If your business transacts sensitive financial information, such as credit card numbers, and other personal customer or business data, you should strive to use the most secure connection method possible. Modern wireless computers use various technologies — Wi-Fi, mobile broadband card or Bluetooth — to connect to local area networks and the Internet. Any PC user in range can intercept your data with the right hardware and software application. Most wireless networking technologies, however, employ encryption methods to help scramble your data as it is transmitted from the access point to your wireless adapter. Wired computers are commonly connected to networks via hyper-fast Ethernet cables. This is generally the safest way to gain access to a network because your data isn’t broadcast over the air in all directions. However, other users on a shared network can use packet-sniffing software to capture your data.
Many modern businesses use Web conferencing and VoIP services to reduce costs while maintaining effective communications. These services demand that businesses have a stable and reliable connection; otherwise, your voice or video may show signs of static or pixilation. Wireless network connections are unstable because of physical barriers or service provider shortcomings. If you set up a Wi-Fi connection in a building or home with thick, metal walls, you might not be able to use it in other rooms. If you use mobile broadband services, the cellular service provider may not have adequate tower coverage in your area. Wired connections are generally reliable because of the direct Ethernet connection to the network and access point. Some Internet service providers offer guaranteed always-on service for a higher fee.
Many business professionals need to travel to meet clients and customers face-to-face. Many corporations have satellite branches spread out in regions across the country so increase their business footprint. A wireless computer makes the business operations work seamlessly on the go. You can connect back to your home base or office to retrieve documents that you may have forgotten. If you’re stranded in a city due to bad weather and flight cancellations, you can continue business as usual. This is usually accomplished using remote connectivity software. A wired computer straps your business functionality down to one location. You cannot carry your wired desktop computer on a plane or train to continue your work or to make business presentations.
Even if you’re in an area with excellent wireless coverage, the speed of your network connection could reduce your effectiveness. If you need to perform quick transactions, such as online stock trading and investments, you need to have nearly instantaneous connectivity to receive valuable buy-sell information. If you work with large-sized files, such as a photographer or videographer, you need a very fast connection. Wireless mobile broadband services are fast, but the service is slow when compared to wired services, such as DSL, cable and T1 lines. Even if you’re able to maintain a stable Wi-Fi connection, congestion or channel interference could reduce your data transmission speeds. A wired service is more effective when you need to have constant high-speed access, usually without fail.
Laptops, tablet PCs and netbooks make up the bulk of wireless computers. Manufacturers integrate the wireless adapter cards on the inside of the PC, which makes it easier to transport and use the machine. This convenience to you might also make it easier for thieves to steal your property, complete with your data on the hard drive. Laptop computers also have Ethernet ports and so they use wired connections as well. Desktops and workstations, however, are more likely to have a constant wired connection. Desktops are bulky and immobile, and a thief is less likely to bother with stealing your property.