Bridging connectivity gaps
Maturing wireless bridges are poised to challenge costly, slow-to-deploy WANsFollow @infoworld
Our last worry concerned, quite naturally, the elements. These include the impact of weather on the transmission media, the hardware, and the mounting brackets. We also had two more esoteric considerations. Double-paned, tinted security glass that graces many office buildings and the proximity of other wireless infrastructures can raise serious obstacles.
Thankfully, our fears were mostly allayed. All the vendors did significant work to improve their resistance to the elements. RF is practically weather-immune, but optical is no slouch either. Lasers are affected only by truly huge raindrops or dense fog, and the proximity of other laser links doesn’t affect them. Unfortunately, other RF transmitters in the same area does hamper the effectiveness of RF.
Lasers have a much easier time reaching gigabit throughput speeds, and their latency numbers were well below the numbers of their RF cousins. The only other downside to the optical products is that they’re a little less flexible when it comes to extreme angles. If your point-to-point connection has both line of sight and a relatively straight shot, optical is for you. But for urban situations where more extreme angles are required, RF is a more effective choice.
Taking all these considerations into account, we find that wireless bridging has come a long way from its consultant and black-magic roots. These products proved not only stable and cost-effective, but also surprisingly easy to manage. For situations where leased lines won’t cut it, wireless bridging is definitely a mainstream alternative.