SD-WAN technology has gained popularity over the last few years as organisations seek to modernise their network infrastructure.
Top tips for improving network performance in your office
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A slow network has many hidden costs and certainly nothing more frustrating. Files take forever to send, important calls or services such as streaming get interrupted or dropped, and the business loses productivity, waiting for tasks to finish and fixing faults. On the other hand, most companies rely on a robust, fast network. The shift to online meetings and the increase in demand for streaming services have highlighted the need for businesses to prioritise the health of their networks.
But before you invest in an expensive network upgrade, here are some top tips from WiFi and network experts.
1. Determine that it is your network causing the problem
Is your network slow, or is your IT hardware outdated or not maintained to optimise performance? The best way to diagnose the problem is to get your network health checked by a professional. You wouldn’t reach for medication until you knew what you were trying to cure, and the same process applies to your network. Ensure your sluggish network isn’t a localised issue before ordering your infrastructure upgrade.
2. Separate your employee and guest networks
Slow networks can sometimes be the result of user behaviour. Whilst one person streaming a video is unlikely to cause your poor network speed, multiple users streaming on a single network could cause an issue. Offering a separate guest network gives you more control and security over the use of your network.
3. Educate your employees about the use of your network
Create some rules around the use of your network. Employees need a break from work, but downloading the latest box set or jumping onto an online game will drain the network. Your team might also share large files unnecessarily rather than using cloud drives. Some simple training could prevent this from happening.
4. Are your networks checked regularly for faults and viruses
Not all offices have a dedicated IT team to keep hardware up to date and ensure that malware is not slowing down your system. A slow network can also be down to dated or broken components that could be replaced and prevent the need for a complete network overhaul. A managed network solution will include this service in your contract with 24/7 monitoring.
5. Update software and firmware
The faced-paced advancement of technology means that software often advances faster than equipment gets replaced. Unfortunately, this can often mean new software runs on old hardware or vice versa; either way, it’s unlikely to be compatible. So you want to be sure you invest in the right areas to improve your business productivity.
6. Use VLANS to subdivide your network traffic
VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) will segment your network traffic so critical traffic receives high priority. A new VLAN configuration offers the benefits of a completely separate network without rewiring the entire office. In addition, you can group VLANs based on computer use and function, even if they’re in different parts of the office. For example, suppose you have a device dedicated to streaming. In that case, it can sit on an individual VLAN, allowing it to have reserved internet bandwidth and reducing the risk of network interference or disruption from other rigs operating simultaneously.
VLANs can also improve security by segmenting your systems from each other. That way, even if one part of your network becomes compromised, the VLAN can act as a barrier, keeping other parts of the network safe.
Each VLAN can have its unique subnet to enable you to ensure each device is on the correct network by checking the IP address.
7. Monitor for network congestion
Monitoring your network is critical for diagnosing any potential congestion. For example, system backups should always be carried out overnight as they will slow down your network.
A managed service will ensure your network is monitored 24/7 and connected, preventing unnecessary business downtime.
8. Upgrade your network
A network health check carried out by an expert will uncover any issues with your network, and Simpli-Fi, offer FREE network health checks. We will check on the performance of your network, identify any faults or obsolete equipment and recommend any necessary upgrades. However, even if you are carrying out due diligence, cabling and hardware wear out with age, so a new wired connection and up-to-date routers, switches and access points may be necessary.
Networks don’t stay perfectly optimised forever
It doesn’t matter how diligent you are with the performance of your network; things change. Your business will grow, you will upgrade your devices and applications, client demands will shift, and technology will never stop progressing. As a consequence, your network will not stay optimised indefinitely.
Simpli-Fi offers a FREE network health check. We provide a diagnostic of any network problems, together with recommendations for improvement. We also offer a completely managed WiFi service to include:
- Coverage guarantee
- 24/7 monitoring
- The latest technology
- Firmware updates
- Next-day hardware replacement
Maintaining an efficient, robust, high-performance network requires monitoring and maintenance, so get in touch to see how we can help you optimise your network performance.