How to deploy an Outdoor WiFi network for your venue

Outdoor WiFi Access Points

How to deploy an Outdoor WiFi network for your venue

There can be multiple reasons why you need to deploy an outdoor WiFi network for your area. Maybe you want your guest WiFi network to extend outside to keep your guests connected on your network at all times.
Nowadays, many businesses offer complimentary WiFi for their guests/customers. One of the most primary and biggest reasons to provide free WiFi is that it increases on-premises time. Many surveys suggest that consumers stay longer when they are connected to public WiFi. It is also seen that businesses offering free WiFi have seen a comparatively high success rate. No matter how large or small your business is, offering free WiFi will always benefit your business in one way or another. Consider this as an investment, and you will feel the growth in your company.

5 key things to take into consideration before deploying an outdoor WiFi network

Before deploying an outdoor WiFi network, there are few things that you must take into consideration. Like an indoor WiFi network, the outdoor WiFi network also needs to be planned before deploying the access points. It’s essential to map out every access point and the extent to which the outdoor network will reach.

Remember, the outside areas you want to expand coverage to should be where you expect the most traffic. You need to ensure that throughout the installation of your outdoor network, the same network management configuration and solutions are being followed as your other networks.

With time, we have gotten access to tools to determine where we should place our access points and how high we should place them to broadcast the best signal. Choosing the right equipment is vital as everything depends on it. Apart from the access points, there are multiple things that you need to consider, such as firewalls, switches, network interface controllers, and so much more. Your equipment must work seamlessly and not create any limitations for you from a speed or usability standpoint. By positioning your equipment correctly, you will distribute the wireless signal to cover a large area. Configuring your equipment will provide the best performance in the environment you have set up your network.

Estimate bandwidth needs for outdoor WiFi

When building infrastructure, it is crucial to detect how much bandwidth do you require carefully. It is fundamental to consider and adequately calculate the bandwidth requirements of the WiFi network. As we all know, bandwidth is referred to as the channel’s capacity to transmit data. Data is sent in a binary system (0 or 1), each of which is called a bit.

Network bandwidth plays a significant role in designing and maintaining a functional wireless network. Now, it is essential to calculate network bandwidth requirements before deploying them onto a network because the more bandwidth the data connection has, the more data it can send and receive at one time.

However, every kind of deployment location has certain types of bandwidth limits. This means that there is a constraint to space for the data to flow. Some devices require more bandwidth than others. If you wish to maintain proper speeds on each device, then greater bandwidth is a must.

Before you start deploying your WiFi network, you must estimate how many devices will be connected to your WiFi network simultaneously. The more bandwidth you deliver, the faster the devices will run. The usage level for Social Networks, Emails, VOIP, and video streaming ranges from medium to heavy, so be aware of it.

Select the best outdoor access points for outdoor WiFi

Tanaza works with a wide range of access points to suit almost all scenarios and maintain the network’s reliability. Knowing your internet usage is necessary to choose the right access point.

There are many expectations from a particular access point ranging from speed performance, ease of installation, cloud manageability, and software stability. Nowadays, access points with cloud-based management features are a must for any business. It will let network administrators control the devices and customize bandwidth while monitoring the overall network performance and security issues.

These are our favorite access points for outdoor WiFi networks.

This high-power access point is ideal for outdoor long-distance transmission signals. Multiple concurrent users can connect online thanks to directional dual-polarized antennas and a powerful transmit power of up to 500mW. As a result, there is an increased terminal throughput and a much better user experience. It supports dual-frequency on 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz. An estimated 50 users can access the Internet on the 2.4Ghz band and 110 users on the 5.8Ghz. Furthermore, the 1300 Mbps high-speed wireless transmission rate of the CF-WA350 makes WiFi signals stronger and more efficient. On the other hand, the two gigabit ports support higher bandwidth while transmitting data in an agile and smooth manner. This access point is available with the Tanaza Operating System out of the box.

The Comfast CF-WA350 is an 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO. This technology allows multiple concurrent users.

Outdoor. The AP is ideal for residential areas, parks, schools, factories, commercial streets, villages, scenic spots, and more.

This high-power access point is suitable for outdoor areas. It hosts 50 concurrent users. Its two oxygen-free copper antennas with 360° omnidirectional WiFi coverage meets the needs of different situations. It also features a SE2576L power amplifier, improving wireless network reception and the transmission function. This access point is available with the Tanaza Operating System out of the box. 

The Comfast CF-EW71 has a single-band and cloud-managed SU-MIMO 802.11n. It delivers a 300 Mbps aggregate frame rate with 2.4GHz radio.

Outdoor. The Comfast CF-EW71 stands up in severe environments, thanks to its outdoor IP66 rating that provides the ability to handle different kinds of rugged environments: lightning protection, waterproof, dustproof, antifreeze, high-temperature resistance, and it's antioxidant.

The UniFi AC Mesh Ubiquiti includes adjustable dual-band Omni antennas. You have the option to use a 5 GHz Omni antenna1 for spot-beam coverage in high-density locations with numerous APs and clients, like a conference hall or event center. The UAP-AC-M discreetly integrates into any environment. The UniFi AC Mesh Ubiquiti is versatile. You have the option to use a 5 GHz sector antenna (wide beam in the azimuth plane and narrow in the elevation plane) for broad outdoor coverage. The AP is compatible with 802.3af PoE Alternative A and 24V passive PoE. 

The UniFi AC Mesh Ubiquiti model features 2x2 MIMO technology available in single and five packs. It can be used for indoors or outdoors deployments.

Indoor and outdoor. The UniFi AC Mesh Ubiquiti can be mounted on a wall, pole or can be fast-mounted on an optional Ubiquiti high-gain antenna. The antenna options on this access point include Omni antennas or the fast-mount adapter to install the AP on the optionally connected antenna.

The UAP-AC-M-PRO is ideal for applications requiring 3×3 MIMO data rates for close-in Omni coverage. It has simultaneous dual-band, 3×3 MIMO technology and is available in single-and five packs. This access point has built-in dual-band omnidirectional antennas that deliver expanded range coverage outdoors. The primary port is for data and PoE; the secondary port is for bridging. 

The enclosure of this access point is designed to withstand the elements, which makes it the ideal choice for outdoor deployment.

Outdoor. The access point can be mounted on a wall or pole.

Maximize WiFi Performance

To maximize your WiFi’s performance, there are multiple ways that you can opt for. With Tanaza, network admins can set a per-user guest WiFi bandwidth limit. The platform allows limiting bandwidth both per SSID and per user too at the same time. After surveying your network connectivity, you can decide to choose a suitable WiFi access point antenna. Directional antennas are considered a better option as they send a signal in one specific direction. 

You can improve your network connectivity by pointing your antenna in the direction where the signal lacks. You can also use additional antennas to maximize your WiFi network’s performance and increase the access point’s power. You can use them to make your WiFi signal stronger in a specific area, such as an open-air restaurant or the swimming pool.

Understand the power gain with the Rule of 10s and 3s

Your device’s radio power describes how well the transmitting antenna converts the input power into radio waves, known as ‘power gain.’ The power of the access point is the intensity of its wireless signal. The change in intensity is called gain. It represents the increase of power, which is the ratio between input power and output power. 

The gain of the antennas is expressed in decibels (dB). The power input and output are in milliWatts (mW) in the wireless communication sector. To understand the power gain, simply let us explain the Rule of 10s and 3s. For every loss or gain of 3dBm, divide or multiply the power in mW by 2. Whereas for every loss or gain of 10dBm, multiply the power in mW by 10.

Improve user engagement with a captive portal

Tanaza integrates with the Classic Hotspot platform that allows network managers to personalize how WiFi users log into the network. The platform provides you with various login modes that will enable you to gather different types of information regarding your customers. 

Apart from the basic login modes via email, phone number, and password, users can opt for social login. We suggest you opt for social login as it is the optimal login mode from the marketing point of view. To increase user engagement on your page, you can advertise products and services to your customers to increase their engagement. Allowing social login on your captive portal is an excellent option to collect customer’s insights. This data is a great tool to drive marketing campaigns and target the right audience for a network administrator. 

Discover more about Classic Hotspot by Tanaza

The outdoor WiFi has the same amount of benefits as the indoor WiFi, but there is a slight difference in setting up the two. You need to choose the right access point that satisfies your bandwidth requirements to provide optimal connectivity. It is good for your business growth and enhances your overall guest user experience. 

Furthermore, it is also crucial to have a unique network management system that enables you to manage the networks and WiFi access points regardless of the brand. Tanaza is the most innovative alternative for network management in the cloud.

Unleash the power of network management

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How Many Access Points Do I Need? Estimate the right number of devices for your network

How Many Access Points Do I Need - Estimate the Right Number of Access Points

How many access points do I need? How to estimate the right number of devices for professional networks

How many access points do I need? A common question in professional network deployment. Estimating the number of access points for different environments is crucial: especially in structures with large areas and requiring large numbers of devices, calculating the wrong number can lead to unexpectedly high costs and a feeling of dissatisfaction when buying unnecessary APs. Conversely, when you want to save too much money, you risk underestimating the number of devices and not buying enough access points for your business.

Tanaza has defined the most important factors to consider and how to estimate the number of access points required.

What factors to consider when estimating the number of access points?

  1. Check floor plan of the environment;
  2. Identify the types of walls;
  3. Evaluate the number of contemporary users;
  4. Calculate the Capacity/Throughput per user/application.

Check floor plan of the environment

The building plan is often a factor that is taken for granted when estimating the number of devices to be purchased. Modern buildings can have different floor plans: L, H, or T.

In this scenario, the geometry of the plan itself influences coverage. In these cases, devices can not be placed in a position that will be central to all users, without the signal crossing several external or internal walls.

Follow this basic networking rules:

  • L-shape – estimate more square feet than 2;
  • T-shape – estimate more square feet than 3;
  • H-shape – multiply the estimated square footage by 4.
How to Calculate the Number of WiFi Access Points

Identify the types of walls

Intuitively, concrete, brick, and reinforced concrete walls have a high magnetic permeability index. In this case, the number of devices required for efficient WiFi signal propagation is higher.
Concrete, with or without reinforcement, has a high attenuation level and represents a significant obstacle between the access point and the client device. The loss of decibels of the WiFi signal increases as the frequency increases.

In the table, below you can see the signal losses by frequency and material. The table is based on calculations and experiments carried out by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Materials 2.4GHz (dBm) 5GHz (dBm)
Reinforced Concrete 22.792 44.769
Concrete Brick 4.295 7.799
Plasterboard Wall 5.388 10.114
Chipboard Wall 0.463 0.838

For example, using the concrete heavy example in the table above and imagine there is a concrete heavy wall between the AP and the client: at 2.4 GHz, the transmission loss is ~23 dB- meaning that as the signal goes through the wall it is decreasing by that amount of attenuation. Now if the operating frequency is changed to 5 GHz, the transmission loss is going to be higher because the frequency is higher – so in this case it goes to ~45 dB.

Estimating the number of access points, it is fundamental to consider the technical characteristics and configurations of the devices, including bandwidth, signal strength, and range. For networks that require large numbers of devices, a platform like Tanaza is essential for comprehensive remote management. The platform allows the signal status to be monitored 24/7, with the ability to modify the necessary settings for each access point in bulk.

Number of contemporary users

The number of contemporary users is a parameter for estimating access points that should only be considered in areas with a large number of users such as schools, theatres, auditoriums, hotels, universities, and sports centers.

Imagine a traditional football stadium with a capacity of 50000 people for a summer concert. The size of the rectangular area is 650 feet x 750 feet. To obtain the number of access points required, you need to calculate:

TOTAL ENVIRONMENT AREA / MAXIMUM COVERAGE AREA OF THE DEVICE

At this point, we consider the number of connected users. With the stadium at max capacity, let’s assume that only 50% of the spectators have connected to the WiFi network: 25000 spectators. Of these, 10,000 are using it together to share the most exciting moments of the event. Once you have performed the above calculation to determine the number of access points needed, you can divide the number of users / the number of APs to quantify the number of access points per device.

Calculate the Capacity/Throughput per user/application.

Another method to estimate the number of access points needed is to calculate the capacity requirements. We have already talked about this topic in a previous article: click here to read.

For a quick review, consider 4 basic formulas:

  • AP Throughput divided by User Throughput = Users per AP
  • Users per AP divided by active users = Usable users per AP
  • Usable Users per AP divided by Adoption Rate = Service Area/Cell Size
  • Capacity divided by service area = AP count
Once the number of access points has been estimated, it is worth considering a WiFi cloud platform that allows the remote management of all devices. With Tanaza you can monitor the WiFi data of the access points remotely.
Available statistics include:

  • data received and sent by the network in real-time;
  • the status of the access points in real-time;
  • historical statistics on possible disconnections;
  • RAM/CPU load percentage in real-time;
  • blocked packets and error rate;
  • the number of connected clients and the aggregate upload and download speed.

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What is WiFi Network Management Software?

WiFi Network Management Software

What is WiFi Network Management Software?

WiFi network management software has become a necessity as it offers an automated way to monitor and analyze WiFi Access points, network traffic, and client devices. Businesses rely a lot on WiFi to ensure wireless, remote access so that all devices remain connected to the internet.

The network management software serves as the solution, consisting of monitoring devices that create and use the wifi network, analyzing their traffic, and troubleshooting slowdowns that impact the end-user experience. The primary aim of a wifi network management solution is to avoid downtime by preventing rogue devices from accessing the network. Specially in terms of large-scale and dynamic business networks, WiFi management is quite important.

The network management software collects information about the network devices using specific protocols such as SNMP, ICMP, CDP etc to then present this information to the network administrators in a resolved way to help them identify the issue at the fastest time possible and troubleshoot any problems. When many devices connect to a particular network simultaneously, the reliable network uptime guarantee is liable to differ. It depends on many factors including location, access point, network design and configuration.

A WiFi management tool helps to synthesize data effectively. These platforms are configured to track key performance metrics of the network and provide in-depth, critical device details, including current node status, average response time, packet loss, and device information.

Why do you need a Network Management Software for Your Business?

It is important to have a WiFi management software to ensure your network’s stability and reliability and global overview of every single end point. Every network needs a monitoring software that can detect promptly issues to avoid slowdowns that eventually impact the end-user experience.

If a signal gets dropped or there is no connectivity in a particular area, it will hamper the work. An effective network management solution incorporates advanced monitoring technology to help IT admins navigate the complicated and evolving networking landscape. Every wireless device, network application, and even the physical landscape leave their mark on the network, or we can say formerly it affects the network.

If your company has a wireless network, this does not mean that it’s enough to run a small or large business smoothly. It is the responsibility of the IT admins to manage and monitor the networks and the IT infrastructure. Wifi connectivity is liable to deflect depending on several factors. Sometimes when we experience extreme lag or network downtime, we feel frustrated because almost all our work depends on how efficiently our network performs. It’s up to the IT administrator to reach the roots of the problem and resolve WiFi related issues. Hence, a network monitoring software is very useful as it helps IT admins to troubleshoot any potential issue with the network.

A network management software can identify multiple issues within the network and the access points that broadcast the signal. The software gathers and displays robust insights into each category of the network, so IT teams can get to the root of the poor performance before the network and your business comes to a grinding halt. WiFi monitoring tools help detect, diagnose and resolve the most common issues while dropping in the network. If you are facing any of the following issues in context to your wifi network such as:

  • Poor or slow connection speed;
  • Weak signal strength;
  • Mismanaged network capacity;
  • Compromised Network Security.

5 Key Benefits of an All-In-One WiFi Network Management Software

There are many Network Management solutions available in the market, but among them, choosing the one with all the perks is quite a task. Let us discuss the five key benefits of having an all-in-one WiFi Management platform:


  1. Faster and Simplified Network Management
  2. Reduce Operating Costs of WiFi Networks
  3. On-Demand Scalability for MSPs
  4. Full remote network recovery with easy backups and real-time alerts

Faster and Simplified Network Management

It is of utmost importance to have software that simplifies network management and that enables teams to detect problems within the networks before they happen. It will provide an in-depth insight into the network by identifying the root source of the network issue that allows faster resolution times.

The primary benefit of having a single cloud-based platform is that it allows IT teams to monitor and manage thousands of networks and access points regardless of their location and vendor. If you wish to monitor your WiFi effectively, choose none other than Tanaza. It has a single cloud controller platform that effectively monitors your networks and the access points in your networks. It empowers the IT admins to monitor, detect, diagnose and troubleshoot any issue with the network and outages quickly and efficiently.

Tanaza’s Network Management software features centralized management capabilities. This feature lets IT teams set basic configurations of the network applied by default to all the cloud-managed access points in that network.

It also features zero touch provisioning of new access points for small or large-scale network deployments. Also, it helps IT teams to avoid installation errors, reduce costs, and lead time when deploying medium and large-scale networks.

The primary benefit is that configuration of devices can be done remotely and in bulk. It is done even before the deployment. Once all the devices are connected to a network, the platform detects them automatically. It also identifies the associated configuration.

Furthermore, being a user-friendly platform, it allows anyone to perform network deployments. Experienced IT admins can minimize the time needed as they would be able to configure the access points in advance and send the access points pre-configured only for installation. Also, they can enable push notifications to be received once the deployments happen and the units have been automatically configured.

Reduce Operating Costs of WiFi Networks

When you take the help of some platform with a multi-vendor approach, it is much easier to scale the networks as there is no vendor lock-in that constrains or limits MSPs to mix and match vendor access points. With time wifi networks require to scale putting pressure on the network infrastructure.

We all know that managing a complex ecosystem can be stressful and confusing. The more complex the network becomes, it becomes more expensive to operate as well as maintain. Businesses need to remember that closed software and hardware technologies can lead to huge OpEx, which might increase CapEx very quickly. By going with a multi-vendor SaaS approach, users would be able to easily manage the networks remotely, which will reduce the up-front costs and CapEx.

On-Demand Scalability for MSPs

A WiFi network management solution that allows mixing and matching hardware and integrating further with third-party software applications is optimal. Tanaza enables MSPs to scale according to their needs. Using the Tanaza platform, MSPs will pay only for what is needed and when it is needed. This is because of the flexible pricing packages per access point managed in the platform which can be monthly, annual, or every 3 or 5 years. MSPs can start managing a few devices and networks and expand accordingly based on their customers’ needs. Also, there are no extra costs for managing multiple networks or any cape on the number of devices. The license fee starts at $3.5 per device per month, which includes and covers everything.

Full remote network recovery with easy backups and real-time alerts

Though there are multiple network management software present in the market, Tanaza is the one platform that offers significant perks. It’s 100% cloud-based to monitor and troubleshoot networks remotely. Further, Network admins ensure that outages are corrected timely.

Other systems provide low-cost hybrid cloud solutions that have drawbacks that include hardware, enterprise-grade controllers and do not scale as cloud solutions. However, Tanaza provides all the advantages. It democratizes the benefits of the real-cloud solutions by making them available for any networking hardware –ranging from the most affordable to the most performing.

Give Tanaza a test ride

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5 Best Network Monitoring Software in 2021

Best Network Monitoring Software 2021

5 best network monitoring software in 2021

Choosing the best network monitoring software is a daunting task. As an MSP knowing the state and overall health of your clients’ networks is quite important as if you are unaware of it, you are headed for a disaster. With the technological advancements, there is an ample offer of network monitoring software in the market. 

These software have functionalities such as discovering devices, identifying network trends and traffic, graphically representing monitoring results, backing up network and device configurations, and primarily monitoring network equipment, servers, and applications. 

When it comes to choosing the right monitoring software to manage and operate your customers’ networks there are quite a few things you need to factor in like number of devices to manage, on premises or cloud deployments, co-managed IT, location of the deployment and of course budget. 

But before tapping into more details on how to choose the network monitoring software adapted to your needs, let’s agree on the basic terminology first, so we are all on the same page.

What is network monitoring software?

A Network Monitoring Software is designed to monitor and manage the network traffic flow over a network. This tool is used mainly by network administrators and security staff as they monitor network deployments. This software automates most of the network monitoring processes and workflows. 

So you might be wondering what exactly it does? Well, this software monitors the network’s uptime, availability, and response time. It can also monitor unusual activity and alert the network administrator when something suspicious or malicious is detected over the network. The network monitoring process can be for a physical/wireless LAN, WAN, or both. 

A network monitoring software provides information such as Active devices and equipment on a certain network and IP addressing schemes. It routinely reviews the network for availability and generates an alert and notification when a problem or issue occurs. For instance, it will alert you when an access point goes offline, or any suspicious packet is detected. 

Network monitoring must be proactive, which is a necessity and its most important aspect. It is a process in which all the networking components such as routers, switches, firewalls, servers, and VMs are monitored for fault and performance and evaluated continuously to maintain and optimize their availability.

How to choose the best network monitoring software?

Choosing the right network monitoring system makes all the difference in how accurately your customers’ digital infrastructure will work. The network monitoring tool is the most fundamental technology available for MSPs. With its wide range of capabilities and features on offer, you can select the best network monitoring software that will track network processes end to end. The tool ingests a vast array of performance metrics to discover, assess, optimize, and troubleshoot individual devices and keep cybersecurity threats at bay. Before selecting any monitoring software, it is essential to have a few things in consideration.

Firstly you need to check whether the network deployment is small, medium, or large. Usually, these tools are specifically designed for either small, medium, or large deployments. Also, depending on the type of deployment your customer wants: on-premise, hybrid or cloud-based. 

A lot of things matter while deploying a WiFi network and choosing an optimal monitoring tool. Generally, the small and medium businesses must select the tool that is easy to use and works with minimal configuration, so in the case of a co-managed infrastructure, both the MSP and the SMB can have peace of mind. 

The larger network deployments need a monitoring system that is more feature-rich and scalable. Businesses must have a dedicated team of professionals to manage the IT infrastructure to ensure its functionality. Hence, MSPs managing network deployments of any size should ensure that whatever tool they choose must include node and device inventorying, autodiscovery, automatic and configurable trouble alerts, warnings, and a web-based centralized management interface. 

Before selecting, it’s also recommended to understand your customer’s budget and see whether they would want high-performance or cost-effective devices to run the network. Thus, MSPs need to have a wide range of software tools within their portfolio to address each segment’s needs. For large network deployments, MSPs should opt for details over convenience, while small and medium deployments will want to prioritize user-friendliness. It is important to foresee that your customer’s network can potentially grow to choose a sustainable solution that can help you to help your customer scale when it’s needed.

An honest list of networking monitoring software

What are the best network monitoring software in 2021? Here you have a list of 5 useful tools for network management:

  • Manage Engine OPManager
  • PRTG (Paid Network Monitoring Solutions)
  • Tanaza
  • EventSentry
  • SpiceWorks

It is important to consider the amount of virtualization in your network while choosing a network monitoring tool. The network performance monitors differ in their ability to provide visibility within the virtualized environment. Before choosing software, it is important to find out which would be the best network monitoring software to handle the consistent and disruptive problems that your customer’s network will encounter. 

Manage Engine OPManager

OP Manager

One of the famous network monitoring tools, Manage Engine OPManager, monitors SNMP devices, switches, servers, and virtualized network services. It features over 200 customizable widgets to build unique dashboards and reports. For numerous alerting channels, this monitoring tool supports email, SMS, and webhook. It uses intelligent alerting to reduce false positives by eliminating alert fatigue across larger networks. The only disadvantage of this tool is that it is time-consuming to learn. Being a feature-rich tool, it requires time to go through all the aspects and configuration settings. Also, it integrates well in the ManageEngine ecosystem with its other products. This tool is best recommended for users that want a simple infrastructure monitoring tool.

PRTG (Paid Network Monitoring Solutions)

PRTG

The Paessler PRTG network monitoring tool is an integrated solution suitable for both small and enterprise environments. This monitoring software is more than just a server monitoring system. It is made to monitor any IT-related resources that connect to your network, including your firewalls, switches, servers, routers, databases, websites, and even USPs. 

This setup is dynamic, so its monitoring capabilities can grow or shrink with the business size or other requirements of your organization. This monitoring software is a windows program that can be installed on a server with shared access. PRTGs can also send email and SMS alerts based on your custom threshold levels so that network admins can get more frequent warnings from critical servers with shared access. 

This application can monitor everything you need to know about your servers, such as CPU load, hard disk capacity and performance, RAM utilization, and bandwidth monitoring. The primary benefit of this system is that it has a simple and clear user interface with functional elements conveniently located in in-built places. Some of the other key features of the system include multiple user interfaces to choose from, failover tolerant monitoring, and distributed monitoring. PRTG is free for 100 sensors, so it is considered great if you have a small network or are looking for a paid solution.

Tanaza

Best WiFi Monitoring Software 2021
Among all, Tanaza is an ideal solution for the best network monitoring software. It is considered best for MSPs serving small and medium businesses and enterprises or SMEs with in-house IT teams. We all know that businesses rely on networks for all operations. In today’s era, networks have to span globally, so network monitoring is crucial for any business. Being a subset of network management, a good network monitoring tool is required. Businesses are under quite pressure and need to manage affordable and straightforward IT infrastructure that works. Currently, the offers from famous network vendors such as Cisco Meraki, Ubiquiti or Aruba compel users to pay for expensive and non-flexible hardware. This hardware doesn’t allow other multi-vendor networking devices within the same network seamlessly due to lock-in constraints.

Tanaza’s operating system is the most reliable software as it delivers security layers that protect hardware from cyber attacks. Tanaza also delivers a scalable freemium model and a comprehensive marketplace that enables third-party software applications to offer added-value services for customers. It is the only single platform delivering world-class operational efficiency in IT operations. 

Tanaza allows you to manage remote access points, networks, and SSIDs. Furthermore, the zero-touch provisioning allows you to configure remotely any amount of devices and send them to the customer’s location only for installation. Once the device is ON it connects automatically to the platform and features all the configuration set up.

Tanaza has an intuitive interface and features multi-tenancy capabilities so you don’t have to share your credentials with any colleague. Each tenant can have their own and have different permission levels to the network. Furthermore, it’s the only software compatible with multi-vendor access points. MSPs can manage thousands of networks and access points in the cloud from different vendors from a single control plane. No other network monitoring software delivers the same.

In terms of monitoring and network management, Tanaza allows MSPs to have a global overview of all the networks, and detailed information about:

  • the number of client devices connected in real-time;
  • uplink and downlink data rates;
  • SSIDs in a network;
  • devices’ load;
  • bandwidth consumption for each access point;
  • list of channels used by each access point;
  • historical devices status;
  • map display and much more.

Tanaza provides liability to SMEs/SMBs to choose from the hardware of their choice. They can select among cost-effective enterprise gear by saving on CapEx and OpEx as they can reuse their existing networking infrastructure and scale their networks.

EventSentry

Event Sentry

EventSentry is an on-premise network monitoring software that is owned by NETIKUS.NET Ltd. It enables businesses to monitor their IP-based devices performances. The primary functionalities of this tool include monitoring server health and network performance by managing logs and compliances. 

It has a wide range of features such as heartbeat monitoring, SNMP, and Syslog monitoring. The only drawback of it is limiting false positives that become challenging at times. However, it is a good network monitoring tool that enables your business to comply with government and industry regulations such as HIPAA, PCL, and SOX.

SpiceWorks

Spice Works

It is one of the open-source network monitoring software that is known for its scalability and flexibility. It is a great solution for granular monitoring of memory, disk activity, and more. The primary benefit of using this tool is that it is quick and also easy to implement. It allows independent thresholds per system or device. SpiceWorks tracks infrastructure devices such as switches and routers for input/output rate, packets per second, and packet loss. Though this tool provides excellent monitoring, it does not support SNMP version 3. It means that it does not reconcile systems that are going down. Also, its user interface is comparatively slow.

Among the top 5 best network monitoring software, it is up to the requirements of network admins to choose according to their IT infrastructure and business size. Tanaza represents itself as a comprehensive, affordable and flexible SaaS platform for IT professionals to manage WiFi networks in the cloud. Being the only software in the market that works with multi-vendor networking hardware.

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How soon will WiFi 6 impact Business WiFi Networks?

WiFi 6

How soon will WiFi6 impact Business WiFi Networks

WiFi 6 is going to transform connectivity. This next-generation WiFi technology has come with the emerging 5G cellular technology that will change the way we connect to the network. With technological advancement, MSPs have to stay ahead of the trend to cope with the development of wireless networks. 

The WiFi 6 or 802.11ax can connect devices that are far from the reaches in the crowded networks. This new WiFi standard will completely reform the way we connect to our smart devices entirely. The progression of the WiFi standards has always brought a significant change than its predecessors. 

Just like the previous generation of technologies, the WiFi6 is emerging in the same manner. It is coming integrated inside the latest smartphones and laptops, new routers, and access points that promise faster and comparatively reliable connectivity for more devices. 

WiFi6 is both a revolutionary and evolutionary standard. We all know that it will provide faster, more reliable connections. It is better able to handle a lot more traffic at once at a simultaneous time. It may not seem evident initially, but revolution is destined to follow the evolution.

Differences between WiFi 5 and WiFi 6

The WiFi 6 was announced in 2018, which was the better, faster generation of the ongoing 802.11ac technology or WiFi5. It began to be certified in September 2019 in the devices. Slowly but gradually, the 802.11ax (WiFi6) started appearing on devices. For now, it is coming in the flagships of Apple and Samsung. The WiFi6 tech has also emerged in some routers and access points. 

Of course, this technology offers significant improvements to its predecessors. Not only does it work in high-density environments, but it also supports dozens of devices. Furthermore, it also boosts the battery life of compatible devices and possesses higher data transfer rates than previous generations. 

Talking about speed, theoretically, the WiFi 6 delivers maximum speed rates of 9.6Gbps across multiple channels, in contrast to the WiFi5’s 3.5Gbps. It is almost 250% more than the WiFi5 devices. The higher speed of WiFi6 is due to the OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) sub-channels, MU-MIMO user multiplexed, Beamforming, and 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). The beamforming enables higher data rates at a given range to increase network capacity. This all became feasible because of these multiple variations in Wifi5. 

If you want to discover more about this technology, read our previous article, the ultimate guide to the 802.11ax wireless standard.

Is WiFi 6 worth it?

The unequivocal answer is ‘YES.’ The WiFi 6 comes with many improvements in its network from its predecessors. The industry certification program based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard accentuates optimum connectivity in places with thousands of connected devices such as stadiums and other public venues. 

The advanced WiFi 6 ensures that the connected devices perform at their optimum levels. Also, the WiFi6 certified devices meet the highest standards for security and interoperability. The 802.11ax technology is undoubtedly worth it in terms of the features it offers. The OFDMA effectively shares the channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency in high-demand environments. The 160MHz channel utilization increases bandwidth to deliver significant performance with low latency. 

Also, the WiFi 6 certified devices intensify the performance of the applications. The MU-MIMO (antenna) technology, known as Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output technology, allows multiple users to access a wireless network simultaneously without any disturbance or signal dropping. The more downlink data is transferred at a particular time by enabling access points to handle more devices at one time concurrently. 

With the increase in IoT devices connected to the internet, the latter requires a more organized network infrastructure. The WiFi 6 comes with low power improvements like target wake time considered optimal for IoT devices.

Do businesses need WiFi 6?

The WiFi 6 is all about improving the networks when a lot more devices are connected. The speed of 9.6Gbps that WiFi 6 claims are theoretical, and it is unlikely that you ever need such speed in real-world WiFi use. The fact that WiFi6 has a much higher theoretical speed than its predecessor is quite essential. The more the devices are connected, you will experience more toll on your network. So Yes, it’s true that businesses need WiFi 6. The latest WiFi standard introduces new technologies that work on the issues that come while connecting dozens of WiFi devices on a single network. It lets the routers communicate with more devices by sending data to multiple devices in the same broadcast. 

The usage of WiFi 6 in your business will surely increase your office productivity. It will help the companies drive more value from their present infrastructure. The vast transfer rate will allow companies to attain 5G level performance.

How will WiFi 6 impact your networks, and how soon?

We all understand that WiFi 6 is providing faster and more reliable connections. The number of critical new features provide WiFi 6 networks and the devices with the ability to handle more traffic and efficiently. The vital point to note here is that WiFi 6 isn’t likely to be substantially faster than WiFi 5 when connected to a single laptop. However, when more and more devices get added to your WiFi 6 network, the story changes. 

In this scenario, when current routers may get overwhelmed by the requests from many devices, WiFi 6 routers will effectively keep all those devices up to date with the amount of data each device needs. It is important to remember that you will only get the full benefits of WiFi 6 if both provider and client devices are certified for WiFi 6.

WiFi generations rely on hardware and not just on software updates. To get this new version of WiFi running, you’ll need to buy new devices. The new devices with WiFi 6 will start coming into the market by default. It’s not something that you’ll want to run out to the store and buy.

Should you upgrade your business networks to WiFi 6?

Well, Yes, you should upgrade your business networks to WiFi 6. It offers more speed, a more reliable connection, improved battery life, and better security. This new WiFi standard enables an unimpeded network by allowing more client devices and IoT devices to connect. Undoubtedly it seems a wise decision to upgrade your business networks to WiFi 6. With time new devices have emerged that are WiFi 6 certified but still, it is a long way to get transitioned to this new standard. The sole reason behind this is that the WiFi 6 will appear in the market by default as it has appeared on flagship smartphones of Apple and Samsung and some routers. These routers are so far quite expensive high-end devices. 

The inclusion of WiFi 6 in the devices has begun. As time will pass the prices will start coming down, and they already are since this network was introduced. The WiFi Alliance began certifying devices in 2019, so the routers and devices became cheaper. There is no need to rush to replace every WiFi5 device and network component simultaneously. The reason behind this is that there aren’t many WiFi6 clients out there. It will take a few years for the WiFi 6 to make its way to the market. The hardware for this WiFi standard is still being built, and interoperability testing is being performed, implying that it is worth waiting before opting for this standard.

So, pace yourself. The technology standard is fresh and out of the oven. Don’t jump to change the network infrastructure as the reality is that if the client devices do not support WiFi 6 is very little what you will be able to offer to your guest WiFi users in terms of WiFi 6. I would forecast another three years for most users to have devices that support WiFi 6. Right after then, you can start thinking about an upgrade for your networks.

“There is no need to rush to replace every WiFi 5 device and network component simultaneously.
The reason behind this is that there aren’t many WiFi 6 clients out there.”

WiFi 6 has already made its way into the market but still, it will take time to reach its full potential. There is no doubt that 802.11ax has bought immediate benefits in network speed, capacity, and responsiveness. These are some of the perks that will improve overtime as WiFi 6 capable devices replace the system with older generation connectivity. This network will revolutionize the way by bringing network performance to the optimum level in virtually every segment. To get the most out of WiFi 6, buyers have to choose the best technology available for their deployments. 

Tanaza is constantly adding more APs to the list of compatible devices. It is currently working on a batch of WiFi 6 APs to support customers when the right time comes to upgrade the networks with the latest technology.

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Related articles:

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How to choose WiFi access points for restaurants

WiFi Access Points for Restaurants - Choose the Right Hardware

How to choose WiFi access point for restaurants

Choosing the best WiFi access points for restaurants is much more important than we think. Access points are the backbone of any wireless network. Therefore, it is important to choose the right hardware as it ensures that you can build a strong and scalable system that can handle the right amount of connections per device and maintain the network’s reliability based on your connectivity needs. 

When deploying a new WiFi network, it is important to look for the right access point to enhance guests’ connectivity. The type of access points you might require will depend on the environment in which it will be deployed. Further, it is paramount to provide seamless connectivity that allows users to roam freely throughout the space.

Choosing the right WiFi Access Point for restaurants

Measure the restaurant size and check physical obstacles for WiFi signal

The primary step that involves choosing the right access point for your restaurant is to measure your restaurant’s size. Check how large is the space you need to cover with an access point. If you are just starting a new restaurant with less gathering, say around 10-30 people, you will need far fewer access points than what you might require for a gathering of around 30-80 people. If you think of expanding shortly, you might consider choosing an AP with an extensive range to prepare for your growth.

Also, you need to consider many factors, such as the shape of your floor plan, note the type of building or wall materials that divide the space. The number of access points needed in a place increases if the internal walls are separating the area.

Removing any unnecessary physical obstacle will enhance the connectivity of the access point. A thorough survey of your restaurant will also help determine how many access points you will require.

Number of concurrent users – Check how many users are connected to WiFi

Depending on the size of the location, the number of concurrent users connected to the network will also vary. For example, a large restaurant network may host approximately a maximum of 30 concurrent WiFi users, whereas a mid-sized restaurant may host a maximum of 12 concurrent users. Therefore, it is important to take into account the client coverage carefully when designing the WiFi network. 

In addition, different factors can affect the number of concurrent users that a wireless access point can support. Although many access points support up to approximately 250 connected devices, it is important to note that single radio devices can handle a smaller number of concurrent users than dual-radio access points. 

If you want to calculate the number of concurrent users and number of APs for your WiFi networks, read our article Network Capacity Planning – Wireless Capacity vs. Coverage.

Predict internet usage to establish what WiFi access points work better for your restaurant

It is essential to understand the internet usage of your restaurant and to know what kind of online activity your WiFi users will be doing while connected to your WiFi network. Knowing your internet usage is necessary to choose the right access point for your restaurant.

Some applications consume more bandwidth than others. The rate of data transfer is calculated in bits per second. This bit/second is quite lower when customers simply browse the web, message and chat on Facebook, Whatsapp, or Telegram, or just go through their emails. However, when people share or download the pictures and files on DropBox and Google Drive, the number of bits/seconds transmitted across your network will increase.

Moreover, if guest users are streaming videos on YouTube, Netflix, or making VoIP calls and video calls, there is a significant rise in the number of bits/sec. Therefore, it is important to predict internet usage beforehand to provide your guests with an optimal WiFi experience. The access point handles different numbers of concurrent users depending on the internet usage of customers.

Calculate your internet usage with our access point selector.

Choose the best WiFi access points for restaurants, considering technological variables

By considering the technological variables, you would choose the best WiFi access points for the guest users. Apart from the access point performance, if the signal of the WiFi network is not reached to the users, the number of concurrent clients connected to the network in a location will be limited. 

Thus, carry out a proper site survey of your restaurant to choose the right access point. There are many expectations from a particular access point ranging from speed performance, ease of installation, cloud manageability, and software stability. Access points with cloud-based management features are a must for any restaurant provider. It lets network administrators control the devices and customize bandwidth while monitoring the overall network performance and security issues. 

Discover Tanaza Powered Devices with network management out-of-the-box for your restaurant WiFi networks.

POE vs LAN

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technique that passes electrical power over wired ethernet local area networks. It allows the power cords to carry the electrical current of each device instead of data cables. The POE usage limits the number of wires needed for a Wifi network. The primary benefit of the POE is that you do not need to run electrical wiring, which saves money in material and saves installation time. The usage of POE has made access point installations relatively easier and more scalable. 

On the other hand, LAN is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area. Contrary to Power over Ethernet, in LAN cable external power source (Adapter) is required to get the power.

802.11ac vs 802.11n

The 802.11ac and 802.11n are the wireless networking standards that significantly differ from each other. The IEEE 802.11ac was finalized in 2013, and it supports a wireless frequency of the only 5Hz. It is the 5th generation of WiFi and is found in every major smartphone, laptop, computer, and smart television. The improved version of 802.11ac offers better speed, better range, and enhanced WiFi performance. 

Instead, the 802.11n wireless networking standard was finalized in 2009. It uses multiple antennas to increase data rates and supports the wireless frequencies of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. In terms of speed, 802.11ac is capable of 720Mbps (Megabits/sec.), whereas 802.11n locks its speed at 240Mbps. 

You clearly know the winner here. As 802.11n uses 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies, it surpasses the 5th generation of WiFi which only uses 5GHz. Higher frequency bands are comparatively faster, but lower bands travel further.

Determine WiFi access point placement to improve coverage

Only having a suitable access point will not determine seamless connectivity. If you have placed a WiFi access point for a restaurant, you need to find a suitable placement to improve its coverage. It is recommended to install the wireless access point on the ceilings of your restaurants as this will provide full connectivity to the whole place. 

Moreover, the top of the access point must be facing the intended service area to improve the coverage. This is the place where the antennas of an access point are situated. 

The access point must never be obstructed by anything, such as drop ceilings, TVs, or cameras. In fact, these access points get affected by other devices that transmit radiofrequency. Therefore, the interference results in weak and unstable connectivity. So make sure that your access point is positioned away from the common radio sources such as Televisions, Microwave/Ovens, Speakers, Wireless security cameras, and many more.

Select the right WiFi access point antenna types: directional vs omnidirectional

It totally depends on your network connectivity to choose from the two types of WiFi access point antennas. One is directional, and the other is omnidirectional. The omnidirectional antenna is the one that sends signals to all directions, whereas the directional antenna, as the name suggests, sends a signal to only one direction. 

After surveying your network connectivity, you can decide to choose the right WiFi access point antenna. Directional antennas are considered a better option as they send a signal in one specific direction. You can improve your network connectivity by pointing your antenna in the direction where the signal lacks.

Test a multi-vendor approach if you want to reduce costs

While you are looking for the right WiFi access points for your restaurant, you need to consider all the factors that will ensure the seamless connectivity of your network to guest users. Consider that you need to install devices not only indoors but also outdoors for your deployment. 

For optimum performance of your access point, check the Tanaza platform. It’s a multi-vendor network management software to operate and control access points in the cloud. 

Tanaza works with the most commercial access point brands like Ubiquiti, MikroTik, OpenMesh, LigoWave, PowerCloud, and also it comes already pre-installed in a selected line of access points from Comfast, Amer Networks, Intelbras (only for Brazil), DCN, and Yuncore.

With Tanaza, you will be able to manage multiple WiFi devices from different vendors in a centralized way. Troubleshoot WiFi networks via cloud, enable captive portals with different authentication methods and customize the guest WiFi experience from a single platform.

If you are looking for the right access point for restaurants, you also need a network management software to operate and control the devices and networks. Tanaza allows you to scale network deployments, mix and match brands, all from the cloud.

Tanaza offers various customization options for the network administrators in which they can also limit the bandwidth and data usage. Discover all the features of the Tanaza platform by starting a free trial today.

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