A wired network is the roads and byways in which everything is based or connected. There are components that make up the wired network that permits all other types of networks to operate, such as firewalls, routers, switches, along with the cabling to the endpoints to which you want to connect.
Wireless networks are connected to the wire and broadcast radio signals or frequency (RF). You use an access point to bridge the wireless signal that emanates from it to the wire. The signal is then routed and switched by the wired components to the correct destination.
Our approach will look at not only your immediate applications, but also your future applications, the future growth of your organization, and possible technology changes that would impact your cabling needs. Considerations like type of equipment, load balancing, and redundancy will be factored into our cost/benefit analysis. Many recognize our comprehensive design capabilities as one of the best in the industry.
Before you can have connectivity, there must be road or tracks to travel. You must build the roads, avenues, highways, and infrastructure in which you want to travel to take you where you want to go. You must understand what it is you want to achieve and how to achieve it. Without any of these items, nothing would move at all and there would be no connectivity.
In the world of IT, the network infrastructure refers to the roads, avenues, and tracks that your iPhone, MacBook, tablets, laptops, and desktops need in order to take them wherever you want to travel. If you want to send email or if you want to download a picture, you NEED a network. Imagine not having Internet on any of these devices; they would be basically useless word processors and editing tools.
In order to successfully install a network infrastructure, everything must be carefully engineered and designed. Some of the questions you need to ask include:
Many other questions go into the legwork of design and engineering, but if you’re planning to deploy a wireless network you need to engineer the network from the wired to the wireless. If you don’t, you are only guessing and blowing in the wind and a safe bet. You will likely be looking for chronic issues on your network.
Access points are wireless networking components that are placed at the end of a wire in a location that has been decided upon through an RF Site Survey. Access points can be categorized in the wired side of networking since they connect the WiFi signal to the wire. However, they are still considered wireless networking components. Access points operate in the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz radio spectrum and project the wireless signal creating the wireless LAN or WLAN in an office building or any specific area needing a wireless network. They can be deployed in small or large numbers, in a managed WiFi network or unmanaged WiFi network.
The greatest enemy of an access point and wireless network is radio interference. Without the proper tools, training and experience, you cannot decipher what is causing the interference in your network. Interference is the saturation of other devices that operate at WiFi frequencies, such as microwave ovens, wireless telephones, wireless cameras, cell tower interference, and of course too many wireless networks in your area. Please see the sample image provided for a live capture of interference degradation of a wireless network making it very slow. Madgig has the proper training, experience and tools to help troubleshoot and deploy a successful wireless network.
Mesh is seen more in larger networks where cabling is almost impossible. It operates in a manner where part of the signal from the access point is used to make the connection to another access point. This alleviates the need for the cable, but because you are using the signal from the AP you reduce your bandwidth by 25% and 50% on every hop. This limits you to how many mesh units can be deployed in succession to the ROOT Mesh AP. At some point you cannot get away from the wire. Since you cannot have a wire and must still power the AP, you must plug it into an outlet somewhere. The solution is to look for a better design and always choose a wire connection to the AP whenever possible.
The location of the access point will determine its level of performance in the area which it is mounted. WiFi engineering is critical in this stage of the game because any interference or lack of signal propagation will render the WiFi network slow or useless. You cannot just throw up an access point and hope for the best. Access points are connected to the end of a wire at some location on the property whether it’s a hotel, marina or hospital. This signal optimization process is called a site survey and is necessary to correctly determine exactly where these access points will be placed. In turn this also tells us where we need to cable the hardwire network endpoints.
There are three main types of wireless site surveys:
A model of the RF environment is created using simulation tools including location and RF characteristics of barriers like walls or large objects. Floor plans are needed for this type of survey.
A site survey application passively listens to WLAN traffic to detect active access points, and measure signal strength, noise level, and structural interference. This used to be the most common method of pre-deployment WiFi survey.
The wireless adapter is associated with one or several access points to measure round-trip time, throughput rates, packet loss, and retransmissions. This is a post-deployment method and is used in troubleshooting more than pre-deployment of a WiFi network.
Madgig engineers can conduct comprehensive site surveys to accurately assess the layout and conditions impacting the environment. Factors such as structural layout of the facility, building codes, and safety and physical security issues are among the conditions that will be incorporated into the final design. Critical data gathered in the site survey will be incorporated into the final site management plan. Please see the sample RF site survey heatmap for both laptop and tablets.
There are instances when the follow-up installation will need an WiFi Active Survey to test the environment. When there is an issue, Madgig has the proper qualifications to troubleshoot your network. We can go deep into the WiFi network and capture the packets needed for network engineering and troubleshooting. We have the tools and the know-how to get the job done right the first time. Please see the sample image of a packet capture for a WiFi network that has a troubled iPhone.
Your device connects to the WiFi, which then bridges the signal carrying the packets from your device to the wire. During this time your device knows the data is destined for the Internet. It then travels through the wire to the switch (wired component). If it is destined for the internet it will send the packet to the router. The router will then look it up in its routing table and forward your packet to the Internet. If you were to stay on the same network your data packet would have been decided by the switch and then sent to the destination on the local LAN.
Your wired network requires great attention because if it is poorly designed and engineered, the performance and speed will drop dramatically. Remember, a problem stems from the weakest link in the chain and sometimes a WiFi issue is actually caused by incorrect cabling. Madgig Networks designs and engineers this into the process for you BEFORE you purchase our products and services. Contact us and see what we can do for you!