Like most things, business WiFi networks are not created equal. If you’re thinking about installing, upgrading or replacing yours, here are ten of the most important things you should be looking at.

Top 10 Benefits of Business WiFi for your organisation

1. Monitoring

You need to know what’s going on in your network. Everywhere in your network. Who’s online, who tried to get online but couldn’t, who did get online and shouldn’t have. What sort of user experience people are enjoying. Usage statistics, so you can consider rebalancing, upgrading or extending the network. And what you see on the monitoring screen should be:

  • Unified
  • Unambiguous and easy to understand
  • Capable of showing everything from the surface to the deepest layer

That sort of clear, informative monitoring does exist – you just have to make sure it’s what you choose.

2. Capacity

You need:

  • The fastest possible connections
  • A user capacity that exceeds your most ambitious loading predictions
  • Reliability
  • Wide coverage

A quicker way to say that is: you need the highest possible capacity. And when you’re calculating what that should be, remember what the trend has been in IT for the past 30 or 40 years: the number of applications, the number of users and the number of transactions always rises – exponentially. However much you think you’ll need – you’ll need more. It’s available – take care what and how you select.

3. Security

The best way to ensure total security in a dangerous online world is through a radio system that never stops scanning and knows when it’s under attack.

4. Scalability

The one thing you can be sure of is that your network is not going to stand still. You’ll need to add or move capacity, allow new apps (once they’ve been checked), and sometimes provide temporary access for a whole raft of new users. There are systems out there that will let you do that easily, and others that won’t – choose carefully.

5. Convergence

Experience says that the majority of users want a single vendor to manage the whole of their access layer – and experience says they’re right. The bad days when carrier, software supplier and hardware supplier would each point at one of the others in the event of a problem and say, “Talk to him,” are mostly history now, but there’s still a lot to be said for knowing that, whatever and wherever the problem, you only have one number to call.

6. Flexibility

Look for a solution that offers flexibility because, even if you don’t need it now, you may need it in the future. By flexibility, we mean the ability to install, reinstall and transfer:

  • On site
  • In the cloud (private or public)
  • Across a number of locations
  • Throughout a scattered site

7. IEEE 802.3bz compatibility

This new standard was approved by IEEE as recently as September 2016. What it permits is:

  • Data transfer up to 2.5GHz over Cat 5e cables; and
  • Data transfer up to 5GHz over Cat 6 cables.

Cat 5e cables will be familiar to anyone with home Ethernet; Cat 6 allows faster transfer (and now there’s Cat 6.a and cat 7, which allows speeds up to 10GHz). What you can be certain of is that a transfer speed that looked pretty nifty a short while ago will now have users tearing their hair out in frustration. It’s been that way since before Binary Synchronous Communication gave way to full duplex comms, and it isn’t going to change now.

8. Access layers are changing

As the price of hardware falls, the better manufacturers are placing less emphasis on sheer speed of access layers and more on features like bandwidth and latency – and we suggest that buyers should do likewise. Location is also an emerging issue. Look for access layers with sensors that help monitor network health and connectivity options that include the use of the access point to support peripherals such as video surveillance cameras.

9. Intrusion detection

It’s become a commonplace that, if the people who put so much ingenuity and effort into breaking into your network invested those same qualities in an honest job, they’d clean up. Well, they haven’t, and a business WiFi solution that does not offer state of the art intrusion detection should simply not be considered.

10. Device authentication

There’ll be more than just company laptops seeking connection to your business WiFi. You need, at the very least, support for authentication of credentials not just for Windows, Android , Mac and iOS devices but also for those that don’t support a supplicant.

Installing, replacing or upgrading a business WiFi solution is a highly technical but also a mission critical job. Unless you’re expert in all aspects, you need help. Call us. That’s what we do.

Considering Business Wifi?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333