After discussing some of the vitals you can achieve by going wireless, we thought it would be a clever idea to compare wired and wireless networks and find out what some more advantages and disadvantages are for each. Although most modern business have gone wireless, some are sceptical about security and functionality. Let’s have a look at what both has to offer.
Advantages of Wired Networks
As wired networks are connected by physically plugging in a cable from one device to another, it is much more difficult to access them without authorization. There is no opportunity for someone wandering past your office windows to hack into your wireless network, for example. There’s no need to give out wireless access keys — a device physically connected to the network is part of it. If you want to keep your network as closed and secure as possible, then a wired network is the way to go.
Wired networks bring with them a reliable, constant download and upload speed unaffected by the environment. As these networks are closed off and don’t travel through the air, they aren’t susceptible to fluctuations in speed or interference from other wireless devices. While the most recent 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard can theoretically achieve speeds of 1,000MB per second, older hardware isn’t up to this standard — 802.11n maxes out at 600MB/s. Gigabit Ethernet provides a stable, constant 1,000MB/s connection.
Ease of Use
The details depend on the computers and devices on your network, but broadly speaking, plugging an Ethernet cable into a laptop or printer is enough for it to recognize the network and get connected. There’s no playing around with scanning for available networks, inputting security keys or trying to locate an area with a strong Wi-Fi signal. Ultimately how convenient this wired networking method is for your company depends on how well equipped your office is and the extent of the existing network cabling.
The fastest 802.11n Wi-Fi speed currently in widespread use can achieve a maximum range of 250 feet in the most ideal conditions, although substandard hardware, interference from other devices and physical obstacles such as walls and floors can substantially reduce this distance. Ethernet cabling, in contrast, can stretch up to 330 feet without any loss of quality. If you have a lot of floor space to cover, then a wired solution enables you to stretch your network further than a wireless one.
Disadvantages of a wired network
Wired technology is not portable. The units must be plugged into power outlets and network ports to function. Moving units takes time, energy and, potentially, information- technology personnel. These hard-wired requirements can make arranging personnel, furniture and equipment difficult. Moves of equipment or employees may require running additional network cabling, installing new electrical outlets and reconfiguring network-port structures. Network configuration may limit the options for employee and equipment placement.
Wired-technology products, such as desktop computers, take up more space than equivalent wireless options. Wires, cables and multiple components require more desktop space than their wireless counterparts. Office-furniture decisions and employee-space allocation must account for the added space needs of wired computer and technology products.
Employees are restricted in their work location when using wired office products. Wireless options allow work in conference rooms, at home, in a coffee shop or at a business contact’s physical location. Some employees, such as sales personnel, may require a wireless unit to perform their work duties. Opting for wired-technology products may limit the amount and flexibility of work duties.
The physical requirements of a wired-technology product present some opportunities for damage not noted in wireless products. Cables can be damaged by cleaning crews and mislaid wires can cause tripping hazards. Additionally, always-on technology systems may be more prone to electrical surges and damage than wireless units that can be unplugged during storms or power outages.
Wired units must have power to operate. Stormy weather, electrical problems or a utility-wire cut can cause work to stop if the only options are wired-technology products. Wireless units with batteries can continue to function for a period after being disconnected from power. Work stoppage can hurt productivity and customer service.
Disadvantages of a wireless network
Although many people are led to believe that wireless networks have poor security and anyone with a PC could hack into them, it is not as bad as some people make it out… Most wireless WiFi-connections use the latest encryption technology. Yes, it can be hacked into and no it is not as secure as wired networks In terms of accessibility but this can be overcome with hardware and software security along with strong passwords.
For most small to medium size businesses, the slower end of speed that wireless connections can provide is still fast enough for what they need to do.
So when choosing the network it all depends on preference and personal circumstances.
Advantages of a wireless network
This is one of the main and key points of using wireless networks, being able to be sat anywhere in the building whether that be, on the carpark or even the toilet! You can access the server which is immensely important in 21st century business.
BYOD stands for, bring your own device… Many businesses now are taking advantage of things like laptops and tablets. This makes it more convenient for employees to carry out their tasks, and also can reduce running costs as the company will no longer have to pay for new hardware in the business.
Another important result of increased mobility, is increased productivity! Being mobile means colleagues can easily work side by side and compare or discuss things together. Another productivity result is that people who use personal devices will take them home and do some work in their own time which is beneficial to the business.
One of the biggest problems with wired internet connections is expansion, if you wish to expand then you will have to add extra cables or re-route them… this can be costly and disruptive. With wireless networks, there is no such issue. Adding new users is as simple as having to issue a new password and updating the server accordingly. Its fast and relatively convenient. This means offices can move around internally and furniture can be moved around readily.
Health and Safety
As there are no wires involved in wire-less connections, the potential risk of tripping on a wire is reduced to nothing.
The many advantages of wireless connections
All things taken in, there are many big advantages in having a wireless network, the many benefits of increased mobility easily outweigh the faults and benefits of a wired connection.
Many businesses these days use both. They have a hardwired ethernet connection and a restricted WiFi network. This allows the company to utilize the best of both worlds.