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How Shared Workspaces Deliver Fast WiFi to the Gig Economy

In recent years, entrepreneurs have carved out a lucrative niche creating increasingly inventive shared workspaces for the future Masters of the Universe who hope to rise out of the 21st-century’s growing gig economy. These workspaces can be found in old industrial warehouses, remodeled office buildings, and even unhitched camper trailers, which can be seen parked in vacant lots that have been reimagined as idealized urban campgrounds.

Turns out, lots of gig-economy workers prefer such spaces to the comforts of their own homes, where baskets of laundry waiting to be folded and boxes of take-out in the fridge—luring them to ill-advised 10 a.m. lunches—are among the many distractions. Shared workspaces lack such homey charms, but that’s also what makes them more productive environments.

The atmosphere of shared workspaces and the freedom to focus that they promise are important amenities, but neither would be worth the fees being paid for hot desks, dedicated chairs, or private offices without fast and reliable WiFi. That’s why more and more workspace managers are turning to the Orbi Pro to keep their customers humming and happy.

Since shared workspaces are a part of the gig economy too, it’s not surprising that workspace managers build out deliberately. For example, they may open their doors with only the space and technology they need rather than going for broke—lest they go broke. That means a corner of that industrial warehouse may expand to the whole floor, increasing both square-footage and users.

At such moments, workspace managers need not call in their IT department, if they even have one, or beg a best friend to come in on a weekend to face the tangle of wires that often accompany a WiFi upgrade. Instead, they can simply unbox an Orbi Pro. Anyone with an existing internet connection and the ability to plug in an electrical appliance can have an Orbi Pro up and running fast, typically within 10 minutes. From setting up the Orbi Pro’s three distinct networks to syncing its wireless satellites, installation is a snap, and workspace managers don’t even need to change the network-configuration settings supplied by their ISP—the Orbi Pro plays nice with existing networks.

When the workspace manager unpacks a standard Orbi Pro, they’ll find a main router and an almost identical looking wireless satellite, with brackets in case the manager wants to mount one or both devices to a wall. For the manager in that expanding warehouse workspace, one Orbi Pro and its companion satellite allows them to offer hot desks to up to 80 gig workers packed into a 5,000-square-foot workspace, with WiFi speeds at 220+ Mbps, and not just near the main router, either. Thanks to its mesh technology, in which the signal from the satellite is just as powerful as that of the main router, the Orbi Pro allows workspace managers to deliver fast WiFi to every corner of their facility, and even between floors.

In some workspaces, of course, that will not be enough. For busy workspace managers confronting even greater levels of growth, a second satellite extends the Orbi Pro’s range to 7,500 square feet, while an Orbi Outdoor can be mounted outside to cover 2,500 square feet of open-air spaces, whether its a rooftop or a vacant lot filled with camper trailers and picnic tables.

For the shared-space manager, the Orbi Pro is a WiFi solution that’s not going to result in endless complaints from gig workers about spotty coverage. That’s because the Orbi Pro uses mesh technology via a backhaul channel, which allows the router and its satellites to distribute their signals non-hierarchically, delivering fast connection to workers, regardless of the locations of their hot desks. In fact, these workers don’t even need to know that by comparison, satellites that are not connected to their routers via mesh technology run about a quarter as fast as the Orbi Pro—their blissful ignorance is proof the technology’s effectiveness.

That’s all well and good for the gig worker, but the workspace manager also benefits from the Orbi Pro, which brings us back to that lack of IT department. Just as anyone can plug it in, anybody can set up the device’s three designated networks, from admin to a main network for gig workers to a third network for guests, who may be visiting those gig workers for meetings or collaboration sessions. Each of these networks is a dedicated SSID, which means people working in the workspace as guests or customers will never have access to the admin network. Similarly, workers in the shared space enjoy the security of an encrypted and password-protected system, so they don’t have to worry that the wanna-be tech mogul sitting across a shared desk from them is trying to hack their computer via the workspace’s WiFi.