Another capability that is important for businesses is the support for multiple Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs). An SSID is the network name that users see when connecting to a wireless network. While having multiple SSIDs does not increase the actual capacity of an AP, this feature does offer a number of important advantages on the security and management front.
Blog: Easing Security Concerns When Taking Your Business Wireless
For example, it is possible to configure varying levels of security for each SSID. A network for guest users may be designated as an open network, while wireless network cameras could be connected to a network protected by a long Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) static key, while yet another network can be setup to authenticate via RADIUS and used to serve employee laptops. Depending on SSID, wireless clients can be channeled through different virtual LANs to segregate the traffic, tagged with a different quality of service level or even routed through a security appliance.
Explore Access Point Power Options
A less obvious problem when setting up multiple wireless APs is the possibility of having to deploy them at inconvenient locations for maximum coverage. Powering these APs using Power over Ethernet (PoE) simplifies the problem while also sparing businesses the cost of laying separate electrical cable runs to each AP. PoE provides power over the same Ethernet cables that feed data to the APs while offering speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is more than adequate throughput for the fastest commercially available APs today.
Businesses that do not already have a PoE infrastructure in place can easily deploy midspan PoE injectors at the server room or closet. Alternatively, PoE-capable network switches are relatively affordable now and is a good choice when keeping the server closet equipment count down is a priority. Powering APs via PoE also helps on the maintenance front; IT departments can more easily replace standard PoE injectors or switches that fail compared to having to scramble for a specific AC adapter. In the same vein, it is far easier to troubleshoot a single cable than to separately verify that the data link and power adapters of individual APs are working.
Finally, PoE allows for the use of standard UPS equipment to power PoE switches or injectors to protect APs from power outages. Obviously, a PoE strategy necessitates the use of APs with inherent PoE support, a feature usually found only in business-centric APs.