A slow internet connection can be exceedingly frustrating, doubly so if you're at work and actually trying to be productive. If you're doing some DIY troubleshooting, here are some standard questions to ask yourself if your Wi-Fi is operating at sub-par levels.
How Fast is Your Internet Connection?
First of all, Wi-Fi speed is directly related to your internet provider and how many Mbps (megabytes per second) you're running on. If your connection is keeping you at a snail's pace, put a call into the provider and find out how fast your network is currently. The top speed for internet providers is 5 Mbps.
What is Currently Running On Your Wi-Fi?
Often times we forget that certain devices operate on our Wi-Fi networks and it can be hard to comprehend the fact that something seemingly invisible can have limitations. It's common for companies to plan their wireless network in regard to the coverage area and not the actual capacity which means as your business grows and more and more people are added to the network, although they may be able to access the network from any part of the property, there may not be enough room for them.
So, take a quick inventory of what you've got sitting on the network. Consider the following:
- Cell phones
- Number of clients
You'll likely be unable to cut down on some of these things as they add to your employee's productivity, but it's good to know when looking for ways to boost your connection in the future.
How Are My Wireless Access Points Installed?
When your access points were installed by your network provider, where and how were they installed? The better illustrate this point, envision a flashlight in a large room. Now, would you rather have a small flashlight that does a good job of lighting up its immediate area? Or a large one that could illuminate the entire room? Wireless access points work much in the same way in that they need to be pointed in the direction of whatever area you're looking to cover.
So, if your access points are pointed toward the front door when they should be pointing at the bank of cubicles behind it, that could be your problem.
How Much Control Do You Have Over Your Network?
If you are unable to manage your network you'll be unable to have any visibility into how your systems are being used. Increasing your visibility into usage enables you to prioritize applications over the network. Gaining this type of control means that you can see who is using what and from where and will help you find the culprits hogging the bandwidth.
Role-based access control (RBAC) gives you an increased level of management over your users and consequently, their use of the network. RBAC will enable you to give employees access to specific network features of your choosing which may help cut down on their usage.
Also, Bandwidth shaping is another solution allowing you to grant priority to certain members or groups in the company that require increased bandwidth due to the nature of their work.
The best thing to do is to have your wireless provider do a comprehensive overview of your network and the coverage in the office. They should be able to tell you which areas are dead zones and those with the heaviest bandwidth usage.