WiFi Unreliability and IoT Plugs | Wyebot

WiFi Unreliability and IoT Plugs

March 21, 2019

A school’s building department wanted to conserve energy and purchased 1000 IoT wall plugs.  Different devices, such as printers, can be plugged into the IoT plugs, and the IoT plugs in turn plugged into a standard outlet.  Like all IoT devices, the plug can be controlled via WiFi using an app.  The building department planned to remotely shut off all the IoT plugs at the end of the day, which would mean the connecting devices no long had a supply of power and would shut down.  Of course, for this to work, the plugs had to connect reliably to the existing WiFi.  Unfortunately, the IoT plugs were purchased by the Facilities department without collaborating with the IT department.

IT suddenly saw 1000 new devices show up on the network and had to determine a way to determine their effect on the existing infrastructure’s performance and reliability and also support all of these additional sensors within the existing wireless infrastructure.  Wyebot’s Wireless Intelligence Platform’s ™ (WIP) complete WiFi ecosystem illuminated all network activity, and enabled IT to see exactly what had changed on the network.  WIP was able to identify connectivity issues, provide details on all device capabilities (informing IT that the IoT plugs only supported 2.4GHz), and automatically suggest resolutions to any problems that arose from the influx of IoT plugs.

This example highlights the need for Facilities to include IT in the conversation before adding devices that may affect the wireless network.  This serves the dual purpose of providing advance notice that new devices will be added and provides an opportunity to discuss necessary security considerations and infrastructure support.