Pine Cove Pulse

Challenges in Wireless: (Part 1 of 5: Wireless Coverage)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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Framing the question

Great Wi-Fi is everyone’s goal, but achieving it can be a big challenge:
How do we get the maximum coverage with the least interference and the best throughput?

Stating the question that way, we can see there are three basic issues we always have to deal with, and we can look at them one by one. Let’s start with wireless coverage.

Radio range

In an earlier post, we explained that creating a predictive heat map is crucial to planning a wireless network. This heat map should be designed using industry standard software tools that take a number of factors into account.

One factor is radio range. In general, lower frequency devices will have a longer range than those that operate at higher frequencies, because they are better able to penetrate solid objects such as walls and floors. Higher frequencies, however, offer more speed or bandwidth. Thus the advice has been to use 2.4 GHz when coverage is your major concern and 5 GHz when it’s bandwidth. It’s not that simple.

First, the standard you chose will affect range, with more recent standards, 802.11n and especially 802.11ac devices providing significantly longer range than earlier standards. That said, you’ll have to take the lowest common denominator into account, since not all of your users will have the latest smart phones and laptops.

Next, the number of antennas in the access points you choose will affect their range and thus the wireless coverage each can provide.

Building materials

The materials used in your walls may have the biggest impact of all. If we’re installing a network into a large open space such as a gymnasium, our task will be pretty simple, but most often that’s not the case. Generally speaking, if the walls in your building use wood or metal studs plus plaster or glass, our signals will penetrate them readily. If they’re made of bricks or marble, the range will be more limited. If they’re made of concrete with wire or steel reinforcement, we will not expect the signal to penetrate.

If you’re designing a network for a multi-story space, realize that your floors are probably built from steel and concrete. For that reason, we normally treat each floor of a building as a separate space for the wireless network design.

Finally, electrical closets can pose a problem by causing some RF conflicts.

A holistic approach

Thus the wifi coverage map. You have to look at your building as a whole, inputting the dimensions, building materials and hazards such as electrical closets. The software will predict the best type and placement of your access points.

In Part 2, we will look at the nastiest of scenarios, interference.

Topics: wireless

Challenges in Wireless: (Part 2 of 5: Interference)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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The biggest single challenge

We’re continuing to explore key challenges in wireless network design: How do we get the maximum coverage with the least interference and the best throughput?

In our last post, we looked at coverage. Today we’ll talk about interference, the single biggest challenge for proper wireless network design.

 

Co channel interference

In an old riddle, a guy in a bar is telling a fascinating story, with three friends hanging on every word. Still, before long his buddies walk away. Why would they lose interest?

Answer: The noise made by others talking in the bar makes it impossible to hear what their friend is saying. This is exactly what happens in many wireless networks.

For example, in large building or a crowded neighborhood you may have ten 802.11n networks within range of each other, all tuned to Channel 3. This is co channel interference and it can be a major problem. Sometimes it happens after you’ve had your network running for a while. Someone next door sets up a new network, tunes it to Channel 3 and you’re done.

 

Trying new channels

The first thing you’ll want to try is switching to another channel. You may do that manually or you can use software, perhaps supplied by your device manufacturer, to look at your neighbors and recommend the best channel for wireless in your location. Often the software will display a graph: here’s your network, here are your neighbors, and since their coverage areas each form a perfect circle, you won’t have a problem if you tune to Channel 9.

Of course, that doesn’t take the densities of the walls into account, which ensure that, outside of a gym or big auditorium, there are no perfect circles. For that reason, the only way you can be sure you don’t have co channel interference on a given channel is to walk around your building and measure it. Often network managers will use the software to give them a base design, but then go back and modify it as needed.

 

Loud neighbors

When all else fails, the answer may be to turn down the power on your radios and ask your neighbors to turn down theirs. You each want enough power to cover your own users, but not so much that it causes problems next door.

Sometimes you can make that happen by offering to fix your neighbors’ Wi-Fi or offering to provide the Wi-Fi for them. At that point, you may be able to specify the channels everyone uses, control the power levels they use or even specify the location of their access points.

 

Rogue access points

But even in a controlled environment, someone may decide they’re not happy with the network, so they bring in their own access point and plug it into the wall. By so doing, they make the problem worse for everyone. You will have to find these rogue devices and eliminate them. One of the best ways to avoid the problem is by limiting the number of network ports that are hot.

 

Other 802.11 wireless devices

Sometimes your co-channel interference is not from a Wi-Fi network, but from other 802.11 wireless devices such as door locks, security cameras, intercoms, baby monitors, wireless LCD monitors, and wireless phones.

Right now, there are considerably fewer of these devices using 5 GHz than 2.4 GHz, so switching to 5 GHz radios can often solve the problem. If not, you’ll want to search for a channel not used by these devices, or look at whether you can change the power of their radios.

 

Other electronics

Microwave ovens, florescent lights and power lines can throw off noise at the same frequencies as your network. It’s a common error to look only at 802.11 devices, when your real solution may be as simple as replacing an oven. Here again, though, non-Wi-Fi devices are most likely to interfere with networks operating in the 2.4 GHz range.

Interference can be extremely frustrating in that you can test carefully and eliminate the problem today, only to have it crop up tomorrow, worse than before. Buildings are living, breathing things, and so you will need to tweak your network on an ongoing basis.

Next: Throughput and the wired network

Topics: wireless

Challenges in Wireless: (Part 3 of 5: The wired network)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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Looking at throughput

We’re considering a crucial question: How do we get the maximum coverage with the least interference and the best throughput?

Our last post covered interference. Today we’ll start talking about bandwidth, asking how big of a pipe we can put through our wireless devices. It’s important to do so because a lot of Wi-Fi devices have great range, but not the density to handle much traffic.

Wireless throughput is king, especially because, in many environments, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of people using wireless. If 10% used it five years ago, maybe 70% do today, and probably 90% or more will connect wirelessly a couple of years from now.

 

Your connection to the Internet

The first thing we have to realize is that Wi-Fi speed depends not just on the wireless devices but on the hard-wired environment that brings the network to them.

The easiest thing to check, and to fix, is your connection to the Internet. Your network management software should provide graphs and charts that show bandwidth utilization. If the demands are higher than the bandwidth coming you are provided, it really doesn’t matter what your network is doing. You WILL have bottlenecks.

 

Poor switches or wiring

The switches are often the next weakest link. You may have a great wireless design but running it on a undersized network switch.  A poor switch design is the biggest stopping point for many of our customers.

Poor wiring is common as well. A lot of times people say, “Well, we have wiring, let’s just install our access points.” Bad wiring is a simple issue, but it seems to be the last one people think of. “We must have co-channel interference, or the walls are too thick.” You want to test your wiring early in the design process and make sure it’s up to speed. Sometimes it’s very hard to pull new wiring, and so you may have to work with what you’ve got. But generally speaking, if the wiring is inadequate, you can replace it.

 

End point issues

Sometimes your throughput problems will be localized to certain areas within your building. It may be that certain endpoints have obsolete wireless cards or need firmware updates. That’s easy to check, but sometimes the problem moves around. Now you start charting which devices are in which areas when you have an issue. You narrow it down, then examine those devices to find the enemy.

It may be that you settle on your Apple laptops, phones and tablets. Apple devices are a lot more chatty than Windows or Android, and their constant communications with Apple servers will require more throughput than other devices.

Malware

More often in these cases we find viruses or malware, which can bring your network to its knees. Viruses are usually easy to diagnose and fix, but some of the malware can be a major threat to performance.  If everything seems to be running perfectly, but slow, it may be that foreign sites are using your devices as servers.

It’s important to constantly push out firmware and software updates for your user devices. Doing so will help minimize the danger from malware and ensure that users are able to communicate efficiently with your network.

The same is true of your switches, access points and other wired network devices. Keep them updated and you’ll have fewer problems.

Next: Separation of traffic

Topics: wireless

Challenges in Wireless: (Part 4 of 5: VLANs)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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The network as a whole

We’re considering a crucial question: How do we get the maximum coverage with the least interference and the best throughput?

In our last post, we discussed the wired backbone that feeds our wireless devices. Today we’ll look at some of the things you can do to improve the performance of the network as a whole.

Separation of traffic

To maximize throughput, you’ll want to look at the use of virtual networks, or VLANS, to separate phones, video, data, printers, wireless and other types of traffic into their own environments, each managed separately.

Simply put, if you’re pushing streaming video and security cameras over your entire network, it will be very easy to flood that network and shut it down. We recommend separating not only the different types of traffic, but limiting the number of devices on each VLAN, down to say 30 on each. Doing so makes it much easier to troubleshoot problems and keep performance at the maximum.

Sometimes we use SSIDs, which are alphanumeric identifiers attached to each wireless network, to help users connect to the right wireless VLAN (or “WLAN”). You’ll see these sometimes when you’re in a restaurant or hotel: you’ll have the chance to connect to the Applebee’s free network or the guest network at the Hilton. We have used the concept in schools to help staff connect at 5 GHz and students at 2.4, simply labeling the networks “Students” and “Staff.”

Such labeling can help with throughput because, once you have your WLANS established, the more people mix them up, the slower they will run.

Band steering

Most new types of wireless devices will connect using the latest protocols and support legacy standards as well. But they have to connect at the correct frequency. For example, 802.11ac will only connect at 5 GHz, so if you don’t set that up, they won’t connect.

One good way to set up your access points is called band steering. When connecting with a user device, access point will try 5 GHz first, and if that doesn’t work, it will go to 2.4. Setting up this way, you can ensure that all of your end user devices are running at the highest possible speed.

Controlling the size of traffic

Netflix, YouTube and other video sites have become a real problem for network administrators, because even in a big network environment, just five or six people streaming from these sites can bring the network to its knees. If this is the case with you, you can control access with content filtering, but the best way, if you have a Layer 7 firewall and switches, is to configure them with “blocked URL pattern” rules. That way, users cannot go to (or set up) proxy servers designed to circumvent filters.

Of course, some organizations need or want to allow access to video streaming sites. If you’re in that environment, there are things you can do to limit the bandwidth available to them. Your users may not see that as ideal, but because we’re in a community where everyone has to share access to the Internet, we can’t let one user take the network down for everyone.

Topics: wireless

Challenges in Wireless: (Part 5 of 5: Additional strategies)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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QOS and Layer 7

We’re continuing to explore key challenges in wireless network design: How do we get the maximum wireless coverage with the least interference and the best throughput?

In our last post, we looked at VLANs, band steering and other ways to maximize throughput. Today we’ll show you some additional strategies.

Quality of Service

The need for a constant data stream for certain applications has lead to the development of Quality of Service (QOS) protocols, to allow administrators to set priorities for the different types of traffic that travel over their networks.

Most often, phone (VoIP) and video conferencing are set at the highest priority. They need priority one because if the phone keeps dropping packets, people can’t understand each other and will hang up.

Communications to your accounting software and, in schools, online standardized testing, are often priority two. We sometimes suggest that our school customers bump testing up to number one during annual testing weeks, then turn it back down when the week is over.

Simulation clients, scenarios involving communication with a virtual desktop, and terminal services all have to have a high priority because, if they drop a connection, users have to log back in and start over.

Often the lowest priority is web browsing because, if you’re on a page and the service drops out, you can click that link again and it will work. The page will almost always resend the packets.

Low data rates

We have found that it can be very helpful to set minimum data rates for a device to connect wirelessly. Often those that connect at a low rate will affect others running at a high rate. In a perfect world, if we could have everyone running at 5 Mbps, they would all run better because the weakest link sets the rates for everyone.

Edge protection

The Internet edge is the network infrastructure that acts as the gateway to the Internet and the rest of cyberspace.

Keeping bad traffic out of your network is a discussion of its own, but for here we just want to point out that it’s not only a security risk, but it can causes a huge amount of chatter in your network. In doing so, it can significantly compromise your network’s throughput.

Today, a Layer 7 firewall is the best protection available.

Conclusion: Honeycomb network design

We’ve looked at a number of factors affecting coverage, interference and throughput, but we thought we’d conclude with a starting point for your network design.

Here’s what we call the honeycomb design in the simplest scenario possible: an office building with equal-sized offices or a school where the classrooms are all the same.

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As you can see, we’re putting an access point in every other room, but a cable drop in every room.

The design offers good coverage, low co channel interference, and a good chance at achieving maximum throughput. It also provides the flexibility for moves, adds and changes with open cables in each room.

Obviously this is not the only way to design a wireless network, and it’s never this simple given that rooms are different sizes and non-symmetrical, but it’s generally a good starting point.

You’ll want to input it into your predictive heat map, then modify as needed.

Topics: wireless

Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 4 of 4)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

We’ve been considering how to design wireless networks properly. In our first post,, we examined the need for a clear mission for your network, in our second, how to analyze its requirements, and in our third, the design process.

In this post, we’ll look at installing the network and making sure it works properly.

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Installation 

We’re now ready to install your Wi-Fi network. As with any network installation, industry best practices for handling copper and fiber optic cables apply, and you will want a neat and careful installation of your cable plant.

Be sure to inform all of your network users and administrators when you will begin the installation and when you will finish, being careful to specify the dates and hours that network speed and traffic will be affected. Be sure to check for any conflicts before you start.

Training

Once the installation is complete, you’ll need to train your users on how to gain access to your new network. Which subnet should they use? Are there any special considerations to be aware of?  

Remember, if you don’t provide adequate training, your network will not work properly for end users.

Evaluation  

One of the most critical pieces of the network installation is evaluation and testing.

We created a predictive wi-fi heat maps of network coverage, but now it’s time to do an actual heat map that shows you where you’re covered, where you’re not, and where you have a lot of interference. At Pine Cove, we go back to our AirMagnet package to create this map, walking the facility while the software records the signal strength, data rate, interference and other parameters of our network. You’ll make additions and changes to the network based on what you learn.

You’ll also want to poll your users for their initial experiences. Is the network robust? What issues are they having? Chances are, a number of problems will arise that you haven’t anticipated. If not addressed, they will prevent you from enjoying the improvements you worked so hard to achieve.

Remediation is a huge piece of any Wi-Fi project, and it has to happen on an ongoing basis. You’re in a living, breathing environment, and as conditions change, you’ll want to take the needed steps to keep your network at peak performance.

REVIEW PART 1:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 1 of 4)

REVIEW PART 2:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 2 of 4)

REVIEW PART 3:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 3 of 4)

Topics: wireless

Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 3 of 4)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

We’ve been looking at wireless networks and how to design them properly. In our first post, we examined the need to define a clear mission, and in our second, how to analyze user behavior, measure the environment, and consider external threats, including interference from other networks and security threats.

In this post, we’ll overview the design process and related issues.

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Network design tools 

Once you’ve done your preliminary research, it’s time to start putting your cable plant and access points on paper.

At Pine Cove, we use a use a tool from Fluke Networks called AirMagnet Wi-Fi Analyzer Pro to create predictive Wi-Fi heat maps of the entire facility. The inputs are the floor plans and dimensions of each room, the materials in the walls and our data requirements. The output is a set of predictive heat maps showing wireless coverage, signal strength and data rate in each area.

Next we manually add the additional bandwidth we may need for certain areas that we determined in the user analysis.  

It’s important to provide a reasonable amount of flexibility for future growth in network use. We often will use a larger cable infrastructure than we need today, trying to anticipate the organization’s needs in 10 years or even longer.   

When you choose hardware, you may want to consider its ability to provide multiple subnets to separate traffic by their security requirements and type of use. For example, you may have an employee network with full server access and a guest network with Internet only. 

We most often will run extra cabling from the backbone into each ceiling as well, so that if a room is used more than expected, it’s easy to add another access point. For this reason, good network design is something of an art form, drawing on the designer’s knowledge and experience, as well as the numbers generated by the analysis.

That said, it’s extremely difficult to predict how technology will change beyond three to five years.  While we will try to design a longer-lasting infrastructure, you should expect your access points and other hardware to have a three to five year lifecycle. Let Pine Cove help with your network consulting.

Properly scaling the Internet

One of the most important uses of any Wi-Fi network is Internet access, for email, file sharing, research, entertainment and a host of other purposes. If you’ve carefully analyzed your user base, you should have a pretty good idea of the total bandwidth you need today.

Still, you need to be careful, because bandwidth is highly determined by your Internet Service Provider. It’s true that if you tell your ISP that you want to double your bandwidth, they’ll be happy to agree – but you may be shocked at how long they will take to create the necessary connections. Because they’re slow, you have to foresee what you will need 12 to 18 months in advance, then work with them to make sure they’re ready when you are. It’s crucial that you understand that many network installations fail because of the months an ISP may require to provide the necessary service.

Another important consideration is how critical Internet access is to your organization. If it’s truly mission critical –and that’s more and more often the case– you’re going to want a redundant connection, so that if one line goes down, your second can take over. Then too, if your ISP provides two lines, you have to ask, are they truly separate lines? Many organizations today contract with two or sometimes three providers, so that if one goes down, they can automatically roll to the next.

REVIEW PART 1:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 1 of 4)

REVIEW PART 2:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 2 of 4)

Topics: wireless

Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 2 of 4)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

We are considering wireless networks and the factors involved in properly designing them. In our first post we looked at the wrong way to install Wi-Fi and the need to carefully determine your network’s mission.

In this post, we’ll overview the other steps you’ll need to take before you begin the network design.

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Analyzing users 

Before you can design your network, there’s a crucial series of questions to ask about who your users are and how they’re going to use wireless.

For example, are they employees or guests? Are guests a relatively small percentage of the user base or, as is true for a hotel, the majority of users?

Is usage static or dynamic? That is, will users stay put throughout the day or are they roaming around your facility? If they’re roaming, will they congregate in certain areas at certain times? Think of that lunch room, where you might have three users hitting an access point at 10 a.m. but 70 or 100 at noon.

The applications people use are crucial to your understanding of network needs. For example, many  hotels were caught off guard when Netflix expanded its streaming services in 2011 and 2012. Even today they’re having trouble keeping up with demand, given that streaming services account for more that 70% of Internet bandwidth during peak evening hours.

At Pine Cove Consulting, we use the answers to these questions to create a report detailing our client’s users and their bandwidth needs. Among other things, we document the peak expected demand in each area and any special needs for our Wi-Fi hardware. This is a crucial step if we are to design a network that meets their demands.

Measuring the environment

As you get a better picture of your users and your mission, you’ll want to start looking at your physical environment as well. When we begin planning the network itself, we’re going to need the dimensions of each room, including ceiling height, and the materials in the walls. (Most often we will input the architect’s floor plan directly into the software we use.)  Of course, if you want network access to extend outdoors, we need the dimensions of the outdoor areas and the materials in external walls.

Whether a wall has wood studs or metal, or whether a masonry wall has steel reinforcement is important too, because it’s going to affect how well a wireless signal will be able to penetrate it.

If you’re adding or upgrading your network in an existing building, do we have access to add new cable? It’s great to say, we want access points here and here, but can we put them there for a reasonable cost?

If it’s a new building, you’re going to want to be sure to have all the cable and conduit you need in place before drywall is installed. Generally speaking, over-installing cable will nearly always save you money down the road. That’s because the cost of installing cable in new construction is significantly lower than the cost of going back and adding it later.

Considering external threats

There are two more items to consider before we can begin designing the network.

First, how much interference can you expect from other wireless networks? If you’re in a building downtown, you may have 30 – 50 other networks within range of your network, whether from other floors, other tenants on the same floor, or other companies in nearby buildings. All of those are fighting for bandwidth.

Security is an issue as well. How great is the threat from people trying to access your network from within your building or even from your parking lot?

REVIEW PART 1:
Part 1: Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 1 of 4)

Topics: wireless

Benefits of wireless technology and doing it the right way: (Part 1 of 4)

Posted by Rick Vancleeve

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The Challenge

You realize your Wi-Fi network is not what it needs to be. Your employees, students or guests all have wireless devices, but they don’t work as well as they should on your network. So you decide to make some improvements.

The wrong way to install wireless

Most people, in this situation, start by saying, “We don’t have enough coverage.” They come in after hours or over the weekend, add a few access points, test it and say, “Great! Everything is at five bars.” But then on Monday morning, the Internet keeps dropping and, when it’s working, they can’t get the speeds they need. So they think, we have great coverage, but we must need more access points, because they’re overcalled.

Saturday they add more access points. Monday the problem is worse. Monday night they add even more, but the problem gets even worse.

Why would that happen?  More is not better in the world of wireless.

Designing a network from scratch

The issue behind this scenario is that people are using wireless exponentially more today than a year ago, and usage is still increasing. Consequently, you can’t just patch up your old network. You may be able to reuse your existing components, but you’ll need to fit them into a comprehensive new plan.

Doing it right is a multi-part process. In this post, we’ll look at the first step.

Defining your mission

When looking at wireless, it’s tempting to say, “I want good, robust Wi-Fi in every corner of our building,” and start to plan from there. That’s not enough, because it doesn’t help you put the value of your network in perspective or make hard decisions on cost versus coverage and other issues 

If Wi-Fi is a profit center – that is, you’re charging guests to connect to your network– it’s relatively straightforward to calculate the ROI of any improvements. But that’s not the case for most organizations.

At one extreme, you may see wireless mainly as a convenience for employees. They have wired connections at their desks and will use Wi-Fi only when they bring their laptops and tablets into a meeting room or the lunch room. If this is the case, you may not value Wi-Fi very highly or value it only in certain locations.

Wi-Fi takes on more significance if wireless devices are crucial to your business, or if clients or other important guests depend on wireless when they’re on your premises.

Whatever the case, there’s no way your solution can accomplish your mission if you haven’t defined that mission carefully. We have learned, over the years, that the biggest reason that network upgrades fail is that people don’t really know what they’re trying to accomplish.

Topics: wireless

How 802.11ac Technology is Making Our Lives Better

Posted by Tyler Wantulok

It’s here. And it’s faster than ever. 

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus consumers might be raving about the new thin, big screen and better display, but we’re raving about something completely internal: speed.

The new iPhones are the first Apple handsets to ship with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, making it twice as fast as the iPhone 5s. Why should you care? Well, besides a faster functioning phone, your iPhone 6 Plus uses less data when surfing on your mobile device, and gives you a smoother web-surfing, video loading experience.

The bad news is, there is a catch. Wi-Fi needs to be caught up with your phone’s fast technology; so it has to be fast, too. You won’t see faster connection benefits without a new, upgraded router.

The good news? That is what we’re here for.

What you want in order to fully keep up with the technology movement might not be as exciting as the fancy screen of your new phone, but it’s almost more important if you want a faster, more seamless connection.

802.11ac technology is the new hype in the technology world. Healthcare, Education and IT communities have been upgrading to the 802.11ac and loving it. It takes on the features of 802.11n and builds upon them, resulting in 3 times the speed and increasing channel widths. This new technology has been dramatically benefitting large corporations, schools, and hospitals.

So Why Upgrade?

1. Deploying HD Video over Wi-Fi

  • K-12 schools can better promote more seamless, active learning spaces and collaborations. You can display HD video with less streaming issues and hiccups.
  • Larger corporations can better utilize HD video conferencing with less connectivity problems.

2. Projecting HD images and video from mobile devices

  • Any space where you will utilize Apple TV/Bonjour gateways, 802.11ac is more reasonable and effective.

3. High client-dense Wi-Fi environments

  • Large conferences put on by businesses 
  • Large public venues such as stadiums, outdoor shopping areas and airports 
  • Public common areas in education spaces, as well as large learning halls where a greater number of students and devices will be utilized 

4. Additional opportunities

  • 802.11ac will deliver better RF management and traffic prioritization as well as better prepare for future upgrades and features.
  • If your organization is looking to roll out a larger scale Microsoft Lync, VDI, mobile CRM or other application over Wi-Fi, the increased performance and reliability of the new technology is vitally essential.

When should you upgrade?

According to Securedge networks, you should upgrade when:

1. You’re currently maxing out your capacity:
More bandwidth can be distributed with the new technology, giving you 90-100 clients on an Access Point instead of around 40.

2. You want more speed:
The faster the speed the more bandwidth for every client on the network. The faster the first client requesting data is helped, the faster the second client can then be assisted. With the 802.11ac technology you can receive 3x the speed of the 802.11n technology.

3. Range is an issue with connectivity:
At the same distance of connection as the 802.11n, the 802.11ac range provides better throughput. Meaning you get double the data rates with 802.11ac. The 802.11ac does not provide longer distances in connectivity, but it is much faster and more efficient with data.

802.11ac and 802.11n technologies can be mixed without negative impacts. This means that you don’t have to commit to a full upgrade, but you can upgrade bits and pieces of your network and it will still collaborate with the old technology.

The Future in Technology
Regardless of whether or not you got the recent phone upgrade, we all know that everyone upgrades eventually. That’s just the way technology works in our world. On the networking side of things, 802.11ac technology is the direction being taken. It improves connection speeds up to 3x, and has new features that can better the business; and better yet, it collaborates when you do take the plunge with a new and improved phone. Although phone upgrades might be more fun, improving your network technology is necessary to get what you, your clients and students want.

Topics: cloud, wireless