Nobody wants their network to perform at anything less than peak level. However, networks aren’t cut and dry; a lot of factors can affect network performance – for better or for worse. A network performance monitor (NPM) shows you all the performance information on your network so you can see how it’s doing at all times. It can also help you discover, diagnose, and respond to any network performance problems that occur.
Sometimes, though, the problem can’t be solved with the simple click of a button. Some network performance problems are the result of complex actions that require much more tinkering to solve. These problems can cause serious damage to your network’s performance levels. Thankfully, with the proper care and attention, you can avoid them. We’ve listed 5 common issues that can negatively affect network performance – and how to prevent them.
Too many devices
Your network’s performance doesn’t just depend on your network hardware functioning properly. Often, performance issues are often the result of external devices connecting to your network. Most network support a large amount of devices to adapt to the number of potential users. However, it isn’t necessarily a good idea to get as close to max capacity as possible. The more devices on a network, the less bandwidth is available. Less bandwidth means slower data transfer rates, which means a slower network.
NPMs can show you how many devices are currently on your network. If you’re getting too close to capacity, you can look into increasing your network’s size to accommodate.
Wireless networks send and receive tons of transmissions to and from devices every day. Making sure that those transmissions get where they need to go is incredibly important. However, devices can create signal interference that brings down the network performance, even if they aren’t connected to the network itself.
Heavily congested or overcrowded network areas run the risk of providing too many signals for the network to handle. Other devices, such as microwaves, Bluetooth devices, and any device broadcasting 2.4 GHz radio signals can cause interference. Try to keep all areas of your network free from congestion, and be mindful of any non-connected devices that can interfere with your network.
Bad access point placement
Too often, network engineers put little care into thinking about the physical set-up of their networks. Smart placement of access points can help ensure your network operates smoothly. If you don’t install your access points in good locations, you might be creating blind spots in your network or areas where the signal is weak. To avoid these problems, plan your access point installations strategically. You should aim for maximum coverage while keeping your network’s scale in mind.
Sometimes, the problems with your network come from the physical locations you build them in. The construction materials of buildings can hamper your network’s performance. Bricks, concrete, and metals can disrupt or block wireless signals. This problem is usually impossible to avoid, so you should always be aware of how the materials your building is made of can affect wireless signals.
System clock desynchronization
Most NPMs rely on your computer’s system clock to determine the speed of data transferal on your network. If your system clock desynchronizes for whatever reason – putting your system to sleep, manual changes to the system clock, a faulty motherboard – then your NPM can’t accurately reflect data speed measurements. This is often a problem with older systems, so perform occasional checks on your system clock to make sure it’s synced up. If you make any changes to the clock, make sure to see if your NPM has adjusted alongside it.
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