By Nicole Courtemanche
What really is acceptable anyways?
Before last summer, there was a term that was widely used and accepted across all technology industries and disciplines for a specific networking hardware that was created in 1994. This term is really an acronym, an abbreviation for the hardware which allowed its users to access the full range of their technology devices without being hardwired into the Internet. The device I am referring to is a wireless access point and the acronym I am describing is the first letter of each of these words or W-A-P [Waa-hap]. It used to be a term that—with all due respect—is completely harmless, useful, and well regarded. As of August 2020, everything changed for WAP.
Cardi B—a female rap artist—wrote, performed, and recorded a song titled with the same acronym as our wireless access point but with an entirely different meaning. Unfortunately when I read the lyrics, I am too embarrassed to quote anything except for the slightly acceptable conjunction “and”, and probably a harmless indefinite article “the.” The rest … well, I suggest you do your own research and preferably not on a work computer.
Since my blog is based on all that is technology-wholesome and endearing, I will not state what Cardi B’s version of the acronym means, but I will say to her testament that she wrote the song to promote female empowerment and since it is Mother’s Day in the month of May, I can get behind that push for female progression knowing full well that any self-respecting mother should forbade her child from ever hearing the song until the age of 18 or maybe even older, like 35.
So from here on out, the more acceptable version of “WAP” is probably “AP” in the technology world or merely “access point” to avoid the new age musical terminology. I am sure there will be some older technologists that do not listen to current FM radio or local pop stations and for those it will still be WAP, but quite honestly, what really is acceptable anyways?
It’s getting “Hot in Herre” … so take off all your … dead zones?
Keeping in line with the theme and mild innuendo of this blog, I want to introduce our readers to—no, not Nelly—heat maps. Heat maps are guides to the strength of the wireless connectivity zones in your facility. They are measured via applications that produce a visualization of where the strongest wireless connectivity exists for building inhabitants. Green is typically an indication of a strong signal. The further the color strays away from green and into red, the less likely you will have a powerful wireless connection. The less-than-green colored zones, like orange and yellow, are indications of the dreaded term, dead zones. These areas are the ones where your access to the outside world via the Internet—brace yourself—does not exist! (Unless you’re hard-wired to a data infrastructure, anyways.)
The usefulness of a heat map is essential for your managed networking personnel or partner in determining where access points should be wired, installed, and mounted. If your facility does not have networking personnel or a partner who assumes the responsibility of managing your network, Connectivity Point has partners who can help. This blog is a shout-out to all our subcontractors and managed service partners that help our customers streamline their commercial building’s network needs. You know who you are—and we want to thank you.
WIRED (or “In-the-Project-Know”)
Let’s go back to basics. This blog started so hot under the collar that I feel the need to review infrastructure and more specifically the sub-systems that attach to the infrastructure, with WAPs being one of them. (Oh geez, I said that term again!)
APs are wired into your power supply and data structure usually by one or two data wires. These wires connect right to the DMARC (or demarcation point), or quite simply, the direct way to internet connectivity service. The device—more than likely connected to a router—then amplifies a wireless network so users may access the Internet without being directly wired into the building’s data infrastructure. At Connectivity Point, our job is to wire the access point into this infrastructure and install the AP into the mounting equipment. As soon as it is available on the network, our partners take care of the rest.
Questions to answer for us when we assess your building for access points to keep us In-the-Project-Know:
• What is the square footage of your building?
• What infrastructure wiring is available for us to connect the access points into the network?
• Do you possess a managed service provider or network manager we can work with to choose your access points and router?
• Do you know the dead zones in your building or would you like a heat map assessment?
• Do you have devices like a POS system that will require wireless connectivity?
• Do you have plans to expand your building where you would need to add more access points to your infrastructure?
Until next time …
Usually I end a blog post by wrapping up the random thought process behind how, for example, I started at Cardi B and ended up at access points and infrastructure. Well quite simply, Cardi B enjoyed approximately 2.34 million streams from her song “WAP”, proving once again that other than death and taxes, apparently something else is for certain “4EVA”. In marketing, “something”—that I will leave to your imagination—sells.
So, if I can grab your attention even slightly to review how we can help you achieve the best wireless signal and strength in your facility using an age old tactic, well, I guess it is getting “Hot in Herre!”
Call us, email us. We are here to guide you every step in your AP journey. Until next time, when we will review Sound Masking: A Father’s Day Tribute to every dad who suffered through a teen playing drums in their basement … unnecessarily.