What’s Better—Managed or Unmanaged Wi-Fi?

If you’ve begun researching broadband solutions, you may have encountered discussions about managed and unmanaged Wi-Fi. While both offer broadband solutions, you need to understand the critical differences to decide which is a better fit for your business. In this post, we’ll provide a brief overview of both options, their key benefits, and some of the challenges associated with each.

Managed Wi-Fi

When a company advertises a managed Wi-Fi solution, they’re offering to design, install, and maintain all of your wireless infrastructure for you. You pay a fixed monthly fee, and in return, your team doesn’t have to worry about monitoring, updating, or repairing your wireless network. With one less thing to worry about, your organization can stay focused on day-to-day operations.

Managed Wi-Fi solutions are ideal for larger facilities where multiple visitors, residents, or employees need high-speed internet access. Managed Wi-Fi designs typically involve extensive infrastructure that integrates numerous access points, wireless controllers, switches, and cabling to maximize network performance.

If you don’t have a team of in-house IT experts, a managed Wi-Fi solution helps you get the most of your infrastructure while guaranteeing superb signal strength throughout the building. At the same time, should any network issues arise, you know exactly whom to call. However, you may have less control over how your network is secured and designed when you partner with a managed Wi-Fi provider. You also should expect to pay more for the hands-on service a managed Wi-Fi solution provides.

Benefits of Managed Wi-Fi

The benefits of a managed Wi-Fi solution generally outweigh the drawbacks by offering:

  • Access to the latest technology
  • A hassle-free approach to troubleshooting
  • The possibility of bundling services and internet plans
  • Simplified scalability as your organization grows
  • Cost-effective equipment rental options

Unmanaged Wi-Fi

Simply put, unmanaged Wi-Fi is what most people have at their homes. Unmanaged Wi-Fi networks usually only have one access point (frequently just a single router) and minimal cabling. These networks typically have low bandwidth with only a handful of connected devices during peak use. Since this single access point—or even a couple of access points—is not connected or integrated to work in conjunction with another, the network is considered unmanaged. Since access points aren’t designed to work together, signal strengths, upload speeds, and download speeds are generally lower than with a managed Wi-Fi network.

Challenges of Unmanaged Wi-Fi

While an unmanaged Wi-Fi solution offers lower upfront costs, that doesn’t necessarily make it a more cost-effective option than managed Wi-Fi. If you have a problem with your Wi-Fi network, it’s up to you to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. If you can’t handle it in-house, you may need to outsource the problem to an IT provider. When you account for downtime as well as productivity and revenue loss, a managed Wi-Fi solution can quickly pay for itself by guaranteeing a reliable business platform for your team. In addition, unmanaged Wi-Fi can make it more challenging to scale your Wi-Fi network as your organization grows.

Your Boca Raton Wi-Fi Service Provider

QXC specializes in providing comprehensive fiber optic network solutions for organizations throughout Florida, we’re here to serve your needs no matter where you are in the United States. Whether you’re interested in exploring our managed Wi-Fi services or you want an estimate for a turnkey fiber optic internet installation, contact our experts today. We’ll work with you to explore your vision, clarify your needs, and build a network foundation that’s prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.

WiFi Optimization | QXC Communications

WiFi Optimization

What strategies does your organization have in place to ensure that you’re maximizing the performance of your WiFi network? Chances are, you could be doing more to ensure your team has access to a high-performance wireless network at all times. Here are a few straightforward steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your wireless infrastructure.

Assess Access Points

Whether you’ve already established the locations of your wireless access points, or you’re planning a new network setup, a wireless site survey can help you pinpoint optimal locations for wireless network components. Plan an optimized wireless layout that takes into account objects and barriers that may disrupt wireless signals like metal, glass, doors, or other electronics. Most routers direct signals at a downward angle, so elevating routers can boost signal performance while minimizing obstructions.

Depending on the size of your facility, a survey can be completed in anywhere from a day to a few days. With a plethora of WiFi analysis tools available today, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone can be transformed into a WiFi analysis tool that helps you identify WiFi problems, analyze signal strength, and find optimal channels and locations for your access points.

Make sure to perform your WiFi survey during a typical day at work with average levels of traffic and with furniture and structures in their usual places. That way, your team can paint a realistic picture regarding how your team uses the space to deliver measurable, real-world results. With wireless routers tuned to provide reliable, high-speed Internet access, a WiFi survey can add lasting value to your day-to-day operations.

Leverage (or Upgrade) Your Equipment

If you’re planning a wireless network setup or upgrade, it’s critical to ensure that you’re selecting enterprise-level hardware that’s built for a business environment. Unlike residential systems, business-grade WiFi hardware is designed to support anywhere from a dozen to a hundred simultaneous connections without slowing your team down. At the same time, enterprise-grade access points offer premium connectivity ranges that far surpass home network equipment.

If you already have wireless equipment, but you want to get more out of it, a managed WiFi service provider can help you leverage industry connection to get you the latest technology at the lowest price.

Quality of Service

A managed WiFi partner can tailor your wireless infrastructure to your business environment and even unique operations like running cloud-based applications and video conferencing. One step you can take on your own is to establish Quality of Service (QoS) priorities. QoS rules allow you to implement network guidelines that prioritize certain network activities over others. For example, if you don’t want video streaming to slow your network down, you can set your system up to prioritize file transfers and basic Internet access over YouTube. Nobody understands your team’s operations like you, and establishing QoS priorities ensures that your team always has high-speed access to the content they need.

Your Managed WiFi Partners

At QXC, we specialize in optimizing managed WiFi networks for the business environment. While there’s a lot you can do on your own to boost Internet speeds, there are some tasks that are better left to the professionals. Paired with fiber-optic capabilities, a managed WiFi platform can add lasting value to your operations while preparing you for the challenges of tomorrow.

If you’re interested in elevating network speeds to the next level with infrastructure built around your needs, contact our team today, and we’ll start working on a solution for you.

outdoor event on a large boat

Temporary WiFi for Your Outdoor Event

Temporary WiFi for Outdoor Events

In today’s world, WiFi has become essential to ensuring the success of your event. While at your event, attendees expect to be able to share photos, FaceTime friends, and post to social media. If you’re expecting an influx of attendees, cell phone infrastructure rarely supports peak data demands.

Without WiFi, attendees won’t have a reliable connection, meaning they won’t be able to spread the word about your event and they won’t want to stick around for long. Food, drink, and retail vendors also depend on a reliable, secure connection to streamline transactions. With the proper planning, however, you can ensure that your upcoming event is prepared to prosper.

Here are three critical steps you can take to ensure you’re ready.

1. Clarify Your Needs

Understanding why you need WiFi is the first step to getting the solution you need. If you aren’t expecting a huge crowd and the area has 4G coverage, you may not even need WiFi or you may only require limited WiFi to cover your event team and vendors. In our experience, however, about 90% of events could benefit from temporary WiFi.

Here are some of the most common aspects of an event that planners use temporary WiFi for:

  • WiFi for guest access
  • WiFi for event staff
  • WiFi for select guests
  • Guest marketing data collection
  • Internet for the media team
  • A secure connection for vendors
  • Registration systems
  • Bandwidth for entertainment
  • Bandwidth for cameras/streaming

The possibilities for Wi-Fi are virtually limitless. As you begin clarifying your WiFi needs, start by listing every element of your event that will demand WiFi or a data connection. You can break it down by groups, individual users, and devices along with how each of them will be using bandwidth.

2. Select A WiFi Partner

While temporary WiFi planning and deployment may seem complicated, it isn’t when you choose a partner who has done it hundreds of times before. Once you’ve clarified your goals and network demands, the right partner will be able to turn that into a reality.

Choosing a local, specialized company is typically your best option. They understand the unique constraints and challenges of working in your region and strive to build long-lasting partnerships with clients. Because they depend on word of mouth for success, a local event WiFi provider aims to deliver the best customer experience available. Start asking around to find a provider that’s earned a reputation for credibility.

3. Learn The Fundamentals

The right WiFi provider will work with you to provide clarity and transparency at every step of the process—from planning to deployment. Although you don’t have to understand all of the technicalities right away, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of how your network solution works. Learning a few key industry terms can streamline the process and facilitate communication.

Here are a few terms to get you started:

  1. SSID:

    The service set identifier (SSID) is the primary name of your WiFi network, most frequently encountered when using a mobile device to connect to a wireless network.

  2. Hardline:

    A hardline is an Ethernet cable that connects high-demand devices to your temporary network for a faster, more reliable connection.

  3. Access Point:

    An access point is a networking device that broadcasts a signal, allowing wireless devices to connect to the wired network.

  4. Switch:

    A switch is a device that connects a number of devices together using a hardline connection.

  5. Splash/Portal Page:

    A splash or portal page is a welcome page that greets guests when they log on to your network. A portal page may also be used to collect voluntary data from your guests.

  6. Hot Spare:

    A hot spare is a network backup device that can be deployed in case of a device failure.

  7. SLA:

    A service level agreement is a contract between you and your provider that clarifies what you expect from your provider and what they promise to deliver.

Ready to learn more about how QXC can deploy the ideal WiFi solution for your next outdoor event? Contact us today or learn more about our event WiFi solutions to take the first step to ensure your event’s success.