WiFi is a lifesaver for many startuppers. In the absence of wireless connectivity, they would have had to shut down their firms. But thankfully, WiFi is here as a silver lining for them. However, there are some challenges associated with its deployment.
In this article, I’ll discuss them. Pay attention if you have a startup firm and if its connectivity needs concern you.
Most startups have small operating areas, and they keep electrical equipment, papers, metal boxes all stacked up in them. An environment such as this is not suitable for a steady wireless connection as there are too many sources of interference. Don’t forget the brick walls as they cause connectivity interference too.
Following some simple steps can get you a stable wireless connection. First, get rid of junk metals. Metal is known to cause hindrance to WiFi signal. Antenna wire made of a metal or a clad circuit board should be gotten rid of from the office. Sell out that metal jug in the kitchen too to make sure the connection is steady.
Next, identify the materials used to build your walls. If your office has wooden or cinder block walls, connection downtime won’t become a headache. But if you have brick walls or if the walls have ceramic tiles on them, WiFi problems would be very likely to occur. Since walls affect the WiFi performance, you may have to work on your office walls to suppress atmospheric interference.
Having an improperly configured router translates to inviting connection problems. There are two exit routes for entrepreneurs; one is hiring technical people and hand them over the configuration work, and another is to pay for a business-grade router with enterprise-friendly features, so you don’t have to take the toil.
If I were you, I’d have picked the second option because the setup guys speak technical jargons that most entrepreneurs find hard to demystify. But an access point from an esteemed manufacturer comes with warranty period, technical support, troubleshooting help, and most importantly, even naive people with zero technical knowledge can operate them.
Some AP providers promise the sky but end up delivering consumer-grade routers to business consumers. To make sure you are buying the right product, ask the provider whether a mobile application will accompany the setup process. If it does, then the configuration would be incredibly easy. You can download the app from Google Play or iTunes.
The app will seamlessly take you through the configuration process. You can specify the location, set up a password for the app, create the network, define the SSID and upload all the setting specs once through.
For an uninterrupted, trouble-free connection, you need to select the right band and channel. The bands are frequency ranges. There are three bands in the United States, which are 900MHz band, 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band. The 900MHz ranging from 900 to 928MHz is out of the question for an enterprise, which means the available options are 2.4 and 5GHz bands.
The 2.4GHz band supports the 802.11b/g/n protocol. It comes with better range; downsides include congestion, low data rate, etc. I can recommend you the 5GHz band as it doesn’t undergo interference problems. The only thing that’s holding me is its incompatibility with devices that are compliant to 802.11b and 802.11g.
A small business has low employee strength, which means it can keep data consumption rate under the margin. Bonding can help to increase the data rate for the 2.4GHz band, but the deployment will need to use spectrum that’s greater than 20 MHz, which may not be cost-effective.
A simultaneous dual band router solves your problems. The 5GHz band comes with 23 non-overlapping channels, allowing for zero interference. The 2.4GHz band can account for minimum WLAN features, necessary for the connection. This way, interferences can be handled, and data consumption can be capped.
Overcoming all the challenges
The three challenges discussed here make WiFi deployment unnecessarily difficult. While large corporations can easily keep them at bay, their small-scale cousins have a difficult time putting up. The results are downtime due to connectivity issues, employee dissatisfaction, money being spent for frivolous reasons, etc.
So, make it a priority to overcome the challenges and draft a workable WiFi deployment plan.
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