What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a dedicated WiFi connection over a 3G/4G hotspot? The main pieces we look for are security, speed, and reliability.
When using a dedicated WiFi connection all of these factors are set by the users that purchase the connection. The main downfall from a dedicated internet provider is if they have a service disruption and it takes down the network. The 3G/4G connection have multiple variables that could put into question all three pieces of security, fast, and reliability.
WiFi connection security is based on what ever policies are put in place by the organization that uses it. The 3g/4g connections have policies that can be put in place on the devices but they are not as secure as the WiFi connection because you can not pinpoint every safety hole that could arise. For example, I have a device connecting on a 4G hotspot and I am sending critical information via my bank application to transfer money from one account to another. When this information is going over the radio waves, bouncing off of towers, hitting the relay and coming back there is the possibility of this information to be compromised. With the dedicated WiFi connection these chances are vary limited based on those security policies that are put in place because it is localized to the area you are in.
The dedicated WiFi connection, depending on the speeds that are purchased, can be set by the organizations IT staff. For example, I can purchase a 100 MB connection and dedicate it to WiFi and put policies in place that only certain people can use it at a point in time. Making the WiFi connection secure, quick and reliable. The 3g/4g hotspot depends on multiple factors that would make it secure, quick and reliable at times but not dedicated.
These factors could be:
- Number of users trying to connect on the network at the same time. This is not only including the users in the immediate area of the hotspot but also users out side hitting the same radio towers. Speeds would vary at this point.
- Policies set in place on the hotspot.
- The ups and downs of speeds because there is not a dedicated speed for the users connecting to the hotspot.
- Strengths of passwords on the devices and if they are up to date with the latest security protocols.
This all being explained, there are pros and cons of each. Dedicated WiFi connections are centralized and takes a lot more time to set up security and protocols around it but speeds are dedicated. The 3G/4G hotspot connections can be taken any where you would like but it is a lot harder to get a dedicated constant signal and could be less secure.