This article shares the 7 common mistakes when configuring enterprise WiFi and how to avoid them when planning, deploying, or troubleshooting WiFi. As IT teams and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) implement enterprise WiFi across organizations, offices, or even multiple campuses, a set of challenges tends to emerge, especially for teams used to the wired world. Standard practices for deploying WiFi are essential for your team, if outsourcing this responsibility, these standards should be an integral part of the agreed-upon contract. Here are the seven common mistakes that occur:
Enterprise Wi-Fi is a complex subject. One significant oversight is deploying Access Points (APs) without a thoughtful design. An organization should create standards to avoid complications from haphazard AP deployments.
WLAN professionals often consider several metrics when designing, but key ones for any organization building a standard process include:
Designing can be approached manually or virtually. The manual process, or AP-on-a-Stick, involves temporary mount and Power over Ethernet (PoE) battery. Measure the cell edge (-67 dBm) to see if it covers all desired areas. If not, relocate and start again. Though time-intensive, this method works well for smaller offices.
The virtual design process involves setting channel and power on previously mounted access points temporarily and surveying the entire floor. This process provides an understanding of the RF signal’s behavior against walls. Virtual Wi-Fi design tools can also generate reports that are perfect for cabling partners to interpret and use
Avoid the misconception that the number of APs can be determined based on device throughput requirements. The spectrum’s hard limit should dictate how your enterprise Wi-Fi is deployed. It’s more about how you re-use Wi-Fi channels with cell sizes. Also, consider the total number of people in a room at a time to guide your design.
Your organization should have clear standards, preferably laid out in a deliverable for your cabling contract company. Some considerations include following vendor mounting recommendations, understanding when to use AP enclosures, and knowing the type and quantity of cable to use.
Validation is crucial, especially when the design is done virtually. A validation survey will help you understand what you may have missed and what you may need to remediate. Enterprise Wi-Fi is not only about primary signal strength requirements but also about channel overlap and secondary coverage.
Understanding RF environment differences between an endpoint and what the AP reports is vital. Issues with congestion and interference are only really visualized with proper tools. Deploying a WLAN without any strategy to troubleshoot performance issues can cause future complications.
When purchasing laptops, your organization should consider the Wi-Fi chipset and driver. Inconsistent drivers across the board can cause diagnosing performance issues to be more challenging. Ideally, every new device should support 5 GHz technologies 802.11ac and 802.11ax and standards such as 802.11k, v, and r. These assist devices in roaming around the network quickly and prevents laptops from “sticking” to a faraway AP.
These 7 common mistakes when configuring enterprise WiFi and how to avoid them when planning, deploying, or troubleshooting WiFi are just a few of the possible issues and setbacks. There are many diverse and intricate problems that will arise. Be sure to research all possible options and use your manufacturer vendors for assistance or consultants. When your WiFi network is complete UVexplorer offers an unparalleled solution for mapping it.