Wireless is one of the most popular utilities to have in the office. However, if not implemented thoughtfully, it can cause frustration and holdups to your processes. Therefore, it is important to understand what causes challenges for your Wi-Fi, and how to resolve or work around these challenges. Let’s discuss where these challenges come from, and how to fix them.
To understand Wi-Fi strength, it helps to have a basic understanding of how Wi-Fi works.
Wi-Fi, which is shorthand for Wireless Fidelity and synonymous with Wireless Local Area Network (or WLAN), is now a familiar sight in many homes and offices alike. By utilizing radio frequencies, Wi-Fi enables devices to send signals to one another.
Consider a radio for a moment. To pick up the current playthrough of the Top 40 hits or the music you loved in the ‘80s and ‘90s, your radio picks up radio frequencies in the Kilohertz (FM) and Megahertz (AM) ranges. Wi-Fi just happens to operate in Gigahertz, or more specifically, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
So, it makes sense that outside conditions can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. After all, radios are influenced by a variety of factors when you’re jamming out in your car. From the terrain, to the weather, to you simply driving out of range, you lose and gain radio signals all the time. The same can be said in the office with your Wi-Fi. Obstacles like walls, desks, and other assorted furnishings can block your Wi-Fi signal.
Of course, other things commonly interfere with Wi-Fi signals as well. Other devices competing for the signal, and other signal types popping up can restrict your Wi-Fi and its efficacy for all your devices. However, there are ways that you can mitigate these impacts somewhat, to help get the most out of your Wi-Fi network.
First off, you need to make it as easy as possible for your wireless signals to reach everything they need to reach. This means you’ll have to be strategic in where you place your wireless setup and equipment.
It is always a better idea to place your access points in a central area in the office, rather than over in one corner. This way, you help to ensure that the most devices remain within range, ideally with minimal obstructions between them and the access point.
If your office is too large to be covered by a single access point, Wi-Fi extenders and repeaters can assist you by adding to the range of your network by simply reinforcing the network’s strength in areas that would otherwise have poor coverage.
Sometimes, the best solution is a new solution. Newer devices tend to be more capable than their older counterparts, and the technology that powers them is constantly being improved. So, if your devices aren’t connecting properly, your Wi-Fi infrastructure may be due for an upgrade.
Whatever your issue may be, SCW can help. Our experts can implement the solutions that will help fix your connectivity issues and keep your team working productively. To learn more about what we can do for you, give us a call at (509) 534-1530.
Sam is a network engineer with a broad range of experience spanning more than 35 years. He wrote is first piece of code in 1979 and has been involved with the industry ever since. For the last 20 years, he has worked for SCW Consulting where he has embraced his passion for network technology and security.
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