Our good friends at The Business Examiner have our most recent article up on their website, if you’re thinking about wireless options for small business this is a good place to start. Wireless infrastructure comes in a variety of flavors: Mobile 4G, wi-fi, and a technology named for a Danish king!
An excerpt is below… please click through to read the rest, post comments there if you like or don’t like what you found. Thank you!
by David Leonhardt
If you’re of a certain generation then the phrase “sitting around the wireless” evokes an image of the entire family, most likely including Dad with a smoking pipe in hand, relaxing in front of Marconi’s grand invention, listening to “The Shadow,” “Dragnet” or maybe even “Fibber McGee & Molly.”
I’ll confess that this is a generation one ahead of mine, but the image of relaxing in front of the Wurlitzer, the Zenith or even the Philco has a definite romance to it — and the sound of a vacuum tube radio has a certain warmth lacking in more modern iterations.
These days, though, use of the word “wireless” has an entirely different context and, of course, I’m referring to the now near-ubiquitous presence of infrastructure allowing you to access the Internet and beyond from your laptop, your PC or any number of mobile devices. I’ll resist the urge to get nostalgic, but for those of you out there who recognize Aloha Net, CDPD or good heavens AMPS fear not, I too remember!
For the typical small business, there are really three basic categories of wireless infrastructure that will show up on your radar screen. The first flavor is provided by well-known wireless telecom carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and others. These entities operate national and even worldwide networks that provide subscribers with access to the Internet — which, of course, is the gateway drug to e-mail, corporate networks and many other services.
This access is available just about anywhere — well, just about anywhere that has enough people for the carrier to turn a profit (as I was reminded on a recent back-country fishing expedition near Sitka).
You are, of course, already using these networks to make calls on your mobile phone — and most likely using them in support of your Droids, iPhones and Windows Mobile data devices. You also might be interested to learn that these same carriers can sell you a small insert for your laptop that will allow you to access the Internet even when you’re out and about.
As a ferry-boat commuter, I see these devices popping up on a regular basis — though I confess to sticking with my crossword puzzle for the journey.
The second flavor you’ll most likely recognize by the now-common phrase WiFi or maybe the less-common technical jargon of an 802.11a/b/g/n device. This refers to a wireless “hotspot,” which is nothing more than a small wireless radio modem that is connected to the Internet or, in certain cases, to an office or home network.
Hotspots are just about everywhere. And for the price of a cup of coffee, the barista will give you the secret code that lets you satisfy your Internet craving along with your caffeine addiction.
Your business might have wireless coverage in your office. If so, you’ve most likely set up things like a coffee room so that folks with the right secret code can access the Internet. With a modest investment you also can make the leap to add in secure wireless access for your team to reach the internal company network — including e-mail, file shares and the like.
Ask your IT Guy for assistance with either of those two items. Doing it on your own can result in you opening up dangerous holes in your network’s security.
The last flavor of wireless is aimed at very short-range, localized connectivity…