Going wireless can be great and allows you plenty of flexibility while moving around.
However, if you have a static device the preferred method would be to use a cable, as this is still the most reliable way of providing network access to hosts on your network.
For example, if you have a laptop that travels with you, but you spend a lot of time in the office, you may want to consider a docking station so that you still have access to a wired connection.
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) may have provided you with an “all-in-one” device at some point in time.
These kinds of devices are typically suitable for low-usage homes but when you consider the adoption and integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), you must take the number of appliances connected to the WiFi into consideration.
Smart devices are rapidly growing in popularity, so now household staples such as fridges, washing machines, lights, and more are all being connected as part of smart home systems.
An all-in-one device will be acting as a modem, route, access point, and switch, it may carry out all these functions but will do none of them to a particularly high standard.
Therefore, for larger homes and businesses, it’s preferable to use individual devices for each of these functions, so that they will all operate at a much higher level.
The splitting of these functions into separate devices allows you to get the best use of each function, as well as get the flexibility to move the access point and get the best coverage possible.
Interference is another consideration when it comes to wireless devices.
Wireless works with radio waves and can be affected by other surrounding waves, as they will compete for airspace around your wireless network.
When trying to connect to said network, you may see multiple other options in the area, which may interfere with your wireless experience.
When you look at the competing waves, it can be obvious that you will experience interference due to the number of them, but you should also consider the other sources of interference which you may not see.
This can include Bluetooth, baby monitors, and even household items such as a microwave.
When you have a wireless access point, it’s important to remember that they won’t reach infinite distances.
With no obstacles in the way, just a clear space, there is still a limit to the distance they can reach.
So, when you have an access point in your home or office, the surrounding area and obstacles can reduce the distance it will reach, depending on the materials that are in the way.
Generally, with a little common sense, you can distinguish which sort of materials will obscure the wireless signal the most.
Plywood, plasterboard, and other thinner materials will not disturb the signal that much, while thick concrete walls can start to block the signal completely.
There are other things to consider, such as large fridges, any large metal objects, and even underboard heating.
Bandwidth isn’t an unlimited resource, so the amount of traffic from a range of devices can influence the capabilities of wireless access points.
You will know better than anyone what the network will be used for, is it simply light internet browsing, or are you streaming media, or playing games online?
Whatever the available bandwidth is, it will be split between all the devices using the network.
Wireless is great for many situations, it’s flexible, works efficiently enough for many people, and avoids clutter with wires.
That being said, if you require a strong connection, with many devices connecting to it, using a wired connection may be your best option.
It all depends on your home or business.
For more advice on your IT infrastructure, contact our engineers and see how we can improve your business.
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