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Technology Moves at Light Speed. How Do You Stay Current?

There’s a time limit on all tech. No sooner have you upgraded than the next iteration is already on the horizon. If your wireless performance has started to lag, here’s what to look for to see what’s holding you back.

Exactly how quickly is technology evolving? Computers double their capabilities every twelve to eighteen months, and the demands consumers, clients, and patients place on tech rise right along with it. The sheer volume of devices comprising the IoT (Internet of Things) is set to leap from around 26 billion this year to over 75 billion in 2025. No matter what your business is, you can’t afford to do anything less than keep pace.

With this kind of progress, obsolete tech can quickly slow you down. It’s natural that a company would be reticent about investing in new hardware if things seem to be operating serviceably, but such savings are only temporary. Failure to stay current could cost you a lot more in downtime and lost business.

Some tell-tale signs of aging tech

Is your hardware still fully supported by the manufacturer? If it’s receiving regular updates and the provider is willing to repair or replace it, odds are your tech is still current. Even if your router and devices aren’t top of the line, they can still be receiving semi-regular firmware and software updates.

If, on the other hand, there’s no sign of your current hardware after a sales search and updates haven’t been forthcoming for a while, you’re likely looking at outdated equipment and a big risk. If your router is experiencing random or repeated losses of power that’s a typical sign of impending failure. An aging router will also create ever-more frequent connection problems as time goes by.

If you find your router is randomly rebooting itself or losing its configuration settings, this is yet another sign it’s about to die. It’s important to remember that your Wi-Fi and your internet are two different things. You must be aware of that distinction in order to accurately discover just what part of your operation is failing or needs to be updated. You can refer to our earlier blog to learn how to avoid obsolete Wi-Fi test methods.

Rooting out router issues

Recent years saw over 70 percent of companies using network devices that were at the end of their life, presenting huge vulnerabilities for their operations. Remember: you may have bought the router a year or two ago, but it may have been on the market a lot longer than that.

Even if your hardware is still up to spec, failure to regularly update your router’s firmware can cause your Wi-Fi to lag way behind its optimum capability. It can also mean you’re missing valuable security updates which exposes your network to drag or failure via malware and other cyber woes.

It’s vital to recognize obsolete protocols. If your wireless network is running on either WEP or WPA encryption, it’s time to upgrade. Both of those old protocols are very vulnerable to attacks and should be scrapped ASAP.

How approaching obsolescence affects devices and privileges on the network

The most up to date router won’t make much difference if the connected devices are behind the times. The laptops, cell phones, and tablets your staff use to connect to your Wi-Fi network may be running on outdated operating systems or have obsolete (if any) antivirus/anti-malware. As recently as 2017, over 50 percent of all U.S. businesses were still running Windows XP.

This exposes them to the same dangers as an unpatched router, and any weak link in your wireless network could be the downfall of it all. Passwords should also be treated time-sensitively. They should be immediately changed if you believe the network has been attacked or compromised, and they should be discarded if they don’t meet the “good” standard which your software will often rate when creating a password.

Changing them too often can do more harm than good by causing confusion. Presuming you’re running multi-factor authentication with strong-rated passwords, you might consider a password renewal every six months.

Look to your future with us

Has it been more than 2 years since your Wi-Fi network was deployed? If so, we’d like to talk. We pride ourselves on continuously monitoring your wireless network and solving issues before they impact your mission. Get in touch with us to learn more or enjoy a free demo. In the meantime, check out our previous blog on Wi-Fi woes and the importance of regular testing for more advice on wireless best practice.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. We continuously monitor the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more by visiting our contact page.