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By 18 June 2021 | Categories: feature articles

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To celebrate World Wi-Fi Day, here are 5 things worth knowing about the latest in the world of Wi-Fi:

  1. 5G and Wi-Fi 6: A bridge over the digital divide

Today, a lack of connectivity separates half the global population from opportunities in learning, business, and healthcare. In nearly every country, the digital divide affects rural areas and the poor disproportionately.

The next generation of wireless technologies —including 5G and Wi-Fi 6 — can go a long way towards closing the divide. These technologies reach areas where fiber is prohibitively expensive — including rural communities.

Frontline mobile workers, telehealth, manufacturing, and education will all benefit from next-gen wireless as well. We see pervasive wireless connectivity as the ultimate flattener of the digital divide.

  1. Wi-Fi 6, the latest Wi-Fi standard

The next generation of the Wi-Fi standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax. Wi-Fi 6 is built on the same fundamental wireless innovations as 5G.

Beyond being significantly faster than the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6 delivers up to 400 percent greater capacity and is more effective in high-density settings like large lecture halls, stadiums and conference rooms.

Latency is vastly improved, allowing for near real-time use cases. Wi-Fi 6 is also easier on connected devices’ batteries and provides an overall more predictable user experience.

  1. Wi-Fi Security basics

One basic best practice for Wi-Fi security is to change default passwords. Most network devices such as wireless access points feature default administrator passwords, which are meant to make setup of the devices easy. Changing the default passwords for network devices to more-complex passwords—and changing them often—are simple but effective ways to improve Wi-Fi security.

Other Wi-Fi network security methods include encryption, virtual private networks, wireless intrusion prevention systems and unified threat management. The latter offers a simplified way to integrate multiple security functions. It provides these functions at a single point on the network, eliminating the need for point solutions from multiple vendors.

  1. Open Roaming

OpenRoaming is a multi-vendor initiative, originating from Cisco, to provide a better bridge between mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

OpenRoaming makes it easy to connect a mobile device to a high-quality Wi-Fi network, and roam easily between networks.

It allows users and guests to automatically and securely onboard the moment their device comes within range of a qualified and participating Wi-Fi network. No SSID guessing games, no portal confusion, no insecure usernames and passwords; just seamless and secure onboarding.

  1. Digitizing physical spaces with Wi-Fi technologies

Hundreds of billions of sqm of physical spaces remain in the dark today with neither IT nor business teams having insights into the behavior of people (customers, guests, employees) and things (assets, sensors, smart devices). Location based services such as Cisco DNA Spaces take wireless beyond connectivity, use data from the wireless infrastructure and turn it into insights.

In a world where our websites and mobile apps are becoming smarter by the day, DNA Spaces was launched with the vision to make buildings smarter. Prior to the pandemic, most Cisco customers used the platform to set up Wi-Fi onboarding, locate assets or collect monthly analytics reports and stats on how their locations were performing.

Today, a new set of apps facilitate a safe return to work, including contact tracing based on wi-fi presence, real-time people count and behavioral monitoring, density threshold-based triggers for safe capacities and social distancing as well as contact-less customer experiences.

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