Our need for “always-on” connectivity and accessibility has led to the emergence of Wearable Tech such as smart-watches and voice badges, as well as “Smart Home” devices, like Smart TVs and home automation equipment. It’s estimated that there are between 7 and 12 billion internet-connected devices in use in 2016 and that number is estimated to increase to over 22 billion by 2020. Between these devices, internet connected cars, and other internet reliant devices, the average number of devices per user is edging closer to 5.
One major concern with the surge in number of internet-connected devices is the wireless backbone that these devices require for functionality. Currently underway, there are large-scale changes to how we connect to the internet, many municipalities are actively deploying public wireless networks both in public squares and within government buildings, and Google’s Project Loon is a global WiFi design using weather balloons in the stratosphere that broadcast public Wireless internet internationally. These initiatives come with their own set of complications, such as hacking attempts, personal device isolation, and rogue APs mimicking secure SSIDs; a strong wireless security practice coupled with multiple active security features is integral in mitigating these risks. Inherent features like RF Protection and Policy Enforcement Firewall features are excellent examples of a strong security-minded wireless vendor.
With the significant increase in wireless devices on our networks, we need to start looking forward towards new wireless protocols and deployment strategies that take the increased need for bandwidth and client capacity into account. The adoption of the 802.11AC protocol introduces Multi User MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) which allows real-time transmission between the AP and multiple endpoints getting rid of the bottleneck of serialization of communication, as well as added throughput per client with an estimated 1.8 Gigabit per second possible. Newer wireless deployments are also taking advantage of capacity-based wireless deployments over the previous generation of coverage-based networks, differing in the density of access point placement along with more capable hardware in APs, these networks are able to deliver higher quality network performance to many more clients.