How Can Wi-Fi Help Businesses Survive Covid-19 – A Case Study


Let’s be honest – Covid-19 has a lot to answer for. Not only has it stopped many businesses in their tracks, but it’s also altered the way in which these businesses can get back to work due to social distancing.


The amazing thing about all of this, however, is the resilience and innovation shown by these businesses – Determined to make necessary changes and come through this pandemic in a strong position.


We’ve worked with a client over the past few weeks who are the perfect example of exactly this. They knew what they needed in order to weather the Covid-19 storm, and we had the Wi-Fi expertise to find the solution to their problem.


The Client:


The Colour Factory are a hub of 6 professional artists who work together out of a studio in Winchester. They have a vibrant programme of art courses run by these resident artists, producing imaginative community and educational projects.



Client Issue:


Their current internet was a poor BT connection where broadband upload speeds barely made 1Mbps.


Due to social distancing regulations, they were unable to continue offering art tutorials in person, and therefore needed to move these onto Zoom. In order for these to work well, they would need 2.5Mbps per tutorial.


With 6 artists, possibly all working at one time, they needed a reliable and stable upload capability of at least 15Mbps.


Geekabit Solution:


We knew that a 4G service would be a strong option for their location. We installed and set up a 4G antenna, providing a strong Wi-Fi signal that enabled their artists to broadcast Zooms across their 1000m2 campus.


It was also important for them as a business to keep their well-established landline number. We were able to maintain this via a 3rd party partner who carried the number across to the same 4G service.


The Results:


They are now getting a 95% perfect signal from their local telecoms antenna.


In the client’s own words – “The experience you brought to the problem has saved The Colour Factory this year! Now the stage is set for The Colour Factory to master the new challenges of socially distanced zoom workshops.”


If your business is relying on strong, reliable Wi-Fi to come out of this pandemic still standing, then get in touch with one our Wi-Fi experts today.


Brazil: “Wi-Fi 6 is an alternative to 5G”

Will Wi-Fi 6 be an alternative to 5G?

Brazilian telecoms regulator ANATEL certainly thinks so. In May, Brazil started taking steps towards making the full 6 GHz band available for release for unlicensed use. Last month they said in an interview that the 6 GHz band in particular will be an alternative to 5G.

In April the Federal Communications Commission (an agency in the US that regulates radio, tv, wire, satellite and cable communication across the United States) released 1.2 GHz of new spectrum to Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz which spurred on international momentum for 6 GHz Wi-Fi. And now, Brazil l become only the second country to follow in the US’ footsteps.

Brazilian regulator Anatel is showing strong support for Wi-Fi 6 and the case for 6 GHz Wi-Fi, and are quoted as saying

“Wi-Fi 6 can potentially become an alternative to 5G – Wi-Fi is the most popular way to access the internet and it is the most democratic way of bridging the digital gap in Brazil.”

Over the next couple of months, it is expected that the next regulatory step will be made by issuing a document with proposed technical conditions for releasing the 6 GHz Wi-Fi band. Reports state that it’s unlikely a final decision will be made on 6 GHz Wi-Fi before 2021.

What about the UK?

It is entirely possible that the UK and other parts of Europe will release parts of the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi before then – In particular the lower 500MHz part of the spectrum.

However, Brazil will still be only the second country to release the full 1.2 GHz of spectrum.

Brazil has a population of approximately 210 million, so if telecoms regulator Anatel make a positive decision then the market for 6 GHz Wi-Fi could exceed the current US market by about 25-30%.

Brazil currently ranks fifth in the world for internet users:

  • 150 million Brazilians are active online
  • 30 million fixed broadband connections (which is less than 50% of households)

Wi-Fi 6 as an alternative to 5G? Definitely watch this space.


How many access points do I need and what type?

The world might have changed, but the demand for Wi-Fi hasn’t. If anything, the demand is even higher! And if you want a happy workforce when they return (if they haven’t already), or satisfied guests and customers, then you’re going to need fast and reliable Wi-Fi.

People tend to link the impression and success of a brand or business to how well their Wi-Fi works, and employees don’t want to return from working from home to find that the office Wi-Fi is worse than at home. Now is so not the time to have unreliable, patchy Wi-Fi.

Does your wireless system need deploying, or upgrading?

This can be a daunting task if you’re not sure what you need or what you’re doing. You may just decide to call in the experts (our Wi-Fi engineers work out of London, Hampshire and Cardiff, just FYI) or you may decide to work it out yourself. In which case, you’ll probably read on.

Wireless networks are a system of products that rely on one another in order to be successful. You might have one really great product, but that’s not going to do you much good if the rest are sub-par. The most successful wireless systems consist of having all of the right components, working seamlessly together.

One of the most common questions our Wi-Fi experts are asked (apart from ‘how do I get my Wi-Fi to the garden’ – lockdown life) is what is an access point, what type do I need, and how many?

Unfortunately, if you’re going for this alone, there’s not a ‘one solution fits all’ answer to this, but we’ll try and outline the most beneficial information as possible. At the end of the day, we want the best result possible for your end users – Whether it’s your employees or customers.

  1. How many end-users can each Access Point support?

Firstly, there are different types of access points – The ones you use at home are different from those you would use in a business setting. Enterprise grade AP’s are what we would use for non-residential settings. As well as providing higher client thresholds, they also offer other capabilities such as intrusion detection and prevention, spectrum analysis and load balancing.

These types of AP’s can thus handle more devices, provide security and make performance adjustments in real-time.

It’s important to look at the design of an AP, as there are unfortunately many that are now outdated. A lot were created for coverage as the most important factor, however since then people have started to carry multiple devices at any one time. With 2-3 devices per person, an AP’s ability to handle many devices impacts how your network performs.

When planning your wireless system, it is essential you plan for capacity – BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the IoT (Internet of Things) means that there is an ever-increasing number of devices that will try to connect to your network.

  1. What type of access points do I need?

When shopping for devices, you will find there are literally hundreds in use that are AC certified. All of these devices would benefit from wave 2 AC access point deployment.

This type of AP are a great choice due to their increased reliability, faster speeds and better support for high density areas.

Just in case you are wondering what the different is between wave 2 AP’s and wave 1, wave 2 have 3 other main features, other than speed.

  • 4 spatial or data streams
  • 160 MHz channels

That’s really interesting, but what does it mean for your business? Well, with the right design in place (did we mention that our Wi-Fi engineers have expertise in Wi-Fi surveys, design, and installation?) wave 2 AP’s can offer better performance whilst actually using few access points. This helps boost productivity, efficiency and user satisfaction. All of which should be top of your list at the moment for getting your business successfully back on it’s feet.

There are, of course, many additional factors that can impact the performance of your new access points – If something still isn’t quite right once your deployed your network or upgraded devices, give our experts in London, Hampshire or Cardiff a call.

  1. How many access points do I need?

Unfortunately many people think that Wi-Fi problems will be solved by adding more access points – But too many AP’s can actually be as bad (possibly even worse) than not having enough.

The number and placement of access points is dependent on the environment and WLAN design. You don’t want an under-engineered design but you also don’t want one that’s over-engineered. You’re the Goldilocks of the Wi-Fi world, and you want your network just right.

You might have already found yourself some free software that boasts DIY network design – But be careful! Without the Wi-Fi expertise of an experienced engineer, it can be difficult to get it just right even with software to guide you. Design is important, so do get in touch if you run into difficulties.

So what’s next?

Wi-Fi has become as important to us as electricity. We rely on it and take it for granted – And just like a light that won’t switch on, we really notice when it’s not there or flickering on and off.

Whether you are about to deploy a new wireless network, or are upgrading your current one – your access points will play a huge part in how successful it is. You don’t want frustrated end-users – Whether they are employees or clients. This all comes down to how well your wireless network has been designed. For Geekabit’s expert advice from our experienced engineers, get in touch today – We can survey, design and install reliable and secure Wi-Fi networks for your business.

What’s new in the world of Wi-Fi: Smart Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 and Cloud Management

The Wi-Fi world is always a-buzz with new technology – Just because the whole globe seems to have been at a standstill, doesn’t mean that developments aren’t still being made.

The last couple of weeks we’ve seen a steady stream of reductions in lockdown restrictions meaning more and more businesses are returning to normal (albeit a somewhat ‘new normal).

Here at Geekabit we are certainly picking up the pace and starting to get back to regular work from our bases in Hampshire, London and Cardiff. The UK is waking up and our Wi-Fi experts and engineers are ready for it.

We make it our business to keep up with what’s new in the world of Wi-Fi so here’s a quick overview of a few of the latest announcements when it comes to Smart Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 and cloud management applications.

  1. EE launches 3 new hardware units as part of ‘Smart WiFI’ service in the UK

Telecommunications giant EE have released their ‘Smart WiFi’ service through new affordable router and extendable discs. Although not Wi-Fi 6 compatible, the range includes a portable ‘4GEE WiFi mini’ unit which provides Wi-Fi services through EE’s 4G network.

The choice to keep this newest offering affordable means staying at Wi-Fi 5 rather than moving to Wi-Fi 6, but does mean it only costs £10 per month for 18 months, for all 3 hardware units.

  1. Spain’s first Wi-Fi 6 product launches from Telefonica

Last week Telefonica released their ‘Smart WiFi Amplifier’ which is Wi-Fi 6 capable – Their first Wi-Fi 6 product, as well as the first of its kind in Spain. This cleverly designed little unit can double up as either your primary AP (by using your Telefonica home gateway to load the existing network configuration) or as a repeater to extend Wi-Fi coverage to all areas of your home.

In their press release, Telefonica explained how the unit will deliver up to 4 Gbps (which is 5 times the speed of previous generation Wi-Fi) as well as offering 30% better coverage.

  1. RUCKUS Cloud management platform released from CommScope

There might not be much going on in the enterprise Wi-Fi world what with everyone largely still working from home, but that doesn’t mean that developments can’t still be made. CommScope (also known as Ruckus) have launched their new Cloud management platform for enterprise and carrier Wi-Fi.

The newly released RUCKUS Cloud is an AI-enabled platform for Wi-Fi network management by managed service providers and enterprises. It provides network health monitoring, remote client troubleshooting, AI-based analytics and much more by supporting both wired and wireless infrastructure.


You might be asking if you need any of these? Especially if you’re getting your business back on it’s feet, and don’t want patchy Wi-Fi to let you down at this crucial moment of bouncing back. Our expert Wi-Fi engineers cover the UK out of London, Hampshire and Cardiff – Get in touch with us today for any Wi-Fi issues you may be experiencing.



Image from EE.

How do I get Wi-Fi in my garden?

Maybe you’re working from home and desperate to soak up some sunshine (between thunderstorms) whilst typing away on your laptop. Or perhaps you’re escaping the chaos of family life by working from the garden shed. Either way, you might struggle to keep your connection stable on a Zoom call trying to use your existing Wi-Fi outside.

Here are our top tips for getting reliable Wi-Fi in your garden, without stealing your neighbours (you’ve still got their password from last years BBQ haven’t you?)

  1. Access Point
    Our first recommendation would be to run an ethernet cable out to the garden area and install a new access point. There are other options (see below) but this would always be our preference and recommendation when being asked how to get Wi-Fi in your garden.

    2. Is your router in the best place?

You could also try moving your existing router. If it’s situated at the front of the house, perhaps in the front room by your smart TV or telephone, then it’s likely that it’s signal won’t reach your back garden. Consider where you access the internet the most, and whether you could move your router to a different location that would work for both the house and the garden.

3. Extending your Wi-Fi range with a repeater

If the range of your router won’t reach the garden from a suitable location inside the house, then there are ways you can extend it. A repeater is one possible solution.

By placing a repeater in range of the garden, you can make your Wi-Fi go further. It’s cost effective and easy to configure, but works by mimicking your existing network and creating a new one. This means you would have to manually change the connection on your device when you move between the garden and the house. This option can also half your bandwidth, resulting in slower internet speeds.

4. Extending your Wi-Fi range with an extender

By using an extender, you can extend the range of your router by plugging it in at a position where it will provide coverage to your garden. An extender is cabled and takes internet signal direct from the router and emits it from a better location. Despite being slightly more expensive and a bit more complicated to configure than the repeater, our resident Wi-Fi expert says, “one of the biggest benefits of an extender is that it is connected using a wired connection, so there is no need of a wireless signal to operate it. This also means that the bandwidth stays at its full potential.”

5. Mobile Tethering

If your smartphone has good reception outside, then you can use its Wi-Fi hotspot and tether that to your laptop or other device to use its connection. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the data you use will come off your monthly allowance, and if you go over it can be rather a costly mistake.

So there you go, some of our top tips on how to get Wi-Fi in your garden so you can enjoy the summer sun whilst working from home!

If you’ve tried these options and still no joy, don’t be afraid to call in the experts!



How Geekabit Will Operate as Covid-19 Secure
Lockdown is loosening and businesses across England are starting to wind those cogs in anticipation of going back to work.

Here at Geekabit we’re doing just the same. As businesses and offices start to reopen, we want to make sure that we are ready in the wings for any Wi-Fi network design, installation and support needs for your business.

The country needs businesses to bounce back, and we don’t want anything as simple as Wi-Fi to be standing in anyone’s way.

The most important thing for us to be able to start operating again is safety and ensuring that we are Covid-19 Secure. Below are the steps we will be taking, in accordance with government guidelines, to make sure that we can offer Wi-Fi help across England from our bases in Winchester, London and Cardiff.

The basic steps we will be taking to work safely amid Covid-19 are:


  1. We will carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before we head back to work, we will be carrying out a risk assessment to ensure the safety of our workers and clients. This will include assessing the risks of any visits or installation works we need to carry out on client sites. Any initial face-to-face meetings will be carried out via zoom or similar.

If you are starting a phased reopening of your businesses or introducing staggered shifts, perhaps any Wi-Fi needs you have could be addressed prior to this starting to ensure minimal personal contact between our engineer and your staff.

  1. We will follow cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

When on site, we will follow the handwashing and hygiene guidelines put in place by that business on a case by case basis. Any equipment and tools of our own, plus bits of Wi-Fi kit we are bringing with us for installation, will be cleaned prior to working on site. Whilst on site, our engineer will wear a face mask, and will wear gloves whilst working.

  1. Working from home

Such is the nature of our Wi-Fi business, that we are unable to operate completely remotely. However, wherever possible, we will carry our prior meetings and consultations in regards to Wi-Fi needs via zoom or other appropriate communication systems. When it comes to Wi-Fi installation or other needs that require our presence on site, we will follow all other guidelines.

As above, if you currently have a large proportion of your business working from home, now could be a brilliant time to sort out any Wi-Fi issues at the office.

  1. We will maintain social distancing of 2m, where possible

Wherever possible, our engineer will maintain 2m between them and staff members whilst visiting your workplace. We will adhere to social distancing measures such as following one-way systems and anything else that business has put in place.

Where it is not possible to follow these guidelines, for example, an area of installation requires our engineer to be close to a workstation or running a cable opposite to a one-way system, we will request that staff keep clear of this particular area during a certain time period.

Again, the less workers on site the better whilst certain work is being carried out. If you are needing a Wi-Fi site survey, need some access points installed or physical ethernet cables laid, then this could be the best time to do it with minimal disruption to your office.

  1. If we cannot be 2m apart, we will endeavour to manage transmission risk in collaboration with the client

If there are instances where it isn’t possible for our engineer to remain 2m apart from staff, we will endeavour together with the client to do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • Thinking about whether a particular activity could be done when less staff are present.
  • Keeping any essential activity time as short as possible.
  • Using screens or barriers to physically separate our engineer from other people.
  • Requesting the reduction of number of staff members on site whilst Wi-Fi work is being carried out.


In addition to all of that, our expert Wi-Fi blog will be back up and running from this week – Full of tips and advice on all your Wi-Fi woes!

If your business is currently working towards being Covid-19 secure, and you want your Wi-Fi sorted before your doors properly reopen, get in touch with us today.

Troubleshooting Your Home Wi-Fi

Despite being busy behind the scenes working on other areas of the business, we’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front during the Covid-19 crisis. But there’s nothing quite like throwing you back into it like a request from the Guardian for some home Wi-Fi tips!

You might not know this, but our Managing Director Steve set up Geekabit after years of having issues with Wi-Fi at his own home. He set to undertake as much education about Wi-Fi as possible, and uncover the myths of this surprisingly complex technology. Very few qualifications exist in this specialist area that aren’t provided by commercial vendors, and so it was necessary to go through a lot of online courses, and read extensive literature.

Geekabit were set up to be the UK’s No.1 dedicated specialist Wi-Fi consultancy. We are the educated, experienced and expert voice for helping business with solving Wi-Fi issues, not just for home and business premises, but outdoor events as well such as Glastonbury Festival.

So don’t just sit twiddling your thumbs waiting for your Wi-Fi to be better! Before we get into the nitty gritty Wi-Fi bits, here are Steve’s quick top tips:

  1. Check if it’s a Wi-Fi or a Broadband issue by plugging in
  2. Change the frequency band
  3. Change the Channel, especially in built up residential areas
  4. Place the router centrally, as high as possible
  5. Remove older devices from your network.

If you want some more in-depth advice advice, read on. Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions when it comes to home Wi-Fi.


  1. Is it a Wi-Fi or Broadband Issue?

First you need to define whether a problem is a Wi-Fi issue or a Broadband issue. The little box that your supplier provides includes a broadband modem and all the equipment needed to provide a Wi-Fi signal throughout your house or business. So people often get confused about whether it’s a broadband issue (any issue causing a connection problem coming into your house), or whether it’s a true Wi-Fi problem related to the connection between the antenna’s inside your router and each of your devices.

To see whether the issue is a Wi-Fi one or with your Broadband connection, start by plugging in your devices using the ethernet ports on the back of your router. If the problem goes away, then you know it’s most likely related to Wi-Fi.


  1. Don’t block it.

Most people hide their Wi-Fi router in the corner, often because the telephone connection point is in the corner. They are choosing to make the signal and speed between their devices and their router worse by physically blocking it, with cupboards, TV’s, mirrors. The magical Wi-Fi signal is a set of radio waves like any other, and when it gets interrupted, we can’t expect it to still be at its optimum.

Think of a Wi-Fi signal like any kind of wave at the seaside. When it hits something, the wave of water gets deflected, reflected and bounces off in a different direction. Every time you put something in the way, you’re making it more difficult for the signal to reach its destination. Thick brick walls, pipes, bodies of water, many people in a small space, can all cause an issue.

Your router is designed to provide a signal 360 degrees around it relatively evenly. So placing it in the corner often wastes 50% of the potential coverage.

The best place to put a router is in the middle of the home, and high up as possible to get the best coverage for the antennas sat inside it.


  1. It’s a competition between two.

Your Wi-Fi signal is in huge amounts of competition with other devices that can work on the same frequency bands. Commonly, signals can get worse near a kitchen because of microwaves. Underfloor heating controllers, gaming controllers can all cause trouble on the busy 2.4GHz frequency band.

Many Wi-Fi routers send out signals on two different frequency bands – 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 2.4GHz is heavily congested, but signals travel much further than the quieter 5GHz frequency band. Sometimes your Wi-Fi router combines these and tries to figure it out under one name, so you would never know. If you can separate these, and always choose 5GHz frequency band, it can make a huge difference.

In heavily built up residential areas, this can make the biggest difference, as there are lots of Wi-Fi routers sending out signals in the same space, mainly using 2.4GHz frequency band.


  1. Change the Channel.

On each of these frequency bands, they are made up of Channels, and you can choose to manually pick which channel to use inside your Wi-Fi router. Modern routers are designed to listen out to all the other Wi-Fi signals they can hear, and choose the quietest channel. You always want the quietest, with less competition for other signals. Quite often your router will allow you to do a scan of the wireless environment and tell you which is the quietest.

In a built up area, you can often have tens of routers all constantly scanning and trying to find the quietest channel, hopping around all over the place. When they move around, they can sometimes drop all the users off for a short period of time, so suddenly the Wi-Fi disappears, and comes back straight after. But at that moment, it could be the time when you’re trying to load up something on the internet, and it just gives up. Choosing the channel manually stops this.

Wi-Fi works quite simply. Say you have a phone. It sends a broadcast to the Wi-Fi router. If there is something else it can hear on that channel, it has to stop broadcasting. It then waits a little while, and we are talking milliseconds, and then tries again. If there’s other Wi-Fi devices on the channels close to the one you’re using, then the whole network will slow down to the device which is communicating slowest, based on Wi-Fi standards. So older devices could be slowing down your network speed, or perhaps older devices in your neighbour’s house!

On the back of your router, there are usually instructions on how to navigate to the router admin area.


  1. The radar effect

When using the 5GHz frequency band for your Wi-Fi signal, be careful of a set of channels, which are marked as “DFS”. These channels are reserved for radar use usually, and Wi-Fi signals can use them the rest of the time. They happily broadcast a Wi-Fi signal, but as soon as they hear a radar, they have to go quiet. So if you live near an airport, or close to marinas, this could be the issue. But most Wi-Fi routers do their best to not select these channels automatically.

The DFS channels are numbered between 52-64 and 100-140 in Europe in the 5GHz frequency band.


  1. Don’t just add more routers

The common thing people try is to add more Wi-Fi routers, extenders and access points if there is a slow network or they are struggling to get a signal. But these need to be setup properly in order to be beneficial. Adding more Wi-Fi communication to the same channels and frequency bands has the potential to be slowing down your network even more. You could be making the problem worse.

Wi-Fi extenders take the signal which they can hear, and then re-broadcast it. if the initial signal they are hearing isn’t particularly good, then they can only re-broadcast this bad signal. So in many ways they can’t make much of a positive difference.


Well, it feels good to be back – Keep an eye on the blog for lots more expert Wi-Fi advice and top tips coming soon! And if you need some help with your business or home Wi-Fi get in touch with us today.

Simple and Secure Management of your Wi-Fi Network Access

There seems to be a common misconception that you can use WPA Personal (what you would use on your home network) in a business environment, especially if it’s a small business with less than 500 employees. What’s the issue? You have a password, you use it to connect, safe and secure right?

Not necessarily.

Imagine your office is in a shared building. You have someone, let’s call him Bob, come in for an interview but their presentation is saved in their emails, so you give them your network password and they connect. The interviews for the day finish, and unfortunately Bob doesn’t get the job.

3 months later Bob goes for another interview in the office next door to yours. Their network is down and he can’t access his presentation – So he tried his luck, and hey presto, your password is still the same! He connects to your network using the password you previously gave him, delivers his presentation and gets the job (let’s give this a happy ending!).

Now, this is all fine, assuming that Bob is not feeling malicious about not getting the job, and only wants to use your connection for legitimate reasons. But what if he wasn’t so amenable?

It’s important to take steps to simply and securely manage your Wi-Fi network.


Wi-Fi Present Access:

Whether it’s an internal employee or someone that isn’t always present in the business (a salesperson, consultant, delivery person, security guard etc) – Whoever is connecting to the network, needs to be able to do so as automatically (and securely) as possible. We’re not advocating making it inconvenient just for the sake of it – But sensible means to protect your network. There are a wide range of issues that administrators regularly face when trying to control the who, what, when and how of Wi-Fi access – But there are systems out there that can help make all of this simple.


WiFi Previous Access:

Imagine someone like an ex-employee who hasn’t been in your office for over a year can still automatically connect to the company’s Wi-Fi network from a nearby area. Not a nice thought to think about them having the means to have a little mooch around your network without you having any type of control over what they’re doing. Another way of putting it – You pop out the house leaving the keys in the front door, and a passer-by let’s themselves in.  This type of lack of control in a corporate network is not acceptable. It’s often blamed on the insecurity of the Wi-Fi network itself, but actually goes back to what we said earlier about using WPA Personal in a corporate environment. This really needs to be a thing of the past, but shockingly seems to actually be the majority of what businesses, particularly small ones, use.

Why is that then? Perhaps this is due to WPA Personal being seemingly easier to deploy on a network. How many offices can you think of where the SSID and password are stuck up on the wall for all to see?  Sounds nice and easy – Everyone can connect when they need to!

But what about the security risks? Our earlier example with the interviewee could be very different – Someone with access to your network for non-professional purposes and malicious intent would not be good.

Instead, you could use WPA Enterprise (this is nothing new, it’s been around more than a decade) and increase the security of your company network. With features such as dynamic VLAN assignation, AAA management via RADIUS, authentication against a user database, and many others, it could be the best solution for securing your business Wi-Fi network.


Improving the security of Wi-Fi network access

This whole thing doesn’t have to be a headache. Available on the market, there are systems for automating WPA Enterprise to easily manage the internet access of employees, subcontractors and visitors on your Wi-Fi network.

Using one of these systems, you can establish different access policies for certain users, groups of users, device operating systems and even periods of time. You can also monitor and control the connections on your Wi-Fi, as well as attempted connections.

Is your Wi-Fi network security up to scratch? It’s worth thinking about.


Best Practice Guide to Setting Up Multiple Wireless Access Points On The Same Network

Best Practice Guide to Setting Up Multiple Wireless Access Points On The Same Network

Creating a solution to your Wi-Fi woes or making an even bigger mess? You might think that covering a large area with Wi-Fi is as simple as just popping wireless routers on every floor, but it’s not as straight forward as that unfortunately.

Having too many or overlapping access points can create just as many issues as not having enough AP’s on your network. When you are deploying multiple wireless access points on the same network, there are some rules you need to be following – Luckily for you that’s what this Best Practice Guide is here for!

First things first – You need to consider the building materials around you and how they can affect Wi-Fi.

There are various and many structures that can weaken, disrupt and cause negative internet experiences when it comes to Wi-Fi signals. Walls, stairs, lifts, wood, water – There are a multitude of factors that can negatively impact your Wi-Fi network.

  1. Glass
    Glass is a bit of an ‘in thing’ when it comes to more modern workspaces. Plenty of natural light and open, airy offices. Unfortunately, whilst this looks pretty good, it doesn’t lend itself well to Wi-Fi signals. A standard clear window can reduce signal strength by -4db (decibels relative to a milliwatt). This number increases if the windows are double glazed, or even triple. Treatments on the glass such as insulation or light deflection can also have negative effects. This might not sound like a lot, but if you were to be attempting a video conference over Wi-Fi in your glass-walled meeting room with already weak Wi-Fi signals, that -4db reduction could cause some big problems.
  2. Plasterboard and Insulation

Most walls are made of plasterboard which thankfully won’t cause you too many problems in itself (only a loss of about -2db). However, with most plasterboard walls come foam insulation, metal wiring or other structures inbetween which can cause a reduction in signal strength.

  1. Wood

Older office buildings, and indeed the majority of homes are made from a wooden framework. You’ll also find it throughout buildings, used for flooring, doors and furniture. Wood is perhaps one of the lesser known materials for affecting Wi-Fi aside from the more obvious ones, but it can have a big effect on Wi-Fi signal strength by reducing it by as much as -6db. This figure will of course only get worse, depending on the thickness of the wood, as well as its water content – Some wooden structures could cause a reduction of -20db.

  1. Brick Wall

Even just one brick wall will cause you problems. Due to the dense and thick nature of brick, having a wall between an access point and the end user could render the Wi-Fi unusable. Exacerbated further by the mortar holding it all together, you could see a reduction in Wi-Fi signal of -28db.

  1. Metal

A lot of modern commercial buildings, often used for offices, are made of metal building materials. Unfortunately, metal and cellular signals are not friends, making metal another enemy of Wi-Fi. This is one of the most important elements to consider when planning your network – Overlook this and you could be looking at a reduction in signal of -50db. That’s not good for a business environment relying on Wi-Fi to work! Metal can really obstruct Wi-Fi signals and create dead zones so it’s a must to take into the account any metal structures when planning a network and where to place Access Points.


You might be wondering how to go about all this. One way is to download one of many free apps (Wi-Fi or network analysers). These apps can measure the strength of your Wi-Fi signal as you move around your home or office.

To understand the effects of the structures around you, you can start next to an access point, and then slowly move around the building, past walls and structures that could cause issues.

Wi-Fi signal strength is measured in milliwatts but due to the large numbers can get extremely complex. An alternative is to use dBm (decibels relative to milliwatt). Excellent Wi-Fi signal strength would equate to -30 (a high dBm) with a dead zone being at the lowest of -120 dBm. Ideally, you need your Wi-Fi to be measuring between -60 and -40 dBm.


Unfortunately, even in an ideal environment with no obstructions in the form of the structures mentioned earlier, there are still things that can have a negative impact on your wireless network performance that will mean you will need to set up multiple AP’s.

  1. Interference from Nearby Networks

If you have another Wi-Fi network nearby, the signal from this and other access points can cause interference, negatively impacting the performance of your network. Any access points on the same channel can cause dropped connections or lost packets while the internet is being used.

  1. Densely Populated Areas

Unfortunately, not all access points are made for densely populated areas. We may not be a structure, but human bodies (being made up mostly of water) are awful when it comes to Wi-Fi signals. Radio signals and water are not friends. In an area such as an open office where there are lots of bodies in one place, you will need multiple access points to ensure that signals can spread properly and that the required capacities can be supported.


A Best Practice Guide for Multiple Wireless Access Points

It’s pretty clear from our points above that there are many reasons why you may need to set up multiple wireless access points on the same network. You could save yourself a potential headache and get the experts in to do the job for you (that’s us here at Geekabit – Hi!) but if this is a project you want to do yourself then here are our top tips for you to follow.

  1. Conduct a wireless site survey before setting up your Wi-Fi

We really can’t stress enough how important this step is! Don’t miss it out. It is so important to carry out a Wireless Site Survey as it will give you a clear plan, indicating where to mount your access points. There is really no room for guesswork when it comes to this, if you want a reliable network.  Not only does it help with placement of AP’s, but it can also shed light on how best to configure your access points for their optimal performance. Don’t create issues further down the line by skipping the site survey.  If you’re not sure where to start, look up our blogs on Site Surveys or get in touch with one of our Wi-Fi experts directly.

  1. Placement

Thanks to the Wireless Site Survey you’ve done, you should have all the information you need to decide the best locations to place your access points.

If you’ve opted not to go with a site survey, then the old method of just ‘winging it’ had a general rule of thumb of putting access points in the middle of each room where you need WI-Fi. Far be it for us to say that this way won’t work, but it’s probably not the smartest way to install access points. If your business is heavily reliant on WI-Fi for day to day business operations, then we would strongly recommend carrying out a site survey, and using the information you find to place the access points in the optimal positions.

One of the mitigating factors we mentioned above was high density, so a good place to start would be to place access points in the areas where it will be used the most. These areas will require stonger Wi-Fi signals so should be addressed first. Once you’ve got this covered, you can then look at the remaining areas where wireless coverage might not be as important. In this approach, you’re favouring capacity over coverage which seems to be the current trend for network installations.

  1. Ethernet Cables Keep ethernet cable under 328 feet when connecting access points

So you’ve carried out your site survey, planned where to put your access points – Now you need to check that you can run Cat5 or Cat6 ethernet cables between access points without exceeding 328 feet. The reason for this is anything over this length could cause the dropping of packets which will end up negatively impacting wireless internet performance. If you ask most wireless networking professionals or engineers, you’ll find that they usually limit cables to 300 feet, giving them room for patching.

Need to go further than 328 feet? Don’t despair! You’ll need to use an active component, for example a small (inexpensive) switch that you can place somewhere before 300 feet. This will allow you to extend the cable by another 328 feet without issues.

In some situations, you may need to run the cable for a much longer distance. In these cases, you might want to consider using fibre optic cable – These can be run for several miles in some instances!

Top Tip: Review the costs before carrying it out! Cable runs over big distances can prove pricey, so don’t get any nasty surprises.

  1. Indoor / Outdoor

Do you need any access points to be outside? If so, make sure you choose the appropriate outdoor access points to get the right coverage. Of course, depending on structure and placement, your indoor access points might provide some coverage outdoors but it’s definitely worth checking where you need coverage and whether you’ll need some additional outdoor access points. The great thing about outdoor access points are their ability to withstand the weather and difference in temperatures (pretty important here in Britain!).

If you’re not just covering an office environment, you might find yourself needing to use an outdoor access point inside. For example, a refrigerated warehouse with cold temperatures would benefit from these. They are also condensation resistant and have internal heaters so are able to function where an indoor one would fail.

  1. Manage Your Access Points with a Controller

You can get various versions of wireless access point controllers. Some are physically on site where your actual access points are deployed, but you can also get cloud-based controllers which you can use to manage multiple access points across different locations. Access points themselves can also host controller software.

Whichever controller you choose, the benefits are that you can use one interface to control all of your grouped access points. You will also be able to give all access points one SSIS and password, meaning you don’t have to join different networks when you’re moving between different rooms or floors.

Using a controller will give you much more control over your network, keeping it all in order. You will be able to utilise automatic channel management and seamless roaming, which is vital whn setting up multiple access points on the same network.

  1. Channel Choice

If you want excellent wireless coverage, then proper channel selection is essential. Luckily, you’ve heeded the advice above and opted for a controller which in most cases will choose the correct channel for your access points.

When you are deploying multiple access points on the same network, there is the potential for neighbouring access points to overlap. This will only cause a problem if they are on the same channel – If you don’t use non-overlapping channels then the access points will interfere with each other, causing packet loss during browsing which will result in a negative Wi-Fi experience for the end user.

If you have a high-density network then you’ll need to use the 5GHz band. It offers much more selection when it comes to non-overlapping channels and hence tends to be the favourite when installing networks for high-density wireless deployments using multiple access points. The 2.4 GHz band is rarely used for this type of network due to it only having 11 channels which only provides 3 that don’t overlap (1, 6 and 11).

  1. Power Settings

You’ll need to bear in mind the coverage area that your access point needs to cover and thus what the power settings need to be in order to function well. For example, if coverage cells are too large then they may then overlap each other, which could cause a device to stay with one access point further away when it could get a better signal from one closer. Obviously you don’t want roaming issues such as this!

Again we find ourselves coming back to the controller – This will likely control the power levels of the access points automatically. In some higher density deployments, you may need to intervene and perform manual power selection. And, once again, you’ll be needing the information gleaned from the site survey to inform your choices here and tune the access points for optimum use in your unique network.


Bit of a lengthy read but if you made it to the end, there’s a good chance you’re ready to go and deploy an efficient wireless network with perfectly placed multiple access points. If you’re not feeling confident, then you’re still in the right place – We’re the Wi-Fi experts and can help with site surveys, network design and installation, just get in touch!


When Should I Use an Ethernet Cable?

You know we love Wi-Fi (it’s probably pretty obvious how much) but there are occasions when there is actually a better way to connect to the internet… Shock horror! What is this blasphemy? Well, ethernet cables.

Picture a time before we had Wi-Fi (if you’re old enough). Fighting between the computer and the phone line, the sound of the modem dialling up, the plodding speed. Are you on that t’internet yet? (Peter Kay fans, that one’s for you).

We automatically just opt for Wi-Fi now and connect without being conscious of it. Connecting via cable is probably not something you would ever consider. We’re now in an age where we can connect to the internet pretty much anywhere in our house, stream HD video, play online games, the list goes on.

But what if the signal strength isn’t good enough for any of that? You might not realise it, but wired internet is still a thing, and there are situations when it might be better to go back to the old fashioned way. The fact is, that actually for just about anything a wired connection would be better – Sometimes very subtly, and other times radically.

Just because Wi-Fi has come along and revolutionised how we use the internet, doesn’t mean we have to use it all the time for everything. So here are some reasons why ethernet could be better than Wi-Fi.

  • Inconsistency – There is an entire industry devoted to combatting inconsistent Wi-Fi through additional devices. The signal from your router could be blocked or interfered with by so many factors including thick walls, metal objects, water, microwaves and other common household items. This unfortunately means that your house or workplace could have dead spots or areas where the connection runs very slow. Annoying if you’re trying to stream Netflix, and not very productive if you’ve got a workforce relying on it for work.
  • Signal Drops and High Latency – Depending what you’re using the internet for, this may not be very noticeable, but Wi-Fi is more prone to signal drops and high latency. If you’re using the wireless connection for playing online games then this would be causing you problems, but less so if all you’re doing is having a leisurely scroll.
  • Connection Speed – By no means least is the speed itself – Possibly one of the most frustrating things when it comes to bad Wi-Fi. Wired connections are always going to be faster – You may have a very good connection speed in your home or workplace, but the bottom line is it could be 2 or 3 times faster if you plug in an ethernet cable.
So when should you use a cabled connection?

We said earlier about how it could be a very subtle difference – In which case it’s maybe not worth putting in cables. But in the more radically different cases where an ethernet cable could bring internet access to a dead zone or reduce latency during online gaming, a wired connection could just be your knight in shining armour.

For most, A Wi-Fi connection is perfectly suitable – browsing the web, scrolling social media, answering work emails, watching non-4K video streaming will likely be unaffected by the potential drawbacks of Wi-Fi.

For those streaming 4K videos (rather than the default 1080p), people who frequently need to download large files or those that play online video games, a wired connection should be a very real consideration.

In the online gaming scenario – Do you want to be the person ruining someone else’s gaming experience because of latency problems? A wired connection could drastically reduce this problem – And you wouldn’t be the only gamer happy about it!

A general rule of thumb would be to wire up devices that stay in one place. If they don’t need to move about, then there’s no reason not to wire them up. If it’s something that you move around a lot – Like a laptop – Then leave it connected to Wi-Fi.

You might be thinking it’s all very well us telling you to cable up more of your devices, but many of them don’t actually support that connection. Why?

Possibly because in general, Wi-Fi is good enough for the job. We all rely heavily on Wi-Fi and don’t tend to even think about a wired connection, so the market reflects that. But by only offering Wi-Fi compatible devices with no ethernet ports, they’re also dictating to us what we use.

There are devices you can buy relatively cheaply that you can use as adaptors, for example for streaming sticks, but if the Wi-Fi is good enough then why would you bother?

It also, like everything, comes down to money. Devices are easier and cheaper to manufacture if they’re just wireless enabled, rather than adding in additional ethernet ports that the majority of people likely wouldn’t think to use. This means the price of the product can also be cheaper, again making it the more popular choice in many cases. For example, the Amazon Fire Stick can be plugged straight into an HDMi port and you can be watching high-quality video streaming for less than fifty quid. An ethernet compatible alternative would be much more expensive.

The appeal to these little devices is also often their size, and as ethernet ports are rather big they don’t lend themselves well to streaming sticks.

You will however find ethernet compatibility with the Google Chromecast Ultra which is included by default.

Will 5G internet fix this problem?

There has been much hype about 5G internet and how it’s going to be a big step forward in mobile internet. The 5G revolution is starting, and wireless internet will be much, much faster than it already is.

However, it’s not properly here yet and it will take some time to be accessible everywhere. It’s going to take quite a bit of time before 5G is automatically the default, and even when it is, it doesn’t automatically mean the end for wired connections.

The issues with consistency and interference that we spoke about earlier could still be problems for 5G.

So in summary, there are certainly times when ethernet cables can be the best option and will work well, especially for stationary devices. But 9 times out of ten, people are going to choose wireless. ‘I’ll have one of them Wiffy’s! Two if they’re free!’*


*Another Peter Kay reference… The video’s here: