8 Enterprise WiFi Shortcomings

Reliable WiFi is critical in today's enterprise, but the WiFi network can fall short. Here's a look at some of common problems with WiFi connectivity.

WiFi is no longer a "nice to have" option within enterprises -- it's now the primary form of connectivity for many users. While a wired Ethernet connection is generally faster and more reliable, it forces users to be tethered to their desks. Add to that the fact that smartphones, tablets, and many ultraportables are WiFi-only, and you begin to understand why enterprise WiFi is becoming such a critical part of the overall network infrastructure.

But even though your users may demand a reliable and easy-to-use wireless network, your IT department may not be able to deliver it. There are several reason for this. First, the wireless network may be poorly designed, not maintained properly, or simply in need of an overhaul. Second, policies and procedures surrounding how users and devices gain access to WiFi networks may be poorly written or completely absent, leaving users to figure them out for themselves. Finally, issues can stem from users expecting far more out of the WiFi network than the organization is willing to pay to give them.

In this slideshow, we'll look at eight common enterprise WiFi shortcomings that stem from one or more of the issues discussed above. So while some problems can be fixed by better procedures and/or documentation, others require complete overhauls of the current network in order to fix technical or architectural problems. But any way you look at it, they're all problems that need to be addressed. WiFi in the enterprise is still gaining in popularity, so enabling it should be a top priority.

Please click ahead to review our list of common WiFi weaknesses. If you'd like to add to our list or propose ways to reduce a nagging WiFi issue mentioned, we'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

(Image: Dean Drobot/iStockPhoto)

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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