Wi-Fi is one of those things that a business simply cannot have enough of: whether it’s running applications on professional mobile devices or offering free public access to customers, from the hotel, to retail store, to warehouse, Wi-Fi is a ‘must-have’ with employees and guests relying on fast and uninterrupted services.
When things become ubiquitous, you tend to not give them too much thought. Somehow, it all works. The TV turns on, the water comes out of the faucet, and the car starts. That is, until they don’t. Then, and usually only then, do you come to realize how much you rely on technology to get even the most basic of things done. (Try brushing your teeth without water.)
As we discussed in the first part of this latest blog series, numerous industrial environments have still not upgraded to an industrial wireless network, instead relying on the same standard network currently supporting their carpeted space. This is causing serious issues for businesses, as complex working environments demand a dependable, powerful connection in order to cope with their ever changing and chaotic nature, extreme conditions and diverse range of devices.
Are you and your WiFi technology a match made in heaven, or is it a tortuous, high maintenance relationship?
It's official: Wi-Fi is a better fix for grumpy guests than coffee.
According to Wakefield Research, 75% of Americans would be grumpier after a week without Wi-Fi than after a week without coffee. And let’s be honest, the habit to go online at every spare moment isn’t just an American one – we’re at it all over the world.
This two part blog series covers five questions to ask and answer in order to ensure your WiFi network is industrial strength. In this first part we identify the first two of these five questions you should be asking.
The latest Wi-Fi standard is 802.11ac. It’s a game-changer, a step ahead, a paradigm shifter – call it what you will. The point is, it’s another example of technology making giant leaps forward, and forcing businesses to think about how they respond.
In this case, it’s likely that millions of businesses will be thinking seriously about making a change to their wireless networks. Because any wireless network that’s more than three years old is probably not up to the job of meeting today’s demand for connectivity.
If you work in an office all day you might not see the difference between the WLAN you use and that on the factory floor (or the warehouse or the port for that matter).
With the ever growing adoption of mobility (i.e. smartphones, tablets etc.) and the desire for people to be connected to the internet regardless of their location (at home, at school or work etc.) Wi-Fi has quickly become the favorite type of network connection. Although wireless wide area networks such as 3G or 4G are now available in most urban areas, Wi-Fi is still preferred in most cases due to wide support of all sort of devices and the fact that you can get free connection now in most public places, including bars/restaurants, airports, hotels, city centers, stadium etc. More importantly, most people now enjoy Wi-Fi at home and expect the same experience when they travel, leisure, work etc. It's fair to say that Wi-Fi has grown from being a niche technology used by companies in warehouses and other business environments to a commodity technology (available to almost everyone).
So if Wi-Fi has now become commodity, does this mean that the same Wi-Fi technology that we use at home can be used in business environments as well? Not exactly. Even though we have standards for Wi-Fi products, which guarantee that an Access Point from vendor X works with a tablet from vendor Y, there are some important differences between products that are designed for personal use (or SOHO, Small Office / Home Office) and Enterprise Class solutions. While most people can imagine that a Wi-Fi network in a large hospital, university or retailer with hundreds of stores will have other requirements than the Wi-Fi you have at home, the differences may be less obvious for a Small or Medium Business (SMB). Especially when looking at the price of your little home router or AP, it may look attractive to buy the same products for your business. After all, it works at home, so why wouldn't it work at the office. Good question. Well, the answer is that at work (regardless the size of your business) you probably need an Enterprise Class solution. “So then tell me what 'Enterprise Class' means”, I hear you think. Basically it means that the solution is 'fit' for use in a professional business environment which then means it has specific features and options which supports your business better than a home or SOHO product. Let's take a look at some of these specific features and options.
- Support for mobility: