Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wi-Fi technology

Wi-Fi technology is a wireless technology that uses radio waves for providing internet access or establishes connection between two or more devices for the purpose of data sharing. The Wi-Fi technology was established in 1997 and has gained huge popularity since then. Wi-Fi is supported by most of the computers, laptops, smart phones, IPods, PSP and various other peripherals.

Wi-Fi is a long distance transportable technology which can be used by millions of people all over the world for individual and business purposes. Wi-Fi technology uses single carrier direct-sequence spread spectrum radio technology as well as multiple carrier OFDM technology to establish connection between two or more networks. The wireless technology offers both advantages and disadvantages as compared to a wireless network. Advantages include more mobility whereas disadvantages include radio interference due to weather and other wireless devices.

How does Wi-Fi Technology work?

A Wi-Fi connection begins with a wireless computer adapter that translates data into a radio signal and transmits it using an antenna. Thereafter, a wireless router receives the signal and decodes it- and sends the information to the internet using a physical, wired Ethernet connection. In reality the router is connected to a high-speed modem with the help of the Ethernet cable. After the wireless router gets connected, you will be able to receive a wireless signal on a given device- be it a computer, laptop, smart phone or any other device.

The Wi-Fi radios have a remarkable difference from the other radios- as they transmit frequencies of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz which is considerably higher than the frequencies of cell phones, walkie-talkies and televisions. The advantage of using higher frequency is that the signal can carry more data. The Wi-Fi radios typically use 802.11 networking standards, which come in several flavors like 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. Wi-Fi radios can transmit on any of these frequencies or may "frequency hop" between the different bands. Frequency hopping actually helps in reducing interference and lets multiple devices use the same wireless connection simultaneously.

However, in spite of the advantages, this technology has some limitations as well. It is because the spectrum assignments or operational limitations are not consistent throughout the world. Many places in Europe allow for only one additional channel for the 2.4 GHz band. (1-13 vs. 1-11); Japan has one more on top of that (1-14). This means that the Wi-Fi connection cannot operate consistently in these countries. Moreover, the Wi-Fi systems have only a limited range and the Wi-Fi performance decreases significantly as the distance increases.

Wi-Fi technology has certainly improved our way of communicating and establishing connections but a lot still remains to be done!

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