Why VLANs are perfect for MDUs.



3 Ways VLANs Improve Life in an MDU

Multi dwelling units (MDUs) are a great place to stay when doing worthwhile things like earning a degree or backpacking across Europe. Like all things involving sharing resources with others, MDUs have their downsides. There is that room down the hall with music blaring at 4 a.m. or that one person who only ever knocks on the door to borrow detergent. When sharing so much, it is important to have a secure and personal VLAN.

A VLAN (virtual local area network) is a private network within a larger internet network that allows users to enjoy communication amongst their devices while preventing access to outside users.  Personal VLANs create order and regulation in what is usually an unregulated environment. Consider these situations:

-          A college dormitory has 15 identical floors and the same network printer on each floor. The dorm is fully equipped for WiFi however there are no per user or per floor VLANs. Once online, any resident can print to any network printer on any floor. The potential for chaos is too real. By implementing something as simple as a per-floor VLAN, residents will only be able to print to the network printer associated with their floor.

-          A condominium offers free internet and WiFi to its residents. The landlord thought VLAN was a creamy sponge cake type desert so he never considered implementing VLANs on his network. Within 1 month, several residents fell victim to identity and date theft as all connected devices were basically able to communicate with each other; a hacker’s dream come true. If the landlord had implemented per unit VLANs, user devices would only be able to communicate with other devices connected in their unit.

3 Ways VLANs Improve Life in an MDU:


In an MDU, everyone knows everyone else’s business, so it is especially important that tenants can trust that some things will remain private. A per user VLAN protects tenants by preventing others from seeing their traffic, blocking access to things like personal files and wireless printers.

2. Protection from Viruses

The common cold isn’t the only kind of virus that can travel around an MDU. Wireless networks remain frighteningly susceptible to viruses and rates of cell phone infection are on the rise. In the event of a virus, a personal VLAN contains the bug on the user’s device, preventing it from spreading to gateway and other connected users.

3. Inter Device Communication

The average person switches between three devices around twenty one times per hour. Granting tenants the ability to communicate between their devices allows for added capabilities such as support for wireless hard drives and printers, sharing of public libraries and deeper integration with gaming systems and laptops.

Not only do per user VLANs provide MDU tenants with an ability to communicate between devices, the privacy and protection offered by VLANs reduces MDU tenants’ risk of falling victim to hacking and phishing. These are things tenants want to avoid at any point in their life, but are especially undesirable when time spent trying to salvage information can be better spent exploring cities or studying for exams.

There are many types of technologies available which will enable private VLANs on larger networks. Most, if not all, require configuration and additional equipment. SLICE is an all in one software/hardware solution for full management of an enterprise level network, like those found in MDUs. All in one means minimal configuration, no additional equipment and lots of money saved on implementation. Personal VLANs are just one of the many capabilities of SLICE. For more information, visit or call 646-467-9630.

By: Alannah Dragonetti



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