Most of us are familiar with a wired network; in its usual form, it connects a computer to a network via cabling and Ethernet ports or routers. For a long time, this method was thought to be more secure and faster than a wireless alternative. However, technology and security developments have led to wireless networks being broadly advocated as the former prohibitive factors have largely been eradicated.
A LAN, or local area network, works with radio waves so that portable and fixed devices can connect to a network, the internet and applications. If you use an internet hotspot located within a business premises, whether it is an office, a local restaurant or perhaps a library, you are connecting to a business wireless network. In this article, we consider whether business WiFi is the right choice for your enterprise.
Whatever the size of your business, you can benefit from using wireless technology instead of wired networks for applications. Here are a few reasons why business WiFi is so effective:
Encryption scrambles the data sent from the computer to the router so that it cannot be read over a WiFi network. Encryption is provided via WPA, Wireless Protected Access or WPA2, which has taken over from the WEP Wireless Encryption Protocol. It is recommended that you always use WPA or WPA2 because they are far more difficult to hack into and you cannot mix WEP and WPA technology.
For optimum security, use highly secure passwords that are of a long length and preferably contain a good mix of letters and numbers. Also use individual software firewalls on your network and a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, which is designed to protect public wireless links and is also useful for field staff as it creates tunnels for encrypted data to travel through.
WiFi hotspots do not usually have encryption facilities so users need to ensure they are in a legitimate hotspot, have their radio and file sharing off and their firewall on.
With a wireless connection, you are not restricted in movement. Users on the network can travel freely around your premises without losing connection. This is becoming an increasingly important point due to the rising adoption of mobile devices in the workplace.
Any location that offers a WiFi hotspot can effectively become your office. That aids productivity, efficiency and customer service. A wired connection would see users locked in to the space in which the technology was placed, which is unnecessary in a highly competitive business world. Arguably, a wired network sets you behind a competitor with WiFi.
The internet can be accessed in meetings and on the road without relocating to a suitable wired network desk in the office and wireless networks ensure that field or home based staff can access company data without delay or travelling back to the premises.
Overheads are reduced and the bottom line is benefitted with the adoption of business WiFi. Because there is no wiring, it’s quick and easy to install and Health and Safety is made simpler by not having electrical trip hazards. Because there is reduced hardware, wireless networks cost less to operate than their wired alternative so it offers high performance but maximum cost effectiveness as a network solution.
Wireless is the future of business connectivity. If you would like to find out more about business WiFi installations in Birmingham and the West Midlands, contact us at Midland Networks today.