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Improve Wi-Fi experience while avoiding interference

By Martine Velkeniers, Global Product Marketing, HP Networking

 

Martine VelkeniersAs Wi-Fi becomes more pervasive across the enterprise, managing the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, becomes increasingly complex. End users expect the ability to stay connected constantly, but with the increase in the number of networks, you may end up seeing more interference problems from surrounding wireless networks than you’ve been used to in the past. Even non-802.11 devices, such as cordless phones, can cause problems. Mitigating interference from surrounding networks is key to improving end user satisfaction and performance. So what are some ways you can do that?

 

 

Before we dive in though, for quick reference, 802.11 is a set of technology standards for wireless network devices. These standards are determined by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), and they govern how different wireless devices are designed and how they communicate with each other. Since Wi-Fi is an unlicensed spectrum, it can often interfere with other networks or non-802.11 devices operating on the same 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency. This often happens when wireless networks are too closely located to one another.

 

Troubleshooting RF interference can be difficult because it is often intermittent. Here’s an example that many people have experienced first hand—a microwave oven is used at lunchtime; it creates interference that is otherwise not present. Once the microwave is no longer in use, the interference disappears and service returns to normal. Troubleshooting issues like this also requires very sophisticated techniques to ensure a high performance and reliable experience for your mobile workers. But, there are still a number of fairly simple methods enterprises can turn to when fighting these interference problems.

 

One of the easiest ways to mitigate interference is to use advanced radio resource management with integrated spectrum analyses to automatically detect and change channel assignments of the access points to avoid interference with surrounding networks that operate on the same channel.

 

The 2.4 GHz band is used the most in wireless networking, and as you might expect interference in the 2.4 GHz band is more common. Switching to the less congested 5GHz band can help alleviate interference problems.

 

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Finally, reducing the power output of the access points can make quite a difference. If you have your radio output power set to maximum, neighboring WLAN access points may have problems transmitting at lower power. There’s simply too much signal to cut through. This in turn can cause them to transmit longer, leading to more interference in your wireless network.

 

RF optimization tools provide you with greater visibility into the RF spectrum and enhance the detection, mitigation, and reporting of RF conditions and interference.

 

To learn more about how to improve wireless connectivity for your users 

>> For more information about the HP Wireless LAN solutions visit www.hp.com/networking/wlan 

 

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<< Previous blog: The benefits of deploying BYOD

Dragana Beara talks about how BYOD alreay exists at your workplace and, and how employee engagement and productivity are the real drivers of BYOD’s business value.

>> Next Blog: What’s causing your slow network speeds?

Gladys Alegre-Kimura talks about techniques and best practices network administrators can use to keep wireless users happy in a BYOD environment.

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