Why Are the Devices at My School So Slow? 5 Wi-Fi Performance Problems
Deploying and supporting mobile devices such as laptops or tablets is both exciting and stressful for school administrators and IT departments.
There's a lot to manage, from figuring out budgets, configuring the devices, creating rules and standards, deploying the devices and even dealing with parents; rolling out classroom technology isn't easy.
So what happens when you've finally got them into the hands of your end-users (students and faculty) and they go to connect to the school wireless network and they're slow, or they keep dropping their connection or they can't even access the network?
Today's school wireless networks are more complex than ever and it can be very difficult to troubleshoot when things don't work.
If you're struggling with slow speeds and/or problems with your devices accessing the school WLAN, here are 5 Wi-Fi performance problems that could be the reason you're having so much trouble.
Roaming is a critical component of your wireless network design that addresses the hand-off of your connection as your devices move from one access point to another.
There are many factors that go into properly supporting roaming including: the physical environment, the types of devices being used, the types of applications being used and who the end-users are.
Failure to address these four factors will have a negative impact on your school's overall wifi performance and it's ability to support a reliable wireless experience when using mobile devices.
Outdated Wireless Network Design
It might seem a bit obvious but you'd be surprised to know that in many cases, poor wifi performance is due to an outdated wireless network design.
We've seen some schools wait as long as seven years before realizing they were way past due for a network refresh.
With devices and applications evolving at such a rapid pace (every 12-18 months) the typical life-span of a K-12 wireless network is between three and four years.
Not Optimizing Your Network for Mobile Devices
You can't just expect everything to work from the moment you turn your devices on. There are so many factors that go into creating the right environment for your devices to work properly.
Not having a wireless platform that has been optimized for mobile devices plays a big role at schools experiencing poor wifi performance.
There are both technical and business aspects to getting it right and it takes a lot of skill and experience to get it right the first time.
Over-Engineered and Under-Engineered
The type, amount and location of your access points can have disastrous affects for your mobile devices and how well they perform.
Deploy too many APs and you can cause too much interference, too few and you don't have enough coverage.
A lot of times schools get into trouble with their laptops and tablets because they purchased them without ever making sure their current wireless platform could support them.
Every device has different capabilities and different requirements to work properly.
What worked on one network might not work on another.
You have to involve the right people before you purchase those new devices or allow BYOD to make sure your wireless platform is ready to deliver.
It's both an art and a science when it comes to designing a network to successfully support classroom technology such as laptops, tablets, printers, smartboards, smartphones etc.
Success starts and finishes with having the best design possible to support your specific requirements, in this case, ensuring that your mobile devices perform.
At SecurEdge, we deliver affordable, robust, and secure wireless platforms – it’s all we do. If you have any questions about wireless network design or would like to discuss an upcoming project, please get in touch with us here.
Danny is the Marketing Manager at SecurEdge Networks. This basically means it’s his mission in life to make sure you have the secure mobility tools and resources that you actually want and can use. P.S. He also loves a good craft beer.