Problem of the Week: How to Train New Network Technicians Without Losing Time for Other Tasks

On the job training is important for any position, but perhaps none more so than for new network technicians. After all, the functioning of your network and success is dependent upon hands-on experience with setup and installation, troubleshooting, and repair. Training new technicians often presents novel challenges and takes current critical people away from the …

Problem of the Week: Should You Disable the 2.4GHz Spectrum?

In an earlier post discussing over-coverage on the 2.4GHz spectrum, we mentioned that we don’t recommend completely disabling the 2.4GHz band.  We got several questions about that, so today we want to discuss it in more detail. First, let’s check out the benefits to disabling the band. There are more channels available in 5GHz, so …

Problem of the Week: Understanding Airtime Utilization

What do we mean by Airtime Utilization?  Free airtime describes how much time is available on a channel for data transmissions.  Any time a device communicates with another device or an access point (AP) it uses airtime. Airtime Utilization is a per-channel statistic that defines what percentage of the channel is currently being used, and …

Problem of the Week: Are Site Surveys the Best Investment?

Are you familiar with site surveys?  You probably, and should have, had one when your wireless network was installed, but you might not have thought about it since.  Site surveys determine exactly where access points (APs) should be placed for optimum network performance. Those performing the site survey know that physical obstructions (walls, ceilings) and …

How do you troubleshoot last week’s problems?

It’s an unfortunate fact that, frequently, problems are not reported to IT while they are occurring. Maybe this is because IT isn’t onsite, maybe it’s because the problem seemed to resolve itself quickly, or maybe it didn’t seem like a big enough problem to warrant flagging down IT. Whatever the reason, the fact is that …

How well is your WLAN controller’s auto-channel working?

A WLAN controller’s auto-channel capability can be used to manage the wireless channels used by all the Access Points (APs) in a network.  This can be a great way to ensure all APs select optimum channels based on usage and interference levels, but it does require some monitoring.  Some APs don’t recognize RF interference and …

Problem of the Week: Wireless Printers

Wireless printers seem like a great option.  They allow users to print from multiple different devices in multiple different locations, giving an ease of use perhaps not felt with wired printers.  However, they might be negatively impacting your network performance.   How? Many wireless printers send out beacons just like Access Points.  These beacons are …