Quick Warehouse WiFi Fixes that Don’t Work
Warehouses are complex environments for WiFi. Users and devices are constantly moving from place to place, the signal is attenuated by racking, and there is a large area to cover. As a result, many systems that would perhaps work well in a simpler environment (such as an office) are not transferable to the warehouse.
When issues inevitably arise, it is understandably often a kneejerk reaction to make quick changes to try and mitigate the problems caused by a struggling network. These include:
Add more access points
This may well be the solution to your problem. Still, it needs to be managed carefully to ensure we’re covering the desired areas without causing interference to the rest of the network.
Install warehouse WiFi extenders
This technology has many names (warehouse WiFi boosters, repeaters), but all do the same thing – extend your Wi-Fi coverage; however, it causes additional jitter, latency, delay, reduces overall throughput and increases interference. These types of solutions should be avoided. Trust us, there are better options.
Meshing can be used to solve coverage and can work well under certain stances. However, when you try to mesh multiple APs, place those APs too far away from each other or connect numerous devices, you can quickly run into issues. Meshing can work well in homes or small offices but it doesn’t support the capacity or throughput needed by most warehouses.
Turn up the power
Increasing the transmit power of your access points may seem like an easy way to improve coverage. However, Wi-Fi is a two-way conversation, and your devices also need to talk louder to send that signal back. In most battery-powered devices, this is not an option.
Use wider channel widths
Using wider channels enables higher data rates, making it appealing for many users. However, there is a limited amount of spectrum to use, and as a result, wider channels can often cause interference.
Usually, these ‘solutions’ are akin to placing a plaster on an open-heart wound, and in some cases, may create more problems than they solve! You’re then left with a more convoluted IT infrastructure that’s harder to monitor, harder to manage, and with more things to break down or go wrong. In short, you’ve compromised the integrity of your network so that it is unlikely to offer even, reliable performance in all areas you need it to.
At Redway Networks, we take a different approach to designing networks. Every warehouse is different, and as a result, we tailor each design to our customer’s needs. We consider the layout of the building, the materials inside, what devices are in use, how many and what future plans the business has for Wi-Fi usage. To deliver a successful design that will last for years, we utilise industry-leading tools such as Ekahau, giving us the ability to plan signal strength, data rates and mitigate interference. Once a network is in place, we always conduct a verification survey to verify our design and optimise performance. This gives us the ability to get your network working from day one.
With extensive experience in the logistics and manufacturing sector, we understand the challenges warehouse environments face when it comes to connectivity. We also know how to future-proof your business for the future of supply chains through networks that can adopt emerging tech such as machine learning, automation, real-time analytics and hyper-agile connectivity.
If you’d like to talk to us about your wireless network, get in touch with our Warehouse WiFi engineers today.