How to Improve Network Speed and Get Faster Wi-Fi in 3 Steps
In many cases, Wi-Fi can effectively replace wired Ethernet connectivity in a corporate environment. Wi-Fi’s flexibility to support open and collaborative environments is very appealing. But performance issues can quickly negate the benefits of wireless networks, eliminating the opportunity to create a productive workplace.
Several issues can block traffic crawling on a wireless network. Having insufficient capacity for varying needs is a factor associated with slower than average wireless network speeds.
Some organizations fail to implement proper Wi-Fi security controls, such as password requirements or some form of authentication. As a result, the network is left open to unauthorized users who could exhaust capacity. And, in some companies, employees can stream video and other bandwidth-intensive traffic at the expense of corporate data.
In most cases, Wi-Fi performance issues can be resolved relatively easily. Following three essential steps, in particular, can improve network speed and end-user productivity.
Step 1: Design for performance
As with a wired network, you need to understand the requirements for wireless capacity and coverage. Enterprises should evaluate their throughput requirements based on their application bandwidth needs, the physical design of a facility, and the end user’s obligations.
You should set up a test environment to see if you have adequate performance to support your baseline job requirements or if additional capacity is needed.
Place the router in a central location for office activity, usually in an open space and preferably high up. Routers broadcast in equal directions and at a lower angle than their location. And, as much as possible, separate routers from other electronic devices that might interfere with their signal.
In areas where traffic may be heavier, such as a conference room, place more Access points.
Step 2: Secure Access
Don’t leave your Wi-Fi network exposed. Organizations with open networks risk data breaches and unauthorized users could siphon off capacity needed by legitimate business applications. Require a password and make changes when employees or contractors leave the company and no longer need access.
Setting up a guest network is another important way to make sure the most important business apps get priority. A guest network will allow rules to be set on how much bandwidth a guest can consume and which sites are prohibited. This also ensures that guests are restricted to corporate resources on the private network.
Step 3: Resolve Congestion and Consider Upgrading
Determine if a router is using a channel that other routers are also operating on and therefore slowing down traffic. Scan local channels and tune the router settings to use a less cluttered option.
In some cases, it may be time to upgrade equipment. Newer equipment supports performance-enhancing capabilities, such as multiple inputs and outputs, and can significantly improve network speed.