Wi-Fi – Ruggedized versus Consumer Grade – Part II

Yesterday we talked about some of the basic differences between a consumer grade Wi-Fi device and one made for the AIDC industry (the ruggedized version).  Now let’s dig into some more detail.

Vendors of AIDC equipment know that having an industrial grade supplicant is key.  So the supplicants they pre-load are built to deal with harsh Wi-Fi environments and the extremes of competing with large numbers of other third party networks.

Supplicants supplied by all the major AIDC vendors handle the example cited in yesterday’s blog posting about our Seattle office with ease.  And these supplicants go further…

The OS supplied supplicant typically will only support a limited number of security types.  At worst they just support pre-shared key security and at best support only one or two 802.1X types, such as EAP-TLS.

Now, AIDC devices are sold into markets governed by mandates such as PCI, so security is paramount.  And having the flexibility to choose a security model which a) meets your obligations and b) can be compatible with you wireless infrastructure hardware, is vital.

AIDC vendors ensure that these mandates can be met by supplying supplicants which can support a much broader scope of security encryption and authentication methods, such as the full range of EAP types like PEAP and TTLS together with enhanced encryption via AES.

And lastly, these supplicants work in unison with Wavelink Avalanche to allow for total remote management so that security roll-outs and upgrades can be performed without physically touching the device itself.

So now armed with this knowledge, you hopefully have a new appreciation for the work that goes into making a ruggedized wireless device.  It’s not just ruggedized hardware, it’s ruggedized industrial-grade software as well.

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