Nov 24

The Rise of the 24/7 Security Scanning Access Point

Security Scanning Access Point

EnGenius Technologies has just released two new state-of-the-art security APs that will keep your enterprise network protected every minute of the day.

An astonishing 90 percent of enterprise data breaches are caused by phishing attacks, costing businesses billions of dollars every year in lost revenue and downtime. Rogue devices are often the gateway to such attacks. The industries most vulnerable to hacking include finance, medicine, education, warehousing, airports and rail stations, government, and distributed enterprise networks. These verticals operate at pervasive levels and handle highly sensitive data that could devastate businesses and customers if it were to fall into the wrong hands.

To make matters worse, the proliferation of IoT and edge devices has created even more wireless attack surfaces than ever before, putting even more companies at risk.

Enter the 24/7 security access point.

Security access points come with extra dedicated scanning radios designed solely to scan for threats around the clock. Security APs create a persistent line of defense between enterprise networks and the criminals who want to hack them.

Why is this important?

One of the most serious problems with a number of standard Wi-Fi access points today is that they only scan business networks for security threats during non-peak times. Their internal dual-band radios are tasked primarily with providing Wi-Fi connection, leaving security scanning to be done when there is less traffic overloading the network.

And, frankly, that’s not good enough.

EnGenius’s security APs are different. Because they scan constantly, they will detect rogue devices or malicious activity right away, sending an alert to IT administrators who can act to isolate and disconnect the device or stop the malicious attack dead in its tracks. EnGenius Technologies is at the forefront of developing security access points that provide a seamless all-in-one cloud-managed security solution to address dangerous and costly cyberattacks.

So, what do these cyberattacks really look like? And how vulnerable are you?

“The ECW230S and ECW220S will be able to identify security threats and also serve wireless clients with Wi-Fi 6 effortlessly.”

Bryan Slayman

Senior Product Line Manager, EnGenius Technologies

Types of Cyberattacks

Evil Twin: Rogue access points can impersonate a legitimate network, simulating the same SSID and MAC address. Employees and visitors can be tricked into connecting to the rogue AP instead of the legitimate network, opening the door to having their personal information and activity hacked. Security APs can identify the threat immediately and neutralize it before any harm is done.

Man-in-the-Middle: When the SSID security type is “Open” or “WPA-Personal,” the attacker is able to secretly relay and possibly alter the communication between an access point and wireless client who believe they are directly communicating with each other. The attacker makes independent connections with both victims and relays messages between them to make them believe their conversation is private, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker.

Invalid SSID mis-use: Misconfigured access points simulate a company SSID from an unauthorized access point connected to your private network with a configuration that does not conform to your security policies, thus allowing insecure connections. This can happen any time an AP isn’t set up properly like, for example, leaving default settings unchanged.

RF jammer: An RF jammer device will specify a SSID/channel to send packets or RF signals constantly, forcing other clients to be dropped by the overloaded channel.

De-authentication frame: IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi protocol allows a de-auth frame to tell a client they have been disconnected from a network. The problem is that the protocol does not require any encryption for this frame. Thus, an attacker can send a de-auth frame at any time to the access point with a client’s MAC address.

Key Features to Look for in Security APs

EnGenius ECW230S and ECW220S AirGuard™ security access points come with key features designed to stop these attacks as well as bonus features to enhance the visibility and performance of your network:

• Wireless intrusion detection system (WIDS) for threat detection
• Wireless intrusion protection system (WIPS) for attack remediation
• Dedicated scanning radios for 24/7 wireless security monitoring
• RF spectrum analysis for identifying clean channels and ensuring all SSIDs are legitimate
• Wi-Fi 6 technology for high-performance Wi-Fi in high-density, multi-device environments
• Zero-wait DFS to avoid client disruption when radar is detected on DFS channels
• Bluetooth 5 low energy for BLE device detection and location-based extended advertising

“With over twenty years of delivering high-quality networking solutions, we are excited to continue leading the industry by strengthening our Cloud management system with a security solution. The ECW230S and ECW220S will be able to identify security threats and also serve wireless clients with Wi-Fi 6 effortlessly,” said Bryan Slayman, Senior Product Line Manager at EnGenius Technologies. “We are determined to provide our customers with even stronger security tools to counter the constant, increasingly sophisticated attacks on their networks and sensitive enterprise data.”

Now is the chance for businesses of all sizes to get in on the ground floor of this revolutionary technology. If you are interested in learning more about EnGenius security access points, contact us!

Nov 1

More Consumers Are Choosing Multi-Gig Switches for Their Home Networks

Multi-Gig Switches for Home

Part of a growing trend in home networks, multi-gig switches are poised to supercharge the home network of the future.

Multi-gig switches aren’t just for SMB and enterprise networks anymore. More and more homeowners are enjoying the faster speeds, higher bandwidth, and greater reliability of multi-gig switches throughout the house. Many ISPs now offer 1Gbps speeds (and even 2Gbps speeds like Google Fiber) to handle high density home networks more efficiently. As ISPs upgrade modems and routers compatible with these speeds, consumers are purchasing their own multi-gig switches to supplement their network infrastructure and hardwire even more devices to the home network.

Many new homes come with Ethernet outlets in nearly every room, while owners of older homes are hardwiring their homes for more dependable connectivity. These homeowners will still use Wi-Fi, but their networks will perform better with wired switch technology.

Moreover, some advances in network technology—which have been sluggish over the past two decades—have accelerated as people adjust to changes brought by the pandemic. More employees are working from home and more students learning online than ever before. Entertainment and media systems are growing and demanding more bandwidth and generating more user data as well.

The smart home of the future will be bursting with a multitude of connected devices and IoT gadgets, requiring a network that can deliver speed and consistency to everyone no matter where they are. Multi-gig switches are a key component to a fast, reliable smart home network.

Making Smart Homes Smarter

Home networks will continue to grow larger and more complex as the quality and quantity of devices increase. The smart home of the future will make each room a little “extension” of the network equipped with reliable connections for a variety of tasks. As long as the house is equipped with CAT5e or CAT6 cable, no cable needs to be rerun to take advantage of faster speeds.

Home office: While 30% of employees worked from home pre-pandemic, nearly half (48%) of employees now work from home and will continue for the near future. Businesses are realizing the benefits in lower overhead and to employees in reduced commute time and lower stress. Some experts predict that 73 percent of all businesses will have remote workers by 2028. This means the home office will need to function with as much efficiency as a regular office. Computers, printers, and other office equipment will need fast, uninterrupted connectivity, especially to mitigate teleconferencing and large file downloads.

Home classroom: Although K-12 students have been forced to take classes online, eventually they will all find their way back to the classroom. However, there is a growing shift in the way college degrees are earned. Massive open online course platforms like Coursera and FutureLearn allow students to access online courses and even complete entire undergraduate and graduate degree programs from many colleges like Princeton University, University of Illinois, and Georgia Tech. This trend will continue to grow as more institutions of higher learning tap into this new source of revenue. For online learners, reliable internet is essential.

Home Theater and Entertainment Center: The Wall Street Journal reported in early 2020 that the number of subscriptions to online video streaming services reached 1.1 billion worldwide—a 26 percent increase over 2019—while box office revenue plummeted by $30 billion. Clearly, the pandemic played a big role in this shift. But innovations in home theater might very well continue to make box office theaters nearly obsolete as super-expensive micro LED and 8K technology become more mainstream and affordable over the next several years. Enthusiasts want to recreate the big theater experience in their own homes with big screen TVs, gaming consoles (PS5, Xbox, online games), surround sound, AV receivers, and network attached storage (NAS) devices for storing and accessing media. With devices like these, home entertainment can be a massive bandwidth hog. For gaming and streaming, nothing beats a wired connection.

Home Security System: One of the most important home network components that can benefit greatly from a wired connection is the home security system. Running security cameras and network video recorders (NVRs) with 4K video streams requires a tremendous amount of bandwidth while security cameras recording 24/7 can take an even greater toll on network speed. (Incidentally, NVRs come already equipped with an Ethernet port.) Ethernet outperforms Wi-Fi in supporting this kind of functionality with its faster speeds and lower latency.

Smart Home Features: The ready availability of materials from stores like Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy has made the installation of smart home features much easier. Connected door locks, smart lighting, and remote monitoring are more of a reality today. Access points or mesh dots can distribute Wi-Fi more evenly throughout a large, multi-story house. Equally important is telemedicine technology for older or ill residents that deliver critical sensor data and video to medical professionals. A fast, reliable connection becomes especially important when time is of the essence.

Making High-Speed Multi-Gig Switches an Essential Home Network Component

The key objective in adopting multi-gig switches is to futureproof home networks. Bandwidth needs will continue to grow year over year, placing a heavy burden on network infrastructure. A home that has all the Ethernet wiring installed can not only make life easier now but increase home value and attract buyers later.

Wired LANs deliver faster speeds. While overall internet speeds depend on the quality of the ISP, downloading, transferring, and accessing files through the home network using a 2.5G switch is considerably faster than wireless or 1G. As you would expect, the 2.5G switch can more than double the download speed. Moreover, Wi-Fi 6E is coming soon and will offer wireless speeds in excess of 1G so that multi-gig speeds will become standard.

With a wired connection, there is little to no interference since the network isn’t bogged down by unexpected and unnecessary traffic. Wi-Fi suffers notoriously from interference from walls, objects, other electrical devices, and even your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network.

Furthermore, routers and modems from an ISP could have a limited number of ports, so adding an 8-port switch gives more options at a higher speed.

Lastly, it is harder to hack a wired connection than a wireless. Since more and more consumers are purchasing NAS devices rather than depending on cloud storage options that cost money every month, this added level of security can be especially appealing.

No matter how consumers get them, multi-gigabit switches are the wave of the future. The proverbial power strip for home internet, switches are proving more than capable of handling the speed and power requirements of the latest home network technology.

BPS Customs talks to Tek Wendell about the awesomeness of home network switches. Check it out!

Oct 4

Connectivity in the 21st Century: How the FCC is Empowering the 5G/Wi-Fi 6 Partnership

WiFi 6 vs 5G

With virtually equal connection speeds, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will complement each other even more efficiently to build a far better-connected future.

In recent years, the FCC has worked hard to pave the way for mobile 5G and Wi-Fi 6 to move telecommunications technology forward in unprecedented ways.

The growth of Wi-Fi 6 over the past two years has increased the number of connected devices with faster speeds and reliable connection. While industry hasn’t even begun to tap the potential of dual band frequencies, the FCC has released even more unlicensed bandwidth.

Likewise, major mobile carriers are phasing out 3G next year in a bid to expand their 4G and 5G networks, providing more efficiency and higher data rates while driving innovations in telemedicine, autonomous vehicles, IoT, virtual reality, and smart cities.

However, mobile carriers will still need to rely on Wi-Fi for offloading to reduce network congestion. They have even created their own Wi-Fi hotspots in select areas where consumer devices can connect as needed. ISPs are facing a bit of competition from Verizon and Google as both companies now offer their customers Wi-Fi.

So, while Wi-Fi users rely on cellular when they are on the go, cellular users depend on Wi-Fi to take over when their data-heavy applications demand it. To move this partnership into the 21st Century, the FCC is doing all it can to facilitate the next generation of cellular and Wi-Fi technology.

What the FCC is doing for 5G

Since 2018, the FCC has auctioned off the first of its 5G spectrum in the 24, 28, 37, 39, and 47 GHz bands—which provides nearly 5 GHz of new spectrum into the market. That’s more than all other flexible use bands combined. The FCC also plans to free up more room in the 26 and 42 GHz bands and make the 70/80/90 GHz bands run more efficiently.

Furthermore, it will make an additional 600 MHz available in the mid-band spectrum and broader coverage in the low-band spectrum for 5G with targeted changes to the 600, 800, and 900 MHz bands.

5G will be the ground floor for an even more pervasive smart city deployment filled with an even faster-growing number of IoT and edge devices.

What the FCC is doing for Wi-Fi

Back in April 2020, the FCC opened up the 6 GHz spectrum with its massive 160 MHz channels, capacity for billions of devices, energy-saving features, high data rates with 1024-QAM, faster beamforming signals, and the relatively new OFDMA feature to relieve network congestion.

These new 6 GHz channels that compose the Wi-Fi 6E real estate are free of interference and overlap, reducing congestion and improving performance for the growing number of users and devices in heavily populated areas.

Reaching Unreached Communities

The FCC’s number one priority right now is expanding broadband connectivity everywhere—especially for marginalized, rural, and underserved areas. In 2019, the agency established a task force to promote internet service on unserved agricultural land in hopes of achieving 95 percent capability by 2025.

In October 2020, the FCC established the “5G Fund for Rural America” to provide up to $9 billion to carriers for advanced 5G mobile wireless services in rural America, including up to $680 million for tribal lands.

More recently, Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC acting chairwoman, who has long advocated for closing the “homework gap,” pushed to onboard 5G to support students who lacked internet service during COVID. After the pandemic hit, the FCC established a $3.2 billion dollar emergency benefit to help needy families afford broadband internet and subsidize the cost of computers and other equipment.

What the 5G/Wi-Fi 6 partnership will mean

In the beginning, cellular service and Wi-Fi provided vastly different user experiences to customers. Cellular service would cover long distances with limited data transfer, while Wi-Fi would enable heavy data transfer over much shorter distances. Those differences will remain.

However, while the maximum speeds of both technologies were quite different in the past, the gap has closed:

Cellular Maximum Theoretical Speeds

3G – 42 Mbps
4G – 1 Gbps
5G – 10 Gbps

Wi-Fi Maximum Theoretical Speeds

Wi-Fi 4 – 600 Mbps
Wi-Fi 5 – 3.5 Gbps
Wi-Fi 6/6E – 9.6 Gbps

Maximum speeds are now negligible. Cellular has now caught up. In pursuit of this goal, the gains of both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 have been significant over their predecessors. Wi-Fi 6 is 3x faster, with 75 percent lower latency and 4x greater capacity than Wi-Fi 5. But 5G has seen an even greater improvement over 4G/LTE with 50x more speed, 10x lower latency, and 1000x more capacity.

At least that’s the promise. 5G is still in its infancy. Most 5G traffic is really being handled by 4G/LTE because the 5G infrastructure just isn’t there yet.

Key Takeaway

Because Wi-Fi costs less to deploy and maintain, it will still dominate indoor home and office environments where data-hungry devices like laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, and printers must connect to the network.

On the other hand, cellular will still be the master of the outdoors due to its longer range. In addition to smartphone connectivity on the go, 5G will also be used for autonomous vehicles, smart city deployments, and other massive deployments in the wild.

The key takeaway is that neither cellular nor Wi-Fi will usurp each other. They are not adversaries. Both technologies are essential in optimizing traffic and providing a seamless user experience, especially as an unprecedented surge in the number of users, devices, and data-heavy innovations become a reality.

Aug 23

Senior Healthcare and Lifestyle: How Care Facilities Are Going High Tech

Senior Healthcare Going High Tech

Assisted living and nursing home facilities are adopting the latest healthcare innovations to make residents safer, happier, and healthier.

It might come as a surprise, but 96 percent of seniors over 65 don’t live in nursing home or assisted living facilities.

Nonetheless, the remaining 4 percent make up a sizable 2.5 million senior care residents in the US who need some level of professional care to function.

For these residents, the technological advances coming out of digital healthcare initiatives worldwide provide better healthcare and quality of life.

Some of these innovations you might already know. But others might surprise you.


The latest developments in healthcare IoT wearables capture the imagination.

Wearables today can track calorie intake, alcohol consumption, heart rate, temperature, steps taken, glucose levels, and cardiovascular health—and deliver that data instantly to clinicians.

The steady stream of data can help doctors monitor the health of their patients and track trends and changes much more easily and accurately than regular checkups.

Some companies have also developed miniaturized sensors and augmented reality glasses to enhance the everyday experiences of blind and visually impaired people. These innovations go a long way to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Location devices

Senior care facilities use location devices such as pendants that can be worn around the neck of residents, allowing staff to keep track of their movements and be alerted if they wander off.

Residents can also wear panic necklaces with buttons that can be pushed if they’ve fallen or are experiencing another medical emergency.

But what if a resident has passed out? Some devices can sense how close the wearer is to the floor. When the device is dropped or within a certain distance from the ground, an alert is sent. Sentry and Buddi are two such devices with this feature.

Surveillance cameras

Surveillance cameras are essential in providing security to residents and tracking their location. They also protect against abuse by workers and visitors.

In addition, cameras can also track the behavior of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Such patients often have walking patterns marked by slowing, freezing, shuffling, hesitation, and repetition. Wireless sensors work in concert with surveillance cameras to track walking patterns and give caretakers better information for diagnosis and treatment.

Wireless carts

Wireless carts allow the convenience of administering drugs, respiratory treatments, blood tests, cancer treatments, imaging services, and intake procedures on the spot wherever the patient is.

The carts typically come with supply caddies, various hookups for electronic equipment, tablet brackets, workspaces, and webcams for meetings and consultations.

Carts also allow nurses to record vitals immediately instead of running back and forth to a nurses station, decreasing the chance of human error, and possibly saving lives.

Automatic IV drips

IV drips that administer medications and pain relief can ensure that patients never miss a dose and get the right amount of medication. They also free up medical personnel to tend to other duties.

There are even companies building “empathetic” interfaces that help caregivers understand their patient’s emotions. This can be especially helpful for an elderly person whose ability to communicate is impaired.

A company called Affectiva has built a database of millions of face videos collected from various countries with an AI engine that recognizes emotional expressions. The invention is designed to predict—among other things—whether patients are experiencing pain so that caretakers can respond with treatment or relief.

Electronic healthcare databases

The sheer volume of healthcare data is mind-boggling. Not only is patient information input manually but also input automatically from wearables. Many ambitious healthcare initiatives aim to create a secure global database of healthcare information that can be accessed no matter where a person is in the world.

Some elderly people in senior care facilities are bedridden or have limited mobility. In these cases, being able to access healthcare information and conduct remote consultations with healthcare professionals is essential.

What’s the catch?

So, what does all this technology need to function optimally in a senior care environment? What infrastructure component efficiently connects workstations, printers, routers, modems, access points, and surveillance cameras—as well as the massive number of wearables, smart phones, and tablets tapping into the Wi-Fi? What equipment can provide the speed and power an increasingly complex network of healthcare gadgets needs?

The short answer? Switches.

EnGenius Technologies has a solid reputation in the senior care vertical (see case studies below) and stands ready to help senior care providers and IT directors lay the foundation for a powerful, scalable network for their facilities. Our state-of-the-art gigabit switches come with simple setup, hassle-free Cloud management, cost-saving Power-over-Ethernet, and multi-port scalability.

If you are interested in a network upgrade for your facility, let us know! We’ll get you set up.

Read our assisted living and nursing home case studies featuring EnGenius products:

Meadowood Nursing Center | Clearlake, CA

Case Study: 24-hour care facility wanted reliable Wi-Fi to replace its failed home router system – When it came to Wi-Fi, Meadowood Nursing Center had absolutely no data infrastructure. Their previous network consisted of home routers scattered throughout the building. For a 99-bed facility, the routers proved inadequate in providing fast, reliable Wi-Fi bandwidth to residents and staff.

Learn More >
Digital Technology to Provide High-Quality Care | Strongsville, OH

Case Study: Using an On-Premises Network Controller in Senior Living - Kemper House, a five-building, 55,000-square-foot memory care unit, provides care for 90 residents living in apartments at the facility.

Learn More >
Golden Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center | Kingston, NY

Case Study: Nursing Facility Upgrades Wi-Fi & Patient Care - Independent Computer Maintenance (ICM) is a full-service IT managed service provider for small businesses located in New Jersey. Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a 280-bed skilled nursing facility, hired ICM to upgrade the Wi-Fi network at its sizable facility.

Learn More >
Brookdale Senior Living | 47 States Nationwide

Case Study: Addressing Life Safety Issues & Ensuring a Rapid Response - Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. is the leading operator of senior living communities throughout the United States with approximately 1,121 retirement facilities in 47 states and the ability to serve nearly 103,000 residents. Brookdale’s 82,000+ associates provide a wide variety of care services in independent and assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers.

Learn More >
Westrock | Paola, KS

Case Study: Long-Range Phones Working with Nurse Call Systems - WestRock helps healthcare facilities improve quality of care to their patients through the distribution and installation of dynamic, cost-effective solutions such as patient lifts, nurse call systems, patient wandering/door access systems, bathing systems, and specialty seating.

Learn More >
Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community | Vindsor, VT

Case Study: Long-Range Phones Crucial for Assisted Living - Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community is an award-winning senior living community. The Vermont campus includes: an independent- and assisted-living area with 40 apartments; a 39-bed skilled-nursing facility; and a 20-bed specialized memory care center. It also features community gathering areas such as a café, a greenhouse, activity spaces, and outdoor gardens. The abundance of space and extensive facilities, however, place significant demands on wireless phone connections.

Learn More >
Sentara Healthcare | Hampton Roads, VA

Case Study: Cordless Business Telephone System - Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, Sentara Healthcare operates more than 100 sites of care including outpatient campuses, urgent care centers, advanced imaging centers, medical transport ambulances, home health and hospice services, Nightingale air ambulances, rehab and therapy centers, and nursing and assisted living centers.

Learn More >

Jul 28

Four Ways a Wi-Fi Planner Can Guarantee You a Perfect Network Upgrade

WiFi Planner

Don’t leave access point placement to chance. Let a Wi-Fi planner do all the hard work for you.

If you are planning to install or upgrade your business Wi-Fi, you should take advantage of Wi-Fi planners, which are predictive tools designed to place your access points where they will likely get the best Wi-Fi coverage.

Network installation companies often use Wi-Fi planners that apply algorithms using your floor plan and a number of other factors—wall materials and obstacles—to determine how many access points you need and where to place them.

There are four essential things a Wi-Fi planner can do to help make building a business network much easier.

1  Simulating Your Business Environment

You don’t want to play hit-and-miss with the placement of your network gear. That’s why it’s important to plan your network virtually before setting it up in reality.

Wi-Fi planners allow you to upload the floor plan of your business for analysis. You can then mark the dimensions of the building or property line and set the scale. Later, when you place access points throughout the floor plan, you’ll get an accurate picture of the range of each access point.

Figure 1: Sample floor plan populated into the EnGenius ezWiFi Planner.

Within the Wi-Fi planner, you can measure the dimensions of the building(s) and mark all walls, windows, and doors with the material they are made of. This is important since the density and thickness of a wall can hinder Wi-Fi signals. In addition, outdoor APs can be hindered by plants, trees, water fountains, and other outdoor fixtures. Often, in those cases, the APs simply need to be placed higher than the obstacles to achieve a clear line-of-sight connection.

Figure 2: EnGenius ezWiFi planner wall material options.

You will then select the Wi-Fi area, which can cover an entire building or extend into your outdoor area if you intend for your guests to be able to access internet anywhere on the grounds.

2  Auto-Placing Access Points

After marking your floor plan, you can select and place access points strategically throughout the building or property. But many Wi-Fi planners have a helpful wizard that will automatically place access points for you in the most likely optimal places. After the wizard has run its course, you can naturally rearrange, add, or subtract access points to see if it can improve coverage.

Note: Be sure to select Wave 2 access points since they are next generation wireless technology designed to fit any network design.

Check out our 24- and 48-port PoE+ switches, which provide powerful, low-cost connection for access points and all network devices.

Access points that operate in the 2.4 GHz band have longer range but transmit less data than those on the 5 GHz band. Which spectrum you use can determine how many access points you’ll need and where they should be placed.

3  Creating Heatmaps

Once access points have been added to your floor plan, the Wi-Fi planner will create a heatmap that illustrates the signal strength radiating from each access point.

Figure 3: The ezWiFi planner heatmap allows you to visualize the signal strength of each access point.
These access points have been assigned to the 5 GHz band, which means they will transmit more data but for shorter distances.

As mentioned before, the 2.4 GHz band carries less data for farther distances while the 5 GHz spectrum carries more data for shorter distances. Compare the 5 GHz deployment above with the 2.4 GHz deployment below.

Figure 4: These ECW220 access points have been deployed in the 2.4 GHz band giving them greater range.

You can also load Google Maps into the WiFi planner, find your property, and deploy outdoor access points with ease. You can select the type of access point and its location as well as the height of the access point as can be seen in the figure below:

Figure 5: Three outdoor access points are deployed on Google Maps where areas are already automatically scaled in the planner.

You can further fine-tune any deployment (indoor or outdoor) by clicking on individual access points and adjusting the transmit power, signal strength, and other settings.

4  Customizing Reports

After you have optimized your design, many Wi-Fi planners can generate instant, professional reports—ready for you to share with colleagues or business partners so that you can make intelligent decisions about what network deployment and upgrade options are best for you.

Ultimately, once your network has been installed and deployed, the network installation company will conduct a site survey to make sure all access points and other devices are working properly. This is the step that puts a Wi-Fi planner to the test.

One of the top Wi-Fi planners available today comes compliments of EnGenius Technologies, a multinational networking company known for delivering future-proof networking solutions for all businesses.

Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our ezWiFi Planner as well as our suite of indoor and outdoor access points, switches, bridges, and wireless phone solutions. Our partners can get you started!

Jun 1

5 Tips for Building the Best Surveillance System for Your Business

Best Surveillance System for Your Business

Build a State-of-the-Art Wi-Fi Surveillance System to Prevent Crime and Safeguard Your Business

Like many business owners, you might be considering a replacement for your current video surveillance system or the installation of a brand new one.

It’s a wise choice.

According to recent national crime reports, surveillance systems can deter crime by more than 50 percent. Surveillance systems provide not only 24/7 monitoring but also comfort and security for your staff and guests. They can also provide evidence to protect you and your property from liability, vandals, and theft.

In addition, the speed with which surveillance technology has advanced has made security systems much more efficient and affordable for business owners. Keep in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business. But, if you are ready to upgrade your surveillance system or build a new one from scratch, here are the top five things you need to consider to do it right.

Choose a Good Camera

To select the right camera for your surveillance system, you must consider what features are most important to you and what you can afford.

  1. ResolutionIn the realm of security, you will likely choose a camera with 1080p or 4K resolution. 1080p is considered high definition (HD) and is usually the camera of choice for small and medium-sized businesses that might need to monitor a storefront or small property. 4K is considered ultra-high definition and is used by enterprise-level businesses that typically have the incentive and budget for 4K cameras. They are best if you need, for example, one camera to monitor a large parking lot and capture facial details and license plates with high precision.
  2. Web accessIf you want to see what is happening as it happens, you’ll need an IP (internet protocol) camera that allows you to see your property from anywhere using a laptop or smartphone. IP cameras work with NVRs (network video recorders) to process and store your footage for later retrieval.
  3. Night VisionNight vision is a must if you need to monitor your property overnight. If an area of your property is pitch black, you’ll need a camera with a 0 “lux” rating. (Lux is a unit of measurement for illumination.) For starlit areas, you’ll likely need a camera with a 0.001 lux rating. If you have streetlights, 0.01 will likely do.
  4. Monitoring rangeFor small areas like a doorway or hallway, a fixed camera is fine. But, if you have distant, expanded areas, you will want a PTZ camera—one that pans, tilts, and zooms. These features come in especially handy when you’re monitoring in real time and need to see people or objects more closely.
  5. WeatherproofingFor outdoor cameras and access points, you’ll typically want a device with an IP (ingress protection) rating of 66 or 67. You will usually find ratings from IP55 to IP68 for outdoor access points. However, cameras with a rating of 66 or 67 have pretty good airtight protection against dust and dirt as well as resistance to rain and moisture. A camera with a rating of IP65 could work almost as well but is better placed under a shelter to minimize exposure to rain.

Create a Separate Network for Your Security System

When installing an IP camera surveillance system, you will need to consider your site’s available bandwidth. Ideally, you will want to put your security system on a separate VLAN (virtual network) than your regular staff and guest networks to divide up the amount of bandwidth used by each and keep data safe from prying eyes.

As mentioned before, be aware that your higher resolution IP camera (4K) will be more expensive and provide sharper detail. Thus, it will need more bandwidth than your lower-resolution IP camera (1080p).

Separate VLANs prevent users on one VLAN from communicating with or accessing the devices of anyone on another VLAN. Just as you don’t want guests to access your business network, you don’t want general staff or guests to be able to access your surveillance network.

Use Power-over-Ethernet Switches

Unless you have only one camera and one access point at a location, you will generally need to install a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switch at each surveillance location. A PoE switch can have 8-48 ports, allowing you to power up multiple devices and deliver data through the Ethernet cable that connects the devices to the switch. For the purposes of a surveillance camera setup, an 8-port switch will usually do. Evaluate your situation to see what is right for you.

Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is the latest in switch technology, allowing devices to run data and power through the same cable. And as part of a wireless network, PoE switches can save you a lot of money.

Connect Cameras and Access Points with a Wireless Bridge

Naturally, you will need power cables run to each surveillance camera and access point. However, you don’t need to run expensive Ethernet cable too if you create a wireless bridge.

A wireless bridge is a point-to-point link that connects two devices wirelessly so they can communicate with one another. Wireless bridges are located across the surveillance property and are wired to another device such as a network switch, IP camera, router, or access point.

Wireless bridges are also superior to wireless “repeaters” or “range extenders” because the signal from the latter two devices is cut in half every time it repeats. Instead of repeating the signal, wireless bridges carry the signal to a designated location, avoiding major speed loss and freeing up access points to do what they do best—send and receive data to and from client devices.

Use the Most Advanced Security Protocols

Use only hardware and utility software that adheres to network industry security standards and accepted network security protocols such as WPA2-Enterprise (the gold standard for wireless network security) used in conjunction with “802.1X for RADIUS” for user authentication.

Wireless standards and protocols protect and encrypt data as it moves across the network ensuring your sensitive business and guest information stays protected. Having the latest protocols ensures your business network will have the highest protection available, which is of utmost importance where surveillance networks are concerned.

Remember, every business is different, so it’s important to get professional advice about what the best surveillance options are for you. Nonetheless, the tips and common network terminology we’ve shared here are certainly a good place to start.