Why Consumer-Grade Wi-Fi Won’t Cut It in Business

We are in an age of high customer expectations and instant gratification. This trend not only affects how fast we get information, but also where we have access to information. Businesses can’t afford to compromise on customer experiences and part of that experience today includes Wi-Fi accessibility. Offering Wi-Fi in itself is not enough; it needs to be secure and reliable for both customers and employees. To achieve this level of performance, customer-grade solutions won’t cut it. Here’s what you should consider if you’re looking to update your Wi-Fi service.

The Big Difference Between Business-Grade and Consumer-Grade Wi-Fi

One of the biggest benefits of having a business-grade Wi-Fi solution is that it has more capabilities than the standard consumer solution. Settling for consumer Wi-Fi could be a missed opportunity for your business:

  • Wouldn’t it be amazing to know more about your customers? You’ll have the ability to view network users, devices they’re on, and what sites they’re visiting while they’re at your business.
  • Does your business accept credit cards? Well, consumer solutions are not PCI compliant and could actually end up being a risk for your business.
  • Do you have more than one business location? Business Wi-Fi will allow you to view data and information from all your locations in one dashboard.

While a consumer-grade solution may be perfect for in-home wireless, it has difficulty holding up in a business environment.

Don’t Be a Security Statistic

 Security is one of the biggest concerns for all businesses today. Technology has been rapidly trying to keep up with the latest threat to businesses. A breach in data can have devastating consequences that damage a company’s reputation irreversibly. That is why it is critical to make the switch from an in-home wireless solution to one that is made for the security strains that businesses experience.

Segmentation is a powerful tool for businesses that offer free Wi-Fi to their guests. Too often, businesses offer guests access to the same stream that carries internal data. This is a risky move considering it can compromise customer financial data or personal employee information. Wi-Fi segmentation allows you to keep your guests and employees on two separate paths, creating a more secure network environment.

There are business benefits to your employees in segmentation. No matter how many customers access your guest Wi-Fi, employee access remains unaffected. This means your employees maintain secure, high-speed access so they can do their jobs without bandwidth or security issues

Don’t Troubleshoot Problems on Your Own

Whenever there’s a technology issue, the first question is always, “have you tried turning it off and on?” And while that works more often than it should, there are the rare occasions when it would be great to have an expert look at it for you. Choosing the right provider can make all the difference when looking at any technology solution, but with Wi-Fi it can be particularly helpful. IT departments partnering with an operational support staff can solve problems faster and help avoid customer downtime. That level of service is just not available with consumer-grade Wi-Fi solutions.

Don’t Break the Bank

So all this sounds great, but you’re thinking can I afford to switch from a low cost Wi-Fi solution to a perceived higher cost solution? In addition to saving money by delivering on customer expectations, gaining more insights into your customers, and securing your network, Wi-Fi solutions don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are some vendors who will bundle your Wi-Fi solution with your network so you can gain cost efficiencies in your technology budget. And we’re all looking to get a little more bang for our buck.

You run a business, so shouldn’t all your solutions be made for business? Leave the consumer-grade Wi-Fi at home and switch to a solution that will live up to the rigors of daily operations.

See how CenturyLink® Business Wi-Fi can help your business take the leap.