Simple ways to Improve your Network Without Major Investment
Who knows how many more devices will be in the Christmas haul for students, staff, and faculty? You can certainly be sure most of those new devices will appear on campus at some point or another. However, you are not likely to find an unexpected budget for a major network overhaul in your stocking. But if there is something left in the budget, you might be able to make a big difference with some small improvements.
1. Take another look at what you are made of
When planning a network by looking at blueprints and floor plans, the basic question of building materials is easily overlooked. Those materials can make a big difference to the reach of a WiFi network, however.
Dense building materials like brick or rock could smother your wireless signal. Materials that hold water can also sabotage signal strength. Not taking into account a bathroom in the way can play havoc with signal strength.
If there are dead spots in your network, double check whether you have taken building materials properly into account. Buying a more advanced access point for a place where the signal is weak will not cost the earth. And it could give you a fast, reliable connection where you did not have one before.
2. Follow the crowd
WiFi users will mob in the places with the best signals. The problem is that those mobs then bring down the very network speeds they were chasing.
You might see real benefits in a small investment in access points in the locations where users would gather if only the WiFi were better. The right access point in the right place could give you double benefit:
You have good WiFi where there were only complaints before
You have even better WiFi where users used to congregate in greater numbers
3. Invest in Analytics
It might be time to invest in an analytics tool. If you already have good analytics tools, it might be time to fund a project to study the data. There are questions that you should know the answers to in order to make the most of your current WiFi:
Who is using your network
When they are using it
Where they are using it
What they are using it for
The answer to getting more from your network is not always going to be to buy more bandwidth, for instance. It might be a question of allocating what you already have better—perhaps spreading it further and more efficiently as with the suggestions here. It might also be a question of defining better rules for which data has priority.