Disadvantages of Wireless Networking

For a given networking situation, wireless LANs may not be desirable for a number of reasons. Most of these have to do with the inherent limitations of the technology.

The following are disadvantages of wireless networking:

 Security. To combat this consideration, wireless networks may choose to utilize some of the various encryption technologies available. Some of the more commonly used encryption methods, however, are known to have weaknesses that a dedicated adversary can compromise.

 Range. The typical range of a common 802.11g network with standard equipment is on the order of tens of meters. While sufficient for a typical home, it will be insufficient for a larger structure. To obtain additional range, repeaters or additional access points will have to be purchased. Costs for these items can add up quickly.

 Reliability. Like any radio frequency transmission, wireless networking signals are subject to a wide variety of interference, as well as complex propagation effects that are beyond the control of the network administrator.

 Speed. The speed of most wireless networks (typically 1-54 Mbps) is far slower than even the slowest common wired networks (100Mbps up to several Gbps). However, in specialized environments, the throughput of a wired network might be necessary.