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What Is Managed WiFi? A Guide to Managed WiFi Services

MDU Logo - standardWhy seeking out connectivity experts to oversee daily network needs simultaneously translates into higher-quality service, enhanced efficiency, and sustainable revenue growth.

In the modern interconnected world, WiFi service availability and quality has undoubtedly become as essential an amenity as electricity or running water. Regardless of whether a building serves as a multi-family apartment complex, senior living home, or even student housing, the presence of a robust online connection is crucial to residents of all kinds.

With property reputations and revenue at stake, and especially as building environments continue to adopt more smart technology-based devices, high-performance WiFi has become an absolute must. Yet according to recent surveys, only one percent of renters state that they have the uninterrupted WiFi service they desire.

As a result, managed WiFi services are now highly valued, offering property staff and occupants an online experience that reliably and consistently meets users’ expectations.

But what is managed WiFi? A fairly recent service offering, managed WiFi is only just beginning to make waves within multifamily and multi-purpose building environments. Read on to discover why more businesses are finding themselves driven towards adopting this service in order to keep pace with competition while preserving both reputations and revenues.

 

What Is Managed WiFi?

 Managed WiFi is simply the term used for when a building’s network is monitored and overseen by a third-party internet and network services provider. Designed as a cloud-based network that’s accessible with the use of multiple access points, managed WiFi allows building owners and their staff to offload both the responsibility and daily tasks of network management to an off-site team of dedicated professionals.

Far more than simply overseeing routine maintenance tasks, experienced third-party specialists are able to take over the reins for virtually every aspect of managing a network — from monitoring and preventing cyber-attacks to providing troubleshooting assistance as well as recommendations on future hardware upgrade needs.

By partnering with a managed WiFi provider, businesses can further delegate online security issues, troubleshooting, routine maintenance, and upgrade needs to more experienced specialists.

While freeing a building’s employees to focus on other more immediate tasks, managed WiFi represents a more adaptive, responsive, and effective approach to network management that ultimately leads to superior results and substantial long-term cost savings.

 

Managed Vs. Unmanaged WiFi

What is the difference between managed and unmanaged WiFi? In contrast to managed WiFi solutions, unmanaged WiFi is essentially the same type of WiFi service that consumers most often utilize for their homes. While a property may pay a fee to gain access to an internet service, taking an unmanaged approach to WiFi means that the business itself is responsible for monitoring performance, bandwidth consumption needs, and managing cyber security risks.

While unmanaged WiFi may at first appear to be the more affordable choice, in reality, the best decision on which type of service to adopt often comes down to business-specific needs and priorities.

Unmanaged WiFi may be more suitable for a small building that only needs to support a limited number of devices or users. For such locations, networks consisting of a single modem and/or router are often sufficient enough to provide effective connectivity — as is usually the case within consumer homes, which typically feature a similar setup.

Yet for most multifamily and multi-dwelling properties, the explosive growth of IoT-based devices combined with ever-increasing numbers of network users seeking a high-speed connection means that unmanaged WiFi may no longer be the most effective or affordable option.

 

Benefits of Managed WiFi

Although some businesses may have previously heard of managed WiFi, the term is still fairly new to property managers and their staff. Yet as a dedicated service able to supervise and control a property’s network in real-time over the cloud, third-party managed WiFi solutions can seamlessly provide a wide range of unique advantages:

 

24/7 Performance and Bandwidth Monitoring

Perhaps the most essential benefit of managed WiFi is gaining continuous access to expert network technicians who maintain a constant eye on any sudden dips in service quality. Unlike onsite employees who may become distracted by other responsibilities, managed WiFi staff are always solely focused on identifying any performance issues that require immediate attention.

Examples of issues that may come up include a malfunctioning access point or higher-than-usual online traffic, which may result in the need to temporarily increase bandwidth. Managed WiFi personnel can often identify and address such issues before reduction in network service quality is even noticed by end-users.

Superior Online Security and Data Protection

As buildings adopt more IoT-based devices and services, cybersecurity issues can become a greater and more prevalent risk. Yet rather than avoiding such technologies for fear of experiencing a potential breach, properties can instead minimize their exposure by partnering with a trusted managed WiFi provider able to offer both continuous and real-time cyber security protection.

In addition to overseeing the installation of the latest firewalls, virus scanners, and internet security protocols, managed WiFi technicians are also able to consistently monitor for any suspicious activity. Should a cyberattack be identified, they’ll not only alert a building’s on-site employees to the issue but can also actively counter and isolate such attacks in order to minimize potential damage and the theft of sensitive data.

Enhanced Network and Operations Scalability

Regardless of building type or size, the inevitable evolution of technology and end-user needs means that a property will ultimately have to invest in making network upgrades in order to keep pace with the competition and continue meeting modern expectations.

With a managed WiFi service, building owners and their staff can offload yet another important task while gaining the confidence that any future upgrade needs are always fully anticipated ahead of time. Whether scaling network coverage to include a new area or ensuring sufficient bandwidth for a new end-user service such as mobile key technology, such a strategy can minimize potential costs and disruptions while always delivering expected results.

24/7 End-User Support Services

In addition to providing building staff with access to expert assistance in the event of a network performance issue, managed WiFi services can even offer instant support for any number of troubleshooting requests that may surface throughout the course of a day.

Having troubleshooting support provided by a managed WiFi team prevents the frequent need to pull on-site staff from their pressing responsibilities, ensuring that any issue is quickly identified and fixed without disrupting business operations. This can include assisting users with WiFi login difficulties, overcoming email server compatibility issues, or setting up a VPN network to name a few examples.

Tiered WiFi Service Options

If one thing can be certain about modern online connectivity, it’s that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Some users may only require minimal bandwidth to read and send emails, while others may be in need of significantly higher network resources in order to play video games, host video meetings, download and share files, or manage multiple cloud-based systems.

While supplying a standard WiFi connection for universal use, a managed WiFi services provider can also design a network that can provide several tiered bandwidth or connection speed options. This not only preserves online resources and promotes fair use, but it also provides buildings with a new source of revenue while increasing experience satisfaction rates.

 

Gain the Edge with Managed WiFi for Your Property

 With so many unique advantages to offer and the potential to provide substantial cost savings and increased revenue over the long term, it’s hardly surprising that more apartments and facilities are making the switch to managed WiFi. In addition to the increased revenue potential, Managed WiFi helps increase the efficiency of operations and reduce staff workloads.

And as cloud-based technologies and smart devices continue to become more prevalent in today’s society and multi-purpose buildings, the need to effectively manage an increasingly complex network environment continues to become an even more urgent business priority.

As a leading and trusted network solutions provider for more than two decades, MDU Internet Services continues to represent the industry’s highest standard in managed WiFi capabilities. With proven results for countless multi-dwelling unit properties across the U.S., MDU Internet Services has both the experience and technology necessary to guarantee the success of your WiFi service strategy.

Ready to provide your property with a head start on the competition in enhancing your network experience? Contact MDU Internet Services today and discover firsthand what it means to set the standard for superior WiFi network performance and reliability for the twenty-first century.

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