What’s the right solution for your meeting space, wired or wireless? While each has distinct advantages, it’s really a question of who will be using the space, the collaborative tools being used, and your network security.
When creating a collaborative space, whether a small huddle space or large conference room, enabling your team with the right tools, connectivity and capabilities is essential. Let’s looks at the three types of wireless solutions. 1) Business Wi-Fi network – A dedicated Wi-Fi network provides exceptional, reliable coverage to anyone on the business’s network. The system can be located anywhere on premise, eliminating the need to store it in the room. It allows seamless access to all server files but restricts access to guests however, making collaboration more complex. 2) Local Network – A device-specific local wireless network creates its own WiFi network that provides direct connectivity. This method offers tighter security since the company’s network doesn’t need to be accessed in order to connect to a device. The secure nature of standalone devices not accessing the network makes local networks popular with IT Administrators. The potential disadvantages, however, are that files outside of that network cannot be accessed and that the devices need to be located in the room. 3) 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. Many of these dongles include a button that provides “show me” functionality which, at the press of the button, allows the user’s desktop to be shown on the display. The USB dongles can be found as a supplement to either of the two other types of wireless systems as described earlier, providing connectivity for users who either cannot connect to the WiFi network or who are unable to download or access the necessary software that would normally be used. On many of the wireless presentation platforms, content can also be streamed so others can pick up the stream off-site on their mobile devices or, if they are on a corporate network, at a satellite location. Additionally, many systems can also provide the ability to present multiple desktops simultaneously, providing an enhanced collaborative experience.
THE BACK-UP PLAN
Wireless does not always work for all users, so it is highly recommended that at least one “hardwired” connection exists in the meeting space. 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.
SUCCESSFUL AND SECURE
So, 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. Sounds like another blog!