Optimising Your WiFi Network

Have you ever experienced poor WiFi connectivity in some areas of a building compared to another? That’s because whoever installed the WiFi network did not take all factors into consideration. To optimise your WiFi network, there are a few points to consider:

Placement & Antenna type

The good thing about an access point (AP) is that it can be installed where it needs to — especially if it’s PoE.

An AP is similar to a public Speaker. The speaker can be placed centrally so they can talk to everyone around them. Or they can be on a stage where their voice can be focused in one direction.

If you hide an AP, it won’t be able to communicate to any devices.

Radio Power

Your AP doesn’t need to be operating at maximum power all the time.

Take an auditorium. The number of seats and the distance from the front of the room to the back is calculated so that the person that’s speaking in front can be heard by the one in the back. In some cases, they may use a mic to amplify their voice. Now take someone from the back row that wants to ask a question. If that person does not have a mic, they will not be heard by the speaker.

The same applies to APs. Imagine the speaker is the AP and the participant at the back of the auditorium is the device. The device will be able to see the SSID the AP is sending, tries to connect to it but the AP cannot receive the devices’ message to connect.

An obvious solution is to add another AP in the back of the auditorium. This is easier said that done — do you know where to place your AP for optimum coverage? This is why WiFi engineers will only carry out installations based on a WiFi site survey. Another solution is to adjust your power output so that the weakest device in the room cannot even view the AP. This would be less annoying than seeing a WiFi connection and being unable to connect to it.

Channels

Most routers have an automatic channel selection. You can select your channels in your router interface.

Some channels are more congested than others. This will mean less air time for the communication between the AP and your device. When you set your router to auto channel, it will automatically start scanning when the AP powers up for the channel that’s best to use and will change the channel of the AP to the most available channel.


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This blog was brought to you by PolkaSpots. PolkaSpots specialises in wireless and wired network design. Check it out here.

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