The 5 Benefits of a Wireless Network, and How to Get One Set Up
Traditionally, businesses have relied on wired connections for their Internet. With employees largely static (i.e each employee had a designated desk and desktop device), the ease of setup, reliability of the wired connection in comparison to early-era wireless connections, and the speed that was possible over a wired connection made it preferable.
However, the underlying technology has changed, and connectivity has become much more robust and reliable. Now, in so many ways, businesses benefit from “going wireless”, and, with 5G on the cusp of going mainstream, we are going to see more businesses go fully wireless.
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The five reasons to go wireless
There are five particular benefits that connectivity provides that helps an organisation operate in a modern, innovative way. Those organisations that can capitalise on this opportunity will work more quickly, more efficiently and more productively, resulting in a significant competitive advantage over those businesses that continue to rely on wired connections:
1) Wireless organisations are more mobile and collaborative
With employees able to move around the office, take their devices into meeting rooms, and generally “untether” themselves from their desks, they become more flexible and collaborative. There’s even the opportunity for cost savings on office space, as work can be done anywhere, and the space-consuming tradition of cubicles and individual desks is no longer necessary.
2) The transfer of information is immediate
With wired connections, an employee might not have immediate access to information. Imagine this simple scenario: You’re in a meeting room, and someone at the meeting tells you they’ll email you a document. With a wired desktop approach, you would both need to go back to your desks to then email. With a wireless connection, it can be done there, in the room.
3) It’s more scalable
If your company is hiring, then wireless is the better solution. With wired Internet, the IT support team needs to physically set up the desktop device and then activate the Internet on it. If there is a lot of hiring going on, this can cause roadblocks in getting everyone running. With wireless connectivity, all the IT team needs to do is set up the employee profile and provide the login.
4) It’s actually more secure and reliable
Wires can be broken by criminals. Physical hardware can fail. If something goes wrong with a wired connection, then there’s any number of points that the error could be narrowed down to, and the IT team will again become the bottleneck as they investigate. Meanwhile, the wireless connection can’t be easily broken, there are fewer physical components to investigate if connections are lost and, most importantly, redundancy is much more straightforward – having a “backup” the connection is much more efficient than trying to have a second wireless connection available.
5) There are cost savings
In addition to the potential ability to operate with less office space (as mentioned above), there are also fewer physical components required in deploying wireless connections, and this reduces costs in deploying and managing the network environment. Having a wireless environment also makes moving office locations much easier, which can result in significant time and monetary savings.
How to go wireless
Going wireless couldn’t be easier in 2021. It’s just a matter of making sure that you’ve got the right devices and equipment that have wireless capabilities built into them. On the network side, you need to have a wireless router, which is a device that connects to your Internet supply (be that a fibre optic connection or a mobile broadband solution such as 5G), and subsequently “broadcasts” the Internet as a wireless signal that other devices can interact with. There are a number of wireless router products on the market, that can suit small offices of a couple of people right through to the largest enterprises.
Depending on the size of the office environment, it might be important to install wireless range extenders to ensure that the entire office is bathed in wireless connectivity.
Next up, you need to make sure that all laptops, tablets, desktops and other devices have wireless network adaptors. For newer technology this is standard, but for older devices, you might need an additional adapter, which will come in the form of a USB adaptor or Ethernet card.
Finally, it’s important to check that the peripherals in the environment are compatible with the new wireless environment. This is particularly relevant with regards to printers and security video cameras, with older systems often lacking native compatibility with wireless networks. It might be the case that you need to upgrade these systems or purchase newer equipment.
While there is a transition process to take an environment from wired to unwired, it is a worthwhile upgrade to make. Your employees will benefit from the greater flexibility available to them, and appreciate that they’re able to work more productively and with fewer restrictions. Meanwhile, you’ll also be saving money and can start to leverage the many technologies – such as cloud-based devices – that assume that you’re running a wireless environment.
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