Comparing the Different Types of Digital Signage Connectivity

Digital signage helps you engage your audience and makes your message stand out. More and more digital signs are becoming highly intuitive and adaptive to their environment, and they do so through connectivity. Because there are multiple connectivity options for digital signage, it’s important to evaluate the benefits of each one to figure out which option will fit your needs. You’ll want to consider things like pricing, installation, and troubleshooting.

Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you determine which connectivity option is best for you.

USB Thumb Drive

Pros Cons
  • No monthly data costs
  • No worry about network connectivity
  • Coordination of which files are on which USB drives can be tricky
  • The time element of having a representative physically go to each player to update content
  • Organizing large numbers can be cumbersome especially in remote areas

Existing Local Internet Connections

Pros Cons
  • No monthly data costs
  • Decent bandwidth speeds
  • Getting permission from IT can be a lengthy process and involve high implementation costs
  • Possible need to open firewalls or to enable security rules with IT can be burdensome
  • Static IP connections are rare
  • Can suffer from spotty internet service or poor download/upload speed

Local Wi-Fi

Pros Cons
  • No monthly data costs
  • Not a secure connection method
  • Limited range or distance
  • Network names and passwords are subject to change
  • Slow connections

Purchased Aircard, Mifi, or Jetpack

Pros Cons
  • Set-up is fairly simple
  • Monthly data costs
  • Subject to either overage or slowing after certain data thresholds
  • To reset lost connections usually requires a manual power cycle

Purchased Hardware & Set-Up Data Plan

Pros Cons
  • You have full control of the hardware and data plans
  • Monthly data costs
  • Setting up the configurations with all of the different options can be difficult for a novice
  • Coordinating data plans to be as low as possible without hitting overages can be a balancing act
  • Maintaining portfolios with software versions can require dedicated resources to communications
  • Unlikely that you would want to coordinate both billing and data plans with more than one carrier
  • If only using a single carrier, some locations may suffer from poor coverage or limited bandwidth

Managed Solutions

Pros Cons
  • Single source of contact 24/7 support
  • Ease of installation for virtual plug and play. When specific routing or settings are needed, dedicated technical support to assist set-up
  • Security, connectivity, profiles, firmware are handled
  • Ability to have multiple carriers and just pay one bill
  • Carrier options to provide the best coverage and bandwidth in any given area
  • Purchase and lease options available
  • Monthly data costs
  • Possible threat to job security for dedicated communication staff

Based on your company’s needs and how many resources are being allocated for communications, an evaluation of the listed pros and cons should help determine which method of connectivity works best for you.

With more pros than cons, managed connectivity is always a great option for digital signage. To learn more about how OptConnect provides reliable connectivity for digital signage, click here.

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