Education WiFi 2019 Buyer’s Guide
When considering how best to implement a networking infrastructure, educators are faced with a range of different challenges. Perhaps the most important challenge is the fact that few educational facilities will have a dedicated network expert that they can turn to. While this is a basic requirement in most enterprises, the expertise to install education WiFi is not always present in a school. Here we explore the basics of education WiFi from our Education WiFi Buyer’s Guide to help you make an informed decision for your school.
The controller is the brains of the wireless network. This can be a hardware appliance, or it can be installed on a server or on the cloud. This will control the APs (access points) in the network and will help with the management of the system. For schools, using a distributed controller is usually the best decision over using a centralised controller.
Access points are effectively radios and antennas that share the
WiFi signal so that it can be accessed wirelessly. The number of users per access point will be limited depending on the hardware, so you will need to increase the number of APs for the number of users.
The different types of education WiFi systems used are broken down into frequency ranges. Available options will include 2.4GHz or 5GHz. The 5GHz band is generally less crowded and more effective, but the 2.4GHz band is less expensive to install.
When transmitting educational WiFi signals across a large area such as a school, the two options are to use multiple WiFi stations or an external antenna. An external antenna will offer broader coverage in a school allowing for greater breadth of access to be attained.
Security will be a key consideration when establishing an education WiFi solution. You will need to consider authentication, encryption, guest access and off-channel scanning. The best solutions are to use EAP authentication systems in conjunction with WEP encryption to ensure that data is always protected.
A steep learning curve
While there is a steep learning curve when it comes to understanding education WiFi systems and selecting the best available option for your school, the benefit will be enormous. With connectivity from the classroom to the playground and improved collaboration between teachers, you will be able to improve your education system. Education WiFi will also serve as a fantastic educational tool for students and is well worth the time and effort to understand. For more details download our 2018 Buyer’s Guide.