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WiFi Tips

Wi-Fi Tips

At SenSys we design, install and maintain Wi-Fi networks that will provide your organisation with high capacity, high performance and reliable bandwidth.
You may have thousands of students hit your Enterprise Wi-Fi system at the same time. You may have guests at an event or staying at your establishment and require high bandwidth and reliability or you may need a secure and reliable wireless network for your organisation to run mobile and efficiently. Whatever your requirement the SenSys team are experts in the implementation of Wi-Fi networks and are here to help.

  • Bandwidth, Coverage, Interference and wireless network audit available with SenSys system audit report
  • Deliver equal access to RF with Airtime fairness
  • Network and Spectrum Managers
  • Channel Layering
  • Cloud or appliance based controllers
  • WiFi support and maintenance with SenSys care

ekahau wifi analysis tools

WiFi TIP #1

Setting up Wi-Fi is a lot like setting up a Bar (pub), both Wi-Fi and bars have a lot in common. In bars you have bartenders (Barmen or Barmaids) and with Wi-Fi you have access points (AP’s). In a bar you have clients (people) and with Wi-Fi you have client devices.
The goal of a bartender is to serve clients (people).
The goal of Wi-Fi access points is to serve client devices (such as laptops, phones, tablets).
So, it’s the same principal but instead of wine and beer access points serves ones and zeros (00101111001010), binary.

So simple, if you think about it; anyone can set up a bar where you serve one clients at a time, that’s not high capacity and that’s also how we describe ‘Home Wi-Fi’.
Wi-Fi gets a bad name in enterprises and hotels, because people say ”At my home the Wi-Fi is perfect, but when I come to work or a hotel the Wi-Fi is terrible”
It is because home Wi-Fi is a piece of cake to set up. Like serving one or two clients at a bar is simple that’s effectively what your home router is doing, it’s not exactly ‘High Capacity’ once you have the Wi-Fi coverage that’s all that matters.
Where it gets complicated is when there are lots of clients in the bar with high demand on the product and that’s when you need the expert bartenders. This principal is the same with Wi-Fi access points, tons of clients and a demand on data. That’s your typical Hotel Wi-Fi, Stadium Wi-Fi, Commercial Wi-Fi demands and that’s where the Wi-Fi experts at SenSys Technology can configure the correct solution.

TIP #2 – Pay attention to design

SenSys wi-fi design on laptop

This is the most fundamental rule, we should pay attention to and plan first before installing poor Wi-Fi.
A high percentage of Wi-Fi systems are installed with the ‘worry later’ attitude. We should plan professionally before installation, that doesn’t come easy and most commercial sales people will try to sell you as many access point’s as possible which leads to a bad circle of frustrated end users.
So, there are many things that need to be planned and carried out when setting up a professional Wi-Fi network, not just when setting up one or two access points but many access points in a business, hotel, stadium or other commercial building. Plan, Validate, Troubleshoot & Monitoring by SenSys Technology concentrating on the following:

  • Predictive designs
  • Pre-deployment site surveys
  • Installation and Configuration
  • Post deployment site surveys
  • Spectrum analysis
  • Packet analysis
  • Periodic check-ups and preventative maintenance with SenSys CARE and Monitoring

Blueprint Quality has a direct correlation with Wi-Fi design efficiency:

If you as the client can provide us the Wi-Fi network architect with CAD quality drawings to use with our professional Wi-Fi design tools and software, it will increase design accuracy while reducing cost. All design hours are valuable and if it saves the Wi-Fi architect time ‘drawings walls and scaling buildings in software’ it will make design time much more efficient with the result of a more accurate design.

TIP #3 Aim for high data rates = clients get on and off the network quickly.

If we want high efficiency Wi-Fi the number one thing to worry about is; high data rates and why is that? To enter the network, we need to authenticate and associate. So, we want the access points to be located in positions close to the clients. Similar as bar tenders need to be close to the clients to efficiently serve wine, the access points need to be close to efficiently serve the client devices.

A barman/barmaid serves one customer at a time. With Wi-Fi access points it’s the exact same! Although it seems as all 30 clients are connecting to the access point at the one time, they are not. One-person gets served at a time. So, the quicker that the first client talks (communicates with the access point) the quicker the next client can join. So, it’s an enormously fast process where clients and access points take turns. That’s why the higher the data rate is, the quicker the clients can do their business.

High Data Rate is Vital

  • How long it takes a device to send its transmission, depends mostly on data rate.
  • The higher the data rate of all the devices, the more everyone can transmit per second.
  • Data rate depends on signal strength / SNR
  • So, you need a good signal to noise ratio to achieve good data rates.

So, what contributes to slow data rates:

  • Noise (network)
  • Channel interference
  • Low client capabilities

Tip #4 More is better?

It usually is but adding more bar tenders to your bar isn’t always the solution and doesn’t always help. The 2.4Ghz frequency is crowded already and cramming more and more access points to fix the solution isn’t a great idea (Although we see this in businesses and hotels all the time). Think of 2.4Ghz as a clumsy barman/barmaid, it takes a lot of space and by adding more of those bartenders doesn’t always make sense. Same thing with Wi-Fi you need to re-use your frequency where you can. So, the 5Ghz frequency is better especially if you can use all of the channels it is like having super-fast bartenders and a lot of them can work in the same space and this why in a lot of cases you need to disable 2.5Ghz radios to make the network more effective.

Reduce Channel Overlap by strategic AP placement:

How does the placement of access points in general effect the performance?

The worse enemy of Wi-Fi is not microwave ovens or Bluetooth. It is your own Wi-Fi hurting your own Wi-Fi with access points being placed too close together having AP’s hearing another AP causing co-channel interference which the worse enemy of Wi-Fi. So whenever possible take the AP’s out of hallways and place them in the rooms or offices, we appreciate this isn’t always possible but whenever possible this is best practice. So, adding access points isn’t always better and if you do not have free channels in fact adding access points will reduce the throughput of your network.

Extra SSIDs are just like Complex drinks.

So just like in a bar although you might charge €10 for a mojito and €5 for a beer. The beer is a much better business. The problem with the mojito is it takes ages to mix those complicated drinks and it eats up usable bartender time. In Wi-Fi this is what is called ‘usable airtime’.

  • Mixing drinks eats up the usable Airtime
  • So, the more SSID’s you have on your Wi-Fi network is similar to more complex mojitos you are mixing.
  • The more access points you have on the same channel, the more overhead you have.

Tip #5 – Welcome to the spectrum police academy

Ekahau analysis the team at SenSys wifi to detect interference and combats against the interference. So, what can interfere with Wi-Fi?

  • Bluetooth
  • Radio
  • Cordless Phones
  • Wireless Cameras
  • GSM Networks
  • Microwave Ovens

There are tools that SenSys Technology use to fix interference

  • Many access points have a spectrum analyser built in.
  • Ekahau sidekick site survey tool
  • Wi-Fi analysis should be carried out by a SenSys Wi-Fi architect and we will be happy to help.

ECSE Certified - Alan Hogan

Tip #6 – Speak to the Wi-Fi and Network Experts at SenSys Wi-Fi

While setting up a home WiFi network with an access point is easy. Setting up a Hotel, Stadium, Pharmaceutical WiFi network should be professionally designed, installed and maintained.

Call us for more information

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