There are many reasons why wireless networks are used. One reason is for a temporary backup to an existing broken cable network. Cable networks can leave many users disconnected from the network by one bad or broken cable. When this happens a wireless network may help to get these users connected until they can be reconnected through or repaired cable. This also leads to the usage of wireless networks being used as a backup. It would be much easier to connect the disconnected users to the network if they were already set up with the proper wireless networking software and hardware prior to the roblem.
Therefore, being used as a backup is very useful especially in buildings where the architecture makes it difficult to find and repair broken cables. Another reason wireless is needed is because there are some places where cables just can not reach. This may be the case in many businesses where cables can not be run across roads, long distances, or to mobile users. With a wireless network these are not obstacles. Wireless networks provide, which was just mentioned as a problem for cable networks, the option of portability.
Cell phones, pagers and palm pilots are all items that could not be connected to networks, such as the Internet, if not for wireless networks. Another use of wireless is in areas where cables simply can not be ran or can not be ran without many complications. Historical buildings, for example, make cabling difficult or impossible due to the old architecture where cabling was not anticipated. Busy areas are another reason for wireless. Reception areas, for instance, may have many people in the area all the time so cabling may not be practical. Another need is for people who are on the move.
Good examples of this would be doctors or nurses who are going in and out of rooms and taking a lot of information quickly. Palm pilots using infrared technology, which we will discuss later, makes it possible for a doctor to have information about a patient or to find out possible medications all within a few seconds thanks to these devices. Isolated areas provide another need for wireless networks. In this case, there may not be the availability to link to the network through cables. An office in Alaska would be a good example of this problem. These are just a few examples of the many possible needs of wireless networks.