Thursday, August 6

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Networks

Wireless Networks have become commonplace because of its seamless usability. Now there is no need to be constantly tethered to a wire or a cable. Knowingly or unknowingly, all of us have used wireless connection when connecting our laptops to a WiFi hotspot at an airport, hotel, or other public places. So now we will see the advantages and disadvantages of wireless networks.

What are Wireless Networks?

A wireless network uses radio waves to connect technological devices to the internet as well as your business network. It is a computer network that utilizes wireless data connections between network nodes. In other words, computers that are not connected with wires are called wireless networks. These networks help reduce the 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 the internet.

There are four main types of wireless networks. Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) that links two or more devices and provides a connection through access points. The second type is the Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN) connects various WLANs. The Wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) covers huge areas like neighboring cities and townships. Finally, Wireless Personal Area Network (PAN) is within an individual’s capacity and interconnects devices.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Networks

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. A 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 a 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.

Better mobility

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 the office.

Cost-effective

Compared to a wired network, a wireless network is 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 facility

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.

Scalability

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

Lesser range

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 issues

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.

Reliability

Since wireless networks work with radio wave communication, the signal is affected by such 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.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Networks

Less speed

The maximum speed of the 802.11n standard network is 600Mbps. This is only almost half the speed of a wired network. The 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.

Lesser control

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.

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Pros and Cons

PROS

CONS

Wi-Fi hot spots

Lesser range

Better mobility

Security issues

Cost-effective

Reliability

VOIP facility

Less speed

Scalability

Lesser control