Often small business owners and hotels use consumer Wi-Fi routers designed for home use to provide public internet access. A home router with Wi-Fi may be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. While it seems to be the cheapest way to do so, this table shows the major differences between consumer Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi router, Wi-Fi 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 consumer Wi-Fi equipment and armature installation. Overall, when implemented correctly, Wi-Fi networks provide better value for money for businesses than a number of cheap casually-installed Wi-Fi routers.
Manly Electronics provides a complete service, including planning, installation and servicing of Wi-Fi networks.
|Consumer Wi-Fi points, routers||Enterprise Wi-Fi point/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 Wi-Fi 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.
|Network management, reliability||None, faults discovered only when the customer complains.
An onsite technician is required for troubleshooting and repairs.
|Wi-Fi network administrator is automatically notified of outages by e-mail.
Administrator can see the status of the Wi-Fi network and each individual access point online in one place via web browser or mobile app.
In case of a cable failure, Wi-Fi points fall back to wireless mesh mode.
|Branding||None||When connecting to Wi-Fi, 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. Wi-Fi point interface is not usually secured||Automated updates from the Wi-Fi access point vendor for maximum stability performance and security. Control interface is HTTPS secured. Each access point has a built-in firewall. Wi-Fi users can be separated on hardware level eliminating the possibility of hacking either the network or each other.|
An administrator can easily reconfigure Wi-Fi any time as either free or requiring a password or access code.
|Roaming, moving between Wi-Fi points/rooms||None - Connection is interrupted when user moves from one access point/room to another||Connection is continuous. The Wi-Fi device seamlessly roams to the best available Wi-Fi access point.|
|Marketing, Analytics||None||Possibility of statistical analysis of Wi-Fi users|
|Scalability,adding extra rooms, Wi-Fi zones||None, each new access point needs to be manually configured.||Additional points easily added.|
|Price||$30-$200 per Wi-Fi access point||$100-$2000 per access point|