Wi-Fi Has Its Pluses and Minuses Over Copper

The Wi-Fi standard of network connectivity/communication is governed by the  802 working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE  802). Wi-Fi allows users to access your company or home network wirelessly.  Before the implementation of Wi-Fi, the only way to connect to a network was by  using copper wires. There are a variety of benefits and hazards that must be  considered before rolling out full wireless network access.

Plus: Enhanced Mobility

Laptop and notebook computers allow users to move around easily. Add in a  Wi-Fi connection, and they can stay connected to the network as long as they  have enough signal strength. This means your users can be online while eating  lunch while enjoying the sunshine outside. It also means that a user can stay  connected while carrying his or her laptop or notebook from the office to the  conference room.

Plus: No Wires to Trip Over or Limit Computer Placement

Wires are hazardous. You can roll over them with your chair and ruin them.  You can trip over them while carrying an arm load of papers from the printer to  your desk. This can be painful and injurious to both people and equipment.  Damaging equipment by yanking a wire caught under your foot is a common  occurrence. Also, using a wireless card in a desktop computer frees you from the  bondage of having to plug into a wall outlet

Plus: Add Users Without Adding Cable Runs

One of the biggest expenses when expanding the size of your network is adding  locations where users can connect to the network. In a network running a  traditional copper infrastructure, this means calling in a contractor to pull  and terminate cables. With a wireless network, it consists of installing a  wireless adapter card in the computer and supplying the user with an access key  and the name of the network being connected to.

Minus: Slower Network Speeds

Networks that are compliant with the latest cabling standard (Category 6/6  Augmented) are capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 10 Gigabit. The  previous standard, Cat 5e, is capable of Gigabit speeds. This is almost ten  times as fast as wireless networks, which are capable of a maximum of 150  Megabits. What this means is that if you will be transferring large data files  over the network, you would be better served by a wired network. However, there  aren’t many network interface controllers in use that are capable of these  speeds yet, especially when it comes to laptop computers.

Minus: Network Security Is Weaker on a Wireless Network

Anyone with a wireless adapter and computer or a Wi-Fi-enabled device, such  as an iPhone, can receive the wireless signal propagated by your network’s  wireless access points and routers. There are ways to enhance the security of a  network based upon wireless technology, but these aren’t fool-proof and can  actually be broken quite easily by someone who has the right knowledge and  desire. Network security in a wired network isn’t bullet-proof, either, but the  tools available much more robust and will keep out all but the most determined  of hackers. Also, they have to breach your security normally from the Internet,  which usually means multiple layers of security. Once the security of a wireless  network has been breached, that person is inside your network with the same  access as an authorized user. Typically, someone breaking in to your network  from the Internet has to breach that security and then be able to breach the  security between subnets as well.

With 25 year experience in putting together structured cabling project cost  for our client’s, Wayne Connors & ACCL offers you a free project cost  estimator download. Paired with our Technical Proposal tender document for Data  Cabling installation eBooks- you can save thousands! All aspects of your next  tender proposal are included.

Thanks for reading our articles and hurry over to get your free project cost  estimator: http://www.accl-ltd.com

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Is your Data Cabling being neglected………?

In an ever increasingly technological world, everyone wants to have the latest equipment, in business this can equate to spending hundreds and thousands of pounds getting the latest computers, servers, phone systems etc.., It would appear, however, that people aren’t always so keen to invest in the very thing that supports the backbone of this technology….. data cabling is often neglected, it’s the ‘non-sexy’ bit that is hidden behind the scenes, so therefore often gets overlooked.  It is, however, the essential foundation for your business, and as such should be maintained. It can, ultimately mean the success or failure of your business, it’s that straightforward! You need a system that will be reliable, manageable and offer you outstanding performance and the potential for growth…..it makes sense, therefore to have it checked out once in a while? . It seems mad that by law you have to have periodic inspections of electrical equipment in the form of PAT testing but there is currently nothing in place to ensure you get your data cabling checked, which seems ridiculous as it’s the very basis of your business,  the bit that keeps it functioning. In these tough economic times there is a danger that we wait until something does go wrong and then look for a quick fix, at the end of the day we can’t afford to be without the lifeline of our business. We learn through experience that this is not always the best option and can end up being more costly. As with everything in life 🙂 your data cabling needs nurturing, looking after to ensure that you get the best out of it……Have you considered a yearly ‘health check’ ……?

Here are some examples of data cabling neglect that we have come across, anything look familiar 🙂 ??

Here at ACCL we are able to provide you with a FREE 120 minute audit on the health of your Voice and Data Cabling Network, using qualified and experienced engineers. So, come on, put your mind at rest, what have you got to lose 🙂 ??

Fibre Optics….is this the clear answer to Cable Theft?

With Cable theft becoming an ever growing problem Fibre-optic is largely replacing copper wire as the preferred choice in core network installations,  and whereas cost used to be an issue, the increase in value of Copper has also made Fibre-Optic much more affordable.

So what are the advantages and why does Fibre-Optic seem like the wise choice to make when choosing your method of Cabling?

  • Clearer Signal – The loss of signal in optical fibre is less than in copper wire. Fibre-Optics use light pulses to transmit information down Fibre lines, as opposed to the electrical signals in copper wires, the light signals from one fibre do not interfere with those of other fibres in the same cable. This means clearer phone conversations or TV reception and faster Internet speed.
  • Low power – Because signals in optical fibres degrade less, lower-power transmitters can be used instead of the high-voltage electrical transmitters needed for copper wires.  Again, this saves your provider, and ultimately you, money.
  • Secure Digital signals – Optical fibres are ideally suited for carrying digital information, which is especially useful in computer networks, as it faster and has improved security, being harder to tap into than the Copper equivalent.
  • Non-flammable – Because no electricity is passed through optical fibres there is less fire hazard. Only the sheath has any kind of fire hazard attached to it.
  • The Greener Option ~ Being made of glass, and therefore sand, your Fibre-Optic is kinder to our planet.
  • Lightweight – An optical cable weighs less than a comparable copper wire cable.  Therefore carrying cables overhead in ceilings becomes much quicker, easier and safer.
  • Thinner – Optical fibres can be drawn to smaller diameters than copper wire. Fibre-Optic cables take up less space in the ground….and less space in your building!

    Copper Cable

    Copper Cable ~ thicker than the equivalent Fibre Optic

  • Higher carrying capacity – Because optical fibres are thinner than copper wires, more Fibres can be pulled into a given-diameter cable than copper wires. This allows more phone lines to go over the same cable or more channels to come through the cable into your cable TV box.

    Fibre Optic Cable (loose tube) ~ much thinner than the alternative Copper Equivalent

Ultimately Fibre Optic has no re-sale value and a longer operational life expectancy than Copper!

Cable theft….lets make it easier and take the temptation away !

So if you are looking at your options, want a little bit more information or just need to talk to an expert then ACCL are on hand to assist you.  We can help you to make an informed decision on what is the best solution for you and your business.

Free 120 Min Health Check

When I was made redundant (thankfully) from my last job which was within a Call Centre environment, I was just a tad pleased that I would no longer be crawling under desks to try and resolve IT issues for members of my Team. The daily cries that computers had ‘frozen’ or would not turn on at all had become a bit too predictable. The predictability would be not only attributed to the cries but also to the causes and I was quite adept at bringing the system back to life. My healing hands were aided by being able to spot “Charlene” who would inevitably have plugged in her heater, for the winter, or her fan, for the summer, only needing to unplug another plug to do so….happily oblivious that it belonged to a colleagues monitor or base unit!! Another of the more amazing faults to be found would be as a result of the number of items being stored under a desk and in fact rammed into floor sockets….discarded sweets, chewing gum, hair accessories, the odd shoe, Cardigans, pens, elastic bands by the dozen and paperclips are to name but a few….deep joy!  Now it is my firm belief that every office is more or less the same in this respect. However….there are other reasons why our Data Cabling may be lacking in some way and causing all sorts of problems to a lean, mean fighting machine business and how quickly its system is running.

It may well be that over the years the infrastructure of a business has been built piecemeal as technology has developed alongside the needs of the company. Equally when a business is first born the Data Cabling that is installed may not be sufficient for the growth of the Company some years down the line. Cables and wires do suffer from wear and tear, they can become crushed, bent or even stretched which will weaken the strength of the signal. Perhaps the initial installation was not a fantastic job? Perhaps humankind has played a part in its demise….we do have a habit of moving things around!!

Now do these pictures remind you of anything that you are working with?

When we are feeling run down or unwell…not up to speed….we see a Doctor, but when do you give your network a Health Check?

Office Move – Getting IT sorted…..

Lets face it an office relocation can be a logistical nightmare, it sounds obvious but careful and thoughtful planning is key….! Not a job to be undertaken lightly or by the feint-hearted! Most people tasked with managing the office move have not done it before, perhaps because if you have done it once, you are in no hurry to do it again!

The aim is to achieve the right office in the right location, everything up and running on that first day, coming in on budget, on time and with very little disruption to your business – a fairly tall order one would say?!

Three pitfalls you need to be aware of are 1) underestimating what’s involved – a lot!  2) not starting the process early enough, and 3) not getting the right people involved at the key stages of the move.

Working with a specialist IT and Telecoms company, such as ACCL, will ensure that your communications infrastructure is properly managed, assembled and fully functional with no interruption to your daily business operations from day one. Getting this part right can be the most challenging part of any office relocation. It merits specialist attention as communications is the key part of your business, all systems need to be up and ready to go that very first morning in your new office…

Their role should involve a full audit of your equipment to be taken prior to the move, an assessment of your IT and Telecoms requirements, correctly advising on the phone system suitable for your office/company, planning and executing a safe and secure IT relocation and then setting up and testing all equipment so that it’s all ready to use.

They will need to be involved at the planning stages to help review your existing technology to see if any improvements can be made to improve your business efficiency. They should advise on a suitable IT network infrastructure that best meets your needs in the new office, determining the best locations for all of your IT and Telecoms equipment, such as servers, computers, telephones and printers.

Important considerations when planning for an IT relocation would be to ensure business continuity with no disruption to service, to include an upgrade of current equipment where necessary and network cabling.

IT and Telecoms is the lifeblood of any business, if the phones aren’t ringing and the computers aren’t working, then you’re not doing the business!

It can, therefore never be underestimated just how important this aspect of an office move is, without it, you can have major operational and financial consequences to your business.

Moving office provides the perfect opportunity to review your current IT installer so, if you’re planning a move, get in touch, we’d be happy to help!

Data Cabling Issues….. Worse things could happen !

Here at ACCL we have experienced some pretty shocking sights when resolving our customers Cabling issues.  We could share with you some of our stories but we think we may have found some more newsworthy ‘incidents’ from this year that could make your woes seem like a walk in the park:

The Danger of Stealing Copper Cable ~ James Sorby was nearly killed when 22,000 volts of electricity passed through him while he was attempting to steal copper cable from an electrical substation. He spoke remorsefully during a legal proceeding, stating, “When you think of getting involved in something like this, you don’t think of the danger.” (no of course you don’t James….what exactly where you thinking….anything at all?) The U.K. news source The Daily Mail ran photos of Sorby’s scarred face and hands… You can see them here if you wish…… Didn’t want to just post these pics….giving you the choice to look or not!!

The Cost of Stealing Copper Cable ~ The second  “cable theft” is from the victims point of view and can be viewed here on YouTube. Also coming courtesy of The Daily Mail, the video shows a row of houses in Castleton, West Yorkshire, UK exploding literally seconds after firefighters had evacuated residents.

Firefighters told The Daily Mail that the theft of copper electrical cable near the homes affected the earthing of the area’s electrical network.  Wowzer….bit of a close shave me thinks!

 Global impact of Japan’s quake and tsunami ~ One of the most direct impacts Japan’s natural disaster had on the cabling industry was the fact that fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) production was halted when its Kashima, Japan facility was without power, water or gas supply. When FEP production continued, it did so in a limited capacity. The cost of FEP has been part of the “triple whammy” – along with costs of copper and petroleum-based products, that has driven up cable costs world wide.

 

You’re never too old for this internet malarkey!  A blackout lasting several hours hit Georgia and Armenia…Internet was brought crashing down in the two countries …. apparently all caused by one 75 year old woman! Officials say the 75-year-old was scavenging for copper when her digging accidentally damaged a broadband cable underground.  Blimey she must be related to popeye !!

 

Now clearly these are not your everyday about the office occurrences….but we here at ACCL do believe in the old adage that prevention is better than the cure, so here is your opportunity to take us up on the offer of a Free 120 minute cable health check just click the link and get in touch…..and please be careful out there….it’s a crazy, crazy World !

ACCL sponsors the Data-Cabling-Expert.TV

Every facilities manager, office or building contractor is acutely aware of ‘Health & Safety’ regulations, so this video should be of real value.  This week at Data-Cabling-Expert.TV we reveal the hidden danger of simple mistakes from lack of making the right choice of data cabling.

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Here’s our third video in this series  >>CLICK HERE<<

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If you suspect you might have an issue like this, ACCL as the Data-Cabling-Expert.TV’s main channel sponsor  are offering all Data Cabling Expert members a free site survey to inspect your previous installs and help you ensure you stay on the right side of Health Safety, contact Wayne Connors here 0333 900 0101.