By default almost all WiFi access points transmit at full power (100mW on 2.4GHz). This gives maximum coverage and users see a good signal (“full bars”). However, there are good reasons to turn down the transmit power to a fraction of the maximum.
Most Wi-Fi systems have some kind of automatic setting for selecting the channel. Systems with a central controller have advanced RRM or Radio Resource Management solutions. The promise is to optimize channel selection, transmit power levels and other settings. Can you trust this automation?
This may sound silly, but yes, you can really improve your cell phone battery life with a small change in the access point. The change has no drawbacks and is easy to make. It has even more impact in your home Wi-Fi where your cell phone spends most of its time in sleep mode.
In most Wi-Fi systems you can disable the slowest transfer rates. This is typically done to improve efficiency since the transfers at slower rates eat up limited air time. This can backfire however with unexpected results.
The regulatory bodies are now strict about DFS requirements on WiFi access points. This applies to both new devices and updates to old ones. A simple firmware update may cause a lengthy delay before the network is operable.
Quite often the most expensive part of a Wi-Fi deployment is the cabling. Cabling? Wasn’t this supposed to be wireless? Can’t we use these APs wirelessly? At least there are lots of products claiming to do so.
Roaming or switching from one access point to the next is a common source of confusion. Technically Wi-Fi roaming is the opposite of the cellular network. Wi-Fi access points are passive and the client devices choose which access point they want to use and when to switch, if they switch. What are the consequences?
The original Wi-Fi (also known as 802.11) used the 2.4GHz band. It is still the more popular band since virtually all devices support it. That makes it more crowded and it is also more prone to interference than the alternative 5GHz band.
Wireless communication is easy to intercept if you are within range. Good security measures are a must. Wi-Fi security has evolved from WEP to WPA, to WPA2 and now to forthcoming WPA3. What will change?