Wireless Networking 101

TG_Leadership_JimBruxvoort_1000x1000 _v2By Jim Bruxvoort
Director of Cloud Services
Trivalent Group, Inc.

Nothing can be more frustrating than having trouble connecting to a wireless network. After all, you can’t check to see if the cable is plugged in or whether a link light is on. So, what’s a person supposed to do when everything seems to be online and you can’t connect? We have been having this conversation with clients for years. The whole concept of wireless networking seems simple. You plug in the device, set up the network name and password, and it works. Simple, right? For the most part, that is true if you are setting up your home wireless network, but the parameters change in the office.

Having a reliable wireless network takes planning, and technology companies like ours can assist. However, there are some simple things that can make a big difference that don’t require a service call. The placement of the wireless device is significant. The wireless signal typically broadcasts in an oval shape. So, placing the wireless device in the middle of the area you want covered is important. Brick walls or metal beams will distort the wireless signal and cause dead spots in your network. Also, be aware of how your wireless access point is meant to be mounted. Some sit on a shelf or hang from ceiling tiles or mount on a wall. Their signal is designed to perform under a specific orientation.

Keeping some of the basics listed above in mind will keep everyone connected. If the basics still don’t get you the reliability you need, then a site survey is the next step. This entails using software built to analyze the wireless signal and report back the issues. That is when the experts get involved.

With the proliferation of all the hand-held smart devices, a reliable wireless network becomes as necessary as email. So, keep the wireless access points from falling behind the metal cabinets, move them to the middle of the working areas, keep them a safe distance from the elevator shafts, and you will have happier days staying connected.