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Should You Outsource Your Wi-Fi Hotspot?
Posted By Minda Zetlin On November 29, 2010 @ 1:25 am In Wireless Networks | No Comments
It’s not just for coffee shops anymore. Whatever your business, if you have visitors of any kind, chances are they both want and expect wireless Internet access. That can be a challenge, especially to a business without IT staff. How do you provide wireless access, and make sure it’s up and running whenever guests need it, while keeping your business’s own network safe?
You may think your only choice is either to create a virtual wireless network or a password-protected system that lets guests use your company’s network. But there’s a third alternative that can save a lot of hassle: Have an outside vendor provide a Wi-Fi hotspot.
In the past few years, companies have emerged that can create a hotspot at your location for you, providing equipment, maintenance, and even technical support if trouble arises. You’re responsible for unpacking and plugging in the wireless routers they send, and for providing an Internet connection—and that’s all.
For many companies, an outsourced Wi-Fi solution provides better security than trying to go it alone. “Often we notice small businesses might have gone to Staples and purchased a router themselves,” notes Eric Warnke, CEO of Mesh Canada , which provides advertising supported or low-cost W-iFi hotspots to businesses. “We’ll walk through the door and point out that all the default passwords are still in place, and we’ll show them that we could have interrupted their business. That’s a big risk of a security breach. We can provide a secure network.”
And offering a Wi-Fi hotspot actually gives you more network security than not offering one, notes Ron Pike, IT Administrator for the Seattle office of ZGF Architects LLP . “It’s better for us not to have them connect to our wired network,” he explains. With a WiFi network available, “that’s less likely to happen.”
What to ask a vendor
Here are some questions to consider when selecting a vendor for an outsourced Wi-Fi hotspot:
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URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2010/11/29/should-you-outsource-your-wi-fi-hotspot-2/
URLs in this post:
 Mesh Canada: http://www.meshcanada.com
 ZGF Architects LLP: http://www.zgf.com
 The Canadian Brew House: http://www.thecanadianbrewhouse.com
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