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New Tanaza feature idea: collect customized users’ data together with verified phone numbers

The situation

When setting up WiFi guest access with the Tanaza captive portal, network administrators can choose among different login modes, such as social login, email authentication, phone number authentication, custom form, etc. These authentication methods gather data like email address, phone number, gender, age, birth date, location etc.

The form-based authentication is particularly useful when deploying WiFi networks in a hotel or in an airport. Indeed, it allows users to access WiFi by filling in the requested fields in a form and allows network admins to enrich their user database with lots of useful information.

However, the validity of this data is not 100% certain. Tanaza hotspot system allows WiFi administrators to collect data about WiFi users for marketing purposes. Nevertheless, data is not currently verified by the system which may make the collected data less reliable.

Tanaza has plans to help network administrators gather real insights about their WiFi users by implementing a verification system. 

The solution

 

Some network administrators need to guarantee to their end-user customers the accuracy of the collected data. To do this, Tanaza has plans to develop a form-based authentication with phone number verification which would allow WiFi administrators to gather custom data about WiFi users together with a verified phone number.

 The scenario would be for example, in a hotel the network administrator sets up guest access with form-based authentication, asking information like name, surname, type of traveller (couple, family, worker, group), and a required field for phone number. Once the user fills the form and clicks on the button, an OTP (One Time Password) will be sent to that mobile number, that the user will copy into the splash page in order to complete the login.

It is more or less the same process than creating a Facebook account or a WhatsApp account. This feature could also be developed for the social login authentication so that the phone numbers gathered through Facebook WiFi authentication are verified, as well.

 This feature would allow WiFi administrators of public places to collect verified data for marketing purposes. Indeed, after asking for WiFi users consent, the network administrator can run marketing campaign using the phone numbers collected.

Moreover, Tanaza Remember Me feature allows one returning user to automatically connect to the WiFi network using the same device, without seeing the splash page again. One single user can access the network with the same phone number for multiple devices which allows the administrator to understand better the number of single user.    

If you like the feature of the phone verification together with the form-based authentication, you can upvote the idea on our website success.tanaza.

 

Why bandwidth control is key when offering WiFi at your store

Businesses in the retail industry are now using WiFi to enhance their customer experience and gather useful data about their customers. Though WiFi is a much sought-after service among shoppers, the key to providing a good and steady connection in a retail space and keep your customers happy is by controling the bandwidth consumed per user. 

Consider that for every customer in a store, you can count on them carrying at least one device with which they connect to the internet.

By offering a free WiFi connection, or a connection in exchange of information or a social action, businesses can offer a greater customer experience while also collecting large amounts of data. Seems like a win-win, right? However, it isn’t enough to simply offer a WiFi connection, the objective is to deploy a stable network at your store that can handle multiple concurrent sessions. Especially for those customers who are always connected, and do not wish to use their own data.

 

Deploy a stable network at your store

To avoid offering a patchy, unreliable connection, it is best to start by managing your bandwidth. Though it can be difficult to determine the exact amount of bandwidth consumed by the users in your network, you can start by bearing in mind the types of internet applications are likely to use while at your location. These applications can range from low-bandwidth applications, such as instant messaging, to bandwidth hungry-applications, such as video streaming.

The best approach is to find a bandwidth limit per client that enables customers to navigate their preferred applications while at your store, without interfering with the connection of the other concurrent users. Since we know, this is not an easy thing to do and locations that offer free WiFi often have to suffer faulty connections as a result of bandwidth hogs, Tanaza has developed a feature that allows you to evenly allocate bandwidth within your location for all concurrent users. 

 

How to control bandwidth per client with Tanaza

The recently released Bandwidth Control per Client feature, enables network administrators to set a per-user WiFi bandwidth limit. This feature is applied to all users at an SSID level and works on all types of SSIDs, whether users authenticate with a password (WEP, WPA2) or through a captive portal. The bandwidth per client set is the same for all users ​so that all users can benefit from the same WiFi performance. What’s more, in order to decide on the specific limit, you can use the data gathered on the Tanaza Dashboard to learn about your customer’s demographics and interests and thus decide on a bandwidth limit accordingly.

bandwidth control on a per user-level

Avoid “bandwidth hogs”

One of the most useful functions of this feature is the “boost” function. With this function, users do not perceive that there is a limit on their bandwidth as it enables them temporarily go over the bandwidth limit. This is useful when your WiFi users stream music, buffer videos or video chat while they are connected to your network.

For example, let’s say a network admin at a retail store configures an SSID for guest WiFi with a bandwidth limit of 4 Mbps. If the WiFi guest performs any online activity that consumes large amounts of bandwidth, i.e.  streaming video, the guest can temporarily navigate the internet at a higher speed, consuming more bandwidth than other concurrent users, before the bandwidth limit is reapplied. Thanks to this function, WiFi users can navigate freely without being disconnected if they exceed their bandwidth limit.

What makes this an essential feature for retail businesses that offer WiFi at their store is that it allows you to provide a parallel, ubiquitous connection to all the customers that connect to your network.  A pleasant WiFi experience while shopping could also lead to customers wishing to stay longer at your store and wanting to return, customers sharing their personal contact information in order to receive promotional material, customer boosting your social presence due to an increase in the number of Likes and check-ins on your business’ Facebook page.

 

Why you should schedule your SSID access

Why you should schedule your SSID access

Tanaza features a captive portal that allows you to create up to 8 SSID by access points, a way for the network administrator to secure and separate accesses to the WiFi network. Indeed, each SSID should be set up according to the usage of the network.

For example, when deploying a WiFi network for a restaurant, the WiFi administrator might want to create different network access for the staff and the guests. To do so, the WiFi administrator can create a first SSID protected by a password for the staff, and another SSID for the guest with access through email authentication or social media. In this way, customers will access the SSID through a different door. However, a problem might occur when customers connect to the WiFi network within the closed hours of the restaurant, enjoying a free WiFi connection without any counterpart for the owner of the restaurant.

To solve this problem, we strongly encourage you to schedule your SSID access by setting hours of network’s availability.

Indeed, SSID time restriction allows you to deactivate your SSID when your shop closes so that nobody can access the internet through your Wi-fi network during the night for example.

The SSID availability is not currently featured by Tanaza but still, you can deactivate your SSID by going through your access points settings remotely.

Solution 1: enter to your cloud.tanaza.com account and click on the access point that you want to deactivate.
Click on “settings”, then “SSIDs”. Finally, switch the on/off button to turn off your access point.
Remember to activate it again when you want your SSID to be available.

Why you should schedule your SSID access
Why you should schedule your SSID access

Solution 2: another possibility for you is to deactivate the SSID by making him invisible.
Go on your SSID settings, click on “wireless security” and switch the button enable/disable to make your SSID invisible
Be careful, the SSID will be invisible only for new WiFi users, while WiFi users already registered will still access to your WiFi network if they are in the network area

Why you should schedule your SSID access
Why you should schedule your SSID access

Alternatively, this could be done by showing the SSID name on clients’ devices, while replacing the splash page with a message saying “WiFi guest access is available only between 9 AM and 6 PM at this location”.

In any cases, we strongly advise you to secure your WiFi guest access and to use a web content filtering to avoid any bad usage of your WiFi network.

Your opinion is valuable to us, so please let us know what you think about this feature idea.

Update 2018: Facebook social login and social actions with Tanaza splash page

Let’s suppose that you were asked to deploy a Wi-Fi network in a restaurant and that your customer wants to collect their Wi-Fi clients’ data to promote their events and special evenings.

In order to collect this type of data easily and quickly, we encourage network admins to enable an easy way for users to login to the Wi-Fi, avoiding complex and long forms to fulfill.

There are two preferred social login flows to achieve this:

  • Facebook login 
  • Facebook social actions (Like or Check-in)

Facebook login

This social login flow consists of asking Wi-Fi clients to “Log in with Facebook.

UX: After connecting to the Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi clients will see a splash page, that can be customized with the customer’s logo, their preferred background, and type of advertising. In order to log into the network, they must click the button “Log in with Facebook” on the splash page which will give Facebook permission to access their data. If they accept to provide their complete anagraphic information (or a part of them) to the app “Access Internet”, they will connect to the internet.

PROS: No complex permission needed, no Facebook review needed. Super-easy login flow for the user. You can collect user data (name, surname, hometown location – country and city, birthday, e-mail, age, gender).

CONS: Because not everyone has a Facebook account, you should enable an alternative way to log in (e.g. e-mail, Twitter, Google+).

(more…)

How many wireless devices can you connect to one WiFi router?

How many wireless devices can you connect to one WiFi router

With the fast development of the Internet of Things and the general increase of wireless devices on the market, people often face the situation where one router cannot handle the number of connected devices. In this article, we will speak about the number of wireless devices that you should connect to one router.

Tablets, smartphones, computers, smartwatch, smart lights, security cameras… these are examples of smart objects that can be connected the home router, have access to the internet, and even sometimes being controlled remotely. The fact is that the bandwidth is not limitless, and sooner, or later, the router won’t be able to manage all those devices. Internet speed problems might occur because of the overuse of the home router and the bandwidth overload. Moreover, because of the Joule effect, the home router might overheat and stop working if too many devices are connected. Last but not least, with too many wireless devices being simultaneously connected in a small area, interferences might occur and router’s performance would decrease. 

The typical limit in the most common configuration is approximately 250 connected wireless devices, due to the IP addresses pool. Yet, in practice, the speed rating of access points give you an idea about the maximum devices that one router can handle. For example, a Wi-Fi router rated at 500 Mbps with 100 connected devices will only offer on average 5 Mbps to each device (this is true in theory because 500/100 = 5). 

To solve this problem and maximise the performances of a Wi-Fi network, you should consider introducing a second router on your network infrastructure and other access points as well. This will help to distribute the network load and avoid problems of overload and overheat.


Tanaza allows you to set a maximum number of concurrent users to ensure a good Wi-Fi experience to your clients. You also have the possibility to limit the number of connected devices per Wi-Fi user. This feature is particularly useful for hotels dealing with a large number of clients.
Accordingly, the number of access points in your Wi-Fi infrastructure is another  important factor: you can find more information about the number of access point you need for your Wi-Fi project in this article.

 

How many access points do you need for your WiFi hotspot

How many access points do you need for your WiFi hotspot

When deploying a Wi-Fi infrastructure in public locations, one of the key element to ensure a good user experience is the number and the type of access points to use.

Indeed, if the number of access points is too low compared to the number of Wi-Fi users, then problems of internet speed might occur because of the overuse of the wireless devices and the bandwidth overload. Usually, the maximum number of concurrent users is written on the manufacturer spreadsheet, but in practice it can vary according to the use of your network and the internet services you want to offer to your Wi-Fi users.

By using the Tanaza Access Point Selector, you can select the type of location and its size to estimate the maximum number of concurrent users. The number of concurrent users is the number of Wi-Fi users currently connected to the Wi-Fi network. It is calculated according to the type of location, its size, and the average time that a user spends on the internet. Count for example ten concurrent users for a large Café, or 140 for a large hotel.

Then, you should calculate the bandwidth needed by the user according to the usage of the network. For example, if you want your users to be able to chat, check their emails and use social media, consider a minimum of 560 kbit/s per user. If you want them to be also able to do VoIP calls, video calls, and video streaming, 3.28 Mbit/s is the estimated bandwidth per user. Your internet provider will be in charge to furnish you with the bandwidth required.

Last but not least, select the characteristics of the access point such as the installation type, the radiation shape, the vendor and the main technology aspects (indoor, outdoor, AC, dual radio…). The Tanaza Access Point Selector will give you an estimation of the required units number, and the different models that fit the best your project.

/!\ Remember that the Tanaza Access Point Selector estimates the required bandwidth based on documentation and our experience on-site with our customers.