A few years ago, business WiFi was something that wasn’t necessary, but it was nice to have. However, businesses today rely on WiFi to provide employees and clients with reliable, fast networks.
When your WiFi connection is slow, jittery, or somehow degraded, mobile devices quickly become an obstacle to getting things done. Not only that, but everyone in the office becomes frustrated from the lack of WiFi service.
What Affects WiFi Performance?
Several factors have an impact on WiFi performance. In the following sections, we’ll take a look at some of the more typical issues that can affect your WiFi’s performance:
Various objects and other obstacles can block or absorb WiFi signals. These can include electrical appliances, furniture, ductwork, walls, and more. Any solid object may obstruct WiFi signals.
Transmitting signals via WiFi routers is limited on purpose. In addition, not all wireless routers are built the same. For instance, inexpensive routers may produce weak signals and be unable to cover a larger office space.
WiFi signals function on the same frequencies as other wireless networks, including cell phones and radios. In addition, appliances such as microwaves, remote monitoring equipment, and more can interfere with WiFi signals.
WiFi networks may also interfere with one another. This can be a problem in especially densely occupied areas or office buildings with multiple tenants.
Another common issue is that wireless routers also have different capacities. For instance, low-end wireless routers may have a difficult time providing reliable WiFi in a busy office with more than 10 employees and several fax machines, wireless printers, WiFi-enabled security cameras, and more.
Video calls or streaming on multiple devices can slow down the WiFi network, even one that’s strong. The issue may be caused by the Internet connection’s capacity rather than the strength of the device’s signal.
Tips to Boost Your Company’s WiFi
If you’re having trouble with your company’s WiFi, don’t give up! Here are some tips you can try to give your WiFi a boost.
1. Reduce Interference
One of the first things to try is to reduce or eliminate interference with your WiFi signal. No matter what you do, there is bound to be some interference to put up with. This could be from other WiFi networks that are nearby, co-channel interference from your own network, or other signals in the same frequency as your WiFi.
First, start with co-channel interference. This is interference that’s caused by having two or more WiFi access points that are using overlapping channels. Most devices are supposed to have an auto-channel function that chooses the best channel. However, it’s still necessary to check these selections.
Most WiFi routers use a default channel, such as Channel 1 or Channel 6. These can work; however, if everyone uses the same channel, the signal speed slows dramatically.
You can change the router’s channel by logging into your WiFi router’s admin interface. This can be accessed (in most cases) by typing your router’s default IP address into the address bar of a browser.
2. Use 5GHz & Band Steering
The 5GHz band offers more channels than 2.4GHz, so you may want to consider using dual-band access points that also support 5GHz. That way, older WiFi devices can connect to a lower band, and newer dual-band devices can connect to the higher band.
Lower congestion in the lower band means faster connections, while devices on the higher band have better data rates. Not all new WiFi devices are dual-band; however, more of them are, especially higher-end mobile phones and other devices.
3. Use WPA2 and or WPA3
Everyone knows that WEP security is not secure, even though all access points still support it. However, WiFi Protected Access (WPA) is more secure, though it depends on the version used.
Bear in mind that when using the first version of WPA, data rates on your wireless network are limited to 54Mbps, the maximum rate of the old 802.11a and 802.11g standards.
So, in order to use higher data rates, be sure to use only WPA2 and/or WPA 3 security.
4. Reduce the Number of SSIDs
When more than one SSID (Service Set Identifier) is configured on the access points, each virtual wireless network must broadcast separate beacons and management packets. That means there’s less signal. So, it’s best to use the least number of SSIDs possible.
Most companies rely on one private SSID and one public SSID; however, try to limit the number of virtual SSIDs, too.
5. Move WiFi Router to a Central Location
Another way to boost your company’s WiFi signal is to move the router to a central location. Some companies may put the WiFi router in a corner of the office or another out-of-the-way place. That can have a drastic effect on your WiFi signal.
However, moving the router to as close to the centre of the office as possible boosts the WiFi. In addition, WiFi routers need an Internet connection. If the router’s placed too far from the Internet connection, you may want to consider using an ethernet cable. This can extend the Internet connection and give a boost to your WiFi signal.
6. Purchase a Mesh Network or WiFi Range Extender
Another way to boost the WiFi signal in your office is to purchase a mesh network or WiFi range extender. A mesh network system joins two or more WiFi access points together to create and share a single WiFi network. This can be expanded to cover even the largest office.
A WiFi range extender is a type of wireless repeater that’s used to expand the reach of a wireless router. The device is placed between the base router (or access point) and a client.
Summing It Up
After trying different solutions and you’re still having trouble with the WiFi in the office, it may be time to consider another option. The problem may be that your Internet plan isn’t large enough to accommodate your company.
So, it may be worthwhile reaching out to your ISP to review the plans they have to offer. You may find it’s worth the extra cost to pay more for your Internet service. When your company has a strong, reliable network, the investment may generate some positive returns!
23rd February 2024
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