Business WiFi without the headaches
Modern router technology is making it easy to enjoy powerful, reliable, seamless, secure and affordable WiFi, no matter the size of the business, says Peter Chang, country product manager at ASUS.
Wireless is amazing, not least for its simplicity. You just connect your device, enter a password if needed, and you are connected to the wider world. No cable, no fancy network configurations, no hassle.
No wonder WiFi is seen as a business necessity. Whether it's to attract customers or make your staff more effective, WiFi is the technology backbone nearly all businesses rely on.
If only it was that simple on the other side of the fence. Owners of WiFi systems often find the upfront ease hides a lot of complexity. WiFi has a reputation for being finicky to set up and challenging to maintain. As cyber security threats rise, WiFi is also the obvious place where digital criminals try to attack a business, says ASUS's Peter Chang, Country Product Manager.
"WiFi can be everywhere and ready for everyone. But that means it is also out there for uninvited guests, such as cyber criminals. This puts a lot of pressure on the business owners that their WiFi must be secure. Then they have other considerations: are customers happy with the WiFi? Can their staff use the WiFi to improve their performance? Are there things WiFi can tell the business? With so many questions, a seemingly simple asset can instead be a complicated technology for companies."
The problem, though, is not WiFi itself. Instead, it's that not all WiFi devices are created equally. Saving a little on a cheap WiFi router may seem smart, but it hides all those headaches that only become apparent later. The real differentiator is to instead invest in WiFi technologies that are designed to put the business in front.
"Businesses want to treat WiFi like furniture: just buy and forget. But only the right solution can enable that, because WiFi does not stand still. It adjusts as more and newer devices use the network. You could say that as the business grows, so will WiFi. It makes sense to get the right dynamic WiFi system at the start."
This used to mean buying very expensive and complicated hardware, coupled with equally pricey installation skills. That is a lot to ask for a technology that often starts as an add-on to the company. A small business can hardly afford to spend all those resources, while a larger company tends to have more serious technology requirements. But, if you can't afford to neglect WiFi, nor to dote on it, what is the solution?
This is why companies such as ASUS have engineered a new generation of WiFi routers. Such routers have built-in software that make the configuration of the WiFi service a breeze: set security and access parameters so only the right people have sufficient access. You can even create your own WiFi portal for customers, all through intuitive and non-technical applications. By utilising the latest in wireless methodologies, these routers manage WiFi signals intelligently so that weak signal and over-saturation become issues of the past. Monitoring performance and usage is more obvious, enabling the business to see the true value of their WiFi network.
The problem with WiFi is not the business. It's the technology, which has routinely either been dumbed down to an ineffectual level or left so complicated it was a chore to adopt. This is no longer the case, says Chang: "There is no excuse anymore for complicated or frustrating WiFi. The differentiating factor between vendors today is how quickly and effectively their WiFi products empower customers. If a router can't service even a small business and create more opportunity for it, then WiFi is not delivering its promise. And that's the only promise you should ask for: will this device give my business what it needs, without the uncertainty and painful set-up? If the answer is no, then that vendor is not worthy of your support."