Can I run QuickBooks Point of Sale on a wireless network?

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It is a common question, can QuickBooks Point of Sale be run on a wireless network. The answer is a little more difficult.

A short answer is, Yes it can be run on a wireless network. The correct answer is, you should not do it!

The QuickBooks Point of Sale software is designed to run on a local area network, or LAN. The speeds on these networks are excellent, and getting better everyday. And the software is designed to keep a constant live connection to it’s data.

This is where the issue lies with a wireless network. No matter how fast or stable the wireless network is, it is going to drop the connection at some point. It may be that the router needs to be reset, or in some cases the router has a setting to Sleep an inactive port to keep up the data speed. It can be blocked by a firewall, or the anti-virus program may decide to scan the traffic. I have even seen offices where the microwave oven caused interference.

In one case, the network was in a stable, and the horses walking through the area had enough mass and iron in their blood to break the signal!

You are going to get a signal drop at some point.

We are also asked about running it over a VPN or Virtual Private Network. And again, the answer is Yes you can, but you Should Not!

Any time that you are dragging data across a connection, such as a VPN internet connection, you stand a good chance of having issues. Internet connections are much slower than a local area network. They can also pick up noise in the background, which may be interpreted as data. This can smash a QuickBooks Point of Sale database to the point you cannot use it at all. Or you may see strange things in the data that make no sense.

This is your business data we are talking about, and the chances of having problems, and losing data are something we really want to avoid.

So, while you can run the program on a wireless network, or across a VPN, I must really stress that you should not do it. A local area network with good cables connecting the ssytems is a much better alternative, and less likely to lead to problems in the future.