5 Major Differences Between Home and Enterprise-Class Wi-Fi

In an attempt to cut down on costs, some people opt to install and set up a home Wi-Fi network at their office or facility. After all, enterprise-class Wi-Fi requires a significant investment. However, what these people don’t realize is that a home Wi-Fi network is often a poor substitute for an enterprise-level setup. Here’s five reasons why:

  1. Number of Users

The biggest difference between home and enterprise-class Wi-Fi is the number of users that the network can accommodate. While theoretically, an individual router can handle up to 255 connections simultaneously, some home wireless routers are pre-programmed to accommodate a maximum of 50. So if you need a Wi-Fi network for a conference hall or events center, you definitely need an enterprise-level solution.

  1. Load Distribution

Of course, when you have hundreds of users connecting to a Wi-Fi network, there’s also a need to distribute the bandwidth properly between everyone. This is where a lot of home Wi-Fi connections fail. Many home networks are not set up to balance the load between different users, so when some people connect to the said Wi-Fi network and watch videos on in high definition all of the time, the entire connection bogs down.

This is where enterprise-class Wi-Fi setups excel. These kinds of networks easily allow administrators to manage bandwidth allotments for individual users or devices through a program. That way, bandwidth-intensive processes such as video streaming or downloading won’t hog the entire Wi-Fi network.

  1. Security Features

With more users, the need for more security arises. Many enterprise-level Wi-Fi networks incorporate various features, such as better encryption, to help protect data from cyberattacks and internal threats. These features are not always available or are not set as the default in home Wi-Fi setups.

  1. Hardware

As noted earlier, home Wi-Fi routers can only accommodate a maximum of 50 connections at a time. Hence, you need a different set of hardware if you want an enterprise-class network. Switching to more robust hardware is also important when handling hundreds of users at a time, since home Wi-Fi routers may end up malfunctioning or overheating when they’re overloaded with users.

Hardware also has a bearing on the security of the network. Take, for example, the case of the multi-million Bangladesh bank heist. Because the Bangladeshi central bank used cheap, second-hand network switches and had no firewall, hackers were easily able to break into the bank’s network and wire millions of dollars away. Had the bank invested in better enterprise-level hardware, the heist may have been prevented.

  1. Scalability

With these restrictions on hardware or lack of bandwidth management software, it’s hard to scale up operations when you’re just using a home Wi-Fi network. You won’t encounter these issues with enterprise-class Wi-Fi, as these are often built with expansion—both in the number of employees and number of sites—in mind.

As these five points show, a home Wi-Fi network is not enough for the needs of a rapidly growing business. Even if it may cost significantly more, enterprise-class Wi-Fi is definitely worth the investment.

Categorized as Tech