Which is better, a wired or wireless network?

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Often we are asked which is better, a wired or wireless network? Unfortunately, the answer is; it depends on your situation and your priorities.

Wired Networking

A wired network uses Ethernet cable to connect the computers to the network router. Wired networks are less expensive, faster, and more secure than wireless networks. However, the same Ethernet cable that provides these advantages is also its biggest disadvantage. All computers on a wired network must be connected by Ethernet cable. Running Ethernet cables between rooms or floors can be a significant challenge.

Many offices are wired this way because of the speed and security. A home office may also be set up this way, especially if someone works from home regularly.

Wireless Networking

A wireless network provides the flexibility to connect your computers to the network using wireless network adapter devices. Data is sent and received using radio waves that eliminate the need for Ethernet cables. You can connect to the network from anywhere within range of the wireless router. Wireless networks trade speed and some loss of security for greater flexibility and ease of use.

Often we set up our homes this way to allow us to work anywhere in the house and to allow for multiple devices without the cables.

This is harder to achieve in many office building as the office structures often restrict the range of the wireless routers. In addition the speed and security may limit the use of wireless networks in offices.

Combining Wired and Wireless Components

You can also combine wired and wireless components in your home network.

If you have one or more computers very close to your router, you can purchase Network Interface Cards (NICs) for these computers and connect to the router using Ethernet cable. Since NICs are less expensive than wireless network adapters, you can save money and still have a faster, more secure connection to the router.

You can then connect your other devices in other rooms using wireless network adapters to provide the flexibility of wireless networking.

There are other things to consider but this should give you a good starting point to decide what is right your home or office. And remember, if you have any questions please let us know.

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