In order to build a wireless network infrastructure, a company needs to consider the placement of multiple access points around their environment. Access points connect to a wired network and allow for devices to connect to that network via the access point wirelessly. They are the cornerstone of wireless networking; as such, knowing how to properly install them is essential. Physical access point placement plays a huge part in this installation process.

Access points must be placed in strategic locations in order to provide maximum coverage. Depending on the size, shape, and needs of every area of your infrastructure, your team will need to install access points at different locations. This is true for companies of any size, from SMBs to enterprises.

At Premier Data Installations we give you expert advice on placement, following all of these key guidelines..

Place access points where they will be used the most

The first rule of proper access point placement is to determine the locations where WiFi networks will be used the most. This seems like it should be obvious, but it makes a huge difference in determining the optimal placement of access points across an infrastructure. The closer a device is to an access point, the better its connection will be. Thus, it makes perfect sense to place an access point in a room that uses a lot of WiFi traffic. Similarly, you don’t want to place an access point in a location where there are barely any devices connecting.

On the surface level, your company should be able to guess major areas where WiFi connections will be plentiful. Employee work spaces, break rooms, and waiting rooms are fairly high candidates for access points because it’s easy to expect that there will be a lot of devices wanting to connect.

Minimise coverage overlap

When designing your wireless infrastructure, you need to select the best access point locations that will provide maximum coverage for your business. The simple answer to this problem is installing access points anywhere you can, but this is almost always a bad idea. Not only does this introduce unnecessary costs, but it also generates a lot of coverage overlap. This happens when an access point’s area of coverage intersects with another’s.

Inevitably, your company will experience some overlapping with its access points, especially in heavily condensed areas of your environment. However, whenever it’s possible, overlap should be avoided. If you’re positioning your access points too close to each other, you aren’t optimizing your access point placement. You only need one access point to cover a specific area – having too many access points to latch onto means one of your access points is being wasted

Wireless interference considerations

Interference is an unfortunate risk of running a wireless network and can bring down the network’s performance and availability. Wireless signals can be intercepted or blocked by various factors, preventing devices from connecting to the wireless network efficiently. Sometimes, interference can’t be predicted or prevented, but there are some ways you can design access point placement around known areas of interference.

Electronic devices

Devices that emit electromagnetic signals, such as microwaves, are notorious for completely blocking wireless signals. Whenever possible, access points should be placed as far away from these devices as possible.

Building materials

The building materials of the structures your business operates in can cause varying degrees of wireless signal interference or blockage. Concrete, brick, and other dense materials are infamous for blocking WiFi signals. Your team should place access points in areas that provide the best area of coverage when considering the building materials around it.

Other wireless networks

Depending on your company’s location, there may be several other wireless networks that send signals to your environment. Typically, these are other company networks or public WiFi transmissions.

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