Inveneo Unifi Archives

Building Haiti Back Better with Unifi

  1. Posted by Inveneo on July 31, 2012 in the categories: News, Projects, Relief

Late in 2011, Inveneo partnered with Green WiFi and the Illinois Institute of Technology to bring WiFi to a semi-rural school in Lascahobas, Haiti. The team wanted to use the most effective technology but was concerned with the hassles in setting up a shared, wireless WiFi network, which include:

  • The need to change passwords frequently (which take extra steps and time)
  • The inability to automatically add MAC addresses onto systems
  • Users unable to seamlessly roam from one access point (AP) to the next
  • Administrators unable to manage all the APs from one location
  • The need for multitude of cables and AC power outlets for all those Aps

Installing a Unifi access point

Inveneo learned of Ubiquiti Unifi, a WiFi system combining carrier class performance, unlimited scalability, and a virtual management controller all at disruptively low pricing. Inveneo wanted to test it and soon installed Unifi devices at mission*social, a shared workspace in California.

The results came in and Inveneo realized that it was stable and usable. Also, users were able to roam through the space and seamlessly connect from one access point to another without disruption. After Inveneo knew that it worked and was excited about the results, the next step was to install Unifi in Haiti.

At the Haitian school École Fondamentale d’Application Centre d’Appui Pédagogique (EFACAP), Unifi was installed by a partner team of Green WiFi, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Inveneo to ensure that students would have Internet. The Internet backhaul was created by establishing a long-distance link that connected the EFACAP school to a communications tower located in the nearby town, Lascahobas.

Bruce Baikie, Senior Director of Inveneo and President of Green WiFi, provided technical advice to the team throughout the process. Additionally, classes were provided for local technicians to ensure the WiFi connection would have local support and long-term maintenance. With the successful Unifi installation, the school’s 400 laptops can give students access to online educational resources.

Testing Unifi: mission*social gets a WiFi Upgrade

  1. Posted by Inveneo on October 26, 2011 in the categories: News

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.