It’s the very unusual business today that will thrive without a strong connection to the internet. Sharing files, storing data, doing research, online communication, conferencing and collaboration; even the most basic network must be reliable, fast and inexpensive. For most corporate or government networks, there are a number of options available for the planning phase of installation. Wireless (WiFi) connections provide an invisible, ubiquitous umbrella of internet connectivity anywhere in the building and just outside it. Ethernet networks require a physically hardwired connection to the internet through a cable plugged into the back of each device. Which one is a better choice depends on what a company is looking for in their internet network and what is affordable.
Wireless internet connections are almost everywhere now, from the coffee shop hot spot to home networks, the internet is widely available to anyone with a computer or handheld device. These networks are usually quite affordable, and with one physically connected wireless router you can provide access for a number of machines in the premises with a tangle of cables. They make device mobility easy, for example you can do work on your laptop at your desk and then carry it down to the conference room for a presentation, or merely log into your file from a connected computer once you get there.
However strong or secure your passwords are, wireless networks are still a bit more susceptible to break-in by an experienced network hijacker. This creates the issue of a definite need for better security protocols to protect secure files. Also, if your work requires a lot of bandwidth, the network may slow down more readily than a hardwired one creating productivity issues.
Ethernet connections are better for highly data-intensive use that demands a lot from a network, or that have a high volume of employees all working on the network at the same time. It is also the best choice for a more secure network that is free from interference. There are also issues with distance and penetration that may dictate whether a plugged in cable or a wireless connection is better.
There are different types of Ethernet connections. Fiber optics transfer data using light pulses while copper cable Ethernet connections use electrical currents. Fiber optic is the best choice for speed but has higher upfront costs budget due to the special cabling and terminations needed to create the network connections. However, if your work environment is one that includes hazardous or explosive materials, it’s much safer to run fiber optic cables instead of current-carrying copper. Copper Ethernet cables are equally as secure as fiber optic, however, it’s easier to “tap” them without detection. However, these types of cables are much better on a budget especially if the company needs the network to cover a large area.
There is a third option of using DSL or phone line connection. This would be considered the slowest out of the three Ethernet choices. Although any of the three are superior to wireless networks’ transmission speed. The problem with Ethernet connections is how they hinder the mobility of the devices in the office. One should consider the devices used frequently and If their placement would be affected due to the need for an Ethernet connection.
Your decision between a wireless vs. wired networks is dependent on a few factors. What the network is primarily used for? How many people will be accessing the network at the same time? How secure are the files on the network? And, How much money can be spent on the network? All options have great advantages and uses to consider when in the market for a business internet connection.
NetQ has been helping businesses and government agencies respond to the changing technologies affecting their communications for over twenty years. Contact us on the form here, or call us with your questions at 800-303-4782