What's pushing or dragging your WLAN efforts?
Welcome to Point and Counterpoint
Point and Counterpoint's purpose is to present a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, and any other topic they wish to debate. If you have a suggestion for Point and Counterpoint, feel free to send us a note.
What’s the big deal, anyhow?
It’s no big secret around the TechRepublic offices that I’m a huge fan of wireless networking. Ever since companies like Apple introduced their wireless networking and other vendors followed suit, I have been in favor of businesses dumping the standard CAT 5 wiring in favor of wireless.
With wireless still a relatively new technology as far as networking goes, however, some administrators have doubts that it is worth the time and money to integrate it into their networks. The fact that wireless isn’t exactly a proven technology at this point is also a concern. Businesses tend to be leery about implementing new and unproven technologies into an infrastructure that currently works. After all, if it isn’t broken, why fix it?
Possibly one of its biggest disadvantages is the bandwidth that wireless networking provides. At best, administrators can only get current network speeds from it, meaning that replacing the existing wired network with wireless wouldn’t increase the bandwidth available on that network. And with the introduction and onset of gigabit networking, it is more feasible for network administrators to replace their current CAT 5 cabling with the more robust fiber wiring.
So here is the question for this week’s Point and Counterpoint: Should your company consider switching to wireless networking, or should it stick with faster wired networks?
The point: Give me my wireless!
Do you believe that wireless networking is the way to go for the future of business networking? Do you think that infrastructure development would become much easier if everyone was using wireless technologies? If so, we want to know your opinions on the topic. Feel free to leave a post below or send us a note with your thoughts.
The counterpoint: Leave my wires alone!
Do you believe that the future of network infrastructure is in wiring? Do you want to be able to push the limits of your current network with fiber wiring? If so, our ears are open and ready to listen. Feel free to leave a post below or send us an e-mail with your thoughts.
Lawyers say the cutest things
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Conference rooms and printer connections
There are some senarios that can be used to Justify wireless.
Some of the Cons
1. Cost is much more when amortized over even a period of 5 years.
2. Requires 2.5 times the human resources to maintain over a similar wired network.
3. Security is much more difficult to ensure and much more costly.
4. War Chalking groups exist in many communities through out the US (yes, even in Montana). Nine out of ten times their only mission in life is to reek havoc on wireless networks. Why do you think Laura Chappel makes so much money?
6. Don't try to run some of the heavy-duty engineering or GIS software and expect them to perform efficiently. Bandwidth is bad even at 54Megs. SIGNIFICANT losses in productivity occur.
5. Some corporations still like to through good money after bad, regardless of the ROI or CBA.
But I still make money off of it. So go ahead and keep installing the crap before it truly matures.
Wireless no issue!
Testing internal physical locations with a WAP and a laptop with a wireless card is always a good start for in building setup. Although the general slow 11Mbps speed (normally closer to 6Mbps full duplex) can be an issue there are a large range of products that support 10/100/1GB connections however cost justification can be an issue.
As to the Interference little can be done to stop this short of shielding the building/rooms in a faraday cage, generally as long as bluetooth and mobile devices are not overly abundent the wireless will hold up.
I take the view that when in listed buildings or planing permission is an issue use wireless, however if a cable can be easily run use that. A benifit of wireless over wired is that should you move building you take most of your infrastructure with you, less structured cable costs for the new building you locate in.
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