2007-05-04

Wired vs. Wireless

I was talking to my mom today, and she wanted to set up a wireless network. I advised against it,
and her argument was that wired networks seem archaic.

Now, while I can certainly understand the idea that the same cables we've been using for decades are still just fine today may be hard to swallow, but in reality, wired networking is advancing far faster than wireless.

Wireless networking, over the last decade, has gone from 11mbit (802.11b) to 54mbit (802.11g) to "up to 700mbit" (802.11n; effectively 100 - 200 mbit). This bandwidth is per airspace - multiple clients on a network, and multiple networks in the same airspace, must share the available bandwidth.

Meanwhile, wired networks have gone from 10 to 100 mbit, then to 1 gbit and now 10 gbit, all on copper cable. And each client on a wired network gets a dedicated, full-bandwidth pipe all to its own.

So, while the cables may not have changed much (cat 6 is hard to tell from cat 5 to the average person), wired networks are advancing far beyond wireless, and all the while, they provide greater reliability, security, ease of use, and power efficiency.

All in all, I'll keep my wired network.
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