School’s have particular Wi-Fi needs; this is due to both the school’s curriculum and the operational needs of a school system. These school Wi-Fi connectivity requirements are unique to schools as education is entirely different from a business’s technical requirements.
The modern classroom is becoming more digital to increase student and teacher capabilities. This increase in digital learning means that unreliable school Wi-Fi is becoming a technical issue for slow school broadband.
What are the main issues with poor Wi-Fi in schools?
Some main reasons why schools are having connectivity issues are:
- Need More Access Points – Schools started with few wireless access points, as the demands for wireless devices was lower. Today there needs to be a wireless access point in almost every classroom and other key areas of the school like the library.
- Bad infrastructure – Infrastructure is a schools network, and having an insufficient infrastructure for your school’s needs can lead to issues. It includes the wireless access points, the firewall, size/bandwidth of your Internet pipe, and switches.
- Guest wireless is insecure – Guest users can include the mobile devices of staff and students or guest speakers devices. These can cause security issues if these devices are already infected with malware or viruses, potentially getting into the school’s entire network. Creating Access Control Lists and separating the guest network are ways to keep the school networks safe.
What is a Driver, and how does it affect the Wi-Fi connection?
A device driver is what lets the operating system communicate with specific computer hardware. When Device Drivers are outdated, it can cause intermittent wireless access. Having IT staff check the wireless device drivers and regularly updating them is essential to solving connectivity problems.
Something as seemingly simple as the Driver can cut access even when the wireless access points are nearby.
Budgeting for school Wi-Fi
When budgeting for school Wi-Fi equipment, you need to consider the vast range of options. It’s a balancing act of understanding the school’s needs, that you won’t need the most expensive equipment, but that you need to spend.
Thinking of it as an investment that will cut your long-term costs, as with the cheaper the equipment, you will likely need to do routine maintenance. Hundreds use school Wi-Fi, if not thousands of people daily, so finding the right equipment and budgeting for it is important.
The best ways to improve school Wi-Fi connectivity
Here are some tips on how to effectively enhance your schools’ Wi-Fi connectivity:
- Understand the Schools Needs – Check your requirements and do some research for suitable suppliers. Learn about both the hardware and software required to keep a safe and robust connection. Assess what the day-to-day activity requirements are. For example, will you need a Virtual Learning Environment or to run a school portal?
- Check MIMO access points – MIMO stands for Multiple In, Multiple Out. This technology can help boost your Wi-Fi via a kind of antenna, and it’s an affordable way to get the most out of your signal.
- Install Wi-Fi Boosters – A simple way of boosting your connection is with Wi-Fi Boosters. These signal repeaters are a quick fix for schools to get back up and running by adding more wireless routers.
What are some cloud-based school Wi-Fi solutions?
As businesses begin to integrate the Cloud into their daily operations, schools may benefit by following suit. The cloud offers data storage, computing power, streamlines the infrastructure and online software.
Schools adopting this have more efficient access to information and can reduce the need for existing Wi-Fi networks. Of course, it will come at an initial cost in both money and time moving your school into the cloud. But without the need for vigorous routine maintenance, it could be a great solution.
There are plenty of school cloud software solutions that don’t just help with connectivity. They can offer services to help update parent booking systems, save time on admin tasks, provide lesson plans, and much more.
Network Connectivity Consultant
Still unsure of your requirements or how to ensure good school Wi-Fi connectivity. Getting a network connectivity consultant is the best way to ensure the school has everything it needs. What they will do is:
- Identify weaknesses
- Install & upgrade software
- Optimise internet performance
- Ensure a secure network through testing
- Implement data backup
- Optimise network security
- Train staff
- Develop network infrastructure
Network consultants are trained in computer science and have a complete understanding of network technologies. They can help schools and all kinds of areas stay connected and fix any problems that arise. This will ensure you are getting the connectivity your students and staff need to focus on the learning experience rather than worry about the Wi-Fi challenges.
About Mustard IT, your secure school wifi partner
Mustard IT provide the design, build, installation and maintenance of secure IT servers and networks, can provide advice and assistance for secure school-based internet provision. Our trusted team are able to explain complex issues to you in a language you’ll understand. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.