Have You Worn Out Your Business Wireless Network?

By: Mike Welling
March 14, 2024

Wireless networks have come a long, long way. If you haven’t updated your network in the past five years, it might be worth revisiting it. You might find, for example, that your network is the real reason productivity is low, employees are frustrated, and you spend more time troubleshooting networked printers. 

Here’s What Questions To Ask!  

But network issues can be tricky! A slow download speed might be caused by many different things. So here are the questions you should ask before blaming your network. 

How To Diagnose Wireless Network Issues

Person diagnosing network issues

In the world of business technology, there’s almost nothing more frustrating than spending a lot of money on upgrading your wireless network only to find that you’re stuck with the same problems. It’s also easy to get caught in the blame game between your internet provider, your software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers,  and your firewall’s manufacturer.  

Here are the questions I frequently ask to help clients identify where their dollars would make the most impact. 

1. Could It Be the Switches?

A switch acts like a traffic manager between your users and your servers and between your users and the router. But wireless technology has changed a lot in the last few years, and if you’ve added more cloud solutions — like VoIP — but haven’t updated your switches, you might start noticing slower download speeds. 

Pro tip: Upgrading your switches may give you the speed you need. But when you do, just keep in mind how your cloud tools will continue to evolve. 

2. Could It Be the Access Points?

If you haven’t recently added more cloud tools, but you’re noticing persistent slow speed, you might have a misconfigured controller. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make, and it’s fixable. But if you’d like to make your life easier, good news — many manufacturers are now skirting around this frequent problem. For example, Aruba’s Instant Access Points (APs) have a stunningly simple setup, where the controller is built in, and your wireless devices are much easier to manage. 

Aruba’s also introduced a new diagnostic tool for wireless networks called Airwave, which makes it easy to see areas of heavy usage, dead zones, and more. Read more about it in this recent blog!

Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Isn’t Immune to AP Issues

Consistent configurations and connections are some of the many benefits of switching to cloud-managed Wi-Fi, where all access points get their commands from a central point in the cloud. You can still use wireless controllers, and your whole wireless network will be updated automatically whenever you update your central profile. 

That said, every once in a while a wireless network can throw you a curve ball. I’ve encountered a few cases where there were actually too many access points. More isn’t always better in wireless! Overlapping coverage can cause a controller to actually turn down the wireless radios to compensate, which can cause dead spots.

3. Could It Be the Server Connection?

Person using a computer to check connection

Back in the “old days,” a server did one thing, so the connection to it — often just one gigabyte — didn’t need to be very complicated. But now with server virtualization, we are pushing each server to multitask in lots of new ways. A 10-gigabyte connection used to be a luxury and a rarity; now dual 10-gig connections are running on a lot of servers just to keep up with demand.

Pro tip: make sure the connections to the servers support the demands you are putting on them. They could be slowing down your wireless network.

When Is It Time To Update Your Wireless Network? 

If you haven’t upgraded your network in the past five years, the answer is now!

I don’t know you and your organization personally, but if you’re not on Wi-Fi 6, it’s definitely time to update your wireless network

It’s much better at minimizing lag, accommodating more intense use, and improving the battery life of each connected device. It will also improve the security of your connected data and infrastructure. There’s been a big push for businesses to do this since 2021, but if you had other pressing concerns during the pandemic, I get it!

Wireless for Business — the Easy Way

Phone connecting to wifi

If it’s time for an upgrade, we’ve already researched the best internet providers, so you don’t have to! 

If your current carrier isn’t cutting it, click the link below to learn how we can help you save time and money!

Explore My Connectivity Options Learn More

Topics: Business IT Services