Cloud Managed Wi-Fi vs On-Premise

Due to an increase in data usage as companies are going online, Wi-Fi has become an essential tool for business. Wi-Fi Service Management Platform (Wi-Fi SMP) is a software platform employed by network administrators for controlling and managing Wi-Fi installations which makes it possible for you to centrally manage different Wi-Fi networks as well as control the behavior of network users.

Many individuals and corporations have been trying to figure out which between the cloud-based and on-premise WSMP is better. But before we get there, let us first look at the different types of Wi-Fi. 

The cloud has totally redefined networking and technology by providing wireless solutions that are safe and effective. Another advantage offered by a cloud solution is that it allows for easy set up and maximum flexibility for any project. One good approach is managing your database such that it is possible for you to control everything at once through one interface – a benefit offered by managed Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, on-premises, which is a more traditional answer to what is Wi-Fi, lets your current infrastructure help you in administering Wi-Fi services while helping you manage your network economically.

Understanding Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi 

To most firms, the idea of a cloud-managed Wi-Fi network seems perfect as it enables them to keep the management of their Wi-Fi apparatus and access points genuine while transferring diagnostics, utilisation monitoring, firmware updates, and RF visualisation responsibilities to the managed services provider. 

Beyond this, there is just much to comprehend concerning cloud-managed Wi-Fi, which is something that we will look into through its advantages analysis.

  • Easy management: Manage your complete network from one centralised dashboard, which is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, without the dependency on on-site hardware or software.
  • Seamless roaming: Users can seamlessly move between the access points without any interruptions, ensuring a smooth and user friendly experience.
  • Improved security: Managed Wi-Fi allows for centralised security policies, automatic firmware updates, & real-time monitoring to mitigate threats.
  • Automated updates: Firmware updates occur automatically, which ensures your internet connection or network is always running on the latest security updates or patches & performance enhancements.
  • Remote access and control: Manage & troubleshoot your network remotely from any of the devices with a web browser like Chrome etc, eliminating the need for on-site visits.

Understanding on-premise Wi-Fi

On premise Wi-Fi architecture refers to the main body of wireless networking that encompasses means through which devices get linked, communicate and interact while connected to a wireless network. Access points (APs), wireless clients & network infrastructure, are some of the crucial components of a Wi-Fi architecture.

For an efficient and strong wireless network that is able to support the specific needs of users and applications, the most important elements to consider in Wi-Fi architecture include coverage, capacity, security, scalability. All the factors which you can have a better control on when installed on premise.

  • Offline access: Your data is never dependent on an internet connection, which ensures constant access even during outages.
  • Lower internet costs: Save on the hefty internet expenses if the needs don’t require a high-speed connection.
  • Enhanced security: Keep all the sensitive data completely private and safeguarded in the internal network.
  • Hardware control: Customise & upgrade your storage with complete flexibility & avoid reliance on external providers.

Comparisons between on-premise and cloud managed Wi-Fi

Scalability and network management

When you use on-premises solutions, you are in control of every piece in terms of network hardware and software. This puts your IT team in a better position in terms of looking after security, configuring things or optimising performance, which has never been experienced before. For your specific requirements, you can always shape its configuration to meet such needs by programming distinct security policies that cannot be allowed to go by cloud-based management alternatives.

It’s easy to add new access points or extend the range of your cloud-managed Wi-Fi. You only need to turn on other devices via the dashboard, making network enlargement less complicated and, hence, suitable for growing companies. Therefore, companies that have different premises or tend to have many visitors prefer cloud services.


Managed Wi-Fi providers upgrade security patches timely, which in turn protects your network from hacking incidents. You can never go wrong with this way of protecting your data from cybercrimes. Cloud providers roll out security patches and updates by design, thus enabling one to avoid exposure to any outside threats such as malware through system leaks because it would certainly contain some new variations of previously known bugs (means viruses) if not duly protected or updated whatsoever. In the same vein, cybercriminals often peer inside systems, looking for network vulnerability. Since all devices work together under one network, it allows for a straightforward setup of standard security measures.

Conversely, within on-premise systems, an organisation is left with the sole responsibility of safeguarding access and data. Businesses need to have powerful security operation tools that closely monitor loopholes before they happen and then take action accordingly. This means being very vigilant every other time right from the moment you set up such a network up to avoiding such matters that require well-trained IT staff.

Cost Considerations

Any company or individual might have previously been in an organisation where, in order to get hold of a managed Wi-Fi, they had to pay an enormous amount first, only as an initial capital outlay. This, in return, assists them in consistently having realistic budget figures that do not change time after time. Furthermore, there is no need to invest in any on-site hardware because there may be access points supplied through leasing or included in your package, hence cutting the primary costs.

In terms of on-premise Wi-Fi, the initial capital investments may be huge, with high upfront costs coming in from licenses, hardware, plus software together, making it difficult for even long-established organisations, specifically those having broad networks or ambitious expansion strategies. While it hurts in the short term, in the long term, it brings down costs since there is no monthly fee anymore eating into your revenues, just occasionally some hardware replacements or software updates.

In subsequent years, owning the whole software or hardware may be beneficial, particularly under conditions of predictable network use. 

Deployment Flexibility

Coming from the latest feature and strong protection angle, when they partner with managed Wi-Fi providers, there is no need for businesses to hurry for firmware upgrades nor patch any security hole since your network will sail with them, hence having zero chance of missing out on something important. Centralised control is what enables users to adjust settings easily from anywhere on the earth, even remotely through the internet. Hence, their configurations would quickly emulate shifting business requirements even if these change within multiple locations at once.

For companies that require absolute authority over what they have and where to take the next step in regard to their networks, there is on-premise Wi-Fi. This is because everything on your network belongs to you, and it can be done in such a way that best fits into your individual requirements as if one had been clothed with a personal suit whose measurements were taken by tailors mandated to present the best service ever.

Integration with Other Technologies

There are so many open APIs that you will find on different cloud-based Wi-Fi platforms. Just think of them as something like a very busy street where people buy and sell various goods, but this time, it concerns developers as well as sellers displaying their gadgets or applications that can easily be connected to your network. This fosters effortless integration & fuels innovation, which allows you to leverage the latest & up-to-date tech without getting bogged down in complex configurations.

With on-premise solutions, you can opt for specific devices & applications that meet your stringent security & compatibility requirements. This level of control ensure you to build a highly secure & customised ecosystem tailored to your unique needs, like a bespoke amusement park designed just for your thrill-seeking business.

Considerations for Choosing or Opting Between or the Two Models

Scenarios favouring cloud-managed Wi-Fi

Scalability & flexibility: You have a rapidly growing workforce, dynamic traffic patterns, or frequent changes in internet or network needs. Cloud-managed solutions permits for easy expansion, adding access points on the go & adapting to evolving needs and demands.

Ease of management: Your IT (Information Technology) resources are limited, & you prioritise a user-friendly interface for network management. Managed platforms promote central control as well as automatic updation that minimises instances of manual setup by administrators making troubleshooting less stressful.

Centralised control: For enterprises with multiple sites that must enforce identical security policies and network configurations across all locations, cloud-managed implementations provide centralised control and visibility which makes managing them easy and uniformity assured.

Scenarios favouring on-premises Wi-Fi solutions 

Absolute control & customisation: You have stringent security requirements & need granular control over every other aspect of your network configuration & access. On-premises deployments offer complete ownership & customisation, allowing for bespoke security protocols & network optimisation.

Offline functionality: Uninterrupted network access is crucial for your operations, even during internet or network outages. On-premises solutions confirm continued network functionality, even if the internet connection drops for a while.

Existing IT bandwidth & resources: You have a dedicated IT team (Information Technology team) capable of managing and maintaining on-premises hardware & software. This can be more cost-effective approach than ongoing cloud subscriptions for enterprises or businesses with high network utilisation.

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