Corbitt and Hadley of Anderson Technologies discuss the merits of considering wired and wireless network connections when optimizing an office. Which is better? The answer isn’t black or white.
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Corbitt: Hey, everyone, my name is Corbitt, and I’m a Client Success Manager here at Anderson Technologies.
Hadley And I’m Hadley and I’m one of our Technical Project Managers.
Corbitt Today, we wanted to introduce another edition of Byte-Size Tech. It’s going to be a three-part series where we focus on the performance of your internet.
Hadley Like Corbitt mentioned, we’re going to film three short videos. And today we’re going to focus on wired vs wireless connection and how each affects your internet speeds. Next time, we’re going to be talking about firewalls, and how firewalls can impact your internet. And our final episode is going to focus on the number of devices, or the number of users, a client has on their network and how those variables can play into your internet speeds. So today, we’re going to be talking about wired versus wireless. Corbitt, can you explain the difference? What’s wired? What’s wireless? Why would I or our clients need to know the difference?
Corbitt It’s really quite simple. When you break it down, a wired connection is just how it sounds—it means that your computer, whether it’s a laptop or a desktop, is connecting to the internet through an actual cable that’s plugged in. And wireless is just how it sounds—you’re working off of a Wi-Fi connection. You don’t have to be plugged in to have internet access since you’re working off of wireless access points, which are those hockey-puck-looking devices that sit on your ceiling, or on a desk or on the wall somewhere. Those are the differences.
Hadley What are the pros and cons of wired or wireless internet? Why would we need to know the difference? How do I decide which one my company or I need?
Corbitt It’s a great question. And unfortunately, it’s not a black or a white answer. In most office environments today, you have a hybrid of where everyone has a cable that they’re connected to when they’re sitting at their desk doing their work. And that’s how they connect to the internet. But as soon as they unplug to go have a meeting in the conference room, like we’re having right now, or if they’re going to the kitchen for a little huddle session, or a little snack, you want them to be able to have connectivity or internet access on that laptop still. And so that’s where having Wi-Fi or wireless networks in place is convenient for your team. It’s really a matter of convenience and being able to be flexible throughout the office that makes Wi-Fi—wireless—so attractive.
Hadley What’s the main thing we need to watch out for? Say my office uses both. What do we need to look out for with wireless vs wired? What are the main gotchas? How can we make sure our environment is set up to succeed when there’s so many different options and things at play?
Corbitt It does come down to logistics and what the layout of the actual office is. One thing to take into account is how big of a space you have and how it’s shaped and oriented. If you’ve got a long, narrow office, and you have one access point, just on one end, the rest of your employees that sit on the other end are probably not going to be able to have any access because they’re far away from the coverage that one access point provides. Being strategic about where you put your access points to allow for the broadest coverage is really important. Another thing is if you do have multiple rooms within your suite, depending on what those walls or doors are made of, that can be a barrier to Wi-Fi signal and thus a hindering factor to network performance.
Hadley Would you recommend, if you’re at your desk and you can connect to Ethernet, using wired internet because wired will have the best, most reliable connection? And if I want to walk around, go meet with people, I can use wireless as long as I am located near an access point? But if I am consistently having spotty wireless connection, it would be wise to update our company’s environment so there’s more wireless coverage?
Corbitt If you are at your desk, and you have that ability to plug right in, go ahead and do it. That’s going to be the best way to get the most bandwidth and the most speed running right to your machine. But of course, if you have a meeting, you want to go get a snack, go to the conference room—Wi-Fi is a phenomenal option. You just want to make sure you have the network backbone to support it.
Hadley Well, thank you, Corbitt, and thank you all for joining. As Corbitt mentioned, this is a three-part series.
Corbitt We will see you next time when we talk about firewalls and how they can impact your network.
Hadley I can’t wait! See you all soon.