Getting started with wireless networks

Once it is clear how your company can benefit from a wireless LAN, you are ready for the next phase - taking the project off the ground. The following aspects are helpful for the first considerations.

Connecting the PC

All notebook computers and many desktop PCs are equipped with Wi-Fi features that allow access to your wireless network. If the WiFi feature is missing, install an appropriate adapter (usually it is plugged into a PCI slot on your computer). Alternatively, connection via a wired LAN possible.

Status of the current network

Setting up a wireless LAN is not synonymous with a replacement of the existing wired network. Hybrid networks are often used in companies to increase the range of existing networks, and to allow wireless connections in conference rooms, meeting publicly accessible areas or new offices. However, wireless networks, which support voice communications, should be configured for a broad coverage.

Location of access points

The wireless LAN has limited range - each access point covers about 280 square meters. The range of an access may be affected by obstacles such as walls or field enclosures. In addition, radio signals cannot penetrate metal, such as, for example, elevator shafts. Among that, following issues have to be considered:

  • Wireless access is shared. As a rule of thumb in data transfers 15-20 users per access point are planned, in voice transmission 8-12 users per access point.
  • To achieve a high quality of voice over Wi-Fi transfers, access points should be placed closer together.
  • The radio signal strength tends to decrease with increasing distance.
  • Access points cover a larger area when mounted on the ceiling.

Network expansion

One of the main advantages of a wireless LAN is the ability to quickly add new users. Make sure that your wireless solution meets the current requirements and can be expanded if necessary. Ask your solution provider to see if upgrades and enhancements are easy to implement, and inform yourself about the details.

Security

Safety is the crucial factor when constrcuting a wireless network, which must be taken into account. These are some safety procedures you should consider during your planning:

  • data encryption that allows you to ensure that information can be accessed only by authorized users
  • User authentication , by which the computer, on which to be accessed on the network, can be identified
  • Secure access available to visitors and guests
  • control systems for the protection of personal computers and other devices connected to the network

Visit our online seminar on "Wi-Fi positioning"!

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