How to Improve the User Experience: 3 Essential WiFi Planning Tips

Written by Danny Mareco Danny Mareco | May 3, 2017 | Read Time: 4 mins

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Like having power, wireless is a critical service today. If it goes out, everything comes to a sudden stop.

That's why it's so surprising to still see so many businesses and organizations relying on insufficient, and often times out of date wireless networks to support their employees, guests and customers.

The user experience is a crucial part of every business, and the quality of your wireless plays a huge role in determining how enjoyable and productive that experience will be.

In this blog, we want to focus on how you can improve the user experience through proper wifi planning.

Below, we've outlined three essential areas of the user experience that you need to target.

1. Support the way your users want to access your network

“According to IBM, more than 80% of workers feel that smartphones will become an integral part of the workplace in the near future,” (Insight).  A survey on BYOD in the workplace showed that employees feel as though their efficiency and productivity has risen with the implementation of the BYOD program (eweek).

No matter what the strategy your business implements, BYOD, 1:1 etc. the takeaway is that mobile devices have become the primary method to access your network.

This shift over the last 5 years or so has led to an exponential increase in the number of devices your network must properly support.

How do you overcome this challenge?

We do this by designing and deploying a system optimized for your users and devices.

Specifically, your WLAN design will focus on both coverage and more importantly capacity.

Watch the video below to learn more about the importance of capacity.

Your new design will also incorporate 802.11ac wave 2 access points for faster speeds, and better support of high-density environments.

2. Protect their data and your bottom-line

Mobile devices are perceived as IT security’s weakest link, closely followed by social media applications (Netiq).

Remember the Target data breach back in 2013? A new report has shown that in terms of cumulative expenses, that single breach cost Target 291 million dollars.

Not to mention it cost them a lot of repeat customers and damaged their reputation (at least temporarily). 

While most big businesses can handle a hit like that and a decline in shoppers, it’s most likely your smaller business wouldn’t be so lucky.

Your end-users whether it's employees, guests or customers, trust that when they connect to your network their data is safe. It's an agreement that if broken, might never be possible to earn back.

Security is the foundation of your wireless system and mobile devices create an inherent challenge. When it comes to mobile, the IoT, and ultimately your user's data, there are a few essential components that your system needs:

  • Firewall - we aren’t talking port based firewalls. IoT devices and their traffic should have an integrated next-gen firewall that segments them from other parts of your network. This is an essential first step in security.
  • IDS/IPS - your new WLAN design needs to incorporate Intrusion Detection and Prevention in order to securely host IoT systems. Identifying breaches from within, and then blacklisting those IoT devices based on atypical behavior.
  • NAC or network access control - NAC secures your network with 3 primary functions it identifies, assigns, and enforces policies and regulations based off the role the device is assigned.

Network access control also makes on boarding and device authentication more efficient. Cutting down on time IT staff would need in order to handle all of the new devices coming on to the network.

Security is a mission-critical component for every wireless system today; if it’s connecting to your network then you need to be able to see it and control where it can go and what it can do.

It’s about providing everything your users and devices need, nothing more and nothing less.

3. Maintain productivity

When it comes to mobile devices and wireless, everything is constantly changing. Devices change, applications change, usage changes, even the RF environment changes.

What does this mean?

We have to be able to measure the user experience.

This means being able to properly manage your wireless system after it has been deployed.

A network management system provides your IT staff with real time visibility over both your wireless and wired infrastructure components as well as your end-users.

This does two things: decreases the time spent troubleshooting wifi problems and allows you to measure what's happening on your wireless network to make proactive decisions to maintain productivity.

With the right NMS solution, you can simulate the end-user experience on the network to make proactive adjustments, and prevent Wi-Fi problems before they even occur.

Next Steps

Over the years, mobile has quickly become the primary way we gain access to Wi-Fi. While this has provided many benefits, it's also made providing the necessary wireless system to deliver that access increasingly more complex.

Just providing Wi-Fi isn’t good enough, it takes the right system built using the right design to promote a productive, safe and enjoyable user experience. 

Often times the quality of your wireless system comes down to who you partner with to design, deploy and support that system.

It takes the right combination of experience and skillset to get it right. To help you make that decision watch the video below to learn what questions you should ask before you start your next project.

At SecurEdge Networks, our customized platform will provide your business with an easy to manage wireless system that's fast, secure and affordable. If you have any questions about your current wireless network or would like to discuss an upcoming project, please contact us here today.

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