We bought iPads but our wifi is poor. What do we do?

We bought iPads but our wifi is poor. What do we do?

I received the following query today.

We have recently purchased iPads in our school. We ran a summer course on using iPads only to discover that the wifi is very poor on the ground floor of the school. Have you any suggestions on how to go about improving the wifi in the school?

If I had a euro for every time I’ve received this query, I’d probably have enough to buy an iPad! The companies selling iPads, one might argue, should not assume that primary schools in Ireland are blessed with WiFi. The government does not even offer it by default in new build schools. Even if you have WiFi, the chances are if you are in 60% of schools, that the speed of the Internet running through them is inadequate. That’s not to mention the extra cost of hooking them up to projectors, buying a server so they all sync, buying some sort of charging unit, and so on.

Anyway, the question is about WiFi and the bad news is that your best bet is going to cost you a fair whack of money. For a 16 classroom school, you’re talking anything between €10,000 and €15,000. An 8 classroom school could be around the €6,000 mark. This outlay will get a professional heat-mapped WiFi set up where no part of the school is left without connection.

In terms of providers, I think it’s important to get a networking specialist, rather than your local IT guy. I’d also recommend you get one as local as possible or one that will be able to respond to any problems within 24 hours.

There are cheaper ways around this but they are unreliable and insecure. Sadly, when you’re buying iPads, there’s lots more to consider than just the cost of the iPads.

Last Update: September 11, 2018  

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