online, as content can be easily shared and “word of mouth” can have a viral effect. It’s not often that an advert is virally shared online (unless it is really something special – see exceptions such as the dollar shave club), but when an extremely valuable blog post is written, or a cat video is posted on youtube, it can spread like wildfire (see any of the articles linked to from Buzzsumo).

Hubspot teaches that there are four categories;

  • Attract
    • Using a blog, keywords (SEO) and social media to turn strangers into visitors
  • Convert
    • Using forms, calls-to-action and landing pages to turn visitors into leads
  • Close
    • Using CRM, email and workflows to turn leads into customers
  • Delight
    • Using surveys, smart content and social monitoring to turn customers into promoters

Having the Inbound Certification shows competency for each of these categories, rather than a specialisation in just one or two of them.

My background is a bit more specialised in search engine optimisation and blogging, but over the years I’ve also accumulated experience with social media, conversion rate optimisation (landing pages, calls-to-action and quality page copy etc), email marketing and CRM, amongst others.

On my first try, I failed the exam – simply because I took the exam before watching the videos, testing myself to see what I already knew. In reality I only marginally missed (by about 5%), presumably because of some of the wording that’s specific to Hubspot which I could only gain from watching their video series.

The second-time round was a success and I surpassed the finish line!

 

What does this mean for our customers?

Passing the exam simply reconfirms to myself that I understand as much as I think (and say that) I understand, which can give our customers peace of mind that their business is in hands that ‘know what they’re doing’.

For our customers, we are currently developing our online marketing repertoire, with an aim to offer a mix of consulting, reporting and more traditional services to help businesses reach their goals more easily online.

Going forward, there are several other certifications I’m planning to undertake and pass over the next few months, showing some more specialised skills in search engine optimisation and social media, as well as analytics and (a more outbound method:) Pay Per Click advertising.

I’ll be covering more topics shortly, so watch this space!

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Jake Maskell passes the Google Apps Deployment Specialist exam

Google Apps Deployment Specialist Exam:
Passed!

Big congratulations to team member Jake Maskell, who has passed his Google Apps Deployment Specialist exam.

Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect, to get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.

Despite finding it more difficult than expected, by passing the exam Jake renews his extensive IT software and support skill set. So not only has he improved his long standing Google Apps specialist title, but complimented his existing Office 365 specialist accreditation too.

His standing as an expert in his field continues to rocket (but of course he’d be too modest to tell you). So alongside our other highly skill staff, 848 have a readily available plethora of personnel ready to help you and your business.

If you want to find out more about what the 848 Group can do for you, or want to learn specifically what being a Google Apps Deployment Specialist means, please visit our Google Apps page.