Skip to main content

IoT and the Impact on Wireless Networks

February 14, 2017

Traditionally, wireless networks were considered a luxury, as well as highly unreliable and unsecure. Over the past 10 years, wireless networks have exploded in popularity and have made huge advances in the capabilities that wireless provides. Until recently, wireless networks were primarily used by devices that had an end-user actively operating it and passing network traffic. As technology has improved, the concept of IoT (Internet of Things) has come to the forefront of wireless devices. IoT devices consist of power, lighting, appliances, security, video, monitoring, sensors, and much more. Originally, devices that are now considered IoT, were strictly autonomous and had no network capabilities, but now many of these devices can be integrated with a wireless network to provide automation and data that was previously unavailable. With the growth of IoT, more and more devices will become reliant on wireless networks and traffic will be merged with that of laptops and smart devices that are also currently using it.

When planning a wireless network, the question used to be “how many users do you have?” and the answer would be multiplied by 3 – Laptop, Smart Phone, and Tablet. Now, capacity planning has a whole new challenge, as not only user’s devices must be considered, but corporate IoT, as well as personal IoT devices must be considered. Planning for wireless networks could quickly change from 3 devices per person to double or triple that amount in the coming years. Not all IoT devices operate on the 802.11 standard, some use standards known as ZigBee or Z-Wave, which operate similarly to wireless networks, but are not detectable by 802.11 wireless radios. Beyond the wireless network, the infrastructure must also be prepared for the increase of network traffic being transmitted, as well as the increased DHCP requests that will take place. Security is another conversation surrounding IoT devices, and in recent news, some IoT devices have been compromised. The introduction of these devices into modern wireless networks has already begun, but the general acceptance and expectations of IoT devices may be further away. No matter when IoT becomes an expectation, it’s sure to take the network world by storm.

Related Blogs

November 12, 2016

Re-Assessing the Devices on your Guest Wireless Network...

Has your "Guest" Network become the defacto landing place for pseudo-production devices? I shared an insightful discussion with a customer recently wh...

See Details

September 25, 2014

"Shellshock" Vulnerability in Bash Allows Unauthorized, Remote Code Execution

On September 24, a critical vulnerability - CVE-2014-6271 - was made public. This vulnerability, dubbed “Shellshock,” exposes a weakness in which cert...

See Details

November 11, 2014

5 Ways Your Enterprise Security Tools Are Failing | Optiv

We have witnessed a dramatic shift in the nature of enterprise security in the last 10 years. The individuals who are attacking our networks are no lo...

See Details

How Can We Help?

Let us know what you need, and we will have an Optiv professional contact you shortly.

Privacy Policy

Related Insights

July 21, 2015

Network Security Solutions

Learn how we help protect your environment while maintaining connectivity.

See Details

December 01, 2011

Securing Network Architecture - Part 1 | Optiv

Today, securing a network cannot be fully accomplished with just a product or a solution. Rather, an in-depth holistic approach is required to protect...

See Details

Stay in the Know

For all the latest cybersecurity and Optiv news, subscribe to our blog and connect with us on Social.


Join our Email List

We take your privacy seriously and promise never to share your email with anyone.

Stay Connected

Find cyber security Events in your area.