As a business owner, you would want the best network speeds available, with the best security. If you contacted your internet provider to have them set up your business network, they would have setup a modem/router, giving you a completely wireless network. Unfortunately, with a completely wireless network, you might not be getting all the speed and security you would want. When setting up a business network, overlooking using a wired network is a crucial mistake some businesses make. There are three elements to consider when looking at a business network: Speed, Security, and Portability.
When it comes to speed, a wired network using ethernet CAT 6 is currently faster than a wireless network. A CAT 6 cable gives you speed up to 10 Gb/s, whereas a wireless network using WiFi 802.11ac technology can only gives you 866.7 Mb/s.
As a side note, as technology improves, this fact can change. The newest wireless technology out there is called WiFi 6 (802.22ax), which gives you speeds equivalent of a wired network. Unfortunately, this WiFi isn’t mainstream. Additionally, to achieve the WiFi 6 speed, you’d need to upgrade the router, and each devices’ network card.
Speed is also a factor in consistency. A wired network speed is faster and more consistent because the connection is through a physical ethernet cable. A wireless network uses WiFi signals, which have a range. The farther you are from the wireless source, the slower and unsteady the signal becomes. Plus, WiFi signals travel through the air, and thus can encounter interference from appliances like microwaves.
Security is such an important concept, in itself, but when it comes to your business, nothing can beat it. A wired network has the security benefit that someone has to physically connect a device with an ethernet cable to the network. The network device can be a switch, ethernet jack, router, etc. Regardless of how, the fact is someone will have to physically use a cable to access your network.
On the other hand, a wireless network broadcasts a wireless signal. In most cases, your WiFi password is all someone needs to connect to your network. Even from outside the building! You can secure your network further by having a strong password, and to hide the SSID (the name of the WiFi). Unfortunately, once someone has access to both, they can access the network anytime they are within range.
In regards to portability, a wireless network wins out. We don’t need to go into too much detail here, as it is self explanatory. With a wired network, every device needs to be physically plugged in, or wired, to the network. With a wireless network, devices connect over WiFi, and thus are free from cables, and can move around. This is great for those using laptops, as you can take your laptop from the office to conference room.
Your business is dependent on a network. If you rely on a wireless network for all your business needs, you are not getting the security and speed your business deserves, and needs. However, just going with a wired network limits you to only using computers that can plug into your network.
The main way you connect to the network should be wired, as it will give you speed and security. Using wireless is a necessity for portability and freedom from wires, but can open up your network. The way to make it more secure is to have a strong password, and to hide your SSID. Also, consider changing the password every three months. Lastly, access your router’s webpage regularly to see which devices are connected to the network. This setup will give you the speed and security of a wired network, and the portability of a wireless network.