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The Network Equipment Solutions Blog

Do you need PoE+ for 802.11ac Wireless Access Points

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 17, 2014 6:00:00 AM

There's an issue with 802.11ac wireless access points that we think isn't getting enough attention, and we're starting to get more questions about it. The issue is that, while it's often buried in technical literature, many brands of 802.11ac equipment effectively require Power-over-Ethernet+ at 30 watts per port  (PoE+) to enable full functionality.

This isn't an across-the-board issue, but it's one a company should be aware of when investigating newer WiFi technologies. There may be more upgrades involved than you originally plan for.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points

School Security And Mobile Access: Making Them Work Together

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 11, 2014 6:00:00 AM

 Schools are among the biggest beneficiaries of BYOD policies when they implement WiFi systems.  But are you doing everything you can to keep systems secure?

Bring-Your-Own-Device policies are great for schools, because they put modern technology into the hands of staff and students... but without the school having to pay for them.  Smartphones and tablets are becoming so ubiquitous that many districts can assume 3/4 or more of their population has at least one.

Plus, students are increasingly accustomed to using them in their day-to-day lives for research.  This makes it easier to teach good Internet research skills and behaviors, if it's on the devices the students already use.

The issue is one of mobile access security.  With so many devices accessing your network, how do you keep everyone secure?

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Topics: BYOD, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

4 Reasons You Should Consider Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 10, 2014 6:00:00 AM

 Are you looking into an investment into Cisco networking hardware?  Don't overpay!  Certified Refurbished Cisco is as safe as buying new, at a fraction of the cost.

Many smaller businesses don't know this, but buying pre-owned Cisco equipment truly is as good as buying new.  When you purchase from an authorized Cisco retailer, there's zero risk and all the same protections you'd get if you purchased new.

If your operations would like Cisco, but you think you can't afford it, we've got four things that might change your mind...

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Topics: Cisco Equipment, Cisco Compatible Optics

Dont Let These Five Hidden Costs Deter Your In-School WiFi Deployment

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 9, 2014 6:00:00 AM

One of the most common reasons schools experience cost overruns when implementing WiFi is a simple lack of pre-planning.  Are you looking to include all potential costs when planning your own upgrades?

While networking has become much easier to implement in recent years, it's still a highly complex process that will touch most/all of your district.  As such, budgeting for upgrades means more than just calculating the costs of the hardware and installation.

You may not experience all of these issues, but you should be aware that they could become cost factors in your WiFi install.

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Topics: Wi-Fi Signal Strength, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

Reduce Your School WiFi Installation Costs With These Tips!

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 4, 2014 6:00:00 AM

A WiFi installation can do wonders for a school district's productivity, while helping staff, students, and parents alike.  Is your school looking to go wireless?

In today's digital age, schools can't afford to be disconnected.  Students are increasing accustomed to making the Internet one of their first go-to sources for information, and it has immeasurable learning value within a classroom. Additionally, centralized Student Management Systems make everyone's lives easier by creating a single go-to source for their needs in your district.

A proper school WiFi installation will pay off quickly with across-the-board efficiency improvements, but that still leaves the matter of funding it in the first place.  Since we know many schools are on limited budgets, we wanted to discuss a few of the ways schools can implement WiFi affordably!

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Wi-Fi Signal Strength

Four Important Tips For Keeping Your School WiFi Secure

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Are you doing everything possible to protect your students' security and highly-protected student records on your network?

WiFi brings a lot of benefits to virtually any school district, from easing teachers' workload to allowing parents easier access to their students' grades.  A combination of a well-implemented WiFi network with the right apps backing it can quickly boost efficiency across the district.

However, ease of use can never trump security concerns.  A school WiFi network will be a target for hackers, and not just bored kids in computer classes.  There's a lot of potentially compromising material in your database, and it has to be kept safe.

Four Tips For Ensuring Great School WiFi Security...

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Topics: Secure Wireless Network, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

Doing This Big No-No In Hospital WiFi Access Point Placement?

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 2, 2014 6:00:00 AM

If you're only putting WiFi access points in your waiting areas, you're missing out on a lot of the potential benefits from putting WiFi in a hospital!

Some hospitals, noticing the trends in online reviews rating things like WiFi quality, have tried to "split the difference" and only install in waiting areas or the front lobby.  While it's better than nothing, it's not going to do too much to bring in more patients, or make them happy about their stay during recuperation.

The best way to install WiFi in a hospital is across the whole facility, so its benefits can be enjoyed by patients, visitors, and staff alike.  With a bit of pre-planning, you can cover the entire area with a minimum of access points.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Wi-Fi Signal Strength

4 Risks To Buying Used Cisco Equipment Outside Of Authorized Channels

Posted by John Ciarlone on Dec 1, 2014 6:00:00 AM

There are a lot of retailers out there offering used Cisco equipment, but are you dealing with one who's Cisco Authorized?

Many shops don't realize this, but Cisco maintains their own standards for refurbished hardware, and an exclusive small network of authorized resellers who deal in this equipment.  If you aren't dealing with an authorized reseller, you're taking a big gamble with your hardware investment.

Cisco certified resellers enjoy benefits others do not, and those benefits all go to helping you succeed with pre-owned hardware.

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Topics: Cisco Equipment

WiFi Helpdesk: How To Avoid Training School Staff On WiFi Issues

Posted by John Ciarlone on Nov 26, 2014 6:00:00 AM

 There's a well-known issue with installing new technology within a school district, and that's having the expertise required to go along with it. 

A new WiFi rollout doesn't stop when the access points are hooked up and everyone has an IP address.  That's when the users start using the network, and technical support issues begin immediately cropping up.  Some will be unavoidable glitches in a new rollout, but others will simply come from users who don't know how to use the new system.

A well-planned school WiFi helpdesk system can minimize these issues by making the changeover as seamless as possible, but they will still come up.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Secure Wi-Fi Solutions

Using Lightning Fast Hotel WiFi To Market To Business Class Guests

Posted by John Ciarlone on Nov 25, 2014 6:00:00 AM

 If you want to bring more guests into your hotel, great WiFi is one of the best ways to do so!

The meteoric rise of  smartphones and tablets during the last five years has created a real challenge for much of the hospitality industry.  Hotels that had done fine for years charging high prices for even minimal Internet service are now finding that customers are outright demanding high-quality connections.

Given how wide-open competition is in the hotel biz, this isn't an area where customers will grin and bear it.  If one hotel isn't offering the services they want, chances are there are a dozen other hotels within a few miles they might go to instead.

You can't rely on your business clientele to unquestioningly pay $20+ a night for online access.  Business-Class guests can now be anyone from traditional three-piece suits to a teenager in a hoodie who, unbeknownst to you, owns a million-dollar website.  They're increasingly coming to expect WiFi as surely as they expect hot water or a cheap breakfast bar.  

In other words, "monetizing Internet access" isn't simply about soaking corporate expense accounts any more.  Savvy marketing and promotion of your Internet services can pay off in happier visitors and better online reviews, along with higher revenues.

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Topics: Wireless Access Points, Wi-Fi Signal Strength

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