Why Your Office Wi-Fi Is Slow

Wi-Fi is one of the most important components of modern day living. We rely on it to manage our financial accounts, conduct research for our jobs or education, close business deals, watch videos, download music and communicate with the world at large. Needless to say, having a bad or unreliable Wi-Fi connection in the office is not only frustrating; it can negatively impact the efficiency and productivity of your business. Fortunately there are a few ways that you can diagnose this Wi-Fi issue and increase its speed.

How Wi-Fi Works

The speed of your Wi-Fi service is directly related to the speeds provided by your Internet service provider (ISP). Meaning if your ISP provides a maximum Wi-Fi speed of only 10Mbps, then you will only ever be able to get an Internet connection that runs at 10Mbps with that particular provider. Wireless Internet connections are inherently less reliable than wired connections because of the limitations presented by the technology. What’s more, as the number of devices accessing your network, aka the density increases, your wireless connection becomes less and less reliable.

A real-life example of this would be a company using a new office suite. It starts out with only five employees, all using the Wi-Fi for their smartphones and personal devices. As the months go by, however, five new employees are hired. The suite next to yours is occupied as well. Everyone is using the same Internet connection. Your guests (customers, patients, etc.) all need to connect to the same Wi-Fi network. Suddenly you are dealing with a network that simply cannot handle such density efficiently. True, each suite has different ISPs, but the broadcast connection is all on the same frequency. Your personal suite connection is certainly altered.

Wi-Fi Limitations

While wireless Internet is a reliable service, customers often have high and unrealistic expectations about it. Multitasking using various Internet applications, for example, is possible, but the quality of the Wi-Fi performance is likely to be poor, especially with applications that require a lot of data, like VoIP. You will probably find dead zones, or areas where the connection is poor, in the building as you move around. Although wireless technology is improving in this respect, it still cannot provide the same constant reliability as a landline.

How To Increase Your Office Wi-Fi Speeds

If you are dealing with a slow wireless connection, try following these five steps to improve your connection:

  • Have your service provider perform an assessment of your office in order to discover the usage density in your suite and surrounding spaces, dead zones in your office and what frequencies are being used and to what extent.
  • Having discovered potential dead zones, have the IT team improve your connection by fine-tuning WAPs to use the best covered frequencies, or moving your access points around to cover the dead zones.
  • Add a password to the network and put a cap on the guest bandwidth so that your employees always have access to the bandwidth they need in order to do their jobs.
  • Ensure your current setup is built to handle the demand required to efficiently run your business.
  • Once all of this has been done and you are still not satisfied with the findings, or results, consider increasing your service speed with your provider.
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