Bring Your Device (BYOD) means the number of smartphones and tablets are making their way onto corporate networks will increase in the upcoming time. An increasing number of these devices puts a lot more strain on existing Wi-Fi networks. For businesses that are looking to overhaul an anarchic wireless infrastructure, the following are few important points to consider.
Business-Grade Access Points
There’s a huge difference between the costs of consumer access points (AP) with business-centric models from leading brands. The top-tier AP models targeted at users can overload with just a dozen simultaneous connections. A nonbusiness APs typically lack advanced capabilities in critical areas such as security, upgradability, manageability, and remote deployment.
Business APs are designed for rock-solid performance 24/7 operation and the crushing workload generated from dozens of simultaneously enabled Wi-Fi devices. This is a contrast from the handful of intermittently accessed Wi-Fi devices typical for a home environment. Moreover, you can expect a business-centric AP to incorporate advanced features.
Weigh 2.4GHz, 5GHz Frequency Bands
As of now, there are two major frequencies bands designed for 802.11 Wi-Fi networks, which are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The greater amount of bandwidth available in the 5GHz band makes it a better choice in business environments. Many business-grade APs are enabled to operate in both frequency bands. The shorter range of 5GHz does allow APs to be installed in closer proximity without signals overlapping and interfering. This allows the higher number of AP to be deployed. Point here to be noted is that most Wi-Fi clients still do not work on the 5GHz band.
Some APs can be configured to backhaul data on the 5GHz frequency band, serving wi-fi clients on the 2.4GHz band. This is particularly useful for weak wireless reception at areas that wired cabling cannot be reached easily. However, it is also possible to set up a hybrid environment where frequencies are simultaneously in use. Devices that support 5GHz can be directed to connect on this frequency band for reducing the congestion on crowded 2.4GHz band.
Attention to Density of Access Points
Increasing the number of APs could lift the amount of interference being generated, Lessing overall responsiveness and throughput. Indeed, a large number of APs deployed haphazardly, can lessen the number of devices that can be supported by a wireless network.
Careful positioning and configuration are thus needed to deploy a high density of APs to truly support a large number of wireless clients. Multiple brands offer a high density of APs by ditching omnidirectional antennas in favor of directional ones.
Implement Strong Management, Security Mechanisms
Management and security of Wi-Fi networks are another aspect businesses should consider. Trying to configure more than one APs individually in a business environment is not only highly inefficient. A well-designed management system plays a significant role when it comes to deal with more than a handful of APs. Additionally, the evolving security landscape has enhanced the importance of built-in security features.
Wi-Fi vendors incorporate security features among other things, identify unauthorized networks, and defend against sneaking attempts. Another capability that is necessary for businesses is the support of multiple Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs). An SSID is the network name that a consumer sees when connecting to a wifi network.
Explore Access Point Power Options
A less known problem while setting up multiple wireless APs is the possibility of having to deploy them at inconvenient areas for more coverage. Powering these APs using Power over Ethernet (PoE) simplifies the problem and also sparing businesses the cost of separate electrical cable runs to each AP. PoE provides power over the Ethernet cables that feed data to the APs while offering speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is more than enough for the fastest commercially available APs today.
Businesses that do not own a PoE infrastructure in place can easily deploy midspan PoE injectors at the server room. PoE-capable internet switches are relatively affordable. Powering APs through PoE also helps on the maintenance front.
We hope you have found this article useful. If you need help setting up, troubleshooting or optimizing the Wi-Fi network in your office or small business, send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 647-812-8299 to discuss options.