Education Wi-Fi Buyers Guide For 2018

We’re kicking off our 2018 Education Buyer’s Guide with this post. Over the next few weeks, we will break down everything you’ll need to do to make an informed enterprise Wi-Fi purchase

Educators are faced with unique problems when considering how best to implement their networking infrastructure. First, and perhaps most important, many educational facilities do not have dedicated in-house networking experts, which are considered foundational to most enterprises. This becomes even more problematic as educational institutions consider wireless LANs (WLANs). Wi-Fi-based networking is changing rapidly and continuously and makes use of specialized terms, gear, and jargon that can be baffling. Each vendor has its own niche in the market and its own specialized terminology, adding to the confusion. And even if you can manage to catch up to the network side of Wi-Fi, you still have to try to keep up with innovations on the client side! This can result in constant dread that you have purchased gear that will not be scalable or manageable as your needs change.

While the learning curve in Wi-Fi can be steep, it is ultimately worthwhile. WLANs allow you to extend the benefits of connectivity throughout your institution, from the classroom to the courtyard. Teacher collaboration and reach can be enhanced. Students can use the technology that suits them as a learning tool, not a distraction.

In this vendor-neutral guide, we will take you through some elements that you should consider when choosing Wi-Fi networking equipment. We will begin by considering the issues common to any WLAN deployment in the education market, including Wi-Fi standards and a forward look at the growth of Wi-Fi–enabled devices. We will then look at architectural and management considerations, and how these elements come together to create the overall solution. We’ve also highlighted some common perspectives we’ve seen from teachers and administrators, which can add a dimension beyond connectivity.

Along the way, we will try to demystify the jargon and cut through the acronym soup. The goal of this guide is to help you to define what your organization really needs and wants from its Wi-Fi investment, and then help you to identify the gear that meets your requirements, without compromise. To that end, we’ve also included a few words on programs that may be helpful to you in the buying process.

All posts in this series:

 

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Alexandra Gates is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Aerohive Networks, where she helps define market strategy and vision for the cloud and WLAN products. She is a CWNA with a comprehensive background in wireless technology, including capacity and management planning, RF design, network implementation, and general industry knowledge.

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