TEK SUPPORT BLOG

Holiday and Caravan Park Owners: Are poor tech solutions earning you bad reviews?

why fortinet enterprise wifi

When technology gets in the way, relaxation is interrupted. For the owner of a caravan park, WiFi solutions that keep everyone happy can be quite hard to come by. And, for those looking for a holiday, it shouldn’t have to mean ditching a beloved device and it simply doesn’t have to be that way.

Maybe you don’t want to talk about how much money you spent on WiFi deployment. (You certainly wouldn’t be the first). But let’s offer a scenario: Just say that perhaps you’re a resort or caravan park owner, who knew seamless WiFi was essential, and made a well-intended purchase. Let’s say that what you hoped for and what you got weren’t at all in line with the money you spent. Along with significantly lighter pockets, you’re left with disgruntled guests, a problematic solution that needs attention immediately, and a feeling of dislike for technology in general.

At Teksupport, we usually find these problems are attributable to a lack of education around how a WiFi solution (poor, sound, or excellent) operates. Sometimes, this is because a ‘premium’ provider that hasn’t been transparent with you about what it actually, really takes to ensure WiFi is as readily available as the air we breathe. This is sadly the case, a lot of the time and we don’t believe it’s fair, or necessary.

What’s the difference? WIRED connectivity vs WIRELESS connectivity

You’re less likely to know the technical aspects of ‘blue cable’ wiring - it’s basically two merged wires that carry information both to and from your device and the network. The great thing about blue cable wiring, is that each device uses its own cable (sometimes called full duplex wiring) all of the time. Think of it this way: blue cable wiring is like your standard telephone landline, in that both parties can use it at the same time without sharing it with other telephone users.

WiFi on the other hand, offers more mobility and wireless freedom, but the downfall is we must share our WiFi channel with other devices in the local area. All devices on a WiFi channel need to wait in line to transmit. In contrast to wired connectivity where there’s no risk of a traffic jam, you can see there are appealing aspects of each connectivity option at both ends.

What happens when traffic is BAD.

Often, when a WiFi channel is busy, devices must wait for an opportunity to transmit. When two devices try and transmit at the same time, we have a collision on our hands. The devices must wait and later transmit at a random time. This is referred to as simplex or half-duplex communications.

If you’ve ever used a Citizens Band (CB) radio, you’ll understand the confusion well. What happens is actually very similar to what is happening when many and varied devices are trying to fight for their turn on a WiFi network. This significantly reduces the amount of available bandwidth to WiFi devices (bandwidth measures how much data can be sent via a connection over specific lengths of time), when compared with wired devices.

In a normal WiFi network, the client determines when they should transmit, on what channel and for how long. If we imagine a room full of WiFi devices, all trying to do their own thing in their own time, we can get a good idea of the circus going on, especially when traffic is a challenge. Think of it as something of an orchestra of unbridled musicians, where everyone is playing different instruments, in various styles, at different tempos, in unison. The result is a cacophony of noise- and yet, it is the basis on which all WiFi network operate. All of the big brand WiFi vendors you may know, for example, Cisco, Aruba, Meraki, Xirrus, Ruckus just to name a few, all operate this way – with the exception of one.

Fortinet (formerly Meru Networks)

Only one manufacturer so far has acted on the stark fact that a conductor was the only thing that could massage this noise into something far more pleasing to the ears. The conductor was the ‘Meru Difference’, manufactured by Meru Networks. Meru Networks has subsequently been taken over by Fortinet and the product range continues to be developed and marketed as Fortinet Enterprise WiFi.

A WiFi controller plays the role of the device conductor, and its job is to manage the entire WiFi deployment, taking control of devices and managing them as well. Effectively, what it does, is manage each device (or musician, according to our analogy) informing each device when the turn to play has come. The conductor is so good at the role, that the musicians don’t notice they are sharing the stage with many others. They may as well be soloing.

The Result of Fortinet Enterprise WiFi.

So what happens when the orchestra finally gets a conductor? No more “sticky” devices, no more “dropouts” and every device, no matter what its speed, gets a fair go. The net result is finally, a WiFi network that maximises the available bandwidth and will, more than likely, exceed your expectations. For park, hotel, motel and caravan park WiFi solutions, there’s never been an option that addresses the problem every other vendor has ignored. For an easy to follow, more technical over view, you’ll find the following clip interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keD2KI0loUc.

At Teksupport, we’re committed to improving communication, wherever you are. We believe that great connectivity is essential, and that there’s room for big improvement when it comes to the solutions we deserve in wireless WiFi. If you would like more information regarding Fortinet Enterprise WiFi or would like to arrange a free, no obligation demonstration, please contact us here at Teksupport on (03) 9590 0560 today.