8 Myths Of Wireless Networking

Wireless networking, Wi-Fi, Internet signals – whatever term you use, it means sharing information between computers or devices that are not connected through cables or wires. Information is instead converted to radio signals and transmitted through the air.

“It’s becoming more and more practical and commonplace with many benefits,” said Bill Moffitt, president of Ayrstone Productivity, a provider of devices that enable wireless farm networking. “However, there are misperceptions that may prevent farmers and ranchers from taking full advantage of Wi-Fi opportunities on their operations.”

Below, Moffitt identifies outdated perceptions and explains the truth behind each myth.

MYTH: I need a lot of power behind my wireless network to get it to work outside my house’s walls.

FACT: According to FCC rules, each Wi-Fi access point can have at most one watt of power. That’s about the amount of power put out by a hand-held flashlight. A clear line of sight is much more important than the power level. It’s necessary to put your Wi-Fi signal transmitter (or access point) outside, up high, with a clear line of sight to the devices that need to receive that signal.

MYTH: Wireless signals can only travel through the space in my house, maybe outside on the porch if I’m lucky.

FACT: The average home router is not designed to reach beyond the home. However, if you follow the placement advice for your transmitter mentioned previously, and you create another access point with another Wi-Fi device to communicate with it, your wireless network can have a range of two and a half miles. If you add even more access points, you can increase your range to up to seven and a half miles.

MYTH: All wireless networks are the same.

FACT: There are different types, and which one you choose depends on what your objective is. Some provide decent bandwidth (the speed of service, or number of bits per second you can squeeze through the signal) at further distances, while others sacrifice range to increase the bandwidth. It just depends on what you want and need.

MYTH: Everyone needs to have a massive amount of bandwidth.

FACT: It’s important that you have enough, but for most farmers and ranchers, a megabit per second or two is enough. They collect information from wireless devices around the farm such as weather stations and barn cameras, download precision agriculture data, browse the Internet, check email, etc. Most don’t need a huge amount of bandwidth.

MYTH: A wireless network is really difficult to set up.

FACT: That used to be true, when outdoor networks were strictly for professional use and required expertise to manage the complex systems. But now, it is an extremely simple system to set up and use. The hardware interface has been simplified to the point where all you need to do is plug it into a router. It creates a Wi-Fi access point and it self-configures, which means that if you set up another access point they automatically link to each other and increase your range.

MYTH: Wireless connections aren’t as secure as wired connections – someone can break into my data.

FACT: While that may be theoretically true, the use of strong passwords prevents any intrusion on a small network. Assuming the password cannot be easily guessed, the modern, secure encryption standard that most companies use offers maximum protection.

MYTH: I have a smartphone, so I don’t need Wi-Fi access in my farm buildings and while I’m out in my fields.

FACT: Unfortunately a lot of rural areas are still without strong cellular data signals, so getting online via your smartphone on a cell signal may be difficult or impossible depending on where you are. And it can be painfully slow compared to having that smartphone on a Wi-Fi signal. Another benefit to using a Wi-Fi network is you can access all your farm data and information from anywhere without paying additional cell phone charges. Especially for the transfer of precision agriculture data, Wi-Fi is the future.

MYTH: Wi-Fi is so fantastic it can replace all my wired connections.

FACT: While wireless technology has significantly improved, it is still not as reliable as hard-wired connections. There are benefits to both technologies, and they can also work together to provide farmers and ranchers with the best of both worlds.

“I encourage farmers and ranchers who have doubted the applicability of wireless technology for their operations to revisit their thinking based on a better understanding of these myths and facts,” Moffitt added.

Source: AgPR

Leave a Reply

Equipment Stories
EquipmentMeeting Changing Liquid Storage Needs
October 10, 2014
Tank and containment choices are expanding with shifts in farming practices and the economy. Read More
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Farmer on tablet
CropLife 100Southern States Co-op: An Inside Look At Our Aerial Imagery Program
February 8, 2015
Now is as good a time as any to explore the basics of what a retail aerial imagery program looks like today. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Inks Satellite Imagery Agreement
February 3, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Company has reached an agreement with Planet Labs to bring satellite imagery to the AgVerdict software platform. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Commodity Classic Turns 20
February 23, 2015
Two decades in, this annual gathering of all things agriculture has become a must-see event. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
February 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent trips to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and the Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Acquires FLM+ Assets
February 19, 2015
FLM+ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc., and the company will retain its employee base after closing of the deal, which is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnited Suppliers, Stine Seed Form Marketing Alliance
February 19, 2015
The new alliance will greatly expand sales opportunities for Stine Seed with the United Supplier Seed Link Owners. Read More
Crop InputsVilsack To Deliver Commodity Classic Keynote Address
February 19, 2015
The secretary will deliver a keynote address to several thousand farmers and ag allies during the event's General Session, to be held Friday, February 27, in Phoenix, AZ. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Storage Tips
February 19, 2015
On-farm storage of soybeans requires some special considerations compared to corn. Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance Delivers Promising Field Trial Results
February 19, 2015
In its first full year of field trials, the BioAg Alliance reported that the top 10 microbial strains tested in corn and soybeans showed very promising results. Read More
National Farm Machinery Show overview
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Attendance Up By 16K
February 18, 2015
The 2015 event saw the second highest attendance total of all time as 310,589 attendees that included exhibitors and agribusiness professionals traveled to the Kentucky Exposition Center to participate in the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show. Read More