At SecurEdge, my office is next to Michael McNamee who is head of our professional services group. Our office is a converted warehouse/techy kind of office place with stained concrete floors, so when Michael is on the phone, I hear much of the conversation. I’m struck by how many phone calls he gets from prospective customers calling with wireless performance issues that are simply a matter of improper planning from their current Wi-Fi provider. Many times, the wireless company just threw up some access points down the hallway with no real thought into how the technology works and how access point placement directly affects Wi-Fi performance.
To save yourself some pain, we recommend having a wireless site survey completed if you’re planning for 802.11ac wifi. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a physical site survey; you may just need a predictive one completed with software.
Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers are well known for advertising “long range wireless” or “with our system you’ll need the fewest number of access points” or “our access point can cover 10,000 sq. ft.” Or whatever the latest marketing lingo is to tell you that you’ll need less of their equipment than anyone else’s.
To me, this is like the drug commercials on TV that advertise to help you with a problem, but the known side effect is that it may cause another problem that is much worse (even death!). Before you rush out to buy some wireless access points for your warehouse wifi network, it’s important to read the fine print, or this case, understand the side effects of the poor wireless design.
Outdoor wifi networks, while not new are becoming more and more in demand. I’m not here to scare anyone away from the importance or deployment of an outdoor wireless network, but it does take some different kind of thinking to be successful. Just throwing up some access points, antennas, turning on the signal and letting people connect doesn’t cut it. I mean, don’t get me wrong at it’s most simplest form this might be true, but in reality, is the tip of a very big iceberg.
These days just having wifi isn’t good enough, you have to have “good” and “reliable” wifi. It’s almost become universally expected to have top-notch wifi performance at all times, no matter where you are, no matter what the device. Half the battle is creating a robust network, the other half is continuously optimizing your network for the best possible performance. This can be easier said than done, especially in an increasingly mobile, app-centric world.
Last Friday the new iPhone 6 was released and like millions of lucky iPhone lovers I was able to get my hands on one. Apple packed so many amazing features into this latest iPhone and to me none more important than it’s 802.11ac compatibility.