Wired or wireless. Which is the right solution for your meeting space? Each offers distinct advantages, so how do you decide? It depends on 3 key factors: who will be using the space, what collaborative tools will be used, and your level of network security.
Whether a small huddle space or executive board room, enabling your team with the right tools, connectivity and capabilities is essential for creating a productive space. With your team and network in mind, let’s take a look at the three types of wireless solutions:
- Business Wi-Fi network – A dedicated Wi-Fi network provides exceptional, reliable coverage to anyone on the business’s network. It allows seamless access to all server files however it restricts access to guests. This presents challenges. One advantage though is that the system can be located anywhere on premise, eliminating the need to store it locally in the room.
- Local Network – A device-specific local wireless network creates its own WiFi network that provides direct connectivity. This method offers heightened security since the company’s network doesn’t need to be accessed in order to connect to a device. The local network is the popular choice among IT Administrators due to the secure nature of standalone devices not accessing the network. The downside however, is that files outside of that network cannot be accessed and that the devices need to be located in the room.
- Plug-n-Play Network – A plug-n-play network uses wireless USB dongles to connect directly to a dedicated network. Once connected, the dongles automatically download a widget that allows the users to connect to the system. At the press of a button, many of these dongles include “show me” functionality which allows the user’s desktop to be shown on the display. The USB dongles can be a supplement to either of the two other types of wireless systems as described earlier, providing connectivity for users who either can’t connect to the WiFi network or who are unable to download or access the necessary software.
On many of the wireless presentation platforms, content can also be streamed so others can pick up the stream off-site. This is great for employees who work remotely or are traveling as well as for sharing content across a corporate network to a satellite location. Additionally, many systems can also provide the ability to present multiple desktops simultaneously, providing an enhanced collaborative experience.
Providing at least one “hardwired” connection is recommended for every meeting space as wireless access is not always available for all users. Some systems require an app or software suite which can be problematic for guest presenters who don’t have the ability or system rights to install software on their laptop, and others have severely locked down laptops where even the USB ports are not able to upload or download data which would include the widgets that the wireless USB dongles provide. Unforeseen network issues or outages can also render a wireless system inoperable if the system relies on the Client Wi-Fi, so the hardwired connection provides a suitable backup.
Safe, Secure and Successful
So, wired or wireless? Which is the right solution for you? Give us a call and let’s explore the options. We’ll discover your wants, guide you through your choices and work with your IT pro to ensure safe connectivity. And bear in mind, wireless doesn’t mean wire free. There’s still equipment that needs to live either in the room or in an equipment rack elsewhere and there’s still a need to provide power to the tabletop connectivity. It all starts with the infrastructure. Let’s get started, shall we?