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What to Consider When Setting Up Your Office Wi-Fi

Mark Dalton - Friday, February 27, 2015

If you’re moving into new premises or upgrading your office networks to a new Wi-Fi system then, to get the maximum efficiency, best chance of continual uptimes and indeed, to avoid unnecessary problems further down the line there are a number of factors you need to consider during the planning and installation phase.

Site Survey

Before you embark upon any installation then it’s important that you give the site a full survey so that you have a thorough understanding of the environment and layout in which the Wi-Fi system is to be installed and implemented.

You need to understand in which areas you require your Wi-Fi zones to be optimised; in other words, establishing the areas in which the signal strength needs to be at its fullest capacity. After all, having lightning fast connection in the canteen but not in the office spaces may not necessarily the most efficient use of your network.

Establish Your Access Points

Following on from your survey is the requirement to know where you need to install your access points. Again, it’s important for the ongoing smooth operation of your Wi-Fi that you install the hardware and connections at appropriate access points within your premises so that you get the coverage you need in the areas you need it most. Of course, it might be the case that your entire office requires consistent coverage, again meaning that adequate placement of your access points would be crucial.

Radio Field (RF) Strength

Can you establish the various RF strength throughout your site? Knowing the relative RF strength can help you make more informed decisions how you locate your antennas and other hardware in relation to where you need your access points. RF meters can be used to gauge the strength.

Understand Your Requirements

In order to have a Wi-Fi system which is robust enough to stand up to the daily and ongoing needs of your business you should first ensure you know exactly what those requirements are likely to be.

Your Wi-Fi can be used to support a huge variety of applications and as such will need to be up to the task from the outset.

You may have a small office with a small number of PCs requiring some web browsing capability and email access. On the other hand, you might need to use your Wi-Fi to support large online communications, video and conferencing, large mobile networks or high volumes of data transfer. As you might appreciate, the level of Wi-Fi capability can be vastly different in either scenario; too much and you can have a costly system on your hands. Too little and you may have a Wi-Fi network that’s simply not up to the job.

How Many People Will Be Online

Following on from the above it’s really important to consider how many people the network will need to support. Again, the system, equipment and set-up requirements will vary considerably depending on the size of the workforce.

Know Your Budget

Common sense, we know, but as with any other installation or project in your business it’s important to know what your budgetary restrictions are likely to be. Indeed this is particularly crucial when you combine budget to the factors above, as you look to get the maximum efficiency from your site. It might be that you need to utilise the bulk of your budget to get the best coverage in one specific location or for one particular purpose. Knowing where to focus your investment according to areas and need can help you stay within budget while getting the most out of your Wi-Fi network.

Finally, don't forget we're always on hand if you need advice and support to set up Wi-Fi in your office. Just send us an email or give us a call on 01256 636214.

  

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