What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi networking gives you the freedom to add mobile devices in your network and share data or an Internet connection, but it can also allow outsiders to gain access to your network if your security is not sufficient. Wireless connections are also slower than wired connections and prone to interference from radio signals or other electronic devices. Weak Wi-Fi signals lead to slow data transfer or dropped connections.

Wi-Fi networks are also more complicated to set up than wired connections. In addition to basic networking configuration, administrators also have to consider what type of Wi-Fi signal each device uses. Older devices may be limited to slower 802.11b and 802.11g standards, while new hardware can use multiband technology such as 802.11ac for faster speeds. In many cases, wireless routers communicate with multiple Wi-Fi standards, but older hardware on the wireless network can cause a bottleneck for all data connections.

An unsecured wireless network is also a beacon to hackers. The original wireless security protocol, WEP, can be broken in minutes, and even modern WPA2 security protocols are vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Any wireless network requires careful monitoring to ensure no unauthorized users make it past security and gain access.