Date posted: 16 June 2021 – Category: Wi-Fi Services
At home, you can often simply plug in a router to enjoy the benefits of excellent Wi-Fi coverage. In the workplace, however, things become a little more complicated.
The first thing you need to do is clarify what constitutes a successful Wi-Fi deployment. Every organisation is different, and what works well for the superstore down the road might not be appropriate for the college around the corner, or the factory in the next street. This is why it’s important to carry out a comprehensive WiFi site survey and think about the layout of your premises, and the number of users.
Consider too how the users in your enterprise are likely to need to interact with the Wi-Fi network: will it be primarily through their desktops or will you need to have voice over Wi-Fi telephony included? Do your premises regularly receive visitors, and if so, should you set up a public or guest network, too?
If your business involves delivery or other logistics, will you require integration with GPS systems or other technologies to facilitate smoother operations through Wi-Fi?
Knowing the answers to such questions can be really valuable as you plan the roll out of your new network. Thankfully, there are a number of software solutions available that can help you plan an effective network based upon key information such as this, creating a virtual simulation of your organisation and how the proposed network will fit in.
Another key consideration should be whether you opt for a Wi-Fi network based upon coverage or capacity. Coverage design is ideal for spaces where there are unlikely to be many users or devices connecting to the network, but where you need the signal to be consistently strong throughout. This approach can be ideal for factories, hospitals, or shops.
Capacity design, on the other hand, optimises the Wi-Fi network for a high volume of users in a relatively small space, and is suitable for libraries, airports or university halls.
If your organisation is a sizeable affair, you may need to consider a channel plan, too. Simply put, Wi-Fi networks work best when use of the available frequencies is optimised, ensuring that everyone gets good service. If you have a healthy budget, and a large number of staff or devices likely to be connecting to your network at the same time, it may be worth investing in Wi-Fi 6. This is the newest internet standard that offers the widest frequency range, and the best performance capabilities for multiple users. If your budget won’t stretch to fitting out your premises for Wi-Fi 6, then opting for dual-band equipment makes a good choice, too.
With the broad plan in place, you can look at optimising the deployment for everyday use. Your planning stage should have produced a good layout for your access points and other factors: now look at the specifics of areas such as individual offices to ensure that you don’t need to use too many SSIDs. This helps keep things convenient for staff and visitors, who won’t enjoy having to regularly log back into their network.
The use of a wireless mesh network (WMN) with the flexibility to add extra radio nodes is a good option to solve this issue.
One aspect of your Wi-Fi network planning which should never be overlooked is security. With cybercrime on the increase thanks to the rise of automated hacking technology, it has never been so important to ensure that the most rigorous security protocols are in place. After all, a data breach can not only be costly in terms of fines or legal liability, but can also cause irreparable damage to the reputation of your brand.
Look at applying the best possible protection for your network, such as WPA 3, which uses advanced encryption technology to prevent eavesdropping on network traffic, and reduces the chances of a hacker being able to guess network passwords. There will be ongoing security maintenance responsibilities, too, such as monitoring access levels, monitoring firewalls, and ensuring all security updates are in place. A good option is to take out a cloud-based security service which can ensure that your Wi-Fi network continuously benefits from the highest level of protection.
Having a great Wi-Fi network is an absolute essential for the modern workplace. Yet all too often, creating the network you need can be problematic. It pays, therefore, to take the time needed to work out exactly how to implement Wi-Fi for the best possible result.
If you want help installing your wireless or cabled business network, get in touch with one of our friendly team today.
21 Station Road Workshops, Station Rd, Bristol, BS15 4PJ
Steve Morris, Network Manager, Oldfield School