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Recommendation/Advice on Small Office Set Up

I am looking for some advice into setting up networking for a new space. Originally our business (2 employees) was very small and piggy backed on our old landlord's internet, so we never set up our own. We just moved in last week, and is temporarily running everything through a Netgear AC 1900, Ideally, I wanted to do Modem--->Router-->Switch, but we got no ports :(

Our new space is on the 2nd floor of a 5 floor office building, the internet connection is 500 Mbps down/25 mbps up. We now have 6 staff. At this new location, we also switched our phone service to Ring Central (VOIP). We got four medium sized offices, and one conference room. The hardwares in our office are - 3 desktop computers, 3 laptops, one smart TV for conference rooms, 6-7 cell phones, and two printers.

Unfortunately, none of the rooms have ethernet ports. The Modem is set up in my office right now, and we have the router in this room as well. We only had this set up for two days, but generally speaking we haven't had much problem with our staff running everything on wifi.

The only issue is our quality of our Voip. My phone is connect by ethernet to the Netgear router, but everyone else uses the Ring Central App on their cell phones. Speed tests shows that the Phones are getting pretty good speeds, but for whatever reason everyone gets occasional dropped calls for a few seconds.

Should I invest in new wiring in our floor so everyone gets ethernet port in their office and set up my office like a server room? Can I get by with just using powerline for the Voip phones (we have the physical cisco phones, just couldn't use them since we don't have ethernet ports)?

Thanks! Very appreciative of any response.

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level 1
7 points · 8 days ago

I’m going to tell you some advicethat will last a lifetime: Everything that can be hardwired should be hardwired. Also since you’re in business , a second piece of advice relating to WiFi ,if it’s mission critical , get some proper access points , business grade Meraki,ubiquiti or the like. Yes it will cost some money , but consider it an investment , how much do you stand to lose monetarily and productivity wise if that netgear goes down at 10 am ? Hope this helps

level 1
2 points · 8 days ago

Should I invest in new wiring in our floor so everyone gets ethernet port in their office

Yes. This should be part of building out any new office space. At least 1 (I'd run 2) drops per office, 1 per cube, 2-4 per conference room, and some in general areas.

You should be calling a professional firm to handle this for you.

set up my office like a server room?

No. Telecom and network equipment should be together in a locked room with adequate HVAC. You likely already have a demarc wall where your ISP hands off your connection.

Can I get by with just using powerline for the Voip phones

I think you mean PoE, and yes, that's the preferred method. You'll need PoE switches in the rack as well.

Everything should be hardwired if at all possible. While this is true everywhere, in a business environment, failing to do so is egregious. First, connection issues and quality are much higher and that translates to higher workforce efficiency. Second, wireless is becoming a larger and larger part of the network and is relied upon far more every year. One of the primary methods of maintaining WiFi coverage and throughput is to keep non-essential devices off the AP.

level 1
1 point · 7 days ago

Great replies.

You could easily run your own ethernet but given it is a business might not be worth the risk if stuff don't work. Having it done by someone who does this often and would be available for trouble shooting would be invaluable.

Get a business class internet connection that will give better reliability & response time for issues.

Absolutely have servers, switches, etc in a separate locked room. Depending on your industry this could be an audit requirement. Think business liability

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