There are all kinds of reasons why your Wi-Fi is not functioning properly, from high density environments to poor installation placement. For the sake of this post, we’re going to stick with business-grade Wi-Fi as home Wi-Fi should be treated differently (Link to – Why you can’t treat your office Wi-Fi like your basements). The troubleshooting can be broken down into three parts, configuration, location, and best practices. Let’s explore how each of these affects your Wi-Fi connection and how to best optimize your network.
Configuration seems obvious from a technical perspective, but the problems that arise in this category tend to occur during installation and require a keen eye and Wi-Fi knowledge (Like Slice’s) to find and resolve the issue at hand. Access Points (APs) must be configured properly, and this entails setting up SSIDs, adjusting power up and down to create signals that don’t interfere with one another, etc.
There is a misconception that more is better. The reality is too many APs will crowd each other’s signal, and they should almost always be further then a couple dozen feet apart, specifically in high density environments. There are other details such as disabling 2.4 GHz frequencies, as unless support for older devices is a requirement, these frequencies become so crowded, that they tend to be unusable in a downtown office tower environment, for example. You don’t have to worry about the details, that’s where we come in.
Location sounds simple enough, APs must be put in an open area, they can’t be too close as we discussed, and as long as the cable makes its way to the router/switch, I guess we’re OK. WRONG! Yes, access points are best placed in an open area, but did you know that water actually causes strong interference to a wireless signal as it literally absorbs it, and since humans are mostly made of water, us humans can block a wireless signal? For this reason, APs should be mounted 10-15 ft. from the ground.
Another key is that if you have only one access point it should be as centrally located as possible, but if you have multiple they should be put near the edges of the space that needs coverage. Set-up is key, and while the cost will fluctuate based on the location of the APs themselves, this should not be a driving factor as Wi-Fi has become an expectation at almost all venues and events, and here at Slice we’ve consistently delivered reliable and high quality service that meets these standards.
Best practices are where Slice stands out as a leader in the industry. Most importantly, you MUST keep your firmware updated. Wi-Fi performance will almost always deteriorate over-time without these updates, and security holes may arise. Additionally, knowing that there are going to be multiple SSIDs you should always try to have a non-broadcast SSID that you can use for monitoring and testing. Once again, there are additional details such as choosing an ISP who offers symmetrical bandwidth that Slice is here to help with.
There are many reasons why your Wi-Fi may not be functioning properly, and upgrading the bandwidth is not the only solution. Don’t just throw away the hardware! It’s possible that with minor tweaks to the location or configuration the Access Point’s themselves, you can enhance your network and truly optimize your speed and connections. Slice is here to help, don’t be afraid to reach out today!