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Common Network Challenges With Juniper MX80 and How to Overcome Them

If you need a rack-mountable router for your small enterprise or service provider, the Juniper MX80 is an excellent choice. It’s small, powerful, and provides 60 Mpps in reporting capacity and 80 Gbps for switching. With features like MPLS FRR, QoS, NAT and VPN support, GRE tunneling, and much more, it’s a powerhouse for any business looking for quality routers.

Even with the quality that the MX80 offers, there is always the chance that you’ll run into one of the common network challenges. While this can be frustrating, the good news is that they’re usually easy to overcome. Explore what you could run into and how to avoid it.

Network Challenge #1 – Slow Network Speeds

Your employees go to connect to the router and their speeds drop. It’s slowing them down, causing serious frustration, and impacting your business. What causes slow network speeds? Here are a few of the most common issues.

  • Adware and malware
  • Incorrect network infrastructure
  • Insufficient bandwidth
  • Network bottlenecks

Those are your problems, so what are the solutions?

Run Security Checks for Malware and Adware

Typically, slow network speeds as a whole will not be affected by adware and malware, but a worker’s computer may slow down and have problems connecting. It’s important to scan all systems and make sure no one has an infection on their workstation. Ideally, have protection in place and run scans regularly to prevent this from happening.

Fix the Physical Network Infrastructure

How is your network configured? If the problem is new and you just added workstations, you may find it easy to pinpoint where there is a problem with the infrastructure and take steps to change it. It may be time to address the addition of network switches. Update any software, upgrade outdated equipment, and optimize the infrastructure to keep your network running smoothly.

Bandwidth problems are a leading cause of slow networks. You need to determine if the bandwidth problem is with your network or the ISP service you use. If you find that bandwidth gets more use in the early afternoon, you could come up with a way to reduce usage. If your network is overusing your current bandwidth, it’s time to upgrade.

Remove Bottlenecks

A bottleneck occurs when your network’s data flow is slowed or stopped. It could be that your network’s capacity has been used up. Addressing bandwidth is your first step in removing bottlenecks. Overloaded servers can create bottlenecks. Load balancing can help route traffic appropriately. Finally, if your switch ports are outdated and not powerful enough, it can also lead to a bottleneck. Upgrade them and that should fix things.

Network Challenge #2: Damaged Cabling 

As your users are connecting to the Wi-Fi, they get messages that there is no network or the network availability goes in and out without any noticeable reason. If cables are damaged or frayed in any way, this will happen. Damaged cabling may cause breakage and cracks in the cable’s insulation. Open or short circuits can occur when the cabling isn’t allowing signals to flow through the cable without interruption.

So, what are the best solutions for damaged cabling?

Inspect All Cabling

This is going to take time, but you need to look at all of the cabling in your offices and make sure there is no cabling with signs of damage. A crimped cable could be the problem. You might discover a cable has cracks in the insulation allowing humidity to reach the protected wiring.

Replace Cabling That Is Damaged

As you find cables that look damaged, replace them. If that doesn’t resolve your issues, you may need to replace cables that look okay to rule out that there are other cables with frayed, broken internal wires that you’re not able to see.

Network Challenge #3: Weak Wi-Fi Signals 

Some of your offices have no problem connecting to the MX80 and staying connected. Others experience weak Wi-Fi signals and struggle to get and stay connected. It’s detrimental to have an employee on a VoIP call with a customer and suddenly drop the call as the employee moves to get something from another desk. What causes problems with having and maintaining strong Wi-Fi signals?

  • Device interference
  • Hardware failure
  • Obstacles block signals
  • Poor placement of Wi-Fi access points

As you narrow down the exact cause, how do you fix it? 

Device Interference

Are there devices connecting to your wireless router that are creating interference? If you have older wireless devices, they could be slowing down newer technology. Your devices have to focus on the speeds that older devices can support, so newer devices may lose out in the process. It may be time to upgrade older tablets, laptops, etc. to newer technology so that everything is able to work at the same high speeds.

Hardware Failure

If you have hardware that fails, it will impact the strength of your Wi-Fi signals. Troubleshoot all of the equipment in your offices and make sure that networking equipment is working correctly and together. Run software updates to see if it’s just a software problem or replace hardware that is no longer working correctly.

Physical Obstacles

Few people realize that something as simple as a large glass window can weaken Wi-Fi signals. Concrete and brick walls, steel, and other metals can also create problems. You can’t rip out walls and rebuild, so you might need to reposition where your router and modem are.

Problem: Poor Placement of Access Points

Start by exploring your current Wi-Fi access points. They need to be centralized and away from walls, corners of a room, or on the floor. It’s best to have them at a high point like the top of a shelf or even from a ceiling. The center point of your office’s ceiling is a great place to add wireless access points.

If you have multiple floors, you’re going to need to consider having one or more access points per floor. In an office with cubicles, make sure they don’t overlap. Stagger them to keep from experiencing any overlap that can lead to interference. Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters can help boost the signals around your office.

Is the MX80 Right For Your Company?

Are you considering a Juniper MX80? The Juniper MX80 router is ideal for service providers and enterprises that are challenged to find space. It’s a smaller router at about 17.5 inches wide, 3.4 inches high, and 23.5 inches deep. It has four built-in 10GbE ports, 2 MIC slots, and 80 Gbps capacity. 

Choose an expert in networking equipment to make sure the equipment you purchase has been tested and includes a warranty. Ideally, look for an independent Juniper MX80 reseller with a large selection of inventory. BrightStar Systems provides Juniper routers, switches, firewalls, and optical transceivers at up to 95% off the MSRP.

BrightStar Systems’ sales team brings more than four decades of experience to every query. We’ve helped more than 1,400 customers around the world choose the best networking equipment for their business.  Email or call us to learn more about pricing on a Juniper MX80 and how you can sell us your equipment to help you upgrade your current equipment.