Network administrator According to Chris Kozup, Cisco’s flexible solution marketing manager, up to 4 out of 5 Cisco customer businesses have had problems with their wireless networks. Many of them have not been prepared to control the growth of mobile devices – iPhones, Androids and now iPads – for the past few years.
He added: “It took us 3 years to observe the growth of about 1 billion devices capable of connecting to Wifi and it took 5 years to witness the growth of 7 billion devices. Apple took the lead in the manufacturing team when it launched a really good (at data level) bandwidth-consuming phone browser experience with wireless networking.”.
Go back a few years ago, and you will have no trouble finding employees who have more than one phone device. They now have smartphones, laptops, and possibly a barcode scanner or other wireless network device. Devices using WiFi are increasingly occupying an important position in the workplace. Kozup said: “They are demanding to carry out an important mission”.
Kozup pointed out that up to 80% of Cisco customers had to do something to stabilize their wireless network, while 20% of other customers got stability.
Institutions in higher education groups and health care centers tend to rely more on WiFi networks and thus they are better prepared for the “invasion” of phones.
iPads and other WiFi-enabled devices also have a foothold inside hospitals, which is not uncommon when nurses or doctors use them. Kozup said: “In the hospital, there is a nurse call system, a patient call system, a heart rate monitor, … all of which are connected to WiFi networks. “
On the other hand, according to Kozup, financial services also tend to be slow when they connect WiFi network upgrades to the most technologically advanced devices. The reason is because the security concerns in the WiFi network have not been paid much attention. Low-tech devices also need a WiFi upgrade.
So, what should a CIO do to upgrade the WiFi network? Cisco advised users to focus on the following 6 important things:
1. Fill the coverage area
In the early days of WiFi, CIOs often placed an access point in hot spot areas such as meeting rooms. The reason is because employees think that they can disconnect their laptop computers from wired networks and bring them to the meeting room.
Today, employees tend to move a lot and attend meetings in many different places. They often need connectivity and therefore the need to have a reliable connection to the intranet is understandable. Kozup said: “You will not need an intranet that can work well in a meeting room but lose signal in a corner of the building.”.
Cisco advice: 2.4 GHz configuration for 20 MHz and 3 non-overlapping channels. A number of organizations have proposed changing the 2.4 GHz configuration to one channel supporting 40 MHz and one channel supporting 20 MHz. However, having 3 non-overlapping 20 MHz channels provides better network access and WLAN design than a 40 MHz channel and a 20 MHz channel. This configuration will help businesses to deploy better wireless networks to optimize the reception and coverage of the wireless network.
2. Receiving a weak signal?
Kozup said that older devices, such as those that do not support the latest 802.11n wireless network, would be more difficult to receive signals from access points. Result: poor signal.
Cisco advice: Utilize radio frequency acquisition technology to focus strong signal to older 802.11a / g products whenever they are connected to a network.
3. Get rid of obsolete technologies
According to Kozup: “Let’s face it, sometimes outdated technologies need to be removed. The devices that supported the first wireless network standard – 802.11b – were really too slow and reduced performance. We need to convince people to remove the old technology in their networks. By doing so, they were able to speed things up. “
Cisco advice: Because most 802.11b standards are “out of phase” compared to devices running 802.11g or 802.11a / g / n, Cisco recommends that all businesses turn off data transfer rates below 2.4 GHz in networks. WLAN.
4. Working with higher frequencies
WiFi operates at 2 frequency levels: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Most devices, including iPads, are dual-band devices capable of operating on both frequency bands. KoZup said: “The truth of the matter is that the 5 GHz band is stronger and wider than the 2.4 GHz band. Therefore, we need to make sure that these devices (iPads) are connected as close to the 5 GHz frequency range as possible.”.
The problem is that dual band devices tend to connect to the 2.4 GHz frequency band. Cisco has launched a product named BandSelect able to automatically receive dual band devices and “capture” them using the 5 GHz frequency band.
Cisco advice: Because the 5 GHz frequency band has 8 times the spectrum of the 2.4 GHz band, and it is often less awkward, Cisco BandSelect helps ensure that devices can use the 5 GHz frequency range. This also means that the 2.4 GHz range will be more generous in the environment of combining both devices.
5. Are phone equipment secured?
Does the iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices have a high level of security to help businesses trust? They are possible, when they are correctly configured with the correct validation protocols.
Cisco advice: Some phone devices support 802.1x authentication method in enterprise environment. WiFi wireless networks are automatically displayed by each device or can be set under WiFi settings profile. The correct 802.1x method will be automatically selected for each wireless SSID or the user can select them at Settings > WIFI > Security.
If there is no requirement for a digital certificate, users only need to enter the user ID and password to gain secure access to the enterprise wireless network. If the authentication method of businesses and organizations requires digital certification, IT will have to create configuration profiles and send them to mobile phone users.
6. Clean up the surrounding space
If you’ve ever experienced unpleasant work during a slow WiFi connection, this means that you should clean up the surrounding space. Microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth-enabled devices, wireless speakers, etc. can be factors that cause frequency instability.
KoZup said: “Pay attention to all the Bluetooth devices in a business. They may be the cause of iPhone, iPad and Android devices working in this environment. “
Cisco advice: Cisco has a spectrum analyzer tool called CleanAir that detects and automatically reduces annoying frequencies by configuring the wireless network around the source of interference so devices can communicate with each other in a single universal ventilation with access point.