Setting up and maintaining a WiFi network

Wireless networks, better known as Wi-Fi networks are not a luxury anymore, in fact, it is almost impossible to find a household, let alone a workplace that doesn’t use Wi-Fi in one way or the other. Millions of portable wireless devices ranging from laptops to smartphones to iPads run on Wi-Fi, the great connector, providing an industry-standard communication layer for all untethered devices. Making your workplace a Wi-Fi-friendly zone is good for business. Wireless support can harbour goodwill among visitors to your workplace, and enables the workforce to stay connected to the company, while providing network access in areas that may be too expensive or too inconvenient to reach easily with traditional network cabling.All that said, setting up a successful Wi-Fi deployment can be a bit tricky for someone new to it. For example, you may think it’s a good idea to buy the lowest-cost access point, but such a minimalist approach is unlikely to yield the results you’re looking for. Before setting up a network that will run through your entire company, one should make sure that the Wi-Fi network will meet your needs. If you want to simply give laptops, tabs, mobiles and other devices wireless support for Web surfing, Wi-Fi is definitely a great fit. However if you try to use it with non-Web-based line-of-business applications such as heavy client/server applications, it may give rise to connectivity issues. Similarly while streaming multimedia content, one may encounter difficulties, depending on your setup. Yo need to assess your needs and set up a wi-fi network that is most suited to them accordingly.The latest Wi-Fi specification is 802., which travels over a 2. radio signal. The 802. spec uses a multiple-antenna system that provides greater range that before, and it can transfer data at increased speeds of up to 300 mbps. And since 802. devices are backward compatible with 802./g devices, there’s no reason to look at any APs other than 802. devices unless you’re bound by a previous service contract. Locating the right Wi-Fi APs is the most critical aspect of the wireless deployment.The material of your walls play a big role in how far Wi-Fi can travel indoors. Wooden or cardboard walls are the best, while walls attached to steel studs are bad and concrete walls with steel are the worst. For some relatively remote locations, such as in false ceilings or where a network jack is available but an electrical outlet isn’t, you have another option known as Power over Ethernet (PoE) option that makes deploying an AP possible in the absence of a readily available AC outlet. Once all of your APs are in place, you also need someone to manage them effectively so you can stay out of trouble and avoid going through the process all over again. If you have a small coverage area and just a handful of APs, managing each access point individually is the easiest way to go. For deployments that cover multiple floors or whole buildings, a centralized management platform such as a Wireless LAN controller is the obvious choice since it allows you to configure and manage an entire wireless network from a single Web-based user interface, making life simple and manageable.Lastly securing your Wi-Fi network is extremely important as a lapse here or there can lead to a multitude of problems, including theft as well as national security. Access points support various encryption algorithms, including WEP, WPA, and WPA2-Enterprise which are all better than no encryption at all. But avoid using WEP as it’s relatively easy to break into and thus is no longer viewed as a secure encryption method. This is the lowdown about setting up a wi-fi network, now you are ready to get hooked onto the World Wide Web!Article Source: