The debate around wired vs. wireless networks for business rages on. Both formats have their proponents and detractors, advantages and disadvantages.
In this post, we’ll examine the virtues of both connectivity models and talk about your best way forward.
With network encryption becoming more sophisticated, wireless networks are now less vulnerable to unauthorized access. Traditionally, the wired network was the winner in terms of security, but that’s become less the case.
Wireless networks now offer a similar level of security to wired ones.
The need for speed.
There’s no question that the wired network wins in terms of speed. But wireless networks are rapidly gaining ground. With increasing speeds, there’s also the advantage of access to consider, with wireless networks coming out on top.
Wireless wins, hands down, when it comes to ease of access. Users in the network can log in from multiple devices.
Remote access is another key advantage, allowing employees on the move to track developments, gain access to documentation and maintain the crucial link with clients and colleagues.
As business becomes increasingly mobile, this is a key “plus” for wireless connectivity.
There’s no question that wired networks represent a much bigger line item. Installation, hardware and maintenance are all going to cost your business more than opting for wireless.
Devices in the network require physical connections which mean complex cabling and continual upgrades to keep everyone hardwired into the system.
With wireless, the need for “real world” infrastructure is drastically reduced, as connectivity is digitally-driven. That radically reduces costs for introducing new devices and removing old ones, making scalability a much more affordable reality.
Controlled access and the mobile revolution.
It’s understandable why many businesses continue to cleave to a wired model. The control offered by wired networks is attractive, as you’re always sure who and what’s online. Your network is above being overtaxed by casual use, also.
While all that’s true, it’s important to remember that mobility has changed the game considerably. 100 million iPad users coming online since 2010 can’t be wrong (and they can’t be denied). So, it’s important that mobility be considered when discussing wired vs wireless networks for business.
Wireless offers its own challenges in terms of security, especially when companies have BYOD (bring your own device) policies in place.
The incursion of malware and other problems can be managed, though, with the introduction of policies and procedures which educate employees against security threats.
Clearly, the wired vs. wireless networks for business debate isn’t going away any time soon. Existing infrastructure can be a major roadblock to introducing wireless for some companies.
But companies like Cisco and Juniper Networks are introducing hybrid solutions which allow mobile access, while maintaining the enhanced security and speed of wired environments.
Adding wireless to your existing network is, for the time being, one workable solution.