While wireless internet networks are extremely handy, there are certain situations where they can prove to be less than ideal. Some churches, daycares and athletic facilities have found that during their busiest times, smart phones and other forms of network interference can cause issues with the reliability and performance of their wireless networks. The natural next step is to switch from a wireless to a wired network.
If your KidCheck stations are located near the router, wiring them into the network is easy. However, if this is not the case at your facility, powerline networking can be a great alternative. Powerline networking takes advantage of the network of electrical wires already existing in a building, and uses these wires to convey data. Powerline adapters essentially turn any power outlet into a data port with no effect on the normal function of the electrical wires or power outlets.
There are a couple steps involved to make sure you are a good candidate for adopting this technology:
Step 1: Will it help?
Before purchasing, it's a good idea to run some tests on your wireless network. First, run an internet quality test at www.pingtest.net on a spare, WiFi-connected laptop during your busiest time. Then, for comparison, also run the internet quality test on either a wired computer at that same busy time or a wireless computer during a non-busy time. If the test done on the wireless computer during a busy time is substantially worse in the comparison test, you are an excellent candidate for benefiting from Powerline adapters.
Step 2: What do I need to purchase?
For example, First Friendly Church has two check-in stations located in the front lobby and one station in the rear lobby. They would need to purchase one adapter for their modem/router, one adapter for the station in the rear lobby, and a multi-port adapter for the two stations in the front lobby.
Step 3: How do I set them up?
Setup is very simple. Plug the adapters into an electrical outlet right on the wall (do not use a power strip, surge protector or extension cord). Use the included ethernet cables to connect one adapter to your modem/router, and the rest connect to your KidCheck station computers. That’s it! Your adapters will also include additional documentation and support information, if troubleshooting proves necessary.
Very large facilities may need to experiment with their setup, depending on the distance between their stations, the locations of other components drawing large amounts of power, and their electrical system setup but usually just plugging them in is all it takes!
To purchase Powerline adapters for your facility, visit the hardware tab of the online KidCheck store.