The direction technology is moving in right now is definitely towards seamlessly connectivity. We want to travel and go anywhere will staying connected. We want to use an app on our phone and then seamlessly move onto our desktop. We want to conduct business meetings in coffee shops then update our spreadsheets in real time on the move.
All those things depend on wireless networks. While wireless is fantastic, it isn’t without its downsides. Far from wanting to hold onto a technology we know and trust, there are real reasons why we still like wires in business. Here are four of our favourites.
Ask any IT admin to provide your company with secure Wi-Fi and watch their face drop. Wi-Fi is convenient, easy to roll-out and manage, but secure it is not. Even with encryption, dual authentication and MAC address access controls, Wi-Fi traffic is available to anyone with the knowledge to harvest it.
Even a moderately skilled hacker can capture, decrypt and use wireless data taken from the air. That has serious implications for your data security.
Wi-Fi and 4G are fast, but are they fast enough? Modern productivity programs can be quite data intensive. Video conferencing is now predominantly in HD, which requires almost no latency to work properly. Websites are now more interactive and require more data to be transferred than ever before. Is Wi-Fi fast enough to keep up?
Whether you think Wi-Fi is fast enough or not, it is nowhere near as fast as a gigabit connection in the average wired office.
Despite the advances in network hardware and protocols, Wi-Fi is still as susceptible to interference and range as the radios of old. Go anywhere near the edge of the range of a repeater and watch your connection slow to a crawl. Sit with a thick wall between you and a Wi-Fi repeater and watch the same thing happening.
The same for the network itself. With the obvious exception of hardware failure, a wireless network just well, works. Managing wireless networks are almost a full time job in themselves.
The convenience of BYOD and being able to work anywhere come at the expense of trying to connect to a given Wi-Fi network. While it is certainly easier now than ever before, it is still more trouble than it should be. That’s especially true if you’re in a shared building or area busy with different Wi-Fi networks.
With a wired network, you plug in, switch on, authenticate and you’re in. It’s faster and easier to connect with a wired network.
Wi-Fi is incredibly useful but no business should use it as their sole network. It currently has too many shortcomings. That’s why for now at least, we prefer wires in the office. Sometimes the old ways really are the best!