Do you know how WiFi works? Do you desire to know it? Then you have found the right article.
What could you be without your favorite toys to play? One of the drugs that connected the whole humanity in one line is Wi-Fi. You can`t imagine the nearest café without WiFi; it`s nearly impossible to think about it. If you desire to attract more clients, then you need a proper Wi-Fi connection. This technology has also entered our homes. All our devices are connected to the WiFi services. Nevertheless, how does WiFi work? What is the secret of creation this type of technology for a greater good? Every type of city may have free Wi-Fi spots, and when you journey from one city to another, you may take a bus, ship or train with Wi-Fi.
READ ALSO: Does wifi cause cancer?
Have you ever been to an airport, railway station, hotel or coffee shop? Then you might have cached a chance to be in the center of the wireless network. For many people, wireless networking is called WiFi or 802.11 networking. It`s used to connect our homes, cities, training center together with using wireless low-cost internet access to the people. People imagined in fantastic dreams that in one day we all be connected through technologies. It might be possible that WiFi technology is the answer for science fiction dreams. Shortly, we will be able to connect to the internet without wires from any part of the planet.
Wifi has a huge pack of advantages. One of them is the capability to set up the wireless network easy. The second capability is the low cost of the wireless network. The third one is that WiFi has unobtrusive capabilities. You may not be able to spot the time when you are in a hotspot. This technology allows you to create and transfer information out of thin air. Therefore, it has a lot of advantages that you can use for yourself. Still, do you know how WiFi works? In this article, it will be presented how WiFi works and also some pieces of advice upon how to create a wireless network within your home.
Wifi, what is it?
WiFi uses radio waves to connect your devices to the world web. It also works with your mobile phones. Wifi acts as a two-way radio communication. Here what happens with WiFi connection and your computer:
- Your wireless adapter from a computer transmits information to a radio signals and transfer it by using an antenna.
- The signals are to be decoded and received by a wireless router. This router sends the data to the Internet with using a physical and wired Internet connection.
It also works vice versa. Your router may receive information from the Internet. Then it translates the information into radio signals, and your computer`s wireless adapter receives them.
Therefore, the technology for WiFi communication is very similar to the radios in walkie-talkies, mobile phones, and other devices which use radio waves. WiFi can easily transmit and receive radio waves and convert them to the 1s and 0s. In the same time, WiFi can easily convert 1s and 0s into radio waves. Nevertheless, there are differences between radio waves in WiFi and those you see in other devices.
- The frequencies at which they transmit, information, can be on the level from 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. This frequency is higher than that you use in television, cell phones or walkie-talkies. It also provides the Wifi an ability to transport more data.
- WiFi network uses 802.11 standard to work.
- This standard of 802.11a allow Wifi to work at the frequency of 5 GHz and transmit up to 54 megabits of data per second. The radio signal is split up to the several sub-signals with using orthogonal frequency-division, multiplexing or OFDM. This technology greatly reduces interference of the signal.
- The standard of working, like 802.11b, can be named as the slowest and least expensive. It might have had its time of glory due to the price, but the standard which can carry more information becomes cheaper. 802.11b operates on the frequency 2.4 GHz. It`s band to the radio spectrum and can carry out 11 megabits’ data per second. It also uses complementary code keying; that helps to improve the speed of transmitting.
- A faster brother of 802.11b standard is called 802.11g standard. It also operates at the frequency of 2.4 GHz and handles up to 54 megabits per second, but it uses 802.11a`s OFDM. Therefore, 802.11g is a lot faster than 802.11b.
- 802.11 n standard is one of the most wildly popular standards for today. It took advantage of its predecessors. Therefore, it can transmit data up to 140 megabits per second and work with four streams of data simultaneously. It should be mentioned that other standards use two-three streams of data.
- What one of the newest standards appeared in 2013 is called 802.11ac. This new standard still has much work to do to be adopted by computers. It works on both frequencies, like the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The new technology used in this standard is brought from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This technology helps 802.11ac to work much faster than its predecessors. It allows to transmit up to 450 megabits per second. It also called the 5G WiFi due to its frequency and capability of transmitting the information.
- Other standards of 802.11 concentrate on specific applications. It can be connected to your house or vehicle.
- WiFi uses three frequency bands. It helps in case of interrupting the signal. It also provides a capability to use Wifi on several devices simultaneously.
If these standards have a wireless adaptor, you may easily connect several devices to the one router. This connection will be reliable, invisible and convenient. Nevertheless, too many devices connected to one router may lead to interference with signal or disconnect. Therefore, for this moment, the fastest standard of technology for the moment is 802.11ac.
History of WiFi
The first wireless connection was created with ALOHAnet, which connected Hawaiian Islands with UHF packet of a network. Therefore, it started in 1971 with a creation of forerunners to Ethernet, which used IEEE 802.11 protocols. U.S. Federal Communications Commission released ISM bands in 1985 to open access to using.802.11 protocol was firstly released in 1997. It could provide a speed of 2 megabits per second. In 1997 it was upgraded to 802.11b, which could provide up to 11 megabits per second. In 1999, the WiFi Alliance was created. Therefore it created the WiFi trademark under which we buy the most WiFi products.
Wonders of WiFi
Why people refer to WiFi as 802.11 networking? This number comes from IEEE. The IEEE provides protocols and standards by which it works. Numbers serve as a classification of these standards. One of the new technologies that might overcome WiFi is WiMax. It combines benefits of broadcasting and wireless technologies. Therefore, it can easily provide high-speed access to the internet. It is also called 802.16 networking.
Hotspots for WiFi
Hotspots for WiFi are simply called areas with an accessible network connection. This term is wildly used for areas with accessible WiFi in cafes, railway stations or airports. Wifi in public areas might be free to use, or you would need some fee to use it. Nevertheless, it might come in handy when you need the Internet connection. It might also be possible for you to create your hotspot with using your mobile phone or an external device to create a wireless network. It`s also possible to create a WiFi network at home.
There is no difference if you desire to use home-based network or public WiFI hotspots. One of the first questions for is whether your device has the right gear for it. Most of modern laptops and computers come with wireless transmitters, and all mobile devices have these transmitters for today. If your computer does not have a wireless transmitter, then you can buy a wireless adapter and plug it into USB slot. Desktop computers can easily work with USB adapters; You can plug the adapter into the PCI slot. Many adaptors can use more than 802.11 standards.
When you install the needed wireless adaptor and drivers that allow it was operating, your computer should easily find existing networks. This provides the ability of your computer to find and turn to WiFi hotspot. The computer will also ask you if you desire to connect to the existing WiFi hotspots. If your computer is too old, then you might need to install additional software that will help to detect and connect you PC to a wireless network.
The ability to connect to the public WiFi hotspots is extremely convenient. Being able to connect to the wireless network at home is also pretty comfortable. This network helps you to connect multiple computers and devices and place it whenever you desire without disconnecting. So, how can you create a wireless network within your home range?
If you have several devices or computers networked in your home, then you may easily create a wireless connection by using the wireless access point. If these computers are not networked, then you would need to buy a wireless router, which help you to create WiFi at home. In this single unit you may find:
- DSL modem or a port connected to your cable
- An Ethernet hub
- A wireless access point
- A router
- A firewall
With using of wireless router, you can easily use Ethernet cables or wireless signals for connection to mobile devices, printers, office devices to the Internet. Most routers can easily convert a destination of thirty meters in all directions. Also, almost no physical obstacle can block a signal. You can also buy an additional device to extend the coverage range of your router.
Similar to wireless adapters, WiFi routers can use more than 802.11 standards. The most common are routers with standards, like 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11a. The less expensive routers use 802.11b standards.
When you plug your router into the device, it should be automatically launched with default settings. You may also use a Web Interface to change your settings. You may select:
- Router security options. A lot of routers uses standards settings that allow users to connect to the network openly and publically. Therefore, it would be great for you to put on the password and username for your protection.
- The channel used by routes. You may find that most routers use channel 6 for default settings. Therefore, if your neighbor also uses a WiFi network, then you might experience network problems. Therefore, you would need to change the channel.
- The name of your network. It usually uses manufacturer default settings. Nevertheless, you may choose the name for your network to distinguish it from others.
Security is one the most important problems for a security network. It`s equally important for home network and public WiFi hotspots. If you do not change the default settings for the router, then you might create an open hotspot. It means that anyone can use your Internet. Most people desire to hide their network from strangers. Therefore, it`s safer to create a password for your network.
It`s also needed to think about security precautions. The Wired Equivalency Privacy was a standard for WAN security. The ideas followed behind WEP made possible to create a wireless security, which can perfectly safe and secure your network from strangers. Nevertheless, if something created to secure your network, then there is something that can hack your network. Hackers are not lazy bones, and they have created applications to compromise WEP. They usually use Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) to hack into the network. Still, nobody can guaranty your total security of the network.
If you truly desire to keep your network protected, then it would be wise to follow some pieces of advice:
- WPA2 or WiFi Protected Access version 2. It gives you more security than standard WPA and WEP. Therefore, it`s recommended to be installed. It can easily use Advanced Encryption Standards and TKIP. It means more security to your network, which involves WiFi protected setup. It features a hard coded PIN. Therefore, it makes it less vulnerable to hackers.
- Media Access Control. It works not like WPA, WPA 2 or WEP. It does not connect through password. It uses physical hardware of computer to identify the user. MAC filters devices and allows only devices with MAC addresses to enter the secure network. Therefore, you would need to specify addresses when you use your router. If you desire to buy a new device or computer to your home, then you would need to add its address to the MAC addresses. Nevertheless, the system is not totally secured. Some hackers found weak spots. Hackers may just spoof a MAC address and copy it, then enter your secure network. Nevertheless, it works similar to the guest list. Sometimes, strangers may also come and blend in to the party. Therefore, who knows what kind of mess they can create.
You can also change some other route settings to improve the total security of your network. You may try to set in to block WAN requests. That will help your router from responding of distant IP requests. You may also set up a limited amount of devices that can be used in this network. You may also disable the remote administration. Therefore, only physical connected computer to the router can change settings. You may also need to change the name of your Service Set Identifier, so hackers couldn`t easily find which network you use right now and also which router you use right now. You may also need to select a strong network, that can`t be easily guessed.
We can`t imagine how far wireless technologies can lead us in the future. Twenty-five years ago the Internet was presented to the humanity as a first step to the future of new technologies. For today, we have wireless network in our houses and many public places. It`s a true miracle that we can use these technologies right now. Nevertheless, the progress does not stop. There are countries in the world with fully free WiFi connection. Therefore, it`s only a start for a journey.
- READ ALSO: Is Wi-Fi calling free?