When the manufacturer of our existing wifi hardware sold out, the new owner soon announced the discontinuation of the line. Although they supported the system for a while, we had to find an alternative. We settled on Ruckus™ Unleashed access points. We chose Ruckus™ Unleashed.
Why We Chose Ruckus™ Unleashed
I am the IT department in our church, and technology is not my primary function on our staff. So I needed a robust and reliable wifi solution that was easy to set up and maintain. The system also had to be affordable. After a great deal of research, we chose Ruckus™ Unleashed because it best fit our needs. It was as easy as plug it in, turn it on, and configure it. The Unleashed line is nearly identical to high-end models except that the Unleashed models can be configured without a complex and expensive licensing controller.
We started with two of the r510 access points in our worship sanctuary as our “live test” platform. Each r510 can handle up to 512 concurrent connections (according to Ruckus™), so we purchased two units since our sanctuary will seat about 800 people.
During the initial setup, we created three SSIDs: a private network for church staff, a private network for our tech crew, and a public wifi for worshipers and attenders. The private networks are password protected. Worshipers and attenders who use the public network simply click a button agreeing that they have read our terms and conditions and that they will abide by them.
With Ruckus™ Unleashed setup, you can adjust download and upload speeds on any network, so we keep ours pretty slow on the public network to discourage downloading large files. The speed of the two private networks depends solely on the number of connections and other factors. We also set the public network at a lower priority than the private networks to give our staff and tech volunteers primary bandwidth.
Ruckus™ Unleashed has many other features, but one of the best is that when you install more access points, you can control them all through one interface. This is a huge plus if you are the staff member responsible for your church wifi, or if you are a volunteer who cares for your church IT solutions. When you add a new access point anywhere on your church network, you just plug it in and it automatically installs itself! The new Member access point takes on the configuration of the first (or Master) access point you set up. If you need to set up any Member device somewhat differently, you can.
Ease of Setup & Configuration
The first Ruckus™ Unleashed access point becomes the Master for all other access points on your network. Setup is easy and takes about 15 minutes. Adding more access points is even easier, taking only a few minutes to add each new access point. Just plug it into your network, and it configures itself from the Master device.
This is a major topic you must address for your wifi system. You have to decide how you will deploy your system and to whom you will grant access. But Ruckus™ Unleashed allows for many different ways to configure your networks. Your networks can be as open or as closed as you need them to be.
The great value for our Ruckus™ Unleashed system is that the access points are affordable and we don’t have to spend much time setting up and maintaining our system. If your church has 200 or less worshipers, you can install a single r510 unit in your worship sanctuary for as low as $250 plus cabling and mounting.