In 2018, most business owners choose to manage their office networks over Wi-Fi networks, particularly if they run smaller companies. Not many firms that provide IT services to business clients suggest the option of a wired Ethernet network or even a hybrid installation; the reason behind this practice is that network technicians know that few clients will ask for wired connections unless they are looking to run a VoIP call center or a local area network for gaming.
All modern businesses a few network installation options; they can go wired, wireless, hybrid, or even cellular broadband, and the right choice depends on what owners wish to accomplish. There are advantages and disadvantages to each installation, here are some factors to consider in this regard:
The allure of being able to connect to a wireless network is something that most people appreciate from the point of view of convenience. In an office where most employees are members of the Millennial Generation, Wi-Fi is highly recommended because this is essentially what they grew up with. Aside from convenience, there are also strong aspects of mobility and flexibility to consider. For a business owner who plans on implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, Wi-Fi is the way to go, but there will always be security considerations and network management issues.
It was only about a decade ago when most business owners would accept nothing less than a Category 5/5e installation in their offices, but then Wi-Fi came along and the advent of Category 6 cabling was mostly overlooked because the prospect of not having to deal with a tangle of wires was too good to pass up. Business owners looking for the best in terms of speed, expansion capacity, signal quality, security, and ease of network management should think about Ethernet. The cost of installation may be higher because of labor and materials, but the benefits are substantial.
Getting the best of both wired and wireless worlds can be accomplished by a hybrid network, but only if they are installed and configured in a way that most data traffic travels through wires while still providing enough bandwidth for devices connecting through Wi-Fi. Even though a hybrid network can be managed as a centralized task, the administrator will have two configurations to look after, and particular attention must be paid to the security of the Wi-Fi portion. Not all networking hardware devices will work with hybrid installations; to this effect, routers and switches must be verified beforehand. With hybrid networks, business owners get flexibility and mobility, but this may come at a higher cost.
In the end, business owners should think about how their employees will react to certain networks, whether a BYOD policy can be reasonably and securely implemented, the required data speed, installation costs, and hardware expenditures before making a decision. As far as enterprise trends go, Ethernet installations are making a comeback and hybrid networks are becoming more popular.