Poor WiFi Performance: 4 Pitfalls to Avoid
Deploying an enterprise wireless network to support your business or school takes technical expertise, due diligence, the right products, and a bit of finesse. One mistake or overlooked link in the chain can cause massive problems and terrible WiFi performance.
No matter what point in the process you find yourself—whether you’re researching options for deploying or upgrading your WiFi network, or troubleshooting an underperforming one—it’s important to understand some of the common causes of poor WiFi performance, so that you can avoid them.
Rather than simply bombard you with the many reasons your wireless network might be experiencing issues, let’s take a “bad news/good news” approach. We’ll look at four of the most common pain points in enterprise wireless networking and explain how WiFi as a Service from SecurEdge is designed to address each one and deliver game-changing WiFi performance.
1. Outdated equipment
The bad news: Nowadays, with the frenetic pace of mobile technology upgrades, a WiFi network becomes obsolete somewhere between 3 and 5 years after installation.
This is because the mobile devices your equipment was designed to support are being replaced every 18 months to 2 years, to the point where the technology is completely different after 2 of those life cycles. Case in point: since the iPhone’s release in 2007, there have been 14 versions of it—and that’s just one device, from one company!
And now for the really bad news. Purchasing all-new wireless equipment can be very expensive! Is there really room in your company’s budget for a huge infrastructure expense every 3–5 years? Dollar signs are a big reason why we see so many organizations trying, and failing, to support new and increasing devices on outdated equipment.
The good news: Our WiFi as a Service subscription includes all the hardware you need, without the massive up-front cost of purchasing the infrastructure. The cost of that infrastructure is smoothed out over time in a manageable monthly fee. And because we understand the importance of keeping your equipment up to date, we build a refresh cycle into our subscription packages; in other words, we match the technology you get with the life cycle of the devices that will be connecting to your network.
With WiFi as a Service, you’re not investing a bunch of money up front on new wireless infrastructure, so the pressure is off to try to squeeze every last bit of life out of it. This freedom from budgetary constraints allows you to get the equipment upgrades you need, when you need them.
2. Poor Design
The bad news: Designing a secure, reliable, high-performing enterprise-grade wireless network requires an advanced skill set that most companies simply don’t have in-house.
We like to say that while you can’t make a poor product perform well, it’s easy to make a great product perform poorly if the design is wrong. We’ve seen it happen too many times; a business will spend top dollar on wireless networking equipment but fail to get the proper help configuring it, only to find that they’ve invested a ton of money in a network that doesn’t work properly.
It’s always more efficient and cost-effective to get the design right in the first place, rather than spend extra time and money re-engineering your network after the fact.
The good news: The SecurEdge process for designing and deploying WiFi always begins with our experienced, certified engineers doing their homework and gathering the information they need to build a customized WLAN design for your organization.
(A note on “free design software”: you get what you pay for. Beware the allure of cheaping out on this crucial step!)
Design is a large umbrella, taking into account important variables like:
- Number/placement of access points
- Desired coverage (e.g., indoor/outdoor, common areas, offices, hallways)
- Capacity (i.e., numbers and types of users, devices, and applications)
- RF interference caused by other devices
- Physical layout, building materials, and inventory that can affect the RF signal
Failing to properly account for any of these variables can lead to poor WiFi performance.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing enterprise-grade wireless networks, and your best bet to avoid the pitfall of poor design is to partner with certified WiFi experts. The SecurEdge mantra is, “Design is everything,” and the services we provide flow out of that belief.
3. Failure to Keep Up with Increasing Capacity
The bad news: WiFi users, devices, and applications are increasing faster than most wireless networks can keep up.
Unfortunately, too many organizations take a “set it and forget it” approach to their WiFi network. But if your business is growing, which hopefully is the case, that means your network needs to accommodate the increased demand on it. You need to think of your WiFi network as a living thing that needs to grow along with your business.
The good news: It is absolutely possible to right-size a wireless solution for your organization’s needs, even as those needs change. With WiFi as a Service subscription packages from SecurEdge, you can scale your network up or down as needed. Our solutions are based on the philosophy that a wireless network is dynamic, not static, and it needs to be adjusted over time to properly serve its end users.
4. Network Neglect
The bad news: The “set it and forget it” mistake we talked about above can cause big problems when applied to monitoring your network performance over time.
If you’ve ever experienced WiFi performance problems, you know how frustrating it can be for your employees and guests, not to mention the IT people trying to get things back on track. It’s also incredibly disruptive to your business operations. With so many business applications (think email, point of sale, accounting, etc.) moving to the cloud, your business screeches to a halt when your WiFi goes down. And without proper insight into your network, it can take hours—or worse, days—to identify and fix the problem. That’s a lot of productivity down the drain.
The good news: Our comprehensive WiFi as a Service subscriptions include 24/7 network management from our end, and powerful network monitoring tools that give you real-time visibility into your network’s performance.
This proactive approach means you are empowered to catch problems early and minimize network downtime when troubleshooting those problems.
From Pitfalls to Powerful Performance
Don’t settle for poor WiFi performance. When you partner with SecurEdge, you get access to the expertise and experience gained from more than a decade’s worth of successful enterprise wireless deployments. We make it possible to deliver fast, secure, reliable WiFi that will delight your end users and keep your operations humming, all for a manageable monthly subscription fee.
Curious about how SecurEdge can help your organization?
Dana Adams blogs regularly for SecurEdge and other tech companies. She believes technology should serve people, not the other way around. When she's not blogging, you'll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family and two rescue dogs.