Best Practices for Upgrading Your School’s Network for Students’ Return

Your school is about to open for the new term. It’s a great time to upgrade your network! You’ll need more bandwidth, better security, and faster speeds for all of your devices. And you’ll want to make sure that everything is compatible with whatever operating system students are using this year.

Why Your School’s Network Needs an Upgrade Before a New Term

More devices

Today’s students are bringing more and more devices to school, including phones, tablets, wireless printers, game consoles, smart TVs, media streamers (Apple TV, Roku), and wearable technology like the Apple watch. Your network needs to handle all of these!

Higher speeds

As streaming video grows in popularity, schools are upgrading to faster internet speeds. This means that you’ll need a network that can sustain high speeds for lots of people at once!

More online activity

Students are increasingly using their devices for more than just school work—they’re engaging in extracurricular activities like social networking and gaming, which could draw even more traffic to your network.

Security threats

Cyberbullying, online predators, illegal downloads, and other security concerns are on the rise at schools around the world. Your school’s IT team needs to make sure that their security measures are up-to-date!

Backwards compatibility

As students return to school, they’ll bring older devices that may not be compatible with your network. They might also want to use their outdated software and operating systems on new devices – for example, students who like using Windows XP might want the latest Macbook Air.

11 Best Practices for Upgrading Your School’s Network

Here are 11 best practices for upgrading your school’s network:

Get an assessment from IT professionals that know what they’re doing

Your IT department should be able to provide recommendations on what upgrades will work best for your specific needs and budget.

Do some research

The first step in any project is getting as much information as possible about the task at hand so you can come up with a plan before acting impulsively.

Do not buy school-owned devices

You don’t want to be stuck with all the responsibility for maintaining your students’ equipment. Besides, you’ll likely need some of those funds for upgrading your own equipment.

Plan ahead

Don’t wait until last minute to upgrade the network – it could have serious consequences for your students!

Make sure students are aware of changes being made

Over spring break, ask your IT department about how they plan on keeping everyone informed. You might consider sending e-mails or even handing out flyers to let parents know what’s going on so that they can help their children along the way.

Limit access to only what is necessary

Sometimes having choices is a bad thing – like when a student could accidentally click on a virus or hack your network! Make sure only the students who need access to certain websites have it by setting up a network filter.

Secure wireless networks

The number of mobile devices — iPhones, iPads, laptops & more — in schools has been steadily increasing over the years. More and more people are using Wi-Fi connections for doing things like chatting with friends through Facebook messenger or checking their e-mails on an iPhone.

Unsecured wireless networks can leave students open to identity theft. Make sure that every member of your faculty is using encrypted data when they log onto the Internet. Encryption scrambles personal information so that anyone without passwords can’t get their hands on it.

For example, you probably wouldn’t want someone hacking into your kid’s social media account!

Keep data protected

Companies are cutting back on storage space for cloud services. It is imperative that you not depend on them too much because if they stop offering this service, it could leave you in a tight spot.

Cache websites with CDNs

CDN just stands for Content Delivery Network. You can use these to host files quickly after devices request them – think of all the resources that must be used when processing open-source website requests!

CDN helps speeds things up by caching content onto servers located throughout the world. Then, whenever there’s a request for certain information during the course of normal browsing, CDN sends students they need from its own cache, rather than sending the information to them from your school’s network.

Simplify logins for students

Along with simple passwords that are easy to remember, you should also consider implementing single sign-on (SSO). This allows users to login by entering their credentials once and then be able to use multiple applications without entering their username and password again.

Upgrade! Upgrade! Upgrade!

Upgrading your network is like doing schoolwork: It won’t get easier unless you do it more often. So upgrade away!

Here are some things to keep in mind while upgrading your network: check your hardware make sure you have proper software anti-virus protection keep up with security updates secure your wireless router give students educational resources about safe computing.

How Your School Can Upgrade Their Network for a Happier Return

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you upgrade your network for the upcoming term!

Upgrade with fiber optics

Fiber optic cables are the gold standard for schools looking to upgrade their networks. These cables can carry an incredible amount of bandwidth, making them perfect for high traffic situations like streaming video and downloading music.

Upgrade your wiring

Once you have new cables for your network, you’ll need to upgrade the wires that connect all of your devices. This includes upgrading the wiring in classrooms and athletic facilities—it won’t be a top concern for most homes or offices, but it’s essential for student safety!

Test your speeds

After spending money on an upgrade, of course you’ll want to make sure that it works. That way, you’ll know whether or not your network can handle the traffic! Perform a speed test and see how fast your new speeds really are.

Monitor for security threats

Over 95% of cyberattacks happen on unsecured devices. Make sure all of your devices are protected with the latest security updates by continuously monitoring for threats to your network.

Plan before you upgrade

Lastly, remember that upgrading your network is a serious commitment! Most providers recommend planning for an upgrade 4-6 weeks in advance, so that you can schedule necessary downtime and minimize any disruptions to your network.

Conclusion

Upgrading your network for a new term can be frustrating, but these best practices will make it a little easier!

This is a great way to upgrade your network by following some best practices! If you follow the tips from this article, it should make upgrading your network easier.

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