How to Prepare your School Wireless Network for Mobile Devices
It’s been noted that within the next 4 years efforts are underway to make sure 99% of students across the US have high-speed Internet.
Whether your school wireless network is well on its way to having proper high-speed internet and you’re in need of a wireless network refresh or you’re just beginning your research now on attaining this goal, here is a check sheet of what a proper wireless network should include.
An infrastructure that allows for monitoring the performance of the network and the ability to push out quick changes from a single point is the key to lower operational costs since labor intensive wireless monitoring is not an issue. This also allows for cost effective remote deployments of wireless since all the management is in one centralized location.
High Capacity Load Balancing:
A “well run” wireless network is measured based on large amounts of data being transferred in a very short specified time. Meaning FAST internet with NO DEGRADATION in performance ALL THE TIME. This is optimized when the access points being utilized have the ability to automatically shift users from an over-utilized access point to one that has available capacity. Also, a dual band access point has the ability to shift 5 GHz capable clients onto that band leaving the much more crowded 2.4 GHz band more readily available.
Real Time Power & Channel Setting Adjustments:
Radio Frequency negatively affects wireless networks and it can be very hard to diagnose the issue. The ability to have a technology that auto adjusts power and channel settings in real time, to properly deal with the RF interference, is key.
Wireless is no longer a “nice feature” to have. It is ubiquitous and as students device counts grow so does the need for a more robust network. It is essential to create a scalable network in the beginning that can grow with you and auto configure to the current network when added in.
Role Based Access Control:
The network should integrate with a directory database (Active Directory) and identify users to assigned roles based on policies built. These policies and roles will control where that user has access on the network and can limit packets and control bandwidth for the different classes of users.
Web Content or Application Filtering:
CIPA laws leave little room for not having this security in place. A proper web content application filter will stop threats and prevent data leakage by providing policy-based visibility and control over applications, users and threats.
A wireless network should have 100% up time and a system should be chosen based on that capability. New testing is being done on tablets and a system that is not fully redundant could leave a district unable to properly perform testing if and when their wireless network failed. When building a new network or refreshing an existing one, make sure the redundancy is included. It will help all administrators have a bit more peace of mind.
Technology in the classroom is being mandated and there are so many factors to keep in mind when choosing a proper wireless solution. SecurEdge Networks has provided assistance to over 300 schools looking to properly plan, deploy and design wireless networks. Contact us here if you have any questions or would like a free consultation.
Daryl is a Territory Manager at SecurEdge Networks. His love for wireless and security is only rivaled by his love for basketball, if only he was a foot taller…
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