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How WiFi works.

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We all use WiFi.  Homes, airports,events ,malls everywhere. Many people use WiFi to connect to the internet. n the near future, wireless networking may become so widespread that you can access the Internet just about anywhere at any time, without using wires. But, how exactly does it work? Let’s find out.

What is WiFi

WiFi basically, is a radio network. Which means WiFi primarily uses radio waves to communicate so a WiFi network mostly acts like a radio network. Here’s how it happens.

  1. A computer’s wireless adapter translates data into a radio signal and transmits it using an antenna.
  2. A wireless router receives the signal and decodes it. The router sends the information to the Internet using a physical, wired Ethernet connection

The process also works in reverse, with the router receiving information from the Internet, translating it into a radio signal and sending it to the computer’s wireless adapter.

The radios used in WiFi are pretty much akin to the radios used in Walkie-Talkies, cellphones and other similar devices. They can transmit and receive radio waves, and they can convert 1s and 0s (binary) into radio waves and convert the radio waves back into 1s and 0s. But WiFi radios have a few notable differences from other radios:

They transmit at frequencies of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. These values a considerably larger than that of in walkie talkies and televisions and etc. The higher frequency allows WiFi to carry more data. And they use  802.11 networking standards.

WiFi radios can transmit on any of three frequency bands. Or, they can “frequency hop” rapidly between the different bands. Frequency hopping helps reduce interference and lets multiple devices use the same wireless connection simultaneously.

Uses Of WiFi

WiFi could be used for

  • Internet access
  •  City-Wide WiFi (To set-up  city-wide municipal area networks)
  • Campus wide- WiFi (To set-up wide area network in a campus/college)
  • Direct (Peer-to-peer) communication between computers.

Advantages

Wi-Fi allows cheaper deployment of local area networks (LANs). Also spaces where cables cannot be run, such as outdoor areas and historical buildings, can host wireless LANs.

Wi-Fi protected Access  encryption (WPA2) is considered secure, provided a strong passphrase is used. New protocols for quality-of-service (WMM) make Wi-Fi more suitable for latency-sensitive applications (such as voice and video). Power saving mechanisms (WMM Power Save) extend battery life.

Sources – HowStuffWorks and Wikipedia

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Former Media Coordinator at diGIT Magazine, studied at Maliyadeva College

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