Wireless technology has made connecting industrial equipment easier. The days where your computer was a stationary device are history and now you can tote your laptop or tablet just about anywhere you go. In the industrial world, it can make setting up new equipment a breeze but only under the right conditions and it certainly has its drawbacks.
Before you forsake wires for wireless devices, take these points into consideration:
Wireless devices create and suffer from interference.
Because there is just a small portion of the wave spectrum for wireless devices to operate, they can be easily congested by other signals. If you have a lot of wireless equipment operating in the same area, they’ll inhibit each others' signals and may cause service disruptions. Signal weakens every time It passes through an object so if your facility is crowded, wires may be a better choice.
Wireless consumes energy.
Those broadcast waves aren’t going to power themselves. Wireless signals need energy to broadcast and will use much more than the little power needed to run signals through copper wires. Enough wireless devices and your energy consumption will grow.
Wireless connections are less secure.
Modern wireless security protocols are much safer than the days of WEP protection but are still vulnerable to hackers and data thieves who can wreak havoc if they breach your network security. They don’t need to be inside your facility to do it either and can access your network from wherever the signal travels. Wired connections are more secure and can be protected by physical barriers such as locked doors and walls.
Wireless networks aren’t as reliable.
Wireless devices grant you the mobility and flexibility to move around the facility and work at the same time. However, it’s not unusual for wireless devices to lose signal on the fringes of the wireless range or in “deadspots” where signal is too weak to function. Wireless access points also frequently crash and have to be manually rebooted, which requires physical access. Wired connections are more reliable though they will keep you rooted to one location.
Wireless bandwidth is limited.
Because of the narrow broadcast spectrum of wireless signals, bandwidth is a limiting factor for wireless networks. The more users on at the same time, the more of the limited bandwidth will be consumed. This can lead to slow connection speeds, failing connections and even server crashing which will require a manual reboot. Wired connections have much more bandwidth to work with and are more stable speed-wise.Read More