Mobility is changing how and where we work – and Wi-Fi is a major part of that change. While home Internet might involve a single wireless router, business Wi-Fi is more likely to need several Wireless Access Points (AP’s) installed across a wide area. That wide area might be part of a building, a whole building or even a campus.

You’ll need a Wi-Fi network that acts much like your mobile phone network.  A device should connect to a Wi-Fi identity once – and that connection should then be used across that whole network to maintain contact, even if you move outside of the range of the original access point you logged onto. Then you won’t need to search for another Wi-Fi station ID and provide the password to log onto it …

In the past, these wide-area Wi-Fi networks needed some sort of central server either on-site (or later, cloud-based) to handle authentication and hand-off between the Wi-Fi devices.

Foxhall’s partner – Draytek – are now providing wireless access points with a couple of nice features. These have helped our customers, in recent projects, to provide a wireless network through a Care Home campus, and through a factory complex.

Draytek call these features ‘band steering’ and ‘AP-assisted Client Mobility’.

Band Steering:

There are various ‘flavours’ of Wi-Fi operating on the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz wireless bands. In general, 5 GHz connections are the fastest for data transfer. However, sometimes the wireless signal will not penetrate a wall, or go far enough – or perhaps the device is old and can’t receive the 5 GHz signal – and the 2.4 GHz signal is all that will work.

In these situations, ‘band steering’ allows us to set up the same station ID (SSID) and password on both transmission bands of the access point – and the access point will work out if 5.0 or 2.4 GHz is best for the connection and use the most appropriate. If you have a Wi-Fi device that can accept a 5.0 GHz protocol, and the signal strength is good, then you will get the fastest connection.

AP-assisted Client Mobility:

For ‘AP-assisted Client Mobility’ to work, all the Access Points (APs) in the network must be set up with the same station ID, encryption and login password. With the feature enabled, the Draytek Access Points communicate with each other to determine which AP has the strongest link to each connected Wi-Fi client device, and disconnects/reconnects if necessary to get the strongest link between the device and its nearest AP.

If you need strong security determining individual access rights to your Wi-Fi, then Draytek’s RADIUS server facility can be used – but that’s another story …

Please give us a call at 01787 228402 to talk about your Wi-Fi needs – we’d be happy to help provide an effective Wi-Fi solution for your business.