Is It Really Wireless?

We live in an ever evolving world, where seemingly impossible visions that were portrayed in futuristic movies just years ago, may now exist (How cool!). The media exposed us to what is happening around the world; evolving transportation made far destinations reachable; the World Wide Web made information available at the click of a button and smart phones / tablets changed the exposure to this information, making it available at any given time and place.

Is It Really Wireless?With all this change and new technologies, we are in constant need of connectivity and power.

Connectivity

Since much of the information we seek is available wirelessly, and since no wire means we are free to go everywhere and still have access, we wish everything to be wireless.

But is what we view as wireless really without any wires? It has to be hard wired to something – a hub, a router, anything. Smartphones and tables aside, a computer network, even if partially wireless, starts with hard wired parts.

While an Ethernet network offers faster speed, lower latency and is free from wireless interference issues, WiFi has gotten significantly faster in recent years.  With new standards (such as 802.11ac and 802.11n) speeds of 866.7 Mb/s and 150 Mb/s can be reached. For comparison, hard wired Ethernet can tentatively reach speeds of up to 1 Gb/s when using the more commonly used Cat5e cable, or up to 10 Gb/s when using Cat6 cable.

Keep in mind that all this theoretical speed can be slowed down by the available internet connection, which is the slowest part of the network.

Now let’s go back to those parts that just have to be hardwired. An Ethernet network is comprised, at its very basic form of at least two (2) computers, NIC (Network Interface Card) per computer, Ethernet Cable Cat5e or grater, STP/UTP, Router, and Hub or switch and Computer network software. Unlike smartphones and tablets which are chargeable, computers, routers, hubs, even printers, must be hardwired at the very least to power, sometimes (for reasons other than power) to each other.

While not as clean as wireless, hardwired connection offers the fastest and most reliable connection. So when debating between hardwired and wireless, give it a good thought.

Power

Not the tangible kind, the chargeable one.

Different than wireless connectivity, wireless power is still an idea in development stages. Only time will tell whether it will become available, and all we can do is wait patiently (more or less) while the idea of wireless power is being worked on.

For now, we can charge our smart devises with a cord connected to an outlet or another source of power. Or, for those of you who are really into wireless anything, use a wireless charging pad (still not truly wireless since it must be plugged to a power outlet).

Let’s not hold our breath, since there’s no way to know when/if groundbreaking developments will occur in the field. But let’s certainly enjoy all the technological advancements and find the best way they work for us. This may mean a combination of wireless or hardwired, hardwired systems only or other. Stay informed to make the most suitable decision for you.