Demand for wireless access is expected to soar this year and beyond. Analysts have predicted an increase of 300% in wireless demand in your organization. The question is are you ready for it?

Expanding Your Coverage

Your locations more than likely have some wireless coverage, but they will have a hard time keeping up to the number of devices attempting to connect to them.

Increasing the number of access points and turning the power down on some of the existing access points will provide better overall coverage and also satisfy the new demand. You also need to make sure you design your wireless network for the device types it will service. Wireless VOIP phones have a different coverage model than laptops. They need more access points at less power so they can roam without dropping the call.

If you only have a dozen or so devices two access points should be able to provide adequate coverage for a 1500 to 2000 square foot building.

Access Point Placement

You want to make sure you place your access points carefully. You do not want to mount them on structural metal; it can cause issues with the signal. You also want to make sure that you check the construction of your walls. Some buildings have sand in the walls, which can decrease signal and require additional access points.

Also make sure you leave some extra cable so if you need to move the access point, you can.

Security

Wireless is much less secure than a wired network. Anyone with a device can find your network and attempt to break in. For your private wireless network, use WPA2 Enterprise security. This will require a username and password and not a key that is easily guessed. It also rotates the wireless keys providing another level of security.

At the least, you should not use WEP as it can be cracked in less than 1 hour in a heavily utilized network.

Wireless Controller

If you are going to be deploying a bunch of access points, you should consider using a wireless controller. This will help you make mass changes and also give you the ability to easily add and remove access points. You also have a central location to look for wireless issues if any are reported.

Final Thought

If you have not deployed wireless yet, chances are you will be in the next 12 months. Make sure you take time to understand your requirements so you can size your wireless deployment appropriately. Otherwise you will have coverage issues and unhappy users and unneeded expense