One of the most common helpdesk calls we get is “my wireless keeps dropping”. That’s why we want to give you 5 tips to improve your wireless network. Medical practices have come to depend on the convenience of wireless, and the tolerance for downtime is basically at a zero. Wireless used to be a luxury. Not anymore. Not when Physicians go from exam room to exam room with the wireless notebook, tablet or laptop in their hands. They need it to work, and work well. So how can they improve the stability of their wireless network? Below are 5 tips to improve your wireless network.
1. The position of your wireless router – If possible, have your wireless router located in a central location in your practice. If you put the router against an outside wall, it can weaken the signal for the other side of your home. You want to make sure it is inside, in a middle, central area. You also want to make sure you router is not far from your devices. If you router is on the 2nd floor, and your PC is on the first floor, this could cause some degradation. Try to keep your devices near your router.
2. Add a wireless repeater – A wireless repeater can extend your wireless network without any additional cabling or wiring. Just place the wireless repeater halfway between your wireless router, modem router, or access point and your computer, and you can get an instant boost to your wireless signal strength. This helps tremendously in a large house.
3. Change the wireless channel – Wireless routers can broadcast on several different channels, similar to the way radio stations use different channels. In the United States and Canada, these channels are 1, 6, and 11. Just as you’ll sometimes hear interference on one radio station while another is perfectly clear, sometimes one wireless channel is clearer than others. Try changing your wireless router’s channel through your router’s configuration page to see if your signal strength improves. You don’t need to change your computer’s configuration, because it can automatically detect the new channel.
4. Pick equipment from a single vendor – Vendors tend to like themselves 🙂 Try to choose a router and network card from the same vendor. Some vendors offer a performance boost of up to twice the performance when you choose their hardware.
5. Upgrade to the latest wireless standards – We started off at 802.11B, then went to 802.11G, and now use 802.11N.
Although wireless-G (802.11g) may be the most common type of wireless network, wireless-N (802.11n) is at least twice as fast and it has better range and stability. Wireless-N is backward-compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g, so you can still use any existing wireless equipment that you have—though you won’t see much improvement in performance until you upgrade your computer or network adapter to wireless-G, too.
If you’re using wireless-B or wireless-G and you’re unhappy with your network’s speed and performance, consider replacing your router and network adapters with wireless-N equipment. If you’re buying new equipment, definitely choose wireless-N. Cisco Wireless-N routers, for example, are powerful, secure, and simple to set up.
If you need help with your wireless network, follow our educational video series. I hope you enjoyed 5 tips to improve your wireless network.,
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Sheryl J. Cherico – 5 tips to improve your wireless network
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