How can I improve the WiFi in my school?Posted on 17 January 2023 by Beaming Support
The increase in digital learning and teaching tools means that unreliable WiFi can become a big issue within your school. Unfortunately, with WiFi, there are factors can lead to the connection dropping in and out and losing access to the internet.
Here is a list of areas to review if you are experiencing unreliable WiFi:
1. Does the school’s infrastructure meet the requirements?
Having the right connectivity to start with can make a huge difference. Review if your current bandwidth is meeting the increasing reliance on the internet for teaching and working. Look at things like how many devices does your network need to support, what types of devices and applications will be in use, and what’s the device mix?
It will not be worth spending your budget on additional access points if the connectivity package you have in place is not fit for purpose, or won’t be in the near future. An experienced ISP, such as Beaming, can assess whether your connection is meeting current requirements and those in the near future.
Your infrastructure needs to meet your current demand too, specifically your network switches. Switches need to be highly reliable, easy to manage at scale, and compatible with the latest technologies to support your network as it grows. They also need to be VLAN-Aware switches as this will allow you to separate access, for example, between a staff and guest network for access control purposes. Your ISP or connectivity provider should assist with checking the infrastructure you have is adequate for your requirements.
2. Are more access points needed?
Using WiFi boosters is a quick and easy approach to improving your connection. Schools can quickly remedy problems by adding more access points and signal repeaters.
We would also recommend checking that access points are in the right locations and ensuring the areas with the heaviest usage requirements are connected with a wired connection or access point.
However, when using WiFi connections, the internet frequency has to travel by air and meet interferences, such as other appliances or thick walls, which reduce speeds. With a wired connection, there is no “distraction” for the extender and therefore can provide more stable connectivity. This could be a wired connection to the WiFi access point or a wired connection to the device, such as a PC. So, if there are departments within your site that have the most problems, investing in wired connections in these locations may be the solution.
3. Have you optimised your network security?
Are you allowing students, staff, or guests to access WiFi with their own devices? You should create a separate guest WiFi login and create access control lists, so you can manage who has access to the network.
A good school security strategy will define what the users and devices can do on your network, as well as on the internet. It is also important your website content filtering system works how you need it to, working with a provider that offers a quick and secure way to make changes so that teachers and staff are not held up.
Learn more about how to increase your school’s cyber security with our Cyber Security for Schools Guide
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