How do I configure my PC’s to run QuickFlora?
See the current “Setup Guide for new PC’s” that we provide.
How do I setup my network to run QuickFlora?
That is a long answer and depends on many different factors. You would need to schedule a call with one of our engineers in order to get our suggestions on this issue.
What is a “Dual Wan” Router?
A dual wan router allows you to plug two different broadband connections (such as DSL, able, FIOS or T1) into the back of the router for auto-failover. This simply means that when one service goes down, the other one kicks in and you are still up-and-running. It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you run redundant broadband connections with web-based POS programs like QuickFlora.
What router should I buy to run QuickFlora?
Call us for our specific model suggestions. Note: We do not support routers. You need to purchase a support plan bundled with your router when you buy it and renew it when it expires.
What if I need emergency router assistance?
We can provide router assistance for a fee of $95/hour.
Should I buy a back up router?
Yes. Routers fail just like all other hardware. You can purchase an inexpensive $50 back up router and keep it stored in case your main router fails. Keep in mind, if your router fails, your whole network will be down until it is replaced and reconfigured again. This is not something you want to happen a few days before a major holiday, for example.
What data line speed is needed to run POS efficiently?
3Mbs is the suggested minimum download speed, but the faster the line, the better.
Why should I have redundant broadband connections?
Because internet providers always go down for some reason at some time. If you care about maximum uptime, it’s cheap insurance.
Can I run QuickFlora on a T1 line with my phone system?
Yes, if you have a data port on your system that can be plugged into a router. Call your T1 provider and verify with them first.
Can I user a wireless laptop with QuickFlora?
Yes, but like any other PC terminal, it has to be properly configured. Note: Laptops are not always the easiest way to perform order entry.
QuickFlora Network Set Up
Setting up a local network can be a complex, frustrating and time consuming task. QuickFlora provides special support for initial network setup and ongoing maintenance.
We recommend specific equipment we know very well and help you get up and running the proper way so that you can minimize any downtime long term.
One thing to keep in mind is that all hardware eventually fails, so you must be proactive in initial setting up your local network to minimize future downtime. Warranties are nice, but when it’s February 12th, you can’t wait 24-48 hours to be back online.
You can either choose to do the network set up yourself, hire someone locally to do it, or have us send a technician out for you. Either way, you will probably need a qualified engineer to do the initial configuration and make sure everything is working properly. The entire configuration (network map) details must be stored on our end in order to provide proper support.
Before your computers can share your Internet connection, they need to be able to share with each other! This means that you'll have to connect them together to form a LAN. If you already have an Ethernet-based LAN, then you can scroll down to “Part 2” and read down from there. If you don't, or aren't sure, then read on.
Keep in mind, even if you have a network already in place, we will still need you to fill out the network diagram form, so that we can provide proper support, verify all your data is secure, and that you have a router back up plan in place.
What’s a LAN?
A LAN, or Local Area Network is a group of two or more computers, physically close together (usually in the same building), that are linked to each other. LANs can contain devices other than computers, for example, printers, print servers, storage devices, etc.
For a shop with no existing network:
First decide what hardware you will need:
How many terminals?
How many printers?
Second, decide what type of high speed internet connection you wish to have?
Dial Up (not recommended)
Try and always get the fastest speed possible from any provider. Keep in mind availability changes from month to month with local providers, so keep checking back if you not happy with your present network speed. (Should be at least 3.0/Mbs download speed). You can also choose to have both DSL and a Cable Modem in many cases (for back up and combined faster speed using a special Dual WAN Router).
Third, decide where in your shop the high speed modem will be placed physically? Make sure it is not near a heating vent or in direct sunlight.
Fourth, decide where all your terminals and printers will be placed?
Fifth, measure the distance from each device (printer or terminal) to the router.
Sixth, fill out the network diagram form and label each terminal and printer.
Once you have filled out your local network diagram form, we can begin the process of choosing your router and ordering the proper size network cables you will need.
Selecting a Router
In order to run multiple terminals using one broadband source (either DSL, Cable or T1 line) you must purchaser a router and have it configured to work at your location.
Routers come in many different shapes and sizes. They are very complex to configure (i.e. you must have a strong networking background) and when they go on the blink, they are difficult to diagnose many times. Configuring them for wireless use and making sure all your data is secure adds another layer of complexity.
So a properly selected and configured router will save you many hours of downtime and headaches down the road with your network.
That said, we strongly recommend the following routers for certain size installations.
For shops with under 8 total devices on the network such as:
Up to any combination of terminals and printers not exceeding eight:
SonicWall TZ 100 will work bundled with support ($330)
Up to any combination of terminals and printers not exceeding 16:
SonicWall TZ 200 will work bundled with support ($580)
Up to any combination of terminals and printers exceeding 16:
SonicWall TZ 210 will work bundled with support ($756)
All pricing as of 10/01/2010 and subject to change.
For those shops that wish to use a laptop in the office, you can choose to have a wireless enabled router. As an alternative, you can choose to just plug your laptop into the wired network just like any other terminal.
Back Up Router
In the case where a router may unexpectedly fail, you will want to avoid the downtime associated with QuickFlora or your router vendor having to ship you a new configured router which may take from 24-48 hours. This means your whole network will be down for that long, generally unacceptable to most shops (think of the peak holidays…)
For this reason, we strongly recommend you purchase an inexpensive back up router, have it configured by us and keep it stashed away in your office for a rainy day that hopefully will never come.
There are several inexpensive back up routers we recommend and it does not need to be the same one as your primary router.
What about a shop with an existing network?
We will need you to fill out the network diagram form so that we know exactly how your local network operates. This will help us support QuickFlora and diagnose support issues quickly. In addition, we need to verify you have a proper firewall set up so that there are no security vulnerabilities anywhere on your network.
After you provide us with a completed Network Diagram form, our engineer will review it and may provide some suggestions for improvement in terms of security or failover.
Most shops we talk to have paid a lot of money to set up a local network and have it properly configured. When their local network goes down for some reason, we find none one in the store has a copy of the configuration, or they can’t get a hold of the person who initially set up the network in a timely manner.
Our goal here is to make sure your data is secure and you have a proper back up plan in place.
What if I already have my own router and network setup?
If you already have one that you own that is up and running, great. But keep in mind, if that router goes down or fails, we are not responsible for third party hardware failure (much like as if your printer died).
At that point,
- You can go to your local office supply store, purchase a new router and have your own local tech person set it up. (the configuration must be stored online in order for us to provide proper support).
- You can call us and we’ll overnight you’re a router that is preconfigured.
Keep in mind, we are not in the business of making a profit on selling routers by any means. Our concern is that your router is properly configured and working for you. And if it does go down, being able to quickly have a technician get you back up and working again. Router Support is $95/hour during normal business hours
Cabling for routers and local networks
We also provide network cables (that run from each terminal to your router) for an additional fee. We ask that you fill out the Network Configuration form so that we can send you the proper length cable that are individually labeled on both ends.
You should also purchase an extra back up cable to have on hand at any time.
Adding more terminals and printers after initial set up
It is common in many cases to want to add more terminals or printers after the initial set up. Keep in mind:
- You must have enough open ports on your existing router to add each new device.
- Each device (printer or terminal) must have a network card or have networking capability built in.
In order to add any new terminals, printers or devices, you must call us to have your router reconfigured to “talk” to the new equipment. There is no charge for this service if you purchased your router from us directly.
If you require local network support, we can offer you network engineering support at $95/hour. You will need to schedule an appointment with an engineer for this type of support.
Our goal is to make your network setup as smooth and as easy as possible, while also planning for future updates and support. Since QuickFlora is an internet network based application, it’s essential that proper attention be paid to the initial setup.
For further questions, please call or email us directly.