Top 5 reasons to install business Wi-Fi over home Wi-Fi in the office.
Wireless for home networks and business networks are two different beasts. For home wireless, you can walk into BestBuy and pick up almost any home router which will contain a wireless feature. Also, if your ISP is Bell or Rogers for example, their router also includes wireless for the home. However, home system- based wireless devices are not the same as business devices. Business devices differ in many ways:
1) Wireless Devices
With business wireless there is typically a controlling device combined with wireless access points. The controlling device can be a firewall or it can be a purpose build wireless controller. The Controller, if you will, is typically installed in the server room along with the rest of the infrastructure.
The Wireless Access Points (WAPs) are typically located all over the building or floor of your office. Each WAP ties back to and is controlled by the wireless controller. By doing so, they form one continuous network of wireless access spanning all WAP locations.
2) Higher Density
In business there is a higher density of devices. For example, a person could have a tablet, smartphone and laptop all connected to the wireless network at the same time. In a boardroom meeting, there may be a number of devices connected to the wireless. Business systems can handle a higher density of devices in a given area than home systems.
As discussed in point 1, the business wireless is a single wireless network with several access points. Once on the wireless, it does not matter where someone travels within the wireless zone. The WAPs will automatically and seamlessly hand over the signal from one WAP to another to ensure that the user is always connected and has the strongest signal.
A business WAP typically costs a lot more than a home router. You have the cost of the controller which can be in the thousands of dollars range and the cost of the WAPS, which can be in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range depending on the density that is to be achieved. For example, a school with students that have laptops will require a much higher density than a law office with lawyers and laptops.
In addition a physical cable must be run to each WAP from the central wiring closet. Further, each WAP is typically powered by a Power over Ethernet (PoE) device. WAPs can also be plugged in but that means installing power at the location of the WAP. So in either event you will need an Ethernet run and PoE switch at the minimum.
5) Multiple SSID’s
Each Controller can establish multiple wireless networks. For example, you can have a wireless network for guests who can connect and browse the Internet without the ability to access the internal network. The Controller can also provide a wireless network for internal use directly connected to the server systems and allowing a laptop to go from desk to boardroom and back to desk without any issue. For greater security, the internal SSID would not be broadcast and would have to be entered manually.
With the growing use of tablets and laptop substitutes in the workplace, having a secure and robust wireless system able to adapt to changing needs is critical. When installing wireless in the office, we recommend the use of business grade technology.
Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant of Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology assessments, consulting, maintenance services and CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Charles can be reached at email@example.com or 647.426.1004. For additional articles, please visit http://www.triella.com/publications. Triella is a BlackBerry Alliance Partner and Authorized Worldox Reseller.
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