Wireless networks are now extremely common in most businesses, from office based businesses to manufacturing and warehousing, wireless offers a wide range of benefits to business employees as well as to many customers.
However, there can be a few times when wireless doesn’t seem to be running as fast as it could be, or you are experiencing dropouts. Here are a couple simple things to check to see if you can improve your businesses wireless network performance.
Check your channel
By default, most wireless routers are set to establish your wireless signal on default frequency. However, this means if your office neighbours are using the same router, chances are you are on the same frequency. You shouldn’t be able to access one another’s data, but because you are on the same frequency you are creating congestion that will slow down the performance of your respective networks. The simple solution – change channel. This can be done by logging into your router via its IP address in an internet browser. To find you routers IP address type CMD in the Windows search tool and sleect the CMD.EXE program. Run this and type ipconfig. This will run and give you information on your ethernet adapter – under this you can see Gateway Default which is your routers IP address. Under your routers Set-up option you should be able to change the Channel – select a different channel and see if this improves performance. Some Routers actually recommend the best channel based on what is being used in your particular location.
Consider a Booster or Extender
There are limiting factors that can reduce the speed of your wireless network, such as the position of your router or the construction material used in your walls. Wood is fine – concrete with steel reinforcement will wreak havoc on your system. If you think this is an issue you can try moving the location of your router in your business – position it where it is free from interference, such as away from other electrical equipment and don’t store it in a cupboard or under a sink.
You may need to consider a booster for your network. These days you can access boosters that run through your power network, allowing you to simply extend the range of your router, without any complicated installation.
Cables over Wi-fi
If you’re not looking to upgrade your hardware but are finding there are too many devices connecting wirelessly to the network you should consider the simple fix of an Ethernet cable. For stationary devices such as desktop PC’s an Ethernet cable will not only free up space on the channel, you should theoretically get faster speeds through a physical cable.
Check Your Security
Your security encryption is important for protecting your data, but can also play a role in how fast your network operates. WEP encryption is ok, but it is not considered secure, based on today’s standards. You are much better off to use WPA2 level encryption for your network – it is much more secure and is faster than WEP.
Consider an Upgrade to your System
Commercial grade routers can solve many of the problems we have discussed. Not only are they more powerful, they have a lot of features that make them more secure and easy to use. For example, when set up properly some wireless routers can actually deliver signal to a desired location, and not further. This means you can enjoy the benefits of wireless within the walls of your business, without giving potential intruders access to your wireless signal. Furthermore, a commercial grade solution will often require multiple devices to ensure universal wireless across the business. Having multiple devices is good – if they are supported with easy to use software that brings them all together.
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