The cloud revolution is still in full swing. Last year truly proved to be the turning point for cloud-based networking and remote access, and businesses across the globe have been busy reinventing their day-to-day operations with the latest cloud technologies. Many cloud users are simply looking to provide employees with reliable network coverage to remain functional in their remote work environments. That’s certainly a good reason to invest in a proper cloud-driven network, but business leaders should be maximizing the potential of their resources, beyond merely surviving the pandemic.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities featured on cloud networks can add significant value to any business, including enhancing security, employee management, and marketing. Though Wi-Fi and BLE have a lot in common, knowing the difference between them can help business leaders find the best use cases for their operations.
It would be a tough task to find anyone unfamiliar with Wi-Fi in the modern world. Computers, smart devices, televisions, gaming consoles, and countless other devices use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet through a wireless router. It’s easily the most popular radio-frequency technology used today and boasts impressive range capability compared to other wireless options.
Though Wi-Fi seems to be useful enough simply by connecting to the internet, the technology has other valuable features that businesses should be taking advantage of. Businesses using Wi-Fi networks can analyze network metadata to analyze user behavior and gain detailed insights about their own operations. Location tracking can allow administrators to monitor the whereabouts of employees and devices and can assess crowd sizes and traffic patterns of connected users. More recently, Wi-Fi has been a major tool for contact tracing solutions, allowing businesses and agencies to create strategies for managing potential health outbreaks.
Simply put, Wi-Fi is much more than a tool for connecting devices to the internet. Its ease of connectivity and widespread compatibility provide endless amounts of data from connected users.
Bluetooth is certainly not unknown, but the technology is nowhere near as widespread as Wi-Fi currently is. Bluetooth is another radio-frequency technology for short-range wireless communications. Most consumers are familiar with Bluetooth for device connectivity, such as headphones or wireless music speakers. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), is extremely popular in IoT applications because it allows IoT devices to run very efficiently for extended periods on a single battery charge. The technology differs from Wi-Fi in that it doesn’t connect directly to the internet, but to other devices. Though Bluetooth would appear to be less functional compared to Wi-Fi, its simplicity and reduced power consumption make it an excellent feature for modern technology, especially as businesses continue to invest in IoT.
Since most computers and smart devices come standard with Bluetooth capabilities, businesses can use this connection for a number of applications. For instance, companies with large storage facilities can use BLE sensors to monitor valuable equipment for security purposes. The technology is also useful for geofencing, which allows businesses to create virtual barriers for connected items. The simplicity of a BLE connection makes it an ideal system for managing resources, and can potentially save businesses countless dollars by providing a simple security solution for valuable equipment.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth each have functionality that extends well beyond their mainstream purposes, and businesses should make the most of their widespread use by integrating both of them across all operations. Extreme Networks’ ExtremeLocation solution provides businesses with the tools to make the most of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, with easy scalability, security features, and detailed insights into connected user behavior across their cloud-driven networks.