Business owners and entrepreneurs need to factor this in before moving to their new premises. Whether it's an office, a factory or a warehouse, there will be legislation to comply with, and of course, different needs and different budgets will push your decision one way or another.
"So what are the advantages and disadvantage of a WiFi network?"
Going wireless offers you a simple to create network with minimal cabling. If areas of your premises have a bad signal, then just daisy-chain another access point or consider establishing a meshed network.
Working with WiFi does have its disadvantages though. There is a risk that any wireless device can connect if the right security hasn't been implemented between your wireless access point and your company's computers. There's also no 'Power Over Ethernet' (PoE) facility and quality of signal can't be guaranteed throughout your business.
Wireless technology is constantly evolving, so you may be looking at costly upgrades every few years, and remember that business critical servers should never be connected via WiFi!
"And what about structured cabling?"
Structured cabling is long-lasting and reliable. Cables and connectors seldom fail and your cabled network will last for the foreseeable future. As technology has improved over the years, the costs have come down considerably and once you've paid for a professional install, there are minimal costs and it's reasonably simple to diagnose issues and fix them.
Using intelligent switches, each connection can be designated specific access to different parts of your network. In addition, if you're using VOIP phones, you can have twin socket wall boxes (one for the computer and one for the phone) and power the phones using the network itself rather than needing costly power adapters.
The disadvantages of structured cabling would be that new locations require new cabling and you can even suggest that connected cables can be a trip hazard, which is why a proper plan needs to be created to ensure connection boxes are placed in the right locations.
"But in reality, a mixed solution is ideal!"
At Picaw, we always recommend a structured cabling solution because of security, ease of access and the guarantee of high-quality connections at all times.
However, new technology such as phones and tablets (and even some laptops now) don't have Ethernet ports built in, so a wireless access point will also need to be included in your network.
And this is where it does get complicated because you need to decide who's allowed to connect, who gets access to what and even how much bandwidth each connected device receives.
"There's a lot to think about!"
We'd love to help you create the best network for your business. Tell us the issues you're getting and we'll recommend the right solutions for you. Call us on 0845 287 3622 or send us an email enquiry and let's see how we can help.