The computer networks that are wire-less means the computers are not connected with wires, are called wireless networks. These networks help reduce cost of cables which are otherwise used to connect the nodes. They make use of radio communication where radio waves are used to connect devices like laptops to internet. Knowingly or unknowingly all of us would have used wireless connection when connecting our laptops to a WiFi hot spot at an airport, hotel or other public places. We will now see its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Wireless Networks
Wi-Fi hot spots
It has become a necessity for many people to remain connected to the internet whenever they are awake. Wireless network is a boon to such people. Many public places have Wi-Fi hot spots available to which you can connect your laptops. You can do this by providing the particular Wi-Fi password. This facility is available in hotels, railway stations etc. So, you need not to worry when you are away from home or office.
Mobility is a great advantage offered by wireless networks especially for businesses. It enables you to access the server from anywhere in the office. You can also attend meetings wherever you are, whether in the meeting room or outside. Some businesses allow you to connect to it remotely if you are away from office.
Compared to wired network, wireless network are cost effective because it requires no cables and other accessories to connect. In addition to the cost of the cables, wired networks have to spend a lot on the labor to install the connections all through the building. Even if wireless may cost a bit initially, it requires very less for its maintenance since there is no wiring involved.
VOIP or voice over internet protocol facility is available with wireless networks. It is a phone service using the internet which is very reasonable when compared to traditional telephone service. You can do VOIP calls to any place if you have an internet connection. Making international calls are also very cheap with VOIP.
Expanding a wired network can be costly and difficult with adding new cables and rerouting the existing ones. But expansion with wireless is pretty easy. A new user can be added by issuing a password and updating it in the server.
Disadvantages of Wireless Networks
Normally, the range of a medium-range wireless network is up to around 100 meters. This may be suitable for a home or a small office, but insufficient for larger structures. To increase the range, additional access points or repeaters will be required. This is an extra charge which increases the overall cost.
Security is a major concern in any form of communication. Wireless networks involve the risk of modification and eavesdropping. So they make use of certain encryption techniques for security. There are also authentication mechanisms in place for the same. But it has been found that some of the encryption techniques can be easily compromised.
Since wireless networks work with radio wave communication, the signal is affected by much interference. It is also subjected to certain propagation effects. The movement of the user also creates instability in the signals. These disturbances to the signal may become difficult to handle for the network administrator.
The maximum speed of 802.11n standard network is 600Mbps. This is only almost half the speed of a wired network. Same is the case with all the wireless networks. When compared to wired, they are very slow. The speed further decreases in a busy network.
While wireless networks offer great flexibility in offices where you can work from anywhere, it becomes difficult to manage the employees. It is possible for them to work outside the office also if the signal is available. So, it may not be easy for the managers to monitor their work.