ITG maintains a number of strategic partnerships and networking specializations to offer our clients the very best solutions and services.

ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop


ADSL uses a regular phone line (twisted pair) to allow transfer of data. In the past, Telco’s deployed ADSL to compete with cable modems. However, most Telco’s are now moving to fiber offerings which are more robust. In some cases, existing hotels have used DSL technology to extend Ethernet from the Telco Closet to the Guest Room using existing phone lines. ITG Networks does not typically recommend this technology. ITG supports this only in scenarios where infrastructure (hard capped ceilings, lack of conduits, etc.) makes it impossible or impractical to pull new data cabling.

Association


The process a guest wireless client goes through to begin exchanging data with an Access Point. A client will listen for beacons from an AP for the SSID that it wants to use, and then will exchange hello packets with the AP with the strongest signal and/or supported data rates. Association can be open, or can require a pre-shared key. Once associated, the client may be required to successfully authenticate before the AP will pass data between the client and the Internet.

Authentication


In most visitor-based network environments, a client is required to authenticate to the wireless network before it can pass data between itself and other hosts. Most networks are configured with a Captive Portal, where the visitor is re-directed to an authentication page (welcome page). The welcome page will often require a visitor to accept Terms and Conditions of use. It may be open (click here) or it may require a user name and password or access code.

Bandwidth


Determines the rate at which information can be transmitted across that a medium. The rates are measured in bits (bps), kilobits (kbps), megabits (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps). Typical Telco transmission services are 1.544 mbps(T1), and 4.5 Mbps (T3), 10M, 20M, 50M, 100M (fiber). In addition to fiber services, many cable companies offer business-class cable modem services with rates in the rage of 50mbps Down, 10mbps Up and 100mbps Down, 20mbps Up. The cable modem services are typically offered over Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) Networks utilizing fiber to the pole, coax into the business.

Bridge


A pair of APs that provide connectivity between two different wireless segments are a workgroup bridge. With controller based wireless deployments, multiple AP’s will mesh providing better bandwidth and redundancy. In a multiple building scenario, Internet can be extended to remote buildings using bridges rather than by running cables. In visitor-based network (VBN) deployments, we typically use bridged connections only when it is impossible or impractical to run hard wired connection. Cat6 or Fiber connections are preferred when extending Ethernet from one building to another.

Captive Portal


In wireless networking, a captive portal is a process running on a Gateway or Access Point that can intercept and redirect clients who have associated to a web page where they must agree to terms of service, provide a password, or even purchase access. These are common in hotels, airports, guest networks, and other locations that offer Internet access but want to charge a fee, restrict it to authorized users, or require the user to accept their AUP. See hotspot.

Cat5: Older, A Little Slower


Category 5 cabling, also known as Cat5, is an older type of network cabling. Cat5 cables were made to support theoretical speeds of 10Mbps and 100Mbps. You may be able to get gigabit speeds on a Cat5 cable, particularly if the cable is shorter, but it isn’t always guaranteed. Since Cat5 is an older type of cabling, you probably won’t see them very much in the store, but you may have gotten some with an older router, switch or other networking device.

Cat5e: Faster, Less Interference


Category 5 enhanced cabling, also known as Cat5e, is an improvement on Cat5 cabling. Made to support 1000 Mbps “gigabit” speeds, so in theory, it’s faster than Cat5. It also cuts down on crosstalk, the interference you can sometimes get between wires inside the cable. Both of these improvements mean you’re more likely to get fast, reliable speed out of Cat5e cabling compared to Cat5.

Cat6: Faster, Recommended


Category 6 cabling is the next step up from Cat5e and includes a few more improvements. It has even stricter specifications when it comes to interference, and it’s capable of 10-Gigabit speeds in some cases. You probably won’t use these speeds in your home, and the extra interference improvements won’t make a huge difference in regular usage, so you don’t exactly need to rush out and upgrade to Cat6. But, if you’re buying a new cable, you might as well, since it is an improvement over its predecessor. For visitor-based network deployments, ITG recommends Cat6. From a future proofing perspective, it is better to install the best cabling available.

Cat5e vs. Cat6


The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 200 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk , return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk. These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications. Analysts predict that 90% of new installations will be cabled with Cat6. From a future proofing perspective, it is better to install the best cabling available.

CATV (Cable Television)


CATV, an acronym denoting community antenna television, is a common term for Cable TV – A broadband communications technology in which multiple television channels as well as audio and data signals are transmitted either one way or bidirectional through a distribution system to single or multiple specified locations. Uses coaxial cable to transmit programs. Direct-by-wire transmission to homes from a common antenna to which these homes are linked. Cable companies provide the service in most cases. Distinguished from television reception through a roof-top antenna that picks up the broadcast signal.

GIA


Guest Internet Access (GIA) is another term for High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) when deployed in a Visitor Based Networks (VBN) environment. GIA networks are common in hotels, airports, guest networks, and other locations that offer Internet access but want to charge a fee, restrict it to authorized users, or require the user to accept their Terms and Conditions. GIA provides the convenience of free Internet or paid Internet access. Due to the difficulty of keeping up with guest expectations for “high-Speed”, a number of Hospitality companies are moving away from the use of the term “High-Speed Internet Access” and using Guest Internet Access to describe the services provided.

HSIA


High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) is a term often used to describe Guest Internet Access (GIA). HSIA Networks are visitor-based networks that allow residents and guests to access public wireless when travelling. HSIA Networks are deployed in motels, hotels, resorts, conference centers and other public venues. HSIA networks may be free to guest and/or paid Internet access.

Hotspot


An AP set up specifically to provide Internet access to users. Hotspots are popular in coffee shops, restaurants, and other publicly accessible locations. Unmanaged hotspots typically do not require authentication. Managed Hotspots typically require some form of authentication. Many venues are moving to managed hotspot solutions in an effort to provide a more reliable solution.

IDF


Intermediate Distribution Facility (IDF) is a secondary distribution closet where you store additional networking equipment (switches, etc.). You see IDFs generally in larger Hotels, Motels, Nursing facilities where you cannot home run all floors back to one single MDF Closet. Depending on the size of the facility, you may have 1 or multiple IDF Closets. The network drops on each floor connect to the IDF (usually a closet somewhere above the MDF) and this is where you can connect your networking equipment and feed it back to your MDF.

SSID


The Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the name of the wireless network. It can be contained in the beacons sent out by APs, or it can be ‘hidden’ so that clients who wish to associate must first know the name of the network. Early security guidance was to hide the SSID of your network, but modern networking tools can detect the SSID by simply watching for legitimate client association, as SSIDs are transmitted in cleartext. Most GIA deployments use a Single SSID, where the SSID is broadcast with a clear identification. Example: “HotelName_City”

WAN – Wide Area Network


Organizations operating in multiple geographic locations require employees, clients, and vendors to function efficiently in a single reliable network. Wide area networks (WANs) empower remote stakeholders to communicate and collaborate securely under one network, as if located within the same four walls. The introduction of cheap bandwidth has significantly changed WAN technology. MPLS, VPLS, Broadband, FTTC, xDSL, fiber, copper EFM, 3G or 4G, and point-to-point: All serve a specific purpose for organizations today, and each has strengths and weaknesses based upon an organization’s geographic and IT infrastructure.

Multi-WAN


A Multi_WAN solution incorporates an appliance with both hardware and software that sits between multiple ISP links and the visitor-based network server. It allocates bandwidth from multiple Internet links – T1, Fiber, Cable modem, etc. In visitor based networking, this solution is often used to link a low cost high bandwidth Internet connection with a high reliability Internet connection. If one link to the Internet should fail, the Multi-WAN Solution instantly moves all Internet traffic to the surviving link. When both links are available, it automatically routes traffic to use all available bandwidth.

SIP Trunking


Some organizations have already made huge investments in legacy PBX phone systems. But they still want the benefits that come through converging all local and long distance phones systems and broadband Internet services onto one line. SIP Trunking allows businesses to reap VoIP-like benefits with legacy systems, without investing in new infrastructure. Using SIP, you can consolidate all your communication systems, including data and voice into one bill and a single point of contact.

Broadband


Broadband today is about more than just high speed Internet connections in the office. In today’s business environment, it’s about having a connection wherever your employees need it. Whether DSL or Cable high speed Internet, Wi-Fi connectivity, or Mobile Broadband, all broadband networks are not created equal. Each carrier displays unique strengths and weaknesses depending on the region of the country you’re located, your business structure, and your vertical.

Ethernet


As companies become more digital, more global, and more virtual, high-performing and reliable Ethernet services become a strategic advantage for organizations. Utilizing the right carrier with the right cost effective solution allows organizations to deliver data, information, and applications securely over both Local Area and Wide Area Networks reliably and securely. We’ll help you determine the best Ethernet solution for your business, vet the best providers in your area, see the implementation through to the end, and will be your single-point-of-contact for all your Ethernet service needs.

MDF


Main Distribution Facility (MDF) is a room or closet where your data center is and the core of your network. The MDF is Computer Room/Data Center/Data Room all mean the same thing and that is where your core systems are housed. In a Hotel, Motel, or Assisted Living Facility, the MDF is typically located in a central location on the first or second floor of the facility. Ideally, the MDF will be the demarcation point for the ISP/Telco.

MPLS


If your business wants more from its current network, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a highly scalable packet-switched network solution that increases traffic performance in high usage networks. MPLS assigns data packets with specific labels, thus routing data through virtual paths between nodes rather than endpoints. The results? Enhanced bandwidth use, reduced network congestion and an overall better user experience. MPLS supports DSL, TI/E1, Frame Relay and ATM.

SMATV


Single Master Antenna Television (or Satellite Master Antenna Television). The purpose of SMATV is for supplying and controlling the number and type of channels to multiple televisions. Not only TV channels but FM channels as well. It provides Reception of DBS TV/FM channels for hotels, motels, dormitories, hospitals and commercial properties with multiple tenants, schools. Using a master antenna system video signals, audio signals, decoder signals can also be distributed. It consists of single outdoor unit or antenna feeding to number of indoor units.[3] The channels accessible are independent of other users. For maintaining a good Signal to noise Ratio at all the indoor units served, a larger antenna is required. Antenna with 2 m-3m diameter. A SMATV headend is used to receive and rebroadcast Satellite TV

VPN


Virtual Private Networks (VPN) use encryption and tunneling to extend a company’s private network across a public network, like the Internet. VPN’s are used by business travelers and government employees, allowing them to connect securely to their Company or Government network. Most VPN’s will connect seamlessly. Some VPN’s will require static IP assignment. Managed GIA solutions support VPN pass through.

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