What is Wi-Fi? (Office/Home and Industrial)

You might already be familiar with Wi-Fi from a laptop or computer perspective (office/home Wi-Fi). Wi-Fi for in-field connectivity is a similar concept however serves a different function and end-use purpose (industrial Wi-Fi).

Home‘ or ‘office‘ Wi-Fi, is typically established to send and receive large amounts of data, such as videos, images, emails, and webpages.

This format is typically used to extend homestead/office broadband connectivity to other buildings, sheds, and workshops around the vicinity of the homestead/office.

Industrial‘ Wi-Fi is used for typical Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT solutions send and receive small amounts of data such as temperature or levels. Industrial Wi-Fi can also be used to control, start and stop devices, such as gates, pumps, and valves. The IIoT network is designed to have no interruptions and with low latency.

This format is typically used to obtain data back from industrial Wi-Fi-enabled IIoT device. IIoT devices typically involve a connectivity protocol that depicts an Industrial Wi-Fi connectivity integration is used. ISA100 Wireless is the most reliable IIoT protocol.

So, which one to use?

It is not uncommon for an agricultural business to have both office and industrial Wi-Fi installed on the property. Both types of Wi-Fi offer differing connectivity solutions.

Using home Wi-Fi to extend broadband is a common use and there are limited alternatives to achieve this outcome outside of Wi-Fi. Ethernet cables and or Ethernet-over-Power are two other options.

The number of devices, their distances from gateways and whether critical control infrastructure is being controlled by the network will determine if industry Wi-Fi is required.

‘Blended’ Wi-Fi Offerings

Companies such as Zetifi are now offering services that can take NBN, ADSL, 4G-5G cellular or satellite services from multiple providers, and convert these to both home/office Wi-Fi signals, in-field IoT device connectivity, long-range Wi-Fi services and Wi-Fi calling.