At first, Wi-Fi was all about the few laptops that were in the office. Most people were still using fixed desktop devices, mobile phones were not really internet enabled.
Time has moved on, but in many cases, the Wi-Fi has not and this is where part of the problem is.
Modern devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops have since invaded the office, in many cases, people have 3 or more Wi-Fi enabled devices on them all trying to access the Wi-Fi.
If your Wi-Fi is quite old, then it was probably never designed to handle that amount of concurrent connections and worse, roaming connections.
What does roaming mean?
Roaming is when your devices move around an office or building. This can cause issues as older Wi-Fi technologies are not designed to handle this and can cause speed and performance issues.
Technology waits for nothing and will keep on innovating and in most cases, we all do our best to keep up. For the most part, we own the latest generation or two of iOS or Android based smartphone. Every two years or so the majority will upgrade them in order to be as up to date as possible.
However, the Wi-Fi has not been changed in many years. It works so why change? Modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all equipped with the latest and fastest technology to take advantage of modern Wi-Fi innovations.
But if our Wi-Fi is not running the latest and fastest technologies our modern devices cannot take advantage and have to run at whatever speed the Wi-Fi runs at. This can cause pain and frustration.
Has Wi-Fi really changed that much?
Yes, is the short answer.
Wi-Fi has gone through many different technology changes with this list below showing the current standards.
802.11b – 11 Mbps (2.4GHz)
802.11a – 54 Mbps (5 GHz)
802.11g – 54 Mbps (2.4GHz)
802.11n – 600 Mbps (2.4GHz and 5 GHz)
802.11ac – 1300+Mbps (5 GHz)
Actual wireless speeds vary significantly from the above maximum speeds due to:
1) Distance – distance from the access point, as well as any physical obstructions, such as walls, signal-blocking or reflecting materials.
2) Interference – other wireless networks and devices in the same frequency in the same area will affect performance.
3) Shared bandwidth – available bandwidth is shared between all users on the same wireless network.
Many modern devices are designed and enabled to run at the latest faster frequencies, but if your Wi-Fi is running at a slower one you will not get the full speed possible or benefits.
Wi-Fi is developing at a furious rate and with some major breakthroughs in the last few years, we can expect even faster connections and access in more and more places as we become more connected as a society.
What can you do?
If you find that your Wi-Fi is slow or has poor coverage it could be one of many things. Our advice would be to get one of our team to come and inspect your site and setup and see if there is anything we can do to help. In the meantime, you can check out our Wi-Fi page of the website here.