There are many factors that should be taken into account when considering whether to use a wired or wireless connectivity solution in a digital signage application. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless connectivity. Two of the most important factors are the reliability, and security of the connectivity solution.
One advantage of using a wired connectivity solution in a digital signage application is that it provides as close to a guarantee of connectivity as is possible. One disadvantage of a wired solution is a vulnerability to outside interference, EMI or RFI. However, a large amount of interference would be required to cause a complete signal dropout in most cases. Wired solutions are also susceptible to physical damage. If the cable is cut, or separated from the connector then it would not be possible to make a connection through the cable. Wireless connectivity solutions are less reliable than wired solutions. Wireless connectivity solutions are more susceptible to interference than wired solutions. Many devices, such as cordless phones, microwave ovens, other wireless networks, etc., may interfere with a wireless connectivity solution. This interference is more likely to cause a complete signal drop out in a wireless solution than a wired solution. Some wireless connectivity solutions require a line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. This means that any object that breaks the line of sight will cause a signal drop out. Overall, a wired connectivity solution is more reliable than a wireless connectivity solution.
One advantage of using a wired connectivity solution in a digital signage application is the security that is offered. In many wired solutions a physical tap or connection into the network would be required to breach the security of the digital signage application. This security threat is relatively easy to defend against by protecting the cabling and equipment in a secure location. For IP based wired solutions it is possible to set up security protocols that will protect the digital signage application. However, it is possible for security threats to disarm these protocols and breach the security of the digital signage application. Wireless connectivity solutions are inherently less secure than wired networks. The signals in a wireless solution are broadcast over the air and may potentially be intercepted while in transit. There are methods to make wireless solutions more secure, such as adding WEP or WPA security protocols. However, these security protocols suffer from the same vulnerability as security protocols used for a wired network. Overall, a wired connectivity solution is more secure than a wireless connectivity solution.
The bottom line is that a wired connectivity solution offers more advantages in a digital signage application than a wireless solution. A wireless connectivity solution should only be used when absolutely necessary. Situations that would be require a wireless solution would include those situations where no cabling pathways are available, or in properly rental situations where running cable would violate the lease. It is important to note that not all technologies used for wireless connectivity are equal or appropriate for a digital signage application. If a wireless connectivity solution must be used, then 802.11 Wi-Fi or spread spectrum technology is the best wireless connectivity solution for digital signage applications. It is important to consider the reliability and security of the total connectivity solution in all digital signage applications, whether it be a completely wired, completely wireless, or a mixed wired and wireless solution.
This white paper is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. C2G makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information found in this document.