Best Practices for Network Setup

Hardware, connection speed, and router placement all play critical roles in every network setup. Follow our recommendations to minimize connectivity problems for the most reliable experience.

An internet connection is not needed to use ShopKeep, but certain functions (e.g. credit card sales, syncing with BackOffice, etc.) do require it.

Netgear-Nighthawk-Router

Using our supported router, the R7000 Nighthawk? Click here to set it up. Otherwise, specific setup steps may vary.

Table of Contents

Network Setup Basics

Begin here with our most basic recommendations.

  • Use a separate modem and router. Do not use a combo device or network switch.
  • Use your own, dedicated router and broadband internet connection.
    • Your iPad should be connected to its own secure network, not shared with other devices.
    • If you want to offer WiFi access to customers, create a separate guest network.
  • Make sure you have a strong enough internet connection.
    • We recommend a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps and latency or “ping” of under 60-80 ms.
  • Always give your devices the most direct connection to the router.
    • Connecting your iPad directly to the router is more reliable than using a WiFi extender.
    • For ethernet printers, use a longer cable to connect to the router instead of going through an extender or switch.

Hardware & Connection Speed

The most important parts of a network are its hardware and connection speed. Learn what hardware to use, what not to use, and how fast your network needs to be.

Modem/Router Combos & Network Switches

Internet providers often supply a device that works as both a modem and router. These combo devices can cause easily preventable issues. If you have one, put it in “bridge” mode and connect a separate router (like the R7000 Nighthawk).

In addition, do not use a switch in your network setup. Some network switches contain features that can block ShopKeep from performing certain register functions.

Don’t Use Public WiFi

Don’t connect directly to a public or shared network. If you can’t get your own internet access, use a range extender to bridge the public connection & create a secure network (we suggest the Netgear WN2500RP). Test the connection ahead of time to verify its reliability.

Check Your Coverage

Check your router placement to ensure the business has ample WiFi coverage where registers are set up.

Thinking about purchasing a mobile hotspot to use for your internet connection? Check your carrier’s coverage map beforehand to ensure it’ll work where you need it.

Connection Speed Requirements

We recommend a minimum upload speed of 1 Mbps (megabit per second) and latency or “ping” under 60-80 ms (milliseconds). Speak with your internet provider or run a speed test to check your speed.

Purchase an upgraded internet package if you plan to offer WiFi to customers, stream music, or use other apps that require internet. These are all things that use bandwidth and affect your connection.

Router Placement

A router’s physical location affects the strength and reliability of the iPad’s connection. Poor network connections cause problems with credit card transactions, delays in data reaching BackOffice, and other related issues.

Open and Elevated
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Set up your router in an open area that’s central to where your registers will be located. Because of the way WiFi signals travel, it’s best to elevate the device. Don’t put it under a countertop, in a closet, or any similar sort of location.

Avoid Obstructions
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Make sure there are no major barriers obstructing the line of sight between your iPad and the router. This includes brick or concrete walls, metal fixtures, or any other large objects between the two devices.

Avoid Sources of Interference
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Anything that emits a wireless signal can potentially interfere with your network. Set up at least a few feet away from cordless phones, microwaves, wireless cameras, and other such devices.

Distance Away
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The WiFi network’s range may vary depending on the router you have and environmental factors. Set up the router within about 30 feet of where your registers will be. You should have at least two WiFi signal bars lit up on your iPad.