Archive for August, 2014

Aug
28
2014
Written by: Jason Gazaway

Upgrading your Wi-Fi hardware is critical to future-proofing your network. When the time for new components is at hand, it is important to select the products that fully support your communication and data transfer wireless_logoneeds. From fiber cabling to Wi-Fi routers, the choices abound and each one can have direct impact on your overall network performance.

Today, we are going to take a look at the foundational 802.11 technologies that can power your network. Despite very similar nomenclature, the varying forms of 802.11 are all quite different.

How to Make Your Choice

Being able to clearly articulate the differences between Wi-Fi options is a must in order to help your management and procurement teams approve the right products for your applications. Following are the factors you will want to educate teams about so that they can effectively evaluate any new wireless purchase:

  • Bandwidth

Bandwidth, measured in terms of Mbps or Gbps, determines the speed with which data can be transmitted across a network. As can be expected, a higher bandwidth rating delivers faster data transmission. Today’s 802.11 technologies offer bandwidths ranging from 11 Mbps to as high as 300 Mbps.

It can be easy to immediately believe you want the maximum bandwidth range but it is important to keep in mind your own use. The higher bandwidths are generally only needed by larger networks or those running intensive applications such as streaming video.

  • Frequency

The frequency, measured in Gigahertz, determines a network’s range. It also directly affects interference by other wireless elements such as cell phones or microwaves or by physical obstacles such as walls. Standard Wi-Fi networks run on either 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz (commonly referred to as only 5 GHz) frequencies.

Frequency is one of those features that definitely does not comply with the “bigger is better” concept. A shorter frequency actually has a longer range, although it is more susceptible to interference from other wireless devices. A longer frequency flip-flops those benefits to provide a shorter range but better protection against other wireless interference. However, 5.8 GHz networks are more likely to be impeded by solid interference.

  • Single or Dual Band

Most Wi-Fi technologies run on only one frequency but some tout the ability to run on both. Before you jump for joy and assume that is the best way to go, you better get the facts.

Technology that includes only one signal but says it is dual band does not actually give you both 2.4 and 5.8 GHz functionality at once—it simply gives you the ability to choose which one you want at any given time. Only 802.11n which leverages multiple antennas actually supports both frequencies simultaneously.

Knowing the different functionalities offered by the key Wi-Fi network features can

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Aug
01
2014
Written by: Jason Gazaway

Is it time to upgrade your network? Perhaps you are installing an all-new network. Either way, one of the primary decisions you must make is what type of cable you will use. Copper cables have led the way for traditional computer networks but in recent years, an increase in the use of fiber cabling has been seen.Fiber Cables

Should your business build its network based on fiber technology? We think the answer is a resounding “yes”. But, we don’t want you to just take our word for it and we’re pretty sure your CEO won’t either. Instead, we want you to understand what a Fiber To The Office (FTTO) network can do for your business.

The Wonders—or Not—of Copper Cabling

To truly understand the benefits of fiber cabling, it is important to understand copper cabling. Copper rose to the top as the choice for computer networking professionals in part due to its affordable price tag. Even as fiber optic cables entered the marketplace, copper continued to dominate largely for this reason. In recent years, however, the rising cost of copper cabling coupled with the decreased cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining fiber cabling has all but eliminated this benefit.

Without a clear-cut cost benefit, the limitations of structured copper cabling have become more apparent to CEOs concerned with both performance and price, furthering the search for alternatives.

Among the problems noted with copper are:

Space Requirements
Copper can only transmit data up to roughly 100 meters. This requires multiple nodes to be placed throughout a building, taking up valuable space—and money.

High Energy Consumption
The hardware demands of a structured copper cable network necessitate additional hardware and infrastructure for cooling due to the level of heat produced. The heating and cooling both contribute to high energy use and costs.

Poor Expansion Options
Upgrades of a copper-based network require all new-cabling, making this option anything but a way of future-proofing your network.

Unpredictable Performance
Copper’s conductibility makes it highly susceptible to electrical interference, resulting in a higher-than-satisfactory risk of network interruptions.

When no other options existed, copper filled the bill well. Perhaps for some smaller businesses that have

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