There are a zillion options when it comes to selecting a wifi setup. We get confused about the kind of hardware we should install, the service provider we should hire and the budget we should allocate to get the best high speed seamless connectivity at our homes, offices and businesses.
The amount of competition in the industry is both a pro and a con. On the upside, we get a variety of solution providers that solve an array of problems at competitive rates, but on the downside, the very magnitude of these variants is dizzying.
Well, I am here to try and help you out.
To comprehend how to buy a hassle free system, you have to first understand how Wifi works. Check the self-descriptive image below for a better understanding.
Now that you know the fundamentals let us proceed to how you need to select your devices.
First, you need to analyze your requirement. This step sounds very basic but usually, people tend to overlook its importance. Due to the variety of systems available in the market, we get bedazzled by the newest technologies or the latest gadgets. Don’t get me wrong! Who doesn’t love the latest gizmos? But in most cases, the establishments do not need a high end setup or the latest bit of technology. So it becomes paramount that you reflect on what you want your infrastructure to accomplish.
For example, if you are a small grocery chain owner with 4 outlets in the same city and you want to install wifi to increase the footfall in your store. You do not need to spend on a setup that connects outlets throughout the country or even the state. You need a simple setup that allows 50-60 shoppers to connect to each outlet. This reduces the cost you will incur while installing the controller, access points and other hardware.
Second, make a list of the features or the equipment you need. Jotting down your requirement ensures that you do not sway from them when you see your choices.
Third, Always and I mean ALWAYS, choose your controller carefully. This is the most crucial step as this will allow you to eliminate downtime and boost customer satisfaction. Your controller needs to be smart enough to troubleshoot numerous locations from a single location. And if it does it all from one dashboard then it’s even better.
To understand this better, let’s consider the grocery store example again. Let’s assume all four outlets get 500 customers per week and on an average, there are 40 concurrent users at any given time. This means in total 2000 users connect to the network and there are 160 concurrent users at any given time. Now the owner of the chain cannot be at all four locations at once, so in the event of a malfunction he will either have to travel to the location of the problem or will have to hire someone at each location to avoid downtime. Now both these options have a cost implication and are time-consuming.
In the same situation if all the access points were connected to a controller that could manage and troubleshoot remotely then the owner could just solve the issues from wherever he was located. This not only gives a big cost-benefit and saves time but also eliminates customer dissatisfaction.
Moreover, make sure your controller has access point management capabilities as well. This will not only make your life easier but will also reduce the setup cost.
Lastly, get an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) from your vendor. Ensure that you have sufficient AMC from your vendor. Usually, vendors offer a year of free service after installation, but you should always get at least 3 years of AMC from them. It costs lesser and helps your resolve complicated issues with the network which are difficult to handle.
Hope this article resolves all your queries. In case you need any more clarifications, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.