Understanding the Basics of Wi-fi

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The Internet has brought unimaginable revolution in the world. This global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities has helped people in doing things that could never have been possible otherwise. Now you can get information about anything and everything with just a click. The whole credit goes to the digital age and recent technological advances in software.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi, widely known as 802.11 networking or wireless networking, is a technology that uses radio waves to provide Internet access to devices that are within the range of a wireless network or connected to the Internet.

Wi-Fi is compatible with almost every operating system and can be used for a variety of devices like desktops, laptops, smart TVs, printers, digital cameras, etc.

How does Wi-Fi work?

A Wi-Fi connection is established by creating hotspots with a wireless adapter. The adapter then translates the whole data into radio signals that are then transmitted across through antennas. A wireless router is then used to receive the signals and decode them. The information from router is sent to the Internet through Ethernet. All the devices in the proximity of the Wi-Fi router and connected to the network then gain access to internet services.

The whole process works in a reverse manner as well.

What are the different Wi-Fi frequencies?

There are different versions of Wi-Fi each having different ranges, radio bands, and speeds. Wi-Fi networks mostly transmit the data at a frequency level of 2.4 GHz or 5GHz. The higher is the frequency, the higher is the rate of data transmission.

The various networking standards are –

  • 11a transmits at a frequency level of 5GHz and can carry data up to 54 megabits per second. It also deploys a coding technique of Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) that divides the radio signals into several sub-signals to reach the receiver without interference.
  • 11b has a frequency level of 2.4GHz and can transmit data up to 11 megabits only. This is obviously slower than 802.11a but has been quite a popular choice among people in the past due to its low costs. However, with faster standards getting introduced at affordable rates, it is now being replaced.
  • 11g also transmits at 2.4GHz but carry data up to 54 megabits per second. It is faster than 802.11b as it also uses OFDM coding technique as implemented in 802.11a.
  • 11n is the most advanced network standard that surpasses the speed and range of all. Using a frequency level of 5GHz, data as high as 140 megabits can be easily transmitted in one second.
  • 11ac is a supercharged version of 802.11n as it is much faster and can easily achieve a data transmission speed of 433-450 megabits per second. It works on the 5GHz band and uses beamforming technology to send radio signals directly to client devices.

How to set up a Wi-Fi access?

To set your own Wi-Fi at home or workspace, you need to buy a good wireless router. Pay attention to the hardware i.e. the process and the RAM inside your router. Invest in a dual-core as it can deal with more data and clients.

Log in the router’s admin management page to configure the settings like Wi-Fi channel, password, network name, etc. After establishing a connection with the router, you will be assigned an IP address. You can then use and share an internet connection with other devices easily.


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