Should You Get Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi?



is your measly consumer-grade router good enough or do you need to get something like an enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access point what are the benefits are they even going to make sense for most people that's we're going to talk about in this video what's the difference between a regular consumer Wi-Fi router and a dedicated enterprise-grade Wi-Fi device one of the first things to understand is the difference between a wireless access point and a wireless router so typically with consumer routers they're almost all going to have integrated Wi-Fi it's gonna be a router Wi-Fi combination whereas on the enterprise side usually you buy the router and the Wi-Fi access point separately so you can buy a router that has no Wi-Fi you can also buy a Wi-Fi access point they can plug in and use with any router or even a consumer one but what are the main advantages of a enterprise-grade access point over something you get like built-in Wi-Fi in a router well one of the main differences is with a enterprise-grade obviously you're gonna get a lot more advanced features and when I say advanced features I really do mean advanced features so there are a lot of examples I can get into some of these include things like multiple VLANs two separate devices like maybe your IOT devices from the rest of your network complex packet filtering rules with WPA enterprise which is different than regular wpa2 Wi-Fi you can have things like certificate based authentication not just using a regular password and you can also have detailed metrics deep packet inspection intrusion detection I mean a lot of this stuff is really in-depth but one of the more obvious problems here is an enterprise device is not going to be nearly as plug-and-play as you'd get with a consumer device which is going to have ease-of-use as a priority with a enterprise device you're pretty much expected to set everything up yourself so if you don't know how to configure all of those features or you don't even know what they are then you may as well not even have them in fact I would say for the average person getting a enterprise great Wi-Fi access point is probably even worse than just not being able to take advantage of all the features because even the basic features which are included in a consumer router they're on a enterprise device are going to have a lot more customization available and required so it's going to be even difficult to set it up at a basic level than it would at a consumer level so if you're not really familiar with how to set up the basic stuff then you're not even being able to set it up in the first place consumer routers really try to make things really easy for people especially the ones provided by the cable company or the internet company a lot of times they'll just have someone come out and set it up for you and then the only thing that the user has to do is go on the bottom of the router there's usually like a sticker with the Wi-Fi network name and the password and that's all they have to look up they don't have to set it all up it's all provided for you but even the people who do happen to go out and buy their own router not using the one that's provided to them the only advanced thing they're gonna really do is use the walkthrough or the setup tutorial thing that pretty much just asks a few questions what do you want this to be called and then you type it in it still pretty much is all done for you and I would say that probably even most people don't realize that they can change even basic settings like the name of the network even if it's provided them pre-configured they might not even know what they can do about it and there are actually quite a bit of customization options even in pre-configure pre provided routers from the companies so anyway what are some actual benefits of using a dedicated wireless access point on the enterprise side well first of all the big one is going to be reliability that's probably the number one feature that a business or someone is going to need and that is reliability that's what they're paying for as a premium and just from the fact that it is probably going to be a dedicated device that's only doing Wi-Fi it's not trying to do router then it should hopefully be more reliable than something that is trying to do double duty and then the fact that it is gonna be advertised as an enterprise device on top of that then it should be rock-solid hopefully if you're paying for that will a enterprise device have been arranged probably but not because it's going to have any type of stronger antenna or anything in the USA for example the FCC does have restrictions on how powerful radio transmitters can be and that's going to apply whether it's a enterprise device or a consumer device it's not like they get a special pass so it's going to have a maximum range and then the difference in reliability connection speed and all that is going to come down to the software on the enterprise side a enterprise device is going to be specifically design with software and hardware that is going to be able to handle higher densities and more users so a consumer device might be built assuming that maybe only a couple dozen devices or maybe a few dozen devices will be connecting to this is thing max where as an enterprise device might assume that hundreds of devices are going to be needing to connect to this thing and still work as well for all of them but even if you don't have hundreds of Wi-Fi devices in your house presumably an enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access point would better be able to handle even the limited number of ones you do and this would be especially so in maybe an environment like an apartment complex where there's lots of people around all using their own routers it's a very crowded electronic wave space so it's going to be able to better handle your connections even if there's not that many of them but it's still crowded because there's lots of other routers that are competing for that space if the software can handle it more efficiently than it's still going to perform better another major difference which is typical for enterprise access points versus a consumer router is centralized managing so typically with a consumer router you can connect through a web interface you type in the routers IP address locally and then all the configuration is done on there you save it on there it's like a little server basically and then if you want to backup the settings or something you have to download a file you upload it back there and that's how that works so if you have multiple of these routers you have to go into every one individually and change the settings on it with a enterprise device it's assuming that there's going to be lots and lots of devices around a company for example so it makes it so it's more centrally controlled typically by one server or computer that it acts as a controller or perhaps one access point that is going to be centralized and the kind of propagates to the other ones but in both cases you basically have this controller say it's a computer where you install the controller software on the computer and actually do all the configuration on the computer and then it pushes all the settings to the access point instead of you logging directly into the access point chaining it on there so this way you basically kind of set it all up in the computer and it pushes it out to everything this doesn't mean that you have to keep a server running with the controller on it all the time it's pretty much just for configuration example the Wi-Fi access point I have it's a nano HD from ubiquity a unified brand and it does just have software that you install and then once you kind of push the settings to the access point you can shut down the computer and everything still works on the access point as long as you don't change anything theoretically it should keep working forever this is probably a lot more complicated than most people are willing to deal with because it is obviously much easier if you want to change a setting just kind of go in from any device and log into the web portal and change the setting where as opposed to on enterprise device you have to log into the controller and have that software installed or access it somehow remotely if it's not all installed on that computer and then change it from there and then it gets pushed to the access point it's a lot more complicated but of course the advantage of that is if you have a lot of devices it makes more sense to configure it centrally and then push it out and if you're replacing a device then all it has to do is kind of sync up with the controller you don't have to go in and reconfigure and individually especially if you're replacing a lot of devices another advantage of an enterprise access point really any dedicated access point is location placement so typically these are going to have power over ethernet capability which means you don't have to plug it into a wall AC outlet it literally gets its power from the ethernet cable though you do have to have something on the other end that's providing that power whether it's a p OE injector or the switch will have power output but still this means that you can do things like mounting it on the ceiling without having to run a power cable whereas you can't really do that with a consumer router because you do have to plug them in and also a lot of times these access points are gonna have a lot smaller form factor because it's just Wi-Fi antenna it doesn't have all the router stuff so there's less hardware that has to be fit in it so you kind of hide it on the ceiling it doesn't really get in the way whereas if it is a router usually you're kind of stuck with just putting it on a table or hiding it away in a networking closet or something like that also with this better form factor being able to locate it wherever you want you can more easily create a mesh network where you mount these things all over the place get coverage everywhere and with a mesh network no matter where you are even if it's connected to a separate access point they all kind of act as one so you don't have to disconnect from one and then reconnect to another one on the other side of the house for example however there are a lot of consumer mesh networks out there these days that are significantly cheaper there's like Lynx's velop there's like Netgear or B there's Google Wi-Fi there's tp-link dekho I think it's called the one problem with a lot of these is I don't believe any of those that I just mentioned have power over ethernet so you do have to kind of restrict where you're gonna put it that's probably not a big deal I don't think there's a lot of consumers that are trying to mount access points on their ceiling or anything like that but still it's something to be aware of so you might be wondering who out there might actually want to consider getting a enterprise-grade dedicated access point first of all I would say that really I would only consider it if you're already comfortable with configuring the advanced settings in the consumer device because those Advanced Settings become the basic settings in an enterprise device for example I would say if you don't know and are familiar with the following terms you definitely have no business getting and enterprise great networking device so first of all there's like DHCP which is the system that assigns IP addresses to the local network and you probably need to know that because the access point does have the ability to do DHCP and if the router is already doing that you need to know not to turn that on or it might be set on by default you need to know what that setting does in case you get problems you also need to know what like gateway IP is that's just the IP address of the router but you'll also need to choose an IP for the access point itself and doesn't conflict with any of your other devices on the network so if you don't know how the DHCP is working and what IP addresses might be assigned then you don't want to get any issues going forward where it has to be forced to change its IP because something else took it you'll also definitely want to be familiar with Wi-Fi channels and their bandwidths and the advantage of using a wider bandwidth and when you wouldn't want to use a wider bandwidth like in crowded situations when you're just kind of in the boondocks with no one else around you then it's easier to use a wider Wi-Fi channel not going to get into that but it's good to understand it also really basic things like DNS you're going to be expected to brought provide a primary and secondary DNS servers or it might be Auto but still you want to know what that is and also things like SSID I mean if you don't know what an SSID is then you have literally zero business probably even going into this settings of a consumer router let alone trying to set up an enterprise router the SSID is literally just the name of the network so if you don't even know what that is don't worry about it obviously this is not a tutorial video so I'm not gonna go in-depth and try to teach you what all those things are in detail these are just telling you what I personally think are some examples of what you need to know is a bare minimum and if you don't know what those things are then don't worry about it you definitely do not need or would be able to even take advantage of any type of enterprise networking device especially not Wi-Fi another big thing to consider is price obviously they're not going to be cheap for example I have the unify nano HD from ubiquity and that was like $179 and that's actually a really good price ubiquity does make I would say like more of consumer e-type enterprise devices but they are still pretty complicated have a lot of the features and again this is just an access point this does not do router stuff if I wanted to do router stuff on the enterprise level you'd have to buy a dedicated enterprise router but that one is actually on the cheaper side of enterprise Wi-Fi access points I mean they go from like 300 to 500 to like $800 depending on things like how fast you need the speeds to be and how many clients you have connecting whether it's like you need 200 clients or a thousand clients you're gonna have to pay for that so the overall question is should you get enterprise Wi-Fi do you need it and I would say for a vast majority of people almost certainly not in fact I definitely think for most people it's actually would be very bad to get it again because you'd be overpaying for stuff you're not even be able to use you might not be able to set it up the only case where you might want to consider getting it is if you have a specific feature in mind that you know you want it is only available on enterprise features and you know how to set it up and is more than just oh well it's better because it's enterprise that's not a reason to get it you really should have one of these specific features in mind and actually understand why for me getting my access point set up wasn't too much trouble but it was challenging it was a completely new process for setting things up that I was used to like with the controller I didn't expect to have to install software and configure it that way and push it it was totally new and then it was a new set of issues that come but I would say that overall my Wi-Fi has become a lot more reliable for example I had some IOT devices like smart of bulbs and stuff like that they would have constant trouble trying to connect they would disconnect I'd have issues all the time with it and then after I did start switching to the enterprise Wi-Fi access point those problems kind of disappeared but that was mostly only for a couple devices and I think the problem was more with those devices than opposed to my Wi-Fi it wasn't that my Wi-Fi was bad it's just that these devices I'd probably crappy Wi-Fi antennas built in because it was just a few of them everything else worked fine except a few of these so finally the enterprise device was able to kind of handle these because they were so bad it was able to pick up the slack whereas the consumer one was less likely to be able to deal with just crappy devices but I definitely think if you are having issues with Wi-Fi there's more stuff you can do like trying to put the Wi-Fi router in a more centralized location you might have to run a cable or something like that an Ethernet cable but it's probably better than trying to learn how to set up an enterprise device and all that sort of nonsense so hopefully this video was helpful in understanding some of the differences between an enterprise and regular consumer grade router in terms of features if you enjoyed this video let me know what you think down in the comments if you want to keep watching I'll put some of the videos right here you can just click on those and if you want to subscribe I try to make a couple new videos a week so it should be worth it so thanks so much for watching guys I'll see you next time have a good one

22 thoughts on “Should You Get Enterprise Grade Wi-Fi?

  1. I worked for a major telecommunications company . I ran into somebody who had enterprise-level equipment in his residence. Because he wanted to make sure he got that Full Speed and Performance on Wi-Fi to all devices to all aspects of his two room apartment. He could have had the entire complex on his equipment. I shudder to think what he spent on it. Lol

  2. What do you know about the reliability of the hardware it’s self failing?
    It’s a common thing to see consumer: one Wi-Fi routers fail over time.

  3. I can configure basic and Intermediate Cisco Network. I have been IT student for 4 years. IT's really cool knowing what only small portion of populas knows how to do. Enjoying PRotone mail & DarkVideo.

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