In this day and age, having a wireless network is essential for any business. It improves productivity, collaboration, communication, and customer service. But having a limited Wi-Fi connection can significantly reduce the efficiency of your business. Slow speeds, dropped connections, and dead spots can all negatively impact your business in many ways. Fortunately, if you are experiencing issues with your Wi-Fi connection, there are ways to fix them.
Common Cause Of Limited Wireless Network Connectivity
There are a lot of different issues that can lead to a poor Wi-Fi connection. Understanding the potential causes will go a long way toward troubleshooting and finding a resolution, as well as preventing connection issues in the first place. Some of the most common causes of limited Wi-Fi connections include:
- Outdated Hardware: Outdated switches and access points (APs) can cause slow or unreliable wireless connections. If your hardware is over five years old, it's likely time to upgrade.
- Outdated Firmware and/or Software: Just as older hardware can lead to a slow or unreliable connection, so can out-of-date firmware and software. Installing the latest updates and patches can help to improve your connection because they contain bug fixes and performance enhancements.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth can become an issue if too many users are connected to the network at once. If there isn't enough bandwidth to support the number of users, everyone will experience a slow connection. Additionally, if your business uses bandwidth-intensive applications (video streaming, VoIP, etc.), you'll need to be sure you have enough bandwidth allocated to handle the demand.
- Network Interference: Wireless signals can be disrupted by other nearby electronic devices, such as medical equipment, other wireless devices, even microwave ovens from the breakroom… but the most common is other access points- either from your network or a neighboring network (think floors above you, below you, and offices and buildings to the left and right of you. These devices interfere with the wireless signal, leading to dropped connections and slow speeds. At Hummingbird Networks, we can assist with network design and planning to ensure that all devices are on the proper channels and that there isn't any cross-channel interference.
- AP Power Settings: APs are designed to transmit their signals at certain power levels, and these settings can affect the range of the signal. If your APs are set too low, the signal may not be able to reach your users. On the other hand, if they're set too high, the signal of one AP could interfere with the signal of another AP, leading to connection issues.
Impact Of A Limited WiFi Connection
A limited Wi-Fi connection doesn't just cause temporary inconveniences. It can have a negative long-term impact on the overall productivity of your business. In fact, a poor or limited connection can affect both your employees and your customers.
As you can imagine, a limited Wi-Fi connection will affect your employees first and foremost. The following are a few of the long-term impacts that a limited Wi-Fi connection can have on your employees:
Employee Productivity And Morale
A limited or slow Wi-Fi connection can cause significant delays in work processes, leading to decreased productivity. For instance, if an employee needs to send an email or download a file, they may be forced to wait for the connection to become stable before they can continue. This may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it could have a drastic effect if your employees are working on time-sensitive tasks.
These issues can add up over time and have a noticeable impact on employee morale. After all, if your employees feel that their efforts are being wasted due to a poor connection, they may become frustrated and unmotivated.
Inability To Access Cloud Systems
Most businesses now rely on cloud-based applications and services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Office 365- even proprietary software. Unfortunately, a slow or unreliable connection could prevent your employees from accessing these systems or limit their ability to collaborate with each other and their customers. If they cannot access the data they need, this could have a negative effect on their collaborative ability, productivity, and morale.
A limited Wi-Fi connection can also affect your customers directly and indirectly. As such, it can lead to a poor customer experience, making it more challenging to generate new customers and retain existing ones. The following are a few examples of how a poor Wi-Fi connection can affect your customers:
Decreased User Response Time
Issues with your Wi-Fi connection can affect your employees' ability to respond to customer inquiries promptly. If they're unable to access the data they need due to slow speeds or dropped connections, then customers may be waiting longer than expected for a response. This could lead them to feel frustrated and dissatisfied with your business as a result.
If your customers are trying to connect to your network in your place of business, a slow or unreliable connection can cause them to become frustrated. This could lead them to leave your business and take their business elsewhere.
Poor Customer Service
A limited Wi-Fi connection can also hurt customer service. If your employees are dealing with slow speeds or dropped connections, then they may not be able to provide the level of customer service that customers expect. This could lead to dissatisfied customers and lost business. Think of trying to check out at your local store and the connection from the register to the internet is unstable…as one example.
5 Ways To Solve Your Disrupted Wireless Network
Even minor disruptions in your wireless network can have a significant effect on both your employees and your customers. As such, you must address any issues with your Wi-Fi connection. The following are five tips for solving any connection problems you're having with your wireless network:
1. Analyze Your Network Environment
Before you can begin to troubleshoot a Wi-Fi issue, it's essential to understand your network environment. Analyze what is around your wireless APs. It is important to note any environmental factors affecting your connection, such as thick walls or large distances between the APs and devices, as these can reduce signal strength. Additionally, identify electronic devices that may interfere with the signals (e.g., any other type of wireless device). Knowing your network environment will help you determine the best solutions for improving your wireless network.
The best way to analyze your network is by conducting a wireless site survey and a Wi-Fi assessment. These assessments will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your network environment and the potential issues affecting your Wi-Fi connection.
2. Troubleshoot Network Settings And Drivers For Limitations
If your network is experiencing slow speeds or dropped connections, it's important to check your network settings. The correct configuration and installation of your network are crucial to prevent any problems.
The connection issues you're experiencing are often caused by incorrect configurations or outdated drivers/software. It's recommended that you review the settings of your APs to ensure they're configured correctly and update any drivers/software if necessary. Additionally, consider changing your channel and frequency to reduce interference.
3. Diagnose Connection Problems With System Utilities
Sometimes, the cause of the problem is not immediately apparent. If you're having difficulty diagnosing connection problems, then it's a good idea to use system utilities to help you troubleshoot the issue. System utility tools provide detailed information about your network environment, allowing you to identify any potential problems quickly. The following are some of the system utility tools you can use to diagnose your connection problems:
Network Diagnostics Tools
These tools scan your network environment and provide detailed information about the traffic, connections, and performance of your Wi-Fi connection. For example, a network diagnostics tool will show you the data rate, signal strength, and any interference that could be causing slow speeds or dropped connections.
System Information Tools
A system information tool provides detailed information about your network environment, such as the type of hardware and software running on your system. This information can help diagnose certain connection issues, such as those caused by outdated hardware or software.
Network Monitoring Tools
Network monitoring tools allow you to monitor your Wi-Fi connection in real-time, which can help identify potential problems quickly. For example, you can use a network monitoring tool to track the performance of your Wi-Fi connection over time and look for any patterns that may indicate an issue.
4. Check Your Security Protocols To Prevent Unauthorized Access
Poor security protocols can leave your Wi-Fi connection vulnerable to malicious actors. Unauthorized access can not only burden your network with additional traffic but can also lead to data breaches or other security issues. For example, your connection speeds could drop if a cybercriminal is using your Wi-Fi to download large files.
To ensure that your network remains secure, it's vital to implement the latest security protocols. In addition to doing a network security assessment to identify any existing vulnerabilities, you should also consider implementing the following security measures:
- WPA3 Encryption: WPA3 encryption is one of the most secure methods for protecting your Wi-Fi network. It prevents unauthorized access by using a combination of passwords, encryption keys, and authentication techniques.
- Firewalls: Firewalls monitor traffic on your network and block any malicious activity.
- VPNs: The use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to securely access your network from anywhere, protecting your data from eavesdropping.
5. Determine If Your Network Is UCC-Ready
Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) technology solutions allow businesses to integrate multiple communication and collaboration platforms into a single, unified system. This can help streamline communication, improve collaboration, and optimize productivity.
As a result, UCC solutions allow businesses to reduce the complexity of their communication networks, which can help prevent connection issues. Additionally, UCC technology provides:
- Enhanced security and reliability.
- Integrated scalability options.
- The ability to add or remove users quickly and easily.
Is Outsourcing IT Services A Viable Solution?
Outsourcing IT services to a professional can be an effective solution for businesses with trouble troubleshooting and managing their Wi-Fi connection issues. By outsourcing, organizations can benefit from the expertise of experienced IT professionals with the knowledge and resources to provide comprehensive solutions for any network environment. These solutions may include conducting a wireless site survey, installing updated drivers/software, configuring security protocols, and more.
Additionally, outsourcing IT services allows businesses to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in network management. This can help ensure that their networks are secure and optimized for performance at all times. In addition, an IT service provider can provide round-the-clock monitoring of your network environment so any potential issues can be addressed quickly.
Get Your Business WiFi Connection Up And Running
At Hummingbird Networks, our team of experienced IT professionals can help you get your business Wi-Fi connection up and running. Our comprehensive IT solutions include wireless site surveys, configuration and installation of your network, system utility tools for diagnosing connection problems, security protocols to protect against unauthorized access, and UCC-ready technology solutions. With our expertise and resources, we can ensure that your network is secure, reliable, and optimized for optimal performance.
Click this link to learn more about how Hummingbird Networks can help you get connected!