No matter how hard you try, providing a perfect wireless experience for your employees and guests may seem like an impossible task. Whether it is that troublesome part of your office where connections keep dropping, or you just cannot seem to connect properly from a certain meeting room, office Wi-Fi can be tricky to setup and maintain, and if you do not get it right, the complaints from your employees will just keep rolling in. Below are 3 quick tips for tweaking your office wireless networking so you can keep your employees happy, connected, and productive.
Assess the Issue
Let’s face it, evaluating your wireless network based on user complaints isn’t the most effective solution. First, you should evaluate the current network infrastructure to identify any hardware issues that may result in poor wireless signals. Improperly placed access points, outdated wireless drivers or broadcasting of unsupported bandwidth rates such as 802.11b are very common scenarios that may be negatively impacting your office Wi-Fi. Problems can also arise from interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks and physical obstacles such as appliances, heavy machinery, and even filing cabinets. If you are planning ahead for future projects, you can go with a predictive site analysis to really paint a picture of what your future coverage can look like. Overall, having an expert review your current setup is the first step to getting better.
Design the Network to Your Needs
What is the size of your organization? Are you undergoing a growth period? How about a BYOD policy? Do you currently have a segregated guest Wi-Fi network? It is important to determine the number of users and type of services that will be utilizing the wireless infrastructure, such as VoIP, video, and the different types of data traffic. Also, make you understand the entire business wireless requirements. Do warehouse employees use tablets? Will the marketing department be sending large design and video files? A great wireless network is made with lots of planning and input, so make sure you catch any future problems as early as possible.
Identify physical barriers
As mentioned above, considering the layout of the physical environment is super important for your Wi-Fi setup. Wall construction (dry wall, concrete), closed off areas, and hallways are all obstacles for wireless signals. The difference between a brick wall and dry wall is equivalent to a 50% reduction in signal strength. Also, look out for devices that may cause interference with wireless signals such as microwaves, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices. Is also worth noting that other common obstacles such as mirrors, water, and even big groups of people can cause a huge problem for your wireless signal.
Using the information gathered above, determine the best layout for your wireless infrastructure that will provide the best coverage with least dead spots and maximum capacity handling. It’s not enough to just think about coverage, you need end users to be able to do their jobs seamlessly and efficiently.
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