Nov 14, 2014

How to choose between LAN and wireless network (WLAN) for SMB?

With a small business (about 10 people), which type of network would make the most sense, a wired LAN or WLAN, taking into consideration both cost and ease of installation?
Dniblock has a good answer for this, but I'd probably go with the WLAN. If it doesn't work out you can always switch later.
A lot depends on your location. For example, it’s much easier to run cables through walls/floors in some locations that others. There are a lot of repurposed century old brick businesses in my area, and those can be a headache for example. On the other hand, a new construction may already have cables in the walls for you to use.

The main things I would consider:
Ease of installation: Wireless is usually going to easily win that one, but not always.
Cost: Again, usually a wireless win, but not necessarily dramatically so if you are talking a physically small office space.
Dependability: Wired wins this one. Once all of the connections are double-checked you are unlikely to have problems. On the other hand, if everyone is on a laptop with a wireless connection, you WILL be resolving problems for them, it’s just a question of how often.
Security: Wired is going to win this one as well, although a wireless network protected with WPA2 enterprise is going to arguably be close.
Performance: Wired is going to win this one as well, as anyone who has a wireless network at home and shares it with multiple family members will tell you.

Weight what’s important to you, keeping in mind the physical characteristics of the location.
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