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Below, Moffitt identifies outdated perceptions and explains the truth behind each myth.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

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. 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
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More