Dimension Network Systems have installed hundreds of wireless networks across all economic sectors, Manufacturing, Education, Finance, Medical and each sector has specific requirements.

A successful installation will be one that integrates seamlessly with the wired network were security and authentication requirements are mirrored on the wireless network.

Before designing a wireless network there are a few important considerations. Simply providing wireless coverage throughout your facility may not be sufficient.

Most Enterprise Wi-Fi networks will generally have the following types of network usage requirements and each has their own function and requirements to consider;

Visitor / Guest Access

This network is for people visiting the building generally with smartphones or laptops, and will only be offered access to the Internet but not access to any other resources on the LAN. Bandwidth requirements will typically be low e.g. 2-5Mb to only allow access to email or social media

Staff Network / Corporate BYOD

This network is for staff and will be used for laptops, PC’s and Printers. Wireless coverage will need to be high throughout all locations in the building with a high Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of approximately -67dBm thus giving all users sufficient bandwidth to run all corporate applications.

A high degree of security is mandatory so the wireless network will be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access, utilizing either pre-shared key security or access control via a RADIUS or Active Directory Server.

Voice Network

For facilities using Voice over IP and/or Voice over Wi-Fi devices, a dedicated SSID is established that will be configured for QoS, encrypted pre-shared key for hand off roaming across access points and configured with inference mechanisms to ensure solid wireless connections for calls.

 Network appliances e.g. Warehouse Handheld scanners, IoT   

As IoT becomes more commonplace, the wireless network now has to provide connectivity for various appliances e.g lighting and temperature control. They do not use a lot of data but coverage needs to be ensured in normally isolated e.g basements and storage rooms.

 

In any wireless network, the deployment should ensure proper channel planning such that the access points in the vicinity of each other are operating on non-interfering channels. co-channel and adjacent channel interference should be mitigated.

Consideration much be also given to other ‘rogue’ wireless networks that can broadcasting in the 2.4Ghz and 5 Ghz frequencies and sending signal into your building and as such interfering in the performance of your network. Rogue access points are not always from outside your building , they can be from your own staff within the building e.g smartphones broadcasting a wi-fi network or from the bluetooth on the smartphone.

It is always recommended to carry out a spectrum frequency analysis before channel planning your wireless network to see what other networks are broadcasting and in what channels.

Wireless security is an essential feature of any reliable WLAN as wireless technology is exploding in popularity; it also presents a new challenge to IT security, especially as it relates to maintaining confidentiality and integrity of data.

Firstly, the air is a shared medium and lacks the physical control of its wired counterpart. Any wireless device can “see” all the traffic of other wireless devices in the network.Sensitive information that is transmitted between wireless devices can be intercepted and disclosed if not protected by strong encryption.

Secondly, businesses are steadily integrating wireless technology into their wired network, for example IoT , Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), tablet devices and connecting through the wireless network can often bypass the traditional wired-side security.

Rogue or insecure Access Points can compromise network security, making them popular targets for hackers. Even if an organization has no sanctioned Wireless LANs, Wi-Fi enabled laptops and PDAs can open a backdoor into the corporate network and render existing security measures useless.

Dimension Network Systems will design and install a Wi-Fi infrastructure with powerful policies and controls that ensures all devices are identified and securely segmented to prevent security breaches and leaks.