If your wireless internet is slow and giving you problems, do you need more access points?

If you are reading this, you know that ensuring robust and reliable wireless networking is crucial for any business. Business owners, CIOs, VP of Operations, all realize that optimizing wireless networking is essential to operations.

Understanding how many access points your business needs takes some time and knowledge.

Understanding Access Points

What Are Wireless Access Points?

An access point (AP) or wireless access point (WAP) is similar to an antenna. It sends out wireless signals allowing wireless devices to connect to a local network. It acts as a central transmitter and receiver of wireless radio signals. Understanding where to place access points will ensure comprehensive coverage, minimizing dead zones and maintaining strong signal strength.

Importance of Signal Strength

Signal strength is a critical factor in determining the number of access points needed. Poor signal strength can lead to dropped connections, slow data transfer rates, and overall frustration for end-users. Therefore, achieving optimal signal strength should be a primary goal when planning your wireless network.

Factors Influencing Access Point Requirements

Size and Layout of the Space

The physical size and layout of your facility significantly impact the number of access points required. Things to consider are large spaces, older buildings or floor plans with multiple floors or numerous walls. In these cases, there will be a requirement for more access points to ensure adequate coverage.

Number of Users and Devices

The number of users and devices connecting to the network is another crucial factor. Places where people gather, such as conference rooms, classrooms, and open offices, will need extra access points.

What is the reason for this? With a higher density of people connecting to the wireless network, you'll need more access points.  Access points have a limited number of connections they can handle, before performance degrades.

Types of Applications

Consider the types of applications your network will support. Bandwidth-intensive applications like video conferencing, large file transfers, and cloud-based services require stronger and more reliable connections. This necessitates a higher density of access points to maintain performance standards.

Interference Sources

Interference from other electronic devices, neighboring wifi networks, and physical obstructions can degrade signal quality. Identifying and mitigating these sources is vital in planning your access point deployment.

Calculating the Number of Access Points

Basic Calculation

A fairly good rule of thumb is to plan on one AP for every 1000 sq ft of space that needs coverage. However, this is a rough estimate and may not account for all variables.

Advanced Considerations

For a more accurate assessment, consider advanced tools and methodologies. Wireless site surveys can provide a detailed analysis of your environment. This will help identify the optimal placement and number of access points needed.

If you are building from greenfield you cannot do a site survey because there is no site. By using the intended floor plan, a virtual wifi "heat map" can be generated. This map will provide you will a visual reference of the best access point placement. Software tools like Ekahau or AirMagnet can simulate coverage and performance, offering precise recommendations.

Real-World Example

Consider a 10,000 square foot office with an open floor plan. If each access point covers approximately 1,000 square feet, a basic calculation suggests you need 10 WAPs. However, do you have places where large groups of people work, places that cause interference (like kitchens), or if there are concrete and brick walls in your offices? If so, you may need 15 WAPs for the best results.

Implementing Your Access Point Strategy

Floor Plan-Heat Map

Conducting a Site Survey

A site survey is a crucial step in implementing an effective access point strategy.  This means checking your surroundings, finding things that might cause problems, and planning where to put your access points for the best connection.

Our professional services team can conduct thorough site surveys, providing you with detailed reports and actionable insights.

Heat Mapping

Designing an optimal wifi plan is a bit easier when you are working off floor plans. Using this method, floor plans are put into a modeling program. The software will then allow you to add building materials to the floor plan.

This is an important step.  Drywall, glass, concrete, brick, wood and HVAC ducts all have different levels of signal absorption. Knowing this allows you to easily move the WAPs on the heat map, to find the locations for the best wireless signal strength.

Choosing the Right Access Points

Not all access points are created equal. Understanding access point requirements will allow you to select the right models that match your business. Some factors to consider: How much data your network will be using (capacity), how far the wifi signal can reach (range), and if it supports the newest wifi technology like wifi 6. This will help make sure your network stays up to date in the future.

Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance

Deploying access points is not a one-time task. Continuous monitoring and maintenance are essential to ensure optimal performance. Regularly review network performance metrics, update firmware, and adjust configurations as needed to adapt to changing requirements.

Benefits of Proper Access Point Deployment

Enhanced Productivity

Reliable and strong wireless connection directly impacts productivity. With a good connection, employees can work seamlessly without interruptions, leading to higher efficiency and better business outcomes.

Improved User Experience

A well-planned access point deployment ensures a positive user experience. Visitors, clients, and employees alike will appreciate the consistent and fast wifi connections, enhancing your business's reputation.


Properly deployed access points can provide a solution that will scale with your business. Adding more WAPs to your office space is easy when your business grows. This allows you to accommodate for increased demand without overhauling your entire network infrastructure.


Determining the right number of access points is a complicated but important task. This is especially true for business aiming to maintain robust wireless connections and reduce complaints. If you are currently having issues with your wireless network, you should think about a few things.

How much space you need to cover, how many people are using the WAPs, what are the WAPs used for (surfing the web or for a call center). These are the first steps to reduce problems that you may be experiencing.

TechNoir Solutions has decades of experience building, consulting, designing and improving wireless networks. From offices with twenty people, to multistory, high density workspaces our team has created optimal WiFi environments.

Our services include professional site surveys, heat mapping, equipment selection options, coverage improvement and maintenance of wireless networks. If you need the best possible performance and want to drive productivity talk to us. TechNoir Solutions is regarded as the premier firm for all things wireless.

Network performance graph

by Isaac Smith (https://unsplash.com/@isaacmsmith)

With these methods, you can figure out how many access points you need for your wireless network. This will help make sure your business has a good connection now and in the future.