To WiFi or not to WiFi, that is the question…

Companies are not immune to pressure to “keep up with the Joneses.” Everyone wants to stay on the cutting edge, especially in business, and especially when it comes to technology. We all want to remain competitive.

And hey, that’s not a bad thing when the technology makes processes more efficient, saving time or money.

There’s a flip side to this drive, though. And it can get us into trouble if we aren’t careful.

Here’s an example:

One of our customers came to us with a printer problem. Their office printer didn’t work consistently, resulting in multiple calls to their outsourced IT person. Every time he came in to fix it, however, the printer worked just fine.

The printer continued to stop operating without warning, and the customer became increasingly frustrated. Finally, they decided to get a second opinion. Future Link was consulted to help diagnose the problem.

At first glance, our technicians found what the previous IT contact did: the printer was in perfect working order. But we’re customer advocates and problem solvers first, and IT guys second. We knew the printer was failing somehow and were determined to get to the underlying cause.

Our guy noted that the printer was WiFi-enabled. Immediately, a light bulb went off.

What many people don’t know about WiFi-enabled printers is that they have a power save mode. If no one prints to a WiFi-enabled printer within a set period, it powers down, losing the wireless connection and rendering it… well, a large and expensive paperweight, until it’s powered up again.

We were able to resolve the issue with a simple cable, wiring the printer directly to the office Ethernet. Now that the printer is always connected, it works every time.

Cost of the Ethernet cable: $4.00. Value of ending the customer’s frustration: Priceless.

The latest, greatest technology—even something we take for granted, like WiFi capability—isn’t always the best-fit option. (That’s right, we said it. It may not be the popular opinion, but we’ve always been about what works over what’s popular.)

In practical application, wired connections are more stable than wireless ones, and in many cases they’re more cost-effective, too. In conclusion, if you can wire it, wire it. Your employees—and your wallet—will thank you.

Getting ready to purchase equipment and considering wired vs. WiFi options? We can help you determine which bells and whistles are important—and which may cause trouble down the road.

Click here to schedule a call with one of our IT experts before you make your next major tech purchase.