Many of us are so used to working at home, in coffee shops, and any time we're on our phone via a WiFi internet connection, that we're tempted to think that hard-wired internet is no longer necessary. However, you may want to remember the advantages it still has over wireless technology before you decide to do away with your Ethernet link.
Speed, latency, security, and reliability are several factors that make hard-wired Ethernet connections superior to wireless Internet. In short, an Ethernet link enables data to be transmitted from your computer to the Internet more easily. It has less latency than WiFi, and the connection is less likely to be lost. In addition, it is easier to protect wired connections than wireless, reducing the chance of a data breach. For organizations that manage vast volumes of data and can not afford even a brief break in their connectivity, all these are extremely important considerations.
That said, while speed is one of Ethernet's most commonly cited advantages when moving data via a local area network, it is most critical (for example, if you are a manufacturing company and periodically move detailed drawings or CAD files to an in-house server). This is because data is transmitted from computers faster than WiFi through wired connections. The rate at which information will pass between devices, however, is not the same as your internet speed. The ultimate barrier that can slow down the flow of information between your office and the outside world is bandwidth.
A wireless Internet connection would be good enough for certain activities, and most people prefer the ease of wireless over Ethernet's marginal benefits. In addition, WiFi technology advances are steadily narrowing the performance gap between the wired and hardwired Internet. However, even if your company doesn't need Ethernet link speed, low latency, and reliability before you decide to go fully wireless, there are still some things you should look out for.
Be sure to follow the current 802.11 AC Wave 2 requirement for all new WiFi devices. For your company to move forward, this will be important because it serves multiple users, as well as multiple inputs and outputs (otherwise known as MU-MIMO). 802.11 AC Wave 2 enables many inbound and outbound streams to be served by WiFi equipment. This means that your WiFi can simultaneously broadcast and receive data, enabling streaming audio or content to work much better.
Not just for its better efficiency, but because it places the company to take advantage of potential technological advances, you would want to take advantage of the new standard. In addition, all the latest Apple devices support MIMO over 5Ghz bandwidth, and within a few years, this is expected to become the latest industry standard. So, you want all devices to be able to support the Wave 2 standard for a smoother experience.
Get an IT professional look at your internet connections as you move into a new office space. Your office should be fitted with gigabit switches that can handle modern workloads, but some companies move into an existing building assured that the job will be up to the "pre-wired" connection. Unfortunately, these can often be 10-100 switches that can not keep up with the use of current bandwidth in any way.
There are a couple of other reasons why your office could make use of a wired Internet connection. Many phone systems, for example, need a hardwired connection to operate effectively, and a lot of desktop computers are designed to be hardwired. When it comes to diagnosing Internet access issues, this can also have benefits. As their single point of contact makes it easier to diagnose and troubleshoot problems, hard-wired Internet cables may have an advantage over wireless. More factors also refer to wireless links. These involve the number of individuals in the space and where, in relation to walls and other obstacles, the consumer stands.
There is no excuse, of course, why your office can't have both WiFi and Ethernet. In order to manage heavy-duty operations, many offices can still need a hardwired connection, thus supplying visitors or meeting rooms with WiFi. The most important thing to keep in mind is that for heavy data loads, Ethernet still works better than WiFi and that your organization can and should take advantage of advancements in WiFi as they become the new industry standard.
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