The connectivity is what makes your business flexible, having a Fast and reliable WiFi network is the most important key for the business owners and the employees to keeping up with customers’ demands and making your business run smoothly.
The WiFi Space is crowded, and there are too many options are available to choose. It can be hard to figure out which brand and model will work better and meets your needs.
Basically, the WiFi brands are categorized in 4 levels, the Low-Level / Mid-Level / High-Level / CarrierClass-Level, you should choose the brand level based on your current and future requirements.
- suitable for projects with up to 20 Access points and maximum of 100 -150 concurrent users. Commonly without a centralized management system or with a limited monitoring system.Commonly without a centralized management system or with a limited monitoring system.
- suitable for projects with up to 80 Access Points and maximum of 150-300 concurrent users. Commonly they have a centralized management and monitoring system for Access Points, users and data streams. ( 4IPNet , EnGenius , Zyxel, Merku,…
- suitable for projects with up to 300 Access Points and maximum of 300-1000 concurrent users. They have a centralized security, management and monitoring systems. ( Cisco , Ruckus, Meru , Aruba , Merku, Netronics, Huawei, …)
- suitable for carrier and telecommunication projects with several hundred to thousands of Access Points and users. They have a centralized security, management and monitoring systems, with special kind of Load-Balancing and Fault-tolerance capabilities. ( Cisco , Ruckus, Aruba , … )
Concurrent users mean the number of users that are connected to the WiFi system simultaneously and actively working. The number of concurrent users is different from users. You may have up to 500 users in your company with 100 concurrent users.
Today, WiFi brands are trying to produce Access Points in Low/Mid and High level Models, but we are discussing about the Brand ( the hardware and software technology ), there are limited brands for High-level and CarrierGrade-level Brands.
Key factors to help you to choose access point based on your project’s needs:
1- Scale Of Your Project :
First of all , you should estimate your business growth and the maximum scale of your project to evaluate the maximum number of Access Points (WiFi Router) you may need. There are two points of view for estimation, the current circumstances and future needs.
You should consider the maximum scale ( the coverage area) of your project in the future. This estimation is too important and has direct effect on brand selection.
For example if you evaluate the 10 access point for the current circumstances and the maximum of 15 access points in the future, you can use Low-Level and cheaper brands. But if you evaluate 30 access points for the current situation and up to 50 access points for the future, you have to choose access point from Mid-Level brands and pay more for the WiFi networks infrastructure to answer your future requirements.
2- Number Of Users
You should estimate the maximum number of concurrent users you want to serve in each WiFi cell ( each Access Point has a coverage area known as WiFi Cell ). This estimation is too important and can limit the Access Point’s brand and model.
For example, if you want to serve 20 concurrent users in each cell, you can use low-level brands and models. But if you want to serve 70 concurrent users in each cell( a crowded conference room or lobby) you have to choose access point from High-Level brands.
3- WiFi Required Services
Today, you can almost have all of the wired network services on your WiFi network too. But, consider in mind that each service requires appropriate resources on your WiFi networks infrastructure and increases your overall cost. So don’t demand for the unnecessary services on your WiFi network.
Some services requires special options on your access points, so clarify required services for the current and future situations to avoid re-costing . For example , if you want to have your wired VoIP service over your WiFi network , you should choose a WiFi brand with special options like QoS, 802.11r ( to have a fast and smooth WiFi handover ) , and so on.
4- Maximum Users Bandwidth
decide about the maximum bandwidth for each connected user. You should know , each Access Point has a limited overall bandwidth which is shared with all connected users (concurrent users) . So, if you need high bandwidth for each user, you will be limited to some High-level brands.