Wired vs. Wireless
AmpliFi MeshPoints are an effective way to wirelessly extend networks in most restaurants, but in certain buildings, they might not be the best solution. Wireless devices rely on radio waves to communicate with one another. Therefore, they can potentially be affected by interference from competing networks, blockages from walls or other obstructions, and other types of radio interference.
In such instances, a wired solution can be put in place, obviating these obstructions, and adding additional reliability to your POS network. Additional AmpliFi routers can be purchased, and added to your network using the same easy-to-obtain CAT-5 ethernet cables that your network currently uses.
This guide outlines how an additional wired AmpliFi router can be added to the network. This allows you to use wired ethernet to bring your network into new parts of your venue.
Checking for Proper Signal Strength
There are a number of free Wi-Fi analyzers available for free for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. Visit the App store or Google Play and download a Wi-Fi analyzers.
After installing and launching your Wi-fi analyzers, move around your venue and test signal strength. Test, particularly, other floors as well as rooms that may be walled off with brick or some kind of heavy masonry. Your iPads need a signal strength of -60 dBM or better to eliminate the risk of disconnection errors.
Extending Your Network
1. Plug an Ethernet cable into one of the four available LAN ports on the original AmpliFi. Plug the other end into the WAN port on the AmpliFi you want to use to extend the network.
2. Launch the AmpliFi app on your iPad, iPhone, or other device.
3. You should see your new AmpliFi router available in your list, labelled as New Mesh Point. Be aware that you may see other devices listed here, some of which may not even be your own. If someone nearby happens to be setting up a similar network, you might accidentally select someone else’s device. Ensure that the correct device is selected. The icon should resemble your AmpliFi router as depicted above.
4. Type in a unique name for this device.
5. After a few minutes, the device will restart, and make a chime sound. In the AmpliFi app, you should find that your new device is available. However, at this stage it is functioning as a wireless extender, rather than a wired one, as indicated by the wi-fi logo. Tap the icon again to reveal it’s settings.
6. Enable Ethernet Backbone and tap the checkmark in the top right-hand corner.
7. In your list of devices you should now see your new AmpliFi with an Ethernet symbol rather than a wi-fi symbol. This indicates that your wired setup is complete.