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QuickBooks and Wireless Networks - They Don't Play Nicely With Each Other

Many users of the traditional versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, Enterprise) may be quite surprised to learn that using them on a wireless network is NOT recommended.

That's right! These versions of QuickBooks are NOT designed to work on wireless networks (nor most other types of networks as discussed below).

According to the Intuit support site discussing how QuickBooks works on various types of networks, here is a brief recap of what you need to know about whether QuickBooks will work or not:

  • Wired network (LAN) - good to go!
  • Wireless network (WiFi) - not recommended. Not designed to work here.
  • Windows Terminal Services network - only the Enterprise version of QuickBooks is designed to work in this environment. Pro and Premier users - not recommended.
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPN) - not recommended. Not designed to work here.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN) - not recommended. Not designed to work here.
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) - not recommended. Not designed to work here.

So, if you have been experiencing lots of lost connections, painfully slow performance and/or other headaches relating to your QuickBooks, it may not be QuickBooks fault this time!

Check in with your IT geeks to find out how your network has been configured. If it isn't in a wired format, you'll want to get their help to make it that way.




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It is too bad they are not compatible with WiFi. I do hope that will change someday.

If only the traditional versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, Enterprise) can be used on a wireless network! That is sad that they are not designed to work here.

Will they release a version that will support wireless networks? Thanks

Will you create a newer version that would be compatible with a VPN connection? Thanks

Hi Greg:

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and post your insights on this issue. Some really, really good stuff that you have shared here.

An interesting note about SBS2011 - I'll have to get with my IT buddies to see what that is all about.

I see many businesses balk at the cost of using a hosting company and then try to arrange some other type of remote access that usually causes all sorts of grief (especially when trying with Pro and Premier!).

Lots of options indeed for a business that is spread out across multiple locations.

Scott Gregory

Hi Kathy:

Thanks very much for your post.

You and I benefit from having this level of deeper knowledge about QuickBooks.

Unfortunately, there are many non-techie users of it that believe "a network is a network" and expect it to work for them. I think this is especially true since there are no type of warning messages about trying to use QuickBooks on a wireless network.

I think Intuit could do a better job of pointing this out as part of the installation routine. Would you agree?

Keep cranking out those great QB reference books!

Scott Gregory

The problems with wireless aren't really connected to QuickBooks; it's a problem with all relational database structures. When QB switched to Sybase as the "underpin" database, the wireless connection became problematic the same way it does for all relational databases. SQL Server, MySQL, etc. all provide cautions or warnings about problems incurred with wireless connections. (Let's all hope that Intuit will use the relational database structure in the software some day - at the moment it's a flat database structure running on a relational database foundation; what a waste!)

As most of us in the business know, Quickbooks panics whenever it "loses sight" of its database for a millisecond. The program has become more robust over the years but it still needs a CONSTANT network connection to avoid errors and corruption.

In our experience we've found that business-grade WLANS (we install Sonicwall and Cisco gear) can run QB reliably. Consumer-grade linksys/netgear/d-link devices tend to be troublesome and just don't have the processing power to handle large amounts of encrypted data.

Let me make one major addition:
Cloud: QUICKBOOKS COMPANY FILES DO NOT BELONG IN THE CLOUD. We have tried several different providers, and even those using a local cache still have enough lag and file system mapping that the QB DB connection will break, even in single user mode. It's a company file corruption waiting to happen. Similar to a NAS configuration, we recommend hosting the company on a local workstation that backs it up to the cloud.

For those businesses who want/need to have multiple users in multiple locations accessing a company file at the same time, there are options:
1. Use one of the intuit-approved QB hosting providers
2. Use gotomypc, logmein, etc to remote into desktops on your local network
3. We've found that Windows terminal services configurations are stable and reliable when set up properly (although technically unsupported by Intuit). SBS2011 gives us the ability to very easily run server-based applications on a remote desktop, which is nice because the Quickbooks data connection is not reliant on your network.

Keep in mind that each of these setups has its own performance and security ramifications.

QuickBooks just pushes too much data back and forth through the network to do that reliably over the long haul without wire. Good call.

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