How to Set Up and Maintain a Wireless Workplace

How to Set Up and Maintain a Wireless Workplace

Wireless Workplace

In today’s IT environment, businesses are slowly realising the benefits of using wireless networks in their workplaces. From start-ups to MNCs,Wi-Fi services are gradually boosting work productivity and efficiency. By connecting all the portable wireless devices that people generally carry- laptops, smartphones and tablets, Wi-Fi builds a standard communication layer for untethered devices to encourage information sharing.

Every single minute counts in a workplace, and if wireless support can be extended to emails, applications, and other network resources, a workforce can stay connected even if your employees are away from their respective workstations. In addition, it fosters goodwill among visitors by providing connectivity in areas where network is either poor or too expensive to access.

How To Set Up Wireless Workplace!

Developing a Wi-Fi zone in your organisation is undoubtedly a brilliant choice, unless you are confident of being able to manage workload with just a few routers. There are several effective IT solution firms that can help you install a low-cost access point, which might save you expenses in the long run.

When Wi-Fi doesn’t serve your purpose
For your company-wide operations to be successful, ensure that your Wi-Fi fulfills all your needs. To provide wireless support to laptops, tablets, and other devices for web surfing, buying Wi-Fi is not only a good option but it also helps to access asymmetric applications for situations where bandwidth is consumed only in one direction.

Also, when Wi-Fi is used with non-Web-based line-of-business applications, the disturbing sound becomes noticeable. Additionally, the software packages incapable of dealing with occasional communication glitches may prevent you from achieving the results you expected to achieve with Wi-Fi.

For instance, when you try to run a small-business accounting package over Wi-Fi, software may not function properly if there are momentary lapses in connectivity. Minor issues do not generally affect the performance of a web browser. Applications on the other hand, due to their failure to handle communication errors, are the ones most affected by a poor Wi-Fi connection.

Densely populated APs may destroy your setup and user satisfaction. Therefore, before opting for a cheap and low-cost AP, keep in mind that it may not benefit your business all too much.

Location, Location, Location
By installing few APs around, your Wi-Fi installation process isn’t complete. A successful installation involves finding the right location for placing APs, analysing the interior walls composition, and calculating the number of APs required. Finding the right location for a Wi-Fi AP is critical for wireless deployment.

Locating APs through the floor could be one option to provide “inside out” coverage or go “outside in” by placing APs in corner and looking out for user space.  In situations where multiple tenants are residing and APs can’t be placed in user space, generally high-end outdoor APs are selected to “light up” the building from outside the physical walls.

Of course, there is always an option to combine different approaches to get maximum coverage. Ensure that you have a sufficient number of APs installed otherwise you may miss out on important work due to fewer APs. In open space, the maximum coverage of an AP is a radius of approximately 300 feet.

As we have mentioned before, AP installation also involves wall composition analysis that helps to determine the distance to which a Wi-Fi signal can travel indoors. Where having wood construction is a win-win situation, concrete walls with steel rebar are quite ineffective at transmitting Wi-Fi signals. One can check the wireless signal strength with the help of available tools such as handheld scanners, Android applications etc to attain optimal results.

Bring It Back
While distributing APs, get into other details like how to connect APs to the network backbone. Having an existing network jack in offices or locations is an added bonus, but if the chosen location doesn’t have an existing cable connection, you may need to make crucial considerations.

Essentially, one should use aphysical network to connect APs to the network backbone. But to place APs in exotic spots, you would need higher-end dual-band-capable APs, having both a 5GHz 802.11a radio signal as well as a 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n radio signal. By implementing aWDS (wireless distribution system) technique, one can connecta 5GHz signal to the LAN, while using2.4GHz signal for client access. Though you can use a single band AP, a double band AP will enhance theoverall performance.

Power to the People
Providing power to the access points is another crucial aspect of AP installation. Having an electrical outlet available nearby is a relief but for remote locations, where only a network jack is available, you may have to use power over Ethernet (PoE) that provides 48vdc to the AP over standard copper network cabling. With the help of a PoE injector or a PoE-enable switch, the DC current flows, making AP deployment easy in the absence of an AC outlet.

Locked Up
A secure wireless network is paramount for enterprises as unsecured APs permit casual users to gain access into the network. Since prevention is always better than cure, securing your connections with passphrase at encryption level is the best choice for users while having a controlled guest access. Though, various encryption algorithms, like WEP, WPA, and WPA2-Enterprise are supported by access points, try to avoid WEP, simply because it is easily penetrable and is no longer deemed a secure encryption method.

This way you can develop a successful Wi-Fi deployment, high-performing environment, and a secure network to sustain user productivity and efficiency.

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