Wireless Access Points (WAP’s) are, indeed, part of your network infrastructure. These devices allow your wireless devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) to connect to the physically wired / cabled portion of your I.T. network infrastructure. WiFi access points are the bridge between your wireless network devices and your wired network devices. They can be configured to allow guest access (restricting access to your network devices) and full access. Our discussion in this article will focus on WIFI network speed, radio frequency, security, and range of signal strength.
When it comes to the speed of a particular WIFI access point, there are no guarantees. In fact, speeds are often referred to as “capabilities” or “maximum theoretical”.
In reality, the actual WIFI speed you experience will rarely perform at peak levels unless the environment is optimized for the specific WIFI equipment being used. It’s pretty typical that the realized speeds are approximately 50% of the boasted speeds for each technology. This is because there are many factors, typically outside your control, that can influence the performance of your wireless access point. These range from physical obstructions, distance between devices, multiple devices fighting for the same signal, complicated encryption settings, and radio frequency interference. Physical placement of your WIFI access point equipment is important in obtaining the highest speed and performance.
Wireless Access Points typically transmit on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio frequencies. One is not necessarily better than the other. When deciding which radio frequency you should use, it’s important to choose the one with the least potential for interference. This factor varies at each environment. Some very common equipment (microwaves, cordless phones, televisions, etc.) can cause excessive interference and can degrade your WIFI performance. It’s important to perform a thorough assessment of the environment before deciding on wireless network equipment type and placement. We always perform a Wireless Site Survey whenever we install a new WIFI access point.
Proper planning and application is always a critical component of maintaining healthy communications in any network infrastructure. Fortunately, our team of experts and engineers at TechWorks is very qualified to assist when it comes to selecting and positioning the right equipment for your wireless network infrastructure.