Robust wireless networking: avoiding interference

Pre-deployment wireless network area assessment before installation is essential for meeting wireless coverage and capacity performance expectations. Warehouse and industrial barcode scanners and rugged mobile computer applications in particular require additional attention focused on wireless network interference during the planning and assessment phase before deployment due to the large number of wireless devices typically in use within such environments. 

Identifying all forms of wireless networking employed within and around the intended network installation area will enable the design and installation teams to avoid conflicting and overlapping wireless network bands that would otherwise cause degraded performance and disconnects. For wireless 2.4 Ghz, 802.11b/g/n networks, a site survey before deployment will reveal channels currently in use by other networks and devices already present. The design team must then configure the new wireless network to use one of the non-overlapping 802.11b/g/n channels that are not in use based upon the assessment results. Although the 802.11b/g/n specification includes 13 channels, non-overlapping channels 1,6, and 11 for 802.11b/g and channel 3 for 802.11n provide the best performance when not in use by adjacent devices and networks. If all non-overlapping channels are in use, configuring wireless equipment capable of 5Ghz, 802.11a wireless band operation is a common and viable alternative.

Wireless network pre-deployment assessments must also include a physical inspection of the area to identify devices which operate in the same wireless band as the network devices intended for installation. Ensure that other wireless devices that use any 2.4 Ghz frequencies are not located within range of any 802.11b/g/n devices to prevent potential interference, causing poor performance and connectivity issues.

For more information about wireless networking for barcode scanners and rugged mobile computers, please contact us.

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