Though Wi-Fi offerings have improved in terms of speed, strength and scalability over the last decade, reliability is still a concern. The single biggest issue plaguing Wi-Fi networks is radio frequency interference. Though a host of factors have been identified as causing radio frequency interference, Wi-Fi networks themselves are the biggest causes of interference. Various approaches are used to mitigate the problem, but they do not address the problem at its core.
Here we will discuss the sources of Wi-Fi interference and the how we can eliminate this problem in a scientific way.
Impact of Wi-Fi Interference on Business
The bleak impact of Wi-Fi interference in any business is heavy. Today’s internet-driven businesses demand a strong and uninterrupted data connection in order to stay connected 24/7. Moreover, with each passing day more brick-and-mortar businesses are stepping into the web with a hope of building a better future. So, what does it mean to get online? What does it mean to get connected? For one thing, a strong data connection which is the pathway to access the web. Now, long gone are those days of wired connections where your digital life was chained with long Ethernet cables. Nowadays, connectivity doesn’t require a wire. We are in the Wi-Fi arena where most of our devices are connected wirelessly. Wi-Fi connections are the new industry standard. Up to this it sounds great, right?
Undeniably, every scientific discovery, every technological breakthrough has its negative side. And, Wi-Fi interference is that curse with the Wi-Fi connection.
What Interference Does to a Wi-Fi Network
The list is long. Any Wi-Fi interference causes inconsistent connection problems, loss of data packets during data transfer and a slashed overall network throughput. These connection hiccups are closely linked with productivity drops, lost work hours and ultimately, loss of business revenue.
Cash-rich businesses can handle these issues easily, but this situation is like a dark abyss for the smaller and home businesses who have to depend on regular Wi-Fi networks.
Causes of Wi-Fi Interference
Wi-Fi interference is a technological phenomenon, and the chief cause behind this phenomenon is other Wi-Fi or radio frequency networks emitted by other electronic devices. The main causes of Wi-Fi interference are:
- The Wi-Fi network itself can cause the biggest interference. When there are other Wi-Fi devices connecting to a single Wi-Fi AP, their combined Wi-Fi signals create Wi-Fi interference.
- Wi-Fi networks work within stipulated radio frequencies which are unlicensed within the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz range. So, this radio frequency range is also open to numerous other RF networks which can interfere with any Wi-Fi network that falls within their working range.
- Electronic devices which emit electromagnetic waves or pulses can cause interference with other Wi-Fi networks. These devices include microwaves, smart controllers, cordless phones, Bluetooth-enabled speakers and others. Now, these home appliances are too common to avoid and the interference caused by their emitted RF signals are inevitable.
When Wi-Fi devices, mainly 802.11 clients, receive other signals, their current signals are interrupted. The interruptions can continue until the signals cease completely. This can happen when the Wi-Fi networks have too many interruptions in the form of Bluetooth, microwave and other RF signals generated from nearby electronic devices.
Now, this interference causes data packet loss which forces the Wi-Fi network to retransmit the lost data packets. These quickly occurring Wi-Fi retransmissions slow down the overall network throughput, which causes flaky performance for all the connected devices sharing a single Wi-Fi access point.
Common Approaches to Solve Wi-Fi Interference
The common approaches are:
- When there is too much interference, Wi-Fi networks tend to reduce the data transfer rate to reduce the possibility of packet loss.
- Wi-Fi devices or access points may also reduce the transmission power of the affected AP.
- Another approach is to change the channel’s assignment.
However, none of these approaches addresses the root problem.
The main way is to reduce interference and have stronger signals. This can be achieved by having a higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and by mitigating interference with stronger and smarter antennas. New technological designs are creating tailor-made devices which can combat these Wi-Fi interference problems and can eventually eliminate them.
The first step in this procedure is to adopt a new Wi-Fi network standard, namely 802.11ac. This Wi-Fi network standard is the first to provide gigabit data transfer. The maximum data transfer rate in this network is 1300 Mbps, rather than the existing 600 Mbps in the 802.11n network standard.
So, what can this enhanced data transfer rate achieve?
- Faster data transfer rate for individual users sharing a single Wi-Fi AP
- Manage a higher number of connected devices without severe performance drops
- Stronger radio channel bonding, as it uses a 80 MHz frequency channel and will soon be able to use a 160 MHz frequency channel
- Denser modulation, as it uses 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) whereas 802.11n standard uses 64 QAM
Moreover, a technology has been introduced as a key to battle this Wi-Fi interference problem. The new technology, namely MIMO (multiple-input/multiple-output), enables a Wi-Fi access point to transmit multiple frames to its connected users on the same frequency band. Now, these multiple frames act as a Wi-Fi switch rather than a regular hub to the connected users. Put simply, this technology enables existing Wi-Fi networks to support more users using a single AP.
The exciting part of the story is that this new technology can be deployed along with existing Wi-Fi network standards which integrate two important aspects: maximizing network throughput while supporting older devices. Moreover, this technology troubleshoots Wi-Fi problems like Wi-Fi interference and others to ensure high-level network performance.
Additionally, there are now easy-to-use devices for identifying networking problems and their sources. Rather than simply mitigating the effects of Wi-Fi interference, it is now possible to determine its root cause and eliminate it. These devices even enable network managers to troubleshoot network-related problems remotely through a remote user interface for collaborative troubleshooting, making it easier than ever to identify problems and correct them.
The most effective way to address the problem of Wi-Fi interference is to eliminate the core issue. Channel changing and lowering transmission rates are temporary solutions, but they don’t eliminate the underlying problem. For any business that wants to scale up their sales and revenue, these solutions aren’t viable for the future. They need a smarter solution which can reduce interference at its source, and modern diagnostic tools are now helping even novices in networking to locate problems quickly and efficiently.
Contact Us Today to see what we can do for you Wi-Fi network by Calling: (218) 297-0992 or Email: [email protected]
- Consider Both Coverage & Capacity when Determining the Number of Access Points Needed It is important to create a balance between Wi-Fi coverage and user capacity when doing your Wi-Fi site planning. Consider that each camper, on average will bring approximately 2.5 mobile devices with them to your campground. These may include smartphones, smart watches, tablets, gaming devices and laptops, so having the right balance of coverage and capacity is critical. Access points must be powerful enough to provide complete coverage, and offer enough bandwidth to handle multiple devices without compromising quality.
- Supporting Guests’ Entertainment Applications with the Latest 11ac Wi-Fi Technology Providing Wi-Fi access within your campground means your customers will not be paying data charges on their cellular devices, and are more likely to use the wireless network for their entertainment applications. Today’s newest smartphones, tablets and laptops now support dual-band wireless capabilities. Deploying dual-band access points that operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies provide support for both older and newer wireless devices, and allow the AP to handle more users, while helping to balance/offload higher levels of network traffic through band steering. High-bandwidth intensive applications such as video and audio streaming services will take up a majority of your bandwidth. Installing access points with the latest, high-speed 802.11ac technology will provide support for these frequently-used higher bandwidth applications. Utilizing dual-band 11ac access points will greatly improve your campers’ experiences, supporting positive online site reviews long after their stay.
802.11ac access points offer faster wireless speeds and greater device capacity than previous wireless standards such as 802.11n. Introduced in 2013, 11ac access points operating at their maximum data rates can reach theoretical speeds that are more than double that of existing 802.11n access points. In addition to the increase in speeds, the biggest benefit of using 11ac technology is its ability to handle the high-density requirements driven by the growing number of mobile devices used per person.
- Industry Standard Security Measures Secure and control access to your network by protecting and blocking important business office assets and sensitive guest information located on the network from unauthorized access, while still allowing staff and campers to get connected. Use only hardware and utility software that adheres to network industry security standards and accepted network security protocols such as Wi-Fi Protected Access Encryption (WPA Personal & WPA2-Enterprise) and 802.1X with RADIUS for user authentication. Wireless standards and protocols protect and encrypt data as it moves across the network ensuring you business and guests’ sensitive information stays protected.
Establish a secure network segment that blocks access to administrative computers and servers while allowing campers and staff to access the Internet and other network resources. Create and utilize secure, virtual LAN segments and assign them to single or multiple access points while regulating network bandwidth based on the needs of specific virtual network segments, such as surveillance cameras; and isolate campers’ devices to keep them secure from other campers’ devices while on the network.
- Utilize Wireless Hardware Specifically Rated for Use in Harsh Outdoor Environments Access points that are specifically designed for use in outdoor settings have different Ingress Protection Ratings (IP Ratings). Typically you will find ratings from IP55 to IP68 for outdoor access points. An IP68-rating is one of the highest IP ratings available for outdoor access points with a waterproof and dustproof casing. Most outdoor-rated access points will perform well in harsh conditions, but APs with stated IP-ratings should be considered when installing wireless in an outdoor application.
- Provide a Clear Line of Site Between Wireless HardwareIn order to maximize your wireless connections between access points and bridges, it is important to consider your outdoor landscape when planning your Wi-Fi deployment. Wireless signals degrade when they travel through obstacles or are met with interference. Trees, hills, power lines, RVs, bathhouses and neighboring campsites can result in differing levels of Wi-Fi signal degradation, and can even become complete signal barriers. Weather conditions can also be a factor in the environment. Heavy rain and wet pine trees can cause reflection and refraction leading to diminished wireless signals. Identifying a clear path from one access point to another will ensure wireless signals get delivered to the specified area. If you are planning to deploy your access points in the winter months, you may have an initial clear line of sight, but with the new foliage growth in spring and summer, this could end up blocking that once clear line of sight. Consistently maintaining the foliage to keep a clear line of sight may be required; if this is not possible, consider an alternative site plan.
Understanding the challenges of your outdoor environment will help determine the quantity and appropriate placement of your wireless access points and or wireless bridges. Knowing the approximate coverage area, or the distances from one point to another point where trees are not an obstruction is also beneficial. This will be helpful in determining which product(s) will be powerful enough to best meet these requirements.
- Utilize Wireless Bridges Instead of Wireless Repeaters to Extend the Network Wireless repeaters or wireless range extenders may seem convenient, but they can be challenging to run and in reality, they cut the available wireless speed in half every time the signal is rebroadcasted. This ultimately slows your network performance and will likely leave your campers frustrated. Instead of repeating the signal, a better option to extend the wireless network signal is to implement a secure wireless link using two wireless bridges. This method of carrying the signal to a designated location avoids major speed loss and frees up the access point to exclusively send and receive data to and from client devices.
- Offer Wireless Adapters for Laptops to Improve RV Owner’s Wireless Experience and Potentially Add RevenueThe metal and fiberglass construction of RV campers can block or weaken the Wi-Fi signal potentially resulting in an overall bad customer experience. In addition, the Wi-Fi technology built into some laptops can be older Wi-Fi technology or a weak or non-existent Wi-Fi adapter signal that contributes to connectivity issues. Campground and RV park owners can offer newer technology via a high-powered wireless USB adapter or a wireless Ethernet bridge that plugs into the laptop to pull the signal and direct it to the RV user, improving connectivity. This creates a stronger, faster wireless connection to the deployed access point nearest the RV, leading to a significantly improved wireless experience. Wireless USB adapters are small, portable and can be used at any campground or RV park that offers Wi-Fi, making these devices versatile and highly desirable to the end user. By providing wireless USB adapters to campers, site operators can create a new revenue stream through the sale or rental of adapters, while greatly improving the RVer’s experience and enhancing their customer service.
- Plan for Power Underpowered access points or brownouts can cause intermittent connection problems such as rebooting or disconnections. It is recommended that you consult with a local electrician to install weatherproof electrical boxes in the areas where you will be deploying access points and/or other devices that need power, if they are not already in place. An electrician can determine the appropriate solution for supplying the right amount of power, equipment, grounding and surge protection to each location. Be sure to consider any future expansion plans and have the electrician quote or build out to those areas as well. Powering up IP cameras and/or access points using Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is highly recommended. PoE adapters and switches deliver data and power simultaneously to these PoE-capable devices and can save money and time by eliminating extra cable runs and power installations. Additionally, using PoE allows device installation in areas where there is no power source to plug into such as on light poles or rooftops. There are many PoE options available to meet varying needs like single-port PoE injectors and adapters or 8-port to 48-port PoE switches that can supply PoE to one device or many.
- Mounting Height, Type & Surfaces Most outdoor access points and wireless bridges include pole- or wall- mounting hardware. These devices can be mounted on existing light poles, galvanized poles or outbuildings. Access points need to be mounted at a height that makes their signals accessible to a majority of your users. Typically, the higher an AP is mounted the better. Access points deployed near RVs, should be installed an estimated 12 feet above the standard RV roofline. Remember, wireless bridges connecting to other wireless bridges are communicating at farther distances and need a clear line of sight to ensure the best performance, so the higher the mounting point the better.
- Consult with Experts for Site Surveys and Network Designs Outdoor Wi-Fi network design can be complicated due to its high-density needs and varying outdoor considerations. Be sure to work with wireless experts to perform a campground site survey. A qualified expert will ask a series of questions designed to gain a deeper understanding of your existing network and any issues you currently have, as well as any future technology, building or coverage area expansion plans you may have. Once your survey is complete, a network design and deployment plan will spell out the hardware needs and deployment locations for access points and other hardware in order to achieve the best wireless coverage and network connectivity available.
Contact Us Today to see what we can do for your resort or campground by Calling: (218) 297-0992 or Email: [email protected]
The ability to connect to Wi-Fi in public areas is something many people expect and rely upon, especially when they are traveling away from home and need to get work done. However, there are several precautions you should take to make sure your data is as safe as possible when using Wi-Fi connections that are accessible to the public. Keep reading to learn about some precautions to take every time you tap into public Wi-Fi.
Verify that the Wi-Fi Connection is Legitimate
Some Internet hackers set up Wi-Fi connections that seem to be related to a public location, but really aren’t. For example, you may be sitting in a library and check the list of available Wi-Fi connections on your computer to see several options. If one is named “Public Library Internet Hub” and another is called “Public Library Wi-Fi,” you might just arbitrarily choose one. However, that could be risky.
To err on the side of caution, ask a representative from the place that’s offering the Wi-Fi to verify the name of the genuine connection. Otherwise, you may connect to something that’s not what it seems, and unknowingly give people access to your private information.
Take Advantage of Two-Factor Authentication
Some popular websites, such as Gmail and Facebook, use what’s known as two-factor authentication. This requires you to do something besides just entering your password in order to gain access to the sites, especially when you’re at an unfamiliar location. Examples include entering the characters from a specifically generated image or typing in your cell phone number.
That way, even if someone does get access to your password when you are on a public connection, the person still has to have knowledge of another piece of data before moving any further in the effort to hack your information.
Keep in mind that you may have to tweak your settings to enable two-factor authentication, but an increasing number of sites are able to recognize that you’re logging into somewhere unfamiliar, which is enough to trigger the tighter security.
Keep Your Computer’s Security Software Updated
It’s important to have specialty software on your computer that protects it from things like viruses and malware. However, that software can become nearly useless if you don’t keep it regularly updated against the latest threats.
Some people are likely to ignore warning messages that say a new software update is ready to be downloaded, but it’s a good idea to get those updates as soon as they’re released. Then, if your computer does get exposed to some kind of threat due to an insecure public Wi-Fi connection, you’ll more likely have the tools to combat it and avoid extensive problems.
Check Site Security
Before going to any website that requires you to enter private data or access details you would not want other people to know, always look for the “https:” prefix in your browser’s address bar. Some browsers also include a lock symbol in the corner.
Both of those things indicate that data sent across the connection is encrypted, and therefore harder for hackers to crack into. Checking for that encryption is essential whenever you are working with private data, but especially when using public Wi-Fi.
When possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi to access websites with sensitive information, such as online banking portals or payment platforms. Use a private connection for those types of sites.
Consider Using a VPN
You may be in a situation where the majority of your time online is spent on a public Wi-Fi network. In that case, consider downloading a virtual private network (VPN) client. This will encrypt all the data you send, even if the site you’re actually visiting does not have an encryption feature. Your workplace may have a VPN client it expects employees to use, particularly if you travel a lot for business.
Alter Your Public Wi-Fi Connection Settings
Some computers, and especially mobile devices, have a feature where the device automatically recognizes and connects to public Wi-Fi connections. In other cases, automatic connections can occur when you’re within range of a public Wi-Fi network you’ve used sometime in the past.
Change settings so your device will not store information about previously accessed public Wi-Fi hotspots in its memory, and make sure you always have to confirm that you want to connect to a specific hub. Otherwise, your data could be vulnerable, and you may risk unintentionally using device data when you don’t truly need to access the Internet.
By their nature, public Wi-Fi zones are insecure. However, that doesn’t mean your data has to be at risk every time you access them. The steps above can help you avoid dangerous mistakes and keep your details away from the prying eyes of Internet hackers.
Article Source: techopedia.com
What is mesh networking?
“A mesh network is based on 2.4-GHz two-way RF communication,” explains Jeff Singer, product marketing director at Crestron Electronics in New York City. “With mesh networking, each device acts as a transmitter and a receiver, unlike other wireless platforms that have a single, dedicated gateway (or transmitter) which sends data to each device (or receiver).”
Traditional wireless networks are limited both in terms of range and number of devices due to this architecture. Each receiver must be within a certain range to communicate with the transmitter. As more devices are added, the network becomes slower due to the increased traffic. That said, mesh networks could offer a greater range because every device can communicate with every other device. As more devices are added, more communications paths are established, which can increase the speed and reliability of the wireless communication.
Why would organizations want or not want to use it?
Mesh networks are ideal for low data rates, such as control for lights, shades and thermostats, Singer adds. “RF technology does not support high data rates, such as for streaming media,” he says. “While mesh networks are great for new construction, wireless is ideal for retrofit applications or environments where pulling wire is possible or cost effective.”
Can it fulfill the promise of seamlessly connecting networks worldwide?
No, says Singer. “Mesh networks are designed for local communications,” he explains. “Each device must be within a maximum distance of about 290 meters from each other, with a maximum of 240 devices per gateway (these specs may vary based on environment and installation). Mesh networking refers to control communication among simple devices and as nothing to do with IT, the internet or computers.”
How reliable is mesh networking?
A mesh network is self-healing, says Nandhaan Verma, digital marketing executive at Matrid Technologies, in Chandigarh, India. “That is if one network breaks or one of the routers goes down, all the other routers will still keep functioning and provide you with internet access, which is very cool. You can repair the broken network at any other time without having to suffer the loss of your internet.”
How fast is mesh networking?
“A mesh network is a little faster than other networks since all its nodes (routers) are programmed to find the shortest and most efficient possible path for the data to be passed from the source to the end point user,” says Verma. “Also, since all the nodes in a mesh network are routers (i.e. they can both send and receive data), your network becomes more strong and amplified. If you’ve ever had that feeling, as you step away from your modem, that your Wi-Fi signal has become weaker and the internet grew slower, no worries. With a mesh network that won’t happen and your internet works at a great speed irrespective of your distance.”
What’s the long-term outlook for mesh networking?
“We believe the potential is huge for mesh networking,” says John Stachowiak, CEO of Unium, a Seattle-based telecommunications company. “With predictions of more than 2 billion IoT devices in the next few years, consumers and enterprises will see big drains on their Wi-Fi. As more things connect, it will be less effective. However, the solution is mesh networking software which will allow every connected device to improve the home Wi-Fi network rather than degrade its quality.”
Mesh networking is a burgeoning force in the wireless networking world, although the technology doesn’t make many headlines on industry media platforms.
That could change, and fast, as the word gets out on one of the technology industry’s most innovative – and fastest growing – networking solutions.
Article Source: tomsitpro.com
Today’s modern campers still see camping as a great way to decompress from the stresses of everyday life and to spend more time with family and friends, according to the 2015 North American Camping Report. Yet, among those surveyed, 51% of all campers stated they go online at least once a day while camping, and 41% said that having free Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding what campground to stay at. In fact, according to the study, free Wi-Fi ranked as the third most important amenity, behind clean bathrooms and kid-friendly environments.
51% of campers go online at least 1 x a day while camping
Improving the camping experience and offering campers this increasingly important amenity are just a few of the benefits of incorporating reliable WiFi services into your site upgrade plans. As the demand for near continuous Internet connectivity continues to increase, your ability to provide this “must-have” amenity to existing and potential campers will help set your campground or RV park apart from those who do not.
A surprising 2013 study showed that 69% of employed vacationers planned to bring a work-capable device with them on vacation and 67% of these said they expected to use the device for work-related purposes while vacationing. This is just another example of the growing need for you, as a campground or RV park operator, to consider providing reliable Wi-Fi services to your guests. This guide is designed to help you assess your needs and effectively plan your wireless network.
Free Wi-Fi ranked as the 3rd most important campground amenity, behind clean bathrooms & kid friendly environments.
The following questions will guide you in assessing your needs in preparation for your wireless network site plan.
- Where Does the Internet Service Enter Your Property?When considering Wi-Fi for your staff, campers and RV guests, it is important to understand how you are going to deliver that service. The location of the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) equipment will help you determine what is needed, such as Ethernet cabling, network Power- over-Ethernet switches and/or wireless access points to deliver that service to your users.
- How Far Is the Internet Service Entry Point from Your Desired Coverage Area(s)?Having an understanding of the distance from your ISP’s equipment to the service area is important. This will give you a good idea of what equipment is needed, and where it should be located. For example, if your Internet service is coming into the basement of the main office, you may need to run cabling from the entry point to other equipment in order to connect an access point that will provide Internet connectivity to the office, and extend it to other access points throughout the property.
- How Much Bandwidth Are You Currently Receiving From Your ISP?The amount of bandwidth you are currently receiving from your ISP will determine the maximum speed you can offer your staff, campers and RV guests. More bandwidth enables more users to connect and allows you to provide higher quality Wi-Fi services. With this in mind, you may need to consider increasing your bandwidth to ensure a positive Wi-Fi experience for all guests.Not sure how much bandwidth you may need? Visit Bandwidth Pool’s, free bandwidth calculator: http://bandwidthpool.com/bandwidth-calculator/
- What Is Your Approximate Average Number of Users?The average number of users is also known as user capacity, and this helps determine the number of devices that will likely be accessing your wireless network. As a rule of thumb, assume that your network will need to support 2.5 devices per person, including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices or laptops in order to determine the number of access points needed for your site.
- What “Quality of Service” or Level of Access Would You Like to Provide Your Guests?Knowing the quality of service that you want to offer to your staff, campers and RV guests will help you determine the best placement for your access points. Common offerings include hotspot service, individual campsite/cabin/RV site service and complete park services.
- What Is the Construction of Your Buildings?Wireless signals degrade when traveling through different materials. Concrete, wood, metal siding, fiberglass, and/or rebar can result in different levels of Wi-Fi signal degradation. Knowing the construction of your walls, ceilings and floors (in multi-level buildings) will help determine the quantity and appropriate placement of your wireless access points.
- Do You Currently Have Ethernet Cable Run Out to Each Building or Desired Wi-Fi Location?Having the proper, shielded Ethernet cable already run to buildings or centralized locations makes the deployment of Wi-Fi very easy. If not, you can simply implement a secure wireless link or wireless bridge that will carry the signal to a designated location, avoiding the need for additional cabling, costs and the hassle of permits.
When considering a wireless bridge, use one that supports the same wireless speeds as the rest of your network. The more speed the link provides, the better the experience for the camper.
- How Many Campsites, Cabins or RV Sites Do You Plan to Provide Wireless Access to?Knowing the number of campsites, cabins or RV sites you would like to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to will help determine the required quantity and placement of access points and wireless bridges. Knowing this information will also assist in determining the average number of users that will be on your network at any given time.
- Do You Plan to Implement or Expand an Existing Surveillance System?Surveillance systems are becoming more commonplace in campground and RV parks. Not only do they provide important, 24/7 visuals on key areas, they also add a level of comfort and security for your staff, campers and RVers, and can provide valuable evidence to protect your property in cases such as liability issues, vandals and theft. When installing an IP surveillance system, you will again need to consider your site’s available bandwidth.Ideally, you will want to put your security system on a separate network segment than your user network to divide up the amount of bandwidth/ speed being used between each, while also allowing you to allocate limits as needed. Be aware that higher resolution IP cameras will need more bandwidth than lower-resolution IP cameras as they provide sharper details, which are important for applications such as identifying facial features and license plate numbers.
41% of campers said that having free Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding what campground to stay at.
Contact Us Today to see what we can do for your resort or campground by Calling: (218) 297-0992 or Email: [email protected]
What is GPON?
GPON or ‘Gigabit Passive Optical Networks’ is a point-to-multipoint access mechanism.
The main characteristic of GPON is the use of passive splitters which enable a single feeding fibre from the network provider’s central location to serve multiple users within their homes and small businesses. Other uses include backhaul connections for cellular basestations, Wi-Fi hotspots, and even distributed antenna systems (DAS).
GPON uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for security purpose, which was designed to be efficient in both hardware and software, and supports a block length of 128 bits and key lengths of 128, 192, and 256 bits.
GPON also supports all types of Ethernet protocols.
Why Choose GPON?
GPON gives the end user the ability to consolidate multiple services onto a single fibre transport network. This is the key reason why someone would opt for GPON over other technologies.
Networks with GPON are the perfect solution for environments with multiple separated nodes/points or buildings because the technology reduces costs and infrastructure while increasing bandwidth. It provides 2.5 GB/s of downstream bandwidth and 1.25 GB/s upstream divided by the split ratio to each customer delivering a customisable, high capacity fibre network for forms of IP based services.
GPON provides for a large range of benefits that enable rapid, flexible, mass‐market fibre deployments at the lowest possible cost of ownership and rollout.
Combining full IP‐based connectivity and the latest fibre to the end point innovations, gigabit passive optical networks (GPON) are increasingly appearing as the key legacy network technology.
- GPON supports triple – play services, providing competitive all-services solutions.
- GPON supports high-bandwidth transmission to break down the bandwidth bottleneck of the access over twisted pair cables.
- GPON supports the long-reach (up to 20 km) service coverage to overcome the obstacle of the access technology over twisted pair cables and reduce the network nodes.
- With complete standards and high technical requirements, GPON supports integrated services in a good way.
- GPON is a fully optical architecture option that offers the best of all worlds
- A GPON system consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) that connects several optical network terminals (ONTs) together using a passive optical distribution network (ODN).
Why do we use GPON in our designs?
We use GPON in our design and deployments because its a very cost effected way to get an extremely reliable internet connection to our Wi-Fi access points in large resorts and campgrounds. There is also less maintenance and equipment on the network instead of a general fiber transport network
Contact Us Today to see what we can do for your resort or Campground by Calling: (218) 297-0992 or Email: [email protected]
Rules for Successful Hotel Wi-Fi
We all have experienced terrible Hotel Wi-Fi… the travel guide, or online research showed ‘Free Wi-Fi’ – and then we end up on site with a horrible experience.
Wi-Fi in hotels does not need to be a bad thing… if you follow some best practices any hotel can offer its guests a great Wi-Fi experience!
First, let me say this is one man’s opinion. Perhaps there are others who might like some of the things I despise, or have unique cases where some of these rules might not be the most effective. I freely agree there are times when all these rules might not apply. But for the most part, the following will help your guests have exactly what they want… Fast, Free, and Easy Public Wi-Fi!
All about guest expectations
The entire reason for a hotel offering Wi-Fi to the guests is to help with the bottom line. Free Wi-Fi has become a necessity in the industry. Not only to get first-time guests, but especially to have return guests, the Wi-Fi needs to meet the expectations of the guests.
So when reading this post – remember to think ‘What would my guests want’ – that should be the driving factor behind all your Wi-Fi decisions.
The following are in no particular order – as long as you keep the first rule, above, in mind – you can work on the following in any order you like.
Do what is Right vs Doing what is Easy
This should go without saying… but here I am saying it up front and as the lead-in to all the other rules. Think back on WHY you are putting in public Wi-Fi… for your guests. Refer to rule one above. Designing a WLAN that meeting your requirements must be grounded in those very requirements. What DO your guests expect? Your job is to design the Wi-Fi to meet those requirements. Plain and simple. So do what is right, not take some easy way out.
We’ve all seen the terrible Hotel Wi-Fi where each adjacent AP is on the next available channel. As you walk down the hall you hit Channel 1, then Channel 2, then Channel 3, etc. This causes massive Adjacent Channel Interference (ACI), and greatly reduces the available throughput on the network.
By way of contrast, the current hotel I’m working from today has all its access points set to channel 6. All of them – all 150 of them are all on the exact same channel. This causes a different type of interference called Co-Channel Interference (CCI). The designer of this hotel’s Wi-Fi didn’t understand the basic fundamentals of how 802.11 works. It is a Shared Medium – whereby all devices that can ‘hear’ each other are in a contention domain and defer to each other. So in this hotel all client devices and Access Points are basically in one large contention domain.
Sure – each device gets a great RSSI… but the noise floor is also very high, and since all devices hear each other, the retransmission rates are high, CRC errors are high, and the resulting data rates drop to bare minimum in spite of having a high signal strength.
Use the appropriate channel plans, in most countries a 1, 6, and 11 channel plan will work fine. Some countries might be able to implement a 4-channel plan like 1, 5, 9, 13 – but just be aware if there is a Channel 6 or Channel 11 nearby you might be increasing your ACI to a point where the additional fourth channel isn’t worth the effort.
2.4GHz vs 5GHz
We all know there are devices still lurking around without 5GHz capabilities. But luckily these are dwindling rapidly. The 2.4GHz ‘garbage band’ is just that – junk. It is full of other devices, Microwave Ovens, Bluetooth, Portable Phones, Video Cameras, etc. All have an equal right to use the unlicensed frequency – and do so with abandon. Additionally, since there are only three available channels – we have a very limited ability to get frequency reuse in most facilities.
Thus 2.4GHz is crowded, over-saturated, and very difficult to design around. But still necessary. Just don’t expect good things in the 2.4GHz band.
On the other hand – we have a wide variety of channels available to use in the 5GHz band. As well as the physics of RF allow for 5GHz signals to work over a smaller range. This is a good thing – a great thing even. We want small, tight, controlled coverage patterns around our Access Points – 5GHz gives this to us much better than does 2.4GHz.
Design for 5GHz, and then turn off 2.4GHz radios – perhaps ½ or more in order to minimize CCI in the 2.4GHz band.
20MHz Channel Width
In 2.4GHz you really must use only 20MHz channels. But in 5GHz you have options for 40MHz or wider channels. Please only use 20MHz channels. For a couple of good reasons. First, you can get more Transmit Power going into a smaller channel footprint, thus delivering stronger RSSI to your client devices. In turn that will allow for higher data rates and more efficient airtime. Second, since many devices can’t use the 40MHz channels, much of your limited RF frequency might be wasted. And third, you’ll have less chance for 5GHz co-channel interference because you’ll have access to more 20MHz channels to choose from.
Use all DFS Channels
There has been quite a bit of debate over the use of DFS channels. There were times where many client devices couldn’t see all DFS channels. Thus if your WLAN design was limited and didn’t have proper overlap, you might have a perceived hole in coverage for certain devices. This can be compensated for by proper design with both primary and secondary coverage (Overlap) with 5GHz dual-radio coverage everywhere.
More importantly, more and more client devices no longer have a limitation on seeing DFS channels.
Turn Off Low Data Rates
Turn off supported data rates of 1, 2, 5.5, and 11 Mbps. Yes – this will automatically not allow any 802.11b-only devices to connect. That is a good thing. I seriously doubt people who can afford a night in a hotel room still are using B-only devices. You don’t want those on your network anyway – they cause havoc and slow down all other devices and require protection mechanisms to be implemented that devastate your potential data rates.
Now on to the slower OFDM rates. I’ve seen good results turning off 6Mbps and 12Mbps and allowing only 18Mbps or higher. Some sites we’ve moved that up to a minimum of 24Mbps and seen even better results. But be a bit careful and measure before and after changes to minimize errors and average data rates
The more devices that communicate at faster data rates, the more total net capacity you’ll have on your network.
SNR more important than RSSI
Like I alluded to in the previous rule – just having RSSI isn’t sufficient. The way 802.11 works is more based on Signal to Noise Ratio – the difference between the received signal and the ambient noise floor. The higher the SNR, the higher the potential data rates. We’d like each device to connect and use the highest possible data rate. Each device gets on and off the limited radio frequency and uses less of the airtime.
When either SNR drops, or interference climbs, client devices will receive errors or timeouts. These in turn force the client to communicate at a lower data rate. Thus using up more and more airtime as the data rate continues to shift downward.
Our goal should be to keep Errors at a minimum and SNR at a maximum. This might mean having fewer Access Points… counter-intuitive I know… but that’s how it works.
SoHo vs Enterprise Gear
I know I’m going to get in trouble with folks who are infatuated with buying the cheapest possible gear. But I have no problem stating you should be using Enterprise-class gear and NOT SoHo-class gear. You’d think this would be obvious… but many want to ignore the fact that equipment manufacturers actually use different components that work better than others. Not to mention man-years of coding of firmware to get the most possible out of the hardware.
In the industry there is a term, CoGS… for Cost of Goods Sold. Usually in the order of 1/6th or 1/8th of the retail price of the device. So if your retail price is $1,200 – the CoGS might be $200. If you think of SoHo devices that retail for $120… their CoGS might be only $20 of actual hard costs for the chips, case, motherboard, installation, packaging, etc. Think for a minute – the CoGS of a top-of-the-line enterprise AP is nearly double the retail price of a SoHo AP. Let that sink in for a minute.
There IS a huge difference between the capabilities – RAM, CPU, antennas, and hardware quality between SoHo and Enterprise gear. That will effect the results, especially as we add more and more load to our Wireless networks.
SoHo gear is designed and tested for the market intended – that of a house with a handful of Wi-Fi devices. If that is where you are putting your Wi-Fi – then by all means use SoHo gear. But a hotel is NOT a home environment, and needs a much higher standard of quality.
Access Point Placement
Like other devices placed in your facility – fire sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, exit signs, etc. – Wireless Access Points work best with ‘line-of-sight’ with the fewest possible RF attenuators or RF reflectors in between the AP and the client devices.
Placing AP’s above the ceiling tiles is usually a big no-no. Installing access points amongst ductwork causes higher multi-path and a less consistent RF signal to client devices. Causing higher error rates, lower data rates, and lowering overall throughput capacity.
Refer back to doing it correctly vs doing it easy. I can’t imagine a building inspector allowing all fire sprinklers to be hidden above the ceiling tiles only in hallways – so why do you think placing AP’s there is a good idea?
The bain of Guest everywhere… No one LIKES Captive Portals. You know, the thing that pops up in your browser making you read something, click something, turn over personal information, etc. before you can access the Internet.
Perhaps these are caused by people who have anal personalities and want to control everything for everyone. Or perhaps they became popular because lawyers wanted to get paid to write the Terms of Service.
But they are NOT required. Perhaps by some mis-guided policy they are recommended. But since no one likes them, why do we still have them?
If large multi-billion-dollar corporations like Disney or LaQuinta have pulled all Captive Portals from their public Wi-Fi – and you know they have boatloads of lawyers on staff – why does your lawyer still think these are necessary?
Perhaps you live in a country where you have mis-guided politicians who have passed silly laws thinking capturing extra information in a captive portal will help save your society from crime or terrorism… I say ‘pahrump’! Sorry that you have to live under stupid laws.
But for the rest of us – a Captive Portal is a waste of our time and effort.
Referring to the first rule – what do the guests want? They want the same type of experience they have at home. When a guest returns to a Disney property – your Wi-Fi device just works. Plain, simple, easy. It just connects and works like you’d have at home! Why can’t hotel systems work that way? Well they can. LaQuinta’s management went to their IT staff and asked that very question. Now any returning guest’s device automatically joins the Wi-Fi and ‘just works’. Brilliant!
A dreaded by-product of Captive Portals is the ‘time-out’ – after logging in to the captive portal, a timer starts, and upon some arbitrary time, the Wi-Fi stops working. Usually without any warning. The guest’s computer just stops working when accessing the Internet. Forcing a guest to go through a variety of maneuvers trying to figure out what is wrong. Perhaps calling on Tech Support – only to realize they have to again close a browser and re-open one – so they can trigger the Captive Portal to reset the timer.
This is just plain stupid.
The hotel operator saves no money, is protecting nothing, it is only causing a great hassle on their guests with nothing in return. This is normally turned on because some salesmen wanted to sell a ‘service’ of the Captive Portal and showed of this ‘great feature’ designed to keep people who already know the code to just repeat it over and over.
Like I said – just plain stupid. Turn off timers once and for all!
Use building materials in your designs
One of the hardest things to do in WLAN Design is to get Frequency Reuse. The ability to re-use a channel in multiple places in your venue. The more times you can re-use a frequency, the more total capacity you’ll have. Thus this should be the goal.
Because of this goal – you should NOT be placing AP’s in hallways. Because, when using Omni Antennas in hallways, the signals shoot directly down the hall and will easily interfere with other AP’s on the same channel. Instead, you can use the rooms themselves, as well as the bathrooms and hallway walls to keep RF apart. Place the AP’s in the rooms – and then the RF signals will have an easier time moving from room to room, and the bathrooms near the hallways will help block the signals from interfering with other AP’s.
I have seen a hallway placement work – but only with alternating directional antennas, each facing away from the hall into the rooms at the side.
Remember – the goal isn’t to do this easy, but to do it RIGHT. Hallway placements are easy – but they give you sub-optimal performance.
Why don’t hotels only put their fire sprinkler heads in the hallways? For the exact same reasons. You want the water in the rooms to put out the fire in the room.
Why don’t hotels put smoke alarms only in the hallways? For the exact same reasons. You want to sense a fire/smoke in the rooms and not in the hallways.
Why do you want to put AP’s in the rooms? Because that’s where the guests are! Not to mention, you’ll have much smaller contention domains, lower co-channel interference, and lower error rates, resulting in higher data rates for clients – and thus adding capacity to the wireless network.
WLAN design is all about Frequency Reuse
This is an easy one. Allow VPNs across your guest Wi-Fi. Done.
Don’t charge extra for it. Having a VPN doesn’t cost you any more, allows your guests to be more secure. And did I say it doesn’t cost you any more – so don’t charge for something that is free.
Have enough DHCP Addresses
Nothing is worse than having a Layer 1/Layer 2 connection to the Hotel Wi-Fi and then receiving the APIPA address of 169.x.x.x and failing to access the Internet. This is a simple failure of not providing enough scope to your DHCP pool. So fix it already!
Sorry to have to state the obvious – but many times the Wi-Fi in the hotel is fine. But guests complain because they are part of a pool of 250 users all sharing a T-1 out of the hotel to the Internet. In today’s society, watching Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu is a normal expectation of Hotel Wi-Fi. Take the simple 3Mbps of a Netflix stream and multiply it by the number of rooms in your facility. Then double that. You can never have too much upstream bandwidth.
You say ‘But Keith, that costs money’! – that is true. But it also costs money to provide and elevator to your guests. It also costs money to provide daily room cleaning to your guests. It also costs money to staff the hotel front desk for your guests. It also costs money to launder the bedding and towels for your guests. It is part of the business of being a hotel. Meeting the expectations of your guests.
So don’t be a miser. Buy as much bandwidth as you can.
One of the very best Wi-Fi experiences I’ve ever had was in a small Super-8 motel in Warner-Robbins Georgia. The room was small, the bed uncomfortable, and the ‘breakfast’ consisted of pre-packaged small muffins. But the Internet speeds were fantastic! I asked the management why the dichotomy. They answered, “We don’t have the capital to fix the other things – but our fast, fiber to the Internet is lower than the cost of a single maid. Why not make something memorable and get return customers because of fast Internet?” – Why not?
Why are you throttling bandwidth?
This is kind of a tie-in with the backhaul rule above. Give the customers what they want. They don’t WANT to be throttled. So don’t do it. The additional costs of slightly higher backhaul are easily offset by the lack of customers complaining. Remember RULE ONE – what do your guests expect?
More AP’s does NOT equal more capacity
Perhaps you’ve met a WLAN salesman who doesn’t really know how 802.11 works – and since they get paid on commission, they’ll try to sell you more access points under the guise of adding capacity. Don’t be fooled.
802.11 and Wi-Fi is a contention-based protocol. Adding more AP’s without getting frequency reuse will actually lower your throughput. The number of access points you can have in your property is based on proper placement – remember, not in hallways – a good design will go a long way toward getting maximum capacity in your venue.
Not to mention – you’ll actually save money by buying only the access points you need that maintain the highest possible throughput capacity. Spend the extra money for a proper design, and you’ll save more than enough to cover it. You’ll not only save on Access Points, but also switch ports, cabling costs, and installation costs.
Who’s afraid of the big bad directional antenna? <You know you just hummed along with that line>
So many are defaulting to looking at only AP’s with built-in omni-directional antennas. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to use only omni antennas. There are a wide variety of antenna choices available to help your WLAN designers meet your specific needs. Yes, they cost a bit more, but you’ll usually need fewer AP’s overall, and you’ll have better results when you target where you want the RF signals to go.
Analytics don’t have to be intrusive
You can always get user count information, even down to the types of devices used by your guests directly from your Wireless Network Management System (WNMS). You don’t need a captive portal to gather analytical information. Many see certain analytical options as intrusive and asking for too personal of information.
Try getting the data you need to manage your Wireless LAN directly from the WLAN itself. You do not need those extra add-ons that your customers don’t want or need.
Control your DNS
There are options available to augment your current DNS. Perhaps directly from your ISP or other third-party DNS outfits that might add some capabilities to help your guests get the best possible experience while on your Hotel Wi-Fi.
Validate Your WLAN
After installation, and before turning over the WLAN to users – you’ll need to validate the network meets your design criteria. This includes doing a survey and analysis of the data to verify not only primary and secondary coverage. But also throughput, error rates, retry rates, and average data rates.
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Article Source: https://www.wlanpros.com/rules-successful-hotel-wi-fi-3/