Point of Sale on wireless networks.

Can I use the QuickBooks Point of Sale on a Wireless Network?

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We are often asked about using the QuickBooks Point of Sale on wireless networks. Our first answer to this question is a resounding MAYBE.

But let me explain the reasoning behind this answer. In fact, QuickBooks Point of Sale can operate on wireless networks, and even a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if the network is configured correctly. Now that we have opened this debate, let’s look at the reasoning behind our answer.

A VPN, or a wireless network can handle a lot of day to day things. The issues that can arise are as follows:

  • The programs were not designed to work on VPN or wireless networks. Programs that are designed for these environments have many additional safeguards built into them. They are designed to be able to drop and reconnect to a data location. They have filters built in to catch and remove interference. And they do multiple cross checks of the data they have received. To put it in the most basic terms, they are designed to anticipate that there will be connection problems and work around them.
  • Wireless networks and VPNs are not extremely stable. They tend to be slower than a hard-wired network, and tend to drop and re-acquire their connections pretty frequently. Many things can cause a signal issue with a wireless network. Ballasts from florescent lights, microwave ovens, even a large animal such as a horse walking by can cause a drop in the signal ( Horses are large, and the amount of iron in their blood, and metal objects on them can degrade the signal).
  • The Point of Sale program is designed for a constant, live connection to their data. Breaking the connection, or outside interference, can produce issues in the data that the program may think is additional data.
  • Wireless connections can go down and cause problems when trying to process credit card and debit transactions. These issues can result in damaged transactions and loss of income from cards not processing correctly through the Merchant Account Service.

So at first glance, it may appear that everything is going to go smoothly on a wireless network or VPN, the fact is that you will probably encounter data damage at some point if you choose to use these connection methods. This is why we state that the programs should not be used on a wireless connection, and why the help files in the program warn against it.

Remember, although these networking options can seem very good, and in some cases less expensive, this is your business data we are talking about! If you choose to go against the commendation and choose to use a wireless connect or a VPN, please backup frequently, and be prepared for the possibility losing data at some point.

We hope that you will never have an issue with any of the programs, but we also live in the real world. The safety and security of your business data is a top priority, and we will continue to bring information about these in the future.