Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wireless network at home? Bad idea

Wireless networking at home seems so convenient: you go everywhere with your laptop, and connectivity follows you. However, it does have a number of drawbacks.

  • So you wanted to plug in to your nice 30" monitor, right? Betcha you won't haul the monitor around.
  • Do you really need to work with your laptop everywhere? Under the trees in your yard, where your laptop will be exposed to birds and pitch from trees? Or do you really need to work in a couple places at most? What kind of convenience is this?
  • If you get wireless, then you will have to secure it against intrusion. And how can you be sure you didn't get hacked into? Do you really want to give yourself a good dose of wireless admin homework?
  • You can easily get an internet connection that has more bandwidth than the best wireless available. Why don't you get less expensive wired networking equipment that moves data faster and has less latency than wireless? Or, for the same money, how about getting business-capable equipment?
To these problems, you need to add this: for years, Google's Street View vans captured wireless network payload data. Why bother with this nonsense? Unless wired is not available, wired is the way to go.

Update: Google captured passwords and other sensitive information...


Rich said...

I have to disagree with you. I've never lived in a place that was either adiquately wired or where I could freely run my own wires throught the walls. I could sometimes run wires along the floorboards. With a little tape to hold them in place, they were only a minor eyesore. And even then, I'd inevitably want to run wires across a doorway or across a hall. The end result is, I had to position my equipment based on where the wiring was most conveniant. Not where I really wanted them.

And, I probably have a half-dozen devices that can only connect to the Internet via wifi. They simply don't have an Ethernet port.

I do agree that wireless security is something most people don't take seriously enough, but that's an entirely different problem.

Andrés said...

I never lived in a place where I needed wires in every room. I don't have any such devices because I can't do what I need to do on them (basically, I don't need a fancy [PUSH ME] button). The best place I lived in, as far as wiring is concerned, has ethernet jacks on the wall. Problem solved...

Anonymous said...

Internet is really amazing. Anyone with a decent enough writing skill can write the most absurd thought and people read and comment on it :)

You are naive to think that having a wireless network with up to date security in place is any more or less secure than wired network. If you work in any of the big internet companies, you will know firsthand how insecure information is really is. Your private and secure information is being mishandled and lost by almost every company there is. Ditching wireless is a knee-jerk reaction at best.


Andrés said...


Yes, the internet is amazing. Anyone can act offended and leave bogus comments that do not relate to what somebody else writes :).


Andrés said...

Anonymous, for further reference, see the update to the article. There is a claim that Google caught passwords and other sensitive information from the street. Like I was saying, wireless at home is a bad idea.