What is Enterprise Wi-fi Solution?
Home Wi-Fi setups usually consist of a modem provided by the ISP and a router with enough power to handle internet use in a home of average size. Regular browsing, gaming and streaming are all supported well as long as multiple users don’t demand large amounts of bandwidth at the same time.
The same equipment quickly breaks down when used in an office building, retail store, healthcare facility or other large public location. Something stronger and more robust is needed to support the increased demands in these settings. This is where enterprise Wi-Fi comes in.
Enterprise-level connections use slightly different protocols and management methods than consumer networks, and the equipment is able to support larger loads without suffering from dropped signals or tapering off into dead zones.
Access is controlled by an administrator to ensure only authorized users can connect. In some ways, it resembles a scaled-up version of home Wi-Fi designed to handle the higher demands of businesses and public institutions.
ENTERPRISE WI-FI Solution Key Benefit
- Designed for high density Wi-Fi use and requires multiple access points
- Scalable to meet growing demand
- Network load size a bigger consideration to handle company operations and customer/client access simultaneously
- Equipment designed to last longer than consumer equipment
- Equipment designed to run all day, every day to support operations
- Better options for linking up access points
- Ability to control system from a single administrative hub allows companies of all sizes to maintain the extensive networks they need and for which their customers are looking
- Reliable tech support to provide quick fixes to problems
Protocols and Technology Terms
When you’re setting up an enterprise network, it’s helpful to be familiar with a few common terms:
Service Set Identifierused to define a single network inside a larger setup
Understanding encryption protocols is important.
Wi-Fi Protected Accessand its successor, WPA2, are the most common protocols used in enterprise setups. Since WPA can be vulnerable to attacks, WPA2 was subsequently developed.
Pre-shared KeysIn WPA, an authentication server certifies pre-shared keys, or PSKs, for the network, and these are the passwords used to control access to the network. Since WPA can be vulnerable to attacks, WPA2 was subsequently developed
Advanced Encryption StandardUsing the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), WPA2 is trusted by the U.S. government to encrypt top-secret information. WPA2 also has its potential security issues, but there is an enterprise-level version of the protocol known as WPA2-ENT designed to offer better security for corporations.
Equipment: Three Essentials in an Enterprise Setup
With all the demand placed on corporate wifi, it’s clear you can’t use the same equipment you use at home. Trying to do so will lead to a failure in the system, resulting in downtime you can’t afford. Although enterprise-grade equipment requires a bigger investment, it pays off by providing the reliability you need to power the essential operations of your business.
Placement & Best Practices
The goal of an enterprise Wi-Fi solution is to provide the best possible connection and experience for your business and its customers. This requires a specific approach to setup, including where routers and access points are placed.
As you design your system, consider the extent of coverage needed and where potential bottlenecks can occur.
Locations with many obstructions, such as furniture and thick walls, require more access points and a stronger antenna array.
Having an expert survey your site can help you identify these potential problems.
Heatmapping and signal mapping are also useful tools for finding sources of interference.
Use these best practices as a guide to create an optimal system for your enterprise-level needs:
Place access points as high up as possible to prevent signal blockage.
Increase coverage by adding more access points instead of upgrading antennas. Combining a strong antenna array with a mesh network provides the most reliable signal.
Prioritize the 5 GHz channel or use a dual-band setup with the ability to switch to the least-congested channel during times of heavy use.
Create a setup with dual coverage to ensure Wi-Fi remains accessible even if one set of equipment fails.
Use access points with “quality of service” (QoS) settings to prioritize applications and limit bandwidth usage in each part of the network.
Separate the SSIDs your employees use from those accessed by guests. If you have a BYOD policy, set up another SSID for employees’ devices.
Use consistent configurations across SSIDs for a seamless experience.
Anticipate future growth and usage needs, and make a plan for how to scale up the network as these needs increase.
Reputable Vendors For Enterprise Wifi Solution
Finding a reliable provider for your enterprise wifi solution is just as important as choosing the right equipment and designing a great setup. Industry magazines and websites consider these providers to be some of the top choices available to businesses. We Recommend Cambium Networks
Industries and Use Cases for Enterprise Wi-Fi
Many different industries rely on enterprise-level systems to support operations and provide a positive experience for users. In each setting, high-quality Wi-Fi equipment, strong security and strategic management is essential for goods and services to be delivered.
EDUCATION | RETAIL | HEALTHCARE | MANUFACTURING