An Introduction to Managed WiFi
Managed WiFi is basically a business service that allows an enterprise to outsource much of the mundane administrative tasks involved with setting up, securing, maintaining, configuring, maintaining and/or updating a WiFi network to a third-party service provider. These services provide the administration, support and guidance necessary to ensure your company’s network is up and running. Some of the services will include choosing the frequency for which your network will operate, assigning SSIDs and checking for security vulnerabilities. However, the bulk of the work will involve dealing with security issues such as dealing with wireless drivers, identifying weak spots in your infrastructure and configuring your wireless APs. The primary goal is to make sure your company’s wireless devices are protected against malicious attacks and will prevent unauthorized access to the information on your network.
The benefits of using managed WiFi services are several.
First, you eliminate much of the manual labor required to properly configure and manage your wired and mobile devices. Many people in positions like this have very little IT background and thus do not fully understand the complexities involved. Second, most of the configuration tasks are done for you by the service provider so you don’t need to be concerned with them. Third, it helps to streamline your IT support process since most service providers will already have worked out all the kinks in your setup. Finally, when it comes to businesses that have expanded beyond just one location, network monitoring is vital to pinpointing trouble spots, helping to solve issues before they adversely affect productivity.
A cloud-based managed wifi service offers several benefits.
First, you don’t need to install any software on your devices. Instead, each access point is provided with its own software program that allows it to communicate with the WiFi database via a web browser. This enables you to quickly identify problems as they arise, troubleshoot them, and even adjust or change configurations in real time without needing to install any additional software on your device.
For businesses with a small staff and no IT department, the benefits of managed hosting are clear. You won’t need to hire or train personnel to perform the various tasks involved such as configuring per access points, securing the network, managing SSID’s and other related tasks. Rather, you can let a team of professionals take care of these tasks while you relax and concentrate on your core business. For those who have the budget to retain an in-house IT team, this can be a great option. However, for many organizations with less funding available, cloud based Peripheral Component Object Management (PCOM) may be a better option.
Cloud based managed services provide fast, reliable, and secure internet connections for your enterprise. The managed services utilize the same technology that the managed services company uses to provide their clients with fast, reliable, and secure data connections. Since the technology is the same, the performance of your managed wifi providers is also the same, which results in fast, reliable, and secure internet connections for your devices.
Unlike managed services, you don’t have to worry about purchasing or maintaining hardware and software. Many of the cloud based Managed WiFi solutions include WAP based software, which you can download and install on your computers to get started quickly. These software applications are simple to use and will manage all of your wireless networks from anywhere that an internet connection is available. To get started with your managed wifi system, you’ll need to create your first group of access points. Each entry is assigned a network name so you can easily find each other using a desktop icon, or with a directional arrow on your desktop.
Access points allow users to connect to a public or private network at any time. With a managed service, you choose the number of access points that are allowed to connect simultaneously and choose between private and public networks seamlessly. With a fully managed service, users can create as many public and private wireless networks as they want to connect to at one time. You can also select wireless networks of any size, allowing you to create a mobile wireless access point if you travel often.
- Depending on your business requirements, you can opt for a single managed network of access points that allow you to manage the connection for all of your employees.
- Or, you may want to set up several smaller networks for different departments or employees so they can access wireless internet access at their own personal pace.
- When you’re ready to get started, there are several Managed WiFi service providers to choose from including Sun Microsystems, Eero Saarinen, NEC and others that offer complete solutions for your business needs.
- You can even create your own managed wifi system by renting a fully managed appliance or by purchasing a hand-held device that connects to multiple computers.