Setting up the Wi-Fi network for your business doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Below are some key factors you will need to take into account, including Wi-Fi network management, frequency bands and access points.
The number of tablets and smartphones on corporate networks will continue to rise with the bring-your-own-device trend. Some of these gadgets are even Wi-Fi only devices; this puts a strain on the existent Wi-Fi Networks. For businesses that are not already on the Wi-Fi bandwagon or are looking to restore their wireless infrastructure, here are several important points you should consider.
Get Business-Grade Access Points
There is a lot of variation in the cost of consumer access points (APs) with business-centric models from leading brands, and some are confused by what may appear to be similar specifications. Smaller businesses may be tempted to opt for cheaper Wi-Fi APs that just don’t stand up to the task at hand. Some differences may be difficult to notice. This includes unreliability under 24-hour use and a tendency to perform inefficiently when faced with external interference from another Wi-Fi network.
Even those top AP models targeted at consumers can overload when simultaneous connections are made. Nonbusiness APs generally lack advanced capabilities in many crucial areas including security, manageability, remote deployment, load management and upgradability.
Business APs on the flip side are designed for dependable performance in the face of round-the-clock operation, and a crushing workload generated by dozens of active devices on the same Wi-Fi network. This is very different than the typical home environment where there are only a handful of devices. These APs incorporate as standard features, crucial security, manageability, remote deployment, upgrade capabilities and manageability.
Pay Attention to Density of Access Points
Upping the number of APs may increase the interference being generated and reduce overall responses. A large number of APs deployed in a careless manner can actually reduce the number of devices the wireless network can support. Now with most workers carrying as many at three devices at any one time such as a laptop, tablet and smartphone, IT departments should expect the number of such devices to increase. Careful positioning and configuration is required to cope with the high density of APs as to adequately support a large number of wireless clients.
Implement Strong Management Security Mechanisms
Management and security of the Wi-Fi network is another aspect to consider. Trying to configure numerous APs individually in a business setting is not only ineffective, it’s also prone to errors.
Well-designed management systems are crucial when dealing with multiple APs. The ever-evolving security landscape has increased the importance of built-in security features. These among other things identify unauthorised networks, defend against spoofing attempts or stymie brute-force attacks and can log important system security events, making it possible to identify security threats.
Weigh 2.4 GHz and 5GHz Frequency Bands Carefully
There are two main frequency bands designed for 802.11 Wi-Fi networks. These are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The larger amount of bandwidth in the 5GHz makes it the favoured option in the business environment, though Wi-Fi networks operating at the 2.4GHz frequency block have better range. The majority of business-grade APs can operate in both frequency bands, most up-market models can serve Wi-Fi clients on both frequencies at the same time.
The shorter range of the 5GHz allows APs to be deployed nearby without signals interfering with each other. This allows for a higher number of APs to be deployed.
Not sure where to start? Speak to the team at Blue Sky IT Consulting as we cater for businesses of all sizes and specialise in truly customised network solutions.