Most businesses have some kind of wireless network. You’re probably on one now as you’re reading this. Often a wireless network is installed in a business to provide convenience and flexibility. Sometimes it is even used as the sole connection method, with not a cable to be seen.
But did you know there’s a lot more to a wireless network than meets the eye? With the latest Wi-Fi technologies there are some pretty cool things we can do:
- Segregated Guest Access – Have you ever had visitors to your premises who request access to your wireless network so they can connect their devices? What if one of those guest devices was carrying a worm (a type of malware) that was just waiting for access to new, untouched networks so that it can spread and multiply, wiping out your data in the process. Fortunately, it is possible to setup completely segregated guest wireless networks so that your guests can still have access to the internet, but are blocked off from accessing anything within your internal network. It’s also possible to define how long a guest can access a network through single-use access codes. Rather than sharing a common password (you can still do this if you prefer), give a visitor a single use code that is only valid for 2 hours.
- Viewing and filtering web traffic – your business might have a policy that determines what websites can and cannot be access. Enforcing this on your wireless network (and even wired) can be achieved without any additional hardware or software. Web statistics can be drilled down to per device or even per user so that you can find out where all your bandwidth is going (lunch breaks are peak times for YouTube traffic!). Once you’ve identified potentially unwanted sites you can block them either at the access point or you can carve it up, allowing some PCs to access this website, blocking that website for any mobile phones, etc. And its not just limited to websites, it can be any application traffic. But what if you don’t want to block the traffic, but rather just slow it down? That brings us to the next point:
- Throttling – Now that you can see how your network is used, you can decide how much of the network it’s allowed to use. Throttling is the process of restricting the speed of certain types of network traffic. Lunch time YouTube sessions slowing down the network for everyone? What about two dozen iPhone’s all downloading the latest IOS update at the same time? You can throttle this traffic so that it can only use a fraction of the available bandwidth. Taking it a step even further, you can define this throttling to only certain devices or at certain times of the day.
These are just some of the features that today’s wireless networks can provide, there’s so much more, location analytics, wireless intrusion prevention or the multitude of authentication options. So maybe your current wireless network doesn’t quite cut the mustard anymore? Or you don’t feel like you are utilising all the great features of that access point you bought? Get in touch with us today to see what we can do to take your wireless to the next level.