Factors affecting your business WiFi performance and how to overcome them

If you’re struggling with low bandwidth and slow WiFi speeds, there could be some simple things causing these dips. Today, we’re talking about common factors affecting your business WiFi performance and how to overcome them in this 2-minute read.

1.   Too much traffic on low bands

The 5GHz band has way more channels than the old 2.4GHz one. So, to allow for more connections and speed up everything, use a dual-band AP with 5GHz support and band-steering to force newer devices to go on the higher band.

2.   Co-channel and other interference

From signal interference via other WiFi networks, your own co-channels and non-WiFi signals on the radio spectrum; the airwaves can get clogged. First, make sure that your APs aren’t on the same or overlapping channels, especially on 2.4GHz. Network World explains that map-based Wi-Fi surveying tools usually offer some automated channel analysis and planning features. However, if you’re doing a survey on a smaller network with a simple Wi-Fi stumbler, you’ll have to manually create a channel plan. Start assigning channels to APs on the outer edges of your coverage area first, as that’s where interference from neighbouring wireless networks is most likely to be. Then work your way into the middle, where it’s more likely that co-interference from your own APs is the problem.

3.   Too many or hidden SSIDs

Don’t hide your SSIDs as a security approach as it uses more airtime. Instead, reduce the number of SSIDs you have and use the enterprise functions in WPA3 or WPA2. Use 802.1X auths to assign users to different VLANs when they connect. This gives you segmented traffic without a bunch of clogging SSIDs.

4.   Lower data rates still live

Disable all lower data rates and old standards like 802.11b. This will increase the speed by forcing all the traffic at a faster rate.

5.   APs on WEP

We’ll say it plain: WEP is not secure. Move to WPA2 or WPA3 to get more data security with faster data rates than the original WPA.

6.   Poorly configured channel widths

Make sure that you allow for legacy channel widths to exist but apply an auto-channel-width setting to your 5GHz band. This can speed up data rates without preventing dual-band 802.11n devices from connecting altogether. Keep your 20MHz channel widths in your 2.4GHz band to support 802.11g.

7.   Long packet sizes

In your advanced wireless/radio settings, you may have the option to shorten transmission times and packet sizes:

  • Enable Short Slot Time to get faster retransmissions
  • Increase data rates with a shorter Guard Interval
  • Enabling Frame Aggregation can improve non-apple product transmission times
  • Short Preamble Length reduces header info on packets if you don’t have 802.11b clients

8.   Missing upgrades to WiFi 6

Simply upgrading to WiFi 6 can have a host of benefits including better performance in dense conditions, increased network capacity, power-saving improvements, and faster speeds. Biz Journals explains that Wi-Fi 6 reliably achieves near-gigabit speeds under ideal conditions. That means a boost in throughput of as much as 40 percent for supported devices, compared with the previous generation, Wi-Fi 5.

9.   Poor signal power

If your WiFi devices are more than 100-200 feet away from each other, you’re probably seeing a loss of signal power which can reduce speeds on the far reaches of your location.

10.                 Low-quality equipment

While there are standards on what the radio parameters of your WiFi devices are, there are not any requirements for performance. So, you may need to swap out some of your hardware to get better speeds.

11.                 Missed firmware updates

Not only can firmware updates fix bugs with your exact hardware, but they often repair connection quality and patch security vulnerabilities as well. Make sure to keep all your routers, APs, and repeaters up to date.

Need help addressing the factors affecting your business WiFi performance? Our expert team is here to help you get the very best speed and reliability from your WiFi deployment.

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