As satellite offices and telecommuting become more mainstream for Los Angeles RIAs, traditional networks pose certain problems.
A handful of wireless hotspots or wired connections will not be able to meet the needs of a geographically diverse workforce.
Therefore, more and more investment advisors are turning to wireless mesh networks for their communication and access needs.
What is a Wireless Mesh Network?
Wireless mesh networks (WMN) are created by connecting access points to one another. Mesh network users are also providers, meaning any data they receive forwards to the next node (a radio transmitter that plays the part of a wireless router).
It is a decentralized infrastructure that could enable RIAs and remote offices to connect their networks into a low-cost data chain. The Internet itself is arguably the world’s biggest mesh network.
Wireless mesh networks have multiple financial and operational advantages, which is why so many RIAs are implementing them.
- Minimal upfront investment - Because there are no communication cables to lay out and install, WMNs typically don’t require the high upfront investment associated with DSL and cable connections. A small, basic WMN can be set up at the outset, and upgraded gradually as the number of users grows.
- Reliability - By using multiple gateways, single point-of-failures are avoided. If a gateway experiences problems, the “orphaned” nodes can be redistributed to other gateways. Should a single link fail, WMNs simply route around them. This ability to automatically reconfigure themselves make WMNs resistant to disaster and other forms of interference.
- Expandable coverage - Unlike most Wi-Fi hotspots, WMNs do not require a line of sight to a single base station. As long as one user has connectivity to another, Internet access is available. This is especially valuable in situations where high-rise buildings, trees, and other obstructions can interfere with signals.
- Confidential communications - Mesh networking preserves the confidentiality of online communications. Because there is no central regulating authority, it is hard for data thieves to determine the real identity of network users. Because WMNs are usually invisible to the Internet, their traffic can only be monitored by those directly connected to them.
Wireless mesh networks are more resilient than traditional network infrastructures. Lack of centralization reduces the risk of connection failures and improves business continuity, ensuring that access to company resources is not affected by the disaster. These are vital features that could make them more valuable to RIAs than an ISP-based internet connection.
Does your office experience Internet connectivity issues? Do you think wireless mesh networks present a viable solution for your Los Angeles investment firm? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.