One of the most common is fixed wireless access, which provides connectivity through radio links between two fixed points without the need for wires. Due to the connection being transmitted this way, there’s no requirement to lay fibre to provide “last mile connectivity” – the final section of the network that in the case of cables would have to physically enter your home. Instead, you receive an entirely wireless connection, which is why so many people consider fixed wireless access the best kind of internet solution available.
In this article we’re looking at how fixed wireless access works, its pros and cons, and whether it’s the right choice for your home.
How does fixed wireless access deliver the internet?
As mentioned above, the key difference of a fixed wireless access network is that it uses wireless technologies to connect your home or business to the internet. The majority of the network takes a standard format, in that data travels through the provider’s underground cables and is only transmitted through radio masts to homes for the last few miles (or an even shorter difference if you live right near a mast).
For example, Quickline currently uses a 5ghz system that can deliver fixed wireless access internet seeds of up to 100Mbps to anyone within reach of a mast. As a result, rather than properties having to wait for fibre networks to be laid in their hard to reach areas, they simply need to be within an 8-10km radius of any mast transmitting a Quickline signal. This allows them to upgrade their home to a superfast connection and enjoy all of the wonders of the internet without any lags.
Are there any drawbacks?
If you’re happy with internet speeds of up to 100Mbps, the only drawback is line of sight. Due to the internet connection being transmitted from a radio mast to a dish on your home, any large obstructions such as trees or tilted land can prevent a strong signal being received. However, fixed wireless access is still the best option for people in many rural areas, plus most customers receive a connection that’s strong enough for streaming music, videos, games and other data-heavy content with ease.
Is fixed wireless access reliable?
Providing there aren’t any obstructions in the way of your signal, a fixed wireless access internet connection should do you proud. It’s actually a very common and popular form of internet access that’s used around the UK and the wider world, especially in remote areas such as rural Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
In recent years, 5G technology is helping fixed wireless access to take new leaps and bounds. The tech is currently being developed but you can expect to see faster options for home internet connectivity become available in the near future.
Is fixed wireless access secure?
Whilst fixed wireless access is secure in itself, the most important factor here is that you also need to use the internet in a safe and responsible way. In order to keep all of your data protected, it’s highly recommended that you purchase powerful antivirus software, use a spam filter for your emails, create strong and unique passwords, only shop on secure retail websites, and never click links shared through unsolicited messages, emails and texts.
In short, you should always be wary of viruses, hackers and cybercriminals, as all it takes is a minor slip for them to cause you problems. Likewise, all it takes is a simple digital security routine to keep them at bay and protect all of your personal information.
The pros and cons of fixed wireless access
There are multiple advantages that come with choosing fixed wireless internet access for your home or small business, such as:
- Pro: Installation is extremely fast because the supplier doesn’t need to lay cables all the way to your home. Instead, you’ll receive a dish that picks up signals from the nearest mast.
- Pro: This system has wide availability because even the most rural properties are within reach of a mast.
- Pro: It’s affordable due to the installation process being so simple.
- Pro: Rather than sharing a line with other users, you have your own connection. This means you won’t have to worry about slow speeds during peak times.
- Pro: Fixed wireless access boasts impressively high uptime, making it a very reliable type of internet connection.
- Pro: Low latency ensures that movies, music, games, video calls, CCTV and other online tasks that require a lot of bandwidth run more smoothly.
As with most things in life, fixed wireless access does come with some disadvantages, although we believe these are far outweighed by the benefits. The downsides include:
- Con: Line of sight is crucial, so if your home is surrounded by trees or located in a deep dip in the natural landscape, fixed wireless may not be the right solution.
- Con: The price of fixed wireless can be higher than some other types of connections, although this does depend on your internet provider. (Overall, it’s an affordable connectivity solution.)
- Con: Fixed wireless access isn’t available everywhere. However, some internet providers are changing this, such as Quickline’s steady rollout across rural areas of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
If you like the idea of being able to access websites, stream movies, play games and shop online without any fuss, use our handy postcode checker to find out which providers are available in your area.