Proactive network assessment is the way to stay ahead
There are two big mistakes you can make with Wi-Fi. The first is never testing it. The second is measuring its performance by outdated methods. Today’s truly effective wireless management employs multiple metrics to boost performance and productivity. Here are some common mistakes and myths which still cause problems.
Your Wi-Fi is not your Internet
This old confusion instantly invalidates any test if you’re looking for problems in the wrong place. The pair is commonly mistaken to be the same thing, but they’re two separate services. The Internet is the vast interconnected web of worldwide computer networks. You can test the basic speed of your wired connection to it through your ISP, but that’s basically where your power ends.
Wi-Fi is where your power starts. It allows devices to interconnect in the absence of cables and is simply the conduit by which the Internet reaches your device. A weak or intermittent connection may lead to redundant testing/criticism of your Wi-Fi when your wireless could be working perfectly well. Wi-Fi can be an issue, of course, and the strongest Internet connection in the world will be worthless without reliable wireless to carry it.
Even knowing that your Wi-Fi is the problem can still lead to ineffective testing.
The wrong way to check your Wi-Fi performance
Awareness of timing and spatial/physical factors are two major factors in avoiding a shoddy wireless check. Many think they can simply test it from any position in the building. Doing this can put many obstacles like walls, doors, and electrical equipment between you and the Wi-Fi source. This negatively impacts an accurate measurement. A smarter test is to be as close to the router as possible with few to no obstructions.
The device (laptop, cell phone, etc.) you choose to judge your Wi-Fi by presents only part of the picture. Your device may be running several other applications at the same time which slow it down. This drag in speed can provide inaccurate results. Turning off non-essential operations in task manager can help, as can rebooting your device.
The sheer number of wireless devices in use today means you’re often surrounded by them. A clear test will take the interfering presence of other devices into account and mitigate that as much as possible. Anything which emits an electromagnetic field can interfere with a test (such as forms of electric lighting).
Testing your wireless in the dark isn’t practical, but it pays to know that overhead light may be skewing your results and that time of day can play a part in an effective check-up.
The more ways you regularly test your Wi-Fi, the surer you can be
You’ll get a more accurate picture of Wi-Fi performance if you test it at least twice in one day. Operational hours differ between workplaces, so testing it only during those won’t be enough. Check Wi-Fi before or after your business day, too. Entities like hospitals with 24/7 operation cycles should test their wireless at their busiest and calmest times for a more detailed performance result.
Testing a few times a week is even better, but the best Wi-Fi test is one that never stops.
Optimizing and managing your Wi-Fi tells you all you need to know
Check-ups on Wi-Fi can be challenging, and even knowing the best methods may see you losing time and productivity. An airtight test begins with optimizing your WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) for capacity, capability, and performance. The data this process provides can be compared with your current network configuration to provide a baseline report on what’s operating to your satisfaction and what changes could improve things.
This all-inclusive data takes into consideration every factor which could be hampering your wireless performance. We’re a company that understands the unique needs of each client in maximizing their Wi-Fi and understanding troubleshooting.
Our Sapphire Care and WLAN Assurance package takes this optimized test data and uses it to provide ongoing monitoring and reporting on your Wi-Fi service. Your current WLAN performance will be consistently visible and manageable, and you’ll receive quarterly reports with available technical support.
Our patented Sapphire Eye tech generates cyclical traffic which tests your Wi-Fi both actively and passively to parameters suited entirely to your individual set-up. The Eyes store their analysis data in the cloud while analyzing key performance indicators 24/7, such as:
- Voice quality
- Success rates
- Retry rates
- Channel utilization
Our low-noise tech amplifies your Wi-Fi in the desired direction while minimizing interference from other sources. This increases the accuracy of wireless testing and maximizes the range of operation. As we said earlier, analyzing your Wi-Fi data outside of peak times only gives half the picture. Your wireless needs to gather enough data during peak volume to assist in optimization.
This is where our approach improves on the standard WLAN testing. We deploy directional antennae which help gather data over larger distances. From there, all data gathered is trended and tracked for a holistic overview of your Wi-Fi's current performance. This process helps you isolate problem areas and times via our visual analyzer, making it simple for your IT team to see what’s going wrong.
Transparent and reliable W-Fi performance is a must for every business today. If you’re looking to optimize yours, we’d be happy to be put to the test!
7Signal is the Wi-Fi company here to help your business grow. Our cloud-based software lets our clients analyze their wireless performance to optimize its health and identify issues before productivity is lost. For more information on our comprehensive solutions, products and services please call 216-777-2900.