Editor’s Note: It is only fitting for Asaf Bernaroch, Founder and CEO of Frantic, LLC which provides IT solutions for its clients, to tell us more about how to set up and configure WiFi for businesses so that the internet always runs at the fastest possible speed.
Thanks Asaf for sharing your insights on our IT Manager Checklist!
What should be done?
The #1 thing to do is to do a survey to measure signal strength in dbm - look at a location where the antenna is, see which antennas are operating in the surrounding area to see other antennas that reach into this location. Only after doing this do you pick the channel that has the least competitiveness.
On MAC's: If you hold down the "option" key on your keyboard and click on the WiFi icon on your top right, you'll get some built-in analysis provided by your MAC - see this article.
You can also use 5GhZ which is way faster than 2.4GhZ but you have to do the survey as well and it is recommended to put a different SSID on your 5G network because those antennas rely on the client to pick 5Ghz over 2.4Ghz -- which iPhones, for example, don’t do automatically. They rather pick the first signal they are familiar with. So always add “5G” to the SSID and transmit only on 5G band as well. Then you manually connect the mobile device or laptop manually to the 5G.
The Biggest Problem
One of the biggest problems for WiFi is the overlapping radio channel which create slow speed and not too little bandwidth.
This is especially so in large open spaces, where commercial antennas see the device drops below 50% and then actively disconnect them. You measure where the signal antenna should drop the connection which forces the device to immediately to a new antenna with stronger coverage.
Antennas should all be on the same SSID but on different channels. You should pay special attention to not crossing between 2.4GhZ and 5GhZ because that will create a messy setup. This is because if you roam within the 2.4GhZ, you can only roam to another 2.4GhZ and the phone will not immediately look for a different connection on 5GhZ.
One of the more common questions we get is the arrangements for Guest Wifi. And our answer? It depends on the industry. These are some of the common ways:
- Guest portal where users register, e.g. at restaurants or pubs to get the email address
- Open WiFi
- Guest WiFi using tokens - receptionist creates pre-configured tokens where they send out the tokens valid for 24h, e.g. hotels
Both Windows and Mac will know that the guest is connecting to a guest WiFi and the computer will ask him if he wants to connect to the WiFi. Ideally, this WiFi is isolated so the router is only seeing one computer, and no neighbors can see anything. You can check with an IP scanner to see if there are any other IP addresses around you.
For entry level networking of a 20-30 people company, I would recommend:
- Cisco small business switches SG series
For 100 people, the difference would be that one need to do more hardening of local network, firewall and router.
One point to keep in mind is that the key difference between routers is CPU power, RAM on the router. Upgrading is very easy because the software is the same on Ubiquity, where you can just backup and restore.
Bonus - what do most companies do wrong?
- Only adding antennas without properly configuring them
- 2 bands in use in the US - 2.4GhZ and 5GhZ
- Most companies take the antennas out of the box, connect it and forget about it
- 2.4GhZ is a very narrowband, slow connection and only has 11 channels. Most antennas are default configured channel 1,6, 11
- So if you power up an antenna on channel 6, most likely next door will be an antenna with channel 6 also which means an overlapping channel and you are actually decreasing bandwidth since they need to wait longer for their time slot
Frantic provides 1GB fiber internet service, most reliable, lowest latency, least amount of issues because there is no electrical equipment in between. There are no tiers, 1GB/s at $99/month, no setup, no contract.
Phone-based systems are not just a small-business solution. CEO of Kisi, Bernhard Mehl, comments: “If you see the average of three doors connected then that might seem low but, in reality, one door relates to around 50 employees—so those are locations with about 150 people on average, including satellite offices. That’s quite significant.”
Mobile Access Control Adoption by Industry
Kisi examined which industries are investing the most in mobile access control technology. To do so, the average size of mobile access control installation projects by industry were measured. Commercial real estate topped the list with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Education management came in last with 1.0 door running mobile access per facility.
The number of shooting incidents at K-12 schools, according to the CHDS, reached an all-time high at 97 incidents in 2018—compared to 44 in 2017. Cloud-based access control companies, like Kisi, offer a lockdown feature for active shooter situations or emergencies, making it an effective protective layer for places that are targeted, such as religious institutions, which come in near the top of the list with 4.0 doors running mobile access per facility.
Based on industry size, it makes sense that commercial real estate tops the list, with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Cloud-based access control enables these larger organizations to scale more seamlessly and allows large organizations, like telecommunications, to deploy the most manageable IT solutions available, eliminating the need to create and manage a business’s own IT infrastructure over time.
“Commercial real estate is, of course, the driver of mobile adoption since they have the largest buildings,” Mehl adds. “The key here is to show that mobile-first technologies are not a risk but an innovation that brings positive ROI and allows agencies to reposition their buildings as forward-thinking establishments.”
The scalabelilty and ease of use in onboarding an organization allows many different types of industries and businesses of different sizes to adapt a cloud-based access control system, either using keycard or mobile credentials for access.
Mobile Access Control by State
Looking specifically at the United States, Kisi analyzed in which states companies are investing the most into upgrading to smartphone-enabled access systems. Of the currently installed base of access control readers, around 20 percent will be mobile capable by 2022, according to a recent IHS report. Cloud-based systems, like Kisi, are future-proof—allowing over-the-air updates in real time and unlimited scalability for users.
“Mobile unlock technology makes you think of the major tech hubs like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles,” Mehl adds. “Looking at which states have the largest projects, it’s surprising and refreshing that those are not the typical ‘tech cities, and yet that’s where access control technology really makes an impact.” The fact that the largest projects are seen in states outside of the typical tech startup landscape is evidence that mobile access control is highly applicable across industry sectors.
For further questions about this study, reach out to Kait Hobson (email@example.com)