If you’re considering wireless solutions to improve connectivity in your organization, download our list of over 100 wireless networking products from more than 10 of the top vendors. Even if you’re not quite ready to install a wireless network in your office, our list of resources can be a good starting point for researching what’s available and finding out why wireless might work for your organization.
Many vendors on the list offer information about the advantages of wireless networking. Granted, they’re somewhat biased towards selling the products they offer, but the information can also be useful for weighing the networking options. Consider the benefits that wireless networking offers; you may find it has a place in your organization.
Ditch the cables
Wireless networks offer some clear advantages over their wired counterparts; however, some of the potential benefits depend largely on how the networks are used.
The following are general benefits from going wireless:
- Convenient and flexible for users
- Easy to install
- Easy to use
- Lower infrastructure costs
The most noticeable benefit is that wireless networks are convenient for users, especially those with laptops. In a wireless office, employees can connect to the network from anywhere on the premises without having to worry about being within reach of a patch panel, cable outlet, or docking station.
Meeting places don’t have to be strung with cables to accommodate networking needs. This eliminates clutter and even the hazards associated with cables. And with wireless access, it’s easier to connect to the network. Laptop users don’t need docking stations or cables of any kind; they just need their network ID and password. This also improves networking support for handheld devices, which are becoming increasingly popular tools that are essential in many settings.
Wireless networks are ideal solutions for environments that make cabling difficult. Large warehouses or manufacturing plants, for example, are excellent candidates for wireless networks because of the difficulty and expense of running cables throughout a large area.
And what happens to all of that cabling if your organization relocates? Do you take it with you? In just about every case, your investment in network cabling is money you never get back, and, in fact, it’s something on which you continue to spend without any return beyond the network connectivity it affords.
With a wireless network, your equipment—your investment—travels with you.
A wide range of products is available to help get your wireless network up and running, as you can see in our list of resources. While laptops are obvious targets for wireless devices, a number of desktop connectivity products are also available.
Many of the products you’ll see in our list are aimed squarely at the SOHO and home user markets. Devices such as wireless broadband gateways and routers have become very popular and have a solid purpose in small businesses and home offices. These products often combine the features of a router, wireless access point, print server, and gateway.
Other devices, however, with specific functions are necessary pieces for the wireless enterprise office, such as access points that serve as links between the client adapters and the network. Wireless adapters are also necessary components. Without them, the individual PCs, laptops, or handhelds could not connect to the network through the access points.
For desktops, PCI cards can provide wireless links, while PC Cards are available for laptops. USB adapters are attractive options, however, because they can connect any device with a USB port to the network.
Wireless devices come in a wide range of performance capabilities as well. You need to consider your throughput and bandwidth needs when selecting the devices. The devices support 802.11a, 802.11b and, in some cases, both, so you have to select devices according to your needs.
In weighing your options, you may also find that vendors usually fall into one of two categories in terms of their target markets: business users or home users. While most of them attempt to straddle the fence, they will probably be stronger in one area than another.
Regardless of your needs, you’re sure to find products or vendors that offer the right solutions in our resource list. Download it now and start planning your move to wireless.