We’ve all been there – experiencing drastic rises in our blood pressure as we attempted to complete a high-profile project on an overburdened, limited-access wireless network. Scenarios like this are not good for anybody, but especially not for your business. Frustration breeds low morale faster than the Flash can rescue the pretty girl and beat the bad guy in your favorite Marvel comic book.
It makes good economic sense to keep your wireless network traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. Here are some ways you can improve your Wi-Fi‘s capacity and coverage without breaking your budget.
Do Your Homework First
Most businesses didn’t plan their WI-FI network; it took root in one location and grew haphazardly as more of the employees found it and got equipment to use it. This leads to both poor capacity and poor coverage. Plan your Wi-Fi network carefully, with an eye to capacity rather than coverage. Having coverage in every corner is great, but if the throughput is slower than molasses in January, the extra coverage winds up being useless. Use access points (AP) and endpoints to increase capacity with fewer users per AP.
If there are areas of light usage where you want coverage, consider using a repeater instead of another AP. However, network usage is a lot like fat and data – it expands to fill all available capacity, so look to the future before choosing which solution to deploy in the lighter usage areas.
Install Or Upgrade In Phases
Actually planning your Wi-Fi network before you install it is a great idea. Get the blueprints of your business’s building(s) and have your network engineers analyze the expected number of users per access point to provide maximum throughput, locate potential bottlenecks, determine the number of access points, endpoints and repeaters you will need, and develop an implementation plan. Bring up the critical areas first, and get them stabilized before moving to the next phase. Unless you are bringing up a network in a new facility, where the project plan gives you time to install each phase before users are actually on the network, bringing up new areas in stages makes the most sense.
What Types Of Traffic Will You Need To Support?
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, the only traffic you needed to be concerned with was Internet access and usage and moving files around. Those days are past, my friend; you now have to be concerned with voice and video traffic, sometimes in real time. If you employ video conferencing over flying employees in from far-away branches for meetings, your network has to be able to handle the throughput required of these types of traffic. Consider your traffic diversity when you design and implement your network.
Get The Most Out Of Your Management Console
Wi-Fi vendors are providing more capabilities in their management consoles than you may realize these days. Performance optimization is often a breeze, and the analytics in these consoles may allow your network staff to stop a serious problem before it starts, keeping the network up and running smoothly all the time. So spend some time and let your network engineers get up close and personal with the software – it may save you time, money and headaches down the road.
As the lifeblood of your business, keeping your network up and running smoothly with maximum performance optimization is one of the most important functions in your business. Currently available and emerging technologies make it a snap to keep your traffic flowing easily, with no blockages or slowdowns. Spending resources to keep the network available is one of the most cost-effective things you can do to keep your business running and profitable.