There’s no question that WiFi is critical for business. Good wireless access can increase productivity and flexibility, especially considering that 74% of businesses either have or plan to implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.
The ability for employees and visitors to be able to securely connect to the Internet or to an internal network anywhere, at any time, will help ensure that your operations can go on without interruption.
However, the WiFi most of us commonly use at home isn’t necessarily robust enough to handle your business needs. Home networks are generally designed to handle much less data traffic, serve vastly fewer users, and don’t usually require the same levels of security – which is why all businesses should instead adopt enterprise-grade WiFi.
What is Enterprise-Grade WiFi?
So what do we mean when we talk about ‘Enterprise-Grade’ WiFi? It typically refers to the greater security and interoperability standards mandated by the WiFi Alliance, the body charged with overseeing and certifying WiFi technology.
Essentially, an enterprise WiFi network is scalable, connects more users, is more secure, and offers greater customization and flexibility.
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons why your business should adopt enterprise-grade WiFi.
7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Enterprise-Grade WiFI
1. Fast and Reliable Connection For Many Concurrent Users
Networks can only support a given number of users per access point. With only a finite amount of bandwidth to deal with, there is usually a vast difference between the capacity of home vs enterprise routers. As well, since home networks require users to share a single Internet connection, the quality can rapidly deteriorate as wireless traffic grows.
Conversely, enterprise-class WiFi is designed specifically to handle a large number of wireless devices. This technology provides fast and reliable connections for all employees and visitors to ensure that productivity doesn’t suffer.
2. Wide Signal Coverage For Large Work Environments
Large office spaces, especially those covering multiple floors, have to adopt WiFi technology capable of covering the entire layout. There is a misconception among many business owners that it’s sufficient to use higher-power routers in the hopes they’ll provide enough coverage; however, enterprise WiFi best practices suggest it’s much more efficient to deploy multiple access points instead.
That’s why enterprise WiFi is usually deployed with multiple integrated access points, allowing it to be spread out effectively and maximize the signal coverage.
This multiple access point capability is far more robust than those of home networks, which usually suffer from very limited signal strength that can be difficult to extend.
3. Better Roaming Capability
The improved signal coverage that comes with an enterprise WiFi setup means that users can enjoy improved roaming quality, meaning that users can roam between different parts of the building seamlessly and without disconnections or delay.
4. More Advanced Security Features
Businesses need to take extra precaution to prevent unauthorized access to their network. While there are varying encryption standards in use, a common feature of enterprise WiFi is the added security layers.
Enterprise WiFi security usually incorporates upgraded and specialized technologies such as Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) in addition to heightened WPA-Enterprise security and use of the 802.1X authentication protocol.
5. Improved Scalability For Business Growth
With the ability to deploy multiple access points comes a greater capability to scale your WiFi network as your business grows. Once put in place, this modular approach makes as-needed expansion relatively easy.
6. Advanced Configuration, Management, and Reporting
Enterprise WiFi offers tools allowing network managers to have greater control over your WiFi’s configuration and management, as well as security features like intrusion detection. They also give the business owner access to reporting capabilities allowing them to gain insight into usage patterns.
7. Creating Guest WiFi Improves Security
Finally, Enterprise WiFi allows you to create guest user accounts. Guest accounts can be firewalled from the rest of the network, enhancing your security since these users won’t be able to gain access to sensitive data.
How to Upgrade to Enterprise-Grade WiFi
If you’ve decided to upgrade your WiFi network to an enterprise-grade WiFi setup, the best course of action is to get a consultation from an IT communications specialist. They will:
- Analyze your office layout and perform a site survey to determine the optimum number and placement of access points,
- Procure, install, and configure the hardware to provide a secure and consistent WiFi network with the option of integrated AD security, and a guest portal for office visitors,
- Provide needed technical and user testing acceptance,
- And provide implementation evaluations as well as future improvement recommendations.
JIG Technologies offers a complete suite of managed IT and software development services in the Toronto area. Contact us to learn how we can develop the customized services you need to help you meet your business goals.