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How many access points do you need?

This is a common question for many businesses. There are many factors to take into account when deciding how many access points are necessary.

The larger the company, the more likely it will be that they need an advanced networking solution. When determining the adequate number of access points for your workspace, here are a few aspects to consider.

The floorplan

Many people underestimate the building plan when estimating how many devices they’ll need. The shape of your floor plan will play a major role in the number of access points necessary. Your coverage of an area will depend on the geometry of your plan. Coverage that’s not appropriate for your space may result in a Wireless signal that is not strong enough for Wi-Fi to reach all parts of the office, making it difficult to establish the connection in multiple areas.

The types of walls

From a scientific perspective, concrete and brick walls have a high magnetic permeability index. In cases like this, the number of devices needed to cover an area with WiFi signals is higher.. Concrete walls can provide a significant obstacle as they provide very high levels of attenuation. This means that the access point may not be able to communicate with any devices that are on the other side of the concrete. The higher the frequency of your WiFi signal, the weaker it gets as the decibel count increases. When estimating the number of access points, it is important to consider a few technical aspects. These include bandwidth, signal strength and range. For networks that require large numbers of devices, an advanced management system will be necessary. This enables you to see the monitor status 24/7 and quickly change settings for each access point.

Number of Users

The number of users will be a factor in determining the number of access points needed, especially in high traffic areas such as theatres, auditoriums, hotels, universities, etc. Small to medium office spaces will need to consider this as well, as the remote workforce may reduce the average number of employees connecting to the network however, during major company events the number of users may dramatically increase.

Conclusion

Ultimately, prior to making any final decision – an organization should first partner with a provider like VIcom that has the ability to engineer a custom solution specific to the needs of the space. Here at VIcom, we use a software package called Ekahau to provide predictive wireless coverage layouts for every wireless solution we approach. This is crucial because it takes into account the floorplan (layout and square footage), the types of walls, building materials, and ceiling heights as well as the number of users and devices that will connect to the network. All of this information enables us to provide an accurate and predictive layout which becomes our baseline for our quotes and deployment, giving us insight into how many access points are required and the optimal placement for each. Post-install, we use the software on-site to run a production survey and tweak it as necessary. The client is then presented with a detailed report of the installation and the coverage provided.

ABOUT VICOM

VIcom is well experienced in Managed IT Solutions. Specializing in Managed IT Solutions, VIcom assists many organizations in simplifying and enhancing their ability to communicate efficiently.

For more information, call: (757) 490-7777. Please be sure to follow VIcom on Linked In.

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Southeastern Virginia Premier Computer Network Managed Services

We are Virginias’ premier technology solutions integrator for Audio Visual, Unified Communications, Security Applications, Cloud & IT, Church AV Systems, and Educations AV Solutions.

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