ï»¿Unit 5 Lab 1
Wired and Wireless Networks
The biggest difference between these two types of networks is one uses network cables and one uses radio frequencies. A wired network allows for a faster and more secure connection and can only be used for distances shorter than 2,000 feet. Several other disadvantage of a wired network such as the â€œneed to run cables in difficult environments through walls, floors and ceilings. Cables need to be run from computer to computer and switch to switch. Process can be time consuming. Loose cables likely remain the single most common and annoying source of failure in a wired network.â€ (PACE University, n.d.) While a wireless ...view middle of the document...
The key hardware components of a wireless computer network include adapters, routers, access points, antennas and repeaters. There arenâ€™t many tools needed to build a wireless network besides a few Phillips screwdrivers, network adapters, and of course whatever type of cabling that you want to use.Wireless gear costs somewhat more than the equivalent wired Ethernet products. At full retail prices, wireless adapters and access points may cost three or four times as much as Ethernet cable adapters and hubs/switches, respectively.
Wireless networks using 802.11b support a maximum bandwidth of 11 Mbps, roughly the same as that of old, traditional Ethernet. 802.11a and 802.11g LANs support 54 Mbps, that is approximately one-half the bandwidth of Fast Ethernet. Furthermore, wireless networking performance is distance sensitive, meaning that maximum performance will degrade on computers farther away from the access point or other communication endpoint. As more wireless devices utilize the 802.11 LAN more heavily, performance degrades even further. The greater mobility of wireless LANs helps offset the performance disadvantage. Mobile computers do not need to be tied to an Ethernet cable and can roam freely within the wireless network range. However, many computers are larger desktop models, and even mobile computers must sometimes be tied to an electrical cord and outlet for power. This undermines the mobility advantage of wireless networks in many organizations and homes. For any wired network connected to the Internet, firewalls are the primary security consideration. Wired Ethernet hubs and switches do not support firewalls. However, firewall software products like Zone Alarm can be installed on the computers themselves. Broadband routers offer equivalent firewall capability built into the device, configurable through its own software. Wireless LANs are less secure than wired LANs, because wireless communication signals travel through the air and can easily be intercepted. The weaknesses of wireless security are more theoretical than practical. Wireless networks protect their data through the Wired Equivalent...