How to select the right public Wi-Fi system for your business

How to select the right public Wi-Fi system for your business

Deciding on the right Public Wi-Fi system can be fundamental to the successful operation of any company. Whether hosting for customers, clients, or employees, an effective WLAN supplier can revolutionise your business’s operations. When deciding upon a Wi-Fi systems supplier, different variables should be considered to meet your business’s wireless network ambitions and improve benefit/cost efficiency.

Business Size

A key component of business Wi-Fi system suitability relates to the size of your operations. This is because each WLAN system is driven by a specific frequency that is beneficial within a specific context of use. Suppliers like Cambium Networks™ offer a range of sophisticated cnPilot™ WLAN systems tailored to different purposes, users, and environments.

For example, the cnPilot™; Wifi-6 are dual band AP’s. This enables them to run on a 5GHz frequency making fast connectivity a key advantage for small-medium fast-paced office work. Similarly, a 5GHz frequency offers a greater number of non-overlapping channels to transfer the users’ internet signal. This means your business will experience less Wi-Fi interference in high-traffic environments and subsequently can work with greater efficiency when completing high bandwidth-requiring tasks. You may however choose a 2.4Ghz WLAN for legacy 2.4Ghz devices in your network; this Wi-Fi roaming between the access point has increased connection consistency when on the move. This is beneficial for those walking from one location to another location in the office to conduct a virtual client call; any connection loss in the new space could be detrimental to business/client relations and potentially lead to client loss.

The cnPilot™ dual-band Wi-Fi systems can transmit both frequencies – individually or simultaneously – providing efficient connectivity speeds and greater performance for your business. The dual-band option is beneficial for businesses for large numbers of customers to access and improve the business reputation. Dual banding is expensive and should be considered if the benefits of greater connectivity outweigh the costs.

Location Conditions

Another factor to consider when choosing an efficient business Wi-Fi system is the location of your operations. Do you work entirely indoors or outdoors, or both? The cnPilot™ range offers an array of WLAN systems that are specifically tailored to different business environments.

Indoor businesses may benefit from a wall mountable access point and therefore would be better to purchase the purpose-built cnPilot™ e425. However, for highly dense business environments like supermarkets, music events, or sporting stadiums, the cnPilot™ e502S/ XV2-2T1 system may be an effective choice as it is purpose-built to maintain high-traffic environments. The WLAN choice for an entirely outdoor business would instead require an access point designed to function efficiently within all weather conditions. A high-performance outdoor built access point like the cnPilot™ E510 is an effective choice for these conditions as it can operate effectively at temperatures between -40c and 65c, effectively protecting your wi-fi access through every season of the year.

Data Control

With the fast-changing environment potentially driving business success and growth, a vastly adaptable Wi-fi system will prove a pertinent choice. Creating or removing a cost to use the business Wi-fi should be easy to implement based on the company’s demands. Extensive control over network filters and traffic usage should also be available.

The cnMaestro™ enterprise-class management system provides this through its simplified data management line. This allows a business to control all its cnPilot™ devices from a single window and respond to demand in Wi-fi traffic to optimise the connection levels for all customers and/or employees. For customer-centred businesses, the cnMaestro™ also provides an access control list that monitors the specific traffic data of when and how many individuals are connecting to the access point. Such functionality has limitless potential for a business and can be used to tailor day-to-day operations to times of greater traffic.

Security

As with any aspect of your business operation, when deciding upon a public Wi-Fi system you need to know that company files are secure and safe from the increasingly sophisticated capabilities of cybercriminals. The cnPilot™ range offers this security through its implementation of the WPA2 system, offering businesses a secure AESAdvanced Encryption Standard – instead of the more vulnerable TKIP – Temporal Key Integrity Protocol – that is the standard issue protection with other Wi-Fi systems.    

To avoid data breaches or inappropriate use of your Wi-Fi system, a company should also expect complete control over who has access to public Wi-Fi, what websites they can and can’t view and how to differentiate bandwidth use between employees, customers, and/or guests. WAP producers such as Cambium Networks™ aim to solve these concerns through a company standard of 16 SSIDs. These provide the flexibility for businesses to broadcast a guest portal that customers can interact with.

The Cambium guest portal first requires users to complete the authentication process. These can be configured with three authentication methods: token, SMS, and social media login. Token authentication can be generated through cnMaestro for individual or bulk users. This can be kept on a front desk and provided to guests when needed. SMS authentication requires the guest/user to self-register on the guest port by filling out required information like their name, email address and phone number. Once the guest submits the correct information, they will receive a one-time password to their phone through SMS gateway. This password can then be used to authenticate the individual to use the internet services. Social log-in works in much the same way, allowing the guest/user to access internet services by using their social media log-in details.

Each of these guest portal authentication methods helps maintain security by providing an extra layer of protection to the network and its users. You can also configure client isolation speed and add a Wi-Fi use limit to maintain Wi-Fi stability.

Hardware and supplier Reliability

Choosing the most effective public Wi-Fi system is fundamental to the long-term success of a business. With online access expected by consumers and required by employees, choosing a network provider that can meet the demands of your business has never been more pivotal. By investing in a Cambium™ Network system within the cnPilot™ range, you will have access to a durable and quality WLAN that has been tailored to the needs and requirements of your industry.

Minerva is a proud Cambium Networks partner and will tailor a solution for your Wi-Fi system needs. If you’re interested in the cnPilot™ range and how it can benefit your organisation, then get in touch with our team today.

Minerva, PO Box 336930, Office 805, 8th Floor, Swiss Tower,
Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, UAE