For the employee, working from home is the opportunity to break away from office stress and the general corporate culture. But for the employer, remote working presents new challenges and the chance to be innovative.
Different sized companies require different remote setups. For those doing admin remotely, little more than a stable internet connection and a fast laptop is needed. For web designers, the setup is going to be a little more complicated as more equipment is brought into the remote working space.
Luckily, for those who will be working from home in future, there are all sorts of products on the market that are made to give them the support and internet access they require so that they can have the most productive working day, every day.
Wired vs wireless networking solutions
There is quite a big difference between wired and wireless, and it is important to know the differences between the two before making that final choice.
If the setup is a wired one, it will require plenty of cabling and the accompanying mounts and rigs, to place routers and neatly hide the cables. It’s the perfect solution for those whose office will be in one place or, rather, if they will only be needing to access the internet in one location in the house. Wired connectivity is fast and stable, especially with the onset of readily available fibre.
Wireless is the connectivity choice for many people because it is both flexible and fast. With this kind of device, there is no need to have an official office space, and sometimes that is just the kind of thing an employee needs in order to be productive.
Once the decision has been made, finding the appropriate devices and accessories is a breeze, especially as there are so many fantastic options available. Below, you’ll find the 10 best wired and wireless solutions for remote workers, starting with four solutions by brands and then six solutions that you might not have heard of before.
The four best basic solutions by brand
1. MikroTik 10-port desktop SFP router | RB2011iLS-IN
MikroTik is a fantastic brand producing reliable networking solutions of all kinds, including this most excellent 10-port desktop router. Designed to accommodate five fast ethernet ports and five gigabit ethernet ports, this router is ideal for a settled office space in the home. It has its own enclosure and its own power supply.
2. Fanvil Enterprise IP phone │ X1SP
Small enough for the desk and capable of connecting to the internet, this IP phone is quite perfect for remote workers who don’t need an entire switchboard setup but who still want to benefit from an IP connected phone.
Phones that are equally good if small and basic include the Fanvil Entry Level IP Phone and the Fanvil Soho IP phone.
3. Fanvil RJ9 binaural on-ear headset + mic
Headsets are popular among remote workers as they allow the worker to focus solely on the conversation they are having, while completely minimising outside noise interference. Headsets are also commonly used for web-based meetings on applications such as Skype and Zoom. This Fanvil on-ear headset and mic is designed for the office worker and those who work in call centres.
4. ALGcom antennas
ALGcom produces a selection of the best antennas in the world and they supply everything from the actual antenna to the various accessories needed to mount them safely. Antennas are used for wireless internet connectivity and these high-performance ones are guaranteed to aid fast wireless access.
Six of the best little-known solutions
1. Fibre cabling
When it comes to wired internet, fibre is without a doubt the way to go. Fibre connectivity is consistent, reliable and it’s fast, something that every single remote worker needs. Downtime is not something anyone wants to deal with when working remotely.
Fibre cabling requires the right installation materials and a pair of skilled hands, so while the remote worker can greatly benefit from this, it is best to let the professionals install it.
2. Remote clocking systems
They fall under access control systems, which brands like Hikvision are popular for creating, and they are the perfect way for remote workers and their employers to keep track of time spent working. Remote clocking is generally done via online programmes or by using specific software.
3. Surge protector
It is the one device that every remote worker should have but which few think about adding to their office. A surge protector is designed to prevent a sudden surge in electricity or a lightning strike from damaging or destroying laptops, PCs and routers. Both MikroTik and Ubiquiti have great quality surge protectors.
4. Ethernet switch
These are not generally a part of everyday language when it comes to setting up a remote office, but they are without a doubt a very useful addition. An ethernet switch is used as a central point from which to connect all devices to the web, without having to connect them directly to the router. Tenda is one trusted brand, which manufactures top quality ethernet switches. TP Link also has a fantastic eight-port gigabit desktop switch that is well worth the consideration.
South Africa is prone to rolling blackouts and unexpected interruptions to the electricity supply. To minimise downtime and reduce the damage to appliances, a power supply is the solution. And the fact that they are reliable and affordable is an added bonus.
6. Mesh router
This is more of a luxury than necessity, but when working remotely, there are those times when the employee might want a change of scenery while working. Having a mesh router is the solution as they provide blanket WiFi connectivity allowing a person to work from wherever they feel like it, even outside. One such router is the Ubiquiti UniFi Outdoor Dual Band AC Mesh | UAP-AC-M.
If the home office is going to be used for meetings, it can be useful to add a camera at the gate or door. Remote working can get lonely and, in some cases, it raises some concerns about safety. To improve safety Dahua has a selection of small cameras and associated products that can be used by remote workers who’d like to see who is arriving for a meeting and, by doing so, eliminate risk.
Switchcom Distribution is a distributor of High-end wireless and wired networking equipment, VoIP, surveillance and more. Visit their website: www.switchcom.co.za or contact them on 010 007 2555.