Complete Deployment Process of Commercial Outdoor Wi-Fi Access Point
A commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access point is a device designed to provide wireless internet access to a large outdoor area, such as a park, stadium, or outdoor shopping center. Unlike traditional Wi-Fi routers that are designed for indoor use, outdoor access points are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide reliable and secure connectivity to multiple users simultaneously. They are commonly used by businesses and organizations that want to offer their customers or employees fast and reliable Wi-Fi access while they are outdoors.
The deployment of these devices has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people rely on wireless connectivity for work, leisure, and communication.
This article will explore the complete process of installing commercial outdoor Wi-Fi.
Challenges in Deployment
Deploying commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access points can be challenging due to several factors. Here are some of the main challenges:
Environmental Factors: Outdoor Wi-Fi access points are exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as rain, heat, dust, and wind, which can affect their performance and reliability. Deploying these devices requires careful consideration of their placement, power supply, and protection from weather elements.
Wireless Interference: Outdoor Wi-Fi access points may face interference from other wireless devices, such as radios, Bluetooth devices, and microwaves. This can affect their signal strength and range and may require the use of specialized antennas and signal processing algorithms to mitigate interference.
Power Supply: Outdoor Wi-Fi access points require a reliable and continuous power supply, which can be a challenge in remote or inaccessible locations. Some solutions include the use of solar panels, batteries, or power over Ethernet (PoE) technology.
Security: Outdoor Wi-Fi access points are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which can compromise user privacy and data security. Deploying these devices requires implementing robust security measures, such as encryption, firewalls, and access controls.
Cost: Deploying commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access points can be expensive, requiring significant upfront investments in hardware, installation, and maintenance. This may limit their deployment in some areas, particularly in developing countries or rural areas with limited resources.
Why RSSI Matters?
RSSI stands for Received Signal Strength Indicator, and it is a measurement of the strength of the wireless signal received by a device, such as a commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access point. RSSI is typically measured in decibels (dBm) and can provide valuable information about the quality of the wireless connection between the access point and the client device.
In commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access points, RSSI is an important metric for optimizing the performance and coverage of the wireless network. A high RSSI indicates that the client device is receiving a strong signal from the access point, while a low RSSI indicates a weak signal that may result in slow data transfer rates or dropped connections.
Choosing the Right Gear
When selecting equipment for a commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access point, several factors should be considered, including:
Coverage Area: The size of the outdoor area that requires Wi-Fi coverage should be considered when selecting access points. A larger area may require multiple access points with overlapping coverage to ensure consistent connectivity.
Environment: Outdoor access points are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, and equipment that can withstand such conditions should be selected. The equipment should be rated for outdoor use and have an ingress protection (IP) rating that corresponds to the environment it will be deployed in.
Antennas: The selection of antennas is an essential consideration when choosing access points for outdoor deployment. Directional antennas are best for long-range connectivity, while omnidirectional antennas are ideal for providing broad coverage.
Power Supply: Outdoor access points require a reliable and continuous power supply. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology is an excellent option, as it eliminates the need for separate power cables and enables remote power management.
Security: Wireless networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and equipment that provides robust security features such as WPA2 encryption, guest access controls, and intrusion detection should be selected.
Overall, selecting equipment for commercial outdoor Wi-Fi access points requires careful consideration of the specific needs of the deployment, the environment, and the desired performance.
Ethernet Cable is a Key Factor
When selecting Ethernet cables for commercial outdoor WiFi access points, several factors should be considered to ensure reliable and efficient connectivity. Here are some key considerations:
Outdoor Ethernet cables should be rated for outdoor use and designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuations, moisture, and UV radiation. The two most common types of outdoor-rated Ethernet cables are direct burial and aerial cables. Direct burial cables are designed to be buried underground, while aerial cables are designed to be suspended above the ground.
The length of the cable should be carefully considered, as longer cables can result in signal loss and decreased performance. To ensure optimal performance, it’s recommended to use the shortest cable length possible for the deployment.
Ethernet cables should be shielded to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Shielded cables are more reliable and provide better performance than unshielded cables, particularly in areas with high levels of interference.
Overall, selecting the right Ethernet cable for commercial outdoor WiFi access points requires careful consideration of the specific needs of the deployment, the environment, and the desired performance.