Knowledge Base

Most of the time, business owners and property managers trust that their Internet Service Provider (ISP) or LTE provider is in fact providing the wireless service that was paid for—monthly or annually—and is willing to quickly rectify any service issues.

Unfortunately, though, this is often not the case—the wireless resolution process often begins with human complaint. Only when a team member complains about poorly performing service do you begin to investigate the issue. But without a solution that tells you how your Wi-Fi or cellular network is performing in multiple locations, you can’t get a full picture of your service.

So the question remains: how can you successfully manage multiple wireless locations without breaking a sweat—or the bank?

A Better Way to Manage Wireless

Aside from your ISP, the access point is the next logical place for you to check on your Wi-Fi performance. The major issue with relying on this one device, though, is that the access point cannot tell you how your service is performing in the end user’s location; instead, it only provides details on what bits and bytes are currently flowing through its system in the specific place where it’s located (such as an IT closet or the ceiling).

The challenge, then, is to find a device that can measure and monitor your service in multiple locations as well as work with legacy and multiple device types and brands . Even if your wireless service products span several companies, you should still be able to measure performance data and know what an end user’s device would experience when trying to connect to the network.

Interpreting the Data

Rather than needing to chase down your wireless performance metrics, you should be able to get your data delivered to you. Notably, this data can tell you many different things about your service, including the network performance, signal strength, signal quality , and so on. But the most important factor to focus on is the end user’s experience. The data you receive should communicate information such as how well the services and applications performed. Not just technical information about the network or the connection quality but end-to-end information about the quality of the experience. In other words, a good Wi-Fi or cellular monitoring device should measure and report on how well the wireless network delivered the services and experiences that users need to access. .

Final Thoughts

A traditional problem has been that monitoring systems can be costly and time consuming, especially if an engineer needs to come onsite to connect wiring in your building.
Epitiro offers wireless monitoring and measuring devices that allow you to track your service performance in multiple locations with ease. Our solutions enable you to simply plug the device into power at whatever location you want to monitor, and the data will automatically download to your dashboard. When you’re done with one location, you can easily unplug the device and move on to the next location.

Contact us today for more information about our cost-effective and easy-to-use wireless monitoring tools.

Often, the only way you’re made aware of poorly performing Wi-Fi or cellular network in your organization is when a frustrated employee or customer complains. Once you know more about the specific issue—such as if it takes too much time to load a web page or transfer a file via email—you can begin to investigate the problem. Unfortunately, though, without any quantifiable data, you can’t pinpoint what exactly needs to change. By relying on your access point and Internet Service Provider to give you information about your service, you’re missing an important part of wireless performance: your end users’ experience.

Why You Need Data on End-User Experience

For a comprehensive understanding of how your wireless service functions, you’ll need quantifiable data, including a baseline assessment, of how your Wi-Fi or cellular network performs in multiple locations during various times of the day. For example, you’ll want a measurement of how your service performs at the beginning of the workday, when your team members are trickling in and just beginning to log in. But you’ll also want a comparison during peak business hours, when all of your staff are performing tasks online.
This information can tell you several things, including the strength and quality of the network and radio signal. If you find that your Wi-Fi is having consistent issues in certain locations or at specific times of the day, you’ll now have the data you need in order to make appropriate adjustments to ensure that these issues don’t occur again.

Proactive Wireless Management

Proactive management is a critical part of ensuring optimal wireless performance. In this case, you’ll want to set up notifications if your throughput drops drops below a certain number for a period of time, for example. This way, you stay ahead of any possible complaints or issues.

Notably, this data can be compiled into an executive management report for your operations team’s reference. And sharing this information is incredibly easy when the data comes directly to your dashboard, rather than you needing to chase down the details on your own.

Staying Ahead of Wireless Issues

It’s always better to prevent a problem from occurring than to deal with its aftermath. By staying ahead of wireless performance issues, you won’t have to worry about receiving complaints from employees—because you’ll be one step ahead. Of course, you can’t expect to completely remove the human element of frustration—your service may always experience some hiccups. But with a comprehensive Wi-Fi or cellular monitoring tool, you can avoid dealing with bigger issues that would cost your organization time and money.

Epitiro helps wireless service providers and customers better understand how their networks and services perform. Our solutions measure and benchmark wireless networks to enable better wireless and business performance. Contact us today for more information about our monitoring tools—so you can take charge of your wireless performance and stay ahead of customer complaints.

Good, consistent wireless performance is the expectation in all locations, including busy venues like airports, concert halls, and professional sports stadiums. Many users experience slow service when a large number of devices are trying to connect to the Wi-Fi. Network performance monitoring gives you the ability to glean valuable information from consumer usage trends, allowing you to anticipate system overloads and resolve issues before they arise.

Ongoing Fluctuations in Network Access

The demands on the system of a busy venue are highly varied over time. Early morning may only see a few people connected to the network, but in an hour, that could change to hundreds. This constant fluctuation leads to high volatility, making service unreliable.

Network usage is both a capacity and environmental issue. In regard to capacity, too many people trying to connect to the Wi-Fi can overwhelm the system, and for the environment, the system is only as strong as its weakest link. In that case, your equipment may need to be upgraded.

Wireless Coverage as Related to Business

Most modern businesses run their applications over Wi-Fi, including basic communications like email and other business critical functions. An organization’s level of productivity depends on the speed and consistency of your Wi-Fi; if your Wi-Fi is performing poorly, business operations are directly impacted. For example, airlines may not be able to check in passengers as quickly without Internet access, leading to massive delays and frustrated customers.

The Best Way to Monitor Network Performance

One of the best ways to monitor network performance in busy venues is by sampling the service during low usage periods and peak times. Try experiencing these situations from the user’s point of view–stream a video, send a text message, place a phone call… You will very quickly see how well your service is performing after those exercises.

Notably, tasks may respond differently during high traffic times depending on the amount of bandwidth required. Services with high bandwidth, such as video streaming, will be the first to lag.

A network monitoring system will give you insight into the quality of service over time, key performance indicators, as well as how the Wi-Fi responds during high traffic times. Based on those metrics, you could determine if you need to provide higher capacity for certain locations during different times of the day.

Avoid Catastrophe

Ultimately, you need to know how your network performs at moments of peak stress. Most tend to fail catastrophically, so it’s important to make sure that when you’re testing your network’s capacity, you’re at the upper limits so you can make the appropriate adjustments. Essentially, you’re looking to answer the question: is the service I’m providing sufficient, and if not, how do I improve it?

If you missed it, take a look at the best practices for monitoring network performance.

Contact us today to better understand and optimize the performance of your wireless service.

Over the last decade, WiFi has been driving the efficiency and flexibility of administrative tasks in the healthcare setting, ranging from patient check-ins to medical data collection and even treatment plan coordination. Now, a variety of applications in hospitals rely on WiFi, including smart beds, oxygen monitoring devices, x-rays, and MRIs.

If WiFi slows down or stops working in a healthcare setting, there are three potential impacts:

  • From a customer service perspective, patients cannot use WiFi to communicate with family or friends or to entertain themselves while waiting for care.
  • From a business perspective, administrative staff or nurses cannot communicate patient information.
  • From a treatment perspective, patient care may be delayed.

Given the critical nature of information sharing in a hospital, the speed, quality, and consistency of your WiFi matters–which is why you need to be monitoring it.

For Physicians & Administrators

WiFi is key for information delivery among physicians—about patients, treatments, and any related research. These often comprise the highest priority communication in any hospital. Although not all systems depend on WiFi, any technology that does could impede both business operations and patient care if it does not operate reliably.

For administrative staff, WiFi is used like any other IT service. In this case, WiFi speed affects business operations, and it also hampers the staff’s ability to communicate with physicians.

Certain WiFi systems boast faster speeds and an increased capability to transmit large amounts of data without bogging down the wireless connection. If possible, we suggest discussing this upgrade with your Internet Service Provider so that a network outage will not cripple your hospital operations.

For Patients

During their stay, patients and visitors can connect to a guest network. However, the sheer number of devices connecting to this network put excessive strain on it. For example, patients and their visitors may be streaming videos or games while waiting for care. These activities not only limit other guests’ access to the network, but they can also create a headache for your IT department and even drive up the costs of maintaining your network.

Guest networks in healthcare must be treated differently than the main wireless network used for hospital operations. We recommend restricting your guest network’s bandwidth. It’s also smart to prevent streaming and other high-bandwidth activities.

Measuring WiFi

Understanding the capacity of your WiFi is paramount, especially in a hospital setting. Unless you monitor your WiFi to see how it responds to varying high-stress scenarios, it’s impossible to predict when it will break. Your hospital needs to be ahead of that potential disaster and understand what remedial action you will take if the network load exceeds capacity.

A hospital is one of the most demanding environments on WiFi—if not the most. This is because the structure, size, and age of hospital buildings aren’t designed for open WiFi access, so radio signals don’t go very far. When you consider the amount of other industrial and electronic equipment, hospitals are truly a hostile environment for WiFi networks. Regardless of the challenges this environment poses, good and consistent WiFi coverage is essential for all healthcare settings, especially hospitals.

Contact us today to better understand and optimize the performance of your wireless service.

Network performance monitoring is an overlooked way to assess how well and how consistently your Wi-Fi is acting. Whether you’ve just begun or you want to implement a solution, consider the following dos and don’ts for monitoring your network performance.

The Dos

  1. Do keep it simple. “It” being the monitoring system; if it is complicated, no one will really use it. Monitoring systems should also be affordable–the cost of monitoring should not be more expensive than the cost of supplying the system.
  2. Do understand that the ultimate goal of network performance monitoring is to provide a good, consistent user experience. Information on service performance is collected to give an overall picture, including benchmarks and fluctuations, of the kind of user experience your network is providing. From there, you can look at how to address any relevant issues as well as what steps you need to take to improve user experience.
  3. Do keep in mind that the metrics of network performance monitoring have two directions:
  • Communication with stakeholders, users, and partners to show them how well the network and service performs over time.
  • Technical monitoring that runs the service up to its limits and solves capacity problems.

Both of these are points of information that you want to regularly monitor in case of pushback from stakeholders or future issues in the service.

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t flood the system with false alarms. While it’s important to establish benchmarks and understand your thresholds, you can curate the information so you get a few meaningful alerts rather than endless interactions (and risk missing an important alarm in all of that noise).
  2. Don’t overdo monitoring to the point where it affects performance. You want to be a non-impactful observer, not a heavy user, who records relevant information.
  3. Don’t use a complaints driven model to monitor the system. If a problem occurs and you react to it in the moment, the process for resolving the issue can be costly and time consuming. By contrast, if you actively monitor your network performance, you have the opportunity to actively resolve your network performance issues before they can affect your service.

Final Thoughts

The last point worth discussing is this: don’t rely on the fox to guard the henhouse. In other words, don’t rely on the person providing your service to tell you how good to it is; actively ensure that your service provider is meeting the standards of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and hold them accountable.

Network performance monitoring gives you insight into how well your organization’s service is performing over time and helps you decide if a future investment is needed. The keys are to keep monitoring simple; be proactive about potential issues rather than reactive; and ensure that your SLA is being met.

For more information on the dos and don’ts of network performance monitoring, please contact us today.

If you’ve checked out our other articles in the Knowledge Base, you’re already aware that monitoring your Wi-Fi performance is an essential component for businesses looking to provide reliable, connected services for their employees. Once you have the monitoring system installed and ready to go, how do you translate the raw data that you collect into actionable information?

Let’s take a closer look at what your Wi-Fi performance metrics are really telling you.

What is Being Measured

  • How specific applications perform
  • The speed of the network
  • The amount of bandwidth available
  • The ability to stream video without interruption
  • The amount of time it takes to transfer a file from a device to the cloud and vice versa

Basically, you’re looking at how each application is impacted by the quality of service available, and how well the Wi-Fi performs when being used for different types of applications.

Why is This Information Important to Know?

Knowing and understanding what your Wi-Fi performance metrics are telling you is key to understanding and managing how services perform. Since your business operations are dependent on the successful use of applications, any bottlenecks or interruptions to connectivity would slow down your business.

Further, having quantifiable data helps in cases where employees complain about your company’s Wi-Fi performance. This data gives you an objective view that can help you support, or refute, their claims regarding service quality.

By opting to not monitor your Wi-Fi performance, you risk your business performance. This can be particularly costly if you’re providing connectivity services directly to customers or if your business relies on transactions delivered over your Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi is not meeting the expected standard or your service provider is not delivering to their Service Level Agreement, you are not only paying for services you’re not receiving, but you’re also likely losing business advantage to your competition.

Establishing Benchmarks

Data becomes more insightful over time, especially once you establish benchmarks of performance. Benchmarks are used as a reference point to compare current data points to historical data sets; they are statistically valid and collected over a period of time; they can also help you determine if or where your Wi-Fi is over- or under-performing.

Final Thoughts

In business, it’s critical to be able to test and measure your Wi-Fi across different applications because a single metric or two may not paint the whole picture of the overall performance of service. A complete suite of Wi-Fi monitoring tests provides a variety of metrics like network quality, application use quality, and radio environment; capturing all three of these dimensions can help you manage your business, understand your relative performance, and provide you with a competitive advantage.

All modern businesses run their applications over Wi-Fi. From basic communications like email and messenger services to cloud based applications like CRMs and other business critical functions, your organization’s level of productivity depends on the speed and consistency of your Wi-Fi. If your Wi-Fi performs poorly, slowing down or even stopping, business operations are directly impacted.

Poor Wi-Fi Performance = A Lack of Efficiency

Consider this: the average employee has at least two to four devices connected to the company Wi-Fi, such as laptops, cell phones, and tablets. Each device is performing a different task (for example, writing code on your laptop and testing how it looks on your phone). Poor performing Wi-Fi leads to a slow down or complete stoppage of work being produced; it also leads to time being wasted trying to repeat tasks and troubleshoot–rebooting your computer and calling IT. This results in frustrated and unmotivated employees that perpetuates the cycle of reduced productivity.

In addition to disgruntled employees, every hour of reduced productivity has a direct effect on revenue earned by your organization. For example, say you’re doing an online presentation to a prospect, but the Wi-Fi is performing poorly–the presentation keeps buffering and the prospect can’t hear you or see your screen. Even if you were prepared in every other regard, the presentation will have left a bad impression of your company, thus affecting the ability to close this deal.

A Solution to Ensure Working Wi-Fi

High-performing Wi-Fi with good, consistent coverage is the goal for all businesses. But what steps can you take to ensure this coverage, beyond a subjective assessment of “I think I have good coverage”?

The best way to ensure your Wi-Fi provides good, consistent coverage is to have an objective, quantified way to test and measure Wi-Fi performance from the perspective of end users in an automated fashion. Furthermore, you want to be in the know–constantly testing and looking for areas where Wi-Fi performance is not up to your benchmarks.

However, the only way to develop benchmarks is to have a history of Wi-Fi performance metrics that ensures consistent coverage and good performance around the clock. From there, if you experience poor performance, you can quickly identify the location of the issue, which leads you to the source of the service impact.

Final Thoughts

In the end, poor performing Wi-Fi will directly correlate with the performance of your business as a whole. The best way to get handle on your Wi-Fi is to measure it and have an understanding of to what degree poor service is affecting your business.

For more information about how Epitiro can assist in monitoring your Wi-Fi performance metrics, please reach out to us today!

Wi-Fi is essential for organizations of all industries and sizes. For example, mission critical businesses like hospitals rely on Internet connectivity to help make life or death decisions; corporations rely on Wi-Fi to communicate with team members and accomplish their daily tasks.

It’s important to know and understand how your Wi-Fi performs against similar or competitive businesses (and for your own benchmarking purposes); otherwise, the consequences for your business (or for the people in your organization) may be severe.

Here are four reasons you should monitor your Wi-Fi performance.

1. Get What You’re Paying For

Perhaps the most convincing argument for monitoring your Wi-Fi performance is the ability to hold your Internet Service Provider (ISP) accountable to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) you signed. If it’s not up to par, thanks to your monitoring efforts, you’ll have quantitative data that you can bring to your ISP to get the problem rectified. After all, no one likes paying for a service that they don’t receive, especially when it’s part of an important business cost.

2. Learn What Standards to Expect

Monitoring your Wi-Fi performance allows you to quickly learn what good service is, what it isn’t, and what standards of performance to expect. Among other insights, you’re also able to answer the following questions:

  • Has something changed on my network?
  • Is my Wi-Fi performance getting better or worse?
  • What time do I experience performance problems?
  • Is my performance consistent?
  • What can be improved upon?

The goal of Wi-Fi monitoring is to ensure that your Internet service is good and consistent–consistent being key–and that SLAs are being met. If your Wi-Fi performance has been up to par, that level of service becomes the expectation–and you want to maintain those expectations.

Another perk of Wi-Fi monitoring is that you’re able to learn what your capacity limits are, so you can make changes to your service based on that information. If you anticipate a larger than normal crowd at your organization, you can easily adjust the level of service to accommodate everyone.

3. Don’t Stay in the Dark

If you don’t regularly monitor your Wi-Fi performance, resolving any potential problems may prove to be costly and time consuming. Rather than being proactive, you’ll be reacting to the issue in a time-critical and expensive way while your employees go without service. But if you opt to monitor your Wi-Fi performance, you will know what the issue is ahead of outages or complaints, potentially resolving issues before they become problematic

4. Earn a Massive ROI

The modest investment that comes with monitoring your Wi-Fi can reduce significant business costs that you may incur due to poor and inconsistent service; as a result, this produces a significant ROI.

Because the point is this: you’re running a business where Wi-Fi is critical to the efficiencies of the operations and to your brand. Because you’re able to monitor your Wi-Fi service, you’re able to be proactive about potential issues, which ultimately helps your organization.

For more information on how Epitiro can provide Wi-Fi performance management solutions for your business, contact us today.

In recent years, Wi-Fi has become an essential part of our everyday experience. We’ve come to expect Internet connectivity in every space we encounter–from professional sports stadiums to hospitals and schools.

In business, Wi-Fi should be regarded as one of your most important services. For example, if your business is in higher education, your students need connectivity to take notes and complete assignments. If you’re in the hospitality industry, such as a hotel or a restaurant, high quality Wi-Fi is essential for you, your staff, and your customers.

That said, chances are you already provide Wi-Fi in your organization; let’s review what Wi-Fi performance management is and how it works.

Wi-Fi Performance Management Defined

Wi-Fi performance management ensures that the Wi-Fi is available, operating, and performing at its expected level at all times and under all conditions (expected level being, at the bare minimum, the level of coverage and performance that you paid for in your Service Level Agreement).

Monitoring Wi-Fi is a proactive action rather than a reactive one; it allows you to be aware of your Internet performance and connectivity to ensure consistency and satisfaction. If you opt not to monitor your Wi-Fi and an issue occurs, your business may have to stop operations, and you will be at the mercy of those you need to fix the problem.

What’s Being Monitored

What’s being monitored can be broken down into four key categories:

1. The Physical Infrastructure. This includes Wi-Fi Access Points, routers and switches, and connected devices like phones, printers, and point of sales equipment. Typically, the power and connected state of each piece of equipment will be monitored to see if it is alive, connected, and functioning.

2. The Radio Environment. The radio environment determines the strength of the radio frequency (RF) signal level or power received by the equipment, the RF interference in the system, and the RF bandwidth. Notably, a Wi-Fi system’s radio environment can change significantly from moment to moment due to the amount of traffic on the network, the presence of other cell phones, and even the operation of microwave ovens!

3. Network Connectivity. Network connectivity tells you if you can connect to the Internet or to the person, service, or device that you need. In certain cases, the equipment might be on and the Wi-Fi radio might be working, but you may not be able to get to your service. It’s possible that if the network settings and addresses are not configured correctly, the information you send will go to the wrong place, and service will not be available. A good monitoring solution will regularly check the systems, registers, and settings to ensure continued connectivity.

4. Quality of Services. Wi-Fi allows you to complete many tasks: making phone calls, sending messages and emails, streaming videos, and transferring files and pictures, to name a few. Sometimes when you connect, the quality of the service is poor; in this case, your phone calls drop, your messages won’t send, your video won’t stop buffering, and your file transfer fails. A comprehensive Wi-Fi monitoring solution will regularly test the quality of each of your important services.

The Importance of Wi-Fi Monitoring

Wi-Fi is an essential part of business operations; this is especially true for mission critical business functions. For example, if the Internet goes down or runs slowly, employee productivity is directly affected; better wireless performance means better business performance.

If you choose not to monitor your Wi-Fi performance, you are running the risk of providing subpar performance, which translates to poorer business performance. As a result, you won’t know when to act until it’s too late, damaging your business operations and possibly its reputation.

This kind of scenario affects your business in both the short- and long-term. For example, if you are operating a sports stadium and your Wi-Fi is slow, vendors may not be able to process credit card transactions; similarly, airports may not be able to check travelers in, leading to delays. Without Wi-Fi, employee productivity can decrease drastically.

Final Thoughts

Wi-Fi is necessary for today’s businesses to function. It supports everyday activities from students at universities making credit card purchases to hospitals performing life-saving procedures. As a result, Wi-Fi performance management is an essential, proactive part of ensuring Internet consistency. If you opt not to take this step, you will likely lose out to businesses that do.