wireless vs. wired network connections

With more and more technology revolving around internet access, homes and businesses are increasingly relying on stronger, more reliable, and constant network coverage. WiFi used to be a luxury, but many of the things we’ve come to expect simply won’t work right without an internet connect – be it a landline or wireless.

This shift has led to an important question:

Should your internet network connection be wireless or wired? Or is a hybrid solution best?

Below we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Wireless Networks

ALOHAnet, the first wireless communication network in the world, was created in 1971 by a college professor in Hawaii. Dr. Norman Abramson developed a wireless system using cheap radios and seven computers spread across four islands. Without using phone lines, Abramson was able to get the computers to communicate with a central computer.

Now, almost half a century later, wireless networks have become almost ubiquitous with the modern world. In fact, in all likelihood you’re using one right now. Whether you want to access your home’s security system from your smartphone or tablet while away on vacation, or provide secure and reliable internet access to your customers and employees, wireless internet is the key.

Here are a few of the pros and cons:

Pros

● Organization. The absence of wires makes your space look more organized. This means your home entertainment system or conference room will look sleek with a flat screen mounted on your wall, without unsightly wires hanging down.

● Accessibility. Wireless networks allow for more people to be able to use the service at the same time. This comes in handy when all the members of your household or office want to use a streaming video or music service at one time.

Cons

● Security. Wireless networks are easier to hack. While this may seem like less of a concern for your home theater, hackers are indeed targeting these systems on a regular basis. Moreover, businesses should be aware of gaps in any audio or video presentation equipment connected to a wireless network.

● Speed. Wireless networks are susceptible to interference by thick walls and other devices, which can slow down the connection and affects productivity. Within homes, this interference can lead to connectivity issues and buffering of streaming services.

Wired Networks

Not everyone is sold on the idea of wireless networks. Traditional wired solutions have their advantages too. Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing a wired network connection:

Pros

● Control. Risk of malware infection is lower because there’s more control over security methods and the devices allowed to connect to the network. This level of security is beneficial to both residential and commercial networks.

● Price. Traditionally, wired systems are cheaper to install than wireless systems.

● Speed. Wired networks are typically faster than wireless, though the gap between these two options is closing as wireless and 4G technology advances.

Cons

● Maintenance. For businesses, the number of devices, routers, and wires can slow down an IT department when trying to fix an issue. This is mainly due to the fact that the cable responsible needs to be identified before the problem can be fixed.

● Mobility. In a business setting, the cables required for wired networks limit the distance and areas that employees can use computer equipment, including commercial projectors.

Hybrid Solutions: The Best of Both Worlds?

Given the pros and cons to each set up, it depends on which best meets your needs.

Often, this can mean a hybrid setup may be the most beneficial. For instance, having access to a wired connection would be beneficial if a user needs more network power and speed when securely sending a large file to a colleague. Video gamers may also choose wired connections for uninterrupted play.

At the same time, the wireless part of the network allows this same worker the freedom to share a streaming video with their colleague across the hall with ease.

Not sure which network option is best? Let us help. Contact the experts at Texadia Systems for help deciding which network setup will work best for your commercial or residential systems integration needs.

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