WiFi now is common in private homes; WiFi for business has the same underlying purpose – it’s a way of connecting devices without having to plug them in – but is different in the way it operates because business imposes higher demands for connectivity, reliability, speed and security. So what should you look for in a Business Wifi Solution?
Two things to remember about company networks are:
- Not every device that needs to communicate through the company’s network will belong to the company and there may be quite significant variations in the level of device security and
- Some of them will not be capable of physical connection.
That last point demands a wireless solution – laptops can be connected via Ethernet cables, but tablets and smartphones can’t.
To take a specific example of how this can happen, consider the field service industry. Technicians are despatched to install, maintain, service, repair, or upgrade equipment at a remote user site.
In keeping with the trend towards BYOD (Bring Your Own Device – the phone, tablet or other device actually belongs to the technician), notes and photographs are recorded on a device from which they must then be transferred to the company’s IT system.
Allowing that connection demands a very high level of security on the network, and it can’t go through an Ethernet because the tablet has no Ethernet socket.
The access points must be business grade
If you’re installing a Business WiFi Solution, make sure it’s designed to meet business needs.
Business WiFi Solution Specifications: You need to be clear on these points:
- That the WIFI network will operate reliably 24/7/365
- That a nearby wireless network belonging to someone else (or, indeed, to you) will not cause performance to deteriorate
- That the bandwidth and processing capacity are sufficient for large numbers of devices to be online at any time, without deterioration in service
- That the devices likely to want to connect to the network are capable of doing so (the current state-of-the-art frequency is 5GHz)
- What security the network offers and how it is implemented
- The number of devices to be connected. This is not the same as the number of employees – if each employee has a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop, for example, it may be 3 times the number of employees, which will mean 3 times the number of access points (APs), and each of those APs will need to be positioned by a professional in order to give good performance with a minimum of interference with other APs
You need multiple SSIDs
You almost certainly won’t want everyone who logs onto the network to be able to access every part of it – and that’s especially true when visitors ask for access “to check my emails.” It’s a reasonable request and you’ll do yourself no favours with visitors who are also customers if you say no – but having more than one SSID (Service Set Identifier) for each AP, and a different password for each one, allows you to manage who has access to what. (Think about hotels you’ve stayed in where you could “see” three or four different wireless networks – but only one let you in, and that one gave you access only to the internet and not to any internal systems. They almost certainly all operated through the same AP or APs).
Monitor and Manage
A business WiFi solution has a control unit It may be part of the firewall (a cost-effective approach); it may be on site or it may be in the cloud, but it makes it possible to monitor what’s going on right across the network. Data centres have network operations control (NOC); business WiFi has controllers – and for much the same reason. If you’re not monitoring the system, sooner or later, disaster will occur.
Business WiFi has arrived and it probably has a key part to play in your IT development programme. For clear, understandable advice that centres on your circumstances and your needs, call us today.
In need of a Business WiFi Solution?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333