We have all experienced terrible WiFi, whether in a motel, caravan park or at local café: but it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s a matter of knowing what your guests require to experience the best WiFi connection to the internet. Then either improving on what you are already using, or design a new network completely.
SRF Strategies—Technology Solutions can assess your current set up, make recommendations, design an upgrade or new install and provide ongoing support for the wireless network.
1. Do what is right not what is easy
Providing WiFi for your guests is just that—it’s for your guests, and should meet or even exceed their expectations.
What do guests want? They want to have Fast internet; Free Internet; and Easy to connect to Internet.
Looking for the cheap and easy way to install and provide WiFi to your guests, is often not the best for both the guest and the business.
2. Plan the WiFi Channels
Whether it’s a single router with its WiFi, or 20 WiFi Access Points, set the frequency channels to avoid Co-Channel Interference and Adjacent Channel Interference, both between your devices and what your close neighbours may be using.
For the 2.4GHz opt for using channels 1, 6, and 11
3. 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Most modern devices can connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so design your WiFi to provide both.
The problem with 2.4GHz is that it’s crowded and over-saturated. Devices everywhere use it: Microwave Ovens, Bluetooth, Cordless Phones, etc. These all produce interference.
There are more channels available in the 5GHz band, and it provides a smaller, tighter controlled coverage pattern.
Design for 5GHz coverage, and then turn off the excess 2.4Ghz radios.
4. 20MHz Channel Width
With 2.4Ghz using 20MHz bandwidth is a given. But in 5GHz you can choose either 20, 40 or higher channel widths.
Best practice is to use 20MHz for the 5GHz band as well. The reasons are that many devices can’t use the 40MHz channels, and it provides a stronger received signal strength to the user.
5. SoHo vs Enterprise Gear
I know we all like getting something for the cheapest price that gets the job done. But with business WiFi you need to avoid the Small Office/Home Office (SoHo) equipment and use enterprise class gear.
There is a huge difference between their capabilities—RAM, CPU, antennas and management software. As well as the SoHo gear being generally built with cheaper, poorer quality electronics.
SoHo gear is designed for home and small office with a handful of devices connecting. But a motel, caravan park or large business is not a home environment and needs to be of a higher quality and functionality.
· Place Access Points strategically
· Avoid Captive Portals
· Factor in building construction materials
· Why throttle bandwidth—download speed?
· Validate your WiFi network—use a professional to survey the site
· Separate networks for guests and management