Assessing the Health of Your Wireless Access Points

Isabell Gaylord


Wireless access points keep most of the population connected and up to date with relevant information and news. Although it is easy to connect to these networks, there is a lot that goes on in the background to administrate and maintain them. 

There are also quite a few misconceptions about wireless access points and the process involved in having one can sometimes be complex. If you want a wireless access point in your home or office, you might need some guidance before taking the plunge.

There are Different Variations of Wireless Access Points

Before buying equipment, a wireless access point installer should know what type of network they need. However, many people don’t know this. Whenever they need equipment, they think anything will do. The truth is that the equipment differs with wireless signal waveforms, radio bands, channels, and frequencies. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are the most common frequencies used for wireless access points. 

Older devices use 2.4 GHz and newer ones use 5 GHz. If you are unsure of the devices that are going to connect, it is better to get dual-band equipment.

Complexity Abounds With More Equipment on Different Signals

Using older routers in a new wireless access points can limit the functionality of the overall network, replace the old router to match the new equipment. If you have mixed older access point equipment with newer models, it will be beneficial to stick to the latest hardware. 

The old equipment will hinder the functionality of the entire network because it will be harder to manage different branded equipment. It might also be impossible to configure older devices to perform much better.

Wiring is Essential

Wiring up a wireless access point can prove to be harder than imagined because of the different types of wires. In fact, the most common type of wiring used for these applications is the standard Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6. 

The latter also comes highly recommended. However, this as well has so many variations. For example, there is Shielded Twisted Pair, Unshielded Twisted Pair, Riser-Rated, In-Wall Rated, and among other types.

To get the best performance from the wireless access point you are setting up, look at the environment and determine what type would be best. Bear in mind that even simple things like power lines can affect the functionality of the access point. 

Direct Connections are the Best

Connections between access points, wired or wireless decrease the speed of the connected network. Because of that, try to avoid connecting one access point to the other by running a direct connection to the switch, if possible. 

Another thing that can affect the performance of the wireless access points is is when someone tries to connect the wires using connectors whenever the cable runs short. Instead of doing that, try to determine the length of the wiring you will need before buying the equipment to avoid daisy-chained wire connections.

Have Adequate Access Points

Finding the perfect number of wireless access points for the network you are building is very important. Having a too many access points can cripple the overall network. Additionally, having too few access points cripples the network. The key to having the perfect number of access points is strategically placing them across the intended site. 

Dean Curran, science and engineering writer for an assignment writing service, states that by using mapping software of the coverage area, you can determine the areas that need the most attention and place wireless access points there. However, be careful not to have too many access points concentrated in one place because that will cause interference.

Be Constant When Running a Wireless Network

Consistently paying attention to wireless access points is also essential to keep it running in its best potential. After connecting it to the wireless network, it needs to be configured to suit local needs and to maximize its capability. 

Configuring the wireless access point can be challenging. However, it is very rewarding to minimize the chances of downtime. There are dependent variables with wireless networks and they include other wireless networks that are connected within proximity of the one you are using. 

The interference caused by those networks can hinder your network and as a result, you need to configure it continually.

Monitor the System

In the case of a new wireless network being set up by neighbors, you wouldn’t really know what the problem is, aside from noticing that the signal is slower. By using monitoring software provided by the equipment provider, you can realize problems right when they begin. 

Emma Davis, a graduate in electronics and telecom and currently working as a writing coach for professional college essay writers for online writing services, adds her point here. Consistent monitoring will help you rate the health of your network, Additionally, it will help you determine if there is any equipment that is failing. Most monitoring software quickly detects where the problem is and that enables you to resolve it and return the wireless access points to full working order.

Procure Equipment That improves

Updates are important for fully-functional technological devices because there are always improvements in this sector. If the equipment you are using does not recieve updates, it will easily become outdated and begin to have connection problems. 

Looking into brands like Ubiquiti Unifi can be beneficial because they constantly update the software of their products. It is easy as updating any mobile device and it is done on any desktop that has Ubiquiti Unifi software installed on it.

Know What Types of Devices are Going to Connect

When setting up a network, you should determine the crowd you will be handling and their common behaviors. For example, if you’re setting up wireless access points for your office, it will be easier to know if a 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz connection will be sufficient. 

If the network you are setting up is for public spaces like restaurants, dual-band access points are the best. Also, knowing the crowd you are catering for will help with configuring the access points in terms of limiting the speed of each user.

Wireless Access Points Need Security 

People often overlook security when setting up a wireless access point and that can lead to security breaches. The key thing to do when beefing up the security of wireless access points is separating the internal networks and the networks intended for public use. 

That will heighten the security of the access points that cater to certain devices requiring more security, such as Point of Sale devices.

Conclusion

The points outlined above are those mostly overlooked by some network administrators and clients when initially setting up their network. To help you remember all these factors, consider compiling a checklist that will entail all of them. Everything from the wiring, to configuring the access points and beefing up the security should be thought of in advance. Also, consider the devices that will connect to your access points to choose the equipment that will work the best. Lastly, monitor the overall network to determine the health of all the wireless access points connected to it.


Leave a Comment