After reading the short article by Lisa Pfifer in SearchNetworking.com, it has enforced my line that I have run concerning Wi-Fi vs Ethernet as a primary network technology. She had looked at the issue from the corporate network angle and had found that Wi-Fi hasn’t yet reached the standards of Gigabit Ethernet and that Ethernet suits servers and other applications where there is sessile equipment being expected to provide high-reliability service. She also emphasised that Wi-Fi networking is RADIO and is prone to the same reliability issues that affects radio-based networks.
I have encompassed the HomePlug powerline-based network technology as a no-new-wires wired-network option and support the technology on this site and its use in this way.
For the home network, I would agree, especially in the context of the home entertainment applications. These applications are typically served by equipment that is normally expected to be sessile, like the large television set or its video peripherals; and the best enjoyment of audio or video content is provided if there is smooth continuous playback through the viewing session. Most, if not all, networked home-entertainment equipment would have an Ethernet socket for wired-network connectivity and I would find it more appropriate to use an Ethernet link or HomePlug powerline link to connect this kind of equipment to the home network.
As far as the small business is concerned, I would use Ethernet for normally-sessile applications like point-of-sale terminals, desktop computers and network printers while using Wi-Fi wireless for applications that are intended to be mobile like laptop computers or tablets. Some of you may find HomePlug technology can also serve temporary setups involving fixed computer hardware such as sale-specific supplementary point-of-sale terminals.
Of course, the building that the network is used in often determines the reliability and quality of a Wi-Fi wireless network. Examples of this include thick brick or stone walls, reinforced concrete and use of reflective-foil insulation and double-glazing.
It is definitely an example of a different reality to what the industry, especially the consumer computing and electronics industry wants us to believe, where Wi-Fi wireless technology is the “way to go” for networking.
Wi-Fi wireless networks are to complement wired network technology!