Wireless Internet Explained
Wireless internet, also known as Wi-Fi, allows electronic devices to exchange information or connect to the internet wirelessly via radio waves. Wireless internet allows for wireless telecommunications to be implemented and administered using radio communication. It uses radio frequency (RF) technology to send and receive information. A Wi-Fi-enabled device can connect to the Internet if it is within range of a wireless network and if the network permits this. Routers, Ethernet hubs, or switches often incorporate Wi-Fi access points within them, providing wireless internet service to all devices connected to them through a wireless access point (WAP). Through the use of Wi-Fi, people can have wireless internet anywhere.
Wireless internet networks have several advantages over wired networks, including cheaper deployment of local area networks. Networks save a lot of money by not having to run Ethernet cables throughout businesses. In addition, Wi-Fi networks provide access to the Internet in spaces where Ethernet cables are not permitted to run, such as outdoor areas. Wi-Fi chipsets and network interfaces are a worldwide standard; a device that is Wi-Fi enabled can work anywhere in the world. Finally, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) is considered one of the most secure sources of encryption available.
While wireless internet networks have their advantages, there are plenty of limitations as well. The main limitation is the range of a Wi-Fi network. Ranges vary within the frequency band, but all ranges are within a few hundred feet. In addition, wireless internet connections can be slow or disrupted due to interferences or by having similar devices on the Wi-Fi network in the same area. In other words, Wi-Fi networks can become congested with users in high-density areas. Devices that work on the same band the Wi-Fi network is on can interfere in the transmission. For example, many Wi-Fi networks run on the 2.4 GHz band, and they share that band with Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, and even microwave ovens - all which can disrupt the signal. Finally, the main limitation to Wi-Fi is the data security risks it poses. Although WPA and WPA2 encryption is considered very secure, the most popular for Wi-Fi encryption is Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). This type of encryption is easily breakable, providing open access to a local area network for other devices to monitor and record data.
In order to build a wireless internet network at home, a wireless router is required (a router is a device that joins multiple networks together, forwarding packets of data along the networks to the computers connected to it). A wireless router allows for wireless networking, either to the internet or a number of other wireless devices (such as a printer), and wireless internet access. A router contains a port to connect to a cable or DSL modem, an internal firewall, and a wireless access point.