In today’s world, business is increasingly driven by computer technology and the Internet and it is important to understand how Wi-Fi business advantages affect you.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is a method of accessing the Internet or a private network from your computer using radio waves rather than a physical cable. A more technical definition of the term, which is an abbreviation of “wireless fidelity”, is: “A term developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to describe wireless local area network (WLAN) products that are based on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 802.11 standards.” Equipment bearing the Wi-Fi logo have been certified to standards set by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Access Point A transmitting/receiving device that allows access to a wireless network. Also known as a base station.
Bluetooth A special type of Wi-Fi designed for distances under 30 feet.
Hot Spot An area covered by a wireless network. This term is usually reserved for remote locations such as coffee shops rather than the office’s WLAN.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) A older, less secure method of limiting access to a wireless network. A more robust method is WPA.
WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) A wireless network that covers a limited area such as an office building.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) A newer method of limiting access to a wireless network, designed to address the security flaws in WEP.
Wi-Fi Business Advantages
- Widespread Coverage: The Wi-Fi network allows access from anywhere in the building. This allows an employee to take a laptop from an office to the conference room without losing network connectivity. It gives access to network resources without needing to hunt around for a free computer.
- Offsite Access: More and more Wi-Fi hotspots are appearing in airports, hotels, coffee shops, and restaurants. Some cities are installing municipal wireless networks that allow access anywhere within the city limits. Employees who are traveling to meet with clients can have access to company resources and email wherever they are.
- More Efficient Employees: Employees, particularly those who travel, are less likely to experience dead time when they cannot work. It allows employees to better balance their work and personal lives by giving them more options on when and where they can work.