Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Internet

The good, the bad, and the fugly

In a realm that is constantly evolving, it might be a serious "no-no" to label Wi-Fi the next big thing. However, the technology provides a number of serious advantages for business and home environments. It also offers a wireless connection in social situations that would be otherwise regarded as "tech wastelands," such as the corner pub.

With that said, it's just as rare to label a technology flawless as it is to name one the "it" development in a world that is constantly changing. Let's face it, in the land of PDAs, PSPs, and MP3s, nothing ever seems to stay popular for more than a few years. Computers have shorter life expectancies than the average gerbil.

Advertiser Links for Intro to Wi-Fi

But, the networks that power those computers certainly change far less. In fact, when you think about it, not much has changed about the way we receive the internet in the last decade. Sure, you now pay providers for DSL or cable instead of dial-up, but you're still plugging a cord into the designated port.

Wireless internet seeks to change that.

And, with any massive change comes a host of complications. Sure, the new technology has its advantages. If it didn't, why would anyone spend so much time developing it?

Side note: Okay, most of those ab workout machines are terribly useless, but bear with me.

No matter the leaps ahead, there are still problems when seeking an evolution in technology. We're talking about replacing safe, time-tested, wired connections with something that floats through the air. If that sounds ridiculous, it really is. But, it's also incredibly exciting, and a good reason to explore the advantages and disadvantages that have attached themselves to the Wi-Fi movement.

Here are just a few of the topics we'll broach over the next few pages:

Advantages

  • No wires, duh!
  • Internet service in a bar, coffee shop, bus stop
  • Widely available, some municipalities are taking on the service and offering it to local citizens for free (or a minimal charge)

Disadvantages

  • Can be interrupted by other wireless devices
  • Power consumption can be comparably high
  • Security issues still plague the service (and might for a long time)