Wi-Fails

If you, like us, spend a lot of time trying to avoid those three fated words ‘the Wi-Fi’s down’ then read on. Here are the most common (and most frustrating!) Wi-Fi fails and how to avoid them:

#1 – Incorrect usage of channels

A sure fire way to complicate and slow down your network is by overlapping channels with your Wi-Fi installation. Don’t be fooled – even 5Ghz is not immune! Although using 5Ghz offers far more channels, channel overlap is still a pressing issue. Get in touch to find out how to avoid this common Wi-Fi error and find out the tips and tricks to ensure you avoid channel overlap.

#2 – Maximum Power

Bigger doesn’t always mean better! Ironically, the biggest source of interference is your own access points. If you set your access points to maximum power then you leave your connection open to co-channel interference. When access points are set to maximum, devices are torn between each access point and end up continually flipping from one to the other, unsure whether to stay or go. The trick is to avoid using maximum power as tempting as it is. To find out exactly how to create smaller cells that work more effectively get in touch.

#3 – Only designing for 2.4 GHz

This one has fail written all over it. It’s 2017 and yet everywhere people are still falling into the trap of thinking that 2.4 GHz is the most important band for Wi-Fi installations. Often with 2.4 GHz there is too much interference and not enough channels. Single radio AP’s and single radio clients are to be avoided in favour of dual radio access points.

#4 – Access point placement

Having the wrong installations can be problematic. Different environments require different equipment and having the wrong type of access point or positioning it in the wrong area can cause problems. Access point polarity is also important – dipoles should always be pointing up or down but never horizontally.

#5 – Forgetting the importance of security

A surprising number of Wi-Fi hotspots have low or no security. WPA2 is the bare minimum for personal and business environments but should never be used in a public environment. VPN should be used for public environments to avoid security risks.

#6 – Forgetting to do a site survey

Site surveys are crucial to Wi-Fi success. From predictive site surveys which question access points, channels and power to periodic site surveys, each stage is crucial in order to gain insight into how the network actually works. A top tip is to use an external adapter for passive surveys in order to maintain accuracy.

#7 – Lack of knowledge

Thinking that certifications are overrated is an error. Becoming certified and having a wealth of knowledge about Wi-Fi is invaluable in this day and age. In order to learn more about wireless connectivity and speak to someone who can answer all of your Wi-Fi questions get in touch.

The Wi-Fi Art to Cabling

The one major disadvantage of working in Wi-Fi is that you end up coming into contact with a lot of cabling. An awful lot of cabling.

People are often surprised at the kilometres of cabling that we install each month, considering our love and passion for the art of good Wi-Fi. But cabling is our necessary evil.

We’ve developed partnerships with a number of elite data cabling manufacturers, with a number of accreditations being undertaken to ensure we are at the forefront of techniques and new technologies.

But, along the way, we bump into installations that are the stuff of nightmares – cabling nightmares that wake us up in the night sweating.

When initially installing a data network, everyone involved sets off with the best of intentions. It looks beautiful, all cables are routed, labelled and numbered, with little slack and all coming from the same source. Cable ties are a plenty, and it is the OCD stuff of dreams.

But, then, something goes wrong, other suppliers get involved, and everything begins to go awry. And then another thing happens, more people come and put new cables over the top, broken boxes are left in the rack powered off, and cables ends are left to sway in the breeze of the nearest air conditioning unit.

When that happens, and it inevitably does, our work diagnosing issues is made so much more difficult. It can take hours sorting through cable racks and channels figuring out where something should go. Absolute hours – and it can all be avoided.

Good cable management saves time, reduces the amount of equipment (and therefore electricity) permanently powered on, and makes finding issues so much quicker.

A little bit of tidying never hurt anyone.

A confusing problem using an iPhone 6 for browsing

One of the Geekabit Wi-Fi team came across a frustrating but interesting issue just recently, when browsing the internet on an iPhone 6. In iOS 8.1 and using Chrome or Safari, around a fifth of attempts to load a webpage would stall at approximately 20% loaded.

No matter how much time our Geek gave it, the iPhone would never finish loading the page. Refreshing the page sometimes worked, and everything would often be fine moments later…  until the next page loading ‘stall’. The same problem appeared to be affecting Mail and some other apps – the inbox just wouldn’t update some of the time and worked seamlessly at other times.

So, all very strange. A visit to the Genius bar to speak to Apple proved fruitless (haha!) as the same problem could not be replicated in their store…
It seemed the problem was more to do with the home router settings than the iPhone itself, so our Geek started to investigate the channel width of the router. It seemed likely that the router’s 5GHz setting was defaulting to just provide the newer, wider and often troublesome 80MHz channel width, when it should have been set to 40MHz, or even possible 20MHz – after some fiddling with the settings on the router our tame Geek was oncec again able to enjoy speedy and uninterrupted browsing on his iPhone.
Let’s talk about site surveys
We’ve told you all about our amazing work setting up temporary Wi-Fi networks anywhere they are needed (and boy do we have an exciting project coming up this month!), but what else do the fabulous folk here at Geekabit do?
We often get calls from businesses of all shapes and sizes across London and the South East who have experienced problems with ‘the internet’. Yes, there are still some areas where download speeds are a little slow, but the vast majority of the time that just isn’t the issue. The poor people whose work or business is starting to suffer have normally looked at the router, checked it is working and then don’t know where to begin figuring out why the Wi-Fi is so slow, or drops out periodically. In a thriving business hub like London you certainly expect to be able to use the internet…
So many businesses rely on emails as a minimum, others use cloud based tech to access and store documents and many are using VOIP or Skype to connect with colleagues. Reliable fast Wi-Fi is a must for lots of businesses, and that’s where Geekabit come in. We have an office in London as well as our bases in Hampshire and Cardiff, so are ideally placed to help.
If you’ve been experiencing sluggish Wi-FI, our expert Wi-Fi consultants can visit your premises and carry out a site survey to assess what the problem is, and then make recommendations on how to make it better. We use some of the best diagnostic kit available and can also install far better networks than you will ever be able to get ‘off the peg’. Together we can have your office Wi-Fi in tip-top shape and your business can thrive and make use of the best new digital technologies out there. That’s why we’re the UK’s most loved Wi-Fi experts!
Home Wi-Fi & that problematic microwave

We were interested to read an article this week which quoted Ofcom as saying that one in five home Wi-Fi routers are positioned incorrectly and are slowing down Wi-Fi speeds as a result. The team at Geekabit are often asked to visit businesses and offices in South Wales, Cardiff, Hampshire, Surrey and London to diagnose the root cause of problematic or slow Wi-Fi, and we know how many normal and innocuous household objects can cause interference, and so many of them are found in offices too.

Baby monitors, bluetooth speakers and headsets, electric lamps and many different types of remote controls can all disrupt the signal between the router and the devices that are trying to pick up the signal. Refrigerators and microwaves can also be a hidden menace to Wi-Fi signals, so this is worth thinking about if you have an office kitchen for employees to make lunch.
Thick walls and tangled cables will also have a detrimental effect on Wi-Fi speed and reliability, so a few moments spent looking at the layout of a room or set of rooms before placing a router is time well spent. If your business is still suffering from slow Wi-Fi why not call Geekabit in to help?
We use specialist measuring and testing kit to find sources of interference, network performance and connection issues, and have a huge success rate in our work. Geekabit have offices of Wi-Fi consultants in London, Hampshire and Cardiff to help cover as much of the UK as possible so we are never far away…
Geekabit brings Wi-FI consultancy to Cardiff, South Wales and Bristol
The Geekabit Wi-Fi consultancy team is delighted to announce we have expanded our Wi-Fi reach to Wales and have opened a dedicated office in Cardiff! Purveyors of permanent and temporary Wi-Fi networks in offices, at charity events and even for a network of festival stages, there isn’t much about Wi-Fi that our small but perfectly formed team doesn’t know about.
We’ve worked hard in Hampshire, the South East of England and London to get a great name for ourselves and an established customer base who know our dedicated team of consultants will always be able to help them with their Wi-Fi queries. Geekabit offers a range of services including event Wi-Fi hire, site surveys and Wi-Fi network planning and design.
Our new Cardiff office will be covering all of South Wales including Newport and Swansea, the Welsh Valleys and Bristol, Bath and North Somerset. So if your business is suffering because your Wi-Fi is slow or unreliable, or you need a temporary Wi-Fi network for an event (indoor or outdoor) and just don’t know who to turn to, make sure you drop Geekabit a line!  We can’t wait to share our expert Wi-Fi knowledge with you, and our Welsh customers can rest assured that we always deliver great Wi-Fi consultancy service with a smile.
After all, we are the UK’s most loved Wi-Fi consultants, and Wi-Fi is our most favourite thing in the world.