What is a Wireless Access Point?
The definition of a wireless access point is a device that allows wireless items (laptops, WiFi enabled cell phones, PDAs, etc.) to connect to a wireless network. An example of a wireless access point is a Linksys Wireless Router. A redundant term as all access points are wireless.
Why Do Schools & Libraries Need Wireless Access Points
Schools can no longer get away with minimizing the number of wireless access points deployed in their building IF they want a stable and well-performing wireless solution. That means installing an access point in (nearly) –every- classroom. Along with installing wireless access points in your library, gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, or other key areas where you might expect large groups to need wireless access.
How many Wireless Access Points Does my Building Need?
No school is built the same. Floor plans, construction materials, and campus layouts are just a few of the elements that make the wireless network connectivity challenges unique to each school. In addition to providing connections within school buildings, some districts have even begun to deploy wireless beyond classrooms and hallways to support students with
Internet access during breaks and even after school hours.
Install Only What You Need: Some wireless integrator’s suggest installing one (1) access point per classroom; however, your real world needs can vary, so it’s important not to install more access points than you’ll really need. How will you really know what you need? Do a site survey.
An RF site survey is critical to successfully deploying a Wi-Fi network in a reasonable time frame. An RF survey (sometimes called a Wi-Fi or wireless survey) is a procedure we carry out to map how RF signals propagate and decay throughout your premises. This provides one critical half of the puzzle. The other critical half is an understanding of how each area is used, and by how many people. This second half of the puzzle tells us what kind of coverage is needed, in quantitative terms – what signal strength, for how many devices. The former half tells us what equipment we need to place (and where) in order to meet these requirements.
Know Your School’s Building Materials & Structure:
Having an understanding of your school’s structure and wall materials will help
ensure proper signal transmission. Structural components to be aware of include:
• Exterior Wall Materials: Brick, Concrete, Metal Siding or other?
• Interior Wall Materials: Plaster, Concrete, Glass or other?
• Roof Type: Flat or Sloped
• Ceiling Type: Hard or Drop
• Number of Floors
• Number of Buildings