Commercial WiFi access points via home routers

Why commercial WiFi access points are better

Often small business owners and hotels use home WiFi routers designed for home use to provide public internet access. A home WiFi router may be used as a WiFi access point. While it seems to be the cheapest way to do so, this table shows the major differences between home WiFi routers and proper hotspot networks used in public places such as cafe shops, shopping centres, hotels and resorts as well as company offices, where reliability and security of internet access is critical.

Unlike a single WiFi router, WiFi network installation requires careful planning, taking into account the customers needs, building specifications and budget. Some projects also require relevant certification, documentation and service level agreements which are not possible with home WiFi equipment and armature installation. Overall, when implemented correctly, WiFi networks provide better value for money for businesses than a number of cheap casually-installed WiFi routers.

Manly Electronics provides a complete service, including planning, installation and servicing of WiFi networks.

Home WiFi routers, pointsCommercial / Enterprise WiFi points/hotspot networks
Coverage 10-30 meters radius Everywhere where specified
Passwords All users are given the same password to log on to the Internet. If you need to change the password, you need to do that in all access points/all rooms. Common or individual passwords for entire WiFi network easily changed in one place via web browser or mobile application. Unique passwords can be generated automatically and printed in batches on branded vouchers.
User Control None Accounts / issued user passwords may be limited by time or by download volume.

See and control:

  • who the users are
  • when they are connected
  • devices they use
  • how much each user is downloading
Network management, reliability None, faults discovered only when the customer complains.
An onsite technician is required for troubleshooting and repairs.
WiFi network administrator is automatically notified of outages by e-mail.
Administrator can see the status of the WiFi network and each individual access point online in one place via web browser or mobile app.
In case of a cable failure, WiFi points fall back to wireless mesh mode.
Branding None When connecting to WiFi, users see a business login page with a logo, welcome note, links, or are automatically redirected to business Facebook page or webpage, etc
Security Must be updated manually. WiFi point interface is not usually secured Automated updates from the WiFi access point vendor for maximum stability performance and security. Control interface is HTTPS secured. Each access point has a built-in firewall. WiFi users can be separated on hardware level eliminating the possibility of hacking either the network or each other.
Monetarization None, manually

An administrator can easily reconfigure WiFi any time as either free or requiring a password or access code.

A user can:

  • Purchase pre-printed access code vouchers.
  • Purchase time on a WiFi network login page with Visa or PayPal
  • ‘Earn’ access with Facebook likes
  • Get free but limited access upon agreeing to certain conditions.
  • Ability to build in advertisements
Roaming, moving between WiFi points/rooms None - Connection is interrupted when user moves from one access point/room to another Connection is continuous. The WiFi device seamlessly roams to the best available WiFi access point.
Marketing, Analytics None Possibility of statistical analysis of WiFi users
Scalability,adding extra rooms, WiFi zones None, each new access point needs to be manually configured. Additional points easily added.
Price $30-$200 per WiFi router or access point $100-$2000 per access point

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