How Can You Avoid RF Interference in Wi-Fi Deployments?
Last week, I talked about how to deploy a Wi-Fi network that actually works. I mentioned that the key is to avoid RF interference. This week, I want to discuss how to avoid it. First, I want to give you a "cheat sheet" on some basics of Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi Quick Reference Guide:
- Wi-Fi is a broadband connection that runs on two different bands:
- 2.4GHz, with three non-overlapping channels in the U.S.
- 5GHz with roughly 7x the available bandwidth of 2.4 (including DFS)
- Most RF devices—microwaves, for example—run on the 2.4GHz band; interference can be an issue
- Any Wi-Fi networking gear that you buy should be approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure interoperability
- Test devices in the area in which they will be deployed; do not buy off the datasheet!
When it comes to avoiding RF interference, ensure that any vendor you are considering has a predictive analysis feature. This feature allows you to input your building or campus layout, deploy imaginary access points, and visualize any potential interference issues. This analysis will also help you to determine how many access points you really require, and to easily justify that expense by showing a graphical layout.