Every individual, every household, and every organisation wants to go Wireless now. Nobody wants to stick next to the LAN cables and everybody wants to stay connected to the Internet or the intranet regardless of their location. People might be in their office or home or in the park, or cafe shop in the premises, all they want is the seamless connectivity with their home network. Colleges and Universities have turned into complete Wi-Fi zones and students stay connected throughout the university campus. Have you ever wondered how this becomes a reality. How do you get adequate wireless signals even when you are out of the office/college building? This has become a reality by the recent changes in the lifestyle of people and the modern technique which allows vast coverage wirelessly. But before anybody could install such a network in the area he needs to do a proper study of the area so that no part of the area remains untouched by the wireless signals.
In this post we will discuss some aspects which need to be kept in mind before actually starting with the installation and purchase of wireless devices.
Study the geography of the area and check for any kind of blockage. There might be some other large buildings in the area which you want to cover and these building might work as signal blockers. Estimate the number of computers which will connect to your wireless network. This will let you decide the kind of router and access points required. Always use monitoring devices to see if there are other networks already working in that area so that you can customise your network for no or less interference. You can always decide a unique channel for your network so that there is no interference. You should know well about the devices which you will be using so that you can estimate the number of repeaters, bridges and amplifiers to be used in your network.
Your network might only help the users to connect to the internet, or it might be an office network which will require installation of dedicated servers for domain controlling and Emails. If it is only for Internet then installation would be simple and one high class router along with the support of multiple access points will do the needful, but if it is for an office then you would need specialised servers for the same. So keep the same in your checklist and plan accordingly.
Lastly you have to work a lot on the network security. You are opening your network publicly and are taking it out of the building but still you would not want anybody unauthorised to get connected to it. You will also not want intruders coming into your network and neither Viruses and Spywares. Always have a place for a decent Hardware firewall in your network. This should be installed on the very top in your network hierarchy. Also encrypt the signals of your wireless network for securing the data being transferred wirelessly and reducing the sniffing risks. Use WEP or WPA encryption techniques for securing your wireless signals and the passkeys for the same should be changed regularly and shared with the authorised personals only. You should also consult any security administrator while installing such networks and if you are hiring some third party service providers for getting this done then do make sure that somebody from your IT team is also working with them so that you have knowledge of what is what.