The Benefits of Wired Peripherals and Networks
By: Adam Swimmer
6 Min Read
14 Nov, 2021
While we live in an increasingly wireless age, there are many advantages to using a wired connection for your mobile device. From reliability to ease of use, wired devices generally offer superior functionality. This article will show how using wired peripherals and network connections are contextually superior to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, respectively. Wired peripherals and networks provide a more reliable connectivity that is imperative for various professional industries, such as in medical, industrial and commercial applications, where there are no margins for error.
It will also explain how Ethernet-equipped LAVA SimulCharge adapters provide reliable solutions for these industries.
Wired peripherals are generally far easier to set up and troubleshoot than their wireless counterparts. Unlike wireless connections, wired peripherals are often plug-and-play, which means they don’t require additional software to run. You simply plug one in and it works. While the number of wired peripherals is limited to the number of ports on the PC, mobile device or hub, it ensures a direct relationship between the peripheral and the computer/mobile device. This is less likely to create conflicts between competing peripherals which could cause neither of them to work.
In a wired configuration, a physical cable connects the peripheral, such as a mouse, to the PC or mobile device. As a result of the wired setup, the connection between the two is significantly more stable than a similar setup using a wireless peripheral. For example, it is less likely that a wired mouse would lose the signal from the Host device than a wireless one because they are physically connected and should theoretically only lose connection when unplugged.
Another advantage is that smaller wired peripherals don’t necessarily need an external power source as they can often be powered by the PC or mobile device via this physical connection. (Obviously, some peripherals, such as a printer, require additional power and still need to be plugged in separately.) Wireless peripherals, on the other hand, require batteries as they can’t draw power from an AC power source or the Host device. This means that when its battery dies, a peripheral, such as a wireless mouse, will stop working until it is recharged or the battery is replaced. Conversely, a wired mouse doesn’t have a battery and is powered by the PC or mobile device through the USB cable.
Setting up wireless peripherals can also be a hassle. Pairing via Bluetooth can be cumbersome, especially if multiple peripherals are attempting to connect with the same Bluetooth-enabled device simultaneously. This can cause conflicts between peripherals or you may end up connecting your device to the wrong one. Similarly, connecting a peripheral, such as a printer, over Wi-Fi can be equally problematic. If the wireless peripheral has gone dormant between uses, the PC or mobile device may fail to wake it up. In some cases, the device’s drivers may need to be uninstalled and reinstalled to get it to work properly.
Moving the mobile device and/or peripherals around could also cause problems and lead to connection dropout, even though wireless peripherals are theoretically built around the idea of mobility and freedom of movement. Issues with wireless setups are disruptive to workflows that require constant connection, especially in critical applications, such as in hospitals, where a disconnect can have serious consequences.
Ethernet also consistently provides a superior experience to Wi-Fi. A wired network connection offers more reliable service as it is plugged directly into a modem or router. This setup also provides a faster and more secure connection. With compatible hardware, users also have the option to use a LAN connection to deliver Power over Ethernet (PoE), negating the need for a separate power cable.
In contrast, Wi-Fi generally offers a weaker, less stable connection because the signal strength varies depending on your relative location to the router and interference with the signal. As a result, a Wi-Fi connection may offer acceptable speeds under certain conditions, but it is less reliable than a wired connection. As such, you are more likely to experience slower download speeds due to the fluctuating signal strength of Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi connections are also not as secure as wired network connections. A device connected to a Wi-Fi network is significantly more insecure than one connected to a wired network. A hacker can use a Wi-Fi network to access the devices connected to it.
Where LAVA Comes In
Having a reliable wired connection to peripherals and the network is crucial in fields such as healthcare or manufacturing, where the failure of a device or network could be substantial or, in less extreme contexts, be disruptive for a business. Professionals in these industries need their peripherals to work consistently and not drop out at random.
Similarly, these applications often require a more reliable network connection than Wi-Fi to ensure the delivery of information and the efficiency of operations. These applications include medical, such as a digital door sign that offers up-to-date information on patients, industrial, such as a warehouse staff time clock, or commercial, such as an in-aisle display in a retail store that updates inventory as available stock changes.
Many LAVA SimulCharge adapters for select Samsung and Lenovo mobile devices come with multiple USB ports, offering various options for plug-and-play wired peripherals that normally wouldn’t be available for a smartphone or tablet, such as a keyboard, mouse or even a scanner.
The wired connection to the adapter generally provides more reliable communication between the tablet and USB peripherals than Bluetooth offers. In many cases, this eliminates the need for wireless peripherals altogether. However, customers can connect to wireless peripherals on top of the wired ones for additional combinations and flexibility/options if they so choose.
All LAVA SimulCharge Ethernet-capable adapters provide a mobile device with a direct, reliable and fast wired network connection. To ensure an even more reliable Ethernet connection, LAVA eSTS and SynC+ adapters come with RBM technology which combines Battery Modulation technology with our Network Recovery feature.
The Network Recovery feature provides a safeguard against DHCP network dropout (i.e. the loss of a wired Ethernet connection). Through LAVA Tablet Manager (LTM), an accompanying Android app for use with mobile devices connected to RBM-equipped adapters, Network Recovery forces the Ethernet adapter to reset when a connection has gone down for more than a few minutes. It then sends a request to the server to reconnect. It’s the equivalent of unplugging the cable and plugging it back in to reset the system. If this fails to re-establish a network connection, the process is repeated. The length of the intervals between DHCP Server request attempts can be configured within the LTM app. This feature remedies a number of universal issues associated with wired connections and requires no action from users.
In addition, LAVA SimulCharge PE and P2UE adapters come with Power over Ethernet (PoE), which can power mobile devices and peripherals through an Ethernet cable, simultaneously supplying data. In other words, you don’t need a separate AC power supply to power the adapter and its connected mobile device. This allows greater flexibility in terms of placement as you don’t have to worry about finding a nearby electrical outlet to set up the adapter. Nor do you need to call an electrician to install it. Using an Ethernet cable, you can place the adapter up to 328 feet (100 meters) from the power source. The PE and P2UE adapters are available across all of LAVA’s product families.
Wired peripherals and wired connections offer a variety of advantages over their wireless counterparts, in terms of ease of use, reliability and security. With LAVA SimulCharge adapters, customers can choose various port configurations, providing options for many different implementations which require the stability of wired peripherals. Our Simulcharge Ethernet adapters provide a significantly more reliable network connection than a mobile device’s built-in Wi-Fi, which can be vital in applications.