Choosing The Best Network For Your Business
Practically all businesses need to be connected to the internet in order to facilitate their day-to-day operations, whether your business is office-based or operates within a retail environment.
When setting up your internet network, you’ll be faced with two main options: a wired network and a wireless network. Here’s our quick guide to understanding how the two function and which could be better for your business.
Wired vs. wireless networks
One of the key things which sets these two types of network apart are how devices actually connect to it.
Wired networks use cables to wire computers and other devices directly into a router, hub, or ethernet connector to provide a stable internet connection. Installing a wired network can cost-effective but more time consuming for larger buildings. It can also drain the battery less on some devices as they don’t need to power a Wi-Fi adapter.
Wireless networks require devices to use their Wi-Fi adapters in order to connect to the internet. This can give people greater flexibility in where they operate a device as they aren’t constrained by wires. There are also a variety of devices, such as smartphones and tables, which can only utilise wireless networks.
As a general rule, wired networks are seen as the more reliable option between the two. Because the network is physically connected up to a device, there is less room for interference or signal issues which can sometimes occur with wireless networks.
That being said, wireless tech is just as reliable when configured correctly and networks are set up properly. Sometimes there can be issues which crop up due to issues between wireless routers and the Wi-Fi hardware within devices. This can cause disruptions within business operations but can typically be easily remedied.
An ethernet network using wired tech is secured by a firewall within the central router keeping your network safe. As all data is transferred securely through the ethernet cables, there’s little to worry about when using the network. You just need to ensure your firewall is configured properly to resist intrusion.
When looking at the security of wireless networks, some of the key drawbacks become apparent. If your network isn’t secured with the proper measures, information can be intercepted by a hacker relatively easily. These risks can be mitigated by implementing the right security features and password protecting your network with a secure password.
Using wired and wireless networks together
As you may expect, the pros and cons of the two types of network can be somewhat mitigated by using the two together. Although certain businesses may be better suited to one or the other, having the capabilities of both can result in a better experience for all.
Some devices can benefit from the stable connectivity of a wired connection, while some may prefer wireless networks to allow for the portability of their device to remain unhindered. Speaking to William Dorow, product specialist for LUTZE Inc., we gained a quick insight into the considerations businesses need to take into account for their network requirements – especially in industrial settings:
“Wired solutions tend to be the best option for industrial applications that experience a lot of noise and interference. For instance, if a production line is using a vision system for quality control, there may be numerous variable frequency drives (VFDs), motors, and other sources of interference along the signal route that could disrupt the transmission.
These vision systems not only require high signal integrity, they also need a high rate of data transfer. In a wired network, we’re able to maintain these speeds while also protecting against a lot of the interference generated by industrial equipment that could slow down or ruin the integrity of a wireless signal.”
If you’re unsure how certain equipment could be affected by or affect the effectiveness of your network, speaking to an expert can help you to gain the right insights. Building the right network in the first place will help you to avoid needing to rebuild later down the line to account for issues.