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WiFi vs Non-WiFi Environmental Monitoring

Tim Waterman, FilesThruTheAir

When choosing an environmental monitoring solution, it is important to make sure you select the system that is best suited to your business’s needs. For many companies, the choice is often between a bespoke non-WiFi based system and a scalable WiFi solution.

Firstly non-WiFi solutions are in general not required to adhere to any universal industry standards meaning they become virtually impossible to integrate into a system that uses a variety of technologies. WiFi sensors avoid this problem by adhering to a single set of industry standards, ensuring compatibility.

Resulting from a lack of compatibility or interoperability between components with non-WiFi sensors you can potentially be ‘locked into’ business with a supplier. This can leave you unnecessarily dependent leading to significant expense in switching to another. Worse, should a supplier significantly alter its product range, or even go out of business, it can result in a financial and logistical headache for your own company.  Relying on WiFi sensors also makes extending your system simple and economical as WiFi networks can be easily extended using low cost off the shelf equipment.

If the expansion of your system goes global other considerations may have to be made. Non-WiFi sensors are rarely globally compatible as the device will communicate at different frequencies depending on global location, Europe and the US for example operate at different frequencies.  WiFi is one of very few connections that is truly globally compatible, meaning a multi-national company could use identical products around the world, increasing usability and reliability as well as being able to benefit from economies of scale.

As well as this, nearly all of today's smartphones, laptops, and tablets are WiFi capable – with very few exceptions. As a result, communication with a WiFi sensor solution is easy and direct without any need for additional hardware or maintenance costs - and nowadays even non-technical staff are familiar with connecting a device to a WiFi network. Similarly, WiFi solutions will work with almost any kind of WiFi network in any location meaning they are able to take advantage of existing wireless infrastructure saving on implementation costs.  

It’s this ease-of-use and compatibility, as well as its robust nature, which guards the system against malicious attacks that is driving many businesses to opt for WiFi based sensor solutions.

Both WiFi and non-WiFi systems have merit. However with the world becoming ever smaller and instantly connected through WiFi we are already starting to see a much easier choice.

See our full range of enviromental monitoring systems here.

Created on 19/05/2015