Tanaza WiFi platform vs. Classic Hotspot

Tanaza cloud-based WiFi platform vs. Classic Hotspot


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Cloud-based WiFi platforms are gaining momentum more than ever, especially these days where everything needs to be available right away and from any location. WiFi platforms have become essential to monitor networks, devices, WiFi hotspots, and intervene faster when something goes wrong.

Tanaza capitalizes the WiFi cloud management concept quite well, offering a feature-rich, scalable, and secure platform to manage high performing WiFi networks. IT teams can remotely monitor networks without going onsite and troubleshoot devices in just a few clicks, with almost zero downtime.

Furthermore, Tanaza integrates with the Classic Hotspot platform to monitor and control public hotspots. Thus, MSPs and Service Providers can manage and control WLANs from a single dashboard while allowing their customers to customize the guest WiFi experience.

Disaggregation of hardware and software is at the core of Tanaza’s technology. It allows users to manage their costs better when deploying or upgrading WiFi networks, with remarkable CAPEX and OPEX reduction, thanks to Tanaza’s multi-vendor compatibility.

Tanaza – the cloud-based WiFi platform for WLAN management

Tanaza is a cloud-based management software to operate WiFi networks, suitable for professional indoor and outdoor deployments, medium, and large scale. It allows the deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting of WiFi networks remotely from an intuitive and responsive dashboard. 

The core technology, TanazaOS, is based on the powerful Linux-based Operating System.  The platform allows users to manage and control multiple WiFi access points and thousands of networks from one single control plane.

With Tanaza, users can enable SSIDs, configure IP addresses, set radio power and channels, reconfigure access points without rebooting them or restarting devices from the cloud dashboard. Furthermore, it’s possible to integrate the platform with third-party applications. 

Tanaza represents the most suitable alternative to the on-premises and hybrid-cloud deployments since it removes the need for physical hardware controllers. It relies its cloud platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS), guaranteeing the market’s highest security levels while running on a robust cloud infrastructure.
Tanaza takes care of many operations, including server maintenance, back-up, security patches, and fixes, and ensures high availability of the system for minimum downtime and productivity losses. 

How does the Tanaza WiFi cloud platform work?

Tanaza is designed to improve productivity and performance when deploying medium and large-scale WiFi Networks. The platform lets users set the basic configuration of a network and apply those by default to all the access points in the network. This feature ensures an issue-free, fast and easy provisioning of new access points in large-scale deployments.

To use Tanaza, users should create an account, choose a device compatible with the platform and download the right TanazaOS firmware for the specific device to manage it with Tanaza.

To get started with Tanaza, create a network to associate any APs. A Network can contain any number of access points in single or multiple locations. There’s no limit on the number of Networks nor on the number of access points associated with it. Furthermore, Networks can be arranged into Organizations, quite useful when managing multiple client’s locations.

Add the access point by entering its MAC address. Afterwards, create an SSID and associate the access points to the new SSID to start broadcasting Internet. When creating SSIDs, users choose an authentication method, edit general settings, like Client IP assignment (NAT or Bridge mode), bandwidth limit, and security settings, such as client isolation, or band selection.

Tanaza features an Inventory for the access points within the platform, where users can store access points while not using them. Also, users can add offline devices to networks. As soon as it goes online, it will synchronize with the network’s configuration automatically.

The platform allows network admins to work with any number of collaborators by inviting them to join the networks as members.

Furthermore, network admins can assign roles and permission levels for new members in the networks that would allow full administration or only-view specific networks.

A WiFi platform with vendor-agnostic capabilities

Tanaza gives users the freedom to use different brands’ access points, reducing costs considerably. In this way, by reusing existing WiFi infrastructure, Tanaza enables customers to lower the cost of the network’s capital investment.

The Tanaza WiFi platform is compatible with multiple access points from multiple brands for indoor and outdoor deployments. Also, it has a curated selection of Tanaza Powered Devices that come with the software pre-installed. The line of cloud-managed Tanaza Powered Devices guarantees users an immediate plug & play, out of the box experience.

Classic Hotspot – the WiFi platform for hotspot management

Previously known as Tanaza Classic. Classic Hotspot is a platform to manage and monitor public hotspots from the cloud. Customers can set up and monitor their clients’ networks, their free and paid hotspots featuring a captive portal with social login and voucher-based authentication.

With Classic Hotspot, you can set up guest access authentication with password-based access, open access, or with captive portal for paid or free WiFi. The Classic Hotspot captive portal allows users to authenticate and register to WiFi networks using their credentials. 

It also represents a profitable marketing tool to collect data and segment users. Businesses that provide WiFi to their clients can collect useful data and segment it to run engaging marketing campaigns. 

Classic Hotspot features a mobile-ready splash page for users’ authentication highly customizable with the Splash Page ​Editor. The editor allows users to drag and drop built-in elements to the splash page, add new login methods, personalize the splash pages, and make it multi-lingual easily.

All information and data captured about WiFi clients are stored within the Classic Hotspot analytics dashboard, a web-based tool to access the social statistics and clients’ contact details. The dashboard helps to gather and analyze WiFi data and get insights about customers for a well-fitted brand’s engagement. The dashboard also serves as a database for all clients and their connections, showing detailed information per client and allowing export to CSV or XLSX.

Guest WiFi Access with Classic Hotspot

Furthermore, Classic Hotspot allows WiFi login through social media. Social WiFi enhances customers’ experiences and provides data to make data-driven decisions. Businesses can generate new leads, increasing the results of the lead nurturing and engagement process. Users/customers get engaged with the business while connected to the WiFi. Businesses can display welcome discounts/offers, familiarize users/customers with the brand, incentivize purchasing, and encourage interaction on social media. Classic Hotspot allows social login through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Google, Vkontakte.

The Classic Hotspot Couponing System allows businesses to create, print, and distribute vouchers for Internet connectivity. The couponing system allows to limit guest access to WiFi networks. When setting up the SSID, businesses can specify the overall bandwidth and bandwidth usage per client. Businesses can then distribute WiFi vouchers with a limited data download/upload and a limited number of devices connected to the network.

Through WiFi advertising, businesses can target the right audience, and at the same time, leverage WiFi hotspots to promote the business for free. Many companies are currently exploring WiFi to advertise their products and services to generate new leads. Using Classic Hotspot’s​ built-in system for image or video advertisements, you will attract existing or new potential customers. 

Classic Hotspot integrates with Tanaza cloud-based WiFi platform

Tanaza WiFi Cloud platform integrates with the whole feature set of Classic Hotspot. This includes the splash page editor, social and analytics dashboard. The Classic Hotspot integration allows users to enable social WiFi, paid WiFi, and WiFi advertising on custom splash pages. 
Classic Hotspot enables businesses to monitor public WiFi hotspots and manage and control the WiFi networks with Tanaza WiFi cloud all from the cloud.

To enable the integration between Tanaza WiFi cloud platform and Classic Hotspot, users should follow these instructions.

Why should you integrate the Tanaza WiFi platform with Classic Hotspot?

The cloud-managed WiFi market is rising, mostly because of the increased usage of WiFi-enabled devices and applications. The increasing employment of streamed multimedia content and web services, particularly mobile devices, expands the unique need for WiFi connectivity and drives companies to invest more into WiFi platforms.

Today, all vertical markets need to provide WiFi to their customers: retail, education, hospitality and tourism, healthcare, SMBs, public and commercial activities. Thanks to the integration with Tanaza, you can manage WiFi hotspots from the cloud.  

In this way, you will have the chance to combine a professional enterprise-level product to manage WiFi access points with a complete set of marketing features that integrates perfectly. The Classic Hotspot integration allows Tanaza’s customers to enable an advanced hotspot system for WiFi marketing, social hotspots, and WiFi monetization. 

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WiFi Hotspot Monetization with Express Wi-Fi by Facebook and Tanaza

WiFi Hotspot Monetization with Express Wi-Fi by Facebook and Tanaza


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Express WiFi and Tanaza.

WiFi Hotspot Monetization represents an excellent opportunity for Service Providers to generate more revenues. Facebook has created Express Wi-Fi, a best in class platform for WiFi hotspot monetization in emerging countries.

Small businesses, in partnership with Service Providers, can grant WiFi connectivity to their customers and connected devices, implement advertising strategies, and sell data packs through the Express Wi-Fi platform.

Express Wi-Fi helps small businesses to offer fast and affordable WiFi services through hotspots spread across communities. Retailers, restaurants, hoteliers, and other small businesses can integrate Express Wi-Fi with Tanaza to monetize their WiFi investment while managing all their networking devices from a single dashboard.

Express Wi-Fi is already available in countries including Argentina, Brazil, some countries in Africa, Asi, and SouthEast Asia.

WiFi Hotspot Monetization with Express Wi-Fi

Express Wi-Fi by Facebook is an initiative by Facebook Connectivity to bring more people online and connect the unconnected. Worldwide, there are more than 3.8 billion people who are not yet online. The Express Wi-Fi platform aims to connect the world’s rural and underserved areas to the Internet. 

Express WiFi works with local Service Providers to enable retailers, restaurants, and stores with Express WiFi compatible access points to sell internet data packets to customers through the Express WiFi platform. 

The app, available for iOS and Android, accelerates the end-user onboarding process, allowing them to buy internet plans as needed and no extra fees.

What is the Express Wi-Fi platform?

Express Wi-Fi is a best in class SaaS Wi-Fi management platform with an innovative portfolio of monetization levers that helps Service Providers in launching and operating a sustainable high-quality Wi-Fi network. 

Service Providers can collaborate with local communities and local entrepreneurs to enlarge WiFi coverage. Express Wi-Fi offers a comprehensive platform that partners can leverage to manage their WiFi hotspots better and adapt their WiFi offering.

The Express Wi-Fi platform delivers for Service Providers and Business Owners a comprehensive platform to effectively monetize and grow their WiFi networks. On the other hand for End-Users is a quick and intuitive access to fast, reliable and affordable WiFi.

The WiFi opportunity:

 

  • 4G coverage gaps areas with high-density populations, where WiFi can offer a feasible way to overcome this gap. The platform can help better identify, deploy, and manage to optimize the operator’s mobile offering.
  • Areas with low 4G adoption where people can connect but are unable to for different reasons.
  • Areas with 4G congestion. With seamless roaming on the network, end users will benefit from an always-connected state. Thus, operators will better manage congested areas, where the lack of multiple monetization levers limits revenue generation.
  • Under-utilized Wi-Fi networks, for which indirect revenue levers can help create new revenues and increase network utilization.

How to use Express Wi-Fi for WiFi Hotspot Monetization

Service Providers’ customers can use Express Wi-Fi to configure and generate revenues from their WiFi network infrastructure. Small and medium businesses, where Express WiFi is available, can monetize their WiFi hotspots through ads, sponsored splash pages, recharge API, vouchers, loyalty programs, and utilize the referral program. 

For instance, businesses can configure the captive portal at targeted hotspots to display the logo or promotional image of their business or use banner ads on the captive portal and image-based rewarded data. Also, they can purchase data packs in bulk via the Express Wi-Fi App, with each voucher having a code that can be shared through the Express Wi-Fi App, via QR code or manually.

Express Wi-Fi multi-role access

The platform has multi-role access, depending on the type of role you have to manage the Express Wi-Fi by Facebook’s network. The kind of role ranges from administrators, retailers, distributors to end-users.

 

  • Administrators can have full access to the Express Wi-Fi Partner portal to manage every single platform viewpoint.
  • Retailers are businesses that ISPs partner with to sell data packs to users. Retailers represent the point of reference for consumers to buy data and learn about the service.
  • Distributors and sales representatives can manage a retailers’ network. Also, ambassadors promote the Express Wi-Fi platform awareness and submissions. Distributors own the channel, which enables partners to reach retailers and help them to manage sales to end-users. They can sell balances to retailers through a website via mobile phone.
  • Customers, or end-users, are purchasing or getting access to the Express Wi-Fi partner’s internet service.

Where is Express Wi-Fi available?

Express Wi-Fi has already been launched in over 35 regions around the world. Networks have been deployed with more than 20,000 hotspots to serve over 1 million people.
The platform is now a reality throughout Africa, Asia, South East Asia and South America.

 

Africa

Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

South America

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

Asia

India, Nepal and Thailand.

South East Asia

Indonesia and Philippines.

Tanaza WiFi cloud-managed software integrates seamlessly with Express Wi-Fi.

Tanaza is an official Express Wi-Fi Technology Partner, which means that the Tanaza WiFi cloud management software integrates seamlessly with the Express Wi-Fi platform. Service Providers can use a fully integrated solution to manage their network deployments and the utmost monetization tools offered by Express Wi-Fi.

The Tanaza WiFi management platform

The Tanaza platform is a cloud-based WiFi management software that makes deployment, configuration, and remote monitoring of networks easier. The software enables network admins to manage WiFi networks, access points, SSIDs, and clients from one single dashboard in the cloud. The core technology, TanazaOS, is based on the reliable and robust Linux-based Operating System. The platform is compatible with multiple hardware devices for Service Providers to manage and monitor WiFi networks remotely.

Service Providers and Operators can deploy WiFi networks with different brands for robust and stable WiFi networks. In this way, they can grant users access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet with Express Wi-Fi’s monetization levers.

Benefits of integrating Tanaza with Express Wi-Fi.

The Tanaza WiFi cloud management software represents a valuable opportunity for Service Providers and Operators willing to monetize WiFi hotspots with Express Wi-Fi.

SPs and Operators can manage WiFi networks from the Tanaza cloud dashboard and monetize them through the Express Wi-Fi platform. Tanaza offers great flexibility to choose the WiFi access points that best meet their needs, thanks to our multi-compatibility.

Enable retailers to sell daily, weekly, or monthly data packs. Retailers’ customers (end-users) can buy packages on-the-go, and use them to access the Internet until the data limit is reached or until the usage period expires.

By integrating Tanaza with Express Wi-Fi, Service Providers can:

 

  • Configure, monitor, and troubleshoot networks remotely from the Tanaza cloud dashboard.
  • Use affordable and high-performing access points, leveraging Tanaza’s multi-brand compatibility.
  • Reduce CapEx and OpEx because expensive hardware controllers are excluded.
  • Monetize your WiFi hotspots through the Express Wi-Fi platform, with direct and indirect revenues.
  • Deliver better utilization and profitability from an innovative portfolio of monetization levers.
  • Use a cloud-based SaaS model optimized for Wi-Fi operations.
  • Leverage advanced analytics for optimal network deployment.
  • Take advantage of a continuously evolving software platform.

Express Wi-Fi provides Operators with a complete platform to enhance their WiFi offering.

When enabling Express Wi-Fi, you become part of an ecosystem that grants fast, affordable, reliable, and scalable internet access all over the world. Through this program, Mobile Network Operators and Internet Service Providers can work together with local entities to boost WiFi coverage where and when it’s needed.

The Express Wi-Fi platform enables Service Providers and Operators to help people enjoy connectivity in underserved areas while assisting operators in managing and monetizing their offerings.

Improve business networks using cloud-managed solutions

Improve Business Networks using Cloud Managed Solutions
Improve business networks using cloud-managed solutions


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Cloud-managed solutions can be the right approach to improve business networks while reducing CAPEX and OPEX with open and disaggregated network solutions.

 

For many businesses, the hidden costs of dealing with underperforming on-premises or hybrid networks can represent a significant obstacle to surmount, especially with the current situation that requires more availability and everything managed remotely.

 

Because of the urgency of having reliable network connectivity, many businesses are becoming quicker to react to the situation by upgrading networks. However, the upgrade needs to be done smartly.

 

Nowadays, adopting a cloud-managed network infrastructure allows organizations to save a considerable amount of money and time. Primarily, organizations operating wireless infrastructure in multiple locations can take advantage of deploying WLANs in the cloud and drive all the IT team’s work remotely. Therefore, companies will rely on a high-quality wireless experience at reduced costs.

How to improve business networks efficiency with a cloud-managed platform?

First of all, managing your networks from the cloud implies having management software that allows you to operate and control networking devices and networks from a single dashboard. It should also let you overview the network’s health and enable you to troubleshoot instantly from the cloud if a problem arises.

 

The key features that you should be looking out for in a cloud management platform are:

Centralized management

Operating networks in the cloud allows you to easily manage access points from any place, at any time. Through a single centralized dashboard, your management and monitoring processes are simplified, independently from where the access points are located. 

 

Centralized management lets users configure and monitor multiple WiFi organizations and networks, networking devices, SSIDs, and clients from one platform. Also, you can configure the access points in the network in bulk. This feature guarantees an issue-free, fast and easy provisioning of new access points.

Remote management

The management of a network in the cloud allows, first of all, to control any operation remotely. Remote management facilitates real-time monitoring and troubleshooting, dropping the need to travel to the site in case of issues.

 

You can check how many client devices are currently associated with a WiFi SSID and how much bandwidth they are consuming. Also, you can track the network’s device traffic and monitor bandwidth demand. Oversee the access points’ health status, mostly if the number of connections requested for an SSID increase.

Zero-touch deployment

With cloud management, access points can connect automatically to the cloud, and there’s no need to provision them. Thanks to the zero-touch feature, installing a networking device without needing to configure it on-site is a piece of cake. A new device can be sent to a site already configured to mount and power it up by a local employee without IT-skills. 

 

Manual configuration is complex, with a high predisposition to errors, costly, and time-consuming. Someone with the necessary configuration skills has to go on-site and set up the device before completing the central management system’s configuration. 

 

This strongly reduces the lead time, the number of hours spent on installing and minimizes configuration errors.

Scalability

Cloud management offers highly scalable capabilities that are difficult or expensive to deliver on-site. In the cloud, you can start managing a low number of devices and scale over time when your business grows and needs to add more capacity. 

 

The requirement of resources can be increased or decreased according to business needs. Furthermore, you expand your network without large capital investments, as cloud-based approaches are usually based on a pay-as-you-go structure or subscription plans. In this case, you only pay for the capacity used and do not incur unexpected costs. 

 

The flexible pay-as-you-go formula is based on your request for a software budget easy to manage. You are charged for the number of access points connected to your network. With no limitations in the number of connected clients, networks, and locations. Therefore, software costs are manageable and predictable.

Simplified troubleshooting

With WiFi management being in the cloud, administrators can quickly troubleshoot any issue related to access points and WLANs from a centralized platform. They don’t need to go on-site to restore the problem, preventing disaster recovery physically. Cloud provides IT with the troubleshooting tools to respond quickly to any potential issues and immediately stop any network anomalies.

Reduced hardware costs

With cloud-based WiFi management, CAPEX costs are considerably reduced. Indeed, you eliminate expensive hardware controllers in the network infrastructure.

 

Controller hardware devices, such as hardware controllers or cloud keys, represent a single point of failure. The entire system is at risk when a single element fails, as the whole remote visibility and centralized configuration capabilities get disrupted. 

 

In a cloud-based environment, the access points will connect directly to the cloud infrastructure over the internet. There will be no need to have any intermediary device, such as a hardware controller. The management traffic is isolated from the users’ traffic and securely reaches the cloud.

 

The users’ traffic flows through and goes directly to the destination, invisible to the infrastructure. The cloud service may be free, freemium, or subscription-based. Therefore, differently from the hardware controller at a higher cost, the cloud-based management solution gives businesses more adaptability to their budgets.

Reliability

One of the most relevant WiFi cloud deployment characteristics is that network availability is ensured. If the connectivity is temporarily lost in a location, cloud management enables the Internet-connected devices to work as usual. In this way, the current sessions are not interrupted. Furthermore, in case of disaster, a business can rely on a team of professionals. Their only goal is to enable your operations and keep them up-and-running, no matter what.

Tanaza is the ideal cloud-managed solution to operate your WiFi networks and improve your business networks.

Tanaza WiFi cloud management is the perfect alternative to the outdated on-premises deployments. Tanaza relies its cloud platforms on the robust Amazon Web Services (AWS). The highest security levels available on the market are guaranteed while running on a robust cloud infrastructure.

 

The Tanaza platform is the cloud-based WiFi management software that makes deployment, configuration, and remote monitoring of networks easier. The core technology, TanazaOS, is based on the reliable and powerful Linux-based Operating System, which is compatible with multiple WiFi access points.

 

TanazaOS is extremely fast in sending configurations to the access points. The most complex network-wide settings are applied to all access points within a network in less than 5 seconds. It is also secure, as it is built on the most recent kernel and bootloader. 

 

The Tanaza WiFi cloud management platform offers remote provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting of every device. Network administrators can set the network’s basic configurations, applied by default to all the cloud-managed access points in that network. And reconfigure access points without rebooting them or restarting the services, all from one dashboard.

 

Tanaza allows businesses to improve their efficiency levels. The software enables them to manage all their WiFi networks, access points, SSIDs, and clients from one single platform in the cloud. 

 

Discover the full feature set of Tanaza WiFi cloud management software.

Reduce CAPEX and OPEX with Tanaza Powered Devices.

Tanaza gives customers the flexibility to choose the WiFi access points that best meet their needs. Tanaza has a curated selection of access points, with the TanazaOS software already installed. The Tanaza Powered Devices are suitable for professional medium and large-scale deployments. 

 

Also, Tanaza has a list of devices compatible with the platform. Users are free to mix different brands within their network deployments. Discover all the devices that work with Tanaza.

Request a 15-day free trial

Request a 15-day free trial of our platform and experience the power of managing your WiFi networks from the cloud with Tanaza.

Mockup-tanaza-os

Related articles:

 

Cloud WiFi Management Software for Enterprise

Public Cloud vs Hybrid Cloud vs Private Cloud – What is the best choice?

https://www.tanaza.com/blog/how-to-optimize-wifi-network-infrastructure/

How to optimize WiFi network infrastructure

How to Optimize your WiFi Network Infrastructure


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about how to optimize WiFi network infrastructure.

Network Administrators need to adequate the WiFi network infrastructure deployments in terms of coverage, capacity, and bandwidth requirements to cope with the increasing demand for connectivity.

This blog post will delve into the main 6 steps network administrators should undergo to design and implement future-proof, scalable, and reliable networks to effectively fulfill the data traffic demand.

1. Define the number of access points needed

As a first step, network administrators should evaluate how many and what type of access points they need for the infrastructure they are going to implement. Whether it is small or large scale, indoor or outdoor deployments. 

First of all, you need to understand all the network requirements to provide a suitable design to avoid further site analysis and use additional access points after the WiFi infrastructure is deployed.

It is paramount to consider:
– what kind of applications will be handled in the network
– what technologies WiFi infrastructure will you support
– the number of devices that will connect to the WiFi network simultaneously
– where are the most relevant areas on the site that need WiFi coverage

Finally, consider power constraints: if you use PoE+, you are allowed to support higher performing access points.

If you want to calculate the number of access points for network deployments, please read our article Network Capacity Planning – Wireless Capacity vs. Coverage.

Tanaza supports a wide range of indoor and outdoor multi-vendor devices, and it has its cloud-managed line of Tanaza Powered Devices. You have the flexibility of choosing the most suitable brand of access points for your network deployments.

2. Control the WiFi network using a survey test

The second step is beneficial to assess your network’s environment by running a WiFi survey test. This will help you to provide a robust and reliable WiFi experience. For instance, multiple access points in the same area – i.e., surrounding buildings- might be using the same channel or an overlapping channel in the 2.4GhZ band, which might lower your WiFi network’s propagation signal while generating interference. 

Furthermore, physical obstacles like trees, water, reflecting surfaces, building materials, or devices, like garage door openers, microwave ovens, cordless phones, and Bluetooth devices, are potential sources of interference that can negatively affect the WiFi network performance. By relying on the right network stumbler or survey tool with the capability of detecting coverage and capacity, you will be able to identify such interferences, solve these issues pretty quickly, and, accordingly, determine the best place where to deploy your access points. Also, knowing where your signals are and the adjacent APs is core to running your network secure and reliable.

Finding why your APs are performing badly can have the same effect as changing a channel or removing an object that produces interference.

The WiFi site survey is a fundamental component of the planning and design process before installing a new wireless network. However, it can also be used to check and improve existing infrastructures. Here are just some of the advantages of having a WiFi site survey:

  • Identify and overcome potential issues before the installation rather than restore the equipment later on.
  • Designing a made-to-measure network system is helpful to meet the specific WiFi needs of the business.
  • Save time and money by avoiding bad choices that could have otherwise been made through a lack of important info.
  • Choose the most efficient WiFi equipment for the size of the design.
  • Give businesses the security that the option selected for the network’s plan has been the best to maintain a more reliable wireless network and expand performance levels.

Those types of tools will allow you to examine and analyze your WiFi networks to better plan, troubleshoot, and deploy them.

3. Monitor the WiFi network infrastructure

It is essential to monitor networks and intervene in disconnections or troubleshooting the access points to keep an optimal and well-performing WiFi infrastructure. You should regularly monitor your WiFi network infrastructure to rely on the predictable performance, especially when dealing with high-density environments. One of WLAN deployments’ main issues is uncontrolled bandwidth usage, causing congestion and connectivity problems.

Usually, there should be a setup of bandwidth limits in any deployment location, so there’s a constraint on the data’s flow. For this reason, multiple devices allocated in a single area must share the bandwidth. Some devices request more bandwidth than others. That’s why greater bandwidth is necessary if proper speed must be maintained on different devices.

Tanaza, for instance, features an easy-to-use remote monitoring tool that effectively monitors bandwidth, by constantly checking upload and download speed, bandwidth utilization, and the devices’ load percentage. 

In order to limit the bandwidth usage, Tanaza allows you to set up a maximum number of concurrent clients per SSID and the maximum bandwidth per SSID. Furthermore, our network monitoring software remotely checks the real-time status of your devices from a centralized dashboard and sends automatic and customizable alerts if it detects outages within your network. Furthermore, Tanaza’s platform guarantees high security and reliability levels by separating the encrypted management traffic and the client traffic on different networks.

If you want to know more about measuring bandwidth requirements, read this article: How to monitor bandwidth in WiFi Networks.

4. Enhance your WiFi infrastructure’s security

Network operators should make sure that guest users can easily access WiFi networks. WiFi infrastructures must let users easily authenticate to connect to a network’s SSIDs, but, at the same time, instantly block unauthorized users trying to access the network’s management system. 

Different tools can help to prevent a WiFi network from malicious attacks.

The Internet is an environment that is easily exposed. To ensure greater network security, it is necessary to protect the Internet environment with the right encryption mechanisms. Therefore, creating a granular policy to ensure that users are protected from malicious and untrustworthy websites becomes essential in designing networks within high-density environments.

Web content filtering allows you to configure a content filtering system throughout the network to ensure users’ safe browsing. Thanks to this tool, businesses can block inappropriate websites’ navigation, for example, pornographic content, betting sites, and malware sites.

Identifying and implementing an easy-to-use authentication and encryption strategy will make your network more secure.

Operators can set up “user authentication” to control users’ access to the network. 

Captive portals are often used for open wireless networks when authentication, payment, or acceptance of a license agreement or user policy is required. 

A captive portal may be the right solution to control and manage broadband Internet access resources on the network facility. Also, paired with a Walled Garden, which can direct users’ navigation paths within particular areas to allow and/or prevent access to specific contents –typically used to restrict Internet access. 

Tanaza features a built-in responsive and easy to set up splash page, allowing guest users to authenticate in seconds. You can access SSIDs with password encryption even in the presence of a captive portal. An access point can have from 1 to 8 SSIDs, and each one lands on a web page of your choosing, allowing you to view different splash pages to guarantee a different experience according to the needs of your business.

Tanaza gives the possibility to create a personalized Walled Garden to reach any domain you want. Suppose you select a list of websites that users can visit even without providing their personal data. In that case, Internet browsing is limited to a fixed number of pages, allowing everyone to access basic services without authentication.

5. Opt for a scalable network capacity

Many people expect to connect simultaneously to the same network in a dense wireless environment. So, it is important to design a flexible WiFi infrastructure to deploy the necessary capacity when needed.

A scalable solution is an answer to meet the higher user-density demand. It will allow you to manage a given number of access points and later upgrade them when WiFi users’ density and the related data traffic increase. In this way, your WiFi network infrastructure can effectively handle an unlimited number of connected clients.

Remember that most access points support the latest technologies and maximum data rates defined as per the standards. However, the average access points’ throughput available is usually driven by other aspects like client device capabilities, concurrent users per access point, type of technologies to be supported, and bandwidth.

Most of all, client device capabilities can affect throughput as client devices supporting only standard technologies will have lower throughput than a client device supporting newer ones.

When assessing client device throughput requirements, you can run a survey on client devices to determine their wireless capabilities. In that survey, you should identify the supported wireless bands of those devices (e.g., 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz). Also, check on the supported wireless standards (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) and the number of spatial streams each device supports.

To ensure the quality of WiFi experience in a high-density environment:

  • Make sure to have around 25 client devices per radio or 50 client devices per AP. 
  • Better having a channel width of 20 MHz to reduce the number of access points using the same channel.
  • Client devices do not always support the fastest data rates. Therefore, based on the manufacturer’s advertised data rate, estimate the client device’s wireless throughput capability. A common practice is to consider about half of the data rate. Based on that value, reduce further the throughput by 30% for a 20 MHz channel width.

For instance, Tanaza benefits from unlimited scalability as it helps you manage from a few to thousands of access points, so you can scale networks when you need it. Therefore, it’s easier and faster for businesses to deploy WiFi networks.

Learn more about planning networks for capacity.

6. Improve your network’s frequency spectrum efficiency

As WiFi is becoming more and more congested, it is essential to maximize the limited WiFi radio frequency spectrum used to provide your deployment with the right network reliability. You can add more access points to handle the increased data traffic across a channel, or you can operate not only the 2.4GHz band but also the 5GHz band. 

There are different factors to consider that can help you choose the best frequency, depending on the network’s needs: interference and congestion.

Interference can slow down a network considerably, reduce its scope, and create congestion in the network. When multiple devices operate on the same frequency, there is usually interference that can affect the signal and reduce the connection speed. For this scenario, 2.4GHz is more convenient if you need to provide a better scope on your devices, have many walls or other objects where you need coverage.

Instead, the 5GHz band’s shorter waves make it less capable of going through walls and solid objects. In general, 5GHz WiFi frequency experiences fewer interferences from other devices than WiFi connections using 2.4GHz. 

Therefore, if your WiFi network is located where there are many interferences from other devices, it will slow down your connection; thus, we would suggest steering your devices to the 5GHz frequency. If you install high-density deployments or locations with a high possibility of interference, choose dual-band devices or 5GHz devices, like the DCN WL8200-I2, DCN WL8200-I3, Comfast CF-WA350, all supported by Tanaza.

For example, Tanaza features an automatic channel selection tool that’s very useful when it comes to overlapping channels. Set the channel as “automatic,” and the system will consequently find and assign the best channel to your device each time it reboots.

Read more about selecting the right channel to avoid interferences in this blog post: 5GHz vs. 2.4GHz – What is the best WiFi frequency?

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Related articles:

 

Cloud WiFi Management Software for Enterprise

5GHz vs 2.4GHz – What is the best WiFi frequency for business?

https://www.tanaza.com/blog/how-to-monitor-bandwidth/

The fundamental difference between Tanaza and Classic Hotspot

The fundamental difference between Tanaza and Classic Hotspot


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From a cloud-based management system to a hotspot system, and back. Tanaza’s journey towards creating the next WiFi management platform for service providers and the features that distinguish Tanaza’s latest platform from the Tanaza Classic Hotspot system.

When meeting with Tanaza customers that are currently migrating to our latest Tanaza’s platform, the inevitable questions always pop. “Sebastiano, why do you have two software? And what are the differences between them?” There’s a reason why these customers got confused in the first place.

A bit of history to refresh our beginnings

Tanaza started in 2010 with the first cloud management multi-vendor platform ever conceived. Then, we entered the hotspot business when we released the complete Tanaza Classic feature set. Afterward, we decided to refocus on cloud management for service providers and developed the latest Tanaza platform.

Well…
I tried to answer the questions about our brand name in my previous blog. However, I think there are still a couple of things to clarify on how the features overlap. Particularly now that the two products are integrated and can work together on the same WiFi deployments. I believe it is essential to understand the difference.

What is the difference between Tanaza and Tanaza Classic?

Tanaza

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Tanaza platform, which has the same name as the company.
This platform provides advanced cloud management features, including centralized configuration and remote monitoring, for service providers (check the complete list of features). Also, it will include -currently under development, a very basic splash page with click-through access.

Tanaza Classic

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Classic Hotspot (cloud.tanaza.com, editor.tanaza.com and dashboard.tanaza.com). It is an advanced hotspot system for WiFi marketing, social hotspots, and WiFi monetization. Also, it includes a small set of cloud management features.

When using both products together, it is clear that you can get the best of both products. On one side, a professional enterprise-level product to manage WiFi access points. And, on the other side, a complete set of marketing features.

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However, when using Tanaza you only use the hotspot features included in Tanaza Classic, and not the basic cloud management ones which are outdated, when compared to the latest Tanaza features. Similarly, when using the Classic Hotspot advanced hotspot system, you won’t use the basic click-through splash page included in the Tanaza platform.

The two products also will be available separately to make sure that users can get the most suitable software solution for their needs. In case users want to use the Tanaza platform features, they will need to use one of the compatible access points listed here. Alternatively, they might go for a Cosmo Networks access point.

Instead, in case of users who prefer the Classic Hotspot features, they would need to select an access point in the compatibility list, which also includes some legacy and end of life devices.

Reduce Operating Costs of Wi-Fi Networks

How to reduce operating costs with remote WiFi Network Management


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or continue to read more
about how to reduce operating costs with remote
WiFi Network Management.

Wireless is evolving, accelerated by IoT devices, more connections, and more bandwidth-hungry applications. Future WiFi networks will need more wireless capacity and reliability as the IoT marketplace is changing rapidly. This, however, puts a lot of pressure on the network’s infrastructure, and Service Providers need to find the best solution to cope with the demand while keeping network deployments costs down. 

Managing such a complex ecosystem can be stressful and confusing when too much time and money is wasted on daily tasks. Networks are expensive, and just a few businesses can operate without them. However, even if networks are essential for business operations, the money invested in them is always seen as a sunk cost.

Many companies believe that the initial investment of network deployments ends at the time of purchase. Most people do not consider that the initial investment is only a small percentage of the costs they will have to face for use and maintenance.

Gartner, Inc. shows that only 20% of the total expenditure is reflected in the purchase of hardware, software, operations, and administration costs. In contrast, the remaining 80% is invested in what is defined as indirect costs, e.g., end-user operations like technical support or maintenance costs. Thus, the price of WiFi networks goes above and beyond the initial investment.

Five ways to reduce the operational costs of WiFi networks

1. The cost of vendor lock-in

One of the most significant barriers that MSPs and Solution Providers can face when deploying networks is the equipment’s high cost. Some solutions require specific tools in terms of hardware (brand/model), which can represent an essential cost if you need to change the hardware at some point.

Choosing closed software and hardware technologies can lead to huge OpEx, which might increase CapEx very quickly. Nonetheless, the movement of Open-Source is gaining momentum in the networking space. Enterprises are moving towards software-defined networks developed on open-standards.

This means that organizations are not locked into a single vendor when purchasing networking equipment, which can be a substantial cost-saver factor.

The more complex networks become, the more they cost to operate and maintain. A multi-vendor software can solve these difficulties because it lets you choose to work with different brands and models, including your WiFi devices.

2. On-premises system-based

Another obstacle to the growth of MSPs could be the up-front cost of the on-premises infrastructure maintenance to keep the networks up-and-running. Instead, with a software-as-a-service approach, users can easily manage networks remotely, scale businesses, and pay only for the services used. 

In this way, users can reduce not only up-front costs and maintenance costs but also CapEx by adopting a “pay-as-you-go” subscription approach.

3. Overlooked hidden costs

As mentioned above, the subscription model can replace CapEx expenses with a budget-friendly pay-as-you-go approach. This model can have many advantages and could fit your enterprises’ needs. But, its impact over time must be correctly estimated. 

Like ordinary maintenance, these costs should be previewed into a long-term analysis that compares both the purchase and subscription model’s real costs for any network investment you are planning.

Vendor’s bundling packages during the sales process also deserve a review. In a full package, users theoretically can rely on enhanced value through added features and multiple components, which is fine if the bundle package has everything. If not, the likelihood of paying for not used features is high, which will cause higher prices in the operating costs.

4. Total cost of ownership

TCO – the total cost of using and maintaining an IT investment over time – is often ignored and unbudgeted, presenting an inaccurate spending analysis. TCO in WiFi networking considers the initial purchase costs and the additional costs that arise over time and depend on the units wasted.

Although the TCO cannot be the only element to be considered in a company’s technological choice, it still remains one of the fundamental causes of underestimating very high operating costs.

5. 24/7 Support and Monitoring

According to the Enterprise Management Associations (EMA) ‘s research, Network Engineers and Operators use numerous monitoring and troubleshooting tools in their daily activities. Managing networks implies to provide 24/7 support and to be always available for customers. 

Nevertheless, if you are an MSP that deals with many clients from multiple locations, this can be a significant costly problem. Consider the transportation costs to get to the customer’s premises to install, troubleshoot, or reboot a device or even upgrade the firmware. Therefore, no matter which WiFi management software you use, to reduce costs and time, make sure the software you choose allows you to operate and monitor the networks remotely.

Remote monitoring as a solution

We recommend relying on a management platform with remote monitoring capability to reduce WiFi networks’ operational cost. It will allow you to manage all your networks and hardware equipment fast and efficiently from one place, without going on-premises.

The WiFi remote monitoring technology allows you to instantly access your equipment and operate networks based on that information. Moreover, you have a full 24/7 overview of the networks and get notifications of any critical operational issues on the system as they occur.

Moreover, it allows you to reduce costs by centralizing your IT staff or adapting your organization to make it more efficient. Managing your WiFi infrastructure remotely gives you the opportunity and the time to focus on your projects, like improve your product and service, innovate, deliver excellent customer service, etc.

Tanaza the WiFi cloud management solution

Tanaza is a cloud-based management solution to operate WiFi networks. It allows the remote deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting of WiFi networks from an intuitive and responsive dashboard.

Tanaza works with all access points powered with TanazaOS, the Linux-based operating system for multi-vendor devices. Also, it has a well-crafted selection of Tanaza Powered Devices that come with the Tanaza software already installed to give customers a plug & play experience.

The Tanaza platform allows users to manage and control thousands of networks and organizations from one dashboard. Apply in bulk centralized network-wide configurations, limit bandwidth, stir devices to different channels, create and manage multiple SSIDs, and much more.

Tanaza gives users the freedom to use multiple brands’ access points, reducing CAPEX considerably. In this way, by reusing the existing WiFi infrastructure, Tanaza enables customers to lower the WiFi networks’ up-front investment.

Furthermore, Tanaza reduces OPEX throughout the whole life cycle of the access points, from installation to configuration and maintenance, allowing to save up to 60% in costs in 5 years. Additionally, it removes the need for physical hardware controllers installed on-premises.

Lastly, Tanaza takes care of many operations, including server maintenance, back-up, security patches, and fixes, and ensures high availability of the system for minimum downtime and productivity losses. 

Tanaza is a WiFi cloud management software suitable for indoor and outdoor deployments of medium and large scale. Test the platform and experience all the features available within Tanaza with our free interactive demo.

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