Wireless vs. Wired networks for your home and business

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When it comes to deciding whether wireless or wired networks are best for your home or business, there are a number of aspects to consider. Ultimately, it depends on the needs of your business / lifestyle and internet usage at home. We have outlined some of the pros and cons of wireless vs. wired networks to consider before making a decision on what network solution works best for you.

In comparison to wired networks, wireless local area networks (WLAN) are often favoured today for their unrivalled functionality in modern offices, such as with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies increasing, improved flexibility and the ability to work in different areas of the office and at home, and the overall organisation of your home / office thanks to the minimal cables.

The downside, however, to wireless LANs is that on a shared bandwidth all devices on the same network split the internet speed which can slow down the network speed, productivity in an office, and become an inconvenience at home if multiple users are all using bandwidth-intensive applications at once. Wireless is ideal for basic file sharing, general internet access, web browsing and emails, activities which don’t require a high bandwidth. but anything too intensive can slow down your network speed.

If your business is in an industry where yourself or your employees are often using bandwidth-intensive applications for activities, such as sharing large files between clients, video-calling, streaming online videos/music, or using online backup systems such as Dropbox or Google Drive, you might consider a wired network for your business. 

Although the cons of wired networks exist such as cable clutter and lack of mobility, wired networks have evolved greatly over the past few years which has dramatically improved their performance and network speeds. In addition to this, you have more control over which devices are connected to the network. This in turn can be better for avoiding security risks compared to wireless LANs, where your bandwidth and information are more vulnerable to hackers than wired networks, as well as preventing malware infected devices from inadvertently joining your network and jeopardising your company devices. 

Wired networks generally have a higher bandwidth speed compared to wireless LANs. While it’s possible to design a wireless network that caters to higher bandwidth requirements, the cost for doing so can be similar and as time-consuming as a wired network cable layout, without the added security benefits. 

Ultimately, no option is ‘better’ than the other - it’s all about your business’s needs, what works best for you, and your lifestyle (when considering home network). Some businesses consider ‘hybrid’ approaches with a primary wired network in the office for added security, higher-bandwidth speed, as well as a wireless network for lower security risk activities with visitors, client meetings/presentations, and BYOD policies. 

We recommend considering all aspects of your business and its needs / your home lifestyle and usage habits, and approaching a team of experienced electricians to work with you to achieve your goals whether you’re considering a new build or upgrading your current office.