Wired vs. Wireless: Choosing the Best Broadband Network for Your Business

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No matter the size of your enterprise, the Internet offers tangible benefits that will help you make more money and produce the results your customers demand. Being able to go online affirms your company’s ability and willingness not only to improve your internal processes but also to provide the best customer experience to your clients. Additionally, the Internet also allows your business to explore novel opportunities afforded by the new digital economy.

Indeed, it is no longer a debate of whether an enterprise should have online connectivity. Nowadays, the discussion has shifted into what type of network best serves one’s business. Should you choose wired or wireless connection for your enterprise? In this article, we break down the advantages and disadvantages of each type of broadband solution.

Wireless: Convenience is Key

In a wireless network, data is sent and received using radio waves, eliminating the need for Ethernet cables. It allows flexibility to connect your computers or any gadget to the network using a wireless network adapter. The main advantage of having a wireless connection is the ease and accessibility it provides users to move around and use their laptops and other handheld devices. It also saves a considerable amount of time and expense by ridding the company of the need to constantly set up and reposition cables around the office.

A reliable wireless broadband network is also capable of handling a larger amount of users, especially within a big company, because it is not limited by a specific number of connection ports. If your business is in the hospitality and F&B sector—be it a restaurant, a hotel, or a café—you’d know that clients tend to appreciate complimentary Wi-Fi access. The network’s ability to accommodate transient users is a definite positive for these types of businesses. A wireless network is also far less complicated, disruptive, and messy as it frees the establishment from those unsightly cables.

While a wireless connection is generally preferred by most users because of the ease and freedom it provides, it also poses a few problems for the enterprise. Connection speed is usually slower because signals can be affected by external influences such as the presence of walls and floors, or interference from electronic and electrical items. And with valuable corporate data flying across the airwaves, wireless networks also become more open to data theft and other security threats. The enterprise tends to have less control with security, especially with employees bringing in their own gadgets and connecting to the company’s network. As such, it is important for businesses to implement measures that will prevent unauthorized access to their network through such devices.

Wired: A Matter of Security

A wired connection uses Ethernet cables to connect the computers and other handheld devices to the network router. They generally maintain a faster Internet speed and are considered more secure. Most traditional businesses prefer having a wired network infrastructure because of the level of control that it provides. Theoretically, wired networks are much harder to infiltrate, and as long as the network’s perimeter is not breached, the enterprise is in full control of who and what gets online.

But while a wired broadband network is highly valued because of its speed and security, it also presents a physical challenge for most companies. As an enterprise’s workforce increases, all new employees will need connection to their workstations. These connections involve wires and cables running throughout the building, opening up the company to additional remodeling and maintenance expenses.  A worker’s productivity can also be hampered because the only way he can be connected to the network is when he’s at his desk and working on his computer. Wired networks also limit an enterprise when it comes to sharing free Internet to its customers who bring their own laptops or handheld devices. This may eventually result in lowered patronage and decrease in income.

The Bottomline

Both wired and wireless connections offer advantages and disadvantages to an enterprise. Wired networks are valued for their speed and security, while wireless networks are favored because of the convenience and accessibility it provides. Wired connection can be limiting and expensive in the long run, while some wireless connection can pose a security threat to a company.

Despite this, more people these days are now considering Wi-Fi as a necessity rather than a luxury. Going wireless seem like a wise move for most businesses, especially those that are customer service oriented. In any case, as long as a business sets up the necessary security tools and protocols, a wireless network can be virtually as safe as wired networks. Keeping this in mind will allow you to make the most out of your wireless broadband experience.