Questions

IS WIRELESS NETWORKING BETTER?

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2 Votes
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IS WIRELESS NETWORKING BETTER?

Brizzy B
Hello Experts,
I want to sugest to my IT Boss about us shifting to Wireless Networking in our entire Company so as to scrap off all these cabels in our offices. Can you please advice me if that's the best way to go and what are the merits and demerits of wireless networking over cabled network. Plus on
its ease to implement it. Your comments will be highly appriciated.

Clarifications

Brizzy B

Wow, All your answers have been intresting to note and of great help. Thank you all for your replies. Didn't know all that about Wireless. Think i'll now have to go with having both networks:wired and wireless. Thanks Experts.

  • +
    2 Votes
    Slayer_

    Someone turning on a microwave can knock out the whole office.

    And the wireless theoretical max speeds never happen because of the overhead required for wireless to be reliable.
    a 100mbit Wired LAN will operate at around 90% usually.
    a 300mbit wireless LAN will operate at around 20%-50% usually.

    You can test this if you want to, transfer a file from a wireless system to a wired system across a hub/switch/router.
    You will see the wireless will be running at maximum, but the wired will be barely active at all, even from 300wireless to 100 wired.

    In my experience at home, my 54mbit wireless actually ran at around 12mbit even if you were a foot away from the signal source/destination. Only 22%. If this is correct, than a 300mbit wireless will actually run at 66mbit. A 750 will actually run at 165mbit. And that's if you have perfect signal and no congestion.
    Hopefully these figures are wrong, but my point is, wireless is for mobility, not speed, not reliability. Desktops should remain wired.

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    0 Votes
    _Papa_

    While wireless is very convenient, and can be cheaper to install, keep in mind that security, reliability and speed are going to sacrificed.

    I wouldn't use wireless in a critical system at all, unless there is simply no access to a wired system. I would even provide a drop for places where a laptop is often used.
    I believe you'll find it to be well worth the additional investment.

    A wireless system with a good password and tough encoding should be made available for those locations where wired isn't practical, and a *separate* password protected system for visitors. In maximum security situations, the visitor's system should be on a separate router and ISP line to insure no one can easily cross-connect to your secure net.

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    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    How can a microwave knock out the entire office. When I use my microwave at home it doesn't knock out my wireless router

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    1 Votes
    TheChas

    In addition to the points stated by Slayer and markp24, there is the cost of adding wireless adapters to desktop computers and older printers.

    The only real benefit of a wireless network in a business environment is the ability to use a laptop in a portable mode. Be it a conference room, or when multiple team members need to work together on a project.

    Most businesses run a mixed network, with wired networking and 2 or more wireless networks.

    1 wireless network usually offers only Internet access and may be unsecured.

    Any business wireless networks should be highly secured and require more than just a general password to complete the connection.

    Chas

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    And, don't forget all the APs you'll probably have to buy for good coverage, plus securing all of them.

    Really, having cables is such an issue? They are way better.

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    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Wireless depending on the maker of the Devices and the construction of the building can be flaky. You also need to understand Wireless Propagation and while you can have a work station 30 feet from the WiFi Access Point it may not get a strong signal and may be even unable to connect.

    It all depends on the position and anything between the 2 points.

    Also again depending on the WiFi Makers Devices the Signal can travel up to 500 Meters and be quite usable so it's possible that someone outside the building up to .5 of a Kilometer away can log into the WiFi LAN and access your data or Internet connection. Depending on your location you may also be responsible for any downloads so if someone outside the office was to download Kiddy Porn or Bomb Making Directions over the WiFi the business would be in at best an difictult position trying to explain why this happened. Even with the best security in place this can happen and the Term War Driving was coined to describe this.

    So it's possible that you not get a strong signal 30 feet away inside the office and you'll get a great signal .5 of a Kilometer away outside the building. Also depending on the business it may also have procedures in place to comply with Legislation or Best Practices for that Industry which prevent the use of Wireless networking.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    cd003284

    If better means more reliable, easier to manage, and easier to diagnose and fix when problems do arise, then there's no question, and no contest. One has only to consider why cables are the first resort when wireless goes down.

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    0 Votes
    rubendlct

    My personal experience tells me that a combination of both, wired and wireless networking is best (and a must) to have in any network requiring remote access. Wireless is best for the easiness of moving around in the office with laptops, Iphones and other remote devices. Wired is best for the purpose of security, troubleshooting, maintenance, and reliable communications.The combination of both systems provides easiness of communications and increases production where the enterprise can be accessed remotely by any authorized employeein a secured wireless network instead of having to go into your office and sit down to jug don and send an important and time critical electronic message (e-mail).

    +
    1 Votes
    wild__bill

    sure, a wired network is always a level of security higher than wireless, but wireless can be VERY secure if you force a very long passphrase (say 24+ characters that have numbers & symbols & letters) and you specify WPA2-AES only.

    Any of y'all that wants to tell me that's not CIA-style secure, then please cite where this level of security has been broken by hackers (maybe if they have a Cray super computer and a couple of years to work on it in their "war driving " vehicle!)

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    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    You are indeed correct my techno friend. You can get that type of security on even the worst of wireless routers... my wireless router ahs that and its G+ and is about 4-5 years old

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    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    Yes wireless is better as you need less cables.

    However you then have to make sure all your companies PCs have wireless support. For a small company with only 30 desktop PCs this might be easy as its only 30 wireless network cards you ahve to go and buy, but if, for example, you had 200 desktop PCs, you have to be 200 wireless netowrking cards for these PCs. So if they cost, lets say, ??20 each, thats 20x200, which is, ??4000. You then have to install the drivers on every single PC. and if you ahve some on windows xp and some on windows 7 that makes it more of a challenge as well.

    As for the cables... one wireless router won't be enough for an entire company and if you have a large office/building the single will start to drop out for people who work further away. You can, however, turn some wireless routers into access points and these work like this: PC/Laptop --> Access Point --> Your companies server --> internet...... and thats it.. even with cables you will have access points as if you ahve 200 wired PCs thats a lot of cables going into one server, so instead tis maybe 5-10 cables on to the wired access point and then a cable to the other access points.

    Wireless is secure and a total stranger won't be able to just get in range of one of your wireless access points, click, click, click and start messing around with your entire companies network.

    In my opinion I would keep with the cables. Cables generally have higher bandwith and they aren't effected by the weather so you won't loose single or drop out over long distances. Wireless is good in home or if you work in a small office with a company of about 15-20 people maximum as its easy to setup in that kind of environment

    +
    1 Votes
    TheChas

    In addition to the points stated by Slayer and markp24, there is the cost of adding wireless adapters to desktop computers and older printers.

    The only real benefit of a wireless network in a business environment is the ability to use a laptop in a portable mode. Be it a conference room, or when multiple team members need to work together on a project.

    Most businesses run a mixed network, with wired networking and 2 or more wireless networks.

    1 wireless network usually offers only Internet access and may be unsecured.

    Any business wireless networks should be highly secured and require more than just a general password to complete the connection.

    Chas

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Wireless depending on the maker of the Devices and the construction of the building can be flaky. You also need to understand Wireless Propagation and while you can have a work station 30 feet from the WiFi Access Point it may not get a strong signal and may be even unable to connect.

    It all depends on the position and anything between the 2 points.

    Also again depending on the WiFi Makers Devices the Signal can travel up to 500 Meters and be quite usable so it's possible that someone outside the building up to .5 of a Kilometer away can log into the WiFi LAN and access your data or Internet connection. Depending on your location you may also be responsible for any downloads so if someone outside the office was to download Kiddy Porn or Bomb Making Directions over the WiFi the business would be in at best an difictult position trying to explain why this happened. Even with the best security in place this can happen and the Term War Driving was coined to describe this.

    So it's possible that you not get a strong signal 30 feet away inside the office and you'll get a great signal .5 of a Kilometer away outside the building. Also depending on the business it may also have procedures in place to comply with Legislation or Best Practices for that Industry which prevent the use of Wireless networking.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    cd003284

    If better means more reliable, easier to manage, and easier to diagnose and fix when problems do arise, then there's no question, and no contest. One has only to consider why cables are the first resort when wireless goes down.

    +
    0 Votes
    rubendlct

    My personal experience tells me that a combination of both, wired and wireless networking is best (and a must) to have in any network requiring remote access. Wireless is best for the easiness of moving around in the office with laptops, Iphones and other remote devices. Wired is best for the purpose of security, troubleshooting, maintenance, and reliable communications.The combination of both systems provides easiness of communications and increases production where the enterprise can be accessed remotely by any authorized employeein a secured wireless network instead of having to go into your office and sit down to jug don and send an important and time critical electronic message (e-mail).

    +
    1 Votes
    wild__bill

    sure, a wired network is always a level of security higher than wireless, but wireless can be VERY secure if you force a very long passphrase (say 24+ characters that have numbers & symbols & letters) and you specify WPA2-AES only.

    Any of y'all that wants to tell me that's not CIA-style secure, then please cite where this level of security has been broken by hackers (maybe if they have a Cray super computer and a couple of years to work on it in their "war driving " vehicle!)

    +
    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    Yes wireless is better as you need less cables.

    However you then have to make sure all your companies PCs have wireless support. For a small company with only 30 desktop PCs this might be easy as its only 30 wireless network cards you ahve to go and buy, but if, for example, you had 200 desktop PCs, you have to be 200 wireless netowrking cards for these PCs. So if they cost, lets say, ??20 each, thats 20x200, which is, ??4000. You then have to install the drivers on every single PC. and if you ahve some on windows xp and some on windows 7 that makes it more of a challenge as well.

    As for the cables... one wireless router won't be enough for an entire company and if you have a large office/building the single will start to drop out for people who work further away. You can, however, turn some wireless routers into access points and these work like this: PC/Laptop --> Access Point --> Your companies server --> internet...... and thats it.. even with cables you will have access points as if you ahve 200 wired PCs thats a lot of cables going into one server, so instead tis maybe 5-10 cables on to the wired access point and then a cable to the other access points.

    Wireless is secure and a total stranger won't be able to just get in range of one of your wireless access points, click, click, click and start messing around with your entire companies network.

    In my opinion I would keep with the cables. Cables generally have higher bandwith and they aren't effected by the weather so you won't loose single or drop out over long distances. Wireless is good in home or if you work in a small office with a company of about 15-20 people maximum as its easy to setup in that kind of environment

  • +
    2 Votes
    Slayer_

    Someone turning on a microwave can knock out the whole office.

    And the wireless theoretical max speeds never happen because of the overhead required for wireless to be reliable.
    a 100mbit Wired LAN will operate at around 90% usually.
    a 300mbit wireless LAN will operate at around 20%-50% usually.

    You can test this if you want to, transfer a file from a wireless system to a wired system across a hub/switch/router.
    You will see the wireless will be running at maximum, but the wired will be barely active at all, even from 300wireless to 100 wired.

    In my experience at home, my 54mbit wireless actually ran at around 12mbit even if you were a foot away from the signal source/destination. Only 22%. If this is correct, than a 300mbit wireless will actually run at 66mbit. A 750 will actually run at 165mbit. And that's if you have perfect signal and no congestion.
    Hopefully these figures are wrong, but my point is, wireless is for mobility, not speed, not reliability. Desktops should remain wired.

    +
    0 Votes
    _Papa_

    While wireless is very convenient, and can be cheaper to install, keep in mind that security, reliability and speed are going to sacrificed.

    I wouldn't use wireless in a critical system at all, unless there is simply no access to a wired system. I would even provide a drop for places where a laptop is often used.
    I believe you'll find it to be well worth the additional investment.

    A wireless system with a good password and tough encoding should be made available for those locations where wired isn't practical, and a *separate* password protected system for visitors. In maximum security situations, the visitor's system should be on a separate router and ISP line to insure no one can easily cross-connect to your secure net.

    +
    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    How can a microwave knock out the entire office. When I use my microwave at home it doesn't knock out my wireless router

    +
    1 Votes
    TheChas

    In addition to the points stated by Slayer and markp24, there is the cost of adding wireless adapters to desktop computers and older printers.

    The only real benefit of a wireless network in a business environment is the ability to use a laptop in a portable mode. Be it a conference room, or when multiple team members need to work together on a project.

    Most businesses run a mixed network, with wired networking and 2 or more wireless networks.

    1 wireless network usually offers only Internet access and may be unsecured.

    Any business wireless networks should be highly secured and require more than just a general password to complete the connection.

    Chas

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    And, don't forget all the APs you'll probably have to buy for good coverage, plus securing all of them.

    Really, having cables is such an issue? They are way better.

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Wireless depending on the maker of the Devices and the construction of the building can be flaky. You also need to understand Wireless Propagation and while you can have a work station 30 feet from the WiFi Access Point it may not get a strong signal and may be even unable to connect.

    It all depends on the position and anything between the 2 points.

    Also again depending on the WiFi Makers Devices the Signal can travel up to 500 Meters and be quite usable so it's possible that someone outside the building up to .5 of a Kilometer away can log into the WiFi LAN and access your data or Internet connection. Depending on your location you may also be responsible for any downloads so if someone outside the office was to download Kiddy Porn or Bomb Making Directions over the WiFi the business would be in at best an difictult position trying to explain why this happened. Even with the best security in place this can happen and the Term War Driving was coined to describe this.

    So it's possible that you not get a strong signal 30 feet away inside the office and you'll get a great signal .5 of a Kilometer away outside the building. Also depending on the business it may also have procedures in place to comply with Legislation or Best Practices for that Industry which prevent the use of Wireless networking.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    cd003284

    If better means more reliable, easier to manage, and easier to diagnose and fix when problems do arise, then there's no question, and no contest. One has only to consider why cables are the first resort when wireless goes down.

    +
    0 Votes
    rubendlct

    My personal experience tells me that a combination of both, wired and wireless networking is best (and a must) to have in any network requiring remote access. Wireless is best for the easiness of moving around in the office with laptops, Iphones and other remote devices. Wired is best for the purpose of security, troubleshooting, maintenance, and reliable communications.The combination of both systems provides easiness of communications and increases production where the enterprise can be accessed remotely by any authorized employeein a secured wireless network instead of having to go into your office and sit down to jug don and send an important and time critical electronic message (e-mail).

    +
    1 Votes
    wild__bill

    sure, a wired network is always a level of security higher than wireless, but wireless can be VERY secure if you force a very long passphrase (say 24+ characters that have numbers & symbols & letters) and you specify WPA2-AES only.

    Any of y'all that wants to tell me that's not CIA-style secure, then please cite where this level of security has been broken by hackers (maybe if they have a Cray super computer and a couple of years to work on it in their "war driving " vehicle!)

    +
    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    You are indeed correct my techno friend. You can get that type of security on even the worst of wireless routers... my wireless router ahs that and its G+ and is about 4-5 years old

    +
    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    Yes wireless is better as you need less cables.

    However you then have to make sure all your companies PCs have wireless support. For a small company with only 30 desktop PCs this might be easy as its only 30 wireless network cards you ahve to go and buy, but if, for example, you had 200 desktop PCs, you have to be 200 wireless netowrking cards for these PCs. So if they cost, lets say, ??20 each, thats 20x200, which is, ??4000. You then have to install the drivers on every single PC. and if you ahve some on windows xp and some on windows 7 that makes it more of a challenge as well.

    As for the cables... one wireless router won't be enough for an entire company and if you have a large office/building the single will start to drop out for people who work further away. You can, however, turn some wireless routers into access points and these work like this: PC/Laptop --> Access Point --> Your companies server --> internet...... and thats it.. even with cables you will have access points as if you ahve 200 wired PCs thats a lot of cables going into one server, so instead tis maybe 5-10 cables on to the wired access point and then a cable to the other access points.

    Wireless is secure and a total stranger won't be able to just get in range of one of your wireless access points, click, click, click and start messing around with your entire companies network.

    In my opinion I would keep with the cables. Cables generally have higher bandwith and they aren't effected by the weather so you won't loose single or drop out over long distances. Wireless is good in home or if you work in a small office with a company of about 15-20 people maximum as its easy to setup in that kind of environment

    +
    1 Votes
    TheChas

    In addition to the points stated by Slayer and markp24, there is the cost of adding wireless adapters to desktop computers and older printers.

    The only real benefit of a wireless network in a business environment is the ability to use a laptop in a portable mode. Be it a conference room, or when multiple team members need to work together on a project.

    Most businesses run a mixed network, with wired networking and 2 or more wireless networks.

    1 wireless network usually offers only Internet access and may be unsecured.

    Any business wireless networks should be highly secured and require more than just a general password to complete the connection.

    Chas

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Wireless depending on the maker of the Devices and the construction of the building can be flaky. You also need to understand Wireless Propagation and while you can have a work station 30 feet from the WiFi Access Point it may not get a strong signal and may be even unable to connect.

    It all depends on the position and anything between the 2 points.

    Also again depending on the WiFi Makers Devices the Signal can travel up to 500 Meters and be quite usable so it's possible that someone outside the building up to .5 of a Kilometer away can log into the WiFi LAN and access your data or Internet connection. Depending on your location you may also be responsible for any downloads so if someone outside the office was to download Kiddy Porn or Bomb Making Directions over the WiFi the business would be in at best an difictult position trying to explain why this happened. Even with the best security in place this can happen and the Term War Driving was coined to describe this.

    So it's possible that you not get a strong signal 30 feet away inside the office and you'll get a great signal .5 of a Kilometer away outside the building. Also depending on the business it may also have procedures in place to comply with Legislation or Best Practices for that Industry which prevent the use of Wireless networking.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    cd003284

    If better means more reliable, easier to manage, and easier to diagnose and fix when problems do arise, then there's no question, and no contest. One has only to consider why cables are the first resort when wireless goes down.

    +
    0 Votes
    rubendlct

    My personal experience tells me that a combination of both, wired and wireless networking is best (and a must) to have in any network requiring remote access. Wireless is best for the easiness of moving around in the office with laptops, Iphones and other remote devices. Wired is best for the purpose of security, troubleshooting, maintenance, and reliable communications.The combination of both systems provides easiness of communications and increases production where the enterprise can be accessed remotely by any authorized employeein a secured wireless network instead of having to go into your office and sit down to jug don and send an important and time critical electronic message (e-mail).

    +
    1 Votes
    wild__bill

    sure, a wired network is always a level of security higher than wireless, but wireless can be VERY secure if you force a very long passphrase (say 24+ characters that have numbers & symbols & letters) and you specify WPA2-AES only.

    Any of y'all that wants to tell me that's not CIA-style secure, then please cite where this level of security has been broken by hackers (maybe if they have a Cray super computer and a couple of years to work on it in their "war driving " vehicle!)

    +
    0 Votes
    jlholmes21

    Yes wireless is better as you need less cables.

    However you then have to make sure all your companies PCs have wireless support. For a small company with only 30 desktop PCs this might be easy as its only 30 wireless network cards you ahve to go and buy, but if, for example, you had 200 desktop PCs, you have to be 200 wireless netowrking cards for these PCs. So if they cost, lets say, ??20 each, thats 20x200, which is, ??4000. You then have to install the drivers on every single PC. and if you ahve some on windows xp and some on windows 7 that makes it more of a challenge as well.

    As for the cables... one wireless router won't be enough for an entire company and if you have a large office/building the single will start to drop out for people who work further away. You can, however, turn some wireless routers into access points and these work like this: PC/Laptop --> Access Point --> Your companies server --> internet...... and thats it.. even with cables you will have access points as if you ahve 200 wired PCs thats a lot of cables going into one server, so instead tis maybe 5-10 cables on to the wired access point and then a cable to the other access points.

    Wireless is secure and a total stranger won't be able to just get in range of one of your wireless access points, click, click, click and start messing around with your entire companies network.

    In my opinion I would keep with the cables. Cables generally have higher bandwith and they aren't effected by the weather so you won't loose single or drop out over long distances. Wireless is good in home or if you work in a small office with a company of about 15-20 people maximum as its easy to setup in that kind of environment