WiFi networks in the workplace are so common these days that bring your own device policies are routine. As small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) increasingly rely on web-based services, it means they rely more and more on wireless networks to support their employees.

While a good WiFi network often operates seamlessly in the background, a malfunctioning network can grind work to a halt across your business. Not sure what kind of network problems you might face? Keep reading and we’ll look at some of the most common wireless network problems.

Environmental Interference

A number of common building materials can interfere with wireless signals, such as:

  • Concrete
  • Bricks
  • Metal

Dense materials, like concrete, often partially block WiFi signals. Metal and water can reflect the signals, which creates challenges.

Even microwaves between your computer and the WiFi access point can disrupt the signal.

Frequency Crowding

WiFi signals typically operate in a specific bandwidth frequency. Pack enough wifi routers into a given space and that frequency gets crowded. The routers actually interfere with each other.

Too Little Bandwidth

Most businesses these days operate at least partially online. Maybe you run a website or maybe you use cloud computing to support daily operations.

The speed of your WiFi depends on your available bandwidth or how much data you can download or upload at a time. Get too many people trying to upload or download too much data at one time and your WiFi speeds drop under the load.

Shared Access

Many businesses provide customers with free WiFi access. This can entice customers to choose your business over your competitors and even encourage them to stay longer.

When customers and employees use the same access point, you can run into overcrowding issues. You get too many people competing for a limited amount of bandwidth. While inconvenient for customers, it can make it difficult for employees to complete Internet-based tasks.

Dealing with Wireless Network Challenges

In some cases, you can identify and fix WiFi network challenges on your own. Lose your connection every time someone puts a burrito in the microwave? You need to move the router.

Not all wireless network problems reveal themselves in such obvious ways. If your network was configured wrong or you lack the bandwidth you need, you might lack the skills you need to pinpoint those problems.

If you struggle with network problems, you may need help from an IT support technician to resolve the issue.

Parting Thoughts on Wireless Network Challenges

You can’t escape network problems. Hardware ages and bandwidth demands change over change. At some point, you will face wireless network problems.

You can avoid some of the problems with a periodic review of your network performance. You can also keep an ear open for employee complaints about network performance. If your review shows issues or employee complaints increase, consider bringing in an IT expert for a network health check.

Inception Network Strategies offers IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Looking for more potential network-based problems? Check out our post on BYOD security risks.