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What Is Involved in Wireless Network Management?

A wireless network router.
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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 01 July 2014
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Wired and wireless network management are similar in many regards, but there are some factors between the two that are different, largely because of the nature of wireless technology. One factor that is similar between wired and wireless network management is that administrators must pay attention to device interaction to ensure that the network is properly functioning. Along with interactions, administrators also diagnose the network on a consistent basis to ensure no viruses or problems are occurring. Wireless signals may encounter interference, so administrators must try their best to mitigate the interference. Another difficulty is discovering devices, which may be harder than with a wired network.

Many devices are interacting and working together in a network, so an important part of wireless network management is checking on and optimizing this interaction. This can refer to computers interacting with servers to store data, how the mainframe works with all the nodes, and how printers and other supplementary devices are working. Programs often can be used to help administrators ensure the devices are interacting well, but manual work sometimes will have to be done.

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Networks often are the victim of viruses and attacks from malicious users, and because networks commonly use more computer resources, there may be a higher chance of hardware or software degradation. To keep the network working well, another part of wireless network management is diagnosing the network. There typically is a set of programs watching the network for any problems, and the administrators normally will set up a timetable for checking all the nodes to ensure there are no problems.

With a wired network, there typically is no need to worry about interference, because the electrical signals are traveling via wire. This interference may affect network speeds or entirely paralyze sections of the network. Some factors that contribute to interference can be easily controlled, such as the thickness of walls or conflicting signals. There also are natural causes for wireless interference, such as the sun, weather and radiation levels. For proper wireless network management, administrators should do their best to prevent interference.

For a device to work over a wireless network, it must be discovered and recognized by the wireless system. This normally is not a problem with a wireless network, because a connected device will be discovered. Interference and other variables mean some devices may not be discovered or they may lose their connectivity with a wireless network, and administrators have to ensure that all the devices receive service.

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