Schools are complex locations. They have many different buildings and areas, each of which may have its own distinct functions. But the trick is that all these separate locations work together, and in many cases, must have compatible technology.
Take their internet systems. Wi-Fi for schools is a networking topic that elicits many concerns. How can a learning environment ensure their system is reliable? Does it have the capabilities to provide connectivity in all necessary locations?
How about security? Will valuable and confidential student records be kept safe? Are the systems capable of reaching data transmission speeds necessary for communication protocols and all applicable educational software?
Here are some of the best practices for setting up Wi-Fi solutions for schools and for ensuring these systems can perform their desired functions effectively.
Wi-Fi for Schools Overview and History
Wi-Fi systems for complex organizations like schools have come a long way over the years. At one time, networks were deployed with 802.11b Wi-Fi, and delivered speeds as high as 100Mbps via wired connections in most cases.
But now things have changed. Wireless connections can now equal or exceed those speeds, and a variety of different equipment and protocols are used to deliver the connectivity that complex locations need. From the Wi-Fi router to the receivers used in any given setup, every piece of technology is better now than it was just a few years back.
While there are plenty of good possibilities out there as far as how to build a good connection, what are the primary ingredients for a good setup? The best way to plan out a good Wi-Fi setup for a school is to take the following factors into account:
- Wi-Fi equipment including routers, cables, and receivers
- Placement based off needs for bandwidth and access points
- Security and support
Users must take an active approach to manage their own systems, while using managed technology and prioritizing use when necessary. Once a school has decided they want to set up a system, they should take the next steps in getting the base-level equipment and procedures in place.
How to Think About Setting a Network Up
When a person is looking to set up a network, they must have the right mental approach. The different ways they think about the same concepts can have all the difference when it comes to producing results. For example, what about coverage?
System coverage is something everyone has to deal with when they’re using a wireless network. But coverage may not need to extend to all devices at all times. Coverage should be thought of as an important concept, but capacity should also play a role in the discussion. If a network is operating at full capacity, it could be thought of as having all applicable devices working on it at once. Since this may be rare, speed may not need to be high enough to manage everything at once.
The idea of connection strength is also important to consider from other perspectives. Don’t just think in terms of connection potency – think about access points. If a network can be designed with stronger signal areas placed around more workstations, coverage will be less of an issue.
Device registration and management is also important. There should be permission levels to equipment, including students, teachers, and administrators. This ensures sensitive information remains safe while everyone can use the network for their specific needs.
Buying and Setting Up Wi-Fi Equipment
Having the right equipment can make or break a Wi-Fi network. Buying equipment may seem like a complex process, but once a person has an idea for the kind of network they want to build, things get a little easier.
Users know more about what they want and what they need, thus they can narrow their product selections down and find better combinations. Once a person has purchased the equipment they need and set up their network, the testing and troubleshooting phase is also important.
When a network is tested with modern speed tests, security checks, and access assessments, owners will be alerted to any problems. Sometimes the complexity of schools can cause unexpected issues, so setting aside time for this testing phase is a wise move.
Benefits of a Robust and Efficient Wi-Fi Network
Anyone who is setting up a Wi-Fi system for a school needs to have a great understanding of what the institution needs. Access points, connection speeds, bandwidth, and many other factors all play a role in the equipment selection and design choices.
Best practices include thinking about the system in terms of what the organization needs and knowing how to maximize network strength through strategic decision-making. Combine this with good equipment and proper upkeep, and the proper network can serve any school well.
When a school has a better system in place, it is easier for teachers to teach and students to learn. To find out more about technology transforming complex organizations around the world, contact AISink today.