Here in Seattle we’re experiencing a huge construction boom in our downtown core. People are moving to this city in droves and skyscrapers are going up at a rapid pace. (There are 43 proposed or under construction as of this writing!) A problem we’re noticing as a direct result of this activity is that wireless signals just don’t seem to travel as far as they used to.
One of our clients had an older consumer-grade Wireless Access Point in their downtown office. They could not get the WiFi signal to travel more than about 30 feet.
There are a lot of problems using consumer-grade access points in corporate environments. Security and management are the two biggest challenges. Consumer points aren’t designed for the rigors and security requirements of a business. Yet, in this case the point couldn’t cope with interference from surrounding businesses.
We installed two new enterprise-grade Access Points by Cisco-Meraki. The first thing they told us was that there were six hundred other Access Points that could be “seen” within the area. And we estimated the area to be only approximately 500-750 feet in diameter.
Just because we can see six hundred other points doesn’t mean we can connect to them or that we were able to use them. But even so, there is a limited amount of wireless bandwidth available. All the points have to cooperate to move data around.
Enterprise Access Points (including those from Cisco-Meraki) are smart about handling WiFi interference. They can deal with the “noise” from nearby points better than cheap consumer models. The added bonus is that they are also easier to secure.
More great news: Software on the Cisco-Meraki Access Points gets upgraded on a regular basis. This means the unit will have a long useful service life. And there will be new features added over time. This means the Cisco-Meraki access points will provide at least five years of dependable service.
If you’re having problems with your wireless connections in your office give us a call – it might be time for an upgrade.