Wireless Networking

Wireless networking is a widely used and popular medium of internet access all across the world.


Wireless network can be used in:

  • Airports, restaurants, libraries and other public places
  • Offices and institutions
  • Establishing a connection between computers at home.
  • Cities to provide economical internet access to residents


Installing a wireless network offers a lot of benefits. Some of them are listed as follows:

  • In wireless ad-hoc network mode, devices like consumer electronics and gaming applications can directly connect and exchange data with each other.
  • Digital images can be transferred wirelessly from cameras and other devices.
  • All connected devices within the range have access to internet and inter-networking.
  • Cost of cabling and network deployment of Local Area Networks is significantly reduced.
  • Can be used at placed where wiring and cable lay-out is not feasible.
  • Due to its cost effective nature, it can be used widely in corporate set-ups and university campuses.
  • A standard device can function in any geographical location.
  • Latest service protocols like WPA2 encryption and WMM enhance the security parameters and make networks more adaptable to latency-sensitive applications.
  • WMM also enhances the battery efficiency and optimizes power consumption.

How it works?

  • A wireless network uses radio waves for communication.
  • Data is translated by the system’s wireless adapter and transmitted via an antenna.
  • The transmitted signal is received by a wireless router which decodes the signal and transfers the information to the internet via an Ethernet connection.
  • The router also receives data from the internet and converts it into radio waves before transmitting it to a wireless adapter.

Special Features:

Although wireless networks work on the same principles as cell phones and walkie-talkies, they are different in many other respects:

  • The frequency of transmission is much higher that televisions and cell-phones.
  • Due to the higher frequency, a greater amount of data can be transmitted
  • They operate with four sub-variants of 802.11 networking standards.
  • 802.15 wireless standard in used for Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs) and Bluetooth applications.
  • WiMax or 802.16, provides high-speed connections over a larger area and complete cities.
  • They also use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) and complimentary code keying (CCK) coding for reduced interference and better signal strength.
  • Wireless networks are enabled for three frequency bands and are capable of “frequency hopping”.
  • Multiple devices can access the same wireless connection at the same time.
  • Multiple devices can connect to the internet via the same router.

Installing a Wireless Network:

In order to build a wireless network, the following things are needed:

  • A port to connect to the cable or DSL modem
  • A router
  • An Ethernet hub
  • A firewall
  • A wireless access point

Wireless Routers:

These are an important part of wireless networking equipment and help in connecting a computer to:

  • Another computer
  • A printer
  • Internet.

For including a larger area in the wireless network, the range of a router can be extended by using:

  • Range extenders
  • Repeaters

Once installed, the following settings can be made in a router:

  • The name of the network, known as its service set identifier (SSID)
  • The channel that the router uses
  • Your router's security options

Security and Privacy Settings

“Hot Spots” or wireless access points may be:

  • Limited to a single small area
  • Cover a large area as a mesh network made up of several overlapping access points
  • Provide free internet access
  • Require a paid membership

A wireless network “hot spot” (area wherein access in available) can be secured for private use by using one of the following set-ups:

  • Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP): This is a numerical password enabled setup that encrypts data in 64 or 128.
  • WiFi Protected Access (WPA) works on the principle of temporal key integrity protocol encryption and can be accessed by a password.
  • Media Access Control (MAC) filters access by matching addresses with specified ones listed in the system. Since it secures a network using computer hardware, the need for a password is eliminated.