If we look at how these two compare, then maybe we should start with a factor that is quite important to every one. Cost! In the case of wired networks, the costs of the equipments are much cheaper.
The reasons being that wired networks have been in the market for much longer; this has resulted in a large number of users. Equipment is also much cheaper and more rugged.
The equipment is manufactured such that it can withstand a lot of careless handling; there are a number of security features that come along with the product as a standard. But, this is not the case with wireless networks.
In the case of wireless networks, there is no cable running all over the work place; you can move around the whole office with ease.
The WiFi zone makes it all the more comfortable. In addition to the cost saving in cables, there is cost saving in the maintenance too. There is really nothing much that can go wrong with the transmission media.
In the case of wired equipment, there is always the possibility of having a problem with cables. The overall cost of installation would, of course, be higher in the case of wireless networks because of the cost of the equipment you need to install.
All these negatives are outweighed by the advantages that you get out of it . You are at liberty to type your mails either in front of your television or at the dinner table (though you might have your spouse howling at you for doing just that!).
The speed at which the wired LANs work is much higher: in the order of hundreds of Mbps when compared to the speed at which the wireless LANs work.
But then, there is also the other advantage you have with the wireless system. You can easily have any number of people connecting to the network though the speed goes down a little.
In case of Ethernet or fixed wire networks, the number of connections is limited to a few.
Which One to Choose Wireless Networking or Wired Networking?
Ok, so who are the people that make these gadgets? All that you would require are these two components primarily, all the rest are optional. However, we will take a closer look at these two components and a bird’s eye view of the others.
One of the largest wireless router or access point makers is NetGear. There are also others like D-link, Buffalo, Linksys and Kyocera.
There are also others who make the same products; the capacities/sizes are relatively smaller. Most of these manufacturers make both the access points as well as the cards for your computers.
Again the cards come as plug-in options, adaptable with your computer; they can also be fitted into your laptop’s USB port. Most of the laptops these days come with an inbuilt WiFi adapter.
This ensures that newly purchased laptops are equipped to handle wireless LAN operations.
It is however interesting to find out how you can make use of the existing LAN card on your laptop. This is something that we will consider when we do the installing work.
Out of the large range of products that is available in the market which one would you select for your home?
That would depend on your needs. The specifications of these devices are normally judged based on the bandwidth of the product; the number of terminals it can support; the distance up to which the access point can provide you with signal or in other words the signal strength of the unit. Before you decide on the model you are going to buy, you need to decide on your needs.
You need to make an exhaustive need / requirement list, which could probably include some or all of following: The speed at which you want your wireless network to work.
This will depend on what application or for what use you are going to put the home computers to. Of course, if you are going to use them to view movies online, then well even the best of routers could give you only basic capacity.
Even at 100 or 200 Mbps capacity you will still find that movies do not flow properly. However, decide on what you want here.
The second parameter that you will need to finalize will be the distance up to which you want the wireless LAN to be available. If the WLAN is to cover your entire house from wall to wall then you might have to ensure you have adequate power behind your access point to provide you with that service.
Decide on the distance to be covered. Then of course, you need to also ensure that the access point can support comfortably the number of machines you might connect to it at any given point in time.
If you are through with identifying all your requirements, you need to begin matching all these needs with your router. In some cases, you might have to operate in two different speeds. Then you need to select the router that can operate at two different frequency bands.
Make a complete list of all the features that you need and then select the equipment that matches all these. Of course, you should also list your budget as one of the needs!