A high quality wireless network can make your business more agile and efficient, so it’s vital to make sure a fast and reliable network covers your offices. Wireless network technology is in a state of constant change. The market is always evolving to provide better security, routing, management and support for network teams.
Here are 7 tips for best practice wireless network set-up and maintenance:
- Plan for optimal coverage
Figure out where your wireless network should be located to make sure your signal reaches every part of the building. You’ll almost certainly need to locate access points in different areas to allow flexibility. Your wireless controller will coordinate how the multiple access points transmit the signal. Your objective should be to use the minimum amount of access points but get the maximum amount of wireless coverage throughout.
- Enlist help from your service provider
Your service provider should be able to assist you with determining the best locations for your access points. Many service providers will provide a proof of concept, which shows a plan of your building and recommendations for the location of your access points.
Some service providers use heat maps to show your coverage areas and dead zones – these maps can help suggest placement in order to improve your overall coverage.
- Prioritise security from the start
When setting up your wireless network it’s essential to ensure that it’s secure. A login credential request for wireless access is not enough on its own. A stolen set of credentials could provide an easy pathway into the network via wireless or virtual private network (VPN) connections.
Therefore you should use an enterprise firewall with services such as intrusion prevention and application control. Firewalls are the foundation to protecting your network from unauthorised access and attacks. A firewall can perform additional services like blocking dangerous or unproductive websites, running in-depth reports that show which websites your employees are visiting, and displaying bandwidth consumption as well as other information that can impact productivity.
- Differentiate between public and private access to the network
Accommodating guest access to wireless networks is generally considered a requirement for businesses and any guest policy must balance its requirements for accountability and prevention of “squatter” connections with the goal of making guest connections simple and seamless.
In most cases for guests, no login or password should be needed to access your wireless network. With private networks, either a password or credentials are required.
- Know your bandwidth needs
Knowing your bandwidth needs and adapting to them is important. You can have an enterprise-class firewall and wireless network, but if you don’t have enough bandwidth to support your data consumption it can cause poor network performance and speed.
Check your organisation’s regular bandwidth consumption and your current bandwidth capacity. This will tell you if it’s time to upgrade either your bandwidth or your firewall.
- Plan for the future
It’s important to be able to accommodate for growth and change so you can provide excellent wireless coverage as your business grows. When your organisation adds more employees, devices and locations, you’re probably going to need more bandwidth and more bandwidth capacity.
One way to ensure you can adapt and scale is to use a managed firewall service. This is when a technology service provider implements and manages the firewall and allows you to efficiently scale capacity, based on your current or changing needs.
- Business use first
When a network is turned on, smartphones will naturally connect and utilise bandwidth in the background. Therefore a wireless network can reach near capacity even when no one is actively using it.
This doesn’t mean casual use should be banned, it just means business usage must have priority over non-business and casual usage. By using management configuration, firewalls or Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM), it’s possible to manage bandwidth.
To find how BTA can support your business with network and internet services, contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, BTA can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, BTA has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for more than 20 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.