Minimizing downtime and creating a stable wireless network is the main objective for IT teams and business leaders. Your network is the backbone of your communication systems and business operations. In part one of this blog series, we highlighted five of the ten most common network issues along with some troubleshooting steps that can be taken to mitigate them. In this blog we will discuss five more common network issues and steps your team can take to understand what is causing them. In some cases, basic troubleshooting can solve the issue, but certain issues will require an expert.
Devices that are not compatible with each other or the wireless network will have difficulty connecting to the network or be unable to connect at all. This not only causes frustration with using the device itself but can also reduce the network performance due to the increased burden on the network.
Devices with different wi-fi standards or protocols having difficulty connecting causing additional strain on the network. This can show up as no connection at all, or it can be a successful connection with an inability to access shared files or printers.
Ensure that your devices are updated with the latest firmware and software. If your network is operating with the latest standards and protocols, your devices must be as well. If your devices or network are older, they may not support the latest technologies. In this case, you will need to consider replacing them. If you are operating with a network that hasn’t been updated in many years, bringing in an IT infrastructure provider will be the best solution.
Lack of Network Management & Monitoring
Monitoring and managing your network is valuable for many reasons including early detection of issues, performance optimization, capacity planning, threat detection, and historical data. Without proper management it is impossible to proactive with the health of your connectivity and bandwidth.
With little or no network monitoring in place you have no idea when a connectivity issue began or what triggered it.
There are a few ways to incorporate robust network monitoring and management. Even if you do not have the ability to employ a full IT team, you can outsource your network management or install monitoring tools. Network monitoring provides a window for you to understand what is happening within your network at any given time. This allows you to plan for future network expansion, detect threats quickly, and identify problematic or unauthorized devices.
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data or traffic your network can handle in a given time. Just like a highway, the more lanes there are, the more cars can travel simultaneously.
Your network does not have enough bandwidth to support the amount of traffic you require for business operations. Every user or connected device adds to the traffic your network must support. This includes personal devices, laptops, printers, video surveillance, and more.
Evaluate your current network infrastructure including access points (age, quantity, and placement), routers, and servers. Determine if your current hardware is capable of providing the bandwidth you require. If it is outdated, upgrading or adding additional networking hardware will improve your bandwidth. If you feel as though your network is up to date and should be providing what you need, you should review your network settings. You can prioritize critical applications and set your network up to take care these items before allowing traffic from non-essential devices. An example of a non-essential device would be a printer that is consistently pinging the network to check for connectivity. The network could be configured to ignore this type of device unless a user prompts it to be used.
Inadequate Network Infrastructure
You network infrastructure is comprised of your routers, switches, access points, and low voltage cabling. Without this infrastructure your wireless network does not exist. If you do not have adequate networking hardware you will experience slow speeds, dropped connections, and limited functionality.
Your network infrastructure is inadequate for supporting your critical business needs.
Unfortunately, the only solution to this is to upgrade and/or expand your network infrastructure and hardware. At Matrix-NDI we specialize designing and deploying flexible and scalable network infrastructure solutions. We can help you understand your current network environment, and then create an upgrade plan that fits within your budget.
Firmware or Software Issues
Firmware and software control things like network start up, self-testing, hardware configuration settings, traffic control and routing, and reliable network operation. Essentially, firmware and software form the foundation of network operation.
Your firmware or software is out of date resulting in security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, or reduced network performance.
It is important to regularly check for firmware updates from the device manufacturer and apply them to your network. Many devices have built in mechanisms for firmware updates like web-based interfaces or management software, but it is important that you and your team understand your specific devices and where manual input is required.
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of components to a wireless network, and it is extremely helpful to understand where different issues stem from to keep interruptions to your business at a minimum. Here we discussed five more of most common issues and their respective troubleshooting tips. If you missed part one, you can check it out here.
If you have any questions about or are experiencing any of the issues we mentioned in this blog, we would love to help you find a solution. Our team of IT infrastructure experts can help you understand what is happening in your IT environment and design a customized solution to fit your needs. Reach out to us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500.