8 Questions to Ask Before Buying Wi-Fi for Your Small Business

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It’s hard to run a business today without Wi-Fi access. Employees want devices that instantly connect and perform flawlessly, whether they’re ringing up sales, taking inventory or running payroll. Visitors and guests want to check the Internet for prices (and bargains), stream videos when waiting for an appointment or just check social media feeds to keep up-to-date.

The best experiences are hassle-free. That’s why small businesses need Wi-Fi that’s fast, reliable and secure—and is easy to manage and affordable.

Here are eight key questions to ask before buying your next wireless solution.

1. How do people use—or want to use Wi-Fi? There are more applications and devices on your network today—not just laptops, smartphones and mobile payment systems, but also security cameras, thermostats and smart lightbulbs. Cloud applications like Microsoft Office 365 and Slack require constant connectivity. And in many places, you’ll want Wi-Fi coverage outdoors as well. A good rule of thumb is that users carry three devices each and then there are all of those IoT devices.

Aruba Instant On is designed with small business in mind—rock-solid reliable, affordable Wi-Fi that’s simple to setup and manage. It’s ideal for small businesses with up to 100 active users. With support for up to 25 access point, Aruba Instant On is also great for a business with multiple locations. Employees, guests and devices will have the fast, always-on Wi-Fi they need for a great experience—whether indoors or outdoors.

2. How do I choose the right wireless solution for my business? Look for products that support the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard, which delivers up to 1.3 Gbps of bandwidth. As your business grows, you’ll have plenty of performance for today’s mobile needs. Also ask about the product warranty, support and associated license fees. You want your investment to last, but you don’t want to be surprised later on.

 Aruba Instant On APs support 802.11ac Wave 2, so that you can count on a great user experience. All Instant On access points come with a one year warranty, free 24x7 phone support for the first 90 days and chat-only support for the entire warranty period. Best of all, there are no hidden subscription or licensing fees.

3. How can I be assured that Wi-Fi access is secure? Today’s Wi-Fi standards offer multiple ways to make sure that only authorized users and devices can use your network. The latest version of the WPA2 standard for authentication and encryption is the minimum, and WPA3 offers the very latest and most secure authentication.

Aruba Instant On includes the latest WPA3 and WPA2 security standards so you can feel confident that you’re using the best authentication and encryption possible. Instant On APs also come with the latest Opportunistic Wireless Encryption(OWE) security standard for the latest in open or guest access security.

4. Can visitors and guests easily get Wi-Fi access? Many businesses have been reluctant to offer guest Wi-Fi because of security and simplicity concerns. Should you require an acceptance of use acknowledgement or just let users connect without entering any data? Either way, the Wi-Fi solution needs to offer secure guest Wi-Fi while keeping your business traffic separate.

Aruba Instant On makes it really simple to set up guest access network, and you can even add your logo to the guest pages for brand recognition. Setting up separate networks also gives you the confidence that your business traffic is secure and separate from guest traffic. For simplicity’s sake, guests are not asked to enter a user name or password to connect and get a secure connection if wanted—which eliminates a big hassle for the user without sacrificing security.

5. Do we need a tech expert to install the new network? Many small business Wi-Fi solutions can take a half a day or more to set up, and someone may have had to watch hours of training material. It’s frustrating if you have a small team and time is tight.

You can have Aruba Instant On set up in minutes. An intuitive mobile app guides you through all the steps to set up the network to fit your needs. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself type or are working with an IT consultant, your Wi-Fi will be up and running quickly.

6. Do we need an expert to manage our network? Many small business owners rely on an IT consultant for expertise, while others prefer to do it themselves.

 Aruba Instant On is easy to manage too. There’s the mobile app, and if you want the same easy-to-use features on a bigger screen, there’s cloud-based access that lets you manage your network from the browser of your choice, from anywhere. You or your IT consultant can view the health of the network and even troubleshoot if connectivity problems arise using you platform of choice. 

7. What happens when the network goes down? Network outages are disruptive to your business, so you need a network that’s resilient. If one access point fails, another access point should automatically take over without any human intervention or network disruption.

Aruba Instant On uses Smart Mesh technology, so if one access point goes down, another one will automatically take over. Instant On is backed by optional support services from Aruba. You can also add Aruba Foundation Care support services to ensure your network is covered for three years.

8. What happens when we expand our Wi-Fi to support more devices or locations? Look for a product that will grow with your business. When you want to add access points or locations, do the new access points automatically join or is there a complex setup process?

Aruba Instant On is easy to expand. You can connect new APs to Ethernet cables or you simply add another access point over the air using our Smart Mesh technology. Aruba Instant On will do the rest. Remember, the network can grow to as many 25 APs.

Customers are telling us that Aruba Instant On offers everything their business needs: The latest in Wi-Fi networking and security that’s affordable, simple to use, and backed by Aruba’s innovation and brand.