Managed wifi is an outsourcing managed wireless network that lets clients, residents, or visitors to connect directly to the internet through multiple access points around a building, ensuring total property-wide connectivity. There are many different types of managed WiFi. A few of the most common are: apartment / condo associations (often known as condos / townhouses), business establishments, universities and colleges, airports, hotels, healthcare facilities and public transportation services. Apart from the above-mentioned services, a managed wireless network is also ideal for service providers, restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, educational facilities, government offices, and even for businesses and educational institutions.
Managed wireless networks work by allowing access points to be selected at strategic locations.
This enables access providers to select the appropriate device to connect with. These devices are usually desktop computers, laptops, tablets, routers, mobile devices and even webcams. Some providers use cellular data cards to supplement their own in-house devices. With the help of a WLAN, they are able to monitor their entire property’s connectivity, making sure that all devices are up to par.
The most popular managed wifi solutions come with two major components.
The first one is the Hardware Access Point (HAAP). This is actually a simple device that acts as the entry point for managed wifi systems. The purpose of this is to allow easy connection between the managed wifi provider and other end-users. HAAPs usually have a WLAN interface, which lets users connect to access point and control the wireless networks.
The second component is the Mobile Management Interface or MBA. The main function of the MBA is to help desk professionals with the management of mobile devices. Since most of the time, people are using their mobile devices while travelling, it is important to keep them under surveillance. Thus, this wireless management interface helps desk professionals manage the wireless networks of various employees.
Apart from these two major components, there are many other components that make up a successful managed wifi provider. For starters, look for the hardware support. Some managed providers do not use the latest chipsets and thus, they can’t utilize the latest features of devices. This could bring a lot of problems down the line. Look for an entire hardware platform which can be used by the managed services. Also ensure that the service provider offers a user-friendly interface which will help you get started right away.
Next, check if the provider offers any centralized help desk support or even access to live tech support. If the managed service provider already has a live help desk, check if they offer the same on-site help desk support. This is very important especially if you need assistance with any technical issues related to setting up, configuration, troubleshooting etc. If your technician is located in the same city as your hardware and internet providers, make sure you check if they are also offering the same on-site help desk support. Some wireless internet providers do provide on-site help desk services as well.
Last but not the least; always opt for a managed wifi solution that offers seamless connectivity. The wireless device should not interfere with other network devices. In addition to that, ensure that your enterprise software and systems can co-exist with the managed wifi solution seamlessly. For example, look for a WPA supplicant which allows you to create secure access points even if you have weak passwords. A robust managed wifi solution also ensures that your enterprise system works as per your business operations.
The WLAN manager ensures that you do not have to configure wireless access points manually. Rather, they are configured as per your specified parameters.
- It offers the flexibility to manage various SSIDs, passwords and other related things. This also helps in managing the traffic between various devices and the internet.
- The administrator of the managed WLAN also facilitates the creation of the per access point using an existing wireless configuration.
- Management of enterprise WLAN systems is indeed a task that requires patience and thorough knowledge.