Wired and Wireless Media in Modern Networks

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 2
Words: 445
Reading time:
2 min

Both wired and wireless media have a place in modern computer networks, and it is crucial to choose the correct option depending on the intended use case. The main advantages of wired connections are their security and higher speed for the price. However, such physical links are limited by distance, and installation can be time-consuming for large projects. Wireless media lacks the inherent security and stability of cables but offers more convenience by transmitting signals over the air. It is optimal for connecting portable devices in a small-scale network, as well as for long-distance signal transmission. It should be noted that unguided media bandwidth can be affected severely by external conditions and interference and tends to be lower than that of wired connections.

One example of the appropriate use of wired media in a computer network can be found in a video production environment. Studios that have multiple editors and VFX artists working on the same project tend to have a central server to store their footage securely. This means that multiple people will need to stream data at rates from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps or more. Since the use case requires fast and stable connections between several computers at a relatively short distance, a wired connection is preferable.

Another way to utilize wired media efficiently is for connecting accessories that require low latency and stable bandwidth, such as monitors. Although wireless video signal transmission is also possible, it forces the user to sacrifice image quality and is substantially less resilient to interference. In both examples mentioned above, both the installation difficulty and the cost of wired media are low. A wireless solution that could offer the same speed and quality would cost orders of magnitude more while providing little to no improvements in terms of convenience and usability.

An example of a situation where wireless media would be more appropriate is a home or office security system. Such a network would have a central computer processing information from a large number of sensors placed in critical locations of the building. Discretely routing cables to hundreds of small electronic devices scattered around the house is inefficient in terms of both cost and time. A wireless network would simplify this process significantly, making comprehensive security systems accessible to a broader range of users. Another application for wireless media is in a local network such as a smart home. This scenario also requires a large number of small autonomous devices to communicate with each other. Additionally, since some portable devices will often be reconnecting to the network, wireless media would be significantly more convenient.