Testing Unifi: mission*social gets a WiFi Upgrade
At Inveneo, we like to test new technologies thoroughly before we deploy them in the field, including installing and using them in our offices. In Silicon Valley, this is called “eating your own dog food” and it is a time-honored way to drive innovation that is actually practical and useful.
Recently, we heard about Ubiquiti UniFi, which is a WiFi system combining carrier class performance, unlimited scalability, and a virtual management controller all at disruptively low pricing. To test it out, we’ve installed 4 Ubiquiti UniFi access points throughout mission*social, the shared workspace for social enterprises organized by Inveneo.
UniFi solves many local WiFi issues
There are six social enterprises and countless visitors who work out of mission*social, and Inveneo manages 3 local wifi networks to support them: 1 for Inveneo staff, 1 for mission*social staff, and 1 for visitors. Each of these networks has different bandwidth and security requirements.
Previously, we had consumer grade access points where one access point was its own independent wireless network – we had to manage each access point separately and users had to manually switch between networks. With Unifi, each of the four new access points we installed will serve the three wireless networks seamlessly.
Users will be able to freely roam from one AP’s coverage area to another, and the UniFi “virtual controller” will make sure the user is always connected to the access point with the strongest coverage. We are still working through a learning curve with the UniFi controller management platform, but the interface is nice, and it allows us to show access point status and coverage overlaid on a floorplan of our office.
As an added bonus, installation of the access points was pretty painless, and once installed, they look much more professional than installations we’ve seen done with consumer gear. Best of all, UniFi gives us enterprise-level WiFi at consumer prices.