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Posts Tagged ‘Wifi’

To say Wi-Fi is hot is as big an understatement as saying that A-Rod is a cheater. Everyone knows it’s true, but it’s bigger than most people think. In a joint ZK Research/Tech Target Network Purchase Intention Survey that was run near the end of 2013, Wi-Fi ranked as the No. 2 in priority for network managers, behind only the red-hot security market.

The primary driver of Wi-Fi is, of course, the influx of millions of consumer devices into the workplace, which means the wireless network needs to be expanded and made denser. Deciding to deploy more Wi-Fi is an easy decision, but deciding on whether to stick with N or to deploy AC may not be easy. One would think that shifting to AC, the newest standard, is a no brainer; however there are a number of challenges that need to be dealt with in order to have a successful 802.11AC deployment.

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Those of you in my age demographic might remember an old, cheesy game show called “The Dating Game” with an even cheesier host named Jim Lange. On the show, bachelors and bachelorettes answered totally pointless questions to measure their compatibility with one another. It was a TV game show version of Match.com, if you will.

However, sometimes it’s not just people that need help connecting to one another and finding the best match, it’s also devices. Ever try to hop on a wireless network and get frustrated because your device always seems to pick the wrong access point? It happens to me a fair bit. When I’m at Logan Airport, which is far too often, my MacBook always tries to connect to “Logan WiFi” instead of “United Club” when I’m in the Red Carpet Club, even though the signal quality of the United Club AP is clearly better. Even when I’m at home, my devices sometimes try to connect to my neighbor’s AP instead of the AirPort sitting under my desk, and I have to manually reconnect to the right AP. This can be annoying to tech-savvy workers, who are forced to continually pick the right AP, to downright productivity impairing for less technical folks who don’t feel comfortable changing settings or simply don’t know they’re connected to a sub-optimal AP.

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This week at Google’s I/O developer conference, the company announced the general availability of two Chrome OS Laptops.  Both Best Buy and Amazon will be selling the devices made by Acer and Samsung.  The Samsung “Chrome Book” will have a 12.1 inch display and have integrated WiFi and Verizon 3G and will be priced at $429.  The Acer device will only be $349 but will be WiFi only and have an 11.6 inch screen.  Both devices tout long battery life and are optimized for accessing content out of the cloud.

Google also announced a very compelling business package where organizations could lease the Chrome Books for $28 per month per user.  The $28 price tag includes the laptop, full warranty, support, service, end of life replacement and a device called the Chrome Box to allow companies to connect the Chrome Book to the corporate file systems.

In my opinion, this is an important evolutionary step for the device market, for both consumers and corporate workers.  Almost every part of technology has transformed to be web optimized.  To quote my colleague, Sandra Palumbo, “we access what we want, when we want” because we’re always connected.

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