5 Common Misconceptions about Wi-Fi
Wireless internet has become a critical component for businesses of all types. Although the technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, there are many misconceptions about how to get best performance. This article is focused on giving you some simple tips for ensuring your wireless network is on the right path whether you are an Fortune 500 business or a Motel 6.
You can buy Wi-Fi hardware for your business at a retail store. Wrong! Purchasing consumer grade equipment will only set your business up for a Wi-Fi network that is constantly getting complaints and bogging IT teams down with unavoidable and unfixable trouble tickets. The answer to slow speeds or low signal should never be to simply "turn it off and turn it back on again" but that is often the first option and with poor quality hardware that is sometimes the only option.
Your complaints and concerns should absolutely be taken seriously and an equally serious solution should be an option. Choosing Enterprise grade equipment will provide not only more robust hardware but also a richer feature set that will allow you to customize and troubleshoot more efficiently. When you go with an Enterprise deployment, you will also have a dedicated project manager, a highly skilled installing technician and ongoing support from the partner you chose to work with.
You can do it yourself. Maybe, but most likely not. Choosing the correct hardware for your environment, the appropriate number and placement of Access Points can make or break a successful Wi-Fi deployment. If you are an expert on RF technology, can expertly avoid co-channel interference and know the difference between beamflex and beamforming then you are probably set to handle the Wi-Fi install on your own. If you don't care to know your bits from bytes leaving the installation to the pro's is in your best interest. Lean on partners that have experience in Wi-Fi deployments as their expertise will absolutely work for you. When interviewing partners, make sure they offer a Wi-Fi guarantee as part of the service. This will make them put their money where their mouth is. If the signal doesn't cover all promised area, have the reassurance that they will come back and get into all the corners, on their dime.
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Ten-year-old equipment is good enough. Nope! Old hardware has limitations can create bottle necks and limit capacity. Users habits have changed, each user has on average three Wi-Fi enabled devices on their person at any given time. Plus, they are trying to stream video and use more bandwidth hungry activity which can't be supported by multiple users. The hardware designed 10 years ago, lacks the ability to handle the volume of devices and the speed they need to function appropriately. Budget to replace hardware at least every 3-5 years or better yet, work with a partner that has an established rental or leasing program that allow for regular equipment refreshes so you are never multiple standards behind.
One internet circuit is all you need. Inconceivable! Bandwidth is just as important as hardware for a successful Wi-Fi deployment. You need enough of it, you need diverse paths and you need something managing and monitoring the connections. Ensure your partner is well versed in SD-WAN, an emerging technology that is critical to optimizing your internet circuits and ensuring QoS for all users. You also need to make sure you have enough bandwidth. Gone are the days when a 1.5Mbps DSL circuit can meet the needs of multiple average users. So, beef up your Bandwidth and diversify it!
You just set it and forget it! Riiiigghhht... There are several controls you can add to your Wi-Fi network that will allow for a better experience for all. Bandwidth caps can be established to give a small bit of bandwidth to each user, devices like gaming consoles need to register using MAC address, security needs to be updated regularly, adjusting channel frequency for interference and much more. This adaptability is incredibly important when considering the rapid evolution of mobile tablets, phones and laptops.
Matrix Networks Wi-Fi Guarantee
Matrix Networks has been installing, supporting and managing wireless networks since 2000. We understand how to design wireless networks that exceed the expectations of our clients. Our process includes a wireless site survey and a wireless guarantee, meaning if the testing we conduct post installation doesn’t match the coverage needed we augment it at no cost to our clients. Let us help you make sure your Wi-Fi doesn’t suck
Author: Kyle Holmes