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.
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
These are an important part of wireless networking equipment and help in connecting a computer to:
- Another computer
- A printer
For including a larger area in the wireless network, the range of a router can be extended by using:
- Range extenders
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.