How you can go about optimizing your existing wireless network infrastructure depends largely on a number of things, including the actual issues that need to be addressed as well as the nature of any services that need to be integrated into the configuration. Integrating services like VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) as well as data may seem complicated, but in reality it isn’t nearly as difficult or as costly as you may be assuming. You’ll also have to take both the physical and natural limitations of the area in question into consideration. Wireless networks are susceptible to certain sources of signal degradation, especially over long distances. By keeping a few things in mind while choosing and setting up equipment, you can help make sure that you have the best wireless network that your time, money and environment will allow.
There are many different low budget options that you can use to optimize your wireless network depending on the needs of the situation. Many of these low budget options are separated into categories based on exactly what is trying to be accomplished. If you’re trying to enhance the signal of the network, for example, you would need a different piece of equipment from the one you would use if you were trying to increase the network’s ability to transmit a larger data capacity. The secret to getting a better wireless network involves integrating your wireless network infrastructure in such a way that all devices are able to work together towards a common goal.
The average broadcasting range of a wireless network is between 300 and 500 feet. Those numbers are reduced dramatically by a number of different things, however, including the walls in your home and other wireless devices that may be nearby. Try as you might, there may be some circumstances that you just can’t overcome using only a broadband Internet modem and wireless router. For those situations, it is recommended that you invest in a wireless range extender or a repeater. These low cost pieces of equipment are designed to be placed in between your home or office wireless router and the devices that will actually be using the wireless connection. The range extender or repeater picks up the signal from the router, increases their strength and quality and gives the network the boost it needs to reach all of the devices in your home.
Larger Data Capacities
If your primary goal is to increase the total data capacity that your wireless network is capable of transmitting and receiving, there are a number of low cost solutions that you can choose to employ. Each device that you connect to your wireless network will effectively cut the bandwidth of that network in half. Therefore, simply limiting the total number of devices that you connect at one time will go a long way towards relieving data capacity issues. Additionally, devices like wireless repeaters will also help your network achieve the types of larger data capacities that you have come to both expect and rely on. You can also upgrade your existing wireless router to a newer model, as new models tend to have the capacity to transmit larger amounts of data than equipment that is even a few years old. Finally, you’ll also want to look into upgrading the wireless equipment inside your desktop and laptop computers themselves for the best possible results.
Better Performance in Spite of Physical/Natural Limitations
The key to getting the best possible performance in spite of the physical and natural limitations of the environment is to choose the best physical location for each piece of equipment. When placing a wireless router or repeater, for example, you always want to do so in a position that will allow it to get maximum coverage over the rest of the area. Wireless devices broadcast in a circular manner outward from a central point. Placing your wireless access point equipment in the center of a house, for example, will allow for equal coverage throughout other areas of the house. If you own a large house and place the wireless equipment on the right side of the building, every device on the left side of the building will likely experience weak and intermittent signals.
Additionally, you should always try not to place your wireless equipment on or near an exterior wall of the home or office. Doing so only increases the total number of walls that a signal has to travel through, which in turn will degrade the quality of the signal dramatically. Placing wireless equipment high on a shelf near the ceiling will also go a long way towards optimizing your wireless network for buildings with multiple floors.
Another low budget solution to solving physical or space related issues with your wireless infrastructure is to make sure that your computers and other electronic devices are as physically close to your networking equipment as they can be. The close you move a laptop computer to your wireless router or repeater, for example, the stronger the wireless signal will be.